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Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister for Works and Railways) . - I move -

That the following new clause be added: - " 17. Section 48 of the principal Act is amended -

(a)   by inserting, after the word 'breach '. the words ' or to enjoin any organization or person from committing or continuing any contravention of this Act or of the award'; and

(b)   by inserting, after the words 'of any contravention of ', the words ' the Act. or'".

Prior to its amendment in 1918, the Act provided that the Court might make an order in the nature of a mandamus or injunction to compel compliance with, the award, or to restrain its breach under pain of fine or imprisonment; and it provided, further, that no person to whom such order applied should be guilty of any contravention of the award by act or omission. At present, there is power to enjoin persons from committing breaches of an award, but, at, the same time, there is no power to prevent them from committing breaches of the Act.

Mr Brennan - There is no power to enable the Court to impose penalties for breaches of awards.

Mr GROOM - Penalties can be sued for. There are proper Courts constituted for that purpose.

Mr Brennan - If we had the constitutional power, this would be the proper Court.

Mr GROOM - The principal Act was amended in 1918 by the omission from section 48 of the word " Court," and by the insertion, in its stead, of the words " a County Court, a District Court, or a Local Court." Therefore, the Court which has the power to issue orders to enjoin is one of those Courts. It has been found, in the operation of the Act, that it is advisable to have the power now asked for. There should be power to bring either employers or employed before a Court, wherein to obtain an order enjoining them from continuing in contravention of the Act.

Proposed new clause agreed to.

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