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Friday, 27 August 1920

Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) .- I have an amendment to move, which must take precedence of that suggested by the Minister. I move -

That after the words " amended by " the following words be inserted : " inserting after the word ' award ' at the end of the section the words, 'Provided that the period so specified can, on application to the Court, be varied if the Court be satisfied that such variation is just ' ".

It may appear to a casual reader that the proposal in the Bill and that which I am now submitting would give the same result ; but I am advised that the language of the Bill is of such a character that it will not do what it is intended to do.

Mr GROOM - You are now referring to the proviso in the Bill, not to the proviso upon which I have just been speaking.

Mr MAKIN - I - I am referring to the language of the Bill, which provides for the insertion of the following words: - " Provided that, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, if the Court is satisfied that abnormal circumstances have arisen which affect the fundamental justice of any terms of an award, the Court may, in the same or another proceeding, set aside or vary any terms so affected."

I have been given the legal opinion that that language is ambiguous, and leaves an opening to forensic contention as to the meaning of fundamental justice of any term or claim. I move the amendment with a view to assisting the Minister, feeling that it is clearer and more definite than the Government proposal.

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