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Thursday, 28 March 1985
Page: 971


Senator MESSNER —I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard a question that I asked earlier in the week and the answer given to me in writing by Senator Grimes.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-

On 27 February 1985, Senator Messner asked the Minister for Community Services a question without notice which, inter alia, sought confirmation of a report in the Australian Financial Review of 6 February that the Government was considering a special inter-departmental committee report on occupational superannuation which indicated that it had reached substantial agreement with the Australian Council of Trade Unions on the extension of superannuation as part of the forthcoming wage case.

In his reply, Senator Grimes undertook to seek an answer to that aspect of the question from the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations.

The Minister has provided the following response:

An Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) has reported to the Government on issues and options concerning national superannuation. The IDC's Report adopted a broad view of national superannuation and examined a number of options for reform. The Report is exploratory only and makes no recommendations. It did not review any ACTU proposals for reform.

The ACTU has been considering a proposal that any increase the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission may award in any national productivity case be used to finance the extension of and improvements to occupational superannuation schemes.

As yet the Government has not decided what position it will adopt to a productivity claim. The Government's position will have regard to the state of the economy, and will be formulated with proper regard to the National Wage Principles and will seek to ensure continued adherence to the centralised wage fixing system.

In the event that the ACTU makes a productivity claim, the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission will need to decide on the quantum available for distribution after considering the submissions of the parties.