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Tuesday, 5 May 1987
Page: 2304

Senator SIDDONS(3.19) —I, too, will not be supporting the amendment proposed by the Opposition, because it would seem to me to be quite clear that the provisions of the legislation do not apply to independent contractors. I wholeheartedly support the general thrust of this legislation. It is a great pity that it is necessary for legislation such as this that seeks to promote people according to their merit and to ensure that they are not unfairly discriminated against to be brought before the Senate. That the Bill seeks to stamp out discriminatory work practices against people in certain sections of the community such as women, Aborigines, Islanders, migrants and disabled people is fine, but it is very narrow in its concept. One would hope that at least this legislation will have the effect of setting an example to others in private industry and to subcontractors to ensure that discriminatory practices are not applied in the work place, that equal opportunities are afforded to all and that promotion is made strictly according to one's merits. I will not support this amendment. I wholeheartedly support this Bill. As one who has been a long-time advocate of fair work practices, an advocate of industrial democracy and of other practices, I think that this Bill is very much in line with that general approach.

Amendment negatived.