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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2462

Senator CHANEY —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. In view of the failure of the Minister for Finance yesterday to answer Senator Messner's question on the superannuation issue adequately, I ask the Minister: Is it a fact, as suggested by Senator Messner's question yesterday and as reported in several newspapers today, that as a result of the agreement forced on employers in the paint industry by the Federated Storemen and Packers Union, employers could be required to continue paying into existing superannuation schemes and to contribute to a new union or industry scheme? In other words, will he confirm that employers may be forced to double up on their contributions in respect of the same employee? Is he yet in a position to provide the promised early answer to the question I asked on Tuesday, namely, whether under the Government-Australian Council of Trade Unions deal on superannuation there will be no requirement for employee contributions?

Senator BUTTON —With regard to the last part of the question, the guidelines in respect of superannuation schemes have not yet been finally determined. There will be consultations with industry and unions relating to the guidelines for this scheme and when they are finally determined there will be an answer to that question. I believe that the answer to the first part of the question is best stated in the terms `I believe not', but I will check that matter with the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations.

Senator Chaney —And let me have an early reply?

Senator BUTTON —I have given Senator Chaney a reply to the second part of his question and I think he should be grateful for small mercies.

Senator Chaney —I am deeply grateful.

Senator BUTTON —Gratitude is not something which wells up strongly in the bosom of this Opposition since it has been in opposition. I think Senator Chaney ought to be grateful for this early answer. Insofar as the first part of the question is concerned, I will provide an answer, but I believe the answer is no. I think that is a misinterpretation.