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Wednesday, 7 August 1946


Mr SPENDER (Warringah) (1:23 AM) . - I dealt with this matter in my second-reading speech. In substance, the clause withdraws from the provisions of the Re-establishment and Employment Act all those employed in the various trades set out in the schedule to this bill. The clause provides. (1.) A person shall not be entitled tomake an application to a court of summary jurisdiction under section twenty-eight of the Re-establishment and Employment Act 1045 in respect of a failure to engage him in employment in a trade to which this Part applies unless the matter has first been considered by a Local Committee.. (2.) In any prosecutionof an employer for a contravention of section forty-three of this Act, and in any proceedings against an employer under section twenty-eight of the Reestablishment and Employment Act 1945, it shall be a defence for the employer to prove that the act or omission with which he is charged or which is called in question was directed, approved or consented to by a Local Committee duly or, on review or appeal, by the Central Committee or a court, and that the decision of the Local Committee or Central Committee, as the case may be, does not stand reversed as the result of review or appeal.

The result is to exclude the persons specified from the operation ofsection 27 of the Re-establishment and Employment Act which provides that an employer shall,in the engagement of any person, engage one entitled to preference, unless he has reasonable grounds for not doing so. Section 28 provides that a person whom an employer has refused to engage may make application to a court of summary jurisdiction, which may order that he be given preference. Clause 45 of the bill says that the persons previously entitled to preference under the Reestablishment and Employment Act shall no longer enjoy thatright unless they go before a local committee. Such a committee is not bound to observe the provisions of the Re-establishment and Employment Act, and if the committee says that the applicant is not entitled to the rights he claims, that is the end of the matter. Thus, the result is a foregone conclusion. This clause contains a fundamental principle. We solemnly passed the Re-establishment and Employment Act to give preference to ex-servicemen in all employment. By this clause we are taking their rights from them.







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