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Monday, 20 May 1985
Page: 2123

Senator SIBRAA —Can the Minister for Resources and Energy advise the Senate whether the threat of retrenchments from the Kembla Coal and Coke operations in the Wollongong district have been averted by a further 12-month extension of the original agreement between the company, the unions and the relevant governments?

Senator GARETH EVANS —Yes, I am able to confirm that a meeting last week of the company, union representatives, Joint Coal Board and the New South Wales and Commonwealth Government officials has resulted in an agreement that there be a further extension for 12 months of the agreement reached last year to avoid retrenchments from Kembla Coal and Coke operations on the south coast. It should be recorded that the extension of the agreement is a major achievement in co-operation between all the parties involved, addressing a number of aspects of the company's very difficult circumstances. The unions and the KCC management are to be especially commended for their part in creating the conditions which have allowed that agreement to continue. Also, we need to recognise the role of the Australian Coal Consultative Council in creating the forum in which the parties could consult on the establishment of the agreement.