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Thursday, 7 June 1928

Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) (AttorneyGeneral) . - Section 9 of the act provides that an employer shall not dismiss an employee or injure him in any way in his employment by reason of the fact that he is an officer, or a member of an organization, or has appeared as a witness in proceedings under the act, or by reason of other similar causes. There is also a provision in subsection 3 that no proceedings for an offence under this section may be instituted without the leave of the Chief Judge or Registrar. An employer cannot be prosecuted for dismissing an employee on the ground that he is a member of a union, nor can an employee be prosecuted for ceasing work in the service of an employer on the ground that the employer belongs to a particular organization, unless leave is obtained from the chief judge or registrar. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has asked that sub-section 3 be repealed because there is sometimes difficulty in obtaining authority to institute proceedings and because in any event an application for the required authority means that the informant must disclose the whole of his case, and must verify it by statutory declarations of the proposed witnesses, all of which information is placed on record, and is therefore available for perusal by the defendant. The Government is prepared to accept the suggestion, and I ask the committee to adopt this clause, the purpose of which is to omit sub-section 3 of section 9 of the principal act.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 10 -

After section 9 of the principal act the following section is inserted: -

"10. (1)...........

(2)   The Court before making the order shall give the organization . . . an opportunity of being heard."

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