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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2259

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) - I will not take too much longer because I know that this is a long debate. I also wish to refer to proposed section 31(l.)(e) which relates to agreements that make provision for or alter a provision for annual leave or long service leave. One of the first bases for long service leave was promoted by the Chamber of Manufactures, organised employers generally and the trade union movement and later was incorporated in legislation. One of the best exercises in industrial relations took place during those years when I happened to be secretary of the Trades and Labour Council in South Australia. By agreement, the employers and the unions effected a basic form of long service leave which has now become almost universal. It was an example of the relationships which can be formed between the workers and the bosses.

These sorts of matters ought to be able to run along normally. That is the sort of position which ought to obtain - not the restrictions which this Government now seeks to impose. I can see no reason for the extensions of responsibility, other than the position which we outlined in our speeches in the second reading debate. The Government is setting up what almost amounts to a pentagon of task forces. The Minister says that with these task forces the Commission will work more efficiently. All that will happen is that bit by bit the activities of the trade union movement will become more circumscribed and its liberties will be reduced. Of course, the effect will be that the ability of the Commission to make awards which are in conformity with the objectives of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act will become less and less.

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