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Tuesday, 26 February 1980
Page: 335

Mr BURR (WILMOT, TASMANIA) - Has the Minister for Industrial Relations been informed that as a result of a dispute between the Waterside Workers Federation and the Transport Workers Union the Marine Board of Burnie has decided to close the port of Burnie? What effect will this move have on local industry and local employment? Is there any end in sight to this disruptive dispute?

Mr STREET (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Industrial Relations) -The action of the Transport Workers Union in the port of Burnie has been completely irresponsible and is in total disregard of a decision of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. The TWU, as the honourable member has said, has stopped all cargo going through the port of Burnie. This latest development is only the culmination of a dispute which started in the early weeks of January. It involves a demarcation dispute with the Waterside Workers Federation. It is worth noting that the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission made an order in relation to this demarcation dispute following legislation which was introduced by this Government and passed by this Parliament specifically to deal with disputes of this kind. By disregarding this order the TWU has thumbed its nose at the people of Tasmania.

In addition, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has a long-standing policy to minimise the effects of industrial disruption, particularly of shipping services, on the people of Tasmania. It has accepted an obligation, as the leader of the trade union movement in Australia, to settle demarcation disputes. If the people of Burnie and Tasmania are to be relieved of the results of this irresponsible action, the ACTU has to carry out its obligations, which it has already accepted in respect of demarcation disputes, and ensure that the Transport Workers Union heeds the order made by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and allows normal shipping services to resume through the port.

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