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Thursday, 8 April 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - A similar motion was proposed by the Opposition in another place, but it was rejected. For very good reasons, the Government does not accept the proposal that is now before honorable senators.. The voluntary savings that are held as an attachment to the South Australian Superannuation Fund are, when regarded in isolation, no different from moneys that are held in other employers' savings funds throughout Australia. They are sayings; they do not constitute a fund which has been established for the purpose of attracting money for investment. Indeed, the figures that were quoted by Senator Cavanagh established that the South Australian Superannuation Board does not pretend to attract funds for that purpose. Those figures show that there are fewer than 10,000 contributors to the savings scheme, that the total sum held is less than £2 million, and that the average balance in each savings account is less than £200. I suggest that a most cursory glance at the figures indicates that, though the idea is not without merit, this savings scheme is not a repository of funds that have been lodged on long term deposit and which can be applied for the purpose of housing. This scheme is used as a savings device by some members of the South Australian Public Service, but it is not used for housing purposes. This scheme is used, as is any other employer's saving scheme, for general purposes - to save funds for holiday purposes or to buy a refrigerator.

The honorable senator made quite a point of the fact that the South Australian Superannuation Board has 45 per cent, of its funds invested under mortgage. I do not argue with that figure, but I do point out that it has no direct relevance to the purpose of the savings scheme, which is an attachment to the Superannuation Fund and which is no more than a general savings device to be used by members of the Public Service but not for the purpose of receiving long term finance.

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