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Friday, 26 May 1972
Page: 2206

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - 1 have a couple of comments to make from a slightly different approach to this matter. I could not agree more with the proposition that probably conciliation commissioners should have a salary of $16,000 a year. After all, they have a lot of responsibility and a salary of $16,000 in an inflationary period does not mean anything. But I cannot go along with the absolute hypocrisy of the Government in introducing this proposal at this time. Just think of the nerve of honourable senators in the Liberal Party in supporting this clause when they were the people who said a few months ago that this sort of action should not take place. But, of course, they were talking with their tongues in their cheeks. We lack leadership. The only leadership we have is motivated by selfinterest. When parliamentary salaries were being considered, we were told by the leaders of the country that salary increases must be kept down to prevent inflation, but that this did not apply to ministerial salaries. That was the greatest hypocrisy of all time. I am not talking in a fit of pique either. I think conciliation commissioners should receive a salary of $16,000, but noone has explained why the proposed increase should be retrospective.

Senator Greenwood - But you were away last year, were you not?

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I was away, but I can read. Senator Hannan, Senator O'Byrne and I had very interesting discussions on the matter in New York. We now find that not only is the salary of a commissioner going up to $16,000 against the Government's own plans, but the increase will be retrospective to last November. I believe that the salary should go up to $16,000, but I do not believe that it should go up yet. If it is a bad time for people in the Public Service and members of Parliament to have their salaries increased, I suggest that we postpone consideration of clause 12 until after we have dealt with clause 57 and altered it by making the commencing date for the new salary 1st March 1973.

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