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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr Whitlam m asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice -

1.   What sections of the Navigation Act 1912- 1958 must be proclaimed before Australia can ratify the following International Labor Organization conventions: -

(a)   No. 23- Repatriation of Seamen, 1923;

(b)   No. 58-Minimum Age (Sea) (Revised), 1936;

(c)   No. 69- Certification of Ships' Cooks, 1946;

(d)   No. 73 - Medical Examination (Seafarers), 1946;

(e)   No. 74 - Certification of Able Seamen, 946; and

(f)   No. 92- Accommodation of Crews (Re vised), 1949.

2.   When will these sections be proclaimed?

3.   What State legislation must be introduced or amended before Australia can ratify these conventions?

4.   On what occasions and with what results has the Commonwealth conferred or corresponded with the States concerning this legislation?

Mr Opperman (CORIO, VICTORIA) (Minister for Shipping and Transport) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Proclamation of the following sections of the Navigation Act 1958 and the promulgation of the necessary Regulations to be made thereunder would mean that Commonwealth legislation would be in accord with the provisions of the International Labor Organization Conventions set out below against those sections -

Section. Convention.

22.   No. 58- Minimum Age (Sea) (Revised) 1936.

76.   No. 69 - Certification of Ships' Cooks, 1946.

78.   No. 73 - Medical Examination (Seafarers) 1946.

26.   No. 74 - Certification of Able Seamen, 1946.

As far as the Commonwealth is concerned the requirements of Conventions Nos. 23 and 92 are already met by the provisions of the Navigation

Act as now in force, but in respect of No. 23 the necessary regulations have not yet been promulgated.

2.   It is intended to proclaim Sections 22, 26, 76 and 78 of the Navigation Act 1958 when the necessary regulations are made.

3.   The question of the introduction or amendment of any State legislation for the purposes of the Conventions is a matter for determination by the States concerned. 4. (a) Convention No. 23 is in such terms that the States are not concerned. (b) In accordance with the provisions of Article 405 of Part XIII. of the Treaty of Versailles, the text of Convention No. 58 was referred to the States in June, 1937, for consideration of the question of giving effect to its provisions. (c) In accordance with the provisions of Article 19 of the I.L.O. Constitution, the texts of Conventions Nos. 69, 73 and 74 were referred to the States in April, 1948, for consideration as to ratification. Similar action was taken in March, 1950, in respect of Convention No. 92. The replies received indicated that in no case was ratification possible under the existing State legislation. All these conventions were again considered, as part of the comprehensive review of all I.L.O. conventions not ratified by Australia, undertaken by the Departments of Labour Advisory Committee at its meeting in April, 1960. It was again agreed that ratification was not yet possible.

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