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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1298

Senator COTTON (New South WalesMinister for Civil Aviation) - I have a number of notes here that we shall no doubt take a little time to go through. We are dealing with clause 3. I do not think I aid the processes of information if I read it out. It is before those honourable senators who are still disposed to be here to consider this matter. I have the following comments which bear upon the queries raised by Senator Cavanagh and Senator Bishop. Replying first to Senator Cavanagh, notwithstanding that section 28 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act is in general terms, where there is a special Act such as the Public Service Arbitration Act, the one now being dealt with, concerning part of the field of the general Act, the general Act must be read down to exclude the area covered by the special Act.

Senator Bishop'squestion goes to proposed section 12b, which is in clause 4 of the Bill. We have some notes on that. Probably it would be better to deal with this - I think Senator Bishop would agree - when we come to clause 4 of the Bill. The Public Service Arbitration Act does not apply to all Commonwealth employees. Where it does not apply, the Conciliation and Arbitration Act applies. Thus, there is a reference in section 41 (a) of that Act to Commonwealth employees to whom that Act applies, for example, certain employees of the Snowy Mountains Authority and the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. The Public Service as defined in the Public Service Arbitration Act is outside the operations of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. Before the luncheon break senators had produced and read for them notes dealing with comments offered. 1 cannot see that it would aid them or me if I were to read those notes again, although I am prepared to do so if that would help. Do Senator Bishop or Senator Cavanagh want me to do that?

Senator Bishop - May 1 interrupt by asking whether the Minister can answer clearly, as Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson failed to do, the question circulated by the unions and ourselves, that in respect to disputes occurring outside the Commonwealth Public Service the Arbitrator can stand down employees or officers of the Commonwealth Service. I should be grateful if the Minister can answer that.

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