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Wednesday, 28 March 1984
Page: 797


Senator HARRADINE —by leave-I claim to have been misrepresented by Senator Walsh in an answer that he gave to a question today. Senator Walsh indicated in his answer that my opposition to retrospective legislation is somehow inconsistent with my lifelong commitment to workers' rights. A concern of mine is that, if this Government is allowed to get away with retrospective legislation against taxpayers who have not acted illegally, another government may aim retrospective legislation against workers on a wide range of issues. My actions yesterday were consistent with my support of workers' rights. Indeed, I moved for a select committee to pursue the overriding need to redress any financial disadvantage suffered by workers for whose benefit the cherry-picker superannuation schemes were ostensibly established. In other words, I wanted to see that the workers had the first bite at the cherry. In rejecting this move, Senator Walsh telegraphed the Government's intention blindly to levy retrospective taxes at any price, including at the cost of workers' rights. For Senator Walsh to use the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Australian Labor Party prices and incomes accord to discredit my attempts last night to protect workers' rights demonstrates his determination to misrepresent my motives and my actions.