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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 26

(Question No. 1483)


Senator Hamer asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 11 November 1986:

(1) What restrictive work practices are in force at AUSSAT Pty Ltd which, in the opinion of management, reduce productivity without any compensatory safety or industrial health benefits.

(2) What restrictive work practices are in force at AUSSAT Pty Ltd while having some safety or industrial health benefits, are done in such a way that comparable benefits could be achieved with less loss of productivity.

(3) What new restrictive work practices, of the type noted above, have come into force in the last year.

(4) What restrictive work practices, of the type noted above, have been eliminated in the past year and what have been the benefits to productivity in each case.

(5) Has the management advised the Minister for Communications of the total annual cost of these restrictive work practices; if so, what is the total annual cost of these restrictive work practices.


Senator Walsh —The Minister for Communications has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question, based on advice from Aussat Pty Ltd:

(1) None. AUSSAT was incorporated in 1981 to own and operate the Australian communications satellite system as a commercial venture. The Company has a statutory responsibility to conduct its affairs in accordance with sound commercial principles. Accordingly, I am advised that the Company has deliberately constructed its conditions of employment in accordance with normal commercial practice and there is little, if any, opportunity for restrictive work practices to develop within the Company. Moreover, as a young organisation operating in a relatively unique high technology environment, the Company's management actively encourages and requires high levels of productivity from company personnel. A work environment which would nurture restrictive work practices does not exist within AUSSAT.

(2) None.

(3) None.

(4) Not Applicable.

(5) Not Applicable.