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Thursday, 14 February 2002
Page: 201


Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (10:37 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Section 66 of the Constitution prescribes the maximum annual pool of funds from which salaries of ministers can be paid, unless the parliament provides otherwise.

The Ministers of State Act 1952 is the mechanism through which parliament adjusts the pool of funds available for this purpose. Amendments to the Ministers of State Act are therefore required from time to time to cover changes in the level of ministerial salaries or in the number of ministers.

Senators' and members' base salaries are determined by a reference point to the principal executive officer band in Remuneration Tribunal Determination 15/1999 (as amended).

In 1999, this government adopted the recommendation of the Remuneration Tribunal that the additional salary of ministers be tied to the principal executive officer band as a percentage of base salary.

On 5 July 2001—with effect from 1 July 2001—the Remuneration Tribunal determined new rates for the principal executive officer band. These new rates have flowed to senators and members and to ministers.

The act currently limits the sum appropriated to $2.3 million. This sum needs to be increased to $2.8 million to meet increases in ministers' salaries in this financial year and beyond because of the amending determination of the Remuneration Tribunal increasing the base salaries of senators and members.

I commend the Ministers of State Amendment Bill 2002 to the House and present the explanatory memorandum to the bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Griffin) adjourned.