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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2700

Senator YOUNG -I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate whether it is correct that the extra leave granted by the Government to Commonwealth public servants will cost $27m this year. If this is so, why is the Government prepared to give an extra $2 7m for holidays to its public servants when it is not prepared to give an extra $5m for the education of children in this country?

Senator MURPHY -I understand that the figure of $27m is not the correct figure for this year, but rather that it is the figure for a full year. I suppose that the amount involved would be approximately half of that figure. I do not know; I may be in error. I suppose it depends when the leave is taken. The honourable senator asks why this practice is being followed. The information that I have been given by the Minister for Repatriation who represents the Minister for Labour is that this practice has been followed by South Australia and Queensland and it has been promised by the Premier of New South Wales. It is one of those terms and conditions of service which have become accepted as normal. I do not think there is any reason to drag into a question on this matter the red herring of the payment of extra amounts of money to those schools which the Karmel Committee report dealt with and in relation to which it said such payments were not justified.

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