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Tuesday, 27 May 2003
Page: 15029

Mr McMULLAN (2:39 PM) —My question is also to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. Can the minister confirm that yesterday he said it was fair and reasonable for low-paid workers to get no more than an eight-week redundancy package? In that case, how does the minister justify the decision by the government appointed directors of Telstra to approve a 52-week redundancy package for the Telstra chief executive, who earns $2.4 million a year? Minister, why does the government have this double standard: eight weeks redundancy for the low paid and 52 weeks for the wealthy?

Mr ABBOTT (Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) —My understanding is that, under the certified agreements that have been negotiated between Telstra and its workers, Telstra workers in fact have access to much greater redundancy agreements than the eight weeks that is the community standard. The government certainly supports the community standard. The community standard has been in place since 1984. It was supported by the Hawke government and it is supported by this government.