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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - If Senator E. J. Russell will turn to clause 21 he will find a full explanation of the position of marine engine-drivers under this Bill. Clause 21 deals with State certificates of competency. It provides in sub-clause 1 that-

All uncancelled and unexpired certificates of competency for masters or ships' officers issued under any State Act shall continue as if issued under this Act, but shall be valid only for the purposes for which, and to the extent to which, they would have been valid in accordance with the provisions of the State Act under which they were issued.

The honorable senator has pointed out that a. marine engine-driver's certificate in Victoria enables a man to drive a marine engine inside Port Phillip Bay, or to take the vessel outside the Heads. When this Bill comes into force he will be able to do precisely the same.

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - Suppose that a man wanted to obtain a certificate under the Commonwealth?

Senator PEARCE - His status would not be interfered with by this Bill. He would retain all that he has at present. The next two sub-clauses make the point still clearer -

2.   Any such certificate may be dealt with as if issued under this Act.

3.   The holder of any certificate may, subject to any prescribed restrictions and limitations, surrender it for a certificate of a similar or corresponding grade under this Act.

If the honorable senator's contention that marine engine-drivers' certificates in Victoria are equal to third class engineers' certificates be correct, then, under subclause 3 of clause 21, they will be able to surrender their marine engine-drivers' certificates and get third-class engineers' certificates for them; but, of course, if their certificates are not of equal value the honorable senator would not hold that they should be able to get a certificate of superior value in exchange.

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