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Wednesday, 15 June 1904

Mr HUTCHISON (Hindmarsh) - I believe that honorable members have to some extent overlooked the effect of the amendment. If it receives the support of the majority of the members of the Committee, the effect will be that in the case of the shearing industry, for example, should a dispute arise in a number of sheds, the parties interested in each case must come separately before the Court to have the dispute settled. That alone should show how absurd such a provision would be, and how expensive it must become. In considering the question of the common rule, honorable members have overlooked the fact that in another part of the Bill it is clearly shown how the common rule will operate. If they will turn to paragraph g of clause 46, they will find that the Court is given power to direct within what limits or area, if an\, a common rule shall apply. The Court in its wisdom may confine an award to the parties interested in a particular case. It may apply it within a very circumscribed area, or, if it considers it desirable, throughout the Commonwealth. Then it must not be forgotten, that if in the wisdom of the Court an award should apply throughout the Commonwealth, there is power under the Bill for persons aggrieved to seek a variation of the award. Honorable members who contend that because of the different conditions under which similar industries are carried on in different States, the application of a common rule may do injury, may well be satisfied that as we have seen the point it is not likely to escape the notice of the Arbitration Court. If some honorable members had only made themselves familiar with the provisions of this Bill, we should not have wasted so much time this afternoon.

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