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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1316


Senator BISHOP (South Australia) - To some extent proposed section 12e has been canvassed because it is related to other proposed sections. I refer particularly to proposed section 12e (3.). I think I should re-state very quickly the opinion of the unions and the Opposition, lt has been stated by the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton) and in the other place that proposed section 12e, which applies to a compulsory conference, is the same as the provision contained in section 29 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. In our opinion, it is quite different. The

Minister has made some comment on it - or his advisers have told him what their opinion is. He may want to say something else. Proposed section 12e (3.) states:

A direction under sub-section (1.) of this section may be given to any person whose presence at the conference the Arbitrator or Deputy Arbitrator thinks is likely to conduce to putting an end to, or preventing the occurrence of, the industrial situation.

That is what is proposed. Section 29 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act reads:

In determining the persons to whom directions arc given under the last preceding sub-section, the Commissioner shall take into consideration the persons having the highest degree of authority, on behalf of the parties to the industrial dispute, to negotiate for the settlement of the dispute.

That Act recognises the well established principle that registered unions have a status and have to be recognised. Although the departments or the managers might not like the unions, they are forced by law to consult the officers who have the greatest authority. The proposed section uses different terms. The direction under proposed section 12e (3.) 'may be given to any person whose presence at the conference the Arbitrator or Deputy Arbitrator thinks is likely to conduce to putting an end to, Or preventing the occurrence of, the industrial situation'. In the opinion of the unions, that is a very weak sub-section because it may result in the development of relations which are not consistent with the standard of relations that have obtained until now.







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