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Wednesday, 19 October 1983
Page: 1966

Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade)(7.16) —The Government is unable to accept the amendment. It appreciates and agrees with the sentiments expressed, but cost is a factor. The cost would be $7,000 per Family Court judge which would be tantamount to a 10 per cent increase in salary. Other people could think that that was a bit beyond the norm. Nevertheless, the fact is that these judges have a very heavy work load. Of course, that matter is always the subject of Remuneration Tribunal determinations. The former Attorney-General, from the same side of politics as the honourable member for Dundas (Mr Ruddock), appeared before the Remuneration Tribunal, which was not prepared to accept his advocacy. The honourable gentleman might like to appear on the next occasion and perhaps the matter can be adjusted. It is important that we do not start to fix salaries by legislation because we are not much good at fixing our own; we have to have the Remuneration Tribunal to do it. It is important that there be that Tribunal decision. I hope the Tribunal takes into account the matters that the honourable gentleman has raised. I assure him that the Government is in sympathy with what he said, but does not feel that it can do what he wants in the way he proposes it.

Amendment negatived.

Clauses 14 to 20-by leave-taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 21 (Institution of proceedings).