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Tuesday, 5 May 1987
Page: 2303

Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(3.15) —I move:

(1) Page 2, clause 3, definition of `employee', line 29, leave out paragraph (b).

This amendment relates to the fact that the Bill, in its definition clause on page 2, refers to an employee as:

. . . a natural person appointed or engaged:

(a) under a contract of service whether on a full-time, part-time, casual or temporary basis; or

(b) under a contract for services;

This is a similar clause to that which has been included and which now forms a section of earlier legislation that has been dealt with in this place, and on at least one earlier occasion the Opposition has moved the same amendment. Our concern is to ensure that the restrictions which are contained in the Bill apply to employees and that it does not limit the situation of independent contractors or, indeed, the capacity of the bodies, the Commonwealth authorities, which are the subject of this legislation, to freely contract with people with whom they wish to deal on the basis of their being independent contractors.

I do not wish to labour the point or spend a great deal of time on it. It is a position that has been adopted on an earlier occasion by the Opposition. If the Bill is to become law, we believe it should apply only to the employees of Commonwealth authorities and it should not be a means of restricting the capacity of these authorities to enter into contracts for services of the sort which would be affected under the existing paragraph (b).