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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1813

Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - I am not sure whether the honourable member for Moreton (Mr Killen) was speaking with tongue in cheek or whether he intended to spend the time allotted to him to debate this clause in talking about himself. Clause 7 relates to section 6 of the principal Act and, as the honourable member rightly pointed out, it removes the distinction between a conciliation commissioner and an arbitration commissioner. However, from the way the honourable member put his proposition to the Committee one would think that this was of some significance when, in fact, all it is is a matter of semantics. The honourable member assured the Committee that he knew quite a deal about trade unions and their operations. That may be true - I am not prepared to argue it - but it is obvious he knows nothing about the Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904- 1972 because sub-section (3.) of section 6 states:

The Governor-General shall designate each Commissioner

That is, a Commissioner of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission - (including a Commissioner appointed before the commencement of this sub-section) either as an Arbitration Commissioner or as a Conciliation Commissioner, and-

The following are the pertinent words - may at any time alter the designation of a Commissioner.

From the way the honourable member for Moreton was speaking one would have thought that some special function was attached to a person designated as an arbitration commissioner and another special function or attribute attached to him who acted as a conciliation commissioner. The very Act to which the honourable member agreed simply leaves it to the Governor-General to decide which terminology shall be applied to which person. This Bill does not change the intent of anything that was intended in the principal Act. It seems to me that it is incumbent upon any member of the Opposition who opposes the Bill to make sure that his criticism of the Bill is based on fact and not on his own emotions. It is only in this way that the Committee will see the wisdom of the Bill now before it.

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