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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 16

Senator Dame MARGARET GUILFOYLE — Is the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations aware of the report in today's Australian Financial Review regarding Mr Justice Alley's letter to the unions and employers in the building industry threatening to change the entire award basis on which wages are paid? Did Mr Justice Alley's letter arise from concern within the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission that building unions and employers are privately arranging additional site allowances? I understand that a private conference has been arranged for 10 September. I ask the Minister whether the Government has considered this matter and whether he is able to advise the Senate whether the Government intends making any submission on this matter to the Commission?

Senator BUTTON —I apologise to the Senate; I am not aware of Mr Justice Alley's letter. But that is not the pertinent matter which is contained in the question. I think the question is directed to what the Government's attitude would be to private arrangements made within the building industry contrary to the decisions of the Commission. The Government's attitude in relation to that is that it would not approve of private arrangements which are made contrary to the spirit of the wage fixation guidelines. I will refer Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle's question to the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. To my knowledge no decision has been made about an intervention to the Commission at this stage. I think it highly likely however that one will be made.