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Wednesday, 12 October 1983
Page: 1633


Mr HOLDING (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs)(12.26) —The honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton) continues to be confused about this matter. I invite him to indicate to the Committee a single strike which took place during the history of the Fraser Government in which the provision for non -payment of unemployment benefit to people who were the innocent victims of that strike produced any kind of industrial result.


Mr Carlton —Yes, a lot of strikes did not happen.


Mr HOLDING —The actions of the former Government made it the most strike prone government in recent history. The honourable member for Mackellar cannot produce one piece of evidence that will show that any group of workers contemplating strike action said: 'We will not have a strike because it will cause some kind of disruption further down the line and people will not get the unemployment benefit'. That presumption shows the honourable member's complete lack of knowledge about the way in which industrial relations operate in this country and the way in which these sorts of decisions are taken. I borrow the terms of the honourable member for Mackellar who said: 'Every strike imposes penalties upon the public and other workers'. I do not disagree with that and I do not disagree with the argument that that will vary from case to case. But I do say that, if any Australian citizen is an innocent victim of that-this is the point that the honourable member for Mackellar will not face-he should not, by virtue of the fact that he is a unionist, be deprived from an entitlement to an unemployment benefit in that situation. That is the difference between us. I suppose it remains a matter of political and industrial philosophy. The Government remains unconvinced by the arguments of the honourable gentleman opposite.

Question put:

That the sub-clause proposed to be omitted (Mr Carlton's amendment) stand part of the Bill.