Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 16 October 2002
Page: 5238


Senator MURRAY (10:32 AM) —by leave—I move Democrat amendments (1) and (3) on sheet 2661, revised 2:

(1) Clause 3, page 3 (line 12), second dot point, after paragraph (b), insert:

(c) a member of Parliament other than a Prime Minister who first commences his or her term as a member of Parliament in the next Parliament to commence after this Act comes into operation will not be entitled to hold a Life Gold Pass.

(3) Page 12 (after line 3), at the end of clause 11, add:

Cessation of entitlement

(4) A member or former member other than a Prime Minister who first commenced his or her term as a member of Parliament in the next Parliament to commence after this Act first comes into operation is not entitled to hold a Life Gold Pass.

I will make only a few brief remarks because the issues concerned have already been canvassed. The amendments address three issues. The first issue is a rejection of the concept of the life gold pass and a belief that it should be ended. The second component is that the matter should be grandfathered—in other words, it only apply prospectively from the date of the next parliament. In doing so, not only do I recognise a longstanding Senate view on all forms of legislation that retrospectivity should be avoided wherever possible and the difficulties of contract so addressed, but also I recognise the reality that, the further back you go in decades, the less well remunerated parliamentarians were, and in fact in far distant days this was regarded as a form of compensation. The third component is that the office of Prime Minister is excluded. That is based on our belief, which is a little more charitable than I understood Senator Ray to imply, that former prime ministers have a status, meaning and position in our society which justifies further remuneration for performing public office. Although I must stress that, although the amendment does not say so, it is our belief that that should be an executive cost and not a benefit or entitlement cost. I have not tried to address that as that would be too complicated at this time. So, unless there is going to be a lot of debate about these issues, I will restrict my remarks to those.

Question negatived.