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Thursday, 25 May 1972
Page: 2147

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - Clause 6 is not without some importance. Perhaps it: illustrates how the trade unions are to be dealt with, lt is directed towards correcting an error in the original Act. The drafting of the provision in the original Act which provided that certain conduct in the nature of dismissing or threatening employees because of their being members of unions or of their intending to be members of unions was seriously defective. The error was revealed in 1959 in the case Gietzelt v. Craig- Williams Pty Ltd No. 1. lt is reported in the Federal Law Reports. That error is now being dealt with. I would like to know how it has come about that an error which was evident in a case heard in 1959 by the Full Bench of the Commonweal th Industrial Court, constituted by Chief Justice Spicer and Justices Dunphy and Morgan, has taken until 1972 to be corrected. How has it come about that it has taken more than 13 years for corrective action to be taken in relation to something which obviously was intended to pro- tect trade union members or intending trade union members? There is a strong feeling on the part of the trade unions that the Government is anxious at all times to do whatever it can to the disadvantage of the trade unions. Why is it that a simple correction of the legislation has taken so long? I think that several years ago - I am subject to correction - there were requests by a member of the House of Representatives, namely, the honourable member for Hindmarsh, Mr Clyde Cameron, for some action to be taken to deal with the defect.

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