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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 November 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 November 1985)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 19 November 1985 Probably the most important point made by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition concerned clause 28, which relates to stand-down provisions for apprentices in certain circumstances. The opposition's amendment schedule relates to this particular clause. We oppose it because stipulating a breakdown of machinery as the sole reason for an employer seeking to use these stand-down provisions would not be fair, as the member for Koolpinyah has said. In fact, the department has spent a lot of time trying to work out which was the best way of doing it. The mechanism that it finally decided upon is reasonable. It has adopted as a model the stand-down provisions for employees contained in the electrical employees award. It is almost word for word. Essentially, the details have been lifted out of the award which has been ratified by the Concil iation and Arbitration Commission and ~Ihich has general support within industry. In considering this course of action, it was thought to be the most just and reasonable way to deal with this area of jurisdiction. It should be noted that NTEC advises that reference to electrical failure in the Vocational Training Commission Act is no longer relevant due to the reliability of service now provided. To refer to breakdown of machinery as the sole cause for stand-down of apprentices is far too restrictive in this day and age and may even cause the stand-down provisions to be invoked. It should be noted that the secretary's approval must be gained before the provisions in respect of apprentices can be invoked. The member for Koolpinyah spoke on this matter and responded well to the points raised by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The member for Koo1pinyah canvassed the provisions in the clauses quite extens i ve 1y. In fact, I thi nk she di d it far better than the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The member for Koolpinyah had a number of questions regarding the hours identified for payment. She asked about the length of the determination with traditional provisions. Unfortunately, she is not here but she can read it in Hansard. These provisions are seen as reasonable and have general support. If an apprentice attends for work but cannot work because of an industrial occurrence, he is paid wages equal to 2 hours. Where an apprenticl commences work but, through an industrial occurrence, cannot be fully employed, he is paid wages for 4 hours or the number of hours worked whichever is the greater. These provisions act as a protection mechanism for apprentices or probationers. The member for Koo1pinyah also raised concerns about the possibility of unreasonable terms and conditions being set by the secretary. This comes under subclause 29(3) which reflects the need to ensure that the employer provides adequate and proper training for apprentices. I can assure the member that the secretary will assess each case on its merit, with a just and balanced judgment in each situation, whilst ensuring that the best possible standards are maintained. Another concern that the member for Koo1pinyah had related to clause 30. She sought an assurance that the secretary will be reasonable in carrying out the intent of clause 30. This provision seems a reasonable inclusion and gives the secretary appropriate power should he need to accept or reject an applicant as a probationer. In practice, the secretary will always make determinations with the overall good of the apprenticeship system in mind. The member of Koo1pinyah raised several other points. I will be only too happy to allay her fears. Of course, right from the outset, she has said that she supports the legislation before us. In respect of the termination of employment in clause 49(1)(c), she was concerned with interpretation. However, the clause states: 'first employed by the employer to whom the indentures of his apprenticeship were assigned'. This provision seems quite clear. 1872

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