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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2404

Senator McINTOSH —Can the Minister representing the Treasurer advise the Senate whether the Government is satisfied that its newly announced policy on the taxation of superannuation lump sums has settled the legitimate needs of employees with particular needs? Can the Minister say whether there are any circumstances under which this settlement might be disrupted?

Senator WALSH —I am satisfied that the Government has taken account of the legitimate cases which have been put to it. While we are satisfied, recent reports indicate that some groups are still dissatisfied. Senator McIntosh asked whether, under any circumstances, disruptions could occur because of that. I think it is possible that that could happen. The Australian Federation of Air Pilots is one group which is continuing to complain. A few days ago I heard that it was threatening industrial action. I might add that the people concerned are highly paid and highly superannuated members of a highly protected industry and that one of the major firms in that industry was rescued last year from insolvency by a substantial cash transfusion from general taxpayers via the Government. I think something that ought to be borne in mind is that these people are not operating in the free market situation. That is something that would interest Senator Rae, among others.

In relation to the question of disruption, I was amazed to hear Senator Townley , when giving a notice of motion this afternoon, inciting an airline strike and advocating industrial lawlessness, that is, the use of industrial muscle in an attempt to overturn decisions made by lawfully elected governments. I find it amazing and irresponsible that a member of the Liberal Party could adopt those tactics. I find it doubly amazing and irresponsible that a Tasmanian member of the Liberal Party, who purports to represent Tasmanians in this place, could incite industrial lawlessness in the way that Senator Townley did today. Let Tasmanians take note of this: Nobody will suffer as much from an airline strike, if there is one, as the Tasmanians whom Senator Townley purports to represent. If Senator Townley's incitement to industrial lawlessness and transport anarchy succeeds, I hope that if the electors of Tasmania have no air transport services they will take it out on him the next time there is an election.

Senator TOWNLEY —I claim to have been misrepresented. It is quite obvious from what the Minister for Resources and Energy said about me that he did not listen when I was giving the notice of motion. I suggest that he go away and read the notice of motion and then come back to the Senate and apologise after Question Time.