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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1791

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - The alleged sincerity of the Leader of the House (Mr Daly) evokes no response from honourable members on this side of the House. In fact we are totally and completely opposed to the manner in which the Government is seeking to make a complete .farce of what it alleges to be one of the most important pieces of industrial legislation it has brought down. This is a mockery of the procedures of the House, and it exposes the industrial legislation for the sham which it is. It is all very well for the

Minister to give us the details of the average periods of time in which conciliation and arbitration measures have been debated since 1951.

Mr Jacobi - How much did you allow us?

Mr LYNCH - I will come to that if the honourable member will restrain himself for a moment. I am only surprised that the Minister did not go back to 1904, which would have been equally as irrelevant. The Minister knows full well, because he conveniently has overlooked it, that when the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1972 was debated in this House, in the second reading stage the former Government permitted 25 honourable members to speak covering some Si hours of debate. During the Committee stage some Hi hours of debate were allowed. What the Government is now seeking to do on this occasion is to provide for only one-half the number of speakers and markedly to reduce the amount of debating time.

Mr Giles - They are scared stiff.

Mr LYNCH - Of course they are scared stiff, because the Bill is a sham. It is one of the worst pieces of draftsmanship that has come into this House. That might well be the case because I understand it was drafted outside the House by one of the Government's counsel in New South Wales. The simple fact is that it is not possible - it is impossible - to deal with this Bill in any meaningful fashion. The fact that the Government has the hide to bring down a motion of this type indicates full well that it knows that the legislation is regarded outside this House for what it is - a sham. This is the most sectional legislation in the industrial area which any government has ever brought down. The Minister sought to make, a comparison with past conciliation and arbitration measures, and I am glad that he raised this analogy. He knows full well that not one piece of legislation brought down by previous Labor administrations - I refer to the Chifley and the Evatt administrations in the Commonwealth, and the Cahill administration in. New South Wales - sought to take from the conciliation and arbitration area the concept of penalties against the use of the strike weapon. Not one piece of that legislation sought to confer civil immunity on trade unions. Certainly not one piece of legislation sought to build into the trade union movement the vested interest which it undoubtedly will acquire under the terms of the legislation now proposed.

The manner in which the Government has dealt with this legislation is revealing, not simply for what the Bill includes but for the various concepts which it seeks deliberately to exclude. The Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) who is in charge of this Bill knows that he has totally ignored the concept of public interest and the responsibilities of the principal parties in industrial relations. Not a word was mentioned about strike action because, of course, the Government is unconcerned about the effect of strike action on the general community. It could not care less about the nature of public interest. In fact the Minister for Labour is on record as supporting strike action. Inflation is another major area which the Minister conveniently has ignored. In summary, the procedures now laid down make a mockery and a farce of this legislation. I can understand why the Government seeks to do this because the legislation itself is a mockery and a farce, but the Opposition will not be party to dealing in this fashion with a 67-clause Bill covering some 24 pages. The Opposition totally and vigorously opposes the motion which has been moved.

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