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Tuesday, 13 October 1970

Mr Whitlam asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

Is it yet possible to state the annual cost to the Commonwealth (a) Public Service and (b) instrumentalities of the equal pay judgement on 19th June 1969 (Hansard, 9th September 1969, page 1013).

Mr Gorton - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I.   am advised by the Public Service Board that as at . 1st January 1970 there were of the order of 26,000 females employed within the Commonwealth Service in categories eligible to be covered by the equal pay phasing provisions. The equal pay decision results in the adult female salaries of these staff being increased by $428 per annum between the period 1st October 1969 and 1st January 1972. Assuming that from 1st January 1972 the figure of 26,000 females employed in equal pay categories is a representative figure, and that all of these females are in receipt of adult rates of pay, the maximum annual cost of the equal pay decision in a full year would be in the vicinity of $11m. The actual annual cost in any year would depend upon the number of females employed in equal pay categories, and the proportion of these who are in receipt of junior rates (the differential between male and female junior rates is less than $428 per annum).

The only Commonwealth instrumentality which falls within my ministerial responsibility and whose staff is not covered by the Public Service Board's advice is the Institute of Aboriginal Studies. If the same assumptions as above are followed, the maximum annual cost of the equal pay decision in a full year in respect of the Institute would be $856.

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