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Wednesday, 25 September 2002
Page: 4909


Senator MURPHY (6:14 PM) —With regard to what is proposed by Senator Murray's amendments, whilst I respect the effort that he has made, I am not able to support them. I think that the existing rules are more than adequate in respect of secret ballots. Just because the government says that something is wrong with current legislation it does not mean that there is anything wrong with it. Rather, in respect of trade union matters, it is likely that there is nothing wrong with it and it is all working perfectly well. But it is just that the government, because it is bent on disliking the trade union movement, seeks to change these things.

As has been pointed out by a number of other senators in this chamber, workers do not take lightly any decision to involve themselves in industrial action. Those who have been involved in the trade union movement and who have represented workers know full well that it is certainly not an option that you take to workers in the first instance. Any recommendation made on the part of a trade union to take a course of industrial action is always done because there is no other course of action available. For those reasons, I put on the record that, whilst I respect Senator Murray's efforts and with regard to the other amendments that he has also moved that have been supported, I am not able to support what he is proposing here. I likewise am opposed to the bill per se. I will vote with the opposition when it is put to the vote.