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Tuesday, 7 December 1971
Page: 4162

Mr JESS (La Trobe) - Mr Deputy Speaker,I present an interim report of the Joint Select Committee on Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Legislation to inform the House of the progress of the Committee's inquiry to date and to set down the present intentions of the Committee regarding its future programme. I seek leave to make a short statement in connection with the report.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - ls leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr JESS - The interim report I have just presented from the Joint Select Committee on Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Legislation attempts nothing more than to explain why it has not been possible for the Committee to complete its inquiry in time to present its final report to the Parliament during the present sitting. Since the Committee commenced its investigations members of the Committee have been aware that dissatisfaction with the present scheme for providing retirement benefit is widespread and that there is a need for some positive remedial action. It has been our aim to complete the inquiry in time to present a final report during the course of this present year. The Committee actually completed taking evidence on the inquiry in July of this year and has met regularly since that date. We have now reached the stage where most policy issues confronting us have been resolved.

However your Committee has wished to obtain certain financial information before we can confidently make specific recommendations concerning the scheme. For a number of reasons, which will be covered in the Committee's final report, it has not been possible to obtain such information in the form required. The Committee has now requested information from the Actuary on a different basis which it is hoped will be received early in 1972. Your Committee expects to present its final report early in the next sittings of the Parliament.

Ordered that the report be printed.

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