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Wednesday, 4 November 1970

Senator KENNELLY (Victoria) - I rise only because of the rather risky statements made by the Minister for Works (Senator Wright) without reference to any facts or figures. He said that seamen earn an income of over $6,000 after 12 months.

Senator Wright - Three years plus 1 year aboard a ship.

Senator KENNELLY - The honourable senator is now saying something different from what he said earlier. If he wants to be provocative, we do not mind, and if he wants the sitting to continue we do not mind that either.

Senator Gair -I do.

Senator KENNELLY - If the honourable senator wants to get back to Queensland he can go. The Minister said that he did not want to be provocative because he was speaking in reply and therefore closing the debate.

Senator Gair - You should be careful of your heart.

Senator KENNELLY - I will leave the honourable senator alone. I was kind to him a few weeks ago in a certain State, but if he wants it he will get it. It ill becomes the Minister to make statements that cannot be substantiated. Not one senator on this side of the chamber opposed the remuneration that Mr Justice Eggleston laid down. When there is no opposition to a Bill such as this, it is best not to deride what somebody else in another class of work receives as remuneration. Even that is open to very great argument, because no proof at all was submitted of the hours that men at sea work, whether it is a 40-hour week, a 50-hour week or a 60-hour week. Senator Wright has been in politics quite a long time. I regret when replying to a Bill he has taken the opportunity to have what I would call a 'shot' at people by saying something which has nothing to do with the Bill at all. He attempts to deride them in the occupation or the profession that they follow.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

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