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Friday, 10 May 1985
Page: 2080

Mr PEACOCK —I refer the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations to a decision this morning by the Australian Council of Trade Unions to extend the blockade of the State of Queensland for another week, and ask him: 'What are you going to do?'.

Mr WILLIS —I have nothing to add to what I have already said in terms of what the Government will do. Unlike the Opposition, we are concerned to address the basic issues involved in this matter. Unless those basic issues are addressed, there can be no resolution of this industrial disputation. Unlike the Opposition, we do not have double standards on these matters. I have not heard any calls from the Opposition for this Government to take punitive action against the New South Wales doctors, despite the fact that they were denying an essential service to the people of New South Wales. I suggest that the Opposition has an enormous credibility gap in its position. In the case of the doctors, the Opposition has no concern at all about the withdrawal of an essential service, but in other areas where it sees political mileage, it thinks it is worth making a song and dance in this place.

Let me say quite emphatically that this Government is extremely concerned to resolve the whole matter. Unlike the Opposition, it will not pursue a course of action which would exacerbate the situation and make it infinitely more difficult to resolve. The course of action we have in mind will bring an end to the industrial disputation within the next week and will address the underlying matter in this dispute.