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Friday, 3 September 1920


Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister for Works and Railways) . - I cannot see my way to accept the proposed new clause which introduces an innovation into this legislation by seekilj; to build up an army of inspectors throughout the Commonwealth. There is no necessity for such a staff. SectiOn 41 of the Act provides - '

The President and every person authorized in writing by the President or Registrar may at any time during working hours enter any building, mine, mine working, ship, vessel, place,- or premises of any kind wherein or in respect to which any industry is carried on or any work is being or has been done or commenced, or any matter or thing is taking or has taken place in relation to which any industrial dispute is pending, or any award has been made or any offence against this Act is suspected, and may, to the extent and for the purposes named in the authority, inspect and view any work, material, machinery, appliances, or article therein.

An amendment which the Committee has already made gives power to inspect also books or documents. Therefore, under existing legislation, any person who wishes to inquire as to the carrying out of an award may get the necessary authority from the President or Registrar, and make an inspection.


Mr Cunningham - But he must obtain an authority first.


Mr GROOM - Yes. Why should the honorable member have a right to enter business premises and demand to see the employer's books?


Mr Cunningham - I do not wish to do that. I ask for the appointment of inspectors to police the award.


Mr GROOM - But the honorable member said so. There is no necessity for that.

Mr. Cunningham.Why are they appointed under the State laws?


Mr GROOM - The honorable member is confusing the Arbitration Act with the "Factories Act. Under the latter a whole series of duties is imposed, but the conditions of an award are not statutory; they are conditions imposed by a Court, and affect only the parties concerned. Section 41 is similar to the provision in the Acts of New South "Wales, New Zealand, and Western Australia, and is for the purpose of giving power to see that awards are complied with. Therefore there is no necessity to create a whole army of inspectors to travel all over Australia for the policing, of awards.







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