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Tuesday, 16 February 1971
Page: 91


Minister, upon notice:

(I)   Has his attention been drawn to the statement made on 1st October 1970 by the Minister for Labour and National Service that- the Government had made no provision -.for. *a. contemporaneous measurement of productivity in Australia and that it is impossible to devise one.

(3)   Did be, at the 1970 New South Wales Liberal Party Conference say that wage increases cannot be thoroughly justified as really valid and essential without paying regard to productivity increase.

(3)   If there are no measurements available of productivity in Australia, how is it. possible for the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to comply with his dictum. .....

Mr Gorton - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   In his statement la Parliament during the debate on the Appropriation Bill on 1st October the Minister for Labour and National Service was referring to the difficulties of breaking up national productivity trends into their constituent industry elements. This is because of problems of consistency and comparability between the data used to estimate output and those used to estimate labour input. The Minister was also referring to the fact that productivity movements can only be measured in retrospect. However, these difficulties are not greatly relevant when considering overall economic capacity for national wage purposes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   See the answer to part 4 of Question No. 2011.

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