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Thursday, 24 June 1937


Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

This is a very short measure containing merely two provisions, the second of which may be said to be divided into two small amendments. The first provision seeks to repeal section 4 of the principal act which reads as follows : -

4.   This part of this act shall apply to waterside workers atsuch ports in the Commonwealth as are specified by the Minister by notice in theGazette and to those ports.

At present certain ports have been specified, and this amendment seeks to name those ports, thus giving them that form of permanency which a statute gives as distinct from notification in the Gazette through ministerial authority. The ports named in this measure are exactly the same as those which have already been notified in the Gazette; no change will be effected in that respect.

The two parts of the second proposed amendment, which seek to amend section 12 of the principal act, are entirely ameliorative in character. It has been the subject of representations by the waterside workers to the Government, and in presenting this amendment, the Government is, indeed, doing what it has been requested to do. The first part of this amendmentrelates to sub-section 3, which reads -

3.   Where a licence issued to any person is cancelled under this section, the licensing officer by whom the licence is cancelled shall, by writing under his hand, fix a period, not being less than six months nor more than twelve months from the date of cancellation, during which the person shall be ineligible to receive a licence under this Part, and the person shall, subject to this Part, thereupon bo ineligible accordingly.

By that provision, a licensing officer cannot cancel a licence for a period of less than six months. The second part of the second proposed amendment relates to sub-section 6, which reads -

6.   Upon the hearing of an appeal the Court may as it thinks fit confirm the cancellation or order the restoration of the licence, or, where it confirms the cancellation, may vary the period during which the appellant is ineligible to receive a fresh licence, but so that the period of ineligibility is not less than six nor more than twelve, months.

A restraintis placed upon the licensing officer that he cannot suspend a licence for less than six months, and, further, if an aggrieved waterside worker appeals and is successful to the extent that he convinces the magistrate that his offence was of a triflng nature, the magistrate, none the less,cannot reduce the term of suspension to less than six months. Under the" proposed amendment, the licensing officer may cancel a waterside worker's licence for any period not less than one month, and the magistrate, on appeal, may vary the sentence so long as he does not reduce the period of suspension to less than one month. This provision is entirely ameliorative.

No hidden powers are sought under this measure, as will be clear to honorable senators from the explanation which I have just given. In these circumstances, I suggest that honorable senators should give the measure a speedy passage. The second provision is entirely in the interests of the men themselves, whilst the first provision is more in accordance with the spirit of this chamber because it puts into statute form what, up to this time, has been accomplished by administrative action.







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