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Thursday, 16 October 2008
Page: 6187

Senator BOB BROWN (Leader of the Australian Greens) (11:46 AM) —I take it from that that there are not any senators so disposed. It is not a matter of this particular period or any other period—the fact that some CEOs are getting 20, 30 or 40 times what the Prime Minister gets is simply unjustifiable. It cannot be seen as fair, equitable, responsible or proper remuneration. I repeat: it is not coming out of thin air. It is being taken out of the pockets of deposit holders—pensioners and workers, the people of Australia—along with their ability to have a fair go. I can tell the minister who they measure themselves against: the US executives, the other end, with their obscene payouts which go to hundreds of millions of US dollars per annum. That is because of the failure of the democratic system, because of the power of the lobbyists and because of, it has to be accepted, the popular approval of such failed Presidents as Reagan, George Bush Sr and George Bush Jr, who I saw being called by one columnist in the last week the most incompetent President in history. He came to this parliament in 2003 and you could hear a pin drop as his passage to the rostrum was watched with awe, as if he were some majestic being without imperfection. This is an important amendment. I seek the amendment to be put and then I have one other matter I would like to deal with.

Question put:

That the amendment (Senator Bob Brown’s) be agreed to.