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Wednesday, 25 September 2002
Page: 4823

Senator MURRAY (11:47 AM) —I move Democrats amendment (2) on sheet 2621 Revised:

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 4 (after line 2), insert:

Note: The issue of whether or not a negotiating party is genuinely trying to reach agreement with the other negotiating parties was considered by Justice Munro in Australian Industry Group v Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union, Print T1982.

Senator Sherry, you were a bit grudging about the previous amendment: it actually ripped the heart out of the bill! The minister was rather kind, because he should have walked over and given me a poke in the eye for doing so!

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Lightfoot)—That would be unparliamentary, Senator Murray.

Senator MURRAY —It would, I suppose! The trouble with Hansard is that it does not show amusement, which I was trying to convey. Returning to the amendment before us, what I have done there is attempt to address the issue of the Justice Munro decisions. There is an important precedent within the Workplace Relations Act whereby the act frequently uses a device I would call signposting. The effect of Democrats amendment (2) on sheet 2621 is to signpost the act with a note which refers to the Justice Munro decision on whether agreement is reached genuinely. Senators would be aware that a note is not law; it is just a note and a signpost, but it is designed to ensure that the commission and those who use the act refer to that relevant issue.