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Tuesday, 5 May 1987
Page: 2304

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(3.18) —I just make it clear on behalf of the Government, and for essentially the same reasons as Senator Powell has just expressed, that we will not be supporting the amendment. The Bill treats natural persons who are engaged under contract for service as employees to whom equal employment opportunity programs shall apply. The Bill extends the same protection to people engaged under contracts for service as to employees. However, there are no obligations to develop equal employment opportunity programs which are imposed on such people. The Bill does not impose any terms and conditions on the employment of independent contractors. The definition is, in effect, the same as that in the Affirmative Action (Equal Opportunity for Women) Act 1986. That Act defines an employer as a person who employs a natural person under a contract of service or a contract for services. Under those circumstances and for those reasons, we reject the amendment.