PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3349

PREMIERS' CONFERENCE - 13 AUGUST 1974

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/08/1974

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3349

Press Statement No. 298
13 Aug~ ust 1974
PEMIERIS' CONFERENCE -13 AUGUST 1974
The Premiers' Conference decided today on the
establishment of working parties * to--examifte _ areas where
joint action by the Australian Government and the State
Governments might be taken in order to restrain
inflationary pressures.
The working parties will examine questions in thle
areas of: Tendering procedures for Government contracts
0 Measures to reduce the multiplicity of wage
fixing tribunals
Joint action before wage fixing -tribunals to
limit wage increases
aState legislation to support the jurisdiction
of the Prices Justification Tribunal
0 The possibility of introducing taxation
penalties on excessive wage incroases.
Government Teiidering Procedures
A working party of officials from the Australian
Department of Housing and Construction and their equivalents
in each State will report on the practicality of drawing up
firm rules on the maximum increases in costs acceptable under
Government tenders, including limits on the movements in
wages under rise and fall clauses in continuing con-tracts.
Industrial Tribunals A working party of officials from the Australian
Department of Labor and Immigration and State Departments of
Labour will draw up proposals on practical steps to reduce the
0/ 2

-2-
multiplicity of wage fixing tribunals and the problems in
respect of the fixation of wages and working conditions
that this gives rise to.
Action to Limit Wage Increases
A working party of officials from the Australian
Department of Labor and Immigration and State-Departments
of Labour will examine, in the light of the proceedings
which have been taking place in the Moore Conference last
week, the practicability of the seven Governments making a
joint application to the Australian Conciliation and
Arbitration Commission, -to limit wage increases to an
indexed amount related to cost of living increases, with some
provision to deal with anomalies. The working party will
also examine the practicality of legislation by the Australian
Government and -the States to ensure that this principle is
observed by State wage and salary fixing tribunals.
Prices Justification Tribunal
A working party of Australian and State Government
officials will explore the practicality of legislation by the
States to extend the jurisdiction of the Prices Justification
Tribunal. A purpose of this legislation would be to allow
the Tribunal to disregard, as a justificatior4 for price
increases, increases in wage costs in excess of wage
movements resulting from indexation and the correction of
anomalies. The working party will also consider the-possibility
of legislation to regulate fees for professional and other
services.
Taxation A working party of Australian and State Government
Taxation officials will examine the practicality of measures
to impose penalties, through company and payroll taxes, on
companies which grant excessive wage increases..
The Premiers referred to the budget difficulties
all States are facing in 1974-75, and sought additional
general revenue assistance from the Australian Government.
The Prime Minister recognised that since -the June 1974
Premiers' Conference the States had taken actio'n to improve * 3

3
their budget situations by way of an increase in the rate
of payroll tax and increases in other taxes and charges.
The Australian Government put the view that the
remaining budgetary " gaps" must be closed by the States
themselves, in ways they individually think best and that
the present financial assistance grants arrangements should
be allowed to run their course. However, the Prime Minister
undertook to look at the problems of the States within the
context of the examination next week of the Australian
Government's overall budgetary situation.
CANBERRA A. C. T.

Transcript 3349