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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5676

Mr OAKESHOTT (6:24 PM) —I rise on an issue that we have previously put before this House and I know the minister is fully aware of in regard to military superannuation as part of the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio. Last month—

Mr Griffin interjecting

Mr OAKESHOTT —But it would still be worthy of consideration and any response, please. I am happy to hear otherwise if you are going to push it across to Treasury.

Last month a notice of motion was supported in this chamber, in what I would hope was a bipartisan way, that identified military service as a unique type of service within the public sector. The motion also acknowledged that CPI was not an appropriate index for superannuation generally and for military superannuation particularly in this instance—and that does, I understand, fall in line with the Matthews report findings that CPI was not an appropriate indexation mechanism for the future. What Matthews did say, I understand—and I stand to be corrected—was that, until a more appropriate indexation is found, CPI is it. The motion before this place last month, rather than just leaving that as the end of the story, sought to change the way military superannuation is indexed and asked the parliament and, by association, the executive and the minister to consider the option of twice a year pegging military superannuation to the CPI, to male average weekly earnings or to the new age pension index, whichever is the higher, as an interim measure until some oracle finds a new indexation of cost of living that is a more appropriate model.

My question is: how has that been received by the department and the minister; and has any costing of options been done? Has any costing at all been done on changes to military superannuation indexation outside of CPI? And, Minister, have any submissions gone either to you from the department or from you to the cabinet on this very important topic of improving the way a unique type of public service is recognised by superannuation into the future?