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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 2310

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) -I wish to refer to a matter which falls within the responsibility of the Minister for Services and Property (Mr Daly). It is the same matter I referred to under the heading of the Auditor-General, namely, to show that the purported allowance given by the Minister to members and senators of the Parliament in relation to the use of private motor cars is additional to the statutory allowance, the electorate allowance. I ask the Minister in charge of the item when I might expect to receive a final reply as to the opinion of the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) on the validity of this item. I would like to know whether it is within the authority of the Minister for Services and Property to purport to authorise travel expenses over and above the limit to which Parliament confined the electorate allowance and whether the Attorney-General can find that the electorate allowance does not cover members' travel expenses. I suggest that in the Salaries Act we quantified, the electorate allowance which includes the private car allowance, in most cases, to the extent of 80 per cent of the claim. I would dispute the authority of the Minister to allow that. I do not raise this matter in a cantankerous spirit; but I raise it because it is a matter of great discrimination between members if it is left to the decision of the Minister. The decision of the Minister should not be used to add to that which Parliament has provided.

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