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Wednesday, 27 May 1987
Page: 3398

Mr SHACK —My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Is it not a fact that section 45d of the Trade Practices Act has been used successfully to bring to an end at least 80 serious industrial disputes, including such well known cases as Mudginberri Station v. the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union and various building contractors v. the Plumbers and Gasfitters Employees Union of Australia? Will the Prime Minister guarantee to the House and to the nation that the Government will abandon its industrial relations legislation attempt to restrict and delay access to the use of this section, action which would bankrupt employers under union attack, and will he give an undertaking to leave sections 45d and 45e totally within the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia?

Mr HAWKE —At the outset, I remind the honourable member for Tangney of the record of this Government in reducing industrial disputation. Under this Government there has been a 60 per cent reduction in the level of industrial disputation compared with the pathetic and dismal record of his Party's confrontationist regime. I have made it quite clear, as has my colleague, the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, that our legislation that concerns this matter will lie on the table of this House. It will be the subject of consultation with the employers, with the trade unions and, if they wish, with State governments. I welcome the fact that the Business Council of Australia and the Confederation of Australian Industry have welcomed this move of the Government.