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Tuesday, 16 September 2003
Page: 15314

Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (6:18 PM) —The answer to that is that for superannuation in respect of politicians and judges—the Governor-General's superannuation is administered by the Department of Finance and Administration, which is Senator Minchin's portfolio but nonetheless I will see what I can do—you would need to know the surchargeable contributions. This evidence is certainly not readily available so far as I can tell and I think it would be near impossible to calculate. Furthermore, Senator Sherry is probably aware that some judges were recently successful in an action in the Supreme Court whereby they were relieved of making any surcharge contribution. But the general answer is that in order to get the information that you have sought, which is estimated average level of benefit for politicians on backbench salaries—

Senator Sherry —Federal parliament.

Senator COONAN —you would have to know the surchargeable contributions. So far as I am aware this is not readily available. I cannot really see how it is possible to calculate it. What I would say is that if, when I have thought about it, it is possible to give any kind of considered response to this, I will do so.