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Wednesday, 10 May 1972
Page: 1514

Senator POKE (TASMANIA) - I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service: How much weight will the Government place on the criticism voiced last night by Professor Whitehead of the Economics Faculty at La Trobe University of the Government's proposed amendments to the Conciliation and Arbitration Act? Did he say that the amendments did not sufficiently change the framework of wage determination to inhibit wage induced inflation? Did he also warn that the new measures seemed unlikely to improve industrial relations, and indeed, the potentially greater use of penalties could inflame unions rather than restrain them? Will all these criticisms from such an expert be given weighty consideration before the legislation is introduced into this chamber?

The PRESIDENT - I have already drawn Senator Gietzelt's attention to standing order 99 which deals with questions asking for an expression of opinion. Senator Poke, your question is as close to that as any can be, but it is for the Minister for Works to decide whether he will answer it.

Senator WRIGHT - I consider it entirely inappropriate for me to endeavour to comment upon a full length address by a professor, especially on the threshold of a debate in the Parliament on the subject matter.

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