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Monday, 3 April 2000
Page: 15102

Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, upon notice, on 16 February 2000:

(1) Did the term of appointment of Rear Admiral Ken Doolan as the Service member of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal expire on 27 March 1999.

(2) Has a replacement Service member been officially appointed to the Tribunal; if so, on what date did the new appointment take effect.

(3) Why was the Government unable to fill the position of Service member in a timely manner.

(4) Did the appointment of Commissioner Patricia Leary as a member of the Tribunal expire on 6 February 1999.

(5) Was the position formerly occupied by Commissioner Leary (a) vacant between 7 February and 2 May 1999, (b) occupied on an acting basis by Commissioner Leary from 3 May to 2 July 1999 and (c) occupied by Commissioner Leary for a further 12 month term that commenced on 5 July 1999.

(6) What is the explanation for this sequence of events.

(7) Was the work of the Tribunal disrupted by vacancies involving 2 of its 3 part-time members; if so, what are the details of the disruptions that resulted.

Mr Reith (Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes. Air Vice Marshal Franklin David Cox AO (Retired) was appointed to the Tribunal on an acting basis on 11 August 1999.

(3) The appointment of members proceeded after due consideration by the Government.

(4) Yes. However, Commissioner Leary acted as President of the Tribunal from 25 August 1998 to 28 February 1999 and from 8 March 1999 to 30 April 1999 during the absence overseas of the then President, Justice Alan Boulton.

(5) (a) Yes.

(b) Yes.

(c) Yes.

(6) The delay in substantively re-appointing Commissioner Leary resulted from the Government's consideration of the recommendations of the 1998 review of Australian Defence Force pay setting arrangements.

(7) The Defence Act 1903 provides for the conduct of the Tribunal's business by a single member so the Tribunal was able to exercise its powers and perform its functions. The appointments made to fill the vacancies will facilitate its work.