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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1587

Mr BEALE —I refer the Minister for Science and Minister Assisting the Treasurer on Prices to the report of the Hancock Committee of Review into Australian Industrial Relations Law and Systems and in particular to recommendation 19 which, if implemented, would result in the end of the sub-contracting system in the Australian building industry. In view of the Government's intention to introduce legislation implementing the recommendations of the Hancock report, what action does the Minister intend to take to prevent the inevitable resulting increase in the price of houses, estimated by the Housing Industry Association to be in the vicinity of between $7,000 and $15,000 for each house?

Mr WILLIS —The question relates to the implementation of the Hancock recommendations, which is my responsibility. The legislation regarding the Hancock recommendations will be coming forward shortly, some time in April. That legislation will continue the Government's very proud record in the area of industrial relations. We have seen a 60 per cent reduction in the level of industrial disputation and time lost in industrial disputes from the average rate of time lost under the previous Government, and the level of money wage increases are well below those operating when the previous Government was in office. In terms of an effective industrial relations system this Government has much to be proud of. That record will be improved by the amendments involved in the legislation coming forward which will be based on, but will not necessarily implement, every aspect of the Hancock recommendations. The question related particularly to recommendation 19 regarding independent contractors. I am not going to say now what the Government's response to that is. That will all become clear when the legislation is introduced shortly.