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After federation at the beginning of the 20th century, the government of New South Wales introduced a bill to establish its Industrial Arbitration Act. This met with strong opposition from the MBA which claimed that the action of Mr Wise (then Attorney General of NSW) in sponsoring the bill, “shows that he is prepared to give the country a pretty strong draught of state socialism.”The passing of the (NSW) Industrial Arbitration Act 1901, however, left the association with no option, if it were to represent its membership effectively, but to register as an industrial union of employers under that act. This registration was effected on 11 March 1902.The (Federal) Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904, provided a means for resolving industrial disputes that crossed over the borders of any one state. This initially had had little relevance for the MBA of NSW. But, by the late 1930’s the Australia-wide operations of many MBA members, and the national character of many of the trade unions seeking federal awards, influenced the Association to also register under the Federal Industrial Act on 1 September 1937.