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Wednesday, 16 February 1977

Mr CREAN (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) - Is the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations aware of the widespread concern throughout the trade union movement at the appointment of a presidential member of a panel of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission who only 2 days before the announcement of his appointment to the Commission appeared to argue the employers' case against the major union within the jurisdiction of that panel? Can the Minister outline the scope of the powers enjoyed by the presidential member of a panel under section 23 (3) of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act?

Does the Minister believe that the appointment of a panel head who has been involved so recently in the disputes affecting a union under the jurisdiction of that panel will be detrimental to industrial relations and harmony within that industry? Finally, is the Minister aware that the Storemen and Packers Union of Australia yesterday morning withdrew from the proceedings in the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission because of the appointment of that particular presidential member to head the panel which deals with that union?

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