Public Interest or Vested Interest


NR Evans

This volume brings together almost all of the papers given at the eighth conference of The H R Nicholls Society, held at Bronte NSW, in March 1990.

Unfortunately one paper is unavailable. Professor John Niland, who had played an important role in advising the Greiner Government on industrial relations legislative reform, spoke at some length on his experiences and views as a result of his work. However the task of editing his paper was never completed and regrettably, because the issues he raised were of both theoretical and historic importance, it is missing from this volume.

One of the highlights of the conference was the personal account of the Mt Thorley dispute in the Hunter Valley, told by two of the people, Geoffrey Potts and Jeff Scanlon, members of the FED&FA, who took up jobs at that mine in defiance of their Union's ban on the site. Their emotional story has been written up for this volume by Peter Murray, who was responsible for the operations at Mt Thorley at that time.

Three of these papers, those by Don Swan, Des Moore and Penelope Brook, have already been published and widely circulated, and have contributed to the gradual changes in thinking which are now evident in some quarters in industrial relations circles. The Society regrets that it has taken so long for the full volume to appear. It is indicative of Australia's lack of progress in labour market reform that the demand for these publications continues unabated.

N R Evans
President, August 1992