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Democrats pledge to project public servants' superannuation.

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Senator Meg Lees & Rick Farley

Australian Democrats

Parliamentary Leader & ACT Senate candidate


25 September 1998






The Australian Democrats have pledged to hold John Howa rd to his 1996 “rock solid guarantee” that public servants superannuation will not be touched by his Government.


The Democrats say they will vote against legislation introduced into Parliament four months ago to close down the public service scheme.


Democrats’ Leader Senator Meg Lees, campaigning with ACT Senate candidate Rick Farley in Canberra today, said the bill to close down the public service superannuation scheme stood a good chance of passing the Senate unless the Democrats win the balance of power.


“In the week before the last election, John Howard wrote to public servants to give a “rock solid guarantee” that the Coalition would not cut or destroy public sector superannuating schemes,” Senator Lees said.


“He took out newspaper advertisements in Canberra giving a “firm commitment” to “preserve public sector superannuation arrangements”.


“Yet, earlier this year, his Cabinet approved legislation from Finance Minister John Fahey to close down the current superannuation scheme and force public servants to join more expensive and less attractive private sector schemes.


“That is a clear breach of solemn undertakings,” Senator Lees said.


Mr Farley said that Canberra public servants should vote to protect their employment conditions by delivering the balance of power in the Senate to a Democrat.


“If the Liberal ACT Senator cannot hold the Prime Minister to his “rock solid guarantees and “firm commitments”, then what is the point having a Liberal Senator?,” Mr Farley said.


“This bill is on the Senate notice paper and could become law, costing public servants tens of thousand of dollars in lost retirement savings, unless the Democrats are able to prevent it.


“The Democrats have opposed this bill at every stage. ACT residents can be assured that if we win the balance of power in the Senate, their superannuation is safe,” Mr Farley said.


For further comment: Senator Lees 0418 804 505; 02 6277 3745

Rick Farley 0413 874 402