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Wednesday, 7 September 1983
Page: 479


Mr PEACOCK —Can the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations assure the House that the terms of reference of the current inquiry into industrial relations are sufficiently wide to allow consideration of the views on the conciliation and arbitration system expressed yesterday by Mr Justice Ludeke? If not, will the Minister ensure that those terms of reference are appropriately widened?


Mr WILLIS —Of course the terms of reference are wide enough to encompass the views expressed by Mr Justice Ludeke and anybody else who wishes to make any submission or contribution to the Committee of Review of Australian Industrial Relations. The terms of reference provide for a review of the industrial relations system-not just a review of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act in some technical way but a review of the effectiveness and practicality of the industrial relations system in accordance with social, economic and industrial changes which have occurred and are taking place in Australia.

I believe that there is absolutely no need to make any changes to those terms of reference, which are more detailed than the matters I just mentioned, to take account of wide ranging views about any change that might be required, in the view of some people, to the industrial relations system in this country. If Opposition members can get their act together and come up with some co-ordinated view they will be able to make that view known to the Committee by way of submission. If they have enough to say they could appear before the Committee in its public hearings.

I believe that there is every reason for the House to have confidence that the Committee of Review will come up with findings which are well considered, which are not narrow in their concept, which take full account of the views expressed by any section of the Australian community and which will provide a basis on which the Government can go forward on a path of further change to the industrial relations system in a way which will make it better than the amendments which we will bring forward in the meantime will make it.