House debates

Thursday, 4 August 2022


Public Sector Superannuation Salary Legislation Amendment Bill 2022; Third Reading

9:32 am

Photo of Stephen JonesStephen Jones (Whitlam, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—I move:

That this bill be now read a third time.

I will respond to a few of the points that have been made during the second reading debate. The question of urgency was raised by the Leader of the Greens. I will just make this point: the urgency is providing certainty to employees and, indeed, to litigants in the matter of the Commonwealth's intention to move in this area. No sane government could do otherwise than this parliament has done this morning. It would be intolerable.

It wasn't my intention in the course of this debate to go through the scale of the moneys involved, but the member for Fadden, in his second reading debate address, has alluded to the fact that the cost, well known to those opposite because they were considering the same matter when they were in government a few months ago, is in the order of $11 billion. To the members of the Greens I will simply make this point: that's about what we spend on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and it would well and truly pay for the cost of any proposal to introduce dental care into the Medicare Benefits Scheme. These are not small amounts of money. No sane government could do anything other than what we are proposing to do today.

I want to thank the member for Goldstein and the member for Mackellar. Although there was no legal obligation on them to do so, they honourably declared a conflict of interest in this debate. I pay tribute to the actions that they have just put themselves through by absenteeing themselves from the chamber. With those brief comments, I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a third time.