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Monday, 4 November 1996
Page: 5020


Senator JACINTA COLLINS(5.30 p.m.) —Can I then infer from that that its arbitration powers are obviously limited? Given that we are in this general area and that an answer was not forthcoming when I was covering the general objects of the bill, perhaps we can revisit an issue that Senator Murray raised. With respect to awards now referring to what are just safety nets—so we no longer have what we have regarded for near on a century as the award system but rather just safety nets, which might just as well be 20 minimum standards rather than an award system—and given that is what we are left with in this bill, I did not take Senator Murray literally when he was saying that matters which were `exceptional' were those which were non-allowable. Perhaps the parliamentary secretary would at this stage give us some indication or some guidance on what are to be regarded as exceptional matters in terms of how we should read this object in relation to an award safety net.