Senate debates

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Matters of Public Importance

Military Superannuation Pensions

4:52 pm

Photo of Michael RonaldsonMichael Ronaldson (Victoria, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I will take that interjection. You are absolutely right, and I have said that from one RSL congress to another. I have said that at nearly 50 veterans forums around the country: we should have done something about it earlier. But, my fine feathered friend, what I will say to you is this—through you Madam Acting Deputy President: you went to the 2007 election with a commitment. Indeed, Senator Lundy and the member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly—the current member for Eden-Monaro; not for long, because he has let down his own people in Eden-Monaro. They go into their electorates and they get in with ex-service community members and veterans and say, 'We're going to sort this out.' Mike Kelly has been doing it down in Eden-Monaro—'Don't worry, I'll sort this out.' And there is Mr Neumann, the member for Blair, was in the Ipswich Times, saying: 'This is outrageous. I have written to Minister Wong about this. It is unfair. They are not getting enough.' Of course, what did he do a week and a half ago in the other place when he had the opportunity to actually put a bill in place to achieve fair indexation? Of course he fell at the hurdle. Weasel words from people who are happy to go out and say what they think is appropriate and what people like to hear in their electorates, and when they get here and when they have got the opportunity they absolutely squib it. They have squibbed it on this occasion and they will continue to squib it.

There will be another opportunity for those opposite when this bill comes back from the lower house. I will move the same amendment and I will say at that stage: we will halt this bill until we get fair indexation legislation introduced by the government. That will be the big test. It will be the big test for Senator Lundy and it will be the big test for everyone over there who slimes around like snakes in the grass telling their constituents they actually care about this, but they do nothing. (Time expired)


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