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Thursday, 31 October 1996
Page: 4937

Senator SHERRY (Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate)(5.45 p.m.) —I do not have the transcript of the estimates committee before me. I have the portfolio budget statements that we looked at in the estimates committee. We have the breakdown there, as Senator Margetts has pointed out, of salaries: $2.915 million. I seem to recall a figure from somewhere of $30 million over three years. Would that be correct?

Senator Campbell —I will take that on notice, Senator Sherry, if that is okay with you.

Senator SHERRY —Would it be correct to assume—given the very high other costs of $9 million-odd and salaries of almost $3 million for what will obviously be less than one year of operation in 1996-97—that the salary costs will be substantially more than the $2.9 million for a full operational year?

Senator Campbell —As I said earlier, no decisions have been made in relation to that.

Senator SHERRY —Do you have information on how far upwards the salaries figure will be revised—it is obviously going to go up—particularly now that you have got a fair idea of the outcome of this bill, given the deal you have between yourselves and the Democrats?