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Thursday, 14 September 1911

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I think that we ought to be very careful before we assent to this clause. It is quite evident that under it neither the Commonwealth nor the pilot will be liable for any damage in excess of £100 which may be sustained by reason of the negligence or lacK of skill of the latter. For example, an accident may occur involving loss of life, in which case the amount of damages that could be awarded under the clause would be altogether insufficient. I submit that, in this instance, the Commonwealth is the employer, and that, as such, it should be responsible to a greater extent for the wilful neglect or incompetence of its servants. I am not prepared to accept the clause in its present form. In the event of a man losing his life, the payment of £100 would be poor satisfaction to his widow and children. The Commonwealth should be liable for a reasonable amount of compensation to those who may be rendered penniless as the result, perhaps, of the loss of the bread-winner.

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