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Monday, 4 November 1996
Page: 5034


Senator CAMPBELL (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government)(6.48 p.m.) —Both Senator Margetts and Senator Jacinta Collins would have honourable senators believe that this change to the functions of the commission is removing something. The fact is that there is no reference in the functions under the existing act in relation to equal pay for equal work.

Furthermore, the coalition with the support of the Democrats, is including in schedule B the retention of the current equal remuneration provisions of part VIA of the act. Entirely contrary to what Senator Jacinta Collins has said and to what Senator Margetts has just said that we are removing something, we are not; we are actually adding something to the functions of the commission which were not there under the Brereton act or, to the best of my knowledge—which is not thorough—under any previous act of this parliament for the last 100 years. We are putting in equal pay for equal work. It is not there at the moment.

I am not sure whether Senator Margetts asked the previous minister for industrial relations under the Labor Party why that was not included as a function of the commission under Laurie Brereton's act because it certainly was not. We are putting it in there and we are making changes to schedule 8 to ensure that current equal remuneration provisions are maintained.