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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr CLAREY (Bendigo) .- The clause reads as follows: - (1.) The Committee shall consist of -

(a)   six members to represent the- Australian. Canning Fruitgrowers Association;

(b)   two members to represent the Australian Canned Fruits Board;

(c)   two members to represent the Australian. Canners' Association; and

(d)   one member to represent the Commonwealth.

I move -

In sub-section (1.), paragraph (c), omit " and

It is not my intention to traverse the ground which I covered in my second-reading speech, but I feel I ought to correct what I think is the opinion in the mind of the honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull). Every one of the interests represented has its own organization or trade union as the case may be. The canners have an association and meet separately; the fruit-growers have their association, and they apparently have also been able to establish the Australian Canning Fruitgrowers Association which covers all the fruit-growers growing the kind of fruit concerned, in the four States covered by the measure. It is not a question of belonging to one another's organizations, because the fruit-growers meet as fruit-growers to discuss their particular problems, the canners meet as canners to discuss their problems, and the employees meet as trade unionists to discuss their problems. Where it is necessary the employees can, and do, meet the fruit-growers and the canners in conference.

The body with which this bill deals is to consist of a number of representatives of various interests. The growers of the fruit are to have six representatives on it. There are to be two representatives of the Australian Canned Fruits Board, two representatives of the Australian Canners' Association, and one representative of the Commonwealth. To complete the economic link in connexion with this industry it is essential that the workers in the industry also have representation on the committee. Such representation can be valuable in more ways than one. As I said previously, over the years the union has shown its capacity to co-operate with all sections of the inindustry for the protection of the industry and in its own interest. Indeed, it can be said that there are very few industries in which better relations exist in regard to wages and working conditions than exist in this industry. In the main, wages and working conditions are fixed by agreement.

This is an industry which has tremendous economic power when the season is on. If there were not harmony in the industry the whole industry could be ruined by reckless and unnecessary stoppages. But, because of the desire of the union to safeguard the interests of the workers, and of the industry, good industrial relations exist in the industry. The union has experience that can be utilized to the advantage of the industry, and it is desirable therefore, that the employees be given representation on this committee. I ask for leave to withdraw the amendment and resubmit it in a shortened form.

Amendment - by leave - withdrawn.

Motion (by Mr. Clarey) proposed -

At the end of sub-clause (1.) add the following word and paragraph: - " ; and (e) one member to represent the Food Preservers Union of Australia.".

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