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EFFECT ON PERTH WHARVES
Trade Unions' Fears.
Asking for an assurance that there would be no interference with the lighter- ing trade on the Swan River between Perth and Fremantle as a result of the construction of the riverside drive from the Causeway to Mount's Bay-road, a deputation arranged by the Fremantle district council of the Australian Labour Party waited on the Minister for Works (Mr. H. Millington) on June 15. Under the scheme agreed on by the Perth City Coun- cil the Government undertook to remove within five years the buildings now standing on the area bounded by the river, Mill-street, Bazaar-terrace and Wil- liam-street. The buildings include sheds and other facilities adjoining the Perth wharves. K
i In the course of his reply Mr. Milling-
ton said that he interpreted "within five years" to mean that there would be no displacement of the occupiers for f.ve
The deputation was introduced by Mr. IT. FOX, M.L.A., and the members were
Mr. J. T. Tonkin, M.L.A., the secretary of the Metropolitan Council of the Aus- tralian Labour Party (Mr. P. J. Mooney), the president (Mr. W. Wauhop) and sec- retary (Mr. F. Mann) of the Fremantle District Council of the Australian Labour Party, the president (Mr. H. Briggs) and secretary (Mr. R. Thornett) of the Fre- mantle Lumpers' Union, Mr. A. Wallace (representing the Perth wharf lumpers), Messrs. J. Breydon and B. Miles (Feder- ated Engine-drivers' Union) and Messrs. P. Stapleton and W. Glasson (pock, River and Harbour Workers' Union).
The removal of the buildings. Mr. Fox said, might bring an end to the lighter- ing trade. There was apprehension that a large number of men now working on tile Perth wharves would be thrown out of work. The lightering trade could bc carried on without interfering in any way with the riverside drive schame.
Loss of Work Feared.
"We have no intention jf attempting toLblock progress," Mr. Tonkin said, "but we are concerned as to what will" happen to the men who will be displaced at the wharves by this riverside drive scheme. We ask you to do all you can to prevent any dislocation of the lightering trade and activity at the wharves and that, in any arrangement agreed on, the labour at the wharves will be adequately safe- guarded."
Twenty workers-lightermen, firemen, deck hands and watchmen-who were members of the Dock, River and Harbour Workers' Union were employed on the wharves, Mr. Glasson said. It would be satisfactory to the deputation if the Gov- ernment would say that the lightering trade would be carried on.
According to the information that had been made public, Mr. Wallace said, the wharves and buildings were to be removed within five years. That would mean the displacement of a lot of men at -the wharves who had grown up with the job. Under the arrangement for the removal of the buildings the company concerned would" have no security of tenure and the lightering trade probably would event- ually be scrapped. Twenty-six men, in addition to those already referred to, would be affected.
"We understand that the buildings must be removed within five yeárs, which might mean anything," said Mr. Miles. "A limit of five years would not justify the company in making extensions or improvements to the buildings or wharves."
An industry giving permanent work was more important than any roadway or beautification scheme, Mr. Thornett said. He stressed the difficulty of the Fremantle lumpers in obtaining work and said that if the men from the Perth wharves were forced to seek work at Fremantle they would probably find themselves with no
work to do.
"I think everything possible should be done to prevent these men losing their employment in Perth," Mr. Briggs said. "I consider that the people concerned should be allowed to extend the wharves into the river and make them a beauty spot. It does not follow that because
work is being done the place will be an i eyesore."