MP Roy Butler has refuted claims he is staying in parliament just long enough to receive a parliamentary pension.
Former Mayor Peter Black said in his column in this paper on Wednesday, referring to the MP, “after seven years he becomes eligible for a state pension”.
Mr Butler said while it was true he was intending to stand at the 2023 election and not beyond, it had nothing to do with parliamentary pensions as they no longer existed for NSW MPs.
“I have great respect for Peter and enjoy the contact I have had with him and enjoy reading his column over the last few years,” Mr Butler said.
“He did make a comment about me serving two terms to get a pension, but there really hasn’t been a pension available for NSW MPs, unless you came to parliament about 20 years ago.
“NSW MPs, certainly in the time I have been there, just receive superannuation at the rate that everyone else receives.
“So, there is no pension, no golden rainbow, or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“We work and get paid and receive superannuation.
“The last ones to receive one would be people like Brad Hazzard that has been around long enough to qualify for one of the pension schemes, but that is certainly well before my time.
“You certainly would have needed to be there over 20 years to be eligible,” Mr Butler said.
His reasons for only standing for two terms are personal – he made a promise to his wife.
Mr Butler’s Barwon electorate is the largest, in terms of land mass, in the NSW parliament, involving a great deal of travel in the non-sitting days of parliament.
“If I was a metro MP that got to go home every night it would probably be different,” he says.
“But I made a commitment to my wife that after eight years she could have her husband back.