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Tuesday, 6 December 1960

Mr BRYANT (Wills) .- I should like to elaborate the rather fascinating viewpoint - according to the highest authority - which I put forward a moment ago. I refer to the idea of permanency as a constant feature of Commonwealth Public Service employment. In the first place, there is no diminution of the number of employees in the Commonwealth Public Service. Not only does the number not stay constant, but also it continually increases. So this is not a question of people being employed by hundreds, as casual labour, but of people who are permanent temporary employees in the Public Service. nm not speaking of ten, fifteen, twenty or even 500 employees. I have an idea that the number of temporary employees runs into a little more than 50 per cent, of the total number of Commonwealth employees, and I refer to people employed in the Post Office, in particular. There is a huge number of people, delivering letters every day, who will continue delivering letters until the day they retire and they are, in effect, temporary employees. I believe this position stems from the inadequacy of our approach to the question of superannuation and ineligibility for admission to the Superannuation Fund.

I put the point, as a former public servant, that there is the question of security which comes from being admitted to a superannuation fund. I believe that the Commonwealth Public Service has probably a higher proportion of people who are temporary permanent employees or permanent temporary employees than have most other public services and certainly a higher proportion than exists in the teaching service in Victoria. The authorities in that State have recently taken steps, under a government affiliated with the right honorable gentleman's political viewpoints, to give permanency of employment to married women. I should not often hold up Mr. Bolte as an example to anybody; but there is an instance in which Victoria has overcome something which for years appeared to be an insuperable difficulty. I think it is the logical way to treat the people who do the ordinary day-to-day work of the community.

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