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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2339

Senator CHAMARETTE (6.18 p.m.) —I rise to indicate my support for Senator Harradine's position in voting against this clause for the reasons that have been outlined over and over again in this chamber. However, in anticipation that we will be out-voted, I have a request of the Minister for Family Services (Senator Crowley) and the Department of Social Security. The request is for them to be honest about their rationale—to be honest about the economic constraints that drive this policy. I ask them to spare us the hypocritical rhetoric of equality.

  Members of the government may find themselves having to drop the male pension age, since they insist on utilising that worn-out phrase. If such a dramatic policy change is being introduced because in 20 years time we will have a vastly increased number of women of pension age, use the arguments that are driving the policy. Do not use fallacious arguments or we will have the kind of repetitive, meaningless debate that has been going on for too long this afternoon.