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Tuesday, 18 May 1965

Senator GORTON (Victoria) (Minister for Works) . - As I understand it, subsections (1.) and (2.) of proposed section 109a provide that if a dispute is pending, that is, if there is notification between employer and employee that there may be a dispute, before application may be made to the Commonwealth Industrial Court for an injunction against the dispute or for a mandamus for the stopping of a dispute, notification must have been made to the Court by the employer to the effect that a dispute is in the offing. The notification must have been made without delay or, if there has been delay there must have been reasonable cause for the delay, and 14 days must elapse for conciliation processes to take place.

The Bill did not intend to allow breaches of the award, as distinct from threatened breaches of the award, to take place without having the laws as they exist at the present moment applied to actual breaches. The provision to which the honorable senator refers was inserted to take care of cases in which an actual breach had occurred, where there had been a dispute but when persons sought to approach the Industrial Court for an injunction or a mandamus the breach was no longer in operation because the people who had committed it had gone back to work. It was felt that with certain unions, or possibly with certain leadership of unions, a situation could occur in which there was a breach, followed by an approach to the Industrial Court, upon which the breach would cease to be in operation, and immediately the approach to the Court was stopped there would be another breach, followed by another approach to the Court. This provision, as I understand it, was inserted to cope with the possibility of such a situation as that arising.

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