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Friday, 16 August 1974
Page: 1093

Senator STEELE HALL (South AustraliaLeader of the Liberal Movement) - I am sure that we would all like to see the implementation of the Woodward Report to its fullest at the appropriate time. Certainly the benefits which were expected of it to the Australian waterfront in the better operation of the Act and better service to shipping and to the Australian public have not been realised. Australian wharves are renowned among shippers as being some of the worst in the world. They cost us dearly in economic terms. I have been told that the reason for the delay in implementing the new scheme is that the number of waterside workers in the various outports of Australia still has to be reduced by about one thousand, and that the longer the present scheme runs so the number will be reduced by natural wastage through resignation and retirement. I have been told that if the introduction of the new scheme is hastened it will cost the Australian Government about $500,000.

Senator Greenwood - That has not been stated in the second reading speech.

Senator STEELE HALL -No, but I have been reliably told that that is so. I should like the Postmaster-General (Senator Bishop) to explain to the Committee whether, if Senator Greenwood's amendment is successful in bringing forward the date for the payment of retirement allowances and so on to waterside workers in the outports of Australia, it will cost the Australian Government $500,000. Are we moving ahead of time, as I have been told? I will not prolong the debate. I am sure the Minister knows what I am talking about.

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