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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1484

Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - I think that the Court has acted responsibly in relation to granting leave to appear. On all occasions it has permitted anyone to appear before the Court as an agent if that person's appearance would assist the Court and perhaps assist the parties before the Court. Of course, the important question on this is the right of the trade unions. Under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act the Industrial Court was established to resolve between employers and employees issues relating to conditions. This whole question is one of their attending as a right. It is their court. But by this amendment the Opposition wants to rebuff them by saying that they may be able to attend if it pleases the court. If there is to be confidence by the trade unions in conciliation and arbitration they should be able to accept that this is a court for their purposes as much as for the purposes of the employer and for the public interest. The essential parties to disputes or actions which occur and come before the court should have a right by law to go before the court. They should not depend upon the will of or permission from someone else. We insist on the amendment.

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