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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2839

The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted? There being no dissent, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

This Bill is brief and intended only to clarify an existing definition in the Stevedoring Industry Act 1 956-73. Stevedoring operations in Australia are conducted under various Stevedoring Industry Acts. In the Stevedoring Industry Act 1 956-73, section 7(1) provides, inter alia, a definition of waterside worker and, in paragraphs (i) to (n) of that definition, certain persons are excluded from the definition, and therefore from the requirements of the Act. Paragraph (n) currently excludes from the provisions of the Act: persons in the regular employment of a person engaged in an industrial undertaking, being persons whose duties include the performance of stevedoring operations in connexion with that undertaking.

Paragraph (n) was introduced into the legislation in 1956 and was intended to cover situations where the employer used his regular employees to unload or load cargo directly from or into ships at wharves associated with the employer's works and where the cargo was to be used in or in connection with an undertaking of the employer.

It has come to the Government's attention, as a result of a dispute in Darwin and an associated legal opinion, that the original intention of the legislation could be frustrated by the lack of clarity in the existing wording of paragraph (n). Thus, concern has been expressed by the principal parties in the industry that this paragraph should be clarified at the earliest opportunity. The amendment sought to the Stevedoring Industry Act 1956-73 seeks only to clarify the intention ofthe original legislation and to ensure that the intention of the Parliament is correctly reflected in the legislation. I might also add that, in moving this Bill, the Government has consulted with the principal parties associated with the industry. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Greenwood) adjourned.

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