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Tuesday, 19 June 2001
Page: 27890


Mrs BRONWYN BISHOP (Minister for Aged Care) (4:51 PM) —The Minister for Defence has been held up and, therefore, I would like to do the summing up on the Governor-General Legislation Amendment Bill 2001. On behalf of the Minister for Defence and the Leader of the House, I thank the member for Melbourne, who has participated in the debate. In summary, the bill will do three things. It will set up a salary of $310,000 per annum for the office of the Governor-General during the term of the Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth. The bill will also update income tax arrangements for the office of Governor-General and for state governors appointed after 29 June 2001 by removing outdated income tax exemptions. Lastly, the bill will ensure that the superannuation surcharge provisions for the office of Governor-General are in line with community standards.

As was noted in the second reading speech, the taxable salary of $310,000 per annum proposed for Archbishop Hollingworth was set in line with past practice—that is, Archbishop Hollingworth's official salary is expected to be moderately above the average salary of the Chief Justice of the High Court over his notional five-year term. The amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act will update income tax arrangements for the Governor-General and the state governors by removing the exemption which currently applies to vice-regal salary and overseas income. The income tax exemption is a legacy of an earlier time and is overdue for updating.

Lastly, the Governor-General Legislation Amendment Bill will ensure that the superannuation surcharge provisions will apply to the next Governor-General in the same way that they apply to the rest of the community. The main effect of the amendments will be to cap liability at the 15 per cent maximum surcharge rate and deal with circumstances in which a notice of surcharge assessment is issued after a Governor-General leaves office. I commend the bill to the House.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.