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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1728

(Question No. 1733)

Mr Ruddock asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice, on 6 September 1984:

(1) Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a memorandum, dated 1 June 1984, to all permanent heads, heads of statutory authorities and staff organisations from the Secretary of the Public Service Board, concerning encouragement of union membership.

(2) Was the memorandum brought to the attention of all staff in the Minister's Department and all statutory authorities reporting to the Minister; if so, how and on what dates.

(3) What additional action has been taken within the Minister's Department and statutory authorities reporting to the Minister to avoid delays in constructive action being taken to encourage union membership and on what dates; if no additional action has been taken, what are the reasons for such a decision.

Mr John Brown —The Minister for Industry and Commerce has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) The memorandum was brought to the attention of staff in the Department's Central Office by a circular dated 26 June 1984. State staff were notified in a similar fashion as follows:

Victoria-23 July 1984

South Australia-10 July 1984

Tasmania-2 August 1984

Northern Territory-11 September 1984

Western Australia-18 September 1984

Staff in the Department's New South Wales and Queensland offices and staff in the Australian Industry Development Corporation and the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation are to be notified in the near future.

Industries Assistance Commission staff were advised by a notice in the staff bulletin dated 8 June 1984 and copies placed on notice boards.

(3) It is considered that there is little requirement for additional action in those statutory authorities with relatively small numbers.

In order to encourage union membership the Department arranges addresses to new recruits by staff association representatives, provides information to assist in identifying prospective members and provides staff with details of union contact officers. The Department is currently awaiting the issue of guidelines mentioned in the Public Service Board memorandum before taking further action.

In addition to the action taken by the Department, the Industries Assistance Commission has made arrangements to provide reasonable typing and photocopying for association representatives. The action taken by the IAC in response to the PSB memorandum has been agreed to in the course of negotiations with staff associations.