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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2778

Mr Hunt (GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

If Fourth Division public servants obtain the 16 per cent salary increase as supported by the Minister for Labour, what will be the additional wage and salaries bill to the Commonwealth and the taxpayers in general.

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

The Public Service Board is the appropriate authority to consider claims of this nature. I am informed by the Board that a number of salary claims have been received covering various groups of Fourth Division public servants. Some of these claims have sought pay increases of 16 per cent. In accordance with its normal policy the Board examines all claims on their merits.

In advance of the Board reaching its conclusions on all such claims I am unable to indicate what the total increased cost might be. I am informed, however, that the Board has recently responded to a number of these claims in respect of certain designation groups and is currently examining others. Those in respect of which the Board has recently made offers are as follows:

Clerical Assistants and related designations - (14 per cent offered and accepted).

Marine Staff- (13 per cent offered and accepted). Physical Grades- (8 per cent offered).

Technical/Drafting Grades- (offers ranging from 8 per cent to 10.8 per cent accepted).

Preventive Officers and Investigators, Customs and Excise - (12.5 per cent offered and accepted).

The above groups cover approximately 111,000 Australian Public Service employees and I am advised that if agreement is reached in all instances the total cost of the increases is estimated to be 850.4m in a full year.

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