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Tuesday, 6 November 1973

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) -My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate, representing the Prime Minister. I ask: Can the Minister tell the Senate whether the Government is aware of the fact that over the past 3 weeks there has been a power shortage in Victoria caused by the action of a few unionists who are seeking to secure their objective through industrial blackmail by holding the whole community to ransom? If the Government is so aware, does it also know that apart from general hardship unemployment has been caused to in excess of 40,000 workers, that a loss of wages in excess of $8m has occurred and that loss of production has been valued at in excess of $80m? Is the Government also aware that this shortage contributes to the growing scarcity of goods in so many areas thus feeding the inflationary situation? If the Government does know these things what action, if any, has it taken to bring the situation to an end and at least to try to give some effect and credibility to its pre-election promises that there would be less industrial disputation under a Labor Government?

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