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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Page: 3079


Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (12:28): I rise to add my support for the member for Lyne with his position of strengthening the existing powers of compliance and also to address the 64 amendments that have been put before the House as we speak. With reference to this legislation, I come from a transport background in Queensland so I have tried in all faith to meticulously go through the bill and, at very short notice, the amendments. On election to this place I gave a commitment to the people of Wright that I would stand up and be the voice of the silent majority. I commenced my investigations into this issue with the 29 submissions that were received in the lead-up to the inquiry. I was overwhelmed by the government's position, given the evidence to the inquiry, because only nine of the 29 submissions received were supportive of it. When you go through and digest those submissions, you find that predominantly, with the exception of three academics, the remaining organisations that were supportive had the word 'union' in their title. When you look at the remaining 20 who were not supportive of it, they predominantly had the word 'transport' in their title. The list is publicly available for everyone to look at. I thought: that is the overwhelming will of the transport industry. The list of submissions is available for you to have a quick look at. When I spoke with members who gave submissions to the committee, their issue was that there was another layer of compliance, and they raised genuine concerns about it. I trust that in the minister's response he will allay those concerns.

In addition to that, the process by which this bill should come through the House should have been open and transparent, but that was somewhat perverted as well. I believe the bill was introduced into the House before the recommendations of the committee had been tabled. As a new member, I would not suggest that that is the common practice of the House. So I have concerns that full and frank debate was not available. When you couple that with the time frame in which these amendments have hit this place, there just seems to be—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. DGH Adams ): Order! The question before the chair is that we are taking the bill as a whole. I think we should be speaking to the bill. The member is dealing with the processes. I ask the honourable member to come back to the bill.

Mr BUCHHOLZ: Mr Deputy Speaker, we are speaking to the amendments, aren't we, at the moment?

Mr Shorten: You're not. We'd need to send out a tracker dog to find them.

Mrs Gash: Oh, come on!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!

Mr BUCHHOLZ: That is a fair enough point. I can talk to the amendments with clarity, but in getting to those points it is very important to understand the mood of the industry and their position when, overwhelmingly, 75 per cent of the members of transport organisations are not supportive of this process, and rightfully so. Let us look at some of the amendments, in particular subclause 33, where it speaks to collective agreements and enterprise bargaining. Let us take the hypothetical of two truck drivers—an independent operator and someone who buys their truck from Kenworth in their local township. They are loading up at a dock from someone who buys their truck directly from the manufacturers in Europe, who, potentially, before they leave the dock, have a $50,000 advantage. Let us look at their biggest expense—fuel. One operator has the capacity to buy fuel directly from the terminals at a price cheaper than the independent guy can buy it from the service station. So, when setting these rates in the tribunals, which are spoken to in the amendments of this bill, how are they calculated? It is a win-win for one of those parties on the principle that, if it is $1,000 to do a Sydney-Melbourne run— (Time expired)