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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1269


Senator HANSON (Queensland) (18:51): by leave—I move:

(1) Schedule 1, item 3, page 4 (line 16) to page 5 (line 16), omit the item, substitute:

3 Section 3

Repeal the section, substitute:

3 Simplified outline of this Act

On retirement from the Parliament a person may, if he or she has satisfied the relevant qualifying period, become the holder of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement conferring travel entitlements under this Act.

Under this Act:

(a) there are limits on when a person must have entered Parliament, and when a person must have satisfied the qualifying period and retired from the Parliament, in order to become the holder of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement; and

(b) a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement expires after a limited period.

Travel entitlements are limited to return trips that are within Australia, and that comply with certain other requirements (including that the travel be for the public benefit). There are also limits on the number of trips to which a person is entitled.

If a superannuation order is made under the Crimes (Superannuation Benefits) Act 1989 in relation to a person convicted of a corruption offence, the person is disqualified from travel entitlements under this Act and from severance travel.

No person will have a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement after the day section 1 of the Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Act 2017 commences.

(2) Schedule 1, item 8, page 6 (line 25), omit "the Prime Minister or".

(3) Schedule 1, item 10, page 7 (lines 9 and 10), omit ", other than to members who become Prime Minister".

(5) Schedule 1, item 12, page 7 (lines 22 to 24), omit ", unless the person is the Prime Minister, or a former Prime Minister, when he or she retires".

(6) Schedule 1, item 12, page 7 (lines 29 to 31), omit ", unless the person is the Prime Minister, or a former Prime Minister, when he or she retires".

(7) Schedule 1, item 12, page 8 (lines 1 and 2), omit "(other than for former Prime Ministers)".

(8) Schedule 1, item 12, page 8 (lines 3 to 12), omit subsection 4C(1), substitute:

Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement expires in accordance with this section

(1) If a person is a holder of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement on 13 May 2014, or becomes a holder of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement after that day, the person's Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement expires in accordance with this section.

(9) Schedule 1, item 12, page 8 (line 18), omit "subject to subsection (3),".

(10) Schedule 1, item 12, page 8 (lines 25 and 26), omit subsection 4C(3).

(11) Schedule 1, item 12, page 8 (lines 33 and 34), omit "but is not a former Prime Minister".

(12) Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (line 7), omit "a former Prime Minister or".

(13) Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (lines 16 and 17), omit "but is not a former Prime Minister".

(14) Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (line 32), omit "a former Prime Minister or".

(15) Schedule 1, items 13 and 14, page 10 (lines 13 to 19), omit the items, substitute:

13 Section 9 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

9 When return trip is in a year

13A Subsection 9(1) (heading)

Repeal the heading.

13B Subsection 9(1)

Omit "(1)".

13C Subsections 9(2), (3) and (4)

Repeal the subsections.

14 Sections 9A and 9B

Repeal the sections.

(16) Schedule 1, items 16 and 17, page 10 (lines 23 to 28), omit the items, substitute:

16 Subsection 10(1) (table items 2 and 3)

Repeal the items.

17 Subsection 10(3)

Repeal the subsection.

(17) Schedule 1, item 20, page 11 (lines 3 to 17), omit the item, substitute:

20 Section 13

Omit:

(b) a pro-rata adjustment where a person becomes the spouse or de facto partner of a former member or member during a year;

(c) a pro-rata adjustment where, during a year, a member satisfies the relevant qualifying period for the issue of a Life Gold Pass.

substitute:

(b) a pro-rata adjustment where the maximum term of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement under subsection 4C(6) or (7) will end during a year.

(18) Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (lines 20 and 21), omit ", or former Prime Minister nominates spouse ordefactopartner,".

(19) Schedule 1, items 23 and 24, page 12 (lines 1 to 6), omit the items, substitute:

23 Subsection 14(1) (table item 2)

Repeal the item.

(20) Schedule 1, item 26, page 12 (lines 9 to 24), omit the item, substitute:

26 Subsection 14(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(2) The number of domestic return trips for the purposes of the table in subsection (1) is the number of trips worked out using the formula in subsection (2A).

26A Subsection 14(2A)

Omit "paragraph (2) (a)", substitute "subsection (2)".

(21) Schedule 1, item 28, page 13 (lines 18 to 31), omit subsection 18(3), substitute:

Interaction between items 1 and 2 of the table in subsection (2) and the rules in section 4C about expiry of Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlements

(3) If item 2 of the table in subsection (2) applies (whether or not item 1 also applies), then nothing in either of those items is to be taken to result in:

(a) the person resuming being the holder of a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement; or

(b) requiring a Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement to be restored to the person;

on the revocation of the order if the revocation takes effect after the nominal expiry time for the Parliamentary Retirement Travel Entitlement that the person held when the order was made.

(22) Schedule 1, items 29 to 31, page 14 (lines 5 to 18), omit the items, substitute:

29 Paragraph 21(a)

Omit ", or the surviving spouse or de facto partner of a former member,".

30 Section 21

Omit ", or the surviving spouse or de facto partner, as the case may be," (wherever occurring).

31 Section 22

Repeal the section.

(23) Schedule 1, items 33 and 34, page 14 (lines 21 to 26), omit the items, substitute:

33 Subsection 28(2)

Repeal the subsection.

34 Paragraph 29(1 ) ( b)

Omit ", or the person's spouse or de facto partner,".

34A Subsection 29(1)

Omit "traveller" (wherever occurring), substitute "person".

(24) Schedule 1, item 39, page 18 (after line 20), at the end of the item, add:

(5) Despite any other provision of this Act or the amended Act, if a travel entitlement of a former Prime Minister would (but for this subitem) expire at a time before the commencement of section 1 of the Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Act 2017, the travel entitlement is instead taken to expire at that time.

(25) Schedule 2, page 20 (after line 2), after item 5, insert:

5A After section 5

Insert:

5A Retired former Prime Ministers

(1) The Commonwealth must not provide any benefits under any administrative scheme to a person because the person is a retired former Prime Minister.

(2) To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply to superannuation.

Regarding parliamentary entitlements, at present we still have five former prime ministers on the taxpayer payroll. I am moving amendments here to address the gold leaf that they and their spouses have for their travel. From 1 January to 30 June 2016, which is a matter of six months, former Prime Minister Gillard cost approximately $50,000; Mr Hawke, $62,000; Mr Howard, $112,000; Mr Keating, $62,000; and Mr Rudd, $63,000. That was for six months. The cost to the taxpayers is a drain. Former Prime Minister Rudd has an office in the same building as mine. I have never seen him there. I just think it is an expense that the taxpayers cannot afford any longer. A lot of these men are actually quite well-to-do and receive entitlements through their superannuation. I just do not believe that they should be afforded these entitlements, especially when Mr Hawke has been out of office for I think 26 years or so, and Mr Keating for around 21 years and Mr Howard 10 years. I think there has to be a limit to it. When Mr Macdonald said earlier that the people in this place now have a pay rise—

The CHAIR: Senator Hanson, please refer to senators by their correct title. It is 'Senator Macdonald'.

Senator HANSON: Sorry—Senator Macdonald—he made reference to the wages of former senators in this place and now we are receiving approximately $200,000 a year. The gold leaf that they were going to get—the travel entitlements—was all part of it. I have to say, when I first came into this parliament, in 1996, the wages at that time were about $85,000 a year. I did not come into this place thinking of the lurks and perks or that I was going to get a gold leaf. That was not a part of it. I ran for parliament to be a representative for the people. The wage was not a carrot, not the reason I am here, and I do not believe it should be. Things have changed over the years, and I believe that if we are going to ask the people of Australia to pull their belts in and we are going to take money out of their pockets or pull back on essential services for them then we as leaders of this nation should show by example.

As I said, former prime ministers are quite well-to-do. Some of them are multimillionaires, if not all of them. And I do not believe that after years of not being in service—and a lot of them were actually thrown out by the people, because they did not want them there any longer, and the state this country was put in under two of them especially, former Prime Minister Gillard and former Prime Minister Rudd, who have a lot to answer for in terms of the economy of this country.