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Thursday, 20 September 1973
Page: 1386


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - I rise to support the position being adopted by the Government on this issue. I think I would be in agreement with most of the speakers, certainly those from this side of the chamber. The honourable member for Wakefield (Mr Kelly) was coming to a point of commonsense on the matter. I think that the time of the House in speaking on this matter is being wasted completely by the Opposition digging its toes in.


The CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes - Order! I have just asked the honourable member for Wakefield not to deal with that question. The question before the Chair is that the subsections proposed to be omitted from clause 54 be so omitted.


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - That is correct, Mr Chairman. I am just making the observation that the time of the House is being wasted by the puerile arguments being put by honourable members opposite. What we are talking about on this occasion is the appointment of arbitration inspectors. Section 125 of the principal Act says:

Inspectors may be appointed for the purpose of securing the observance of thu Act and the regulations and of awards.

It is already in the Act. It is being argued that there is some disputation about whether the Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) ought to appoint them or whether they ought to be appointed by the Public Service Board. It has been said that the Government is going to establish Clyde's Own Corps, Dad's Army and jobs for the boys. Those are pretty specious arguments because they bear no relevance to the fact at all. If this Government wanted to create jobs for the boys - it does not want to - it would find that over the last 23 years it could find a beautiful precedent. To suggest it will happen in this case takes away from the argument that is being put. The point of it, as I see it, is that arbitration inspectors are very important people and they perform-


Mr Lynch - What about Ian Sharp?


Mr Innes - You would not be game to say that outside the House, Phil. Why do you not repeat it outside?


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - What did he say?


Mr Innes - He was talking about Ian Sharpe.


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - Well, if He is going to use that sort of attitude I am sure that his own history will not bear much investigation. The role of arbitration inspectors in this area is a very important one. Unlike honourable members opposite, I have worked in industry for many years. I know the importance of these sorts of functions and I know that those who fulfil this very important role ought to be drawn from the very broad spectrum available in the community. To suggest that they should be drawn only from the Public Service is fallacious. I think it does a disservice to the very important functions that the inspectors are expected to fulfil. The role of an inspector should not be restricted. The Minister is responsible for the Act and the administration of it. I can see no justifiable reason for the Opposition putting forward the proposition that the responsibility for the appointment of these people ought to be taken away from the Minister. It seems to me that this is the proper place for it to lie. The Opposition has been dragging red herrings across the course. We have heard about Dad's Army. I think it was one of the corporals from Dad's Army who put up that argument. These expressions - Clyde's Own Corps, Dad's Army and jobs for the boys - have been mentioned as red herrings by the conservatives in our community who now sit on the other side of this chamber.


Mr Barnard - They are not serious about jobs for the boys, are they?


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - Yes, they are. I am just being distracted by some pretty intelligent interjections, Mr Chairman. Honourable members opposite use those sorts of expressions to try to destroy this legislation. For the life of me I cannot understand the motivation of honourable members opposite. It seems to be practical that clause 54 should remain in the Bill. I support it. I support the Minister's stand on this matter. I trust that Opposition members will not be stubborn and pig headed about it and will not dig their toes in to such an extent as to prevent the passage through this Parliament of this very fine Bill.


Mr Killen - I move:

That the question be put.


Mr Lynch - I claim to have been misrepresented.


The CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes - The question is that the question be put.


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - May I raise a point of order on that?


The CHAIRMAN - No. The honourable member may not raise a point of order. When the motion is moved that the question be put, it must be put forthwith.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


The CHAIRMAN - The question is: That the sub-sections proposed to be omitted stand part of the Bill.'

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 54 agreed to.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 6.

Section 5 of the Principal Act is amended -

(a)   by inserting after paragraph (e) of sub-section <1) the following word and paragraph: "; or (f) being an officer delegate or member of an organization, has done, or proposes to do, an act or thing, in an industrial establishment or elsewhere, for the purpose of furthering or protecting the industrial Interests of the organization or of its members, being an act or thing done within the limits of authority expressly or impliedly conferred on him by the organization.";

(b)   by inserting after paragraph (b) of sub-section <1a) the following word and paragraph: "; or (c) with intent to dissuade the employee, being an officer, delegate or member of an organization, from doing an act or thing of the kind in relation to which paragraph (f) of sub-section (1) applies."; and

(c)   by inserting after sub-section (2) the following sub-sections: " (2a) In the prosecution for an offence arising under paragraph (f) of sub-section (1), it is a defence if the employer satisfies the court that -

(a)   the act or thing done or proposed to be done by the employee was or would have been unlawful under the civil or criminal law, otherwise than by reason only of its being a breach of the contract of employment; and

(b)   the conduct of the employer that is tre subject of the charge was reasonably justified by reason of the unlawful nature of the act or thing referred to in paragraph (a) of this sub-section. " (2b) In a prosecution for an offence arising under paragraph (c) sub-section (1a), it is a defence If the employer satisfies the court that -

(a)   the act or thing which the employer intended to dissuade or prevent the employee from doing would have been unlawful under the civil or criminal law, otherwise than by reason only of its being a breach of a contract of employment; and

(b)   the conduct of the employer that is the subject of the charge was reasonably justified by reason of the unlawful nature of the act or thing referred to in paragraph (a) of this sub-section. " (3) A reference in this section to an orga nization shall be read as including a reference to a branch of an organization.".







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