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Thursday, 29 April 1971


Senator BYRNE (Queensland) - I am indebted to Senator Murphy and Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson for indicating to the Senate their attitude in relation to the amendment proposed by the Opposition. The attitude of the Australian Democratic Labor Party to this matter has always been clear. To some extent the amendment moved by Senator Murphy epitomises, at least in intent, what the Democratic Labor Party has in mind. These adjustments by way of statute should not be made arbitrarily and just sporadically as a principal Act is being amended before this chamber. If it is intended that this principle should be applied then it should be applied to all those officers to whom' it is intended to apply without discrimination, .excluding those to whom it is thought inappropriate to apply it. This amendment at Senator Murphy's instance purports to do this.

The attitude of the Democratic Labor Party is that a blanket amendment like this should not be moved without a close analysis of every position which may be affected and without a dissection showing the officers concerned, the type of officers, and the administrative difficulties which arise as a result of fixing some salaries by statute. Perhaps when Senator Murphy directs his mind to this situation or when it is brought to his attention he may think that it may be more appropriate in certain circumstances for the salaries and allowances to be fixed otherwise. We think it is rather dangerous and imprudent to do this. Therefore in the light of Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson's assurance about the complexities associated with this situation we think it is imprudent to accept a blanket amendment of this character. I think that in view of the form and method of the matter which Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson has presented, or which has been presented by the appropriate Minister to the Government, and his assurance that the matter is within the cognisance of the Government, Senator Murphy may consider not pursuing his amendment. The Democratic Labor Party says that it will rest in anticipation of this matter being pursued assiduously in the light of the general principle which has been enunciated and which has been accepted by the Senate. In those circumstances I support the Bill and resist the amendment which, in these circumstances, Senator Murphy may be disposed not to pursue. I commend that course of action to him.







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