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Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Page: 1136

Senator WONG (Minister for Climate Change and Water) (4:50 PM) —The government’s view is that the protection in this section is focused on protection against dismissal. We note that prejudicial variation to working conditions could prima facie breach freedom of association protections and there are significant penalties for such breaches in those circumstances. We do not support this amendment. In respect of amendment (14), we believe the position the government has put in relation to the bill reflects an appropriate balance. I again indicate that these were provisions discussed with both employer and employee parties to the NWRCC—the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council—and the Committee on Industrial Legislation.