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Thursday, 16 October 2003
Page: 21653

Mr ANDREN (2:59 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister: could the Prime Minister explain why the government appears unwilling to allow debate and passage of my private member's bill on freedom of choice for members in relation to their superannuation; and why should members be locked into a scheme if they believe it to be excessively generous and completely insulated from market reality?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —Mr Speaker, through you, I must confess that all of the details of procedures which have brought about what he claims to be an unwillingness to debate his private member's bill I am not aware of, but I will take the opportunity of finding out. If there is anything I can usefully add to what he already knows, then I will do so. We have no desire as a government to stifle debate on these matters. I think the honourable member's views on these issues are ventilated from time to time. He has a right to do that but, on the other hand, we have agendas that we have to implement on behalf of the Australian people. It is also the case that in relation to private member's bills, there are other private member's bills, and there is absolutely no attempt by us to stifle debate.