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Government Agency entry Coal Industry Tribunal (1947 - ?)


Regulatory Body


The proclamation of Section 28 of the Coal Industry Act 1946 in March 1947 provided for the repeal of Part V of the Coal Production (War-Time) Act 1944, which created the Central Industrial Authority. In its place was created the Coal Industry Tribunal. This Tribunal was established "as an arbitration authority to deal with industrial matters in the industry affecting members of the Miners' Federation. The Tribunal maintained the power of the Industrial Commission of New South Wales with regard to all interstate matters and of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court in regard to all interstate matters".

The Act stated that the Government was empowered to appoint a person to constitute the Coal Industry Tribunal. That person was to be a Practicing Barrister or solicitor of the High Court or of the Supreme Court of a State. The person constituting the Tribunal was to be appointed for a term of seven years, being eligible for reappointment.

The Board was to oversee disputes involving more than one State, between the Federation and employees when referred to the Board by either party, or when either of these parties referred to the Tribunal a matter arising under any award of the Court or of the Tribunal relating to the coal mining industry. It was also responsible for any disputes referred to it by a Local Coal Authority, or any other matter its Board deemed to be in the public interest.

In March 1950, the Tribunal came under the responsibility of the Minister for Labour and National Service, thus leaving responsibility for labour and for production and research in the hands of separate Departments. For around two years the system of reference boards and
NSW local coal authorities continued side by side under the Tribunal, but by 1953 the reference boards in NSW ceased to exist, their function being assumed by the local coal authorities, while in the other states the WA Board was abolished by 1953, the Tasmanian by 1958 and the Victorian by 1961. Only the Queensland Board was in operation by 1976.

Ross G. Elford