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Dissenting Report—Coalition Members and Senators

The Coalition Members and Senators of the Treaties Committee dissent from the recommendations of the Committee majority found in the three International Labour Organisation (ILO) treaties.

  • International Labour Organisation Protocol of 2002 to Convention No. 155 concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Work Environment (the Occupational Safety and Health Protocol);

  • International Labour Organisation Convention No. 175: Part Time Work (the Part Time Work Convention); and

  • International Labour Organisation Convention No. 186: Maritime Labour Convention (the Maritime Labour Convention).

The Coalition members wish to note the undue haste displayed by the Committee to particularly have the ILO conventions ratified.  There has been minimal time for members to review the report regarding such important treaties with significant ramifications in the area of labour relations.  Moreover greater opportunity ought to be given for scrutiny by the relevant State Governments and employer groups.

The Occupational Safety and Health Protocol

The report is out of date when it states “all State and Territory Governments have formally agreed to the ratification of the protocol.”

Since any hearings or communications with the State Governments by the Committee there have been two new State Governments elected, namely Victoria and New South Wales.  It is therefore prudent to now consult the representatives of these State Governments.

The Part Time Work Convention

The Committee had only a briefing from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.  The recommendation to ratify the treaty is narrowly based upon the single presentation before the Committee by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.  The report does not indicate the support of any of the main employer groups or the two newly elected State Governments (Victoria and New South Wales).

The Maritime Labour Convention

The Convention attracted serious concerns from the Australian Shipowners’ Association in regard to their ability to properly train cadets and the increased expense in regard to training cadets under the Convention.

The Committee was informed that the Government has entered dialogue to resolve the concerns expressed therefore it would be premature to recommend that binding treaty action be taken until such dialogue has been successfully completed.

Senator Julian McGauran
Deputy Chair

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