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Friday, 5 June 1970

Mr Crean (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Educa-lion and Science, upon notice:

(1)   How many persons of Aboriginal blood are on Commonwealth Aboriginal study grants to the value of S 1,200 per annum.

(2)   Of all these how many are (a) at universities in each Stale Cb) at colleges of advanced education or institutes of technology in each State and (c) nf mature age doing matriculation and leaving or their equivalent in each Slate.

(3)   What other courses come into the eligible field for such grunts.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer io the honourable members question is as follows:

(1)   Complete information is available for 1969, the first year of the scheme's operation. In that year, 114 students received assistance under the scheme. Not all students receive (be same benefits and I .shall give details in the latter part nf this answer.

(2)   and <3) In addition to the courses listed by the honourable member in hi* question, the scheme also provides assistance to persons of Aboriginal descent lo take other tertiary and subtertiary course- at technical colleges, agricultural colleges and teachers' colleges, and other courses which will give them a technical skill, for example, secretarial and typing courses. In 1969 the numbers taking the various courses were:


The benefits available under the Aboriginal Study Grant* Scheme are not fined at $1,200 per annum. For students in full-time courses each grant provides a living allowance of up to SI. 1 00 a year, reimbursement for the cost of textbooks and equipment up lo $100 a year, and payment of compulsory fees. Married scholars may also qualify for allowances of $7 a week for a dependent wife and $2.50 a week for each dependent child. Fulltime students who must live away from home in order to attend college may be paid the cost of the return journey from their home to the college up to three times a year. Study Grants for part-time and external students cover (a) the payment of compulsory fees, (b) an allowance of $100 a year towards the cost of textbooks, equipment and other expenses associated with the course, and (c) the cost of travel and accommodation associated with residential schools. In all cases there is provision for the payment of additional assistance is cases of hardship.

Arbitration: Jurisdiction of Commissioner (Question No. 458) Mr Clyde Cameron asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   Did a dispute recently occur al Cockatoo Dock when the employer refused to grant aluminium welders the same rates as those prescribed by the Public Service Arbitrator's determination for similar work at Garden Island and Williamstown.

(2)   ls il a fact that the employer forced the Boilermakers' and Blacksmiths' Society of Australia lo lake the dispute to Commissioner Winter for arbitration, but then objected to the Commissioner hearing the matter on the grounds that he had no jurisdiction to determine a dispute occurring withing the boundaries nf one State.

(3)   ls it a fan that, within a few hours of the Commissioner's jurisdiction being challenged, the employees threatened to strike unless their claims were met in full and that, within 4 hours of such threat, the employer acceded to the Union's claim.

(4)   ls ii in the public interest that Commissioners should be prohibited from arbitrating on disputes that do not extend beyond the boundaries of one Slate.

(5)   If not, will he give consideration to stating, a case to the High Court for a review of its earlier decisions on the Commission's power to settle intrastate disputes, especially those that arise out of defects in, or omissions from, an award made in settlement of what was originally an interstate dispute.

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The Boilermakers' and Blacksmiths' Society notified the Commission under Section 28 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act of a dispute between it and Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Co. Pty Ltd in which the society was claiming rates for aluminium welding as apply at the Garden Island Dockyard. During the hearing before Commissioner Winter, the representative of the Company opposed the union approach to having the claim determined by Section 28 notification. The company apparently believed that the claim was of such a nature that it should be the subject of an application to vary the award. The company indicated to the Commission that it would accept short notice of an application to vary the award. On this basis, the hearing of issues involved proceeded

(3)   On 9th March, the Commissioner concluded that the application must fail in the form in which it was made. On the following day, a meeting took place between workers' representatives and management at which management said that it had been established to the company's satisfaction that there was no longer a connection as to wage rates with Garden Island and the company then agreed to pay the rates sought as an over-award payment from 6th February, 1970.

(4)   In my view, the Commission is best placed to judge how particular disputes before it are dealt with. It is a matter of law that the Commission's jurisdiction extends only to interstate industrial disputes.

(5)   I would not propose to initiate action along the lines referred to by the honourable member.

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