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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2630

Senator WOOD (QUEENSLAND) - I ask a question of the Attorney-General. Is he aware that the International Air Transport Association has placed minimum productivity levels upon travel agents, demanding that they write a definite minimum amount of business each year? Is he aware that 3 large southern travel agents are being threatened by the International Air Transport Association with the loss of their International Air Transport Association agency accreditation because they have failed to reach their productivity levels? Does he consider that such productivity demands are an infringement of reasonable trade practices? Does this come within the jurisdiction of the Trade Practices Act? If not, will he consider amending the Act to cover such arbitrary demands by the overseas airlines organisation?

Senator MURPHY - The honourable senator raises a very vexed issue. I am aware from reading some of the publications over the years how much discontent there is about this aspect. There is the practice of requiring people to do agency business for some time without any reward at all, which seems to be a very extraordinary way of getting people in commerce. The requirement that so much business must be done also seems to me to be a very strange way to operate a business. I am not able now to inform the honourable senator whether this comes under the trades practices legislation but I will have the matter investigated and inform the Senate, if that is a desirable course, or if there is some infringement of the Trade Practices Act I can suggest that action should be taken.

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