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Wednesday, 13 May 1970

Mr HOWSONpresented from 4,636 electors of the Commonwealth a petition showing that in the national interest it is essential that there be an effective and respected Commonwealth conciliation and arbitration system; that the decision given by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in the professional engineers case on 3rd December 1969, which has followed to the letter in both magnitude and date of operation the salary increases for engineers employed in the Commonwealth Public Service which were announced before the arbitration hearing had concluded has given rise to bitter dismay and has indicated a lack of independent assessment; that statements made by leaders of industrial organisations have indicated disillusionment with recent decisions of the Federal arbitration system including particular references to the professional engineers case; that an unacceptable arbitration system must inevitably lead to industrial unrest throughout Australia, to the detriment of the community.

The petitioners pray that the Australian Government take positive action as soon as possible to re-establish confidence in the Commonwealth arbitration system and to ensure that consideration of salaries and conditions for professional engineers be dealt with in a manner which will be seen to be expeditious and just and will be appropriate to the unique and complex nature of professional engineering employment.

Petition received and read.

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