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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 2713

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(9.00) —by leave-I move:

(1) Page 6, clause 11, leave out the clause, insert the following clause:

Bounty not payable if ship detained

``11. (1) If the Minister becomes satisfied that a voyage of a ship is being prevented or delayed by an activity of an organisation of employees for reasons relating directly or indirectly to the repair of ships, the Minister may, by writing signed by the Minister, declare that bounty shall cease to be payable.

``(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, bounty is not payable in respect of any eligible repair commenced while a declaration is in force.

``(3) For the purposes of sub-section (2), where the dry-docking of a ship for the purpose of a known eligible repair being carried out has been commenced (whether or not it has been completed), that known eligible repair shall be taken to have been commenced.

``(4) Where a declaration is in force during the service period of a repairer for the purposes of a service contract, paragraph 10 (3) (f) does not apply in relation to eligible repairs carried out by that repairer pursuant to that contract during that service period.''.

(2) Page 23, after clause 36 insert the following new clause:


``36a. Sections 23, 25, 26 and 28 do not operate so as to render unlawful anything done, or omitted to be done, before the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.''.

The principal amendment, which has been circulated, is redrafted clause 11 of the Bounty (Ship Repair) Bill 1986 and gives power to suspend bounties should the union's ship repair detention campaign be recommenced. I mentioned in the second reading debate that a pre-condition to the implementation of the $6m bounty assistance package to the ship repair industry was the agreement by the relevant unions to end their ship detention campaign, Clause 11 of the Bill is designed to ensure that that agreement is upheld. The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, in its most recent Alert Digest, commented that the application of the clause was cast too broadly as it had the potential to affect ship repairers who have had no part in, or control over, any industrial action which might trigger suspension of the bounty.

The proposed amendment addresses this criticism and seeks to provide a savings provision for work in progress at the date of declaration of suspending the bounty. This will ensure that ship repairers will not be deprived of bounty while a declaration is in force if the relevant repair work was commenced prior to the date of the declaration. I make it clear, however, that any work commenced by any repairer while a declaration is in force will not be eligible for the bounty. To do otherwise would negate the purpose of this package.

The other amendment proposes the insertion into the Bill of new clause 36a to provide that the offence provisions of clauses 23, 25, 26 and 28 of the Bill will not operate so as to render unlawful anything done, or omitted to be done, before the day on which this Bill receives Royal Assent. The absence of such a provision was also brought to the attention of the Government in the recent Alert Digest of the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills. The Government concurs with the view of the Committee and proposes the amendment to correct the position.