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Thursday, 5 April 1979

Mr STREET (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Industrial Relations) - It is true that in 1972, 1 think it was, an amendment was made to the Conciliation and Arbitration Act which divided the powers of conciliation and arbitration. I must say that whilst the principle established by that change to the Act sounded good, it was not very successful in practice. Circumstances have changed, and the point raised by the right honourable member in relation to wage decisions which generate pressures for increases outside national wage case hearings, is causing particular concern to the Government. As I understood his question, there are two elements to it. The first relates to the division of conciliation and arbitration powers which, as I said, has been tried and was not successful in practice. The second relates to the principle that once guidelines are established by a Full Bench decision, certain processes should follow. That is an interesting point and I would be prepared to consider it carefully.

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