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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2479

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) - The purpose of this Bill is to extend the operation of the Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Act 1967- 71 for a further 12 months. The basis for the legislation is in the acceptance of the scheme for permanent employment developed from the national conferences which produced the 1967 national stevedoring industry report of April of that year. All the parties applauded the report and the idea of the conference and the national agreement. This is a subject which no doubt not only members of the Opposition but also some supporters of the Government would have liked to discuss probably at very great length. In view of the situation in which we are placed I do not intend to cover much of the area except to say, of course, that the Opposition is very much concerned, not only about the statement of the Minister for Works (Senator Wright) in his second reading speech, but also in relation to the Governments' overactive role in relation to the activities of trade unions. I refer here to its legislative restrictions and more recently the tough line taken by the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Lynch) in regard to the waterfront agreement, his Department's intervention before the commission and its attitude generally towards this type of agreement.

As you know, Mr President, the Senate has discussed at length over recent days, in debates on the Public Service Arbitration Bill and the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, the Government's attitude in industrial matters, and I do not wish to restate what has been said. I conclude my comments on the Bill before us by posing a question to the Minister about which he has been pre-warned and which concerns the situation in respect of Darwin. I ask the Minister whether the Minister for Labour and National Service gave consideration to the authority performing the functions of allocation of labour in the Port of Darwin that will now be handled by the employers with a State government instrumentality as agent? If such consideration was given and the proposal was rejected, what were the grounds of such rejection? Is this a move towards the complete phasing out of the authority and its functions? With those comments the Labor Party does not oppose the proposition.

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