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Monday, 3 March 2003
Page: 8826


Senator MURRAY (1:33 PM) —The serious policy proposition put to us is that harm done to the rights of some is justified by the greater good that would result from the creation of employment for many. If you are going to make that proposition you then have to test it. Parliamentary Secretary, for the year ended November 1996 there were 14,707 federal unfair dismissal cases. Following improvements in these laws that were negotiated between the coalition and the Democrats, and despite the addition of Victoria to the federal jurisdiction which would lift the number of cases, that figure of 14,707 dropped to 7,897 in the following year—a reduction of 46 per cent. If the proposition put by the Prime Minister, then Minister Reith, Minister Abbott and many others is that well over 50,000 jobs would be created by the loss of these rights, could the minister indicate the effect of dropping federal unfair dismissal cases from 14,707 applications in November 1996 by 46 per cent by the end of the following year.