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Tuesday, 18 May 1965

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) . - When Senator Murphy raised certain criticisms I thought that the Minister for Works (Senator Gorton) would examine them and provide an appropriate answer. I am convinced that Senator Murphy's point has been well made. It is evident that in the light of decisions of the Commonwealth Industrial Court applications may be made outside the period of 12 months. That being so, it would be futile for the trade union movement to accept the restriction or prohibition that is now proposed. Senator Murphy has directed our attention to three decisions on the matter. I repeat that we should have expected the Minister to explain the reasons for the inclusion in the Bill of proposed new sub-section (4.) of section 119. If any explanation that the Minister may offer is not contrary to the views expressed by Senator Murphy, I suggest that the Bill should be agreed to without this amending provision and that the provision be considered separately. I suggest that this would be the proper procedure to adopt.

I am certainly not a legally trained person, but I have had some experience with arbitration awards. Having listened to the debate, I agree with Senator Murphy that the Opposition and the trade union movement would be making a great mistake by accepting such a situation. It seems to me that this matter would not have been canvassed during the tripartite discussions in the form in which it is now being canvassed. I cannot imagine, in a discussion between the Government, the employers and the employees, the A.C.T.U. agreeing to a provision which prohibits and cancels out something which the unions have got elsewhere. Having heard Senator Murphy describe the circumstances that applied when he was acting for the Meat Industry Union, it seems to me that the logical course would be for the Government to withdraw the amendment and deal with it separately on another occasion. At least, I would like the Minister to make some comment on the matter raised by Senator Murphy.

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