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Mrs ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Madam President, I too rise to make a very brief contribution. I agree with the other members who have spoken. I believe that we should not be involved in any way in setting our own salaries. It should be kept at arm's length. What I am disappointed about is the perception in the community that if we do not accept the legislation as it is we automatically take a 38 per cent increase. Like the member for Apsley, I too have had people come to me, and phone me, and say, 'How dare you take 38 per cent? What are you thinking down at the Legislative Council? You all have to accept this legislation.' I have explained to them that we are not accepting 38 per cent and there are other choices; it does not have to be just two choices of either adopting the legislation or the accepting the 38 per cent increase. They understand and they wonder then why no-one has told them that. That is the concern that I have, the question you ask and the answer you get.

Ms Forrest - And what the media do with it. They get much of their information through the media.

Mrs ARMITAGE - Absolutely. There were 2 000 signatures that came on it but you need to see the question that was asked. We can get any answer we want depending on how we ask the question. We all know that, particularly in politics.

But we are a House of review, we are not here to set our own salaries. I am in agreement that we are not public service; we are in community service and we are because we are passionate about our communities, we are passionate about Tasmania, and I am quite sure that every member is passionate without the need for salary. The salary is not the driving force. It is more that you want to be involved in your community and you want to be involved in Tasmania and what happens in our state. We all know that life in politics is total; it is 24 hours a day. I am fairly certain that most members do not do it for the money. I, for one, and the other members here would certainly not accept a 38 per cent increase. You could not live with yourself; you could not do it.

I, too, will be going through to committee stage because it is important that we have some legislation so that it does not come to that before us. As the member for Windermere said, things like that are remembered. I am quite sure that even if we all say, 'no, we will not take it', what would be remembered would be that it was offered, or that we had not passed the legislation. The facts have very little bearing sometimes, when it comes to what the media puts out there.

I will not go on but, yes, I will support it going to the committee stage and I look forward to the amendments that may come.

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