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Thursday, 24 February 1977
Page: 518

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, upon notice:

(1)   Is the Government proposing to amend the Conciliation and Arbitration Act so as to remove from the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission power to deal with industrial disputes relating to wages.

(2)   Does the Government propose that all wage claims should in future be settled by collective bargaining.

(   3) If so, will these proposals mean an end to the system of wage indexation which has been implemented by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.

(4)   Does the Government propose to legislate to regulate collective bargaining pursuant to the trade and commerce power, the corporations power and the territories power; if so, what is to be the form of the proposed legislation.

(5)   What is the precise status of International Labour Organisation Convention No. 98 which relates to collective bargaining and which was ratified by the Australian Government in 1973 and entered into force in 1974.

(6)   Does the Government propose to enact machinery legislation to give effect to the provisions ofILO Convention No. 98; if so, will this conflict with any legislation proposed to regulate collective bargaining.

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

(1)   to (4) The Government is not currently proceeding with any such legislation.

(5)   By ratifying ILO Convention No. 98-Right of Association and Collective Bargaining, 1949, the Commonwealth Government entered into what amounts to an international treaty obligation to give effect to the provisions of the instrument in Australia. Because the Convention is partly within the legislative competence of both the Commonwealth and State Parliaments, the agreement of the six State Governments was sought and obtained for ratification.

(6)   As the law and practice in all jurisdictions, both Commonwealth and State, complies with the requirements of Convention No. 98 already, there is no necessity, nor intention, to enact legislation to implement the provisions of the instrument.

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