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Wednesday, 16 November 1983
Page: 2815

Mr MACPHEE(6.06) —I must respond briefly to the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations (Mr Willis). I ask the Minister to think about this and to respond. In relation to the first amendment, because it is a career service and jobs are advertised outside the career structure, a person in the career service could feel aggrieved at what is now called lateral recruitment whereby somebody comes in at a much higher level than has often been the practice in the Public Service. The person in the service could get the support of his Public Service union against the person recruited from outside the service. The result is that an industrial dispute arises. Instead of the matter being resolved by the public sector appeals mechanism and, therefore, by a management process, it could be resolved, as I understand the Conciliation and Arbitration Amendment Bill (No. 2), by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. It is in that sense, and only in that sense, that it seems to the Opposition that the Commission could end up resolving a dispute by interfering with the appointment or promotion of someone within the career structure. I ask the Minister to consider that matter.

In respect of the second amendment to clause 14, I concede that sub-clause (2) which I seek to have inserted is not necessary for the reason the Minister has stated. It was originally inserted into the Public Service Arbitration Act because of a High Court of Australia decision which cast doubt on the power of the Public Service Arbitrator to make the stand-down orders or the orders referred to in sub-section (2) which I seek to have inserted. Proposed new sub- sections (3) to (8) relate to the nature of the orders which follow a stand-down order. They seek to limit the power of the Commission in the way in which it makes an order. That was done, I am informed, at the request of the Public Service Board. The Minister might like to inform the Committee whether the Board has changed its mind, but I am informed that these provisions were sought at the request of the Board because it thought they helped it in the implementation of its responsibilities under its own legislation. I do not doubt that the Cabinet of the day also thought that these provisions were useful as a means of putting pressure on the public sector to perform its obligations better in the career structure so that people recognised what they might lose by way of entitlements if an order for stand-down were made and that these provisions would assist in the early resolution of the matter, at least in terms of any direct industrial acton. It is not that we misunderstood the position. It is just that, in the view of the Opposition, the Government has not given adequate reasons for not including those two provisions which have characterised this part of the jurisdiction. Otherwise, we would ordinarily embrace the principle that what applies to the public sector ought also apply to the private sector.