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Thursday, 2 December 1971
Page: 4103


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   What percentage of total man-days lost through industrial disputes occurred in industries covered by Federal awards during the past 20 years.

(2)   What action can the Commonwealth take to deal with man-days lost through industrial stoppages in industries covered by State awards, determinations or agreements.


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

(1)   The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that the particulars obtained in the collection of statistics of industrial disputes do not contain the degree- of detail which would enable the requested dissection to be made.

(2)   1 am advised that the Constitution of the Commonwealth provides no general power under which the Commonwealth could take action to deal with man-days lost through industrial stoppages in industries covered by State awards, determinations or agreements. However placitum (xxxv) of section51 of the Constitution empowers the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws with respect to conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State and under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, made in pursuance of that power, the Commonwealth

Conciliation and Arbitration Commission is empowered to prevent or settle by conciliation or arbitration disputes (including threatened, impending or probable disputes) as to industrial matters which extend beyond the limits of any one State, and situations which are likely to give rise to disputes as to industrial matters which so extend. If it appears to a Commissioner that industrial stoppages resulting from disputes concerning industrial matters in industries covered by State awards, determinations or agreements extend or are likely to extend beyond the limits of any one Slate, he is required by the Act immediately to ascertain the parties to the industrial disputes and the matters that form the subject of ' those disputes and to take such steps as he thinks fit for the prompt prevention or' settlement of' those disputes by conciliation or, if in his opinion conciliation . is unlikely to succeed or . has failed, by arbitration. Where an order, award, decision or determination of a State industrial authority is inconsistent with', or deals with a matter dealt with in. a valid Federal award,the latter prevails and the former, to the extent of. the inconsistency or in relation to the matter dealt with is invalid.







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