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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4535

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for External Territories, upon notice:

(1)   When was the attention of the Administration of Papua New Guinea drawn to International Labour Organisation Conventions No. 47 - FortyHour Week, 1935 and No. 112- Minimum Wage (Fishermen), 1959, which were ratified by Australia on 22n.d October 1970 and 15th June 1971 respectively;

(2)   What steps have been taken to apply each convention to New Guinea and Papua.

Mr Barnes (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for External Territories) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) As indicated in my answer to the honourable member's question No. 2874 (page 1707 of House of Representatives Hansard for 29th September 1971) the texts of all International Labour Organisation Instruments are, as a matter of practice, brought to the attention of the Administration of Papua New Guinea as they are adopted. lt is currently expected that the Australian Government will reserve its decision with respect to the application of Convention No. 47 to Papua New Guinea. In the view of the the Administrator's Executive Council it would be inappropriate to accept the principle of a 40-hour week for Papua at this stage of the country's development.

As advised in my reply to the honourable member's question No. 3399, there is close conformity between the law and practice of Papua New Guinea and Convention No. 112. The question of the declarations to be made in respect to Papua New Guinea is currently under consideration.

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