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Thursday, 20 September 1973
Page: 1382

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I cannot accept the amendment as put forward. One must have some authority for appointing people. If one strikes out sub-section (2) one is left without any authority for the appointments. There is nothing-

Mr Street - There is section 125 (1).

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes, I realise that. But what honourable members must realise is that sub-section (2), which we do not propose to leave out of the principal Act, as I understand it-

Mr Lynch - You had better get a briefing on it.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - No, there is no need for that. If the Committee puts in the Bill what the honourable member proposes, this will still be an imperfect section. What I suggest that we do-

Mr Malcolm Fraser - Mr Chairman, I raise a point of order. I think that the Minister might be arguing about a false point. In fact, I moved the amendment in its new form, with the (2) included in it. There is no question of that (2) being left out. I formally moved the amendment in the appropriate form, a copy of which the Clerk now has.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I do not accept that.

Mr Malcolm Fraser - It is not a question of you accepting it. It is a question of the Clerk and the Chairman accepting it in the form in which I have moved it.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member for Wannon has spoken twice in the Committee debate now. I do not think that the Minister was suggesting that the amendment was not accepted. I think that he was just rejecting your argument.

Mr Malcolm Fraser - No, rejecting the amendment. I can understand that.

The CHAIRMAN - He was doing that but he was rejecting your argument.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that provision already exists in the principal Act and it will remain there even if this amendment is carried. Section 125 (4) states:

An inspector shall have such duties in relation to the observance of this Act and the Regulations and of any award as the Minister directs.

Mr Malcolm Fraser - Yes, but you do not appoint him.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Well, I do not care who appoints-1 -

Mr Malcolm Fraser - Good.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Just a minute. I do not care who appoints people, as long as I have the power to direct. What we are anxious to do is have appointed as inspectors people who understand industrial relations and what is going on in industry. The effect of the amendment will be that nobody can be appointed as an inspector unless he is already in the Public Service. We have already advertised for inspectors and some of those who have answered the advertisement will be from outside the Public Service.

Mr Lynch - From the AWU?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I hope so. I hope that some Australian Workers Union men will be appointed, but let me tell the Committee about the history of this proposition of Ministers appointing arbitration inspectors. It was first introduced in 1934 by that arch radical, Joseph Lyons. He was the one who thought it was a great idea and a very good provision to put into the Act. In 1934 it was all right for a conservative government to allow the Minister of the day to appoint the arbitration inspectors. From 1934 right up to 1952 - for all that long period of 18 years when many amendments were made - nobody suggested that there was anything improper, unreasonable or wrong about the Minister appointing the arbitration inspectors. Now trie Opposition comes along with an amendment which tries to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Minister. What is suggested evidently is that you can trust a public servant to appoint an arbitration inspector but you cannot trust a Cabinet Minister to do it. There is an old saying that many people tend to judge others by their own standards. If that is the standard that honourable members opposite happen to enjoy let them not attribute that low standard to me or to anybody else, because I am not the kind of person who would appoint arbitration inspectors to set up a kind of political police, if you do not mind. I can assure honourable members that this is not an amendment that we will accept and I hope the Committee will reject it.

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