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Friday, 20 March 1987
Page: 1051

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(9.06) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows-

Section 66 of the Constitution prescribes, subject to the Parliament otherwise providing, a maximum annual sum for the payment of salaries of Ministers. Amendments to the Ministers of State Act which sets this sum are from time to time thus required to cover changes to ministerial salaries.

In its 1986 review, the Remuneration Tribunal recommended that ministerial salaries be increased by 11.7% in order to redress the anomaly which has existed since 1984. The anomaly arose as a result of the government's consistent demonstration of wage restraint in rejecting Remuneration Tribunal recommendations. While the government declined to accept the increase recommended by the tribunal, it agreed that national wage case rises apply to ministerial salaries.

It is therefore necessary to raise the upper limit on the amount appropriated for ministerial salaries to accommodate the 2.3% national wage case of 1 July 1986. The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Minister of State Act to increase the maximum annual sum from $660,000 to $680,000.

I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Reid) adjourned.