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Wednesday, 16 March 1977
Page: 248

Mr NEIL (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for Productivity seen reports that the New South Wales Government advocates worker participation as a means of improving productivity? Is the Minister aware that New South Wales Labor Party policy is to have worker directors on boards of companies in New South Wales? Will such a system improve productivity? Does the Minister have any plans regarding worker participation?

Mr SPEAKER - The question, insofar as it relates to a policy adopted by the New South Wales Government, is out of order. Because it is directed to the Minister for Productivity I permit so much of the question to be answered as relates to the Minister's specific responsibility.

Mr MACPHEE (BALACLAVA, VICTORIA) (Minister for Productivity) -This Government does not believe in imposing a system of worker directors or works councils or any other form of so-called worker participation by way of legislation or other means. However, the Government positively encourages particular managements and their employees to get together and devise for themselves a better way of communicating and consulting. In that respect the Government is prepared to provide advice and information and to make any legislative changes which may be necessary to eliminate any obstacles stemming from Commonwealth legislation which may be in the way of those managements and their employees who want to adopt one of the forms of worker participation. The Government believes that any notion of imposing a system of worker directors or works councils upon companies will not improve industrial relations or productivity generally. The Government believes that some may decide to experiment with ideas of that nature and they are welcome to do so. The Government will not be imposing such a system in any circumstances. Any government, State or Federal, which seeks to do so will find that there is no panacea, no universal application, and that it will not be of general benefit in productivity improvement.

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