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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2262

Senator CARRICK (New South Wales) - The part of this clause with which we arc dealing has, in fact, 3 main elements: The separation of conciliation and arbitration, the provision of a task force and the writing in of the provision that the commissioner shall take account of the public interest. The Opposition has laid some stress upon the fact that it is wrong to separate conciliation and arbitration. In point of fact, if one peruses Hansard and, indeed, the Press over the years one will find that there have been many occasions on which trade union leaders and members of the Australian Labor Party have urged that precisely that should be done. Over the years there has been a strong argument that conciliation and arbitration are 2 precisely different processes in the industrial field; that conciliation, by its very nature, is the reaching of an award or an agreement by mutual consent. I think that that would not be disputed.

Senator Cavanagh - Give us the reference.

Senator CARRICK - Yes. I would be happy to. I do not think that anyone denies the definition which I have just given that conciliation, by its nature, is a means of achieving a consent award. That is the purpose in the old Act. In the Bill the proposed new sections exist for that purpose. Arbitration is the intervention of an arbiter, an arbitrator or an intervener to make a decision when mutual consent cannot be achieved. The 2 positions are antipathetic. One is the idea of achieving consent and the other is of achieving a result by an arbitral decision. It has been argued frequently over the years that the person who is the conciliator, the conciliation commissioner, should not be the person who sits in judgment later upon his failure to conciliate. The 2 of these together are antipathetic. People have said that it is wrong that such matters should go back to Caesar in an appeal against Caesar.

Senator Cavanagh - Who said that?

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