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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1465

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I rise only in deference to the fact that two Government senators have advanced an argument suggesting that the Opposition should not pursue this amendment. I think there is a fundamental misconception in their approach. There is at the present time under this legislation, no right for a union member or a union officer to enter upon an employer's premises and to do the things which this clause is proposing to enable them to do. To that extent the clause which the Government is introducing is a new clause which confers a right, and it is a right in fairly substantial terms. That right is not being opposed by the Opposition. By this amendment all we are doing is saying: 'Let it be accepted that there is a statutory right, in the terms in which the Act gives to officers of an organisation, to enter upon premises'. But- this is the point of the Opposition's amendment- if the employer and the employee organisation make an agreement which regulates the circumstances in which the officers of the employee organisation can go on to the premises, they should have the right to do so. The purpose of the amendment is to confer upon the parties the right to make their own agreement as to the circumstances and the conditions upon which an officer of an employee organisation can go on to the premises. If the parties do not make any agreement then the employee organisation, the union, can rest upon its statutory right. I do not think that is unreasonable. This is a mild limitation, if it be a limitation at ali. On a completely new provision which is being inserted, it is a totally reasonable approach.

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