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Thursday, 13 September 1984
Page: 959

Senator ELSTOB —My question is directed to Senator Button, who represents the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. I refer to the recent Commonwealth car drivers dispute in Canberra. Is the Minister aware that a written agreement of June 1977 in regard to appointment and promotion of Commonwealth drivers was broken by the Department of Administrative Services in June this year without any consultation with the Transport Workers Union? Considering the Government's policy of consultation and consensus on industrial matters, will the Minister inform the departmental heads or the people concerned in the Department of Administrative Services who caused the unnecessary strike by the Commonwealth car drivers that if they do not want to abide by the Government's policy they may find themselves looking for another job, instead of causing industrial disputes?

Senator BUTTON —I am not aware of the details of the alleged breaking of an agreement by officers of the Department of Administrative Services in the course of negotiations with Commonwealth car drivers. I will make an inquiry of the Minister regarding this matter and provide Senator Elstob with an answer as soon as possible.