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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1305

Senator COTTON (New South WalesMinister for Civil Aviation) - Because obviously we are engaged in a protracted exercise here I am perfectly content to respond to Senator Bishop with the information which is currently available. Then, Senator Cavanagh might like to make his observations. I am quite relaxed about it. The Arbitrator has to hear the parties to these industrial situations. He has not unlimited discretion. He is given the responsibility of calling the parties before him and trying to reach a settlement. He is given power to tell unions not to engage in industrial actions. He is given power to deal with the issues in dispute. He is given power to deal with other applications which may be made before him. So, as the Minister for Labor and National Service (Mr Lynch) pointed out in his second reading speech, management might ask the arbitrator to order the standing down of employees who cannot be gainfully employed because of a strike or to order the standing down of employees who refuse to do their duties. Equally, however, a union could ask that some claim or other be dealt with and be resolved. What remedy is used by the Arbitrator or what course he takes is up to him to decide.

Contrary to what Senator Bishop has said the Bill itself does not provide for the standing down of employees. If that remedy is sought from the Arbitrator, it must be the Arbitrator who decides the matter after hearing the parties, including the union or unions involved.

I have been provided with some additional information which bears a little on the latter part of Senator Bishop's observations. The language of section 29 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act is different from the language of the Public Service Arbitration Bill because of the circumstances. For example, the parties are different and different language therefore is needed. But the substance of the provisions is identical. In cither case, the Commissioner or the Arbitrator can summon any person to appear at a compulsory conference.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Cant - Order! Before calling Senator Cavanagh I remind the Committee that clause 3 and clause 3 only is before the Committee.

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