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Monday, 16 June 2003
Page: 16395


Mr CREAN (2:51 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister, and it also refers to good faith bargaining. Does the Prime Minister recall writing a letter to Premier Beattie on 4 June concerning arbitration in the sugar industry? The letter said:

... the Sugar Industry Commissioner will be unable to hear disputes in instances where one party is unwilling to participate in the arbitration process ... I would appreciate clarification on how growers can be protected from abuse of market power ...

Does the Prime Minister accept that all employees, as well as sugar growers, should be protected where an employer is abusing his or her market power by refusing to bargain collectively with them? Will the Prime Minister now support Labor's good faith bargaining bill?


Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —The analogy that the Leader of the Opposition seeks to draw is not valid, because in the case of industrial relations there is a no disadvantage test in relation to an Australian work force agreement. There is no such thing in relation to the sugar industry.