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Thursday, 9 December 1993
Page: 4360


Senator CRANE (12.35 a.m.) —In view of the lack of response from the minister on this, I think there are a couple of points that I would like to bring out in this particular debate. I was expecting, because of the importance of this issue, a more comprehensive response. This amendment before the committee will greatly assist the facility to free up the labour market. It will remove one of the greatest fears that many employees and employers in small business have. I think it is worth putting that on the public record because it removes the commission's ability to grant preference at its discretion. It confines preferences to members of unions who have been given 118A coverage. It removes the commission's power to grant a preference on a union, non-union basis. I think that point is worth underlining and emphasising.

  It confines preference to union basis so that an award can no longer be created on a union, non-union basis. A flow-on effect of that is going to severely limit or restrict that terrible practice that has grown up in parts of Australia of what is known as double and treble ticketing. That is the case where an individual happens to be a member of a union, or maybe not even a member of a union. But before that person can get onto a site—and this particularly applies to the building industry—to carry out whatever function, there is an unwritten law on that site and a `no ticket, no start' situation where that person has to join a union. That flows through into other situations. There are many examples of double and treble ticketing. It is something which, in my view, is a total breach of the freedoms and the rights of the individual and it is applied purely and simply by coercion. This amendment, while it will not completely cut that out, will certainly restrict the ability for it to happen.