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Tuesday, 30 November 1965

Mr WILSON (Sturt) .- Mr. Speaker,there is a very strong reason why we should support this motion put forward by the honorable member for Bradfield (Mr.

Turner). However, there is one reason - which I shall refer to later - why his motion cannot be supported. The reason why it is necessary, either now or at some time, for a competent committee to examine this legislation is that last November it was rushed through without proper consideration. During the last few weeks the matter has been forced on in a manner which has meant that interested parties have not had the opportunity to put their views, nor to have their views considered by the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) or the Government. Today I received a letter dated 26th November 1965 - last Friday - from The Association of Superannuation and Provident Funds of Australia which represents £300 million of the superannuation funds of salary and wage earners. This letter describes this legislation as " iniquitous legislation ". The letter says-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I point out to the honorable member for Sturt that the second reading debate cannot be revived. He may deal only with the motion before the Chair, which is of a very limited nature. No reference to the amendments or to the debate which followed would be in order.

Mr WILSON - I am not referring to the debate. I am referring to the-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member is not referring to the subject matter before the Chair.

Mr WILSON - I am saying that sufficient time is not being given for the consideration of representations by persons who are vitally interested in this matter. The letter to which I referred said -

We are at present preparing a further letter to the Treasurer submitting our comments on the present amendments which are being discussed in the House and we shall send you a copy of this letter as soon as possible.

Whether or not the Treasurer has received this letter I do not know but it is quite clear that there are many points of view and many considerations which time has not permitted to be discussed and which have not been investigated by the Government. That is a very strong and cogent reason why this matter should be referred to a committee. On 19th November, I asked the Treasurer a series of questions. I have not yet received replies to them. If I may be permitted to read the questions-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member would not be in order if he did so.

Mr WILSON - Very well, Sir. All I can say is that I asked the Treasurer a series of questions and in this House he stated that he would endeavour to supply me with answers. Those answers have not been forthcoming, and here the Bill is being proceeded with tonight without those answers. Today I handed another list of questions to the Treasurer. They have a vital bearing on this matter and on the motion of the honorable member for Bradfield. I realise that there has been little time to answer them but that, I think, makes it very clear that this matter is being pushed on without proper and mature consideration. This is a very significant reason why the whole subject should be referred to a committee. The Bill has 47 pages. We are given explanatory notes of 92 pages, which clearly need explanatory notes to explain them. The reason why I cannot support the motion of the honorable member for Bradfield is that, against my wish and my will and without my vote, the House last week imposed a penalty tax of 10s. in the £1 on all superannuation funds. The Bill now before the House provides the escape from that vicious penalty imposed upon employees - white collar and blue collar workers - who have for years contributed to superannuation funds. I want to say with everything that I command that the Bill passed last week, imposing the penalty tax, coupled with this Bill will be the death knell of private superannuation funds and the country will suffer irreparable losses in respect of getting the capital it needs for the development of this great land.

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