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Tuesday, 8 May 1984
Page: 1749


Senator LAJOVIC —I address my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. Has the Minister noted the Dateline News Digest of Monday, 7 May, afternoon edition, today's morning edition and tonight's edition, reporting the following strikes or bans which are plaguing Australian industry:

First, Port Pirie, closure of lead smelter because of the continued closure of mines at Broken Hill for more than a month. Secondly, the 20-day old waterside dispute which has brought Australian ports to a grinding halt. Thirdly, the power engineers' refusal to accept a recommendation to lift their bans on returning generators to service. Fourthly, the Builders Labourers Federation pickets who have delayed work on six new light towers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Lastly, complete closure of the New Parliament House site if the site workers decide to stay out.

What action does the Minister intend to take to settle all the aforementioned disputes?


Senator Cook —Why do you not ask about the 24 per cent reduction in strikes under Labor?


Senator WALSH —It is worth noting for the record-I am not sure that I heard correctly, but I think so-that Senator Cook's comment was that there has been an 82 per cent reduction in the number of industrial disputes since this Government was elected.


Senator Cook —It is 24 per cent.


Senator WALSH —Yes. We have failed to eliminate industrial disputes completely. I suppose that one should apologise, on behalf of the Government, to Senator Lajovic for that. I was aware of all but one of the disputes, I think, to which he referred. I will pass on the question to the Minister to see whether he has anything to add to my reply.