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Tuesday, 21 August 1973
Page: 23

The CHAIRMAN -Order! I suggest that in saying 'any decent parliamentary system' the honourable member was reflecting on the House and not on the Minister.

Mr NIXON - It is certainly not my intention to reflect on the House and I withdraw the word decent'. I make my point again. Had the Minister been decent on this matter he would have said to one of his colleagues: 'Take my place as the Minister for Transport. I have made a mess of the first major Bill I have introduced into this Parliament'. It is a very sorry episode and reflects very gravely on the Minister for Civil Aviation. 1 hope the Minister sleeps with a clear conscience now that he has finally accepted the last of the amendments. As I recall his words, as recorded in Hansard, the Minister, when in Opposition last year, gave notice that the TAA superannuation funds would never be transferred. Putting it more positively, the present Minister when in Opposition said that superannuation funds would be transferred only over his dead body if he became the responsible Minister. He said: Over my dead body'. Well, his body looks pretty alive to me. That is the point I wished to make. Therefore he has retracted the last vestige of principle that he has in respect of this Bill. It was a very sorry day when the Minister did not accept this amendment when the honourable member for Farrer and I put it to him very graciously when the Bill was before the Committee earlier.

I am delighted that the last of this Frankenstein monster has been properly dealt with and that the Government has seen some sense with respect to it. At least the Bill now appears to be a rational, sane Bill. It places the 2 airlines on a proper competitive basis. What is more, it brings TAA into line with all other Government bodies in that their superannuation funds are not used in a commercial sense. This is the case with the Australian National Line and all other such bodies. We put this case to the Minister earlier and he declined to take our advice. He has now had to retreat from his earlier stand. 1 am glad that the Government has made him retreat.

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