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Tuesday, 29 May 1973
Page: 2732


Mr KEOGH (BOWMAN, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for Transport. Has his attention been drawn to reports that an agreement has been reached between trade unions and the management of Evans Deakin Industries Pty Ltd which should guarantee to Evans Deakin the Santa-Fe Drilling Co. oil rig contract and also future industrial harmony at its shipyard at Kangaroo Point? Can he give to the House any further information on this vitally important matter on which to a large degree the immediate future of the shipbuilding industry in Queensland depends?


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Mr Speaker, 1 raise a point of order. I believe that this is not a question without notice. In accordance with the Standing Orders the Minister should be given an opportunity to make a statement on this matter so that the future of the Evans Deakin shipyard may be property debated in the Parliament.


Ms SPEAKER - Order! No point of order is involved. The honourable member for Bowman is seeking information which comes within the Minister's portfolio.


Ms CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - Mr Speaker--


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Make it short.


Mr CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - I will endeavour to give the House all the facts. The position is that there have been meetings in Brisbane between trade unions and employees of Evans Deakin Industries Pty Ltd. There have been meetings also between the Queensland Trades and Labour Council, the unions and the management of Evans Deakin. The President of the Queensland Trades and Labour Council, Mr Egerton, has kept me fully informed about what is happening and what has taken place. As late as yesterday he telephoned me and told me that the unions and the management bad reached agreement and that he expects in future a much better understanding between the management of Evans Deakin and the unions involved with employees of that company. He is confident that the bad relationship which existed for many years will be overcome because of this better understanding between the employer and the unions. On this basis there is no reason in the world why the Santa-Fe Drilling Co. cannot place the order for an oil rig or why the shipyard should noi accept the order and get on with the job of building the rig.

Last week the Government gave both the Santa-Fe Drilling Co. and Evans Deakin an assurance that it would not require them to proceed with the bonding which the Santa-Fe Drilling Co. had required and that as a one-off decision and to ensure that Evans Deakin did get the order to build the oil drilling rig, the Government had agreed to what is commonly known in the shipbuilding world as a backtoback agreement. Under this agreement the Santa-Fe Drilling Co. will place an order with the Australian Shipbuilding Board to build a rig and the Board in turn will place an order with the Evans Deakin shipyard to build the rig. This will eliminate the need for a bonding. This was the system which prevailed for many years in the shipbuilding industry, which the former Government abandoned. To ensure thai Evans Deakin gets the job of building the rig the Government as a one-off decision decided to accept a back-to-back contract. This is just one of the numerous decisions which have been taken to ensure that Evans Deakin gets the Santa-Fe Drilling Co. oil rig contract and is not forced into a position where, either voluntarily or otherwise, it baa to close the yard.







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