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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2809

Senator HARRADINE —Mr President, pursuant to standing order 408, I too seek leave to make a short personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator HARRADINE —Mr President, I claim to have been misrepresented by Senator Walsh in an answer he gave to a question today. Senator Walsh indicated in his answer that my opposition to retrospective legislation is somehow inconsistent with my life long commitment to worker's rights. A major concern of mine is that if this Government is allowed to get away with retrospective legislation against taxpayers who have not acted illegally, another government may aim retrospective legislation against workers on a wide range of issues.

My action with respect to the cherry picker scheme is consistent with my support of workers' rights. Indeed, I moved to have the Government consider utilising its insurance power to pursue the overriding need to redress any financial disadvantage suffered by workers for whose benefit the cherry picker superannuation schemes were ostensibly established. In other words, I wanted to see that the workers had the first bite of the cherry. In rejecting this move, Senator Walsh telegraphs the Government's intentions blindly to levy retrospective taxes at any price, including at the cost of workers' rights.

Senator Walsh —You humbug.

The PRESIDENT —Order! The Minister will withdraw that remark.

Senator Walsh —I withdraw, Mr President.