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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1318

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) - I thinkI should raise this question at this time because this is the last clause we will deal with in Committee. I have been asked to raise the question of what the Government proposes to do about superannuation payments, for example. This matter could be related to any one of the clauses.It is pertinent to the Bill generally. I put a hypothetical situation in which there is a stand-down which extends over a fortnightly period. It would mean that officers of the Commonwealth Public Service would not meet their obligations under the Superannuation Act and would not, in fact, be paying their share of contributions to the Commonwealth Superannuation Fund which they should be paying. It seems to me that if the Government has not thought about this proposition it ought to do so. If there is a stand-down - it is not unlikely that it may occur - and it runs through the course of a fortnight, those officers in the Commonwealth Public Service who would normally be able to pay their superannuation entitlements for so many units of pension would, in fact, be in arrears.

There are also other matters related to this. Not only superannuation is involved. They are entitled to other benefits under the regulations of the Public Service Act which probably would be encompassed in the same question. I want to know, and certainly the unions want to know, the attitude of the Government or of any department in circumstances in which, because of the action of an arbitrator, employees are suspended so as to make them unable to meet their superannuation commitments. In those circumstances, they may be in default. What consideration has been given to this situation?

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