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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2338

Senator LITTLE (Victoria) - I do not accept the arguments that have been put forward by Senator Murphy. The words 'the total number of members that have been, and could be, admitted to the organisation upon and by reason of the amalgamation' are concerned with the actual amalgamation itself. There is nothing in this amendment that would stop any organisation from admitting new members at any future date to its organisation. Therefore our amendment does not contain the dangers that Senator Murphy suggested that it could. Under its rules an organisation can always add to its membership to meet the requirement in terms of numbers. Our amendment wholly and solely covers those members who will be brought in for the purpose of the amalgamation.

Senator Wheeldon - What is the meaning of the words 'have been and could be'? Why do you say in your amendment have been, and could be'?

Senator LITTLE - The amendment states'. the total number of members that have been, and could be. admitted to the organisation upon and by reason of the amalgamation . . .

It refers to those members who have been admitted and those members who could be admitted by reason of the amalgamation itself. It does not in any way prevent the joining up of new members to any particular organisation at any particular time. This is covered by other sections of the Act in dealing with other sections of union organisations. This clause is intended purely as a precaution.

Senator Byrne - You are determining an optimum.

Senator LITTLE - That is right. We are determining an optimum which cannot be exceeded. We suggest it is a reasonable proposition. We suggest to the Opposition that it is the only amendment to the clause that we would accept. This amendment will cover precisely the set of circumstances in which the Opposition is interested in relation to a particular organisation which happens to be affiliated with its Party.

Senator Georges - It is all messed up.

Senator LITTLE - If the honourable senator thinks it is messed up, it is too bad. The organisation to which I referred has requested the Opposition to achieve the objective which will suit its purpose. We are helping the Opposition to achieve that objective and at the same time we are taking into consideration the safeguards that we think are necessary in relation to this clause. We have a choice of 2 amendments and I suggest that the better of the 2 is the amendment which we propose.

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