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Thursday, 18 November 1976
Page: 2870

Mr STREET (Corangamite) (Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Public Service Matters) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Bill seeks to amend the Stevedoring Industry Act 1956 by repealing the provisions of that Act which establish a scheme of long service leave for waterside workers. This Bill is a companion to the Bill to amend the Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Act and in relation to which I have outlined to the House the Government's course of action towards developing new arrangements in the stevedoring industry. It is the wish of the parties to the industry that long service leave for waterside workers should no longer derive from the Stevedoring Industry Act but from an award of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. In the Government's view this is consistent with the overall trend in the industry for several years now.

Thus, the Government is prepared to accede to that wish and provided that an award is made by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission consistent with the Commission's principles as to long service leave the proposed change will come into force. The Government also proposes in this Bill to remove the existing statutory limit on the extent of borrowings by the Authority. The existence of a limit in the legislation is not consistent with the more or less standard provisions of statutory authorities generally. It is not yet clear to what extent the Authority will be able to finance from its existing cash resources the costs involved in the immediate future of the redundancy measures I have already outlined. The proposed removal of the borrowing limit provides the Authority with the option of seeking additional short term borrowings should this be necessary. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Willis) adjourned.

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