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Wednesday, 26 September 2001
Page: 31584

Mr TANNER (10:48 AM) —The opposition supports the Abolition of Compulsory Age Retirement (Statutory Officeholders) Bill 2001. The bill amends acts which specify compulsory retirement limits for statutory office holders by repealing provisions that prevent the appointment of a person over a certain age for a term that would continue beyond a certain age. The opposition notes that the amendments will not affect the existing term of statutory office holders appointed before the bill commences; nor do the amendments affect federal judicial appointments or Australian Defence Force personnel. The opposition supported the Public Service Act 1999, which had the effect of removing compulsory age retirement in the Australian Public Service. We see the changes that are proposed by the government in this legislation as complementing the changes that were made in that legislation. It is, in fact, an overdue and welcome recognition that age is often an artificial barrier and that older people can make as valuable a contribution as anyone else in a variety of statutory positions. I commend the bill to the chamber.