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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5294

THE WOOL DISPUTE

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/03/1980

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5294

-1,, USTRA
PRIME MINISTER A~ A
FOR MEDIA FRIDAY,-14 MAR 118
THE WOOL DISPUTE
The Government, woolbrokers and growers met today for
a very full dicusssion concerning the damaging and critical
wool industry dispute involving the Storeman and Packers
Union. The organisations represented were the Wool Council of
Australia, the National Farmers Federation, the Australian
Woolselling Brokers Employers Federation and the National
Council of Woolselling Brokers of Australia.
In the discussion today, everyone agreed that the industry
needed to maintain its determination to uphold the arbitration
system and to ensure that the dispute was resolved as soon as
possible.. Everyone at the meeting agreed not to accept the blackmail
being pursued by the Storernen and Packers Union. As a result,
the parties camne to a number of specific agreements, which
would be applied progressively from the beginning of the next
working week, Monday 17 March, unless an agreement resolving
the dispute was reached over the weekend. In this context,
the meeting noted that a conference called by the Conciliation
and Arbitration Commission would be meeting tomorrow to discuss
these matters. / 2

2.
The brokers told the Government that present circumstances,
in which the normal roster of sales had been disrupted since
before Christmas, would make it necessary to cease forthwith all
woolstore operations unless the strike in Melbourne and Sydney
ceased immediately and normal work resumed in all woolselling
centres. Amongst the reasons given was the absence of effective
international buying support as a result of the forced cessation
of sales. The point was also made -that it had become increasingly
difficult to ensure satisfactory standards of clip preparation
because of the current dispute.
The brokers agreed that if the dispute still continued
after the weekend, they would withdraw, the facility of deducting
union dues and would withdraw over-award payments. The
brokers also said that they would continue with the
preparation of the case for deregistration. The Government
said that as soon as that case was lodged it would give full
support. The meeting put to the Commonwealth Government that it
should bring down export regulations which would enable it
to control the export of raw wool. -The purpose of those
regulations would be to make sure that the industry as a whole
had a unified approach to the dispute, having regard to the
gross disruptions to normal trade that had occurred. The
Government, for its part, undertook to prepare those
regulations speedily. The regulations would be ready by next
Tuesday. The Wool Council of Australia, the National Farmers
Federation, the Australian Wool Selling Brokers Employers
Federation, the Natonal council of Woolselling Brokers of
Australia, and the Government, recognised that this request to the
Government, and decision by the Government, would bring the

9. whole industry to a halt, pending a resolution of the
dispute. The Government and the organisations represented at
today's meeting all mutually supported, and were committed
to maintaining, all the foregoing measures.
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Transcript 5294