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Wednesday, 10 November 1976

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - In summary I refer to New South Wales where there are some 78 judges and 91 stipendiary magistrates. In Queensland there are 33 judges and 6 1 magistrates. In Tasmania there are 6 judges and 14 state magistrates. In South Australia there are some 24 judges and 30 stipendiary magistrates. In Victoria there are 49 judges and 65 stipendiary magistrates. In Western Australia there are 18 State judges, 29 stipendiary magistrates and in addition 4 State Family Court judges. On the Federal scene which includes the High Court, the Australian Industrial Court, the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, the Federal Court of Bankruptcy, the Family Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, the Law Reform Commission, the Royal Commission into Australian Government Administration, the Royal Commission into Human Relationships, the Grants Commission, the Prices Justification Tribunal, the Trade Practices Commission and the Trade Practices Tribunal, there are a total of some 56 judges and 52 commissioners. We are all aware that the Federal Court of Australia Bill will add to the number of Federal judges and commissioners. The grand total of the State judges, Federal judges, commissioners and stipendiary magistrates is 607 with more to come because of the Federal Court of Australia Bill.

I said before that if politicians are 2-bob a dozen the judiciary could be sold at 25c a dozen. To balance my mathematics it must be pointed out that the total of State and Federal parliamentariansthat includes of course both upper Houses and lower Houses- comes to some 756. There we are with 756 politicians and 607 judicial officers throughout Australia. Yet when we look at the salaries paid to the judiciary and compare them with the salaries paid to parliamentarians the figures are not so close. The judicial


officers on average would probably be receiving $38,000 to $39,000 a year. That is more than the salary of the nation's highest law officer, the Attorney-General. If one were to believe that the judicial officers were always hard-working one might be able to live with the knowledge of their high salaries. I wish to incorporate in Hansard information which was gathered by an honourable senator on the performances of the judges of the Australian Industrial Court between 1971 and 1975. 1 seek the permission of the House to incorporate the document in Hansard.

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