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Monday, 18 August 2003
Page: 18807


Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, upon notice on, 16 June 2003:

(1) What are the names of the Australian delegates to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conferences in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

(2) How did the (a) Australian Government delegates, (b) Employers' Group delegates, and (c) Workers' Group delegates vote on each convention and recommendation considered by each of the Conferences.

(3) To what positions did Australia seek election at each Conference.

(4) Which members of the Far East Asia and Pacific sub-region were elected as members and deputy members of the ILO Governing Body at the 2002 Conference.

(5) When and where will the next regional meeting be held.

(6) Which ILO conventions and ratifications have been considered for ratification since the answer to question No. 1709 (Hansard, 12 October 2000, page 21548) and what was the outcome of that consideration.


Mr Abbott (Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Australian delegates accredited to each International Labour Conference (ILC) were as follows:

2001

Mr Phil Drever and Ms Shelley Cooper - Government Delegates

Mr Bryan Noakes - Employer Delegate

Mr Bill Mansfield - Worker Delegate

2002

Mr Phil Drever and Ms Jean Ffrench - Government Delegates

Mr Bryan Noakes - Employer Delegate

Mr Alan Matheson - Worker Delegate

2003

Mr John Lloyd and Mr John Rowling - Government Delegates

Mr Bryan Noakes - Employer Delegate

Ms Sharan Burrow - Worker Delegate 1-9 June 2003

Mr Alan Matheson - Worker Delegate 10-19 June 2003

(2) Each ILO member State is allowed four votes concerning the adoption of new instruments: two Government; one Employer and one Worker. The following recorded votes were made by Australian Delegates.

Delegates Voting Record

2001

Convention 184, Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention, 2001 Recommendation 192, Safety and Health in Agriculture, 2001

Government delegates - Abstained

Employer delegate - Abstained

Worker delegate - For

2002

Protocol of 2002 to the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981.

Government delegates - For

Employer delegate - Abstained

Worker delegate - Not present for the vote

List of Occupational Diseases Recommendation, 2002

Government delegates - Against

Employer delegate - For

Worker delegate - Not present for the vote

Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002

Government delegates - Abstained

Employer delegate - For

Worker delegate - Not present for the vote

Withdrawal of Twenty Obsolete Recommendations

Government delegates - For

Employer delegate - For

Worker delegate - Not present for the vote

2003

Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003

Government delegates - Abstained

Employer delegate - For

Worker delegate - For

(3) Australian delegates sought and were elected to the following Conference positions:

Mr Bill Mansfield: Vice Chairman of the Committee on Social Security at the 2001 ILC.

Mr Bryan Noakes: Vice-President of the Conference at the 2003 ILC.

(4) The Republic of Korea was elected as a Titular Member and New Zealand was elected as a Deputy Member representing the Far East Asia and Pacific Region of the ILO Governing Body for the period 2002-2005.

(5) The ILO has not yet made any decisions about the timing and venue for the 14th Asian Regional Meeting.

(6) Convention No. 155, Occupational Safety and Health is currently being considered by the Government for ratification. The Commonwealth, States and Territories all now comply with its provisions, and the State and Territory Governments have all formally agreed to ratification. The Commonwealth has therefore commenced the formal ratification process and expects to table the text of C155 and a National Interest Analysis in Parliament for consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) at the next opportunity.

Convention No. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 is currently being considered by the Government for ratification as soon as possible. A number of States and Territories are yet to pass appropriate legislative amendments that would see Australia fully comply with C182.

Convention No. 183, Maternity Protection, 2000 was adopted by the 2000 ILC. It was tabled in the House of Representatives and the Senate in December 2001. The tabling report stated:

`The Government has considered its attitude to ratification in the light of comments provided by State and Territory governments and the views expressed by the ACCI and ACTU. The Govern-ment notes the prescriptive nature of the Convention and the significant impediments to compliance, and concludes that ratification will not be pursued in the foreseeable future'.

Convention No. 184, Safety and Health in Agriculture, 2001 was adopted by the 2001 ILC. It was tabled in the House of Representatives and the Senate in December 2002. The tabling report stated:

`The Government has considered its attitude to ratification in the light of the general discussion of the ILO's Occupational Safety and Health standards to be held in June 2003, and comments provided by State and Territory governments, the ACCI and ACTU. In view of these factors, it is considered that ratification should not be pursued at this time'.