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Where's the bill, honest John



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MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

After promising on numerous occasions that he would release his industrial relations legislation, Mr Howard is back pedaling furiously.

First he said he couldn't produce his bill "for one simple reason" - he does not have access to the resources of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. The Government says that this can be arranged and an offer to make those resources available is made.

Then Mr Howard declines. He found another reason: "No other Opposition has ever produced a bill like that and there is no way we are going to", The Australian, 12 November.

Caught out again Mr Howard!

On 2 March 1990, Senator Fred Chaney, then Opposition spokesperson on Industrial Relations, released details of an Industrial Relations Amendment Bill 1990 "to allow fundamental changes to the way unions are formed and operate in Australia."

Senator Chaney publicised these details as being an "essential element" of the Coalition's industrial relations policy.

Senator Chaney also introduced legislation in the Senate on 16 August 1989 - the Industrial Relations Directions to Stop Industrial Action Bill 1989.

On 18 November 1987, Senator Chaney introduced the Conciliation and Arbitration (Compliance Provisions) Amendment Bill 1987.

So according to Mr Howard, "No other Opposition has ever produced a bill . . . the more I have thought about it, it is , just ridiculous."

It wasn't so ridiculous in 1987 or 1989 or 1990.

Contact: Ashley Mason 06 2777 320

SENATOR PETER CC

WHERE'S THE

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH