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Thursday, 17 March 1966

Mr CALWELL - I ask the Minister for National Development a question. The Queensland branch of the Colliery Employees Union has advised me that the Coal Miners' Pension Fund is becoming actuarily unsound due, in part, to the fact that because of mechanisation and other technological improvements a rapid reduction is taking place in the work force. I might say that the miners and the employers subsidise this fund. As the miners are falling off in numbers there are fewer of them to make the contributions, lt has been suggested that the Government might consider the imposition of an excise duty on coal produced in Australia in order to keep this fund solvent. Will the Minister give the matter his consideration?

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