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Wednesday, 25 November 1959

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I am surprised that the Minister for Labour and National Service does not understand the amendment and that none of the departmental officers seems to know anything about it, because the secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions has written to me stating that he had sent the proposition to the Department of the Treasury quite some considerable time ago - some weeks ago, at any rate - and it seems rather odd to me that a communication from an important body like the A.C.T.U. directed to the department which is responsible for the administration of Commonwealth employees' compensation has not yet been seen by the Minister or by any of the officials of the department.

Mr McMahon - I did not say that. Explain the effect of it.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The fact is that the Minister was under the impression that this was the first he had seen of it. I simply say, in reply, that if this is the first that the Minister has seen of it, that is understandable because the Minister who is handling the bill is not the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) and it is quite possible that he, having just taken over the position, may not know as much about this as the Treasurer knows. But I understood the Minister to say that none of the Treasury officials present had seen the proposal before us. What I simply put now to the committee is that, seeing that the A.C.T.U. has already informed the Treasury of its views on this matter, and having regard to the fact that the proposition is quite fair, quite reasonable, and ought not to take very much grey matter to understand, I can only assume-

Mr McMahon - First of all, you are asking us, in relation to clause 5, to omit the word " accident " and insert in its stead the word " injury ". Is that what you want? The word in the clause is " injury ". Section 16 of the principal act provides that the commissioner shall not admit a claim for compensation under this act for an " injury ". Originally, you were right; now you are wrong.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - No. The word " accident" appears in section 16 (1.), which reads -

The Commissioner shall not admit a claim for compensation under this Act for an injury unless notice of the accident has been served upon him as soon as practicable. . . .

If there has been no accident, the employee is not able to serve him with the required notice. We ask that the word " accident " be struck out and the word " injury " substituted for it.

Paragraph (a) of sub-section (1.) reads - within six months from the occurrence of the accident; or

We ask that the word " accident " be struck out and that the word " injury " be inserted in lieu thereof.

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