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Thursday, 31 October 1996
Page: 4934


Senator MARGETTS(5.31 p.m.) —This becomes a little problematical. Amendment 10 also amends, as has been mentioned, clause 83BB to note that the Employment Advocate must have particular regard to certain issues in carrying out his or her functions, including the needs of disadvantaged workers, and to assist workers in balancing work and family responsibilities. Obviously they are admirable things to include in the role of the Employment Advocate.

The trouble is that proposed subclause (c) says:

. . . promoting better work and management practices through Australian workplace agreements.

If we were to agree to amendment 10—in the past we have agreed to amendments which we thought would make a bad situation a little better—we would be seen to be agreeing that promoting better work and management practices can be done through Australian workplace agreements. It is not our opinion, on the balance, that that is the case.

I know that in this particular instance the amendments are going to go through, anyway, because the deal has been signed. However, I do not want to put my name to an amend ment which says that better work and management practices will be achieved through Australian workplace agreements.

Amendment agreed to.