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Wednesday, 6 August 1930

Senator DALY (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - In reply to Senator Duncan, during the second-reading debate, I said it would be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain an actuarial calculation of the probable increase in the liability, because at present the Publio Service Arbitrator includes in certain awards compensation benefits for injuries received. It is,I think, generally admitted that the Commonwealth should extend to its employees the same measure of relief as is given to employees outside the Public Service and whatever may be the consequences we shall stand up to our obligations.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - Where is the need for this measure if employees are securing compensation from the Public Service Arbitrator?

Senator DALY - This legislation is necessary because certain sections in the Public Service, including casual employees, are not covered by awards of the Public Service Arbitrator. The previous Government considered it desirable to appoint a commissioner to deal with this matter and this Government approved of its proposal. We believe that the provisions relating to compensation payable to Commonwealth employees should be brought into harmony with similar measures in operation in the different States.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - Has provision been made in the Estimates for the additional liability?

Senator DALY - That has been provided under the heading of contingencies.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - Then there must have been an estimate prepared.

Senator McLachlan - The Treasury records might be able to show something.

Senator DALY - Possibly they would, but no estimate has been prepared of the probable increase in liability, although provision will have been made under the heading of contingencies.

Senator SirGEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) [1.10 a.m.]. - Paragraph a of sub-clause 1 reads -

The employee shall not be entitled to recover compensation from the Commonwealth or any person or to receive from the Commonwealth any payment in respect of the accident, or in respect of. the illness or incapacity arising from the accident, both independently of and also under this act; but subject to this paragraph this act shall not affect any civil liability of the Commonwealth under any other law.

The meaning of the words " both independently of and also under this act," is not quite clear to me, especially when read in connexion with paragraph d which states -

If it appears that the claimant has a claim against the Commonwealth or any person for compensation or for any payment in respect of the injury under any other law in force in the Commonwealth or any other place, compensation under this act shall only be allowed upon the claimant undertaking not to claim compensation for the injury under any such law.

There is provision for sick pay in the Public Service Act, and regulations. Can the Minister say if a public servant who claims under this measure will also be able to claim benefits under the Public Service Act and regulations?

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