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Tuesday, 14 December 1993
Page: 4572

Senator BELL (10.42 p.m.) —I wish to use this opportunity to remind the Senate of part of the Hansard report of the proceedings of the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training's inquiry into the operation of sections 45D and 45E of the Trade Practices Act 1974. I say that for accuracy. During the debate on this matter one of the fundamentals upon which part of my contribution was based was an assessment of the genesis of those very sections. At the time of making that assessment I indicated that my assessment was based on evidence given to the committee. I will read into Hansard part of the record of that inquiry because it demonstrates that my assessment was accurate. In evidence we were told:

  Secondary boycotts in the pre-1977 era, in the area in which I—

I will acknowledge shortly the person who gave this evidence—

was involved—which is across all industries as virtually every industry in Tasmania comes within the membership of the Confederation of Industries—were the rule rather than the exception. They were almost a daily occurrence. They invariably took the form, quite crudely, of a black ban imposed on a target. The objective invariably related to something to do with union membership or demarcation. On occasions, there were other issues such as shop trading hours. But, invariably, it came back to union membership agreements and/or demarcation issues.

That is essentially how I described it. That was evidence given to the committee by Mr Tim Abey, Chief Industrial Advocate of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I do not wish to make a meal of that. It was for the sake of accuracy. That assessment was questioned by other speakers in the debate. The Democrats stand by the basis for our assessment of this bill and support it.