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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4507

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - 1 want to say something about the remarks made by the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) w'.-.en he sought to defend the extraordinarily high salaries that had been set for certain statutory officers at a time when the Government was calling upon the ordinary wage plug in the community for restraint. Here we have a government which is telling the man getting $50, $60 or $70 a week that he has to be content to accept that wage and no more and telling the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission that it cannot increase the minimum national wage of $47 a week because the country cannot afford it, while at the same time he is recommending increases in salaries amounting to several thousand dollars a year. This is just the kind of thing that this county is complaining about. The Government has no right to stand up in this place and fix salaries as high as $29,000 a year for certain statutory officers and certain other people employed by the Commonwealth who are indicated in this Bill, with increases ranging as high as $6,000 a year or $120 a week, and then have the check to tell the Arbitral on Commission that the ordinary family man has to try to maintain a wife and family on a miserable $47 a week.

Why, the average weekly earnings in Australia over the last quarter were only $89 a week. That is an average arrived at by lumping together the salary thai lnc Prime Minister himself gets, about 88UU a week, plus the salaries of the people he is now proposing to increase to $29,000 a year with the salaries of the poor de.. ls who have to try to maintain a family on $50 or $60 a week. It is a disgrace. I he Government has no right to come into mis place and talk about restraint on the part of the poor devil getting $50 or St.O a week with a family to maintain, educate, feed and clothe while in the same breath it has the hide to come into this place and ask us to approve of salaries as high as $29,000 a year for other people. These people who are already getting $22,000 a year are well able to meet the Government's demand for restraint. They are hatter able to respond to the Government's call for restraint than are the poor devi's on $50 or $60 a week. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Prime Minister to sit there and grin -

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock - Order! The honourable member for Hint' harsh will restrain himself.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - How can I when there are people on $50 or $60 a week trying to maintain a family while this man is on $800 a week and telling others to restrain themselves and keep down their wage demands, lt is an absolute disgrace.

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