INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS LEGISLATION
The Hon. J. W. SHAW: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Vice-President of the Executive Council, representing the Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Further Education, Training and Employment. Has the number of productivity bargains being processed in the New South Wales industrial system declined drastically, to the point where the system has virtually ground to a halt? Have employers and trade unions found this Government's industrial relations legislation excessively complex and obstructive? Are many employers calling for legislative modification of what was touted as a state-of-the-art piece of labour law?
The Hon. E. P. PICKERING: I am surprised at the honourable member framing a question of that nature so soon after the new industrial relations legislation has been put into effect in this State.
I think the operative date for the legislation was 1st April.
The Hon. J. W. Shaw: So you could not get it up and running?
The Hon. E. P. PICKERING: All I am saying is that the legislation became law on 1st April - roughly four weeks ago. The Hon. J. W. Shaw, a Q.C., tries to suggest that in the period of a month a far-reaching piece of legislation which changed the face of industrial relations law in this State has already been completely and utterly destroyed. That is utter stupidity. It demonstrates the desperation of honourable members opposite. They have seen their legislation, which was doing nothing to assist the economy of this State, thrown out the window and they have seen progressive and enlightened legislation put in place. Of course they would love it if that legislation did not work. They are all about trying to see the economy of this country destroyed. They have been in government in Canberra for so many years progressively destroying the economy and they want to continue to do it in this State. I have news for them. This State is very well managed.
The Hon. J. R. Johnson: We have the largest budget deficit in this State's history.
The Hon. E. P. PICKERING: That is nonsense and the Hon. J. R. Johnson knows it. If that were true this State would not have its triple-A rating. The Philistines opposite, who would not know the first thing about managing the economy, clearly are disappointed that the economy of this State is not in tatters. It is not in tatters for one reason only. Despite the best efforts of the Prime Minister, this State has been managed well and it will continue to be managed well.