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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2799

Senator PANIZZA —My question is directed to the Minister for Industrial Relations. I refer the Minister to the call by the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Mr Crean, to increase value adding opportunities in Australia. In light of this call, I ask the Minister whether he is aware of the actions of the Western Australian branch of the Printing and Kindred Industries Union in trying to wreck the proposed straw pulp and paper mill at Moora in Western Australia before it gets off the ground. If so, what is he doing about it?

Senator COOK —I must say that I am not aware of what Senator Panizza regards as actions of the Printing and Kindred Industries Union in, as he terms it, wrecking a project before it gets off the ground. My understanding is that for projects to be developed there is a requirement, first of all, that the project developers want to go ahead because there is a commercial opportunity; secondly, that there be no environmental or other site development problems; and, thirdly, that the construction phase can be commenced.

  The Printing and Kindred Industries Union is a union which covers employees in the production phase, which comes only when the project is up and running. The honourable senator is talking about a project which is prospective in character. While I am not particularly aware of the specific details he refers to, I speculate aloud that it is hard to see how a production phase union can prevent a construction project getting off the ground.

Senator PANIZZA —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Obviously, the Minister for Industrial Relations is totally unaware of the actions of that union. Will he inquire into those actions and report back to the Senate?

Senator COOK —I will certainly look into the question. If the honourable senator, with his immense knowledge of this subject, has any particular knowledge that would benefit my examination, I would be grateful if he would supply it to me.