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Wednesday, 3 November 1976
Page: 2301

Mr NEIL (St George) -The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations (Mr Street), as is well known, has spent the last nine or ten months in the closest consultation with union representatives and the community at large on matters affecting his portfolio. That is in contrast with the actions of the former Minister in the last Government who in many cases rammed through legislation against the wishes of the trade unionists. Legislation formerly went through without any choice being given to the trade union movement or the various groups in the trade union movement and there were no consultations.

Within our society and within the world at large there are many different ways in which persons can be elected to office in organisations or even nations. The Minister has spent the major part of this year trying to assist in producing a solution to a very complicated problem. I regret the complexities of the trade union system in Australia. I think that clause 3 of this Bill and the amendment to it with which we are now dealing are a tribute to the Minister's ability to produce what in the circumstances is probably a compromise. In this country we have an extraordinarily complicated system of trade union activities. I do not know how the average migrant who comes to this country and joins a union can understand how many trade union affairs are conducted or work. I simply cannot see how he can understand what is occurring.

Mr Innes - What would you know about a union? You have never been in one.

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