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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) .- This clause seems to be consequential on clause 9 of the Public Service Arbitration Bill (No. 2). All that I wish from the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) is an assurance that subsection (2.) (b) of proposed new section 22, which clause 9 of the Public Service Arbitration Bill (No. 2) seeks to insert will be defined at some length. The sub-section reads -

The Arbitrator may, where he thinks it proper to do so, make a determination that, in his opinion, is not, or may not be, in accord with a law of the Commonwealth relating to conditions of employment' of employees in the Public Service not being -

(b)   any other prescribed Act or the pre scribed provisions of any other Act.

Public Service bodies recognize that while no exception can be taken to reference to the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act, the Commonwealth Employees Furlough Act and the Superannua- tion Act, which they describe as comparatively innocuous acts, proposed sub-section (2.) (b) could have application to no fewer than 42 separate acts. I do not suppose that he Government envisages that it will have such wide application; nevertheless, the organizations would like an assurance that the provision will not be used to proscribe the Public Service arbitration legislation so ds, in effect, to deprive the Public Service Arbitrator of his functions. If the Minister is prepared to give an assurance on this point it will obviate subsequent debate on clause 9 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill (No. 2).

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