Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

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Parliamentary Record 3


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 fourth and fifth umpire or what. However, in industrial relations, there comes a time when one has to agree to accept the umpire's decision. It is probable that most members have been bailed up by the press at some time today. It will not be easy to explain this one. I read a letter to the editor from which it was clear that one individual decided that, when we knocked back the original decision, we actually received that and, when the report went to the Industrial Relations Commissioner, we received that one, and we are now about to take another increase. I had hoped that this matter would be brought on tomorrow because I intended to do more work on what the movements have been over the longer term since the first increase after I became a member in 1984. If it is above inflation, it certainly is not by very much. In fact, I suspect that we have probably fallen behind over that period with regard to inflation. Hr Hatton: We have had the same wage movements as everybody else in society since 1981. Hr EDE: This has been variously described, quite inaccurately, as a 25% increase for some and 13% for others, and it equated to something like 7.1% per annum over the period since the last increase. As I say, I have not studied the latest comparative wage movements. No doubt, the member for Nightcliff, being one of the leading lights at negotiating salaries, will have done that. Mr Speaker, I will leave the matter there. Members of the opposition will accept the increase and we will support this legislation. I would like to say that I would hope that, this time around, we have found something which we will be able to stick to and so remove some of the rather undignified brawling that we all have involved ourselves in at various times over the years in this regard. Hr HATTON (Industries and Development): Mr Speaker, I want to make a couple of points. Generally, I support the views expressed by the Leader of the Opposition. Ever since I was elected in 1983, there has been one political bunfight after another over politicians' salaries, not only here but generally around Australia and certainly in the federal sphere. Time after time, political pressures or otherwise have caused parliaments, including our own, to reject the findings of Remuneration Tribunals. The processes have occurred since 1988-89 and, until now, have met a complete and comprehensive review and the salary movements have been brought forward. Finally, the matter was referred to a Deputy President of the Industrial Relations Commission for the commission to rule on what comprise reasonable movements under the national wage fixing guidelines. That resulted in these final figures which clearly indicate that the movements in politicians' salaries in the Northern Territory since 1981 are now equivalent to the movements that everybody else in society has already been subject to. That is the fundamental issue. The second and most significant point to note is that this sets the salary of an MLA in the Northern Territory at $3000 below that of a federal member of the House of Representatives. One notes that New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria statutorily have placed their MPs' salaries at $500 below that of federal MPs. South Australia has set theirs at $1000 below the federal MPs statutorily and Western Australia, by way of practice, has adopted a salary at $1000 below that of a federal MP. That places us, with the exception of Tasmania and Canberra, as having statutorily the lowest salaries for MPs in Australia. 882

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