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Thursday, 7 June 1984
Page: 2792

Senator Gietzelt —On 3 May 1984 (Hansard, page 1558) Senator Reid asked me, as the Minister representing the Minister for Territories and Local Government, the following question without notice:

My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Territories and Local Government. I refer to the report that the Government has had since February this year from the Task Force on Self-Government. Does the Minister agree that the citizens of the Australian Capital Territory have a right to comment on the report's proposals before any government decision is taken? When will the report be made available for public consideration and debate? If the Government has already considered its position on the report's recommendations, when will that decision be announced?

The Minister for Territories and Local Government has provided the following additional information in answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Government is committed to the widest possible process of public consultation and discussion of self-government options. To facilitate this process and enable the people of the Territory to understand and contribute to proposals, the report of the Self-Government Task Force was tabled in the House of Representatives on 10 May 1984 so that public comment can be sought.

The Government is not necessarily committed to particular arguments or recommendations of the Task Force and will take full account of community response to the report in the development of its position on implementation of self-government.


Senator Walsh —On 3 May 1984 (Hansard, page 1559) Senator Archer asked me a question without notice, in my capacity as Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry in the Senate. His question concerned industrial action by members of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees' Union in Victoria.

The Minister for Primary Industry has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The industrial action to which Senator Archer was presumably referring occurred on 2 May 1984, and involved a twenty-four hour stoppage of meat workers in Victoria. The cause of the stoppage was the crossing of picketlines during the loading of live sheep into the vessel Al Shewaikh at Portland.

I understand that the picketing of the Al Shewaikh on this occasion was carried out peacefully, and that the vessel was successfully loaded and sailed on 3 May. I also understand that the loading of a subsequent vessel, the Al Qurain, with live sheep at Portland was accompanied by a twenty-four hour stoppage on 16 May. The vessel was however successfully loaded and departed on 17 May.

I am very concerned to see a permanent solution to industrial disputation over the live sheep trade and the Government has taken a number of initiatives to this end. In particular, a special working group has been set up with the purposes of bringing the industrial and political wings of the Labor movement together clearly to identify and resolve the areas of agreement and disagreement on the facts of the live sheep export trade.

The establishment of the working party is an attempt to put consideration of this long-running dispute where it belongs, and that is clearly in the industrial relations area.