Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - Madam President, I certainly will not be speaking for very long either. Firstly, I accept the comments from all the honourable members both for and against the bill. I think it is important that people vote how they really believe and how they go with their thoughts.
I accept many of the comments made and I agree with the principles stated as well, however we are in dire financial straits, by no fault of the people around here. The current Government has put us in this situation. That has all been widely accepted and, as has been mentioned by the honourable member for Murchison, the Premier had the opportunity to take this to the Industrial Commission but unfortunately chose not to. As I have heard said by many of our members around here, what is is and we have to cope with what we have before us today.
Some say there would be savings of between $125 000 and $150 000. To me that is quite a lot of money. That could be three salaries - it could be nurses, it could be teachers. That is annually. I think it is a lot of money. I have often lived on $28 000-$30 000.
Ms Forrest - Nurses get more than that now. You'd only get a couple of nurses.
Mrs ARMITAGE - Depending on whether it is part-time. It may not be a full-time salary. It might be a couple of days a week. It is still a salary that goes to someone, whether it be a teacher or a nurse. It does not really matter who it is. I will be supporting this bill because, as was said by the honourable member for Rumney, yesterday we were quite prepared to put our hands on the wheel when it came to the public service and look at how we could change things and save some money by going from 12 months back to six months. Well, you cannot have it every way. If you are going to do it one day then you cannot pick and choose which way you are going to do it. I think consistency is very important and as far as I am concerned we need to show some restraint. We are in difficult times, whether or not it is by our own making. I will be supporting this bill. I believe that it is important that we do support something that is seen to be saving some money in the difficult circumstances. I accept that everyone has to make their own decision and it is certainly no reflection on anyone who decides to vote against the bill.