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Friday, 19 November 1993
Page: 3248


Senator REID (10.07 a.m.) —The remarks made by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Faulkner) confirm the necessity for these amendments in order to protect people. I do not think the minister understands the impact on future payments once the superannuation capital sum has been attacked in this fashion. If we allowed for the superannuation to be paid and the person to make fortnightly repayments, that would make a lesser impact on the person's entitlements and receipts than doing it in this fashion. I do not believe that the minister is saying that we can take this capital sum out of the superannuation and yet pay to the person the fortnightly payments he would have received had that not occurred. It is almost like double jeopardy.

  The minister seems to think the former employee of the Commonwealth, once retired, having had the unfortunate situation of finishing up in the hands of Comcare, will still receive money while this is sorted out. Can the minister give an unequivocal guarantee that, if that person has turned 65, Comcare will still pay that amount of money to him for as long as it takes to sort out what has to be repaid? I do not believe that that is the case. I would be very interested to have an unequivocal assurance that the moneys will be paid after the person turns 65 while these difficulties are resolved. Since the amended scheme came into effect in 1989, I have not known that to be the case.