Public Interest or Vested Interest
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
N R Evans
President, August 1992