Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 . . Page.. 1394 ..
REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL ACT (COMMONWEALTH) - DETERMINATIONS NOS A.C.T. 1, 2 AND 3 OF 1995
Motion for Disapproval
MS TUCKER (10.39): I move:
That, pursuant to subsection 7(8A) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 (Commonwealth), the following Remuneration Tribunal Determinations made under the Act be disapproved:
(1) Determination No. ACT 1 of 1995 relating to the remuneration to be paid to holders of public offices in the Australian Capital Territory;
(2) Determination No. ACT 2 of 1995 relating to the remuneration to be paid to holders of public offices in the Australian Capital Territory; and
(3) Determination No. ACT 3 of 1995 relating to the remuneration to be paid to members of, and holders of offices connected with, the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory.
This motion seeks to reject Remuneration Tribunal Determinations 1, 2 and 3, which have recommended a 2 per cent salary increase to MLAs and full-time and part-time ACT public office-holders, who include chief executives of ACT government departments, the director of the CIT and members of boards, among others. The savings generated by rejecting these determinations would be in excess of $100,000. The savings generated by the Assembly would be well in excess of $25,000.
We are moving this motion because we believe that it is not appropriate for MLAs to receive a pay rise at a time when many other groups throughout the community are struggling to retain their funding or have already lost it. For many groups, this funding will put people already on very low incomes out of work. While MLAs may not be paid enormous salaries compared to some, they are significantly better off than most. Not including allowances, we are paid approximately 1.5 times average weekly earnings in the ACT and twice the Australian average. We do recognise, however, that MLAs are paid significantly less than many senior public servants and business people. On the matter of pay rises for statutory public office-holders, we believe that at a time of recruitment freezes and budget cuts it is appropriate that heads of departments and members of boards set an example to their staff.
We are not talking about dramatically reducing the quality of life of all people affected by Remuneration Tribunal Determinations 1, 2 and 3. We are simply saying that at a time when others are being asked to cut back we should not be holding our hands out for more. Over the last few weeks several members have raised the question of when it might be appropriate to receive a pay rise; if we do not take it now, when will we get it? Perhaps the appropriate time will be when the rest of the community are not taking cuts.