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Monday, 4 November 1996
Page: 5026

Senator COONEY(6.04 p.m.) —I will not persist with this. I was not saying that the unions were seen as having no part. I was saying that the union could certainly have a part in it but it would be, as it were, a discretionary part. What has been put from this side by the speakers so far—and it seems to me to be correct—is that you are not going to have a system that works unless, as a matter of reality, you do have the unions in it.

It is not that I am saying that you are trying to exclude unions; clearly you are not. What I am saying is that the government and the Democrats are approaching this matter as if the system certainly needs unions but can work without them. It is that contemplation that this somehow will be able to work without them that has us worried over here.

We are not saying that you are trying to discourage unions. We are saying that the government seems to have an outlook on this that, somehow, the whole system will be able to work even though the unions on a particular occasion choose not to enter the field.