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Wednesday, 18 September 1985
Page: 683

Senator Dame MARGARET GUILFOYLE —I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is he aware that the President-elect of the Australian Council of Trade Unions has announced a campaign of industrial intimidation aimed at discouraging others from following the example of productive employer-employee co-operation achieved at Mudginberri abattoir? Does the Minister recall telling the Senate on Thursday and Friday last week that unions should obey the law and that the law should be enforced? Now that Mr Crean is proposing direct confrontation in defiance of the rulings of the Federal Court, will the Government use its much-vaunted special relationship with the ACTU to prevent this illegal industrial blackmail?

Senator BUTTON —I have not seen the precise words of the statement by Mr Crean, but I am fully aware of the matter to which Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle refers. On the day in question when I was asked about this matter I said that the Government would uphold the law in these matters and I pointed out on that occasion that although we did not regard the provisions of the trade practices legislation-section 45D-as an appropriate means of resolving disputes of this kind, nonetheless that was in the legislation and the law would be upheld. I do not change that position; that is the Government's view. As I indicated on the previous occasion, and in the light of the question, I will ask Mr Willis to convey that view to the ACTU. I know that he has had discussions with the ACTU about this matter and that view has been conveyed insofar as it concerns the legal question of upholding the law.