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Thursday, 11 May 1972
Page: 2506


Mr COPE (Sydney) - I feel compelled to offer some comment on the remarks the Minister made a few minutes ago. He said that he had not received any protests in regard to the $2 a week increase.


Mr Lynch - That is not so. I had not received representations in relation to the other matter from blue collar workers.


Mr COPE - What do you mean, representations about what?


Mr Lynch - I was asked whether I had received representations on the question of commissioners' salaries and I said I Mad and that they had come only from the Public Service unions.


Mr COPE - But you did pass a remark about the $2 increase?


Mr Lynch - I made no reference to the $2 increase whatsoever.


Mr COPE - I apologise. I thought you did. But I would like to mention in passing that the report of Mr Justice Kerr on parliamentary salaries was presented recently, and unfortunately it was used politically by this Government. Mr Justice Kerr recommended a basic salary of $13,000 for members of this Parliament but the Government suggested that we should reduce this amount to $12,000 in the public interest. The Government told us at the time that the economy could not afford any more. The Government was proposing lo save money in the public interest, and none knows this better than the honourable member for Moreton (Mr Killen) and the Minister who was one of the policy makers who suggested that the basic amount should be reduced by $1,000. Yet the Minister has the audacity to say that an increase of $4,500 is not high.


Dr Klugman - And it is retrospective.


Mr COPE - It is retrospective, as my colleague reminds me. The fact is that the Government wants to score politically at our expense. Of course it was rejected because the Australian Labor Party woke up to the fact that the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) was going to use this report to try to get votes. All honourable members know that what I am saying is right. According to the Kerr Committee report which was brought down in this House, the economy is not what it should be. Yet the Minister has the audacity to get up in this House and say that $4,500 is not too much as an increase for commissioners.

But only about a month or so ago he knocked $1,000 off a recommendation in the Kerr Committee report. Is that not inconsistent? Is it not hypocrisy? Of course it is hypocrisy. Not only members of this Party but also members of the' Australian Democratic Labor Party and many of the Liberal Party back benchers were annoyed about it. The Government asked a judge to bring down a report, but what happened? When he brought it down the Government wanted to score politically from that report. That is the reason why the Labor Party rejected it.







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