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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr BURY - To say that all is quiet would not be giving to the word " all " its proper significance, but there has been a vast improvement in respect of the number of work hours lost. If my recollection is correct the figure for February - and this was published recently in the Press - was about 1,750 hours. This was a little more than the figure for January but certainly much less than the figure for February last year and for the February figures in most previous years. Regarding handling equipment, I am not quite sure whether the honorable member means ship gear. If he does, I think my colleague the Minister for Shipping and Transport would be able to reassure him that his officers are continually striving to see that proper steps are takes in this regard and are persevering with that policy. Harbour facilities are being improved, although no doubt not nearly so fast as many of us would like. However, there is a steady improvement. The picture is certainly very much better than it was. Discussions are being held, under the chairmanship of Mr. Woodward, between the Waterside Workers Federation and employers, and we hope for progress as time proceeds.

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