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Monday, 13 December 1993
Page: 4465

Senator CRANE (11.11 p.m.) —I thank the minister. If my question is impossible to answer, I think the AIRC will have some pretty pertinent questions to answer, because if it does not keep a record of what it does, then there are some problems. I find it absolutely remarkable, when there is so much reliance on the capacity of the arbitration commission to order a ballot—in the words that have been used—that the officers advising the minister are not across this particular aspect. As far as I am aware, it relates to a section of the Industrial Relations Act that has been very sparingly used. In fact, there is no evidence or information to suggest that that situation will change. So I find it interesting that the government uses the argument that our position is too rigid when I feel our position is a democratic right of individuals, when, in fact, the government's bill makes the whole thing so darn rigid and puts up so many barriers and things in the way that, in the end, there will be very few, if any, enterprise flexibility agreements.

  Question put:

  That the amendment (Senator Crane's) be agreed to.