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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Mr CLAREY (Bendigo) .- I oppose the clause for reasons which have not so far been advanced. Section 31 of the principal act is to be amended by the insertion of the following new sub-section: - (6A.) A decision, whether given before or after the commencement of this sub-section, of a court of summary jurisdiction upon an application under sub-section (4.) of this section is final and conclusive.

I disagree entirely with the principle embodied in this clause. Apparently an appeal seeking deferment is to be treated in an entirely different way from an appeal under industrial law, against the decision of a conciliation commission. I believe that the clause which prevents the right of appeal against the decision of a court of summary jurisdiction is wrong in principle and in practice, and will work out unfairly so far as the trainee is concerned

Most of the applications made for deferment during the last couple of years have been made on economic grounds. Such applications are usually made by persons who feel that if they are called upon to undergo training in camp their business interests will be seriously prejudiced and, in some cases, will be lost entirely. If a deferment were refused by a court of summary jurisdiction which, in Victoria, would be a stipendiary magistrate's court, it would mean that the person concerned would be compelled to go into camp and his business interests would be sacrificed. In addition to giving service as a trainee, he would lose an economic asset.

Cases have been brought to my notice in which young men have started as hairdressers or have been running another kind of one-man business. If the court refuses deferment in such circumstances, the business has to be closed down. The result is that the man loses everything he has put into it, because unless he is present to attend to the business he loses his custom. The principle is wrong. In matters of this description I feel that we should observe the old injunction that not only should justice be done but also it should appear to be done. Because, I believe that the principle involved here is wrong and will deny certain fundamental rights to a person who may be seriously affected, I submit that the proposed amendment should be rejected. I shall vote against it.

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