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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2480

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) (Minister for Works) - I rise only to refute the abrupt statements made by Senator Bishop, and I quite understand the honourable senator's need to be abrupt in the cause of brevity. The waterside workers, having achieved the status of a statutory monopoly, are now endeavouring to achieve the status of complete exemption from ordinary arbitration procedures.

Senator Georges - It is too late to buy a fight.

Senator WRIGHT - I do not wish to buy a fight. I have no thought of that. Any protest that the law should not apply to waterside workers falls in vain upon me. Honourable senators should remember that for the year ended 30th June 1971, despite a decline in weekly hours of work from 37.4 to 33.9, the average weekly earnings at permanent ports increased from $81.65 to $91.85. I will provide Senator Bishop with an immediate written answer to the question that he asked.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee

The Bill.

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