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Tuesday, 6 June 1989
Page: 3394

Senator COOK (Minister for Resources)(10.53) —That is a speculative question. It invites me to speculate about a certain set of circumstances which have not occurred and which arguably may not occur. It would be foolish and somewhat naive of me to joint with Senator Alston in his speculation. Let me say that the board, in the face of an industrial dispute, ought to do all things right and proper to bring that dispute to a rapid conclusion. I argue this point frequently. I recognise that the honourable senator has an ideological blinker to it and is thus unable to receive the message. The message is simply that if one has an industrial dispute one must deal with the problem that causes the dispute, not layer on top of that problem other problems which would exacerbate and broaden the dispute.

It may be that the theatre of industrial relations appeals to the Opposition as a theatre in which it can perform as a disciplinarian. That does not resolve the core issue. If we ever take our eyes off the core issue and how we should resolve it, we will be in deep trouble. Those are my observations. The board will be responsible and the board will be accountable.