House of Representatives
16 September 1969

26th Parliament · 2nd Session

Mr SPEAKER (Hon. W. J. Aston) took the chair at 2 p.m., and read prayers.

page 1327


National Service

Mr J. R. FRASER presented from certain citizens of the Commonwealth a petition showing that they believe the National Service Act to be contrary to the principles of a free and democratic society in that it denies the validity of individual conscience, and makes oppressive demands on the dissenting voice.

The petitioners pray for the immediate release of Gordon Riesenlieter and all those imprisoned as a result of individual conscience and the immediate repeal of the National Service Act.

Petition received and read.

Social Services

Mr DOBIE presented from certain citizens of Australia a petition showing that due to higher living costs, including increasing charges for health services, most aged persons living on fixed incomes are suffering acute distress; Australia is the only English-speaking country in the world to retain a means test for aged pensioners and that a number of European countries also have no means test; today’s aged persons have paid at least 7±% of their taxable incomes towards social services since the absorption of special social services taxation in income tax and continue to make such payments (7i% of all taxable incomes for 1966-67 amounted to $783,082,150 and this year will produce more than $800,000,000, more than sufficient to abolish the means test immediately); the middle income group, the most heavily taxed sector of the community, subsidises the tax commitment of the upper income bracket through the amount of social services contributions collected by the Government and not spent on the purposes for which they were imposed; the abolition of the means test will give a boost to the economy by (1) additional tax revenue from pensions, (2) swelling of the work force and

  1. increased spending by pensioners; it is considered just and right to allow people who have been frugal, have lived their lives with dignity and have been anything but an encumbrance on the nation, to maintain that dignity to the end of their lives free from fear of penury.

The petitioners pray that the Senate and House of Representatives in Parliament assembled will take immediate steps to abolish the means test for all people who have reached retiring age or who otherwise qualify for social service benefits or pensions.

Petition received.

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– I ask the Minister for Primary Industry a question. Will an amending Bill have to be passed by this Federal Parliament to give effect to the No. 2 wheat pool proposals which he and five of the State Ministers for Agriculture agreed to yesterday? Alternatively will he make a statement to the House on these proposals and facilitate a debate on them? I point out that he made a statement on the original proposals on 30th April and that the Government has not so far permitted a debate on them.

Minister for Primary Industry · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– It is quite obvious that the Leader of the Opposition does not understand the implications of the wheat industry proposals that were put by the Australian Wheat Growers Federation to the Commonwealth and the State governments because there are no second pool proposals. Any wheat sales at reduced prices will come out of the No. 1 pool.

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– I address my question to the Postmaster-General. As an engineer I was so impressed with the visit to the Post Office research laboratories that I ask the Minister: To what extent is the work of these highly trained engineers and scientists of international significance? Is there any interchange of visits by personnel from comparable research establishments overseas? Do our officers visit these establishments?

Postmaster-General · PETRIE, QUEENSLAND · LP

– The research laboratories of the Post Office are set up basically to serve the purposes of the Post Office in Australia. We have in this country problems not similar to those experienced in many other countries and so it is essential to concentrate our efforts on these problems. The Australian Post Office is a member of the International Telecommunications Union. Meetings of the Union and its committees are held quite frequently throughout the year. Scientists and engineers from the Australian Post Office participate in those discussions. Individuals prepare papers of a technical nature for discussion. Last year I think about twenty-four articles were contributed to international magazines. In this way information which we have is made available to other countries. In the same way the results of research done overseas become available to our people. Some 7 or 8 visits overseas were made last year by our technical people. I assure all honourable members that the views of Australian scientists and engineers in the Post Office are highly regarded internationally and are widely accepted.

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– I ask the Minister for Shipping and Transport a question. Now that the container terminal at Balmain is in operation heavy trucks will be constantly used to transport containers to and from the terminal. What steps have been taken or will be taken to eliminate noise and the traffic nuisance which will affect residents living adjacent to the area?

Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry · NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– Over quite a long time discussions have been held with councils in the area around the container port and the vehicular deck facility in Sydney about the frequency and the manner in which heavy transport uses the road access. Of course, there has been a substantial increase in the funds made available by the Commonwealth under the Commonwealth aid roads legislation, a substantial portion of which is going to the city of Sydney. This will give the New South Wales Government an enhanced capacity to improve the road system. Some of the money may well go to providing broader road access and better through roads to the port area, enabling a quicker movement of vehicles. One of the traditional problems of the port of Sydney has been the marked congestion caused by moving cargoes to and from the wharves. Persons living in the area have the advantage of living on the waterfront but the disadvantage of having cargoes moved along the roads near which their houses are built. If full benefit is to be obtained from the new method of cargo handling cargoes must be moved rapidly to and from the wharf area. I am aware that the problem referred to by the honourable gentleman concerns the residents of the area but I think it is essential to confine operations to the working week rather than to weekends. To the extent to which this happens it does mean that the cost of handling cargoes has increased and that the expected economies have not been achieved.

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– 1 ask the Treasurer a question. I refer to the payment from the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund to pre-1959 pensioners and contributors of the surplus disclosed by the quinquennial report of the Commonwealth Actuary. I recognise that the task of determining the details in this matter has been long and complex. Is the Treasurer in a position to give the House precise details as to when payments will be effected?


– The honourable gentleman is correct in saying that the work-

Mr Whitlam:

Mr Speaker, the honourable member for Stirling has the same question on the notice paper. It is question No. 1628. It has been on the notice paper since 12th August.


– I have asked this question repeatedly over the past 12 months.


-Order! There is no substance in the point of order. The honourable gentleman is asking for figures different from those asked for in the question on the notice paper.


– As the House well knows, probably the best qualified person we have here on matters associated with the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund, Commonwealth employees compensation and similar matters is the honourable member for Maribyrnong, who has just asked the question. I did not think any person, unless he had a mean heart and a mean attitude to life, would attempt to prevent this question from being answered. The honourable member has asked me on several occasions to try to have a ministerial statement made in order that not only the pensioners but also the contributors would be able to know as quickly as possible what their entitlements were and when they would be able to receive the payments. A document which will set out what has happened and the dates on which we think the first payments will be made to both classes of people is in the course of preparation. If that document is ready later this afternoon I hope to be able to obtain the leave of the House to make a statement.

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– I ask the Minister for the Army what action he proposes in relation to the serious allegations concerning the treatment .of junior cadets at the Royal Military College, Duntroon. Can he tell the House the terms of reference under which any inquiry will be held? I further ask the Minister . when it is expected that the inquiry will be completed and whether the findings will be tabled in this House.

Minister for the Army · FLINDERS, VICTORIA · LP

– The honourable gentleman would be well aware from Press reports on the matter to which he has made reference that a board of inquiry has been set up. I would be happy to provide the honourable gentleman with the terms of reference, a copy of which I have before me. They are very detailed and I do not believe that I should worry the House with them at this stage. But they are available and can be read if necessary.

Mr Barnard:

– May I have a copy?


– I would be happy to provide a copy to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or to the Leader of the Opposition immediately after question time. I can say to the House that the board of inquiry has been sitting for some days. A mass of evidence has already been taken from some sixty-four witnesses, but as at this morning at least a further fifty-four witnesses remained to be seen. The honourable gentle man and this House may be assured that every effort will be made to complete this inquiry as speedily as possible. On present indications it is hoped that the board of inquiry will be able to report its conclusions and recommendations by Wednesday of next week. These recommendations will then receive immediate consideration by the Commandant of the Royal Military College, Army Headquarters and certainly by myself. The honourable gentleman will be well aware that 1 have taken a close and personal interest in the matter to which he referred. Consequent upon that action I would hope to be in a position to make a statement or to answer queries in the House on Thursday, 25th September.

I would say to the honourable gentleman and to the House in general terms that the allegations which have been made are certainly regarded most seriously and they will be subject to the fullest possible scrutiny by the responsible authorities. I am further assured by senior military authorities that if irregularities are disclosed they will be dealt with in accordance with the proper military procedure, which of course is designed to ensure justice for the individual as well as for the Service. I am assured further that, if cases of long or persistent irregularity are disclosed, those involved will be asked to show cause why their cadetships should not be terminated.

On the other hand, I would say to the House today that I do hope that this question will be kept in perspective. It must be remembered that the assimilation training of the junior class, when carried out in accordance with instructions, has proved over a long period a valuable practice both in assisting the new cadet to assimilate military thinking and discipline and in providing the senior cadets with training in man management. It will be recalled also that the Royal Military College, Duntroon, has a proud tradition of producing dedicated officers. I would hope that the honourable gentleman and the public at large - I am well aware of the amount of publicity which has been given to this matter - will not damn the concept of the College nor the work that it has done on the basis of one aspect, important though it is, and which of course is currently under examination.

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– Can the Minister for Social Services and Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs inform the House whether, in accordance with the Government’s decentralisation policies and its policies to assist decentralisation, a regional office of the Department of Social Services is planned for the city of Dubbo?

Minister for Social Services · MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I have noticed that the honourable member for Gwydir has become rather Dubbo-minded. Perhaps I may remind him that the honourable member for Lawson some time ago mentioned this matter to me. My Department has approved the establishment of a regional centre for Dubbo. We have been looking around for suitable premises. I think that we found them eventually in the building which the Australian Workers Union is erecting in Church Street. Those premises were to have been ready this month, but I understand that their completion has been delayed about a month and that, when we obtain possession of them, it will be necessary to put in partitions. The office I hope will be open in Dubbo in November.

This is not only part of our decentralisation programme but also part of the programme of the Department of Social Services to make available pensions and other entitlements to all those people who are entitled to get them under the laws of this land. We do try to pay pensions to all those people who are qualified to get them. The establishment of these regional centres in Dubbo, in other towns and in the suburban areas of our main cities is part of that programme to bring pensions to the people who are entitled to them under the law.

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– Will the Minister for Civil Aviation do me one final favour before I retire from Federal Parliament, after 20 years as a member, by prevailing upon the Government of New South Wales to commence work on the construction of the airstrip on Lord Howe Island? Can the Minister tell me what stage has been reached in planning the airstrip? I may be leaving this Parliament, but I am not going to discontinue my visits to Lord Howe Island.

Minister for Civil Aviation · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I believe that the honourable member has mentioned this matter previously in the House! I can assure him that the discussions between the Government of New South Wales and the Commonwealth are proceeding at the present time. The technical work to which I referred on a previous occasion has been completed. It is possible to provide in the area available an airport which will be suitable and adequate for types of aircraft which we will permit to operate there. I would expect to be able in the not too distant future to provide some firm information for the honourable member.

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– I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service: Has the Government’s new scheme to subsidise Aboriginals in job training, which he announced early in June, yet come into operation? If so, are any Aboriginals yet benefiting from it?

Minister for Labour and National Service · WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– This scheme came into operation about mid- July and up to the end of August about twenty Aboriginals had been placed. We expect that this number will at least double by the end of this month. As the honourable member for Henty knows, this scheme applies to Aboriginals with little or no experience of previous regular employment. A number of young people who have agreed to move away from their homes have been placed and are receiving the living away from home allowance. So far placements have been largely in Queensland and New South Wales where we have received the ready co-operation of the State authorities, particularly from the Minister in charge of Aboriginal affairs in New South Wales.

This scheme depends very much upon becoming widely known. My Department has been granted a number of extra staff and shortly we will have far more officers in the field than we have had hitherto. The scheme involves discussions with the Aboriginals to explain the scheme to them and then winning their confidence, and likewise making known to employers the nature of the scheme and their role in providing employment. The job of communication is particularly difficult but we hope, with our extra officers, to have the main job of communication finished by about the end of this year. Thereafter, when the scheme is widely known, I would expect it to expand quite rapidly and to become viable. It will, of course, automatically include all school leavers and it is probable that in the future it will be mainly those Aboriginals who will benefit. The broad answer to the honourable member is that the scheme is well under way and is likely to expand considerably in the future.

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– 1 desire to ask a further question of the Minister for the Army. I preface it by reminding the Minister that he tabled in this House on Friday last the annual report of the Royal Military College at Duntroon. I now ask him why he did hot inform the House that a full scale investigation was being held into student practices at Duntroon. I further ask the Minister, since he has not dealt with this matter in his reply to my first question whether he will make a statement to the House on reports that there have been suicide attempts by a student at Duntroon and by two national servicemen.


– It is certainly true that the 1968 report of the Royal Military College was tabled by me in this House when a board of inquiry had been constituted to establish the basis of allegations which had been received from the Commandant of the Royal Military College and similar allegations which had already come to me from a separate and private source. I want to say to the House today that my own feeling - quite a strong feeling - was that a ministerial announcement of these allegations would have initiated and given currency to widspread speculation which could not in any way be regarded as helpful to the investigations under way. Such an announcement would have been premature and irresponsible in that it would have led to the prejudging in some quarters of issues which properly it was the function of the board to examine. It could well have caused avoidable concern to parents with students at the College before the true facts were known. If I have learnt anything in this portfolio, and I believe that I have learnt a lot, it is that any comment I make must be based on fact which is carefully established. When I have the facts the House will have them and there will be no attempt to sweep this matter under the carpet. I only suggest to the honourable gentleman that if the approach that he poses before the House today is, in fact, indicative of the approach that he or a member of the Opposition might well have taken had they been in my place, then I am very glad that the Australian Army for one, and the people of Australia, are aware of that approach.

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– Is the Minister for National Development aware that the socalled shadow Minister for Northern Development, the honourable member for Dawson, has recently announced that one of the first steps of a Federal Labor government will be to restore the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority to its role as a Federal construction authority? ls it not a fact that the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, in the form in which it is to be set up by the Government, will be able to perform tasks almost identical to those that the Snowy Mountains Authority has performed in the Snowy Mountains?

Minister for National Development · FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I am at a loss to understand what the honourable member for Dawson means when he talks about retaining the construction teams of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority. The plain fact of the matter is that the Snowy Mountains Authority itself has, as I have pointed out before, never physically constructed any dam in its life. What it does is to investigate the dam site and the proposal, design the dam, call tenders, let a contract and supervise the contract. Under the new proposals of the Federal Government the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation will be entitled to continue to supervise contracts where it is required to do so by the Government or by a consultant, but, of course, the shadow Minister for Northern Development, as I believe he is known, may be referring to the day labour force in the Snowy Mountains area. This day labour force has been responsible only for building such things as roads, aqueducts and town sites. Perhaps it is his intention that its activities should be expanded so that it becomes a day labour construction force. We know that day labour is very dear to the Labor heart. We know, for example, that the original intention in the Snowy Mountains was that the Eucumbene Dam should be built on a day labour basis by the Public Works Department of New South Wales. After some considerable time in which all it succeeded in building was a camp site - and I do not think . it even finished that - the Snowy Mountains Commissioner was able to get it eased out and to get a contract let. The dam itself was then finished ahead of schedule. So, 1 sincerely hope that this is not his proposal, f point out that the Authority wm be entitled to continue as it has done in the past to let tenders and to supervise contracts.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for the Army. How did he expect the occurrences at Duntroon to remain free from public scrutiny? Did he not consider it his duty to the Parliament, in view of the charter of the College, which is printed in the report that was tabled in the House last Friday, to have the position made clear to the Parliament? Will he give an assurance that all of the errors, if any errors are exposed, are not visited upon the cadets themselves but are placed fairly and squarely upon the management of the College which includes thirty senior officers? What steps does he propose to take to keep closer administrative scrutiny over the actions of the Army in such matters as this, in view of the continuing incidents over the last 18 months or so, and to see that the Army does carry out its duties as specified in the charter of the College, namely, to give the cadets an understanding of the place of the armed Services in the Australian nation?


– The honourable member has asked several detailed questions and because of this the points which he posed do not instantly come to mind. I say to him that I do keep very close ministerial control over my Department at all times and I have no apology to make to him or to any other member of this House. I am in constant touch with all aspects of the Australian Army.

Mr Bryant:

– You should keep us in touch.


– It would be very useful to the honourable member if he were to keep in touch with the solid progress which we are making today in so many fields. But of course the honourable member is well known for his questions in this House relative to the Australian Army; he has always had a manic preoccupation with the bizarre and the unusual. I say to him again that there is very close ministerial control of the Army, but as he himself will appreciate the Australian Army is one of the largest organisations in this country. I do not represent it to this House as the reservoir of human wisdom nor do I take the point that officers or other ranks have some kind of infallibility. Problems arise from time to time but the honourable member knows as well as 1 that when any problem has been brought to my attention it has been remedied. As I said earlier in answer to a question asked by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, this matter is receiving my close and personal attention. The fullest inquiry possible is being made and there will’ be no attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet. I suggest that the honourable member read the answers 1 gave to the previous questions asked today.

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– I direct to the Treasurer a question supplementary to that asked of him last week about taxation on share dealings. I ask: As the Treasurer was so sure of the position last week in South Australia is he now aware that the Chairman of the Stock Exchange in Perth does not share the views held by his colleague in Adelaide? I ask the Treasurer whether he is aware that the Chairman of the Perth Stock Exchange has made this statement:

I think there is a moral obligation on the part of the Commissioner and of Parliament to clarify what is taxable and what is not.

Will the Treasurer give an assurance to the House that the Deputy Commissioners of Taxation are required to carry out such investigations as we have heard of in the same way in all States? I could almost ask: Why pick on Western Australia? To assist the public satisfactorily in understanding the requirements of the Government will the Treasurer have issued a more positive definition of the share dealings which will be viewed as taxable? What can be done about assessments already issued and which embrace every share transaction for a number of years, whether or not trading has been established by the Commissioners?


– If the honourable member had listened with care to the answer that I gave to a somewhat similar question last Thursday in this House he would realise that already the Commissioner of Taxation has made the position clear and he has asked the Deputy Commissioners in Perth and Adelaide to discontinue their actions in having a general survey of the accounts of various people in brokers’ offices. If it was not made clear to the House then I now make it clear that the Commissioner of Taxation feels that if it is practicable it would be wise to have the same kind of procedure followed in Perth and Adelaide as is followed in Victoria and New South Wales. I think that information will answer the substance of the question. As to the first part of the question, I assure the honourable member that the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation informed me that he had in fact discussed with the Chairman of the Perth Stock Exchange the procedure to be followed in an attempt to ascertain whether or not the people had been trading and had not in fact declared their trading activities to the Deputy Commissioner for proper assessment. I have not read the subsequent statement but if it was subsequent to the statement I made in the House it may have been superfluous.

As to the last part of the honourable gentleman’s question, I will draw the Commissioner’s attention to it and pursuant to his responsibilities under the Act, because they are his responsibilities and not mine, I will suggest that he have a careful look at the recommendations made by the honourable gentleman.

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– I ask the PostmasterGeneral a question. He will recall my representations on the following matter over several months. Has the Australian Broadcasting Control Board yet reached a decision to grant a television translator sta tion licence to Channel 6 in Hobart to serve Tasmania’s newest and remotest hydro-electric town of Strathgordon which already has a population of 1,200 people? If so, will it be possible for Channel 6 and the Australian Broadcasting Commission to use the same site, which already has been chosen, and equipment and begin television programmes to Strathgordon at the same time?


– The honourable member for Wilmot and the honourable member for Franklin, together with Senator Marriott, have made representations to me over a period in relation to a television translator to serve the community of Strathgordon. This is a town which is associated with a hydro-electric project on the Gordon River in Tasmania. The town is almost completely surrounded by high hills and television reception is impossible unless a translator is installed on one of the hills. If this is done, I understand from the Australian Broadcasting Control Board, very good reception will be available in the township which is expected to have a population of some 2,000 people by June next year. I have approved the issue of a translator licence to TVT 6, the Hobart commercial station. The matter of a national translator from the same site is under discussion between the Post Office and the Australian Broadcasting Commission at the present time.

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– My question is addressed to the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs. I refer to a report in yesterday’s Sydney Press concerning a plan for Aboriginal group co-operatives to assist these people in the eventual management and ownership of their own enterprises. Will the Minister advise the House what arrangements arc in train to bring these plans to fruition?


– Following visits to Arnhem Land some weeks ago where I had conferences with the Aboriginals concerned and the local councils of Aboriginals, I got an idea of what they themselves wanted for their own economic development of that area. I was able, on the basis of this, to draw up some kind of outline plan which was based on what they themselves had brought forward. This plan was submitted to a conference of Aboriginal councils which 1 was able, through the Department, to help to finance. The conference met on Goulburn Island a couple of weeks ago. The honourable member himself was good enough, on my behalf, to go up and put this plan before the Aboriginals for their discussion, modification, approval or rejection. I want to make it quite clear that what we are trying to do in this area, as in other areas of Australia, is to advance the economic interests of Aboriginals in a way in which they themselves approve and which they themselves believe to be in their own interests. We are not trying to lay down a plan and dictate it to them.

I understand that the scheme which I put forward was discussed at this conference on Goulburn Island. I have had some preliminary reports of that conference, both from the honourable member and also from officers of the Office of Aboriginal Affairs who were present as observers. When I receive a fuller account of the conference and 1 am quite certain of what the Aboriginals want, I shall be able to approve and implement immediately a plan which is in accordance with their desires. I cannot give a commitment on this, but I am hopeful that before the House rises I will be in a position to have a plan for Arnhem Land which is based on the Aboriginals’ own desires, which is approved of by them and which can be implemented by the Government. I would hope to be able to do this in other areas of Australia in relation to which I have already initiated similar action.

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– I ask the Minister for Health a question. The honourable gentleman has told me in a written reply that contributors receive back from the present medical benefit funds between 55% and 72% of the fees commonly charged by general practitioners for a surgery consultation. I ask him: What would be the additional cost to contributors and the Commonwealth of increasing the return to 85%, as he suggests?

Minister for Health · BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– As I have indicated on a number of occasions, the Government, following on the Nimmo report, has done a great deal of detailed investigation into this matter. It has been carrying on consultations with the funds, the Australian

Medical Association and other interested people. Those discussions are still continuing. When they are completed and the Govenment is in a position to make an announcement, I will be glad to give the honourable gentleman the answer to the question which he asks.

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– Can the Minister for Immigration tell the House the worth of an adult migrant to Australia; that is, what it would cost the community to educate and train a technician, artisan or tradesman? What would be the aggregate savings to Australia represented by all migrants who came to Australia in the year ended 30th June 1969? Does he consider that they have added greatly to our standard of living?

Minister for Immigration · BRUCE, VICTORIA · LP

– Taking the third question first, I. say that the migrants certainly have added very considerably to our standard of living. They have enabled economic progress to be made. 1 think that economic progress is an objective which is pursued only to increase our standards; not merely our material standards, but also our intangible or non-material standards. The next question is: What is the value of these migrants? We have never done a study in Australia to ascertain the value of an adult worker in the labour force. But in about 1966 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development carried out a study in Europe of the cost to the community of the entry of a worker into the work force. lt extended the study over the full range of the work force, from the unskilled man right through to the professional man, and assessed that throughout Europe the cost to the community of a worker entering the work force was between $US7,000 and $US10,000. About March or April of this year, a bankers’ conference was held in Sydney. There this matter was brought up and T remember well that an English banker at that time denied this proposition. He said that in England the cost was nearer $US 12,000 than SUS7.000 to SUS 10,000.

However, taking the lowest figure of SUS7.000 and applying it to the number of migrants who entered the work force last year - this was more than 80,000 workers - the cost to the community saved by immigrants entering the work force could be said to be a minimum of 80,000 multiplied by $7,000, or $560m. This estimate of $560m shows that immigration is not pursued merely to increase population. It is a major economic vehicle and it is a dynamic of growth. In these terms we have an entry into the community of human capital of immense magnitude. Whilst I use the term ‘human capital’, I would not want the House to believe that there can ever be any approach to migration in terms of statistics alone. These are human beings. Each individual has his own problems and his own attitudes and is always regarded as a human being.

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Assent to the following Bills reported:

Pyrites Bounty Bill 1969,

Sulphuric Acid Bounty Bill 1969.

Cellulose Acetate Rake Bounty Bill 1969.

Sulphate of Ammonia Bounty Bill 1969.

Phosphate Fertilisers Bounty Bill 1969.

Urea Bounty Bill 1969.

Aged Persons Homes Bill 1969.

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Report of Public Works Committee


– In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1966,I present the report relating to the following proposed works:

Central Laundry and Sterilising Services at Canberra Hospital. Australian Capital Territory.

I ask for leave to make a short statement.


– There being no objection, leave is granted.


– This report differs slightly from other reports in that the Committee has not recommended that it is expedient to proceed with the work the subject of the reference. The Committee passed a resolution in these terms:

  1. It is not expedient to proceed with the proposals as submitted.
  2. The Government should reconsider the proposed arrangements for providing laundry and central sterilising services to A.C.T. hospitals with a view to:

    1. Proceeding immediately with the design and construction of permanent laundry and sterilising facilities on a site other than Canberra Hospital, and
    2. Constructing such additional facilities at Canberra Hospital as are required to provide an interim service, pending completion of the permanent facility.

During the hearings of the Public Works Committee in relation to many projects throughout Australia it has been significant that most attention is focused on works projected for the Australian Capital Territory. There seems to be far greater interest in what the Commonwealth is doing in respect of public works in the Australian Capital Territory than in other Australian capital city areas. The Committee met frequently on this submission and heard evidence from a number of people. To help reach a decision the Committee recalled most of the witnesses. For perhaps the first time since I have been a member of the Committee it has not recommended that the work the subject of its inquiry should proceed.

Ordered that the report be printed.

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Approval of Work: Public Works Committee Act

Minister for the Navy · Wakefield · LP

– I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1966, it is expedient to carry out the following proposed works which were referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works and on which the committee has duly reported to this House: Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport - Construction of Customs Building and Incinerator.

The proposal involves the construction of a Customs House containing about 10,500 square feet of public and office space on a site about 2,100 feet south of the terminal building and an incinerator complex comprising two waste disposal units and provision for a third to be located on the western side of the Airport. The estimated costs of the proposed works are $460,000 and $250,000 respectively.

In reporting favourably on the proposals the Committee drew attention firstly to the tight construction time-table for the two projects and secondly to other matters connected with the Melbourne Airport. In regard to the former it is expected that stage I of the Customs building will be completed and ready for use when international operations commence. Satisfactory temporary arrangements are planned for the limited period which will be necessary for the completion of the incinerator complex.

The Committee commented adversely on the practice of near completion of the design and documentation of a project prior to its clearance by the Parliament. It is true that as the projects were classified as urgent the documentation of what can be regarded as two comparatively minor works in the overall airport development complex proceeded to a more advanced stage than is normally the case when projects are referred to the Committee. In taking this action no contravention of the Public Works Committee Act 1913- 1966 has been made and in no way has the Parliament’s decision been anticipated.

Upon the concurrence of the House in this resolution the works can be committed to construction in accordance with the Committee’s recommendations.

Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa

– I have not read the report which the Minister for the Navy (Mr Kelly) is in effect asking the House to endorse. I speak now because there has been trouble with the incinerator constructed at the Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport. This incinerator was completed, according to the contractor, in June last year. It appears to me that it is not yet in operation. The Minister, in an answer which he provided for me on 14th May last on this project, said:

The Commonwealth has accepted the work as it has been completed in accordance with the contract. But the incinerator is not acceptable to the Department of Civil Aviation and therefore has not yet been placed in regular use. The water content of much of the airport garbage has proved to be considerably higher than expected when this incinerator was designed and modifications are required to predrain and partly dry the garbage before it is incinerated.


– I raise a point of order. The incinerator at Mascot was not referred to the Public Works Committee. I do not doubt that there is room for debate. The reference before us is an incinerator and a customs house at Tullamarine. The cost of the incinerator at Mascot was below the statutory limit and therefore the project was not referred to the Committee for report to this Parliament.


-In view of the information given to the Chair by the honourable member for Perth the Leader of the Opposition will be out of order if he refers to Mascot.

Mr Whitlam:

– On the point of order, I submit that before voting on this matter I am entitled to be reassured that in this case the design is satisfactory. I am not alleging that the Public Works Committee had reported on the incinerator at Mascot. That project cost $97,235 and therefore was below the cost of projects that have to be reported on by the Public Works Committee. However, the Mascot incinerator was constructed to the order of the Department of Civil Aviation and the contract was placed by the Department of Works. It has been unsatisfactory. I want reassurance that in the case now before us the client has provided satisfactory designs.


-The Leader of the Opposition may continue.


– The answer which the Minister gave me on behalf of the Minister for Works in another place continued:

Until this is done, the incinerator cannot be used effectively for much of the wet airport garbage, though it could be used for dryer materials to be disposed from the airport.

Ever since June last year this not inconsiderable project has been idle. The House is being asked to approve the construction of a project about four times as expensive. I believe that it is reasonable for me to point out that the previous designs of the Department of Civil Aviation were unsatisfactory. I wish to be reassured that they are satisfactory on this occasion.

Minister for Civil Aviation · Darling Downs · LP

– The Leader of the Opposition may be so assured.


– May I add that the Public Works Committee, knowing that an incinerator had been constructed at Sydney and having before it the construction of one at Tullamarine, of its own volition went and inspected the incinerator at Sydney, discussed it with representatives of the Department of Works and was assured that what was intended to be constructed at Tullamarine would not have in its design the difficulties that were experienced at Mascot. The Committee was assured - we have to accept the top technical advice - that when the incinerator at Tullamarine was completed it would perform the function it was designed to perform. During this debate I want to refer, if £ may, to that reference, because when we tabled the report in this House a statement on our inquiry was made jointly by the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) and the Minister for Works (Senator Wright). I do not deny them that right. What I was rather amused at was the follow up by a leading article in the Melbourne ‘Age’ which accused the Committee of barking at shadows and playing politics. lt appears to me that when you are a member of this Parliament you cannot win whatever you do. One week you read a leading article in a newspaper to the effect that back benchers in this Parliament have become rubber stamps, that they accept Executive decisions and just walk into the House and vote for them. But the moment a back bench committee - this is in effect what the Public Works Committee is - criticises some proposed action a leading article comes out to the effect that that Committee is barking at shadows and is playing politics. I can only read into the article what the writer was hinting at - that is, that it was a New South Wales move. The Committee consists of 3 Western Australians, 2 Queenslanders, 2 New South Welshmen, 1 Victorian and 1 South Australian.

I might say this: In the 3 years that I have been a member of the Public Works Committee, I. have never known one reference to be discussed, debated or decided on party lines, party political lines, House of Representatives lines or Senate lines. The members of the Committee have acted as members of a parliamentary body. They have given an honest judgment on what they believe to be the facts. True, the members of the Committee may make a report to this Parliament which may prove to be a misjudgment. They accept that.

I think it is quite unfair for newspaper leader writers to say these things. Nobody ever knows who a newspaper leader writer is. He has this magnificent cloak of anonymity. But the newspaper leader writer knows the identity of the members of the Committee, and therefore can accuse members of the Committee of playing politics or barking at shadows. I do not wish to take the time of the House in discussing those accusations. If honourable members read reports presented by previous Public Works Committees J think they will be able to form their own judgments as to whether, with respect to references such as this, we are or are not barking at shadows. 1 wish to deal with one more matter. In the report relating to the proposals for the construction of the Customs building and incinerator at the Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport, two slight errors appear: I draw the attention of the House to them. The first is to be found on page 15 of the report. Paragraph 73 reads:

In the case of the present reference, the Department of Works in July 1968 was authorised to proceed with final documentation and the stage has now been reached where tenders can be called within a week or two if the Parliament’s approval is obtained.

Although we did not mention it there, I make the point that those remarks apply only to the incinerator and not to the Customs building. I refer now to paragraph 79 on page 16 which reads:

We have now been told that in the period since we commenced our 1968 inquiry, the date for the commencement of operations has fallen back a further 6 months to the end of May 1970. In other words, the airport which has been under construction for nearly 7 years is now expected to open. . . .

That last sentence should read in full:

In other words, the airport which will have been under construction for 7 years is now expected to open, for its initial commerical operations, more than 3 years after the original target date.

The only other point is that the Committee was very critical of the fact that it was obvious that as the decision was that Tullamarine would be an international airport it followed that an incinerator and a Customs building would be required there. So, any changes which will occur in the function of the airport because of the introduction of Jumbo jets have no relation to the need for these two things. The need for them remains constant regardless of the types of aircraft using the terminal at any future date.

St George

- Mr Speaker, I rise to support briefly the remarks of the honourable member for Perth (Mr Chaney). I refer, first, to his observations in regard to the situation in which a committee of the nature of the Public Work Committee finds itself when it is endeavouring to be a useful instrument of the Parliament and undertakes in a very detailed manner the investigations that are required of it.

The honourable member for Perth, as Chairman of the Public Works Committee - he is a very impartial chairman - has given a good lead in this regard. He readily says that there has been no indication of a split on parry lines or on any other lines, including differences between the two Houses of the Parliament, whatsoever in respect of any reference to the Committee. lt is disappointing to see the stand taken by the great critics of the Parliament and its instruments - I refer to the Press - when a unit such as the Public Works Committee brings forward constructive reports on references to it. We must bear in mind the fact that the Government has the numbers. Members of this Parliament could act as rubber stamps and endorse everything that the Government says, if need be, but members of this Committee have presented an impartial observation of the situation as they see it. Yet, we see this example of what has happened in this respect with regard to the leading article which appeared in the Melbourne ‘Age’ a few weeks ago.

Also, I am somewhat disappointed that the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) and the Minister for Works (Senator Wright) have found it necessary to react so quickly to, and have been drawn into debate on this matter by, this criticism in one newspaper. I am disappointed that it was found to be necessary to issue a public statement. I sincerely believe that the comments in this regard could have been forthcoming on the floor of this House. That is one aspect of the matter with which I wish to deal.

I do not necessarily agree with the statements that have been made or with the observations which were presented by the Ministers in their public statement. The Ministers said, for instance, that the reference was brought before the Public Works Committee at its own request. Might I suggest that this is misleading. I am not saying that either Minister is misleading the Parliament intentionally or that this was done intentionally. What I am saying is that this statement could give a wrong indication of what the situation is. There are positive procedures to be followed for reference of a matter to the Public Works Committee under an Act of this Parliament, the Public Works Committee Act. The procedures to be followed are clear cut in that Act and the situation as far as Tullamarine is concerned have been made quite clear before.

I am at a loss even to understand why the Minister for the Navy (Mr Kelly), who is sitting at the table, made the statement today that no contravention of the Public Works Act has occurred. A strict routine exists as to what is necessary. As we see it - I am sure that the members of the Public Works Committee support me when I say this - there was a certain procedure to be carried out in regard to the reference of this material relating to Tullamarine, and it was not carried out. We found ourselves in the situation where certain procedures had been carried out before the Committee had its opportunity to consider the reference.

The Minister for the Navy has an advantage of me because I have not now had the opportunity to study the Public Works Committee Act on this point. At least I do say to the Minister that if there is a moral responsibility here or a moral principle involved, I certainly will be making reference to it. I do not wish to push the matter any further at this stage. I do think that the departments concerned would do well to recognise, in the interests of the Parliamentary institution, what the Public Works Committee has been trying to do not only with regard to this reference but also in regard to many other references. Some indication should be forthcoming that backbenchers on both sides of this House form this Committee as an instrument of the Nation. It acts as such. I leave the House with those few comments.

Darling Downs Minister for Civil Aviation · LP

- Mr Speaker, when this report was received, considerable publicity was given to it in the Press in Melbourne. The Minister for Works (Senator Wright) and I felt it necessary to record factually as far as we were concerned some of the matters related to it. So, we took that action immediately because of the publicity which had been given at that time. If we had waited until the report of the Public Works Committee was presented to the House, the effect of that reply would have been lost. The explanation of the statement at that time is that it was solely to answer some of the Press criticism, some of which I would say, as is not unusual, was taken out of context and was most critical of a number of personnel associated with several departments.

On this matter, there is just one point that I would like to clear up. 1 am not being critical in any way of the Public Works Committee. It has its job to do and it does it most thoroughly. It has a. perfect right to investigate these matters and to report on them. The only comment that 1 would make is that, before making the criticism which it did and as strongly as it did, the Committee could have had available to it the file that I have in my hand which includes copies of all the correspondence, the minutes and the various documents associated with the preparation of these two items which are only a part of a very major operation. In fact it is one of the largest undertaken in Australia today. I say this merely because the original request for sketch plans and order of cost went from the Department of Civil Aviation to the Department of Works on 3rd November 1.966. From that point, a series of happenings are associated with the matter which indicate the difficulties connected with these two items.

It was not a basic fact that these items had to be provided in their present form at the time when they were first considered. Some very substantial modifications had been made as can be seen by the correspondence and the exchange of items by various conferences between the airlines and the departments concerned. Those departments include the Department of Customs and Excise, the Department of Health, the Department of Civil Aviation and the Department of Works. Those discussions related to requirements which have led to the modifications which are being made now by the proposals which are being approved by the House.

I wish now merely to correct the last statement which was made by the Chairman of the Public Works Committee, the honourable member for Perth (Mr Chaney). He said that the works had to be done, that the plans could have been prepared and that we could have gone ahead at this point in time. In 1966 we asked for the sketches and the order of cost but it was not possible to obtain them until early in this year. Finally we got the amended plans and sketches and the final estimates. This brought the time factor fairly close. One of the major changes which had to be made in the size and type of facilities provided in the customs house related to the introduction of the Boeing 747. The plans could have been finalised and introduced at that stage. However, as with many other aspects of this project, they had to go back into the melting pot. This applied also to the size of the incinerator. It had to be varied. Also in relation to the situation which had arisen in Sydney, as honourable members know, some other modifications had to be included. This all took a considerable amount of time. We regret very much that this did occur because it has put us to a great deal of inconvenience. There are two and a half pages of items, including various documents and minutes, which went backwards and forwards over this time and about which there were discussions. I merely say that whilst it is regretted that this amount of time was taken to bring these things to the stage where plans could be submitted for consideration by the Committee, everything possible was being done during the intervening period to expedite their consideration.

The final point is that arrangements have been made for temporary facilities to be provided until the whole building is completed. This has been done because it is fairly obvious that the full facilities will not be available when the international airport opens which according to present estimates will be about the middle of next year. Part of the building will have been completed and the Department of Customs and Excise has assured us that it will be able to utilise the facilities that are there on a temporary basis. The incinerator will not be completed when the international terminal is opened. Arrangements are now made for some temporary facilities to be provided. Both the incinerator and the other works will be finished before the domestic terminal is open. The temporary facilities will be Obtained and will be available before the international terminal is opened. Other arrangements will be made for the disposals required at that time. It is unfortunate that these things have to be done but nevertheless arrangements have been completed.

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (3.12] - Part of the Tullamarine expressway passes through my electorate. I have been watching progress on the work at Tullamarine for quite a number of years. Obviously there is a difference of opinion between the honourable member for Perth (Mr Chaney), who is the Chairman of the Public Works Committee, and the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) about what has happened at Tullamarine. The first thing is that work which was supposed to take 3 years has taken 7 years. No apologies from the Minister can explain away that fact. Somebody has blundered and has blundered badly. The Minister, like everybody else who holds office in every Parliament in Australia today, when faced with a problem of this sort, tries to explain everything away by saying: ‘We have had labour troubles’, as though this was a strikeprone country.

Mr Charles Jones:

– The Government is having labour troubles now.


– It is in labour all right. The Minister tries to explain everything by saying that this is a strike-prone country. It is not. It is wrong to blame any section of the work force for the delays which have occurred. The Minister has said from time to time that we have had labour troubles but Australia has less labour trouble and is more strike free than are most other countries today. Whenever something happens it is the desire of those responsible to blame the poor old wage plug. The workers do not get that much out of it anyhow. When trouble does start and workers are laid off because of indecision and fault on the part of government departments, those workers very often suffer a considerable diminution of income. We do not hear too much about it when the companies that do this work talk of litigation and of charging ‘the Government with incompetence.

The people of Melbourne are waiting for the Tullamarine airport to be finished. They want it finished quickly. They want to see the jumbo jets landing there because this will mean not merely an improvement to industry and to the prosperity of the State of Victoria but an increase in the importance of Australia generally.


-Order! I remind the right honourable member that the motion before the House deals with a customs building and an incinerator at Tullamarine Airport. It does not cover the whole of the building of Tullamarine nor its importance to Australia.


– As the incinerator was mentioned I thought this subject was a burning one and that therefore I was entitled to make a passing reference to it. You cannot have a proper airport without a proper customs house. The customs house, like the incinerator, should have come up early in the programme. Construction of these two essential buildings has been left to the last. I admire the dexterity and adroitness with which the Minister for Air-

Mr Chaney:

– The Minister for Civil Aviation.


– I am sorry, the Minister for Civil Aviation. He may get a promotion some day. I admire the dexterity and adroitness with which the Minister tries to explain away everything that goes wrong as though it were an act of God or just an unfortunate natural circumstance. I was more impressed with what the honourable member for Perth has said on this subject than with what was said by the Minister. If the honourable member feels that the Public Works Committee has been misrepresented or that its views have been distorted I hope ‘he will tell us precisely where the error made by the Government in regard to these two facilities has occurred. I urge the Minister to double his efforts and see that there is not another year’s delay in the construction of these two buildings. I have given up accepting superficialities as though they were facts; I have given up accepting assurances which never become actualities. We want these two buildings constructed as quickly as possible so that the clean, proud, dignified, beautiful city of Melbourne, the great State of Victoria and the greater Commonwealth of Australia will all benefit.

Minister for the Navy · Wakefield · LP

– There are two matters to which I want to reply briefly. The honourable member for St George (Mr Bosman) raised the question as to whether it was proper for the design of a project such as this to proceed before the Public Works Committee commenced its hearing. We always hope it will not be necessary to proceed, but often it is. If the honourable member checks he will see that the Act states that work shall not commence - in other words tenders shall not be accepted - until the Public Works Committee has reported. The Parliament is not bypassed in this matter. The Parliament has . the responsibility, as it has today, of agreeing to works following receipt of the Public Works Committee report. In this case the Government takes the risk that the Public Works Committee report may alter the proposition. This means that a considerable amount of design effort may be wasted in some cases. The Government has to make a judgment as to whether to run the risk of such a thing happening or to proceed in the usual way and, as often happens, experience delay. You may remember, Mr Speaker, that last week a very strong plea was put forward from honourable members on both sides of the House for documentation to proceed before a Public Works Committee hearing relating to two schools in the Northern Territory.

Referring to the points raised by the right honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Calwell), some things ought to be spelt out about the Tullamarine project. The magnitude of this project is not often recognised. The Department of Works informs me that it is spending at the rate of about Sim a month on the Tullamarine Airport. This compares with about $500,000 a month for the largest shopping complex in Australia, and it is far more complex work at Tullamarine. The rate of spending at Tullamarine is equivalent to the cost of building a Canberra airport every week. The rate of construction at Tullamarine compares favourably with the Toronto International Airport which is about the same size and which is estimated to take 2 years longer to build.

To give an idea of the scale of the project it is worth noting that last year the Department of Works spent $29m for the Department of Civil Aviation. This is considerably more than was spent that year by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority. To illustrate the complexity and vastness of the work involved, the decision to introduce Boeing 747 aircraft necessitated the raising of 2 acres of floor space. As a farmer I see things clearly in acres. The fact that 2 acres of floor space had to be raised indicates the magnitude of the work. When I was Minister for Works I took much interest in this project and visited the area many times. I have a clear idea of the dedication of the people working on the project and I pay a tribute to them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 1341


Second Reading

Debate resumed from 9 September (vide page 940), on motion by Mr Swartz:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Charles Jones:

– This Bill, which relates to charges for Commonwealth air navigation facilities and services, will increase by $2,076,000 the revenue raised in the previous 12 months. The revenue from domestic users will increase by approximately $700,000. In the last 3 years air navigation charges have risen from $9,860,000 to $14,880,000. In his second reading speech the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) indicated that a working committee, comprising representatives from the Department of Civil Aviation, from Treasury and from domestic and international airline operators, has been set up to investigate international charges. What concerns me is that at present the international users of Australian airports are paying less per pound than the domestic users. We all know that it is mainly because of the operations of international airlines that increased charges have become necessary.

Mr Swartz:

– The larger the aircraft the more people they carry.

Mr Charles Jones:

– Yes, and the bigger the airport, the longer the runway and the heavier the pavement required. This all adds considerably to the cost of operating airports and navigational facilities yet at present international operators are getting out of it for less than the domestic users pay. I hope that the Minister will not allow this working committee to carry on indefinitely, possibly stalling for time, with the result that international operators will be avoiding their obligations and responsibility to pay additional charges. International operators claim that Australian air navigation charges are the dearest in the world. I cannot dispute this claim because figures that I have in my possession disclose clearly that Australian charges are dearer than overseas charges. One of the difficulties in determining a fair and reasonable charge in comparison with overseas charges is that there is no similarity in the way airports are financed and charges applied. Because of these differences it is difficult to say whether Australian charges are higher than are charges overseas. Some American airports, for example, are constructed by local authorities - city corporations. Finance is provided by the Federal Government in some cases and in other instances money to construct airports is secured by way of loans raised within the city itself or in the State where the city is located. The interest derived from the loans is tax free. Consequently those authorities get money much cheaper than they would if they had to go on the open market. In some cases, too, the navigational aids are owned by the airline companies. Some are owned by the Federal authority. There are so many conflicting and confusing systems operating throughout the world that it is difficult to say whether Australian charges are greater or less than they are overseas. 1 believe that international operators do not pay any tax on fuel in Australia, yet the domestic operator has to pay substantial taxation on the fuel he uses. It is difficult to assess the position or to be able to say that one operator is receiving preferential treatment over another. I hope that the Minister will impress upon the working committee the need to bring down an early decision so that the international operators will be required to bear their share of navigational charges.

I have some tables that I should like to incorporate in Hansard. I showed these tables to the Minister for Civil Aviation last Friday and I have his approval for their incorporation. When we are debating legislation that involves expenditure the only way to discuss it properly is to relate one’s remarks to clear and concise figures. One of these tables deals with the amount of customs and excise revenue collected in Australia on aviation fuel between 1964-65 and 1968-69. Another table shows revenue collected from air navigation charges between the same years from domestic, international, private aerial and charter operators. Also shown in the tables are the net collections by the Department of Civil Aviation from that source and departmental expenditure under appropriations for the same years. With the concurrence of honourable members I incorporate the tables in Hansard.

Compiled by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library Legislative Research Service from information published in the Annual Reports of the Auditor-General.

Compiled by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library Legislative Research Service from information supplied by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. Compiled by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library Legislative Research Service from information supplied by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. Compiled by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library Legislative Research Service from information published in 'Civil Aviation' Annual Reports; Annual Reports of the Auditor-General; 'Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure, 1969-70' (Treasury); and information supplied by the Department of Civil Aviation. I thank the Minister and honourable members for their courtesy in enabling these tables to appear in Hansard. The tables disclose that in the years 1964-65 to 1970 domestic operators should have contributed, by way of air navigation charges, $21,666,292; international operators, $19,434,354 and private aerial and charter operators, $1,761,278- a total of $42,861,924. Net collections by the Department of Civil Aviation in the same years totalled $42,172,442. The tables disclose also that the total revenue collected in those 5 years from customs and excise on aviation fuel was $49,990,339. The total expenditure by the Department of Civil Aviation for that period was $363,156,000. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr Bosman: -- For what years? {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -- For the period 1964-65 to 1968-69. Those figures were supplied to me by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library statistical service. The information discloses in that 5-year period the total expenditure by the Department of Civil Aviation was $363,156,000. Deducting the revenue of $92,162,783 from the sources which I quoted, we find that in that period of 5 years the Commonwealth has paid to the Department of Civil Aviation a subsidy of $270,993,217. That is quite a substantial subsidy to be paid by the Government to any department. In my opinion it is too much. The Government should look into this situation. I am not happy to be in the position this afternoon of indicating that the Opposition does not intend to oppose the increase in air navigation charges which will result in increased revenue to the Commonwealth of approximately $700,000. The Government must be practical about this and no parliament and no government should be required to subsidise an industry over a period of 5 years to the extent of $270m. {: .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz: -- That is not taking into account any revenue. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -- I quoted revenue received. The figures I quoted included current expenditure and capital expenditure, and I stated the totals for both. Those figures, supplied to me by the Parliamentary Library, were obtained from the annual report of the Auditor-General. The gentleman who prepared the figures was of the opinion that the only figure which can be quoted is the actual expenditure as reported by the Auditor-General. It is not a matter of someone saying: 'This is what we are going to spend or should spend'. This is the money that was actually spent. {: .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz: -- We are talking about airline revenue. This must be all taken into consideration. For example, Qantas last year earned $150m, and you have to take this into account. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -- You might have to take that into account but when referring to money actually expended on airports, navigation and the activities generally of the Department of Civil Aviation you should not deal with one section of expenditure, lt is necessary to deal with the full expenditure of the department. The Department of Civil Aviation is there to do a particular job. It is there to provide and supervise air safety and to conduct air navigational aids. All these things form part of that organisation. You cannot levy a charge and say that a particular part of the Department's activity costs so much. There is a meteorological service, the cost of which is quite considerable. From memory I think it is about $3m a year. The figures which I quoted disclose the expenditure for salaries, administration, the meteorological service, development and so on. Those figures should be taken into consideration when dealing with the activities of the Department, of which the provision of facilities for airline operations is part and parcel. Airline operations could not be conducted unless these facilities were provided. The Department of Civil Aviation is the organisation which provides air navigation facilities and I believe that the whole expenditure of the Department should be considered. As I said earlier in my remarks, it is not easy for the Opposition to say that it is not going to oppose the proposed increase in air navigation charges. It should be borne in mind that this increase is the eighth consecutive 10% increase in air navigation charges, and this does not take into account the normal increases brought about by the use of larger aircraft and increases in the numbers of flights. The Opposition holds the view that the whole matter of air navigation charges should be reviewed so that we can make some real assessment of the value of this S270m cost to the Treasury in the last 5 years. What is the real position with respect to tourist traffic? There is no doubt that if this country is to build up a substantial tourist industry international air transport is essential. It is obvious that the various tourist organisations are working very keenly on this. Qantas Airways Ltd and other overseas airline operators are trying to work out ways in which the tourist industry in Australia can be expanded. People are speaking about $10Om per annum to be derived from tourist activities in the 1970s. The Department of Civil Aviation and the Treasury should make recommendations on what percentage of this revenue should be credited to the Department of Civil Aviation which provides airline facilities. We have to have the real figure and not the figure that the Minister gives each year when he says: "Navigation charges have gone up so we will have to increase all other charges'. I understand that this is a matter that has to do with international affairs. But what I want the Minister to do is to produce some report to this Parliament in the not too distant future so that we may allocate to the Department of Civil Aviation a certain proportion of the money derived from tourist activities. In this way we can arrive at some true figure on navigation charges. A similar procedure could be adopted in relation to the Department of Trade and Industry. We are constantly trying to get people to come to Australia to negotiate trade agreements. I am not talking about the government to government level but as between manufacturers and people interested in commerce and industry here in Australia. The Department of Trade and Industry must come up with some figure as to what international travel means to that Department. Similar remarks could be applied to our defence departments. After all, no nation can say that it is adequately prepared for its defence unless it has a comprehensive coverage of airfields. We can all realise that if we had only 1 or 2 airports in Australia the Royal Australian Air Force would be in a hopeless position if a war broke out - and of course this is something we all hope will never come about. At the same time we must realise that we spend millions of dollars every year on defence. Much of the equipment we have purchased over many years has never been used in war. Yet we write off huge amounts of money every year. We build 100 Mirage aircraft, we buy so many Macchi trainers or so many Canberra bombers. We propose to spend $300m on the Fill aircraft. Yet all these items of equipment are completely useless unless we have adequate airport facilities throughout the country. The moment this country becomes involved in a war every one of our airports will come under RAAF control and supervision. What is the commitment of the defence departments as far as civil aviation facilities are concerned? They would use the air navigation aids and the airports. I feel that in this direction alone there is a need for the Department of Civil Aviation to examine the situation and come up with some real figure so that at least we can make a determination of what is a fair and reasonable charge to impose on civil aviation operators in Australia and also international operators. I hope that 12 months from now the Minister, whoever he may be - and I am certain there will be a change - will bring in a report along these lines. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr Bosman: -- Tell us more. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -- It is all right, I will be doing it for you. This matter should be closely examined so that we can get the real figures as to what air navigation charges should be. We know that operators will say that if we increase air navigation charges by an additional $700,000 they will have to get the money from somewhere. The only way that they can get it, they will claim, will be by increasing their fares. There has not been an increase in fares for about 2± years. As I mentioned earlier, at the moment the rates for domestic operators are higher than those of the international operators. At the same time, I think that charges are at the level they are in the case of international operators because at Sydney (KingsfordSmith) Airport there is a scheme under way to extend the north-south runway at a cost of about $23m to $24m. The work that took place just recently to extend this runway to over 9,000 feet was not for domestic requirements but for the international operators. I think everyone is quite clear about the reason why Tullamarine airport was built, lt was built because **Sir Henry** Bolte felt that Melbourne could, by the construction of Tullamarine, steal a march on Sydney. He believed that Tullamarine or Melbourne could become the number one international airport in Australia. Unless something is done very quickly about Sydney Airport this could well be the position. The runways at Brisbane and Perth airports have had to be extended and their pavements have had to be strengthened to enable them to handle the larger type of aircraft. The Boeing 707 is a much heavier aircraft than the Boeing 727 and requires much heavier pavement and longer runways. When all of the costs associated with this development are totted up they become part of the expenditure by the Department of Civil Aviation. This expenditure has to be met by someone. From the figures that are available to honourable members in the report of the Department of Civil Aviation and in the Budget papers, it is quite obvious that the domestic users are paying more towards this cost than are the international users. Therefore, I hope that the relevant figures can be taken into consideration. I think if we are to have a need for these international aircraft - and we have a need for them - some system will have to be worked out so that costs can be apportioned among other government departments and activities so that the domestic operator is not required to carry too much of the burden. Honourable members will be aware that charges are fixed on the all up weight of aircraft. Figures for this calculation are listed in the Bill. The weight of an aircraft determines the amount that is to be paid on it. On the figures that are available to me it would appear, for example, that a Boeing operator will be required to pay in 1969-70 $28.88 per unit and a DC9 operator $16.08. Also, an F27 aircraft will be required to pay $5.25. For example, an airline company would be required to pay on the run between Sydney and Melbourne four times the figures I have mentioned to operate its aircraft. This represents an increase over and above the amount last year. It will mean that a Boeing 727, for example, flying between Sydney and Melbourne will incur a cost of approximately $106 for each flight. I think that the increases at this stage are reasonable until such time as the Government can come up with some other proposition. I am of opinion that the Government should be doing something about Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide airports which are far too close to the populated areas of those cities. There is a need to move these airports to less densely populated areas. New airports will need to be provided and adequate planning will have to be carried out. We have the present monstrosity at Mascot. This airport should not be used by international operators. International operations should be transferred to the Wyong site, Richmond, Camden or some other place where aircraft can operate at reasonable hours and with very little inconvenience to the people. These are some of the things that the Department of Civil Aviation should be coming up with. 1 would now like to say something about air navigation charges. We have had a protest from Ansett Transport Industries Ltd and the statement that if the charges are increased it will have no alternative to increasing fares, lt is all right for Ansett Transport Industries to come up with a decision that it will automatically increase fares. But a two airline system operates in this country; there is rationalisation of airline operations. This means that neither of the two airlines can get too far in front of one another. If Trans-Australia Airlines starts to attract too much custom it has to make sure that portion of the increase goes to Ansett so at least that company can operate on approximately the same passenger loading. One of the things wrong with this agreement is that it applies only to passenger traffic. Why can it not also apply to freight traffic so that there can be an equalisation of freight carried by the two airlines? TAA has only limited intrastate services. This operator has a service in Queensland but does not have services in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or Western Australia. If we are to have rationalisation and a two airline system we must have a genuine rationalisation programme and a genuine two airline system. I would like the Minister for Civil Aviation, when he replies in this debate, to give us some explanation as to why TAA is not given the opportunity to operate services in the States that I have just mentioned, and thereby operate under a genuine two airline system and rationalisation programme. If we are to have rationalisation and a two airline system - I made this statement 12 months ago and I reaffirm it and I am more adamant now than I was then - Ansett Transport Industries should present to this Parliament a balance sheet audited by the Commonwealth Auditor-General. This information should be submitted just as TAA has to present its balance sheet to this Parliament every 12 months. The Minister by way of interjection 12 months ago said to me that the information was available. On that occasion I disagreed with the Minister and on this occasion I now challenge him to produce clear and concise proof that the information is available to honourable members of this House. It may be available to the Minister; it may be available to the Department of Civil Aviation; but this confidential information is available to them and it is not available to honourable members of this House. I believe, that the information should be available to honourable members. This information should be made available to the House if we are to extend concessions to Ansett Transport Industries. I do not want to repeat the statement made by **Mr Reg** Ansett, as he then was, to the annual meeting of his company in 1961-62 when he said that it was operating under a most favourable charter and that this favourable . charter would continue for another IS years. As I have said, I do not want to go through the whole statement but I ask this question: If this airline is operating under such favourable terms and conditions granted by the Department and if we are to have rationalisation and the two airline system, why is it not a true airline system whereby Ansett Transport Industries has to. present its financial return to the Government and to this Parliament so that everyone knows the real position? I am not asking for one second that this company produce figures in relation to its television, road transport, road freight and the many other operations in which it is engaging. I do not want to know the whole financial1 position because that concerns the company, the directors and the shareholders. What I am concerned about is the fact that this airline is operating under most preferential treatment. A Bill will be presented to this House later whereby this Government will underwrite a loan for the company. We have already underwritten previous loans to it. If this is to be the position surely honourable members should be acquainted with the true financial position of Ansett Transport Industries. If this information is obtained we willi know whether its fares should be increased. Also, we will know whether the air navigation charges are fair and reasonable to this company and TAA. So I again make that appeal to the Minister because I believe that the furnishing of this information to honourable members in this place is long overdue. We on this side of the House do not propose to oppose the Bill. But as I said earlier, I think that in the next 12 months the Minister has to come up with some new facts and figures and has to adopt a new approach to air navigation charges. {: #subdebate-20-0-s1 .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr BOSMAN:
St George -- In supporting the Bill before the House I should like to make one or two short observations on the speech by the honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones).** I understand that the honourable gentleman represents the alternative government in civil aviation matters and puts forward to the nation the alternative policy on civil aviation. I wonder what the policy would be if, by some misadventure at the polls, the Opposition should happen to become the Government. I have been trying to work out precisely what the honourable member was attempting to achieve in his speech. He commenced by putting a proposition to the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz)** that he was being grossly unfair in establishing a separate set of air navigation charges for domestic airlines as distinct from international airlines. Attractive as that proposition may appear to be in theory, in practice it is a total distortion of the facts, and I am sure that the Minister will point this out in detail. The simple answer to this proposition can be found from some of the figures which the honourable member has placed before the House. The honourable member for Newcastle advanced the proposition that it would cost a Boeing 727 four times a certain figure in air navigation charges to fly from Sydney to Melbourne. I might add that under the new schedule it would appear it will cost a Boeing 727 $109 in such charges to fly from Sydney to Melbourne. If a Boeing 707 were to fly this route under the new schedule, about which the honourable member accuses the Government of being biased, it would cost approximately $224. I use this merely as an example, because obviously a Boeing 707 will never operate on this route. This is an instance where theory is quite distinct from practice. I believe that the Government has done the right thing in this regard. I will dwell on this point for a few minutes later on. Let me return to what the honourable member for Newcastle has put before the House. Most of his speech was taken up with the old hackneyed presentation which honourable members make against the two airline policy which has been implemented by this Government, which has been approved by this Government and which is attractive to many other countries which would like to be in the position in which we find ourselves. I put it to the House and to the nation that there has been a utilisation of assets unknown to any other country, particularly when this matter is considered relative to the traffic figures to which we have access. I have no doubt that when the Minister replies to this debate he will give some telling figures in order to indicate where this nation stands. Basically, the present position has resulted from the establishment, application and consolidation of the two airline policy. We know that civil aviation is encountering some stresses and strains at the present time because of the tremendous upsurge of interest in the airline industry and the usage of the industry by the public. Is it to be said that nothing has been done by the Government and that the present position is the result of an accident? I put the proposition to the House, without giving the industry a clear sheet on all achievements, that the industry is doing a first class job for the nation, be it in the domestic field or in the international field. Certainly there are some weaknesses here and some weaknesses there, but in the main the industry is doing a first class job. I am still at a loss to understand what the honourable member for Newcastle was trying to achieve in his speech today. No policy emerged from it. At this stage of the nation's history, when we are facing an election, one would have thought that an outline of an alternative national policy on civil aviation would have emerged. But there is a complete void. To use a well known Australian term, all there is is a knocker attitude about the present civil aviation policy. All we can envisage in the future, from the honourable gentleman's appraisal, is the establishment of a monopoly by Trans-Australia Airlines in the national field and by Qantas Airways Ltd in the international field. This is all we can see. There is no fabric or framework of an alternative civil aviation policy. It is a great tragedy for the nation that, 6 weeks before a national election, the alternative government has not a policy on civil aviation to put before the nation. Let me return to some very simple facts. Again I am at a loss to understand what the honourable member for Newcastle was trying to say to the Minister regarding expenditure in the civil aviation field. On the one hand he complimented the Government on the fact that this money had been expended and he said that he does not want to hold anything up, but on the other hand he does not want to spend money. He wants to have an investigation. The facts of life are that the private side of the airline industry is doing a first class job and is proving to be a viable economic unit. Whilst I appreciate the consternation and apprehension in the domestic airlines, which have faced increased air navigation charges on eight consecutive occasions, I know - and if they are fair they will appreciate the fact - that until the present proposal to increase 'air navigation charges by 10% for domestic airlines they were on extremely favourable terms. I know that the airlines' profits are building up and that they look sizable amounts in the balance sheets of the companies, whether they be for TAA or for Ansett Airlines of Australia or for any other organisation in the country, but permit me to give a few figures to the House in relation to expenditure in the civil aviation field. I think a further study of the figures given by the honourable member for Newcastle would reveal that expenditure in the civil aviation field is much more than he indicated. If he were to make a search through the Budget papers this year he would see that under the Appropriation Act (No. 1), expenditure on civil aviation is estimated to be $60,895,000. This is only overhead expenditure in one area. In Appropriation Act (No. 2) there is provision for capital expenditure of $6,000,000 on services rendered by the Department of Civil Aviation. An amount of $29.5m is provided in the capital works programme. Under the estimates for the Department of the Interior an amount of $1,124,600 is provided for the acquisition of land and buildings on behalf of the Department of Civil Aviation. In addition, rent for premises occupied by the Department of Civil Aviation will total $819,600. In round figures, an amount of $9 8m will be expended in the civil aviation field this year. Let me take honourable members, and in particular the honourable member for Newcastle, back to some other figures. Since 1963-64 until the end of the present financial year, it is estimated, overhead expenditure provided under the Appropriation Act (No. 1) will total $320m. The amount collected by way of air navigation charges will total only $60m. In 1963-64 air navigation charges, as a percentage of civil aviation expenditure under Appropriation Act (No. 1) represented only 10%. But in this year they are expected to represent 26%. I say to the Minister for Civil Aviation and to the Government that I believe they are doing the right thing in this regard, and that the collection, by way of air navigation charges, of 26% of civil aviation expenditure is not an excessive requirement on the industry. I respect the fact that developmental projects have to be undertaken in this field. I will mention them in due course. Total income of the Department of Civil Aviation in 1963-64 - and I extracted these figures from the Budget papers, not from the annual report of the Department - represented 31% of expenditure. But in the present financial year the figure will increase by only 6%, to 37%. Income of the Department of Civil Aviation represents only 37% of expenditure provided for the Department in Appropriation Act (No. 1) and we must remember that expenditure on civil aviation under Appropriation Act (No. 1) represents only two-thirds of total expenditure in the civil aviation field. Surely these charges on the domestic airlines are not excessive. As I said earlier and as the honourable member for Newcastle also pointed out, the domestic airlines operate on an extremely favourable franchise and the propositions put forward by the Government are only reasonable. In a country with an area of 3 million square miles, air transport is important. On the other hand, Qantas Airways Ltd has proved what the nation can do in the international field. The airline operators can rightly claim that a significant portion of the expenditure that I have mentioned should be allocated to the development of aviation. I do not disagree with that proposition. But to what extent do they claim this should be done? 1 direct attention to the massive expenditure on capital city airports. The operators will appreciate that a significant part of the expenditure that I mentioned earlier is being devoted to those areas that produce revenue. I am submitting to the House, with these few simple observations, that the policy of the Department, the Minister and the Government in relation to air navigation charges is correct and displays a proper attitude towards the taxpayers. The honour* able member for Newcastle well knows that air transport in Australia is subsidised to the extent of $8 or $9 on each ticket. This is not an insignificant amount. I commend the Minister and the Government for having the courage to act as they have. I think the international operators have adopted the right approach and I am sure that the investigation that is now being made will evolve a policy that is acceptable to the Australian taxpayers, to the nation and to the operators. The great pity is that, with 6 weeks remaining before the national election is held, we can see no policy on civil aviation emerging from the Opposition benches. What a great tragedy this is for the nation. All we have is the old hackneyed line which is opposed to the two airline policy and which seeks to promote a monopoly in this area of civil aviation. {: .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr McLeay: -- lt is a tired policy. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr BOSMAN: -- It is a tired old policy indeed, as the honourable member for Boothby reminds me. 1 commend the Minister. 1 have criticised certain aspects of his policy on civil aviation, but he has woven a fine fabric of administration. The record of this Government on civil aviation is very good. Although many people, including myself on occasions, have criticised some aspects of our airline policy, I commend the Minister on his achievements in recent years and I commend the Government for its attitude.I certainly support the legislation that is now before the House. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. In Committee Clauses V and 2 - byleave - taken together, and agreed to. Clause 3. (I.) The First Schedule to the Principal Act is Amended - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. by omitting sub-paragruph (1.) of paragraph 7 and inserting in its stead the following sub-paragraphs: - "(1.) Subject to the next succeeding subparagraph, the unit charge for an aircraft is an amount calculated in accordance with the following table: - "(1A.) Where- {: type="a" start="a"} 0. a charge in accordance with a Schedule to this Act is payable by the holder of an international airline licence; or 1. a charge in accordance with this Schedule is payable in respect of a flight, take-off or landing made by an aircraft in the course of operations under an international airline licence conducted by a person other than the holder of the licencein pursance of a contract or arrangement between the person and the holder of the licence, the unit charge for the aircraft, for the purpose of calculating the amount of the charge so payable, is an amount calculated in accordance with the following table: - {: type="a" start="b"} 0. by omitting from sub-paragraph (2.) of paragraph 7 the words " preceding subparagraph " and inserting in their stead the words " two preceding sub-paragraphs "; and 1. by adding at the end of paragraph 7 the following sub-paragraph: - " (4.) In this paragraph, ' international airline licence ' means an airline licence with respect to an air service between a place in Australia and a place outside Australia.". ***** {: #subdebate-20-0-s2 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -I move: In sub-clause (1.), paragraph (a), after subparagraph (1A.) proposed to be inserted in paragraph 7 of the First Schedule to the Principal Act insert the following sub-paragraph: " (1b.) A charge imposed by the preceding subparagraphs shall be increased by five hundred per cent in respect of pure jet powered aircraft taking off or landing at Kingsford-Smith (Sydney), Essendon, Tullamarine, Brisbane, and Adelaide between the hours of11 p.m. on any day and 6 a.m. on the following day.". The Opposition is concerned at the present challenge to the curfew on the operation of aircraft between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Last week in another place the Minister for Customs and Excise **(Senator Scott),** who represents the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz),** when replying to a question clearly stated that in his opinion the curfew should be lifted at Tullamarine. If this happens and aircraft are permitted to operate at all hours into and out of Tullamarine, where do they go from there? The Government has issued statements rebutting the opinion expressed by the Minister in another place, but the Australian Labor Partv believes that where there is smoke there is fire. Whenever a contentious question on civil aviation is addressed to the Minister for Customs and Excise, he invariably replies that he will refer it to his colleague here and will supply an answer later. On this occasion he answered the question off the cuff. It is obvious that he has been briefed and knows that the question of lifting the curfew has been discussed within the Department of Civil Aviation. He may have spoken a little out of turn and may have been a little indiscreet in releasing this information to the Senate. However, once his answer became public knowledge the people living in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane were greatly concerned. The policy being pursued by the Department could be the subject of challenge by one of the airline operators. The imposition of the curfew results from a decision taken by the Department and the domestic and overseas operators can challenge it at any time. If they are successful, where will we finish? We know that a direction - a NOTAM, if I may use the Department's term - has been issued to airline operators setting out what they can do. But we must bear in mind that these directions can be challenged under section 92 of the Constitution. The decision has never yet been put to a test in the courts. Therefore, we believe that the opportunity should be taken now to support the decision already taken by the Department. The Opposition believes that an additional deterrent should be written into the legislation and the amendment 1 have moved will deter operators from using the airports named in it between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Let me give an example of the way our proposal would work. The air navigation charge for a Boeing 727 operating between Sydney and Melbourne at present is a little over $105. If the Parliament imposes a penalty of 500% for operating during the curfew hours, the penalty would be $525 for such an aircraft operating between the airports I have mentioned after 1 1 p.m. and before 6 a.m. This deterrent should be written into the legislation. In making this suggestion, we are doing no more than support the existing policy, which could be challenged. Therefore, the Parliament should write this deterrent into the legislation. Until now the Parliament has had no say in what the curfew hours should be. This decision has been taken by the Department of Civil Aviation and by the Department only. It may be challenged at any time by any of the operators. It is better to have this deterrent written into the legislation so that the operators may see that this Parliament is utterly opposed to any breaking down of the curfew provisions that now apply in the cities which I. have mentioned. If any honourable member representing an electorate in a city not mentioned in the amendment would like to see that city included within the terms of the amendment, we would be happy to co-operate with him and to extend the provisions of the amendment accordingly. However, the cities which are mentioned are the ones which are at present subject to a curfew. {: #subdebate-20-0-s3 .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr CHANEY:
Perth -- *I* cannot support the amendment. Even if I were an advocate of curfews on the operations of aircraft I could not agree that the action contemplated by the amendment is the correct way to police those curfews. 1 come from a city where there is no curfew on the operations of aircraft. The airport at Perth is used for 24 hours a day. I think the Premier of Western Australia has approached this matter very sensibly. If Perth Airport were to be closed to aircraft between II p.m. and 6 a.m. we would be cut off from all international services. At present Qantas can fly you from Sydney to London in 20 hours. If airports throughout the world imposed curfews it would take Qantas more like 3 days to fly you from Australia to London. If we accept jet travel it is of no use saying that Australia should apply curfews unless countries follow suit. 1 have the greatest sympathy with the people who live near Mascot. Their problems are tremendous. Mascot is in a category different to other airports because residential areas were in existence there before the development of jet aviation. The people who have settled near other airports were aware at the time that jets would be operating from those airports in the near future. Notwithstanding, people bought land under the flight paths and now complain about noise. If you buy a house adjacent to a piggery you cannot reasonably complain about the smell. To suggest that a curfew should be imposed at Tullamarine denotes backward thinking. The suggestion that a charge of 500% should be imposed on pure jet operations at Tullamarine between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. is the most unreasonable proposition 1 have ever heard. Having regard to the tremendous programme of development undertaken at Tullamarine, I agree with the Premier of Victoria that it should be adequate for 20 years. If you want international services you must accept some inconvenience. We have international services at Perth, at some inconvenience to some people. Some of the problems may be alleviated, as has been suggested in evidence before the Select Committee on Aircraft Noise, by the use of preferred runways and by an examination of the operational movements of aircraft. I repeat that I have sympathy for the people of Mascot, because the situation there presents a particular problem. If overseas operators were to bypass Mascot and make Tullamarine Australia's international airport I wonder how the people of New South Wales would react. Tullamarine was specifically designed so that aircraft operations would not interfere with inhabitants of adjacent areas. Despite this, proposals went ahead to develop a subdivision near the airport and land was rezoned for this purpose. The Commonwealth lodged an appeal with the Victorian Minister concerned against the rezoning proposal, but the appeal was dismissed and the development went ahead. Nobody can blame the Commonwealth for what happened; it had an assurance when it undertook the Tullamarine project that buffer zones would be retained around the area. As Tullamarine comes into operation Essendon will' be phased out. I do not think it will cater for pure jets. Peculiar circumstances exist at Brisbane Airport which could well permit operations there within the curfew hours. In my opinion to advocate the imposition of a charge of 500% on operations within certain hours is evading the problem. It offers no solution to the problem. The honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones)** said that this Parliament should express its views on curfews. I agree: I am expressing my views. There is no curfew at Perth. I do not want to see a curfew imposed at Perth because the present system enables Perth to be linked with overseas flights. With a curfew in operation this might not be possible. If a curfew operated at Perth people wishing to travel overseas would have to use Sydney. If a curfew were imposed at every airport between Australia and the United Kingdom Qantas would take 3 days to fly from here to London instead of 20 hours as at present. I oppose the amendment. Its acceptance would do nothing to reduce noise at airports or in their vicinity between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. {: #subdebate-20-0-s4 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM:
Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa -- -The Opposition has moved this amendment as the only way open to the Parliament to ensure that there will be an effective deterrent against the use between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. of those capital city airports which do not yet have such services by jet freight aircraft. The honourable member for Perth **(Mr Chaney)** has said, quite rightly, that there is no limit on the extent to which jet aircraft may for any purpose use Perth. I believe there is no such limit on the extent to which jet aircraft may use Hobart. There is, however, a very real problem and very great resentment about the use by jet aircraft of airports serving Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. In each case the airport is quite close to settled areas. I acknowledge that at Tullamarine an effort was made to provide adequate buffer zones, but the Victorian Government did not cooperate in that effort. I have asked the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz)** about this matter on several occasions. On the last occasion - 15th April 1969 - he said that Commonwealth and Victorian officials were investigating the matter and that he would convey the information to me as soon as he received it. I do not believe he has given me the information. I must conclude, therefore, that no solution has been devised by Commonwealth and Victorian officials concerning a buffer zone around Tullamarine. Around Mascot there can be no question of the resentment and distress which has been caused. The only limitation at the moment is a letter sent by the Department of Civil Aviation to the domestic operators. It is not a document which has been tabled in the Parliament. It has no statutory sanction. It may be withdrawn at any time. Misgivings in the region of Mascot have been very greatly increased in recent times because one of the domestic operators has been given permission to import two Boeing 727 quick-change aircraft. These were described by the Minister in answer to a question without notice which I asked on 14th August. In part the Minister said: the first one of the additional 727s coming in will be a complete quick-change version and the second one will be a modified quickchange version . . . The quick-change versions of aircraft are used for carrying freight to ports where they can operate at night, but they are also used for freight operations during the day. This again is a normal practice. The basis of the current publicity campaign is that it obviously would be far more economic to have full utilisation throughout all hours of the night as well as the day. 1 followed this up by putting a question on the notice paper for the Minister for Civil Aviation on 20th August in these terras: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. On what dates have Trans-Australia Airlines and Ansett Airlines of Australia (a) sought and (b) received his permission to import Boeing 727 aircraft? 1. What is the cost and configuration of each of these aircraft? When 1 am vouchsafed an answer it is clear that we will find that hundreds of thousands of extra dollars have been spent by Ansett Airlines in. importing these quick-change aircraft whose economics depend on their being used at night and, moreover, upon their being able to use the principal airports in Australia, Sydney and Melbourne. On Thursday and Friday last we had here and in another place a complete pantomime on this subject. The honourable members who represent, however temporarily, this area were wanting assurances that the ban would be retained. They did not get such assurances. The Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** spoke on three occasions on this subject last Friday. On the first occasion he told the honourable member for Barton **(Mr Arthur):** 1 know of no such proposals as. he sug gests. . . . They are the proposals for jet flights into Mascot between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. In answer to a question by me the Prime Minister said: All I can do is to repeat what I said to the honourable member for Barton, that I know of no proposition having been put forward to us for 24 hour a day operations into or out of Mascot. He procured a Dorothy Dix question from the honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman).** He allowed question time to continue until this question had been asked of him. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- lt was the last question. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- Yes, it was the last question in question time. Immediately after this question had been answered the right honourable gentleman moved that other business be called on. But on his third attempt to answer this question, in reply to the question from the honourable member for St George he said: >When I previously answered this question- He was referring to my question there - >I indicated that I knew of no proposals thai there should be able to be 24 hour a day flying into M ascot. The reasonable question that I and others have asked has been whether he would give an undertaking that if an application is made to his Government he will reject it. This question has been put up by me and by several other honourable members, including some who sit behind the Prime Minister. They want an undertaking that if an application to use such aircraft is made to this Government it will reject that application. Why cannot honourable members get a straight answer to this question? The only purpose for importing these Boeing 727 quick-change aircraft is to use them in the early hours into Sydney and Melbourne airports. Otherwise there is no justification for the capital outlay involved. Accordingly, when will the Prime Minister himself or the Minister for Civil Aviation give a straight answer to this relevant and imminent question? The only thing that this Parliament can do is to impose sanctions in support of the letters which have been written. The amendment which has been moved provides for the imposition of such sanctions. If, for instance, an Air Navigation Bill was before us we could move an amendment to the effect that no such licences be given, lt is not possible to move such an amendment to this Air Navigation Charges Bill. On this Bm all we can do is to enact prohibitive charges, and this is what we are attempting to do. Those honourable members, such as the honourable members *for* St George and Barton, who asked questions last Friday on this subject now have an opportunity to demonstrate how genuine they are. If they want to ensure that these letters are worth anything and make certain they cannot be changed just at the whim of the Minister or of any Government they will support this amendment. {: .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr Chaney: -- Does the Leader of the Opposition think that people will be happy if they are paying five times as rauch? {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- I am not trying to silence the honourable member for Perth. The honourable members for St George and Barton are trying to do so. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr Bosman: -- Where do you get that idea? {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- Your gestures illustrate it. On 25th July last the councillors of the municipality of Rockdale asked the Prime Minister for an unqualified assurance that the introduction of night cargo jet flights to and from Kingsford-Smith Airport will definitely not be permitted. The Prime Minister has not yet written any answer to that question which the municipality of Rockdale sent him on 25th July. {: #subdebate-20-0-s5 .speaker-KIH} ##### The CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock:
LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Order! The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-20-0-s6 .speaker-JMC} ##### Mr ARTHUR:
Barton -- As usual, the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** is way out of date in what he says. He is also way off beam if he thinks it will matter to the constituents of Barton or to the constituents of St George whether an airline company will have to pay $500 or $1,000 extra for its flights, and that this will eliminate the noise in the electorates of Barton and St George. The people of my electorate will not worry about what the airlines have to pay for leaving during these curfew hours. They do not want the airlines to fly during these hours. I do not think that the amendment effectively deals with this problem of noise. As I say, the Leader of the Opposition is way out of date. He said that the honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman)** and I have not had any definite assurance from the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** or the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz)** with regard to jet flights during the curfew hours. May I read to the Leader of the Opposition a telegram which was sent yesterday by the Prime Minister to the Rockdale Council. The municipality of Rockdale borders on the electorates of St George and Barton. The telegram reads as follows: >In reply to your telegram of September 11 concerning all night jet flights to Kingsford-Smith Airport I confirm previous statements by the Minister for 'Civil Aviation to the Rockdale Council and in the House of Representatives on 12th September that the Government has no intention of changing the existing policy restricting the operation of jet aircraft during the curfew period of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. I will confirm this telegram by letter. {: type="A" start="J"} 0. G. Gorton, Prime Minister. It seems to me that this was a very definite statement by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Government that the Government will not change the existing policy, which is not to allow jet flights from KingsfordSmith Airport during the curfew hours from 1 1 p.m. to 6 a.m. {: #subdebate-20-0-s7 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY:
Grayndler -- I join in supporting the amendment. I am amazed at the attitude of the honourable member for Barton **(Mr Arthur),** and of the honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman)** who has not yet spoken on this matter. Aircraft noise is of tremendous concern to every person living within the vicinity of the Kingsford-Smith Airport. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr Bosman: -- Fancy discovering that after 25 years. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- I suggest to the honourable member for St George that this is the opportunity for him to sit in his place in the Parliament and at the appropriate time rise and say where he stands on this amendment. The amendment moved by the Opposition gives an opportunity to all those in this Parliament who are concerned with aircraft noise to stand and say whether or not they will take effective action, at the instigation of the Australian Labor Party in this Parliament, to prevent great discomfort to people in these areas and in every way to make a practical contribution towards remedying a situation which has caused great concern. Recently in the Senate **Senator Scott** said that the curfew on night flights might be lifted and that he saw no reason why it should not be lifted. The Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz)** immediately denied it. **Mr Chairman,** you can see now how the honourable member for St George and the honourable member for Perth **(Mr Chaney)** are quarrelling over there about what they will say on this issue. It is not for me to stir the embers of disunity on the eve of an election. I suggest that you call them to order. The point I make is that **Senator Scott** in another place indicated that there may be a change in the Government's policy with respect to aircraft landing at Kingsford-Smith Airport between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Minister for Civil Aviation immediately stated that the Government had no intention of doing that. {: .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz: -- The Minister for Customs and Excise was referring to Victoria only. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- He was referring to Tullamarine, but that was not made clear. The Minister for Civil Aviation then said that no application had been lodged to vary the hours of the curfew. What we on this side of the Committee want to know is this: Will the Minister categorically say in this Parliament that, if an application to lift the curfew on night flying is lodged, the Government will say no and will refuse to grant it? That is the position that we desire to have clarified. I suggest to honourable members who vote against this motion that they ought to be living in Leichhardt, Annandale, Petersham, Newtown, Marrickville, Lewisham, Sydenham, St Peters or Dulwich Hill. They should hear these aircraft flying over, at all kinds of times for that matter, right off the approach paths that they should follow over Botany Bay and other places. The noise made by these aircraft causes great inconvenience to people raising families and is detrimental to the health of thousands of citizens within those districts. The amendment moved by the honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones)** seeks to remedy this state of affairs. Why should people who settled in residential areas long before aircraft were thought of and who have their whole lives wrapped up in these places be called upon now to put up with the inconvenience that modern science and invention have brought? Yet, the honourable member for Perth said that because these people live near airports they should be able to put up with the noise. Thousands of these people were in these areas before airports were thought of. Consequently, at this stage, no reason exists why these people should be inconvenienced. 1 suggest to honourable members opposite that this is a practical chance for them to stand up for their electors. This is a practical chance for the honourable member for St George, the honourable member for Barton and those honourable members who represent other electorates close to airports to give effect to the policy that we have enunciated here and that we believe will stop this problem effectively. The only thing wrong with this amendment, as the Minister for Civil Aviation will agree, is that it has been moved by the Australian Labor Party. If the Minister had had this brainchild or if he had got wind of it, his side of the Committee would have moved it as an election gimmick. Might I depart from this Bill for a minute, **Mr Chairman,** to say that, if the Government can plunder our social service policy, it is a mild thing to take away from us a policy on aircraft noise which, the Government knows, would be worth votes. The only thing that the honourable member for Barton and the honourable member for St George are cranky about - these remarks apply to the Minister for Civil Aviation too - is that they did not think of this proposal in time. If they had, they would vote for it. We on this side of the Committee ask honourable members opposite to be men and to be real representatives of their constitutents. We ask them, on the eve of the election, to vote for the amendment which, if carried, undoubtedly will have a tremendous effect in stopping aircraft noise and bringing a certain amount of security to these people. It is all right for honourable members opposite to try to howl me down. They are touchy on this issue. The fact is that they are a little hysterical about it. They will not be able to hide the fact that they failed their electors because their electors will want to know why honourable members opposite did not vote for the amendment moved by the Opposition. {: .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr Mackay: -- What the honourable member is saying is 'Daly knowledge'. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- If I were the honourable member for outer Abbotsford, I would be grasping for this straw too because he is in difficulty as we all know. 1 say to honourable members on behalf of my constituents that 1 believe that this is an amendment which has been wisely thought out and which has been presented to the Committee in a statesmanlike way by those on this side and is deserving of support from every member of the Committee who is interested in the welfare of the average citizens and residents in areas close to airports. I say to honourable members also that if the Government has not planned for airports in areas other than residential areas this is no excuse for not voting for the amendment moved by the Opposition. When al) is said and done, the Government has had 20 years to create airports in other parts of New South Wales, in this case including Wyong and Richmond, as well as other centres, with expressways and all those things which go to make for modern airports. Yet, nothing has been done in this respect. Today, people are complaining that their health, their families and their way of life are being affected by aircraft noise. But honourable members opposite will not vote for this amendment today because they say that these people should not have been living there when these airports were built. These are matters of tremendous importance in my own district. I ask any honourable member to attend at Sydenham Town Hall or to attend a meeting or a function in any area of this district when one of these planes is coming in to land. I will defy any honourable member who does so to hear himself talk whilst the plane is flying overhead. What is wrong with the Government giving effect to this amendment which seeks to provide that: >A charge imposed by the preceding subparagraphs shall be increased by 500% in respect of pure jet-powered aircraft taking-off or landing at Kingsford-Smith (Sydney), Essendon, Tullamarine, Brisbane and Adelaide between the hours of 1 1 p.m. on any day and 6 a.m. on the following day? If the Government is not going to grant permission for planes to fly between these times and if the aircraft companies will not be allowed to fly aircraft between these times, why is the Government opposing the amendment? If no danger exists of the curfew being lifted, why not support the amendment? Why not let the amendment be passed as an amendment without much substance, honourable members can say, because the situation it seeks to cover will never arise? I will tell the Committee why honourable members opposite oppose this amendment. The Minister knows as well as I know that, as soon as the election is over, the Government may well lift that curfew. In another place, a wily senator - or at least, some think he is - let the cat out of the bag. The fact of the matter is that the lifting of this curfew may well be an established fact if the present Government by some fluke wins at the next election. The real reason why the Government does not accept this amendment is that, as I said a moment ago and as **Senator Scott** said in another place, there is more truth in the suggestion that the curfew will be lifted than a lot of people in this country imagine. If that is not the case, why does the Government not support this amendment? The Government would say that no fear can be held that the curfew will be lifted. The Minister has the chance of a lifetime. He can stand up in the Committee and say that the Government will not lift the curfew if an application to lift it is made. He can put at ease honourable members opposite who, we can see, are gravely concerned at the effect that this amendment will have on the people particularly when Government members who live in and represent electorates near to airports are not prepared to support the amendment. 1 urge honourable members opposite, not in any party political way, to accept our amendment on this matter. I urge the Minister to do this. He will prove that he is an able Minister and a big man in every way if he accepts our amendment. Although they will not say so, there are a few sitting behind the Minister who will be delighted if he does accept the amendment. Unless the Minister does that, they may not be with us in this place for much longer. I am not concerned with them or with the Minister for that matter. My concern is for the people in the electorates in Sydney - my own in particular - which are in the neighbourhood of the airport. This amendment is designed to protect their interests, their health, their general welfare, their way of life and their whole environment. It is worth the support of every member of the Committee. 1 hope that it will be accepted. {: #subdebate-20-0-s8 .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr BOSMAN:
St George -- I am rather fascinated, firstly, at the honourable member for Grayndler **(Mr Daly).** He has been a member of the Parliament since 1946. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: -- It is 1943. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr BOSMAN: -- This is the first time he has been on his feet on the subject of aircraft noise. What a representative for the Marrickville area to have. But I put that matter aside. When the honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones)** moved this amendment, I must admit that I thought: 'Now, there could be some value in this proposal'. Certainly, this amendment could be of some value. But the Opposition made a mistake. It made the mistake of allowing its Leader to rise to his feet. This was when the cat sneaked out of the bag. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** made a bad mistake. He started to skite again as he does or to boast, I think the word should be. I did not mean to use unparliamentary language in this regard. He wanted to indicate to the Committee that he had sent a telegram or had written to the Rockdale Council and that he had said to that Council: 'If my Party is elected as the Government, we will not allow these jet flights within the present hours of curfew'. The plot began to thicken. The Leader of the Opposition wanted to cover his tracks. Now I wish to present to the Committee the real facts behind this amendment and what would flow from the practical application of it. I put it to the House that this amendment is a subterfuge by the Australian Labor Party. Acceptance of this amendment would be the worst thing that could happen for the people in my own electorate and those people in other electorates surrounding jet airports. Earlier in the debate on this Bill, I indicated that the air navigation charges to be paid in respect of a Boeing 727 aircraft flying from Sydney to Melbourne would be approximately $109. If the penalty rate proposed by the Opposition were applied to such an aircraft that operated during the hours of curfew, the air navigation charges would rise by $545 making a total charge of $654. That is what it would cost an aircraft to land within those hours. We must bear in mind that a Boeing 727 has an all up weight of some 160,000 lb or 170,000 lb. The freight charge for goods shipped between Sydney and Melbourne is 9.5c per lb. Whilst all of that all up weight is not made up of space or accommodation, a substantial part of it is for freight accommodation. The profit to the airline companies out of a deal like this would be enormous. Perhaps the Opposition by this amendment is seeking to raise a few taxes through these increased charges to pay for some of the proposals that it has promised it will implement if it becomes the Government. Let us get back to real practical applications. I implore every honourable member on the Government side not to vote for this amendment. If they want to support me in St George or the honourable member for Barton **(Mr Arthur),** or the people around those districts, let them not vote for this amendment. It is a subterfuge by the Labor Party to get approval for additional revenue. This amendment is of no good whatever. It will not permit the reasonable operation of aircraft if the companies get into a slight difficulty. I implore honourable members not to vote for this motion because it will provide the easiest way out if the Labor Party is in office. The Leader of the Opposition might think that he is clever in giving assurances to the Rockdale Council about what he will or will not do and by talking about these sanctions. The sanctions are not worth a cracker when you consider what the profits to the airline companies will be in return for them. It is essential that honourable members weigh this amendment and see it for what it is. It is a clever subterfuge. It looked good on the surface when presented to us. But of course the Opposition made a mistake. The Leader of the Opposition overplayed his hand as he always does, both inside and outside this House. The Opposition has made the cardinal error. It ill behoves the honourable member for Grayndler to rise to his feet; he also has fallen for the trap. I will ask the people of Marrickville and Stanmore and those in and around Annandale to seek an accounting from the Labor Party for selling out their areas for the sake of a miserable few hundred dollars per flight to allow these jet aircraft to fly in at night. I condemn this amendment. I condemn it for what it is worth. I ask the Committee to vote against it. {: #subdebate-20-0-s9 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I support the amendment with all my heart and soul. I believe it is one of the most effective amendments ever proposed to the Parliament. It gives the elected representatives of the people some say over what happens at airports in Australia in the early hours of the morning and late at night. Surely the time has come when the Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, ought to lay down in firm unequivocal terms that it proposes to place sanctions upon operations at airports during these ungodly hours of the night. I represent an electorate called Hindmarsh. If honourable members look at a map they will see that it almost surrounds the present airport at West Beach in Adelaide. Under the redistribution there will be a seat called Hawker which will be affected by the noise of aircraft landing at and taking off from West Beach Airport. I notice that the honourable member for Kingston (Miss Brownbill) has come into the chamber. No doubt she will support the amendment because she will not want to see - of course I am only guessing - aircraft taking off and landing at Adelaide between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Of course, I cannot speak for the honourable member. However, in due course we will see how all honourable members vote on the amendment. This is the real acid test. The honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman)** who just resumed his seat, seemed to think that abuse of the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** was a substitute for argument. It is not. The honourable member spent all his time abusing the Leader of the Opposition because the Leader of the Opposition has stood up in this Parliament and declared that he is opposed to aircraft using airports during the hours mentioned in the amendment. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: -- We will reject any such applications that we receive. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- That is an important assurance that I have received from the Leader of the Opposition, who will be the new Prime Minister after 25th October. He - the future Prime Minister - has assured us that his government will reject any application made to use any aircraft in the capital cities of this country between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. What more definite declaration can we have than one in such unequivocal terms as that from the next Prime Minister of Australia? {: .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr Mackay: -- Where did he say that? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The Leader of the Opposition has just said that and the words are recorded in Hansard for everybody to see. I believe that the people in the city areas will remember the remark just made by the Leader of the Opposition - that under no circumstances will a permit be given for aircraft to operate during the hours mentioned. This Government has not made this kind of statement. It has said nothing like this. All that the Government says is that so far no application has been made. The Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz)** is at the table. I have had occasion to refer to this matter at a public meeting in west Torrens. I said that the Minister's replies to all the questions I had raised with him by correspondence had been qualified and equivocal; that he had said that no application had yet been made; that it was not the present intention to do this; that it was not the Government's intention to do it at the moment. The strong innuendo behind the Minister's replies, all the time, has been: 'When the election is over, look out'. I still cannot get a definite assurance from the Minister or from the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** that these airports will not be thrown open to Ansett Airlines. Reg Ansett can get what he likes from this Government, and the Australian public knows this. If Reg Ansett wants to land his jet aircraft on any of the airports in Australia between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., then Reg Ansett will get permission. He has got everything else that he has requested. He has been given the right to import aircraft without having to pay duty on them. He has been given the right to tell TransAustralia Airlines how much it will charge. {: #subdebate-20-0-s10 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- Order! I suggest that that the honourable member for Hindmarsh is getting a little wide of the subject before the Committee. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I say that there is no doubt that this Government will grant the application when it is made. All it can say so far is that no application has yet been made. I implore the Committee and those who have any regard for the comfort and welfare of the people living close to these metropolitan airports to vote for this amendment. This is the only way in which we can ensure that a statutory sanction will be written into the law of the land - by providing that there shall be a 500% surcharge in respect of pure jet powered aircraft taking off or landing at Kingsford-Smith, Essendon, Tullamarine, Brisbane and Adelaide, between the hours of 11 p.m. on any day and 6 a.m. on the following day. On top of this amendment, which seeks to impose a monetary penalty, is the firm, unequivocal assurance by Australia's next Prime Minister that in no circumstances at all will any aircraft operator be given permission to land or to despatch aircraft at the airports mentioned in the amendment between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. When the vote is taken in a few minutes time every honourable member in the chamber will have to be counted. That will be the real test. We will know then what they think of the comfort of the people who live close to these airports. I hope that the Committee, in its wisdom, will support the amendment moved by the honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones)** and so ably supported by the Leader of the Opposition. {: #subdebate-20-0-s11 .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr MACKAY:
Evans -- I would like to add a word to what has been said so ably by the honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman),** who preceded me in the list of speakers from this side of the chamber, and to draw the attention of the Committee to the device constituted in this particular amendment. Honourable members on this side of the chamber have drawn attention, through what has been said by the honourable member for St George and the honourable member for Barton **(Mr Arthur),** to a devastating nuisance. Indeed, it is more than a nuisance; it is a threat to the health and well being of the people whose sleep is being disturbed at night between the hours of 1 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. In an attempt to get on the band wagon the Opposition has brought into the chamber this apology for an amendment, lt is not an amendment which seeks to put into effect an answer. The great idea that the Labor Party has of a solution to the problem is the imposition of a penalty. It is not a device to stop this nuisance but to get a miserable pittance of profit from the misery of people. About 500,000 people are involved and the Opposition is going to impose a charge of $500 on an operator for having 500,000 people disturbed out of their sleep. Young people, children and babies will be disturbed and alarmed. The Opposition values the rest of 500,000 people at $500, or 0.1c per person in the area involved. This is the kind of solution that Labor brings forward. Then, having seen that its amendment has fallen flat on its face like so many other things that are raised at question time and at other times and which are not even thought through in the most elementary way, by interjection the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** says: 'Oh, but we will not permit any nights at all between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.'. This is the first time he is heard on this. His Party meets and promulgates its platform as being the solution to everyone's problems, but the first time he is heard on this is by way of interjection. Then the most astonishing thing happens. Members of the Party leap to their feet and salute. The honourable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr Clyde Cameron)** pipes up and says: 'The Leader has spoken. He has given his word. It will be in Hansard. The Labor Party's rules have been made. We will march forward now.' The Opposition will ban all aircraft movements between 11 o'clock at night and 6 o'clock in the morning. This peripatetic rule book sitting on the front seat has given us the word. The word has been spoken and now will be put into effect. The Government members who have spoken - the two honourable members in particular to whom I have referred - have devoted inordinate amounts of their time and energies to this question of aircraft noise, and they are being asked to cross the floor and vote for a cheap and nasty sell out, because that is all this amendment is. It is not worthy of the time of the Committee bringing such nonsense to us, suggesting the imposition of a penalty of this kind and imagining it as a solution. {: #subdebate-20-0-s12 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Civil Aviation · Darling Downs · LP -- I agree with the honourable member for Evans **(Dr Mackay)** that the time of the Committee has been wasted by what is almost a facetious amendment. It is rather interesting to see the Opposition's sudden interest in the question of aircraft noise. It is only because an election campaign is pending that honourable members opposite have shown any interest in this particular subject over recent months. The honourable member for Grayndler **(Mr Daly)** lives in an area which is subjected to some of these problems and it was interesting to hear him, for the first time to my knowledge in this chamber and because he feels he can get on the band wagon and gain some political benefit from it, speak about aircraft noise. The same thing applies to the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam).** It is only over recent months that he has taken the slightest interest in this matter. He has not raised the matter with me on other occasions. This is all obviously part of a prepared campaign directed to certain areas of Sydney. What I can say is that Government supporters associated with the area involved - the honourable members for St George **(Mr Bosman),** Hughes **(Mr Dobie)** and Barton **(Mr Arthur)** - have consistently over the years since they have been here raised this matter and have fought on behalf of their constitutents to improve the situation. The Government has been taking note of what they have been saying. Other honourable members have raised matters in relation to aircraft noise as have State members whose areas have been affected by airport development. It is almost facetious that this proposal has been put up for serious consideration. The honourable member for Grayndler introduced a typical note of humour. In fact, for the whole of his speech he had the Committee in a fit of laughter. That is the way he dealt with this particular amendment and it is the way the Committee should deal with it. It is a matter for humorous consideration. We must remember that even if by any chance a proposal of this type were passed what difference would it make? Any impost of the type suggested would naturally be passed on. The public would be paying for it. It would make no difference to the operators. It would have no deterrent effect at all. In other words, the amendment shows that there is no sincerity in the Opposition's proposal. It is being moved only for political purposes. Another aspect - and we have checked this carefully - is that the amendment is a little doubtful technically because it refers to a charge and the previous schedules refer to a unit charge, which is only part of a charge. There is some doubt as .to whether the amendment can be accepted by the Committee. The Leader of the Opposition said that no unequivocal statement had been made in relation to the question of aircraft operations. He and the honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones)** referred to a question and answer in the other place last week. They did not refer to the debate on the estimates for the Department of Civil Aviation which took place in this chamber last Friday afternoon when I made a statement that I thought clarified the situation. Its terms were not equivocal in any way. I said: >I assure the honourable member for St George and other honourable members who are interested that the Government has no intention now, or in the foreseeable future, of amending the present restrictions which apply at certain of our major airports in Australia. I went on to describe those restrictions. This statement appears at page 1314 of Hansard for last Friday. In addition to this the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton),** as was quoted today, sent a telegram to the Rockdale Council expressing this condition in similar terms. I repeat again that we have not received any application from any operator to vary these restrictions. If we do receive any, as 1 have said before, the answer would be no. These restrictions will apply, as I have set them out, in the foreseeable future. I do not think anyone can make it clearer than that. But the Leader of the Opposition did make some comment about legislation. Of course, he knows - because I have spoken of it in this chamber on a number of occasions, although I suppose that he does not listen very intently - that Australia in the assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation was successful in having a motion passed to introduce an annex to the ICAO convention on the subject of aircraft noise. I said this last Friday. In other words this matter will be raised to the international level where it will be considered on the same basis as safety, efficiency and economy of operation. Following that assembly, the first meeting of the committee set up by ICAO will be held in Montreal in October, after which we do expect that at our instigation there will be initiated throughout the world some sets of standards that can apply as the basis for legislative action by the governments of all countries that are associated with ICAO. When these standards apply they will be applied in Australia just the same as they will be applied in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other countries signatory to the convention. In addition to this we have set up the Select Committee on Aircraft Noise which is doing a tremendous job in this field. Members of the Opposition are on that Committee which will be presenting an interim report to the Parliament very shortly. That report will be considered very carefully. I merely indicate these points to show the action that is being taken in all of these fields. One last point that 1 should like to mention is that reference has been made to my colleague in another place who answered a question last Thursday morning on this subject. The question, as I have read it, related to a statement by the Premier of Victoria about Tullamarine. My colleague has assured me that in his answer he was referring to the situation at Tullamarine. At the moment Tullamarine is not a licensed aerodrome. The licensed aerodrome for operations in Melbourne is Essendon. The restrictions which apply at present apply to the situation as it is at Essendon. Tullamarine will be considered when the aerodrome is due for licensing perhaps in about the middle of next year for international operations and about a year later for domestic operations. As I said, consideration to these matters will be given at those times. The restrictions that still apply to Melbourne apply to Essendon which is the licensed airport at present. This is what my colleague in another place had in mind when answering a question. There was a misinterpretation which he cleared up the next day when he stated quite categorically that he referred to some statements that I had made in this House in relation to Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport and stated that they were reaffirmed by the Government. The amendment moved by the Opposition is shown up for what it is - merely a facetious and even a semi-humourous attempt to mislead the public into believing that there is some consideration involved in this, particularly for the people living in Sydney. The amendment is rejected by the Government for what it is worth, lt is worth nothing at all because it would not serve as any deterrent in the way of preventing operators if they wished or were allowed to operate under those conditions. This is not the way to do it. The way to do it is the action taken by the Government at the present time. My Department has the power to do it. {: .speaker-K5L} ##### Mr Cope: -- At the present time. {: .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr SWARTZ: -- And in the foreseeable future. My Department now has power to do this and it is determined to see that these restrictions are enforced. In case there is any misinterpretation I say again that the restrictions that apply to major airports at the present time will apply for the foreseeable future, and if any application is received - and no application has yet been received - the answer will be, as I have stated, no, the restrictions as they apply will continue to apply in the foreseeable future. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: -- **Mr Chairman,** I wish to make a personal explanation. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented? **Mr** DALY (Grayndler) - Yes. I claim to have been misrepresented by the honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman),** the honourable member for Evans **(Dr Mackay)** and the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz).** The Minister stated that I had not raised this matter or spoken on it in this House. {: .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz: -- Not to my knowledge. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- Not to his knowledge. Now he is getting out of it. I quote the following from page 793 of Hansard of 28th August 1969: >Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport > > **Mr DALY** presented from certain residents of the State of New South Wales a petition showing that aircraft arriving and departing from Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport by routes which pass over the residential area of Leichhardt create noise which causes great inconvenience and disturbance to residents. > >The petitioners pray that the House of Representatives take any action necessary to ensure that aircraft using Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport use flight paths which would avoid residential areas. That petition was received and. having been received, it has made what I call fabricators out of those honourable members opposite. {: #subdebate-20-0-s13 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -- In this debate we have seen members on the Government side twisting and turning and running for cover in all directions. They have tried to ridicule the amendment moved as being inadequate. One remark was that the amendment does not mean anything. I say to honourable members opposite who have spoken in this debate and also to the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Mr Swartz)** that if the proposed penalty in the amendment is inadequate and is not a sufficient deterrent to the airline operators then an easy and sensible solution is to increase the penalty. If the Government wants to increase it to 1,000% or even higher than that, then let us have a further amendment from the Government. Let the Minister stand up and say that the Government accepts the amendment provided that the penalty is increased from 500% to 1,000%. If the Government says that this 1,000% penalty is not a sufficient deterrent, then the solution is to increase it further. At the present time there is no legislation of this Parliament which says that the operators of aircraft cannot land their aircraft or take off between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The honourable member for Perth **(Mr Chaney)** presented a case to this House for the lifting of the curfew. He obviously supports the lifting of the curfew. He pointed out to honourable members that if every country in the world had a curfew similar to what is imposed in certain airports in Australia -it would take 3 days to travel to London. The only conclusion one can reach from that statement is that if every other country in the world or if some of the other countries in the world operated without a curfew then Australia should do so. That is the only conclusion that one can draw from the remarks of the honourable member for Perth. If by some mischance the Govern ment is returned to office at the forthcoming election and there is a reshuffle of portfolios then the honourable member for Perth, a former Minister, might be elevated to the Ministry and he could well be appointed Minister for Civil Aviation. It is obvious that he as the Minister would advocate the lifting of the curfew on airports in Australia. Honourable members should lake note of these facts and deal with the position as it now stands. The honourable member for St George **(Mr Bosman)** came in to bat and he said that the amendment was only subterfuge on the part of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam),** the honourable member for Grayndler **(Mr Daly),** the honourable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr Clyde Cameron)** and myself have said in moving and speaking to this amendment that the object of the amendment was to impose a deterrent penalty to prevent operators from operating in the hours which are now under curfew. I said, as did the other speakers from the Opposition side, that as it stands at present there is only an exchange of letters between the Department of Civil Aviation and the various operators, domestic and international. Incidentally, these letters have been exchanged over a period of 10 years and it is only just recently, less than 12 months ago, that a Notam was issued which was a directive that the airports were not to be used at certain times. This is referred to in the amendment, which states that airports were not to be used in the curfew hours of 11 p.m. on any day and 6 a.m. on the next day. This is such a trivial matter that there is no substance in the policy laid down by the Department of Civil Aviation. It is questionable whether it will stand up to a challenge at law. Views have previously been expressed by people associated with the Department and the Attorney-General's Department that it may stand up to a challenge at law - it may. Noone has yet come out and said that it will stand up to a challenge at law. The position is that the Parliament has not had an opportunity of expressing by way of legislation or regulation its opposition to the lifting of the curfew. By way of this amendment the Opposition has set out to write in some form of deterrent as an indication by the Parliament, to the Minister for Civil Aviation and the Department of Civil Aviation that the Parliament is opposed to any lifting of the curfew and opposed to permission being granted to airline operators to operate jet aircraft between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Why has Ansett Transport Industries purchased a quick-change aircraft at a cost of $500,000? The Government granted permission for this to be done. Honourable members opposite should bear this in mind. Before this company could buy aircraft it had to get the approval of the Government. The Government has approved of a quick change aircraft being purchased by Ansett Transport Industries Ltd at a cost of $500,000 over and above the cost of the conventional type. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: -- That is not right. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP -- Ansetts are purchasing two aircraft. This is the one that will be delivered in November of this year. Therefore, in November this company will have an aircraft which is specially fitted so that the seats can be removed and the aircraft can be made available for the quick loading and discharge of freight. The operator of .this aircraft does not want to carry freight between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. During those hours it wants the aircraft for the carriage of passengers. Members on this side of the Committee believe that the airline operators do not have enough aircraft. This is why certain honourable members in this place have complained about the service provided by the civil airlines. As I have just said, the airline purchasing the quick change aircraft does not want to switch over to the carriage of freight during the daylight hours or in the hours outside of the curfew, lt wants this plane to carry freight during the hours within the curfew. There is only one way in which the wishes of the company can be met - by lifting the curfew. The amount of business done between airports which at the moment are not subject to the curfew is so infinitesimal that it does not matter. The company concerned would want to operate in the present curfew hours between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. If it could not operate between these points the amount of business it would get through operating between other points would not be worth the expense and trouble of obtaining this aircraft with its additional facility for quick change to passenger or freight traffic. Therefore, I see the position in this way: Government supporters are the ones who are whistling in the dark. We heard a sermon preached by the honourable member for Evans **(Dr Mackay)** to the effect that the Opposition was hopping on the bandwaggon. I do not see any bandwaggon for us to hop on. All I can see is that these fellows are running for cover. If they really are opposed to the lifting of the curfew they should take this opportunity to express their opposition in a practical way. The practical way is for them to support the Opposition's amendment which provides for a deterrent against any lifting whatsoever of the curfew. Honourable members realise that the Government is way behind as far as the planning of airports is concerned. The amendment moved by the Opposition states that airports should be provided outside of cities. The Italian Government has seen fit to move the Rome international airport some 25 miles out of that city. In other countries international airports have been transferred from the cities to places where they are not subject to curfew. Therefore, it is up to the Government to take action. The Minister for Civil Aviation said that the Government had referred this matter to the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Let us have a look at the real facts of aircraft noise. The British Labour Government completed an inquiry into this problem way back in 1963, so it is not a question of this Government thinking up something new. Once again, the Government has pinched Labor Party policy by appointing a select committee to inquire into aircraft noise. Such an inquiry has already been conducted by a Labour government. Certainly, it was a British Labour government, but once again this indicates that the Labor Party is way out in front of the Government parties. I say to honourable members: If they are really opposed - genuinely opposed - to the lifting of the curfew there is one way in which they can express such opposition in a practical manner - expressing their opposition to the Department of Civil Aviation and the Minister for Civil Aviation by supporting the amendment. {: #subdebate-20-0-s14 .speaker-K5L} ##### Mr COPE:
Watson -- -One can only be really surprised by the statement made by the Minister for Civil Aviation in regard to the honourable members who are interested in this field. The Minister mentioned three Government members but failed to mention rae, the honourable member for Watson. {: .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz: -- 1 said: 'other members'. {: .speaker-K5L} ##### Mr COPE: -- The Minister said: 'other members'. He was afraid that I might get a vote out of it from the broadcast of the proceedings. This was his trouble. However, as the Minister knows, I have a big file in my office in Sydney which contains copies of what I have sent to him from not only the Botany Municipal Council but also the many constituents of that area. I think that the Minister shows complete bias when he does not mention my electorate but mentions other people in the House who are interested in this subject. In my electorate I have attended every protest meeting except one. The protest meeting that I did not attend was held during the pre-selection ballot last year. Apart from this occasion I have attended every meeting without fail in my electorate and I have reported all of these incidents by letter to the Minister. No-one knows that better than he does. I was really appalled at the fact that he could be so political. Here is a man who talks about bringing politics into such matters. Did honourable members hear anything like it in all their lives - bringing politics into it? He is the man who brought in politics when he failed to mention that I, as the honourable member for Watson, had put just as many complaints as any honourable member on that side of the Committee before him. {: #subdebate-20-0-s15 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Civil Aviation · Darling Downs · LP -- I would just like to explain that I was referring specifically to three honourable members who had been subjected to the particular campaign. When I said 'other members' I included the honourable member for Watson **(Mr Cope)** who has referred matters to me on a number of occasions. However, I also referred to honourable members in other centres. For example, I referred to the honourable member for Maribyrnong **(Mr Stokes),** some honourable members from Adelaide and various honourable members from Brisbane and other centres, quite a number of whom have sent correspondence to me and con tacted me. But it is a fact that the honourable member for Watson has been communicating with me on this subject. **Mr BOSMAN** (St George)- I claim to have been misrepresented. The honourable member for Newcastle **(Mr Charles Jones)** claimed that I said that the Wilson report in the United Kingdom was introduced by a Labour Government. It was not. It was introduced by a Conservative government. Question put: >That the amendment **(Mr Charles Jones's)** be agreed to. The Committee divided. (The Chairman - Mr P. E. Lucock) AYES: 27 NOES: 66 Majority 39 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Clause agreed to. Title agreed to. Bill reported without amendment; report adopted. {:#subdebate-20-1} #### Third Reading Bill (on motion by **Mr Swartz)** - by leave - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 1365 {:#debate-21} ### SOCIAL SERVICES BILL 1969 {:#subdebate-21-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 9 September (vide page 950), on motion by **Mr Wentworth:** >That the Bill be now read a second time. Suspension of Standing Orders Motion (by **Mr Wentworth)** agreed to: >That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the honourable member for Grayndler **(Mr Daly)** from speaking without limitation of time. {: #debate-21-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY:
Grayndler -- I move: On 22nd January 1968 the 'Australian' reported: >The Prime Minister, **Senator Gorton,** is planning a new deal in social welfare to help people suffering genuine misfortune not due to their own fault. > > **His** ideas would involve rethinking on the methods of paying pensions, repatriation benefits and the approach to health problems. 1 ask the House at this stage to ponder those words 'rethinking on the methods of paying pensions.' They are very important, and 1 intend to deal with them in some derail. This statement by the Prime Minister was followed by the following statement which was included in the GovernorGeneral's Speech to Parliament in March 1968: > >My Government will review the field of social welfare with the object of assisting those in most need while at the same time not discouraging thrift, self-help and self-reliance. The learned Minister for Social Services **(Mr Wentworth),** who is sitting at the table, was not behind the ball either. At a later stage he said: >I think the House will agree with me that this Bill represented one of the most significant steps yet made in our social service system. Then we find that the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon),** in his Budget Speech, said: >Social welfare has an honoured place..... > >This Budget is designed to share some of the growing wealth..... It will be seen that humane values are in the forefront. This is the second Budget introduced by the Gorton Government, which has had almost 24 months in which to give effect to the rethinking on social welfare. I repeat the word 'rethinking'. It is only right, therefore, that we should at this stage, on the eve of an election, judge the Government on its performances, and the Government in turn should be prepared to be judged on its record to date in the field of rethinking' social welfare. I submit that this Budget and the method incorporated in it proves that the Government has failed to honour its promise for a new deal in social welfare and the rethinking of social welfare problems. What does this rethinking mean under the Government? It means the same old election year increases - $1 or 75c - haphazard and unexamined as to need or justice. There is no real help for the needy. The Government is giving the very minimum to the maximum. The tapered means test was plundered from Labor's 1966 policy. This is the total of Liberal rethinking on social welfare. The fact that this was election year was the driving force in this Budget and in the proposals we are considering not, as has been stated, the question of rethinking. I think that **Mrs Irene** Ellis of the Australian Commonwealth Pensioners Federation summed up the position in a letter on 11th September 1968. She said, under the heading: 'Government Failure to Introduce a New Social Welfare Structure': >To review the social services structure the Social Welfare Committee of Cabinet was set up by the Prime Minister - a 'rethinking' of Government policy on social services was promised but we have the same social welfare structure with all its inequalities and injustices, and indeed the recent Budget adds to the inherent injustices and inequalities in our social services by Budget discrimination of persons. Government policy on social services perpetuates injustice and inequality and condemns thousands of pensioner citizens and their dependants to a life of poverty existence in a land of abundance and great national wealth. Surely that good lady would appreciate the fundamentals of the rethinking of policies on social services. The predominant motive behind social service increases granted now is the prospect of an election. Let me outline to the House the actions of this Government in election years. The Chifley Government was defeated in 1949. Since that time this Government has been responsible for the administration of social services. So let us look at the significant benefits introduced by the Liberal Party and the parties of the same colour that preceded it in the election years since 1909. An age benefit was introduced in July 1909 and an election was held in April 1910. Supplementary assistance for age, invalid and widow pensioners was introduced in October 19S8 and an election was held in November 1958. The composite means test was introduced in March 1961 and an election was held in December 1961. Child endowment for student children and an increased rate of endowment for third and subsequent children were introduced in January 1964 following an election in December 1963. I have here a table showing the changes in pension rates with reference to election dates from 1949 to 1969. The Liberal Party has been in office for 20 years. The maximum pension rate has been increased in fourteen of those years. Seven of the changes have occurred in election years and seven in non-election years. However, there have been only eight election years and twelve non-election years in that period. Another interesting fact that emerges from the table is that, if 1968 is included as a possible election year, of a total increase of $11.75 granted in pensions from 1950 to 1969, $6.50 has occurred in election years. If this is summarised and expressed as an average, we see that there has been an average rise of 81c in election years, including 1.968, and an average of only 35c in any other year. This shows that the Government's social welfare programme is directed at election years. Only at election time will it increase the pension rate. With the concurrence of honourable members, I incorporate in Hansard a table prepared by the Social Welfare Section of the Legislative Research Service dated 1 1th September 1969, showing changes in pension rates with reference to election dates. The Minister for Social Services, in his second reading speech, said: >The present Gorton Government is thus moving in the same direction as its predecessors . . I interrupt myself here to say: God forbid. He continued: {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . even though it is certainly moving farther than they did and it is probably moving faster. The Minister has some reservations. These are grim words and they are filled with the promise of a grim future for those who look for new ideas in the humanitarian field of social welfare. In her letter, **Mrs Ellis,** Secretary of the Australian Commonwealth Pensioners Association, said that the Government has failed to honour promises given to those who had been assured that there would be a new approach to social welfare. Her words endorse the views of the majority of Australians, who believe that there are grim years ahead. Before proceeding to present, a constructive programme on social welfare on behalf of the Opposition, it is necessary for me on the eve of an election to show the emptiness of the proposals that arc before us for consideration. This does not mean that these increases are not welcome. Indeed, they are long overdue and, like the recipients, I am grateful that an election has prompted the Government to move a little further along its tedious way to assisting those dependent on social services for their existence. But I propose to show how niggardly and inadequate the increases are. Let me take as an example the age and invalid pensions. I am pleased to hear the honourable member for Angas **(Mr Giles)** laugh. He is living at a rate considerably above $15 a week and can afford to laugh. {: .speaker-KB8} ##### Mr Giles: -- So are you. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- I do not laugh about it, though. The standard pension rate has been increased by $1 to $15 a week. If these pensioners are in need they can get supplementary assistance of $2 a week, provided their incomes are not in excess of $52 per annum. The married rate has been increased by 75c to a total of $13.25 a week, making a total married pension rate of $26.50. I ask the Minister to tell us in his reply where we can find the rethinking in those amounts. Is this the new approach? On this occasion, as on previous occasions, no explanation is given to show how the amount of the increases was arrived at. We are told that age pensioners number 707,000, invalid pensioners 122,000 and widows 78,000, totalling 907.000 people. But I have made inquiries as to the number of pensioners who will receive the base rate pension. An estimate of the number of pensioners with means as assessed of less than $26 a year in March 1969 was given by the Minister for Social Services in reply to a question on notice on 27th May 1969. His reply showed that in this category age pensioners numbered 278,000, invalid pensioners 79,000 and widows 46,000. An estimate of the number of pensioners receiving the maximum rate of pension or receiving more than the maximum rate of pension at 30th June 1969 was supplied by the Department of Social Services. It showed that age pensioners in this category number 619,000, invalid pensioners 1 13,000 and widows 71,000, in round figures. This at or above the maximum' rate is apparently calculated by adding to the base pension any supplementary assistance. In fact, however, a person receiving a pension at or above the maximum rate is defined by the Department to be a person receiving a base pension or less than the maximum base pension. Again according to the Department, all the pensioners in the categories I have given are below the cut off point where their means begin to affect their pension entitlement. That brings me to the point I wish to make. The total number is just on 403,000. This means that under this scheme roughly 45% are not getting the benefit of more than the $1 or 75c because they have no income and are unable to work. The Government, which boasts of caring for the needy, brings into this Parliament legislation that prevents 403,000 at the very minimum of the social and economic scale from getting any worthwhile benefit. Is it any wonder that in the first part of the amendment I have moved we condemn the Government for the inadequacy of this provision to cater for people in need and for neglecting the real area of need for which provision should have been made so that people can live in reasonable comfort? To show the falsity of the Government's claim that it is rethinking social services, let me say that as long ago as 1951 pensions were increased by $1 and in 1952 by 75c. The same base increase of 17 years ago is being given today. In 1951 the basic wage was about $12 and the rise of $1 at that time represented one-twelfth of the basic wage. On today's basic wage of about $39 the rise should be at least $3.25 if the Government wishes to maintain the value of the increases given as long ago as 1951 and 1952. The Government says that increases were granted in 1968 and 1969. Of course they were. However, they were not granted on economic grounds but to ensure the Government's political survival at an election that was then pending. The children's allowance has been increased by $1 a week to $3.50 for all children of age and invalid pensioners after the first child. The number of children covered is 15,400. The cost will be $1,080,000 in a year. This is only the fourth increase in a period of 19 years since 1950. Increases have been granted in 1951, 1963, 1968 and 1969. The amount is not nearly enough. At one stage there was a gap of 12 years between increases, then a gap of 5 years, and because of the prospect of elections increases were given in 1968 and 1969. The allowance for the first child has been altered only slightly. An increase of 35c was given in 1961. The increase before that was 25c in 1951. The rate is now $1.50. Although the Government has increased the allowance on this occasion, over the years such increases have been few and far between. Let us look now at the mother's and guardian's allowance for pensioners with children under 6 years of age or with an invalid child requiring full time care. The allowance is to be increased from $4 a week to $6. This increase will cost $100,000, so it is not an elaborate increase. Here again we see an example of discrimination. To qualify the child must require full time care. Why is this allowance not paid in respect of all children? How many children have been left out? What would it cost to pay the allowance for all children? Does not every child under 6 years of age need full time attention? This is a miserable classification and maintains the Government's principle of placing people in categories - the sick, the very sick, the frail, the frail aged, the poor, the nearly poor and the very poor. All poor or depressed people in the community are categorised. Now children are categorised as those requiring full time care. The Government's approach is mercenary and mean. It borders on the contemptible in its dealing with a great human problem. The guardian's allowance has not been increased since it was introduced in 1965. Now strings are attached to the increase. For years the Government has refused to increase the mother's and guardian's allowance. Now only those pensioners with a child under 6 years of age or with an invalid child requiring full time care will receive the benefit of an increase of $2 in the allowance. I bring to the attention of honourable members the definition of full time care. I have made some inquiries and I am advised by a spokesman for the Department of Social Services that as at 30th June 1969 there were 1,012 age pensioners and 2,535 invalid pensioners receiving a guardian's allowance. I am advised also that it is not possible at present to state how many persons will be eligible in the future under the new provisions proposed in the Budget but it is probably not a significant number. My inquiries reveal that the criteria for full care has not yet been defined but a similar definition to the one under the unemployment and sickness benefit provisions is not unlikely. A doctor's certificate stating the child's need will be required in the case of families with one parent only. The policy regarding twoparent families where one parent may be absent temporarily has not yet been formulated. Did you ever hear anything more designed to place people in categories? Can there be any doubt that this benefit has strings attached? There is no doubt that this benefit is an election gimmick, devised without thorough investigation of the needs of those concerned. Unless a doctor says that the child requires full time care, even those in most desperate financial circumstances will not get any assistance from this Government. These children can join the already long list of the forgotten - the poor, the nearly poor, the frail, the frail aged, the sick and the very sick. There is no place in our society for such a policy. All aged and sick people in the community should be in one category. The first child of an invalid, age or Service pensioner is excluded from the increase in the child's allowance. There will be no sharing of the growing wealth of our country for these future citizens. Where is the evidence of human values in the paltry and sectional concessions given to some and withheld from others? The real area of need is that area covering the one million people of this country who, under this Government, are living in poverty. There are in the legislation certain miscellaneous provisions which are commendable. I will not deal with them at length. They include benefits for widows living overseas and matters of that nature. We welcome them. I turn now to the tapered means test. In his second reading speech the Minister for Social Services described the tapered means test as: . . the most significant and far-reaching reform of the means test which has been undertaken since pensions were introduced in 1909. That is a bold statement, embodying big words, spoken by the Minister without the bl'ink of an eyelid as though this was the brain child of the Liberal Government. Was it modesty or shame that caused the Minister to leave out the words that might well have been added - 'plundered from the 1966 policy speech of the Australian Labor Party' - just as the merged means test was plundered a few years earlier; just as any decent social reform which the Government has introduced on other occasions has been plundered from Labor's policy? The policy speech delivered on 10th November 1966 by the right honourable member for Melbourne **(Mr Calwell),** who was then Leader of the Opposition, read: >Liberalised deductions on permissible incomes by deducting only SI on every $2 earned above the permissible income for full pension entitlement. Cost $20,000,000. The Government has altered that slightly by saying that it will deduct only SOc for every $1 earned. Apart from other factors, the Government said that the country could not afford Labor's policy. We also promised to provide a medical entitlement card for all persons of pensionable age, irrespective of income, at a cost of $14m. I think these factors show conclusively whose brain chirn1 the tapered means test is. We are told that the tapered means test proposals will benefit 240,000 people, but 130,000 of them will be denied such fringe benefits as concessions relating to medical and hospital costs, television and radio licences, rates and fares. Again the Government has been guilty of discrimination. Again the community is divided into the haves and the have nots. In his second reading speech the Minister said: {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . in terms of real purchasing power, counting in the fringe benefits, these people, who are the ones most in need, will today have nearly twice what they had in the old days when Labor was in office. What about those to whom fringe benefits will now be denied. Are they not worse off than when Labor was in office? The Minister said that the Government thought that fringe benefits were necessary to raise the living standards of pensioners. Let there be no doubt that this remarkable piece of legislation is Labor's child. It is good for that reason and for no other. The Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** said that the reform was recommended by the Cabinet Welfare Committee. The Minister for Social Services has claimed the credit for the provisions of this legislation. In an article which I quoted in the House last week the honourable member for Evans **(Dr Mackay)** claimed that these provisions were his idea. I repeat that this child was kidnapped. This lusty youngster was plucked from the cradle of the Labor Party. To hide its abominable crime the Government is basking in the sunshine of the success of this idea of a tapered means test, but it is claiming parentage. What has happened to the pledge given in 1949 by the Liberal Party to abolish the means test? Between 1954 and 1967 there was no change in the level of permissible income. Let me remind those honourable members who, unlike the Minister, did not enter the Parliament on that policy of 1949, that the Liberal and Country Parties promised to abolish the means test within 3 years. I will quote from the policy speech of 1949. The booklet from which I quote bears the photograph of a good looking former Prime Minister. The policy reads: >Australia still needs a contributory system of national insurance against sickness, widowhood, unemployment, and old age. It is only under such a system that we can make all benefits a matter of right, and so get completely rid of the means test. > >During the new Parliament we will further investigate this complicated problem with a view to presenting to you -at the election of 1952 a scheme for your approval. Meanwhile, existing rates of pension will, of course, be at least maintained. We will, much more importantly, increase their true value by increasing their purchasing power. Has the Minister forgotten that pledge made to the Australian people? Are we now to take it that the Liberal Party does not believe in the complete elimination of the means test? Will the Minister and the Government deny the statements they have made in the past in support of this principle? I believe that on the eve of an election the people are entitled to know about these things. Labor's policy is clear and unmistakable: If elected on 25th October, which appears beyond doubt, we have undertaken to abolish the means test within 6 years. {: .speaker-JSE} ##### Mr Bridges-Maxwell: -- That is not what you are saying in the electorates. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- The honourable member for Robertson should listen attentively. Under this legislation the deduction from income for all pensioners with children will be increased from $3 to $4 per week in respect of each child. This will cover only 500 age and invalid pensioners and 1,750 widows. The number who will benefit is not very considerable. The last increase that was given was in 1956 and the previous increase was in 1952. So there has been a long time between benefits for this most deserving section of the community. Again I quote the Australian Commonwealth Pensioners' Federation: >This is a benefit very few can avail themselves of. A mother with three dependent children has a full time job caring for them and bringing them up single handed, while the aged, invalid or service pensioner ls either too sick or no longer has the capacity to work. The deduction for dependants in assessing means as assessed was last changed in 1966, when the amount rose from SI to $3. This deduction was originally introduced in 1951, when it was 50c, and it rose to SI in 1952. This indicates the period that elapses before this Government overhauls social service benefits. The Government does any rethinking only at election time when its future is in doubt. The rates of sickness and unemployment benefit received great attention in the Minister's second reading speech. They have increased by $1.75 for married adults to $10 a week. The rate for unmarried minors over 18 years of age has now gone to $6 a week, and the rate has increased to $4.50 for unmarried minors aged 16 to 17 years. The wife's allowance has been increased from $6 to $7 a week. The Government has really let its head go there. An unmarried minor 16 years of age and over who has no parent living in Australia will in future be paid sickness or unemployment benefit at the adult rate of $10 a week. The allowance for the first child has been increased by $1 to $3.50 and the allowance for other children has been increased from $1.50 to $3.50. The waiting period of 7 days, which has been waived in certain circumstances, is commendable and desirable. The allowable income for those on unemployment and sickness benefit is to be increased by $2 to $6 a week in the case of an adult or married minor and from $1 to $3 a week in the case of an unmarried minor. I remind the House that the last increase in these benefits was in 1962, when the Government had a majority of one. The increase was 75c. There was no increase between 1957 and 1961, when $1.50 was given. The wife's allowance was last increased by 75c in 1962, and now 7 years later it has been increased by $1 to make the princely sum of $7 a week for a man with no other income. In 1962 the allowance for the first child was last increased. It has now gone up by $1. Consequently, it can be seen that the Government moves very slow in the field of unemployment and sickness benefits. The rates payable to persons 16 and 17 years of age have remained unchanged since 1957, when they went up 50c. Now after 12 years the Government thinks it is worth SI, which in real purchasing power is probably about only 10c. The rates for persons in the 18 to 20 years age group have remained unchanged since 1957. Now, according to the Government, they have struck the jackpot by getting an increase of $ .1 .25 a week after waiting 12 years. They will now receive the princely sum of $6 a week. In both cases there was no increase between 1952 and 1957. So it means that in a period of 17 years there have been only 2 minor increases in these benefits. To summarise, this is what it means under this Government's rethinking: A single man on these benefits will receive $10 a week; a married man with a wife and two children will receive $24 a week; a junior over 18 years of age will receive $6; and a junior under 18 years of age will receive $4.50 or, in ordinary language that we understand, 45 shillings. These increases have been given at a time when the average income of a person in Australia is approximately $70 a week. Is this the new rethinking? ls this the new order? Is this the best the Government can do? I suggest that the Government has a responsibility to do better than this, because these rates are just not good enough in this day and age. Even the allowable income for persons in receipt of these benefits has remained stationary. The Minister used some silly arguments in his speech for an economist when he compared 1949 with today. As he said that today's benefits are better than those that were paid by a Labor Government, let me tell him that Commonwealth sickness and unemployment benefits were introduced by Labor in 1945. But prior to that in New South Wales, under unemployment relief services administered by the United Australia Party-Country Party Coalition, the following unemployment relief was paid to a man with a wife and two children: Food relief was $2 a week; wages for a maximum of 16 hours of emergency relief work amounted to $1.74. The rate for single aged pensioners was $1.80. Still under UAP governments, in 1940 food relief was only $2.15 a week and wages for relief work when a man worked two weeks in four amounted to about S2.15. The Commonwealth single pension was $2.10. I do not think those figures are comparable because they are taken from an age so different to the present age. They are different values and different ideas. The Minister, as an economist, knows that it is not right to compare these figures. If he compares the economic position today with that of 1949 I am entitled to go back to 1910 to show the falsity of that argument and that it does not hold water. We find, that permissible income for persons under the age of 18 years who are receiving sickness and unemployment benefits has not changed since 1957. The rate for the 18 to 21 age group has not changed for the same period, and the permissible income and unemployment benefits for everybody, adult and junior, has been stationary for 12 years. Is it any wonder that in. a recent article in the December issue of the 'Economic Record' Professor Downing had this to say: >The rates of benefit paid currently to the unemployed and the sick are a national disgrace. When we note that the average number of people on unemployment and sickness benefits over the period, on the figures taken from the Minister's second reading speech, is 58,000 we realise that a lot of people are suffering under this legislation. In his speech- the Minister referred to two other aspects of welfare legislation, namely, the home care programme and aged persons homes. He also referred to various other desirable improvements in welfare. What he omitted to say was that some of the legislation referred to is legislative only. In some cases the majority of the States for a number of reasons have failed to cooperate and the legislation is therefore in the nature of a paper tiger and has not been effective in any shape or form. The Minister, in his second reading speech, said: >Part of this cost is in the tapered means test which in itself is designed to add to national productivity and will thus in the long run create resources lo offset the Budget expenditure. This at least solves the problem of where the money will come from, and I presume the argument that we cannot find the money for Labor's programme on social welfare is no longer valid even in the eyes of doubting Government members. In his speech the Minister stated that increases in the standard and married rates of pension - $15 and $13.25 - now push these to record heights not only in terms of money value but in terms of real purchasing power. He then went on to compare the increases with the consumer price index and completely discarded the argument that pension rates should be correlated with average earnings, which he described as a logical fallacy. I submit to the Minister that at this stage it is not only a sound policy but the only policy. It is rather pointless to talk about the relationship between pensions and the consumer price index if we simply do not know whether base rate pensions can provide an adequate standard of living. The Minister then went on to say that even though in recent years average earnings had risen faster than prices this is no argument for tying pensions to average earnings rather than to prices. In the first place, why should not pensioners reap some of the added benefit from the increase in prosperity of the community instead of having their pensions simply related to the consumer price index? Even if it can be assumed that the current base rate pension is sufficient for a frugal yet adequate existence - this is open to question - why should the pension be kept at such a low level and why should pensioners not receive a larger share of the increase in prosperity in the community? The increases, of course, still maintain the discrimination between married and single pensioners. There has been a falling off in the comparison of the pension to average income, which in this day and age is a reasonable basis of comparison because after all pensioners exist in a society where costs are based on high earnings of husband and wife in many cases and their income should be averaged accordingly. Pensioners cannot live on percentages. They want food, clothing and shelter. I have obtained from the parliamentary statistical service a comparison of average weekly earnings with weekly pensions in each year from 1948-49 to the present day. Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- **Mr Speaker,** when the sitting was suspended I had stated that the increase in the social service legislation for pensioners still maintains the discriminaton between married and single pensioners and other sections of the needy. There has been a falling off in the relationship of the pension to the average income, which in this day and age is a reasonable basis, although the Minister for Social Services states that a comparison should not be based on this principle. I consider it to be a reasonable basis because, after all, pensioners exist in a society where costs are based on high earnings of husband and wife in many cases and their income should be averaged accordingly. I have had a chart taken out showing the average weekly earnings in 1948-49, the last year of a Labor Government, and the average weekly earnings in 1968-69. It shows that, in 1948-49, the average weekly earnings were $17.70. The pension was 24% of the average weekly earnings. The average weekly earnings in 1968-69 are shown as $68.90. The pension rate was 20.3% of those average weekly earnings. In round figures, the relationship between the average weekly earnings and the pension rate has dropped by 3.7%. These figures show the decrease in the standard of living for those in receipt of the average pension payment. I think that, prior to the suspension of the sitting, the Minister for Social Services was good enough to say that leave would be granted for the incorporation of this information in Hansard. Is leave granted, **Mr Speaker?** **Mr SPEAKER (Hon. W. J. Aston)Leave** is granted subject to the usual conditions governing the incorporation of material in Hansard. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- Thank you, **Mr Speaker.** With the concurrence of the House, I incorporate this information, which reads: Compiled by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library Legislative Research Service from figures published in 'Wage Rates and Earnings' by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics; Twenty-seventh Report of the Director-General of Social Services', 1967-68; and 'Budget Speech' 1969- 70 of the Treasurer. This attitude by the Government lends support to the point of view that the Government does not have at its disposal the capacity for working out a comprehensive social pol'icy inter-related to the average growth of the economy. No doubt exists that the Minister is opposed to pensions being related to average earnings. At a later stage in his speech, he refers to the social service benefits granted this year as being 'generous but not irresponsible' - very decent of him - that they will help pay for themselves and that the burden on the Budget will be self liquidating. No reference is made to the real needs of social service beneficiaries nor to any comprehensive analysis of how the economy could afford to meet these needs. What the Minister loses sight of is that pensioners cannot live on percentages; they live on food and they want clothing and shelter. If high average incomes are the order of the day - and they are - the incomes of pensioners must be geared accordingly, otherwise they sink below the poverty line with all its misery and suffering. That is why the Australian Labor Party submits that average earnings are an important and basic consideration in the assessment of rates of pension. They are equitable for adjustments in the basic rate. Let there be no doubt about this also, as the Minister has mentioned it on several occasions as an example of the Government's generosity: Increases were granted in pensions last year and this year for election purposes and no other purpose. These increases were not granted on any other basis because, quite frankly, the Government's new thinking on social services does not include as close a study as that. The Minister went to great pains in the course of his second reading speech to produce a chart in answer to *Professor* Henderson's Melbourne survey on poverty. I am not unmindful of the figures that he has produced. But the most practical approach to that survey would be for the Minister to institute a national inquiry into poverty followed by a national welfare plan to remove all people from this category. Widows are now being allowed to deduct $4 per week for each of their children from their income. This is another move in the Government's social programme. Consequently, this change, whilst it is desirable, is a long time overdue. The Minister went on to quote a desirable change in the case of a widow with three children who would receive some pension until $79 was granted. He compared this with the policy in 1949 when Labor went out of office. This is a bad argument for an economist. I shall deal with that in the course of my speech later on. The pension for class B widows has been increased by 75c per week to $13.25 per week, plus supplementary assistance in certain circumstances. The number involved in this increase is about 7,338. In addition, a rise of $1 per week was given in 1955, 14 years ago, which shows up the present increase in poor light by comparison. The very least under the present Government's policy which should be given to widows in this category is the same as the aged persons standard rate. The abject poverty in which class B widows are forced to live at this time is nothing for the Government to skite about. Under these proposals, 130,000 pensioners will receive no fringe benefits. Hospital benefits, medical benefits, concessions in respect of fare's, rates, radio and television licences, etc., are lost to the poor because of the discrimination against them by this Government even though the Minister has said that they are essential to maintain the standard of living of these people. We recall that similar benefits were denied to previous new eligible pensioners because of an increase in the permissible income level. During that period, Labor continually pressed that these benefits be granted. But they were denied to these pensioners by the Government. At that stage, they were denied to superannuated persons who had waited years for their rights in this regard. The Minister is on record in the Parliament as saying that he was appalled to see that this section of pensioners had not been granted medical benefits, etc., at that time. Of course, that was when he was a fiery rebel on the backbench. Now he perpetuates the system of discrimination which denies fringe benefits to the very people who should be getting them and who, he said on previous occasions, had been discriminated against. As I mentioned, we find discrimination unlimited under this Government. Married and single pensioners come into this category regarding fringe benefits. On all aspects of poverty there are aspects of this legislation which typify and exemplify what I have mentioned. An interesting aspect of the legislation is that the benefits will be paid on the first pay day after this Sill receives the Royal assent. In a later part of his speech, the Minister states, however, that applications for pensions on the new basis will be backdated to the date of commencement of these benefits provided applications are made before 31st December 1969. In addition, the Minister and his departmental officials are canvassing the public to lodge their applications and a high pressure campaign is in progress to make certain that every possible person gets the benefits to which he or she is entitled immediately or at least before 25th October, election day. This is the effect of the elections. There can be no other reason for this action. The Australian Labor Party believes that the payment of pensions should be backdated to 1st July. If they can be backdated from 3 1st December to October, they can be backdated to an earlier date. There is no excuse whatever for not adopting Labor's submission in this regard. The principle is applied to the superphosphate bounty for primary producers. Imagine the roar from the Country Party corner of the House if primary producers did not receive the benefits of the superphosphate bounty increases immediately a Budget was presented? Judges did not wait 3 months or 4 months before their salary increases of $6,000 per annum were granted. Public servants and other sections of the community are in the same category. What is good enough for the affluent is good enough for the needy. No excuse exists whatever for the failure to backdate these payments to 1st July. Why. even the 'Daily Mirror' was moved to present an editorial on this aspect. This is what it stated under the heading: 'Slow on the Draw*: >MEMO: To **Mr McMahon** and the Federal Treasury in Canberra! Hang your heads in shame. It is a good article: >You announced pension increases - meagre as they are - in your last Budget. That was a month ago. > >And still the pensioners haven't got their extra money. Worse, they won't get it for another 4 weeks. What a different story when sales tax or postal charges go up. You want the extra money immediately. The very next day. But, when it's a matter of giving, instead of taking, you're a lot slower off the mark. Is it because none of you has any real idea of what it's like to live as a pensioner? That is pretty right too: >Is it because none of you has any real idea of what another dollar a week can mean to someone whose income is miserably poor anyway? > >There can't be any other satisfactory explanation for sitting on your backsides for 2 months while the pensioners wait. {: .page-start } page 1375 {:#debate-22} ### WE SAY IT AGAIN: HANG YOUR HEADS IN SHAME The tax allowance concession is covered by other legislation, and I do not propose to go into it now. I will go so far as to say however that fringe benefits are being denied to 130,000 pensioners without any justification. Let those concerned with this legislation or its effectiveness be warned. This policy perpetuates discrimination. Two grades of pensioners - first class and second class - one with benefits and one without have been created. The poor are of secondary importance in the community. Even though the Government believes that these people need pensions, the Minister in his second reading speech said that these pensioners in the upper ranges should be able to afford to pay for their fringe benefits. What a miserable approach to a great national problem. Is this the great humanitarian who used to be on the back bench telling us things that should be done for pensioners and those in receipt of social services? This gives an idea of how changes are made when people are elevated to high office. Let us now have a look at the forgotten people, those people who -have some benefits but whose real needs have been forgotten. The child allowance has not been increased for some time. The wife's allowance of $7 was increased in 1968 but before that was unaltered since 1963. There are 20,000 wives who are now expected to live on $7 a week. They are the most desperate section of wives; their husbands are totally dependent on them because they are incapacitated age and invalid pensioners. In the field of supplementary assistance, the last increase was in 1965; the one before that was in 1958. There has been no increase for a period of 7 years and 170,000 people depend on this assistance to eke out an existence. Under this Government it is even too costly to die. The funeral benefit has been $20 since 1945. The last change was in 1964, and it brought the benefit to $40 in certain cases. No wonder people are trying to stay alive; under this Government you cannot afford to be buried if you happen to be dependent on a pension. Child endowment has remained at 50c a week since 1950. For the second child it is $1 and there has been no increase in that rate for 21 years. In respect of the third child, we have been waiting since 1964 for an increase. The allowance is still $1.50. The allowance for the fourth child is the same except that the period in which there has been no change goes back to 1948. The allowance for student children between 16 and 21 years of age was introduced in 1964. It has remained at the same miserable rate of $1.50. I refer now to the maternity allowance. The Government is spending millions of dollars on the migrant programme but it is 24 years - that is 1945 - since the maternity allowance was changed by this Government. In other words the maternity allowances are $30 and $35 and they have remained at that rate since 1945. The Government paid out about $251,000 last year. If these allowances were fixed at the rate at which they should be fixed the payment for the first child would be in the vicinity of $100. No wonder the Government has to bring children to Australia under its migration programme. Who could afford to have families in this country under policies which give no incentives towards alleviating the cost? I turn now to the rehabilitation training allowance. There was a $4 increase in 1968 - the first change since 1965. The living away from home allowance for rehabilitated people - people who are desperate to win a place in society - has not been changed since 1955. For the unmarried person it has been $3.50 for 14 years. For the full period of training there has been no change since last year, and then because of an election. It is now $5. A married person with dependent children seeking rehabilitation gets $6 for the first 8 weeks and that rate has not been changed since 1965. For the balance of the training the rate remains at $3, and it also has been unchanged since 1965. How long do these desperate people have to wait for increases under the new re-thinking policy of the Government? I will go further into the allowances under the rehabilitation scheme. In the case of a married person with one child training for the full period, the allowance has not been increased since last year - the first change for 13 years. A married person with no children gets $8, and that rate has been unchanged for the past 4 years. These are major benefits which have remained unchanged in this Budget. The number of persons covered is more than 2 million. Roughly 67% of those on social services get no benefit whatever under the proposals of this Government. This, in the words of the Minister, is "part of one of the most significant steps yet made in our Australian social services system' - God help the rest of the steps if this is the best - 'and it is the second instalment under the advance made under the Gorton Government'. I can only say in response to that statement that, thank heaven, that Government will be here only for another 30 days. lt is regrettable that the Minister, in what will probably be his last major speech as a Minister, could not distinguish himself by discussing this matter free from political bias, lt is unfortunate that the Minister, smarting under the criticism by Labor of the ineffectiveness of the Government's programme and his own contribution, should introduce party politics and base political motives into great human problems. I recall briefly just a few of his statements which indicate his bitterness towards Labor and its achievements in this important field. I refer to that section of his speech when with a voice charged with emotion and venom, his eyes alight with fire as though, as in the old days, he had sighted a Communist, he leaned across the table and vehemently rasped: 'Compare this with what a man would have received under Labor in 1949 or the old days when Labor was in office'. There was bitterness in every sentence and every syllable, hatred in every word, for the achievements of the Labor government of that time. The old rebel came out for a few fleeting moments and revived the days when he was one who we thought would work in the interests of the pensioners. Even for that reason it was good to see, in the few fleeting moments, what was, what might have been but what is not. I say to the Minister that his speech was regrettable. Even the stress of imminent defeat at the election and dismissal from the Ministry to which he sought entry for so long is no excuse for a vicious approach to a great human problem. It was a poor argument for a talented economist - strange to say, I think he is one - to make unfair comparisons of that kind. Like must be compared with like; otherwise comparisons are unfair. The conditions of 20 years ago bear very little comparison with those of today. I would have hoped that despite the Minister's problems at this time, and the Government's dilemma, he would have risen above party politics and would have dealt with this topic on a high level in keeping with the great humanitarian problem involved. In the first place he said that the real value of pensions had increased by 75% since 1949. How this figure is arrived at is not mentioned and is open to serious question. Setting up this sort of figure tells us nothing about the circumstances in which the base rate pensioners live and whether, m particular, the base rate pension for a single person paying rent is sufficient to provide him with a reasonable standard of living. As far as can be gathered no-one in Australia, least of all the Minister, has made a comprehensive survey of the adequacy of the base rate pension to provide a single pensioner paying rent, or other categories of base rate pensioners, with an adequate standard of living. I remind the Minister that if he wishes to revert to the silly argument about what happened 20 years ago, I shall also take him back over the years to 1941 when Labor came to office. It was defeated in 1949. Expenditure for social services in Australia totalled $36m a year when Labor came to office in 1941. When Labor went out of office expenditure totalled $176m. Undoubtedly numerous reforms were introduced at that time. In the period from 1941 to 1949 Labor increased total expenditure on social welfare from $36m to $176m. That was a time when, amongst other things, Labor was handling the conduct of a war because the Liberal Government had been thrown out of office by its own supporters. The Labor Government also faced a rehabilitation period after that great conflict. Let there be no mistake: Pensioners in 1948 were better off under Labor. They would have been much better off had resistance to Labor's proposals not come from powerful interests. But Labor did give pensioners real value for the pension, something which this Government destroyed by its inflationary policy. {: #debate-22-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- The honourable member for St George would not know and he will not have an opportunity to know for much longer either. {: #debate-22-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honourable member for St George continues to interject. He must cease. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- Treat him tolerantly, **Mr Speaker.** He is very distressed and has great worries. It was John Stubbs, the author of that splendid publication 'The Hidden People' who said: >Many of the provisions of Australia's social services manage to combine a weird blend of generosity and cruelty. Anomalies that have arisen through error or oversight are allowed to continue because they only affect a small number of people who have no effective political voice. What may have originally been a mistake becomes a deliberate and unjust policy, and a rigidly administered one. To the eternal discredit of the LiberalCountry Party Government it has allowed this state of affairs to go unchecked for 20 years and the Labor Party cannot be blamed. The responsibility was the Government's; indeed the pledge was given to re-think the social welfare policy. The Government stands condemned for having failed. Except for the plundered planks of Labor's platform, nothing has been done to alleviate distress and poverty. As I mentioned, no-one can deny that everything that honourable members opposite have boasted about - the merged means test, the tapered means test and other reforms of a beneficial nature - they would not have thought about had the Labor Party not done so and made announcements concerning them. Having said so much about the poor record of the Government in the field of rethinking social welfare let me tell the people of this nation and of the Parliament what the Labor Party's programme is in this enlightened age. I quote the 1969 social welfare policy of the Australian Labor Party Federal Conference. It reads: 1 The provision of social service benefits which will promote the well being of the nation by means of economic justice and maximum social participation of all citizens. 2 (a) The provision of social security benefits in such contingencies as, for example, sickness, unemployment and old age, so as to guarantee families and individuals a minimum income sufficient in general to maintain an acceptable standard of living. (b) Social security payments will be tied to a proportion of the average weekly earnings so that persons receiving benefits will receive automatic increases as either productivity increases or as other factors increase general prosperity or as inflation occurs. 3 The provision to persons in particular need of such additional benefits and welfare services as may be necessary to maintain their real standard of living at an acceptable level including co-operation with State, Local Government and Regional authorities on these matters; and Commonwealth financial allocations and the establishment of administrative machinery to govern the standard which these Commonwealth finances should achieve to promote the development of regional health and welfare programmes. 4 Gradual abolition of the Means Test- And I ask honourable members to listen to this in particular - over the life of two Parliaments by means of the introduction of a National Superannuation Scheme. 5 No Australian citizen shall be disqualified from receiving social service pension on account of the period of residence' in Australia or because of residence abroad. 6 The appointment of a Health, Education and Welfare Parliamentary Committee to keep national domestic policy under constant review and to promote integration of services. What a magnificent programme this is for this age. {: .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr Bosman: -- How would you- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honourable member for St George is out of his seat. I have already warned him to cease interjecting. I understand that he is listed to speak in this debate and I suggest that he desist from interjecting. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- Thank you, **Mr Speaker.** The interjections were distressing me. For years Australia led the world in the humanitarian field of social services. When given the opportunity, Labor overhauled old benefits and introduced new ones, such as widows pensions and sickness and unemployment benefits. In fact, in 1939, after all but *8i* years of Liberal-Country Party Government, the only social service benefits payable by the Commonwealth were age and invalid pensions with a total expenditure of S38m. In its 8 years of office between 1941 and 1949 Labor increased invalid and age pensions, relaxed 1,ie means test as it applied to allowances for wives and children, introduced widows pensions, increased maternity allowances and abolished the means test on maternity allowances. We introduced child endowment, funeral benefits, unemployment and sickness benefits and the tuberculosis allowance. In addition, Labor introduced pharmaceutical benefits, rental rebates under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, provisions for the rehabilitation of disabled persons and benefits for inmates of mental institutions at a cost increase of about $176m. When Labor is returned it will find a social service structure - allowing for inflation - almost the same as it left back in 1949. We have suffered 20 years of social service stagnation. The scheme for rehabilitation of the handicapped - the last major benefit to be introduced by Labor in 1948 - is the same today as when the Liberals took over in 1949. The Government has not had a new idea for 20 years. Labor intended that the scheme should benefit every physically and mentally handicapped person in the community who could be trained to do a job. The best that can be said for Australia's social service provisions is that, they alleviate the distress of the poor. This philosophy is now out of date, lt is not good enough for 1969. It is not good enough for other civilised countries and it is not good enough for Australia. At this stage of our development Labor believes in a comprehensive scheme of social welfare that will provide all citizens in times of emergency and retirement with reasonable welfare payments. As a first move towards this objective, Labor proposes that, within the structure of our social welfare policy, pensions, sickness and unemployment benefits and other social welfare benefits shall be incorporated in a universal scheme which shall guarantee that no citizen shall fall below a minimum income sufficient in general to maintain an acceptable standard of living. In co-operation with State governments, local government and regional authorities, additional benefits and welfare provisions will be available to maintain a real standard of living for those in need. It is a programme not for social justice merely for the needy, but social welfare for the many. We will investigate and remedy the areas of poverty in an endeavour to provide a new way of life for this section of the community which lives in want and squalor today. We shall make war on poverty and remove this blight from our society. And what of the means test? Gradual abolition of the means test over the life of two Parliaments by means of a national superannuation scheme will remove from all sections of the community the anomalies, injustices and the penalty on thrift that is indicated and nurtured under the present system. It is a reform promised by the Liberal Government as long ago as 1949. It has discarded the pledge, but Labor will accept its responsibility and give effect to this policy. At the same time as we abolish the means test the Labor Party will not neglect that huge section of pensioners which is reduced to poverty because of failure to maintain the rate of pension and which is dependent exclusively on the pension with no other income or assets. We will not turn a blind eye, as this Government does, to the heart rending poverty of many of our senior citizens who face each depressing day with the melancholy thought that there is not enough to eat, not enough clothing for comfort, not enough fuel for warmth, and not enough Christian charity in this Government to secure a moderate standard of housing comfort. These conditions cannot be cured by a piece of paper that is claimed to be a social reform. What is needed is a thorough and humane inquiry into the particular needs of individual pensioners who through no fault of their own find themselves discarded by society after a lifetime of useful contribution to the wealth of this nation. This Government stands condemned in the eyes of every person in Australia while one Australian goes hungry today. The greatest challenge of our time is that of providing for the economic security of our people. It is our responsibility to abolish poverty. We live in an age of unrestricted progress. Australia is a country of unlimited potential. There are no barriers or horizons too wide for our ideals, ambitions and aspirations. In the field of social welfare Labor accepts the challenge and on the basis of simplicity, generosity, courtesy and justice our course is planned to provide for all in need. We ask the people of Australia to endorse our programme in this great field of human endeavour and to give endorsement in the coming elections to our programme of social welfare which will guarantee financial security, well being, freedom from fear and freedom from want to every person in the Australian nation. Finally, I re-echo the sentiments of the Australian Commonwealth Pensioners Federation which said: >It is time for a change. This Federation calls on all pensioners, their families, all those who desire a social welfare system of justice and equality to use the ballot box as their answer by putting all Government candidates last. With that stirring appeal to all in need in this country and to all who believe in social justice I have moved the amendment on behalf of the Opposition. I believe it deserves to be supported by all who believe in humanity and in the progressive development of the welfare of our people. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! Is the amendment seconded? {: .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean: -- I second the amendment and reserve my right to speak. {: #debate-22-s2 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH:
Minister for Social Services · Mackellar · LP -- **Mr Speaker,** may I correct a mis-statement? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! Does the honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH: -- Indeed, yes. The honourable member for Grayndler **(Mr Daly)** spoke of the tapered means test as having been plundered from the 1966 policy of the Australian Labor Party. The truth is that this matter was discussed, certainly by me and also by other people, long before 1966. If anybody plundered it was the person who wrote the 1966 Labor Party policy speech. May I say that the honourable member for Grayndler has never hurt anyone even though it has not been for lack of effort. Debate (on motion by **Mr Lee)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1379 {:#debate-23} ### DEFENCE FORCES RETIREMENT BENEFITS FUND: SURPLUS ASSETS {:#subdebate-23-0} #### Ministerial Statement {: #subdebate-23-0-s0 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Treasurer · Lowe · LP -- by leave- On 29th May 1968, when tabling the report of the Commonwealth Actuary on his investigation of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund in respect of the 5 year period from 1st July 1959 to 30th June 1964, I informed the House of the Government's decision to distribute to eligible contributors and pensioners surplus assets as at 30th June 1964 amounting to $4,465,770 in respect of members who entered the Fund before 14th December 1959. The Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act (No. 3) 1968, assented to on 9th December 1968, provides the necessary authority for the distribution to be made. As provided for in the legislation, of the surplus of $4,465,770 an amount of $776,000 is to be allocated among eligible pensioners and $3,689,770 among eligible contributors. To the amount allocated to each person will be added an amount that, if compound interest were payable in respect of the period from 1st July 1964 until a future date that will be determined in due course, would be the amount of that interest. In determining rates of interest for this purpose the Act provides that I shall have regard to the average rate of interest earned by the Fund and to such other matters as I think are relevant. In the financial year 1964-65 the average earning rate of the Fund was 5.325%, in 1965-66 5.739%, in 1966-67 5.685% and in 1967-68 5.886%. The rate earned by the Fund in 1968-69 is estimated by the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Board to be 5.935%. When informing the House of the Government's decision to distribute the surplus I stressed that there was much work to be done and emphasised that appreciable delays before payments were made would probably be unavoidable. The task is, in fact, proving to be a major one and, regrettably, is taking much longer than I had hoped it would. Thousands of contributors' and pensioners' records dating back to 1 948 when the scheme was first established have had to be examined and reconstructed by the Board and special systems are having to be developed. However, the preparations of the Board have advanced to the stage where the Commonwealth Actuary is now in a position to devise, for my consideration, methods of distribution that will ensure that each person will receive a fair and reasonable share of the amounts to be distributed and I expect to receive advice from him regarding pensioners later this month. His advice regarding contributors should be available to me in November. Allocations of surplus amounts to individual pensioners and contributors by the Board will not, however, follow immediately upon my determining the manner in which the surplus is to be distributed after I have considered the advice of the Actuary. There is much essential data yet to be collated by the Board and additional systems to be developed. But I have been advised by the Board that it should be in a position to make payments to most eligible pensioners currently in receipt of pension before Christmas, while payments to contributors should be possible by Easter or April 1970. I will make a further statement when the Board advises me that it is ready to commence the distribution to pensioners. Before I resume my seat I would like to pay a tribute to the help and assistance given to me by the honourable member for Maribyrnong **(Mr Stokes).** I assure the House that I do not know of any person who could have more willingly given of his time and assistance to help me on this matter and I would like to add that I do not know of anyone other than the officials themselves who has a greater knowledge of this subject than the honourable member for Maribyrnong. {: #subdebate-23-0-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM:
Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa -by leave- The Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** has now revealed a thoroughly unsatisfactory situation in the administration of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act and Fund. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- Which official are you criticising? {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- 1 am referring to the faults of the system. I would imagine that the actuaries engaged on the work under the present system are as good as are available in Australia, as are the actuaries employed on the Public Service Superannuation Fund and by insurance companies in general. But the system is at fault. It is an exasperatingly complex system. The situation has been explored in respect to the surplus, which has been accumulated over 5 years, since the middle of 1964, and it is in respect of persons who entered the Service 10 years or more ago. I acknowledge that the honourable member for Maribyrnong **(Mr Stokes)** has been consistent and persistent in his comments and questions on this subject. In the same connection I would like to acknowledge the perseverance and persistence of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Barnard),** the honourable member for Batman **(Mr Benson)** and the honourable member for Fawkner **(Mr Howson),** and perhaps I might claim to have shown some myself. The situation is that the Commonwealth Actuary reported on this 5-year old surplus in May 1967. The commentary was ordered from the Treasury a month later and it was tabled in this House in May of last year. We have asked questions on several occasions about the distribution of this surplus or an interim payment similar to the interim payment which was made from the Superannuation Fund. The fact is that in the case of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund no interim payment is to be made. The Treasurer has in this prepared statement given no more information - with one exception - than he gave to the honourable member for Fawkner on 14th of last month. The exception is that the pensioners will receive their payments before Christmas, whereas the honourable member for Fawkner was told that they would receive them by the end of the year. Of course others will still not receive payment until Easter or April of next year. It is deplorable that the present Treasurer shows no dissatisfaction with the system as it stands. Australia is one of the few countries which has a contributory retirement system for members of the Services. Other suggestions, such as encouraging servicemen to take out insurance, have been rejected. I represent more members of the Forces than any honourable member in this Parliament, since I represent the military capital of Australia, encompassing the Liverpool, Holsworthy and Ingleburn areas. The fact is that Australian servicemen are required to pay 25% of the benefits they receive under the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act. Servicemen in comparable countries such as America and Britain receive their retirement benefits and gratuities without contribution. American servicemen are entitled to receive retirement benefits which after 20 years equal half the pay of a current serviceman and after 30 years a proportion higher still. In all cases, I believe, their benefits are adjusted automatically throughout their retirement in accordance with adjustments to the active service scale. The DFRB Fund should no longer be conducted like the Public Service Superannuation Fund since the two funds have to cater for men in greatly different careers. The Australian Government should instead pay non-contributory pensions to all exservicemen and adjust those pensions periodically in accordance with the adjustments in the rates of pay applicable to current servicemen. Furthermore, the present Government should certainly before now have made an interim payment on this 5- year-old surplus. If it was possible to do it in respect of the Superannuation Fund I cannot understand why it was not possible to do it for the DFRB Fund. The Australian Government should encourage and enable servicemen to take out insurance of their own. The Australian Life Offices Association 2 years ago proposed to the present Government a scheme under which servicemen on active service would have been able to insure themselves for $10,000 at a monthly rate of $2. A Labor government will take into account the example of the United States and the suggestions of this Association in arranging for Australians on active service to be covered by proper life assurance under proper conditions. I would recall that on 29th August this year the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** reiterated that the present Government had decided against the introduction of such a scheme. There is great dissatisfaction among serving members of the forces. There is great dissatisfaction among retired members of the forces and on the part of their dependants at a system which takes so very long to administer, so very long to get interim payments. Even though interim payments have now been abandoned, it takes over 5 years before a person can get his full share of his surplus. A large surplus of over $4im has been outstanding for over 5 years. There is something wrong with a system which cannot work more quickly and justly than this. It is time that a fresh look was taken at retirement benefits for members of the forces. Here again a change is required and it can take place on 25th October. {: #subdebate-23-0-s2 .speaker-KVG} ##### Mr STOKES:
Maribyrnong -- by leaveI am rather surprised that the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** has found fault with the system of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund which was instituted by a Labor administration, namely the Chifley Government. It is the part of the system that we call the pre- 1959 system that has caused all the trouble. The pre- 1959 system has caused a surplus to be raised because of the inequities which were placed upon members of the Forces by a Labor administration. I am surprised that the Leader of the Opposition did not do his homework before he made accusations in general in this context. I think we are finding that perhaps he does not do his homework as well as he may. In 1959 under a Liberal administration the system was changed to a simple one whereby a percentage of salary was paid. This did away with the cumbersome system which was set up under a Labor administration and which is the real cause of the troubles that we are going through at the moment. The lip service that is being paid by the Leader of the Opposition and by members of the Opposition to this matter fills me with a great deal of dismay. The Leader of the Opposition asked why interim payments were not made. The reason for the delay is that because of the cumbersome system introduced by the Opposition every person's case and every individual account had to be investigated. The Fund could not make an interim payment and in doing so probably run the risk of over-paying someone and then having to take it away from him. This is something we do not do. The whole matter had to be fully investigated to ensure that everyone received the exact amount of his entitlement. I feel that the Government may have taken a long time but at least every man will get his just proportion at a proper rate of compound interest in due time. The pensioners will receive this payment before Christmas and the contributors before Easter. I thank the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon),** the Treasury staff and the Board for the work they have done to bring this to pass. The Leader of the Opposition made one other comment about a non-contributory scheme. He said that the present scheme should not be a contributory one but should have been non-contributory. As I said before this contributory scheme was instituted under a Labor administration. However, the Liberal administration asked the Services: 'Will you accept a non-contributory scheme and we will scrap the scheme which is already on the statute book?' The Services, having considered this proposition over a long period, said: 'No, we will abide by the present contributory scheme'. They themselves have decided. The Services do not require the Leader of the Opposition to decide for them. 1 would like to mention one other matter. The information that has been obtained by this long research into every individual account of the pre-1959 contributors will be used and will be available to enable the Treasury and the Board to ascertain the cost of transferring people from this stupid scheme which was instituted by Labor to the post- 1959 scheme so that everyone will be on an even keel and in a decent system - the one introduced by the Liberal Party in 1959. {: .page-start } page 1382 {:#debate-24} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-24-0} #### OVERSEAS INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA Ministerial Statement {: #subdebate-24-0-s0 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr GORTON:
Prime Minister · Higgins · LP -- by leave - The importance to Australia of a strong and continuing inflow of overseas capital has never been questioned by my Government. During the years after the end of World War II, the accumulated total of private overseas investment in Australia has been about $7,000m. Without that investment, it would have been impossible for us to devlop as quickly as history demands we must. Our immigration programme would have been restricted. Import replacement and a growing independence of many overseas commodities would have been curtailed. And we would not have grown the industrial muscles which we need. This overseas flow of investment has developed resources which were previously not utilised. It has contributed to the sustained growth in our export income, and it. has raised the general level of efficiency and therefore of real incomes in many sectors of the economy, lt confers great benefits on us and it is essential that it should continue. It is, however, also true that overseas capital does not come to Australia merely because of a wish to confer these advantages on us. Basically it comes here because we are a politically stable country, because there are great opportunities for new development here, and because there are good opportunities for profit, and for growth as the nation grows. Naturally, at a time when great new possibilities are opening up in this country we wish to see Australians get as good an opportunity as possible, within the limits of their resources and capacities for saving, for participation in these developments and growth and profits. This is not an attitude that can or should be carried to the point of discouraging people from abroad who are willing to bring here their money and their energies and their know-how. But it is an attitude on the part of the Australian community which overseas interests have to recognise. To a very large extent they already recognise and are prepared to accept it. And many of them indeed, in increasing numbers, have seen that it is an attitude which is basically helpful to them and can be turned, in a co-operative spirit, to their and our good account. As we see it, the central aim of policy must be to provide, on terms which are fair as between overseas investors and the Australian people, the conditions under which investment will be attracted here. Those conditions should be such that overseas enterprises can operate securely and effectively, making the greatest contribution they can to our development at a fair return to themselves. And above all, conditions under which they can work in harmony, on even terms, and so far as practicable on a joint basis and in close collaboration with Australian enterprises. We do not believe that we can or should seek to legislate, in such a complex field. But we reiterate our wishes and have little doubt that overseas companies of repute will note and respond to those wishes. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- They have not in 20 years. {: .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr GORTON: -- Yes. They are doing it more and more. The Government has, as its general objective, the encouragement of Australian participation in and partnership with, overseas enterprises. And in speaking of partnership I place emphasis upon the offer of equity participation to Australians by overseas ventures. As encouragement towards this end we have recently completed a review of the restraints imposed on overseas companies seeking to raise fixed interest borrowings in Australia - or the borrowing guidelines as they have come to be known. These guidelines apply only to proposed fixed interest borrowings, not to the raising of share capital in Australia for the purpose of financing operations by enterprises incorporated here. At present overseas interests proposing any form of borrowing within Australia are requested to consult the Reserve Bank and Australian lending institutions are requested to satisfy themselves that overseas interests - or companies in which more than 25% of the shares are held by overseas interests - have received approvals from the Reserve Bank covering any proposed borrowings. This wilt continue. Generally speaking companies will be allowed reasonable access to Australian borrowings for finance normal requirements of working capital, bridging finance, and continuing carry-on requirements. Further, in accordance with the Government's general policy of ensuring that every effort is made to increase exports of Australian goods, ready approval will be given to borrowings for the specific purpose of financing export transactions. In calculating the new local borrowings that will be approved to finance fixed assets in future, the base will be the local borrowings approved as acceptable as at 30th June1969 under the existing guidelines. Companies that are now regarded as having been established in Australia for a period of 4 years or longer will be allowed to borrow up to 10% of any increase subsequent to June 1969 in the total of shareholders' funds, other funds from overseas sources, and local borrowings excluding those to finance increases in working capital or to finance exports. For the sake of brevity I will refer to those amounts as the increase in funds employed. Companies wholly overseas-owned and established in Australia for periods of less than 4 years will be allowed local borrowings of up to *2½%* of the increase in funds employed for each year that they have been established. Such companies will henceforth have a new base and a new percentage applied each year until they have been established here 4 years. From that time onwards they will be allowed local borrowings of up to 10% of subsequent increases in funds employed. For companies in which Australians have a share of the equity, additional1 borrowings to those set out above will be allowed. The extent of the additional borrowings will be determined by the share of the total equity in the company held by Australians. To meet requirements of funds additional to the proceeds of new share issues and the local borrowings in accordance with the preceding paragraphs, a company will be allowed to raise in Australia a proportion of its total new borrowings which will accord with the proportion of shares in the company held by Australians. Australian equity will be weighted on a four for three basis so that the proportion for a company with 30% Australian equity will be 40%. If for special reasons overseas loan funds to match local borrowing cannot be arranged, access to local borrowings will nevertheless be increased to take account of the extent of the Australian equity. In the application of this aspect of the guidelines, the Reserve Bank will take into account, for purposes of calculating the extent of Australian equity, offers to Australians of new or increased equity (other than through convertible notes) which have not been taken up but which are considered to have been genuine and reasonable offers of local equity participation in the company. If new or increased Australian equity is offered bona fide through the issue of convertible notes, the Reserve Bank will take into account in calculating the extent of Australian equity one-half the future increase in Australian equity that would result if the notes were converted. It should be mentioned here that approval will not normally be granted for borrowings that would facilitate the remittance of funds abroad. Consistently, moreover, with the longstanding exchange control policy of requiring overseas interests taking over enterprises in Australia to bring in cash to the full extent of the purchase price, approval will not normally be given to borrowings intended to finance a takeover. Overseas interests seeking exchange control for a takeover are reminded that on completion, the changed ownership of the enterprise taken over will necessitate discussions with the Reserve Bank of the extent of local borrowings by the enterprise as a whole. I move on to discuss convertible notes. During the developmental stages of many major projects there are either no earnings, or no surplus earnings available for distribution to shareholders. This, of course, discourages would-be investors who need a return on their capital at once and limits the amount of share capital which those promoting the venture can raise. Therefore the alternative of fixed interest borrowings, with a guarantee of income, has had more attraction to many lenders as well as to those seeking to borrow. For the borrower believes that by offering immediate return on the investment as income he will increase the likelihood of borrowing successfully. He also knows that the interest he must pay on fixed interest borrowings is cumulatively deductible for income tax purposes, thus substantially reducing the effective cost of his borrowings. As a step towards attaining our goal of increasing Australian equity participation in Australian development, we sought means of diverting these fixed interest borrowings into borrowings with a chance of equity participation, lt was for this reason that the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** announced in his Budget Speech our proposal to amend the Income Tax Law in order to restore deductibility of interest for income tax purposes on convertible company securities. Before 1960 interest on all convertible securities was deductible; but it became evident that convertible notes were being widely substituted for equity issues and that, in the majority of cases, the plain purpose of this substitution was tax avoidance. So to protect the revenue, deduction of interest on all convertible securities was disallowed. We do not intend to go back to a pre- 1960 situation. We shall minimise the scope for tax avoidance and will lay down conditions to which convertible securities must conform if they are to qualify for deductibility of interest. These conditions are: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The lender or noteholder, and not the issuing company, has the option to convert; 1. The noteholder's right to exercise the option is not deferred longer than 24 months after the date of issue of the security; 2. The convertible note has a currency of not less than 7 nor more than 10 years but the company may make the terminal date for the exercise of the option as much as, but not more than, 12 months earlier than the maturity date of the note; 3. The terms and conditions of the issue are fixed and not subject to any variation throughout the period of their currency; and 4. The conversion price for shares is not less than 90% of their market price when the convertible securities are issued, or par, whichever is greater. We believe that these conditions will have a twofold advantage. They will give companies adequate scope for using convertible securities to their best advantage in business financing and they will offer to Australian investors a new opportunity to participate in the equities of overseas-initiated ventures in Australia, especially those in the extractive industries. If such ventures issue convertible notes to finance development or expansion, Australians who take up these securities will have an assured rate of income during the developmental period of the project with the option to acquire equity, and thus share in the growth of the business. The opportunity that convertible notes opens up for wider participation by Australians in the ownership of such overseas-initiated ventures has been a major consideration in the decision we have taken to restore tax deductibility of interest on such convertible notes. In so seeking to widen opportunities for Australian participation in ownership we have sought to ensure that the opportunities would be real and not merely nominal and that they will not be too long delayed. We think that the option to convert to shares should remain open long enough for the company to have established itself and for its shares to have value enough for noteholders to take them rather than opt for repayment of their loan in cash. It is in order to provide adequate time for development and profitability that we propose that convertible notes should have a currency of at least 7 years and that the option to convert should not terminate earlier than 12 months before the maturity date of the note. We also believe that 10 years will for all practical purposes be long enough for convertible notes to remain outstanding. Certainly, if the development or expansion of an overseas-initiated venture is to lead to an issue of equity to Australians, it is reasonable to expect this to be resolved within a period not longer than 10 years. Convertible issues proposed to be issued by companies in which more than 25% of the shares are held by overseas interests will be subject to examination by the Reserve Bank to determine that the terms of issue are reasonable and genuine. {: .page-start } page 1385 {:#debate-25} ### COMPANY TAKEOVERS The question of Australian participation in Australian development is not confined to expressing a strong Government desire for joint ventures, or to encouraging the offer of equity to Australian shareholders through borrowing guidelines. The question of protection of Australian companies against overseas takeovers also arises. The Government has given special consideration to this question of takeovers in general, whether such takeovers are by overseas or by other Australian companies. We have been especially concerned to prevent the use of takeover methods which are unfair to a company's shareholders as a body. I refer to such practices as the large-scale purchase of shares through nominees, to first come first served offers and similar manoeuvres. These problems were reported on by the Company Law Advisory Committee and in March of this year the Standing Committee of AttorneysGeneral agreed to adopt the report in principle. As the Attorney-General informed the House on 20th May the Commonwealth Government has considered that report and has decided to amend the companies Ordin ances of the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory to give effect to the Advisory Committee's recommendations, namely: {:#subdebate-25-0} #### Disclosure A person having a beneficial interest of 10% or more in the voting capital of a company listed on an Australian stock exchange will be required to give notice of that interest to the company. The company will be required to enter this information in a special register which will be available for public inspection. The new provisions are to apply to, but without discrimination against, persons resident, or companies incorporated, outside the jurisdiction, as well as to persons or corporations within the jurisdiction of this Government. The proposed provisions are generally in line with the existing law in the United Kingdom and the United States but, in view of enforcement difficulties, are to be accompanied by certain sanctions not provided in those countries. A registered holder who is aware that he holds on behalf of a non-resident will be required to furnish to that person information as to the requirements of the legislation. {: .page-start } page 1385 {:#debate-26} ### THE TAKEOVER CODE It will be noted that the report does not recommend the prohibition of first come first served offers as such but the Eggleston Committee reported that these changes will ensure that this kind of offer will not escape the control applicable to other kinds of takeover offers. There were additional proposals from the Associated Stock Exchanges and although these were not covered by the Committee because it considered they were outside its terms of reference, they will be incorporated in the companies ordinances of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The proposed provision will be in the nature of an additional requirement, which will recognise the significance of a restriction on voting rights. Shareholders who do not vote affirmatively for a restriction - including those who do not vote at all - will, in effect, be treated as opposed to the restriction. I turn now to takeovers which, irrespective of the method used, may be judged contrary to the national interest. In the past the Government has acted to preserve Australian ownership and control of enterprises which for special reasons of national interest or importance could not be permitted to pass into foreign hands. For many years we have opposed the entry of overseas banks into the local industry. And in the areas of television and radio broadcasting the acquisition of control by foreign interests has been excluded by statute. Further statutory control is not at present contemplated and we do not believe that it is possible now to define further classes or fields of enterprise which we believe should not, in the national interest, pass to overseas ownership. However whilst our general experience over the years has shown that almost all overseas investment in Australia accords with our country's interests it has also shown that there remains a need for the Government to be ready to guard against the transfer from Australian control of established companies in particular areas of activity. For example some few years ago there were thought to be attempts by overseas investors to take over an important and long-established Australian mining company, while more recently it was believed that there was an attempt to take over one of the principal Australian life assurance organisations, which would have carried with it the right to determine the investment policy of assets totalling some S700m of Australians' savings. Although we expect the need to arise only on rare occasions as a Government we reserve the right to do all in our power to prevent particular takeovers when, in the circumstances of the case, we would consider it to be bad in the national interest. The strengthening of the takeover code through amendment of the Uniform Companies Act should ensure not only that takeover proposals proceed in a fair and open manner, but also that the Government will have more time to intervene, or express a Government view, if it considers the national interest calls for it. {:#subdebate-26-0} #### Peroration To sum up. **Mr Speaker,** we seek to encourage the flow of overseas capital into this country. We seek to make it crystal clear that we look with favour on joint enterprise and on the offer of Australian equity in new ventures - and that we will be disturbed where the opportunity for Australian participation is not given. We seek to encourage the growth of Australian equity by offering more access to the fixed interest borrowing as Australian equity in a company increases. We seek to protect companies against unfair methods of takeover and to reserve to ourselves the right to intervene in such takeovers when we consider it is in the national interest, and we seek the acceptance of the basic principles of a code of good corporate behaviour. Such a code was adopted by the Canadian Government three years ago. Speaking of overseas companies, and paraphrasing the language to our own environment, I think there are three essentials for which we look as a nation: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. A high degree of Australian autonomy, with Australian citizens participating on the boards of directors and in the management of companies; 1. The objective of a financial structure which provides opportunity for equity participation by Australians; 2. A sensitivity to the reasonable national aspirations of Australia which whilst somewhat indefinable in detail are known quite well by all those in this House and by anybody who is at all sensitive to these aspirations, and who as a company has intentions of investing in this nation. By the means outlined in this speech we believe that we will, without interfering with the flow of capital we need so badly, offer considerable encouragement to greater Australian equity participation and that **Sir, is** the objective of this Government and, I believe, of most of the citizens of this country. {: #subdebate-26-0-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM:
Leader of the Opposition · Werriwa -- byleave - The statement just made bythe Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** is supposed to relate to overseas investment. I will not speak on some of the technical aspects of the statement: I can hardly be expected to do so since I did not receive a copy of the statement until 30 minutes ago. {: .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton: -- You could have adjourned the debate until tomorrow. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- I thank the right honourable gentleman for the interjection. We have found that whenever we move the adjournment of a ministerial statement it never comes on for debate. Such has been the fate of the statement on the wheat delivery proposals, of which we obtained the adjournment on 30th April; of the statement on marginal dairy farm reconstruction on which we obtained the adjournment on 20th May; and of the statement on company law proposals to which the right honourable gentleman referred and of which we obtained the adjournment also on 20th May. Accordingly, if there is to be any debate in this Parliament on the Prime Minister's statement on the general subject of overseas investment it must take place tonight. I shall, however, make brief reference to three of the technical matters which the right honourable gentleman mentioned. First of all. he mentioned convertible notes. Convertible notes were mentioned in the Budget. To deal with them would require amendments to the tax laws. There are amending tax Bills before the Parliament. They do not relate to convertible notes. Those tax Bills were to be debated tomorrow, but the debate has been postponed. Very clearly it was impossible for the Treasury to devise Bills to implement the Budget proposals until the Prime Minister had got round to making his statement tonight. There can be - there must be - a debate on these convertible note proposals in the tax Bills when they are further amended. Secondly, the right honourable gentleman referred to amendments which are to be made - they have not yet been made - pursuant to the statement made on 20th May last by the Attorney-General **(Mr Bowen).** They concern the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory companies ordinances. It will be noted that there is no reference to any complementary legislation by the States. May I ask then: Are we to have the same situation as we have under the Trade Practices Act, where there are a Commonwealth Act and a Tasmanian Act but no State Acts? Thirdly, the right honourable gentleman mentioned that the Government opposes the entry of overseas banks. So does the Opposition. The paragraph in the Constitution dealing with banking is reproduced in the paragraph concerning insurance. I ask: Why is there no similar opposition to the entry of overseas life offices? Between 1960 and 1967 income received in Australia by all life offices increased from $349m to $717'm - an increase of 105% - and income received by predominantly overseas controlled life offices increased from $26m to $94m - an increase of 262%. Between 1960 and 1968 the net increase in Australian investments maintained by them respectively increased from $165m to $449m - an increase of 173% - and from $16m to $72m - an increase of 350%. It will be noted that the predominantly overseas controlled life offices increased their share of incomes in 7 years from 7.5% to 13.1% and their share of investments in 8 years from 9% to almost 16%. I ask: Do more Australians take out insurance now than they would have if the whole of the life assurance industry had remained in Australian hands? I must now speak in general terms on the subject of overseas investment, which was the title of the Prime Minister's statement. The Prime Minister's interest in overseas investment stems from his first visit to northern Australia in September last year. Before that he had visited Darwin once and Townsville half a dozen times. He had never visited any other pl'ace in the Australian tropics in his 19 years in the Australian Parliament. He was concerned to find that there was a staggeringly - a dangerously - low Australian share in mining developments throughout northern Australia. Three weeks later he was back at North West Cape. He received a telephone call there through the Belconnen and Harold E. Holt communication stations from the Attorney-General **(Mr Bowen)** asking him to save the MLC Ltd. He acted without consulting the Cabinet to give this company extraordinary protection against what proved to be a false alarm. The following month he and his advisers negotiated an agreement on Bass Strait oil which gave to the overseas partner terms far beyond what might be expected in any other comparable country. In December came his other much vaunted initiative - the agreement with the stock exchanges to accept decisions by companies to deny foreign shareholders voting rights. The searchers of the financial Press have been unable to discover any company which has acted under these proposals. It was a damp squib. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- No-one has acted against it. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- Is the Treasurer to speak tonight? Has he a guernsey? {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- I might speak if you say anything sensible. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- The Minister could not reply in kind. After the MLC affair and the Prime Minister's conversion the first test of the Government's sincerity was Gove. Here the Gorton Government failed. Local equity was cut back from 50% to 30%. All the right honourable gentleman could find to say was that the opportunity had been given to Australian investors but they had not taken it up. In Bougainville the Australian Government, acting through the New Guinea Administration, has taken up a 20% shareholding in the Conzinc Riotinto of Australia enterprise. If it had taken up a 20% Australian shareholding in the much smaller enterprise at Gove there would still have been at least a 50% Australian holding in Gove. We can hardly be surprised at the statement of the Managing Director of Armco (Aus.) Pty Ltd who announced plans for a steelworks at Jervis Bay. When asked what local equity would be allowed he replied that he thought 15% to 20% would be reasonable. Is there any other country in the world which would accept a major steel industry which would be 85% owned and obviously 100% controlled by overseas interests? It is a symptom of the lack of communication and co-ordination between the States and the Commonwealth on overseas investment that the public statement on the Jervis Bay project showed no sign that the Commonwealth Government had played any role whatsoever in the discussions. In the context of this sort of derisory offer of 15% to 20% Australian equity, an adjustment of guidelines in governing local borrowing is only tinkering with the problem. One sees the size of the problem when one realises that .the corporation behind the Jervis Bay project is the fourth largest steelmaker in the United States. Last year its sales totalled $12,377,000,000. They approached twice the size of the Australian Budget. This has been the first ministerial statement bearing on overseas investment that any of us can recall. This is the first time that the Government has accepted responsibility to inform the public of its attitude on any aspects, however marginal they are, of this overall subject of overseas investment. It has been left to the Australian Labor Party to probe these matters in the Parliament. On the first sitting day this year the Labor Party proposed that the following matter of definite public importance be submitted to the House for discussion: >The Government's failure to identify and regulate overseas investment and control by overseas interests of industry in Australia and to encourage and marshal Australian investment in the development of Australian resources. That proposal identifies the real significance of overseas investment in Australia. It is not just a matter of the investment or the return in dollars and cents which Australian or overseas companies receive from such investments. There is the whole question of the use which is made of Australian resources and the opportunities which Australians have in their own country. Those opportunities are not just opportunities as directors and shareholders; they are also opportunities as scientists, managers* and salesmen. Australians are entitled to participate in the whole range of activities which should be based on their very great national resources. We should specialise in those areas where we are strong. When the matter of overseas investment in Australia was raised previously the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** spoke, and the Prime Minister also spoke. The same points which have been made by the Prime Minister tonight were partly made by him on that occasion. I refer to the points relating to guidelines and stock exchanges. The Treasurer spoke more widely. He spoke on guidelines, communications, the MLC and APA and Fire and General Insurance Co. Ltd. He spoke, as I may do quite briefly, about radio and television and civil aviation. Tonight has been the first occasion on which there has been a statement on the narrow issue of guidelines since May 1965, when a former Treasurer, **Mr Holt,** spoke on his discussions in the United States. Following the debate that was instituted by my Party last February several of us tried to get further information by putting questions on the notice paper, which is the only firm means we have of getting information. For instance, I placed two questions flowing from the statements that the Treasurer and the Prime Minister had made in that debate on the notice paper for the Treasurer in 19th March. I asked firstly: >To what companies and for what amounts and purposes has the Australian Resources Development Bank made loans in excess of Sim other than those he mentioned in his speech of 25th February (Hansard, page 19)? I was told that in respect of a very great number of these loans the information was confidential. The Treasurer quoted some instances in the debate to suit himself, but when we sought further information we were told that it was confidential. That question, which had been placed on the notice paper on 19th March was answered on 29th April. Another question that I placed on the notice paper on 19th March was answered on 20th May. I had asked the Treasurer: >To what foreign companies and for what amounts and purposes has permission been given in the last 3 years to raise fixed interest borrowings in excess of Sim other than those the Crime Minister mentioned in his speech of 25th February (Hansard, page 22)7 The answer was that the whole of the information was confidential. So there again the Prime Minister gave instances to suit his book, but when we sought further information it was denied to us. I must protest. It should not take 2 months to give a written reply that the information sought is confidential. One Government member has asked questions on this subject and on the development of resources. I refer to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. He quoted a statement by a visiting United States professor to the effect that Australian auditors were not completely independent and that many Australian financial reports gave the impression that the shareholder was the forgotten man. He asked: >Will the right honourable gentleman advise the House whether such matters have been considered by the Government in the interests of developing greater confidence in Australian development and investment? Have any steps been taken to establish a securities and exchange commission to require nationally full disclosure of financial information? The Treasurer in reply said: 1 think it is high time that the various State governments considered the desirability of establishing such a commission in each State. I am not at all sure that except with regard to the Territories, the Commonwealth has no power to establish such a commission. In reply to an interjection by me he said that the interstate business on the Stock Exchange would be so small that the Commonwealth's power with regard to it would be negligible. He went on to promise the honourable member for Swan **(Mr Cleaver):** >If 1 find that there is anything of interest that I can convey to the honourable gentleman in addition, I will do so. That was on 16 October 1968. I asked the Treasurer later whether he had given further consideration to this question of securities and exchange commissions. In an answer on 28 May last he said: >I indicated at the time that if I found there was anything of interest that I could convey in addition to what I then said, I would do so. In the event I have had nothing further to convey. At least the Treasurer is completely bipartisan in these matters. He fobs off people who sit behind him as well as those who sit opposite him with equal abandon and delay. In respect of securities and exchange commissions, the Commonwealth could at least set up such a commission for banks. When I put the suggestion to the right honourable gentleman, he told me on 29 May: >None of the private banks at present provides to its shareholders the information on shareholdings that the Eggleston Committee has recommended to the Standing Committee of AttorneysGeneral be required to be disclosed. > >The legislation being drafted to implement the recommendations of the Eggleston Committee will apply to the private banks incorporated under trie uniform Companies Acts. The question whether similar provisions should apply in relation to other private banks operating in Australia is under consideration. Then he said that he has not considered the establishment of a securities and exchange commission in respect of banks which are unquestionably within Commonwealth power. He believes that there could and should be securities and exchange commissions in the States. Where the Commonwealth itself has power to set one up, as in regard to banks, he has not considered the matter. I must pass now from the attitude of the Treasurer to development and investment to deal with the attitude expressed by the Minister for Trade and Industry **(Mr McEwen)** on this matter. The Minister for Trade and Industry has had the particular notion of an Australian industries development corporation. He seemed to be making some headway about it 3 years or more ago. On 19th July *1966,* he outlined the proposal to Cabinet. On 16th March of the following year, he fully presented it to Cabinet. On 3rd April 1967, a special consultant, **Mr L.** J. Dooling, was appointed to his Department. His appointment terminated at the end of June. On 6th September 1967, another full Cabinet discussion was held on the pet project of the Minister for Trade and Industry, the Australian industries development corporation. The object of this corporation was to prevent a bit of the farm being sold off every year to pay our way. There was a change of government. In March of last year, I asked the right honourable gentleman what was happening to the proposal. He said: >The matter has not come before the new Cabinet, but I have had a discussion with the Prime Minister about it. In May of this year, I asked the Minister for Trade and Industry more about the corporation. He made the forlorn comment: >The matter is neither dormant nor defunct. It is in a state of suspended animation. A week later, the Prime Minister gave it the coup de grace when I asked him: 'Has Cabinet discussed the proposal', and he stated: The answer is no.' There is no doubt about the syntax of the Prime Minister on that occasion. It was clear. The reply was definite. The Minister for Trade and Industry, the Leader of the Country Party, will get nowhere with his idea of an Australian industry development corporation. It is in fact a notion with very great virtues. It commends itself to the Australian Labor Party because it has many features in common with the Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale. The Istituto has made Italy over the last generation one of the most thriving economies in the world. It has taken the initiative very successfully at home and abroad, has enabled new resources to be found and processed in the interests of Italy and Italians. There is another matter where we can see the efficacy of the proposals by the Minister for Trade and Industry in this matter. No member of the present Government has spoken so much about the perils of overseas investment as the right honourable gentleman. He is responsible for the administration of the Industrial Research and Development Grants Act. I asked him at the end of last year how many firms, Australian and foreign owned, had in the 1960's been established, closed down or transferred overseas their research and development sections. He told me that the information was not available and that the degree of foreign shareholding was not a factor determining eligibility for support under the Act. Let me give some instances then where, under the administration of the Minister for Trade and Industry, grants under the Industrial Research and Development Act, have miscarried completely in the development of Australian resources and in the development of Australian industry. In 1967, control of Monsanto Chemical Australia Ltd passed to the parent company in America and the research laboratory of the Australian company was promptly closed down. Last year, the American based Parke Davis Company closed down at short notice its Australian research section despite the fact that the section had just perfected a new group of chemical agents highly effective against liverfluke in sheep and now earning the company about $177,000 per month. Varian Associates, an American electronics enterprise, took over in 1967 Techtron Pty Ltd, the Melbourne firm which pioneered commercial development of atomic absorption spectrophotometry techniques developed in the laboratories of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and which by 1966 had annual earnings of some $2m of which half was drawn from export sales. Perkin Elmer Pty Ltd of the United States of America undertook to produce in Australia a mass spectrometer leak-detector designed by scientists in the CSIRO Division of Chemical Physics but in 1967 closed down its Australian plant. Australian scientists are rightly concerned at the ease with which small Australian companies profiting from the results of indigenous research are allowed to fall a prey to foreign takeovers, at the frequency with which a foreign takeover is followed by the closing down of research and development facilities in this country and at the extent to which basic insights gained through research in Australia are passed for development to the home countries of the companies concerned. Industrialists increasingly are disturbed by the Government's apparent failure to make its grants conditional upon the products of research being free of franchise restrictions which might limit their export potential and free of any blanket agreement which might lead to their being made available overseas without the payment of the appropriate licence fees. The Industrial Research and Development Grants Act has been aptly stigmatised by Professor J. A. Allen of the Department of Chemistry at Newcastle as: . . an appropriate result of the interests of groups favouring a system of grants, the oversimplified decision-making approach that tends to substitute a 3% of gross national product for a proper understanding of the process by which technological changes are generated and absorbed into the economy and society, and the , mania' that dominates so much economic thought today. It is furthermore, 1 should add, an Act under which grants were provided for Perkin Elmer in the year in which its Australian operations were closed down and for Varian.Techtron in the first year of its American proprietorship. It is an Act which seems likely to enhance the monopolistic and quasi-monopolistic position of certain big firms while not seriously stimulating industrial research and development where it is most needed, at the grass roots in Australian owned industry. {: .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr Mackay: -- It is open to them ail and denied to none. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- Precisely. They can take the grants and then close the local research. {: .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr Mackay: -- lt is open to every Australian. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- And to every overseas company here. All I am suggesting is that it should be applied at least with some selectivity to promote Australian ownership and Australian development. I am giving cases where this has not been so. It is an Act which in the case of the foreign controlled firms merely subsidises the acquisition of knowledge and knowhow for affiliates overseas to use in competition against the products of Australian industry. I pass now to some other instances where the Liberal Government quite clearly has done nothing to promote the development of industries which Australians require. Last year, under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, wholly owned Australian companies supplied only 10.4% of the ready prepared prescriptions which doctors specified by brand. These prescriptions represented only 7.35% of the value of the total prescriptions which doctors specified by brand. There is no industry in Australia which has grown more rapidly in the last 15 years than the pharmaceutical industry. It is an industry in which 80% of the income comes from governments - from the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, from the Repatriation Department, from the pensioner medical service and from hospitals conducted by State governments. There can scarcely be an industry which depends so greatly upon orders placed by Australian governments. It is one of the most rapidly growing industries in Australia but no more than 10% of its products are supplied by Australian-owned companies. {: .speaker-KAR} ##### Dr Gibbs: -- That is utterly misleading. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- If the honourable member for Bowman wishes to challenge what I have said I ask him to look at the prepared answer which, after the usual delay, the Minister for Health **(Dr Forbes)** has given to questions I put on the notice paper. T ask him also to compare the trend as revealed in a similar question I asked the Minister last year. {: .speaker-KAR} ##### Dr Gibbs: -- I do not question the facts; it is the inference. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- The inference? What other inference can be drawn? I do not know how many prescriptions the honourable member prescribes by brand. 1 do not believe that he prescribes genetically; he prescribes by brand. Ninety per cent of the brands prescribed by him and his fellow practitioners are manufactured in Australia by overseas-owned companies and 80% of the pharmaceutical products in Australia are paid for by governments. Another subject in which one can see the interest of the Government concerns Weipa and Gladstone. In relation to Gove, an industry based on bauxite in the Northern Territory, there can be no excuse for the Commonwealth Government. It is a Commonwealth territory and Commonwealth laws apply. But at Weipa, where the bauxite is, and at Gladstone, where there is a refinery, one sees the attitude of this Government. Australian ships were available to take the bauxite from Weipa to Gladstone. They could not sail under the Australian flag. The Queensland Government did not ask and the Commonwealth Government did not offer to make available ships of the Australian National Line - the Commonwealth's own line - to carry the bauxite. A foreign company had to charter the only Australian ships available - Australian National Line ships - until it had secured a ship from a Japanese shipyard. Quite clearly, if the Government had had an interest in Australian industry, it would have negotiated with Queensland to see that an Australian ship could engage in this basic trade. But I want to go further. The only process than can take place at Gladstone is the refining. The smelting cannot take place because electricity in central Queensland is more expensive than in any other part of Australia. {: .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr Mackay: -- 1 raise a point of order. I would ask for your ruling, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** on these remarks that the honourable member is making. They are wide of any of the implications of the Prime Minister's statement. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Order!** The Leader of the Opposition asked for leave to make a statement. Having been given leave by the House, he may be as wide in his remarks as he likes. {: .speaker-KJG} ##### Mr Irwin: -- I rise to a point of order. The Leader of the Opposition abuses every privilege that this House bestows upon him. {: #subdebate-26-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! There is no substance to the point of order. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- I heard but did not understand the point of order raised by the honourable member for Mitchell **(Mr Irwin).** I make allowances for the interjections of the honourable member for Evans **(Dr Mackay),** because this man of God is at least consistently interested in mammon. I thought he would be interested in overseas investment. I was referring to the Gladstone refinery. Gladstone has not a smelter, because electricity is more expensive in central Queensland than in any other part of Australia. But it will be noted that the Gorton Government has had before it for well over a year proposals to assist in providing cheaper and ample power in central Queensland. Liberal governments have assisted every State other than Queensland to get cheaper and ampler power. Their attitude to shipping and to power in Queensland illustrates very pearly why Australians do not have control in the investment for the processing or the marketing of the vast resources at Weipa. If we wanted to encourage Australian industry and Australian development, the Government could have done something about power and shipping in Queensland. I shall give another instance in the same region. Next to the alienation of Australian mineral resources throughout the north there is the alienation of Australian cattle lands. The western half of Cape York Peninsula has been most alienated. It is a larger and better watered area than California. The breeds and the pastures suitable for it have been developed at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation research stations at Townsville. The Government has not made it possible for Australians to enter the cattle industry in Cape York Peninsula. All that needed to be done was for the Commonwealth to take the same interest, in cooperation with the State Government, in Cape York Peninsula in respect to the cattle industry as was taken in central Queensland n respect to the brigalow lands. The brigalow scheme has been a success, lt is in Australian hands. Why was not the same step taken in respect of the Cape York Peninsula? **Sir, in** all these matters the Australian Government has had the opportunity to act. I have given instances where it has been done and where it should have been done further. It is one of the paradoxes of our time that the response to public disquiet about the degree of foreign ownership of our resources has been, by governments dedicated to free enterprise, a response in terms of projected controls and regulations. One can well imagine what would have been said about a Labor government which had proposed the actions which the Prime Minister, a Liberal Prime Minister, has outlined tonight. They would have been stigmatised as controls and restrictions. lt is true that the present Government has baulked at taking direct responsibility for these controls and is attempting to transfer the responsibility to the stock exchanges and private companies themselves. But controls are no less controls for being imposed by private associations. Restrictive practices are not less restrictive for being agreements among gentlemen rather than among governments. The question before us in this matter of overseas development, as in so many questions affecting our economic life, is whether we shall have private monopoly or public competition. Our aim should be to concentrate upon those things in which we have special advantages in our new material resources and in our human resources. As far as our capita] resources are concerned, it is not really a question of permitting overseas capital to do less; it is a question of persuading and enabling Australian capital to do more. It is now fairly plain that Australian companies, without the stimulation of government co-operation or government competition, will not show the initiative and enterprise and take the risks necessary to obtain for Australia a considerable share in the ownership, control and development of our new resources. I quote from what was said in August last year by **Dr Russell** Matthews, Professor of Accounting and Public Finance at the Australian National University: >Since Australian companies have been slow to grasp the development opportunities presented by the recent mineral discoveries, there would seem to be a case for direct participation by the public sector. Such activity may be justified on the basis of cost, capability and the control of resources in the national interest. Australian governments are already heavily engaged in undertaking research activities and subsidising exploration and development activities, and their costs and risks would not be significantly increased if they were to become entrepreneurs in their own right. I might add that in every case since the last war where the Commonwealth Government has undertaken business activities, those activities have been successful in every commercial sense and very much to the advantage of the nation and of the individuals concerned. Increasingly the key sectors of the Australian economy are tied to the control of great international corporations. These corporations are virtually states within the state, with turnovers comparable to the revenues of many national governments including our own. The largest Australian companies are pygmies in this league. These corporations deal on equal terms with governments. Unless governments enter into partnerships or make deals with these international corporations then the corporations will use the resources of each individual nation as they see fit and will themselves unilaterally determine the extent to which the citizens of individual nations will take part in the use and development of these resources. No Australian company alone can deal on the level of these corporations. No Australian State acting alone can deal with them; only the national Government has the resources, the status and stature to do so. Our object then should be te mobilise the various resources and powers at our disposal to obtain the maximum return on our skills, resources and capital. There are certain fields where the Commonwealth acting alone can be most effective. There are certain fields where the Commonwealth can be most effective in partnership with the States. There are certain fields where the Commonwealth can be most effective in partnership with other governments abroad. There are certain fields where the Commonwealth can be most effective in partnership with private capital, foreign and local, and with the States. The greatest reservoir of private capital in Australia is in the hands of insurance companies. It is a bigger pool than the banks possess or any individual company in Australia possesses. Just as the insurance companies opened up the American west they can play their part in opening up the new resources in the new areas of Australia. The Commonwealth's powers over insurance companies are the same as its powers over banks. In return for Commonwealth guarantees the banks pursue a credit policy desired and required by the central banking authority - that is, the Commonwealth Government. Similar guarantees should be provided for the insurance companies to enable them to follow an approved development policy. Surprisingly, the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** last February rejected this approach on the ground that it would represent a form of compulsion. As I have pointed out, if that is compulsion we already apply such compulsion to the banks. But, indeed, it is applied to the insurance companies themselves. The Commonwealth Government already encourages insurance companies to take up a proportion of Commonwealth and semi-government bonds. This has worked well for the national good. The bond market has been strengthened, providing resources for Australia's national development. The companies involved have found that the taxation concessions make it worth their while and beneficial to their policy holders. In the same way insurance companies can be encouraged and enabled to invest in approved developmental projects and basic industries. The Commonwealth could give them tax incentives in such projects and industries as it has given them for investment in bonds. The Commonwealth could guarantee them against unprofitable investment as it has guaranteed the banks against loss. The insurance companies would not be compelled to do anything by such government measures. They would, however, be at least encouraged and at last enabled to use a proper proportion of Australia's basic investment funds in developing and processing Australia's basic resources and in harnessing and exalting Australia's basic skills. Only government initiative is required: In many new fields of production, trade and development Australians are confronted, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia, not with a choice between public and private industry but a choice between public industry and no industry at all. lt is unpatriotic and uneconomic for us to wait until North Atlantic countries and Japan choose to set up industries in our country and promote our exports and develop our north. The North Atlantic countries and Japan need our raw materials and prosper from processing and selling them themselves. We have to realise the sort of world we are living in - the world of the great international corporation, the world in which countries which do not concentrate on their strengths and develop their strengths fall by the wayside. It is futile to think that cosy arrangements between Australian businessmen constitute a genuine effort to preserve our national heritage and to ensure that we control our national destiny. We Australians have too readily accepted the proposition that there is nothing that we can do about our own resources as Australians. If we had accepted this proposition 100 years ago about wool, gold and coal Australia would not be in as favourable a position as it is in today. I do not accept that Australia has not the skills and the human and capital resources to see that the valuable exports we have in this century, particularly cattle and base metals, cannot be developed largely by Australians. There is something wrong when our base metals and our cattle lands throughout the tropical part of Australia - the largest tropical territory of any country except Brazil - are in foreign control. I am no isolationist or chauvinist, but we are selling ourselves short if we fail to retain a proper share and obtain adequate opportunities for ourselves. Australia is a colony no longer, but more than ever before in our history we are a tributary state. The simple fact is that if a nation does not use its resources, it loses them. It will require a great deal more initiative and more positive initiatives along the lines I have suggested by the national Government if we are not to lose our resources but to use them in the best and most fruitful way for our country and its people. {: #subdebate-26-0-s2 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Treasurer · Lowe · LP -- by leave - I would not have intervened in this debate were it not for the fact that I think it is desirable that I again establish the credibility gap that is consistently being created by the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam).** Those of us who listen to the statements he makes here must have been impressed by the single fact that he seldom knows the difference between accuracy and inaccuracy and bases so many of his statements upon inaccurate information. Let me take each one of his statements in turn and point out exactly where he is wrong. I will leave it to honourable members to judge for themselves in what cases he has been right. First he mentioned convertible notes. He said that the Bill relating to convertible notes had not been brought before the House because we had to wait until the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** had made his statement tonight. That is untrue. The Bill is in the course of preparation and has been ever since Cabinet made its decision on this matter some weeks ago. I do not know whether we will be able to introduce the Bill during the current session but it is my hope that we wil'l be able to do so. If this is not possible, however, it will be ready shortly afterwards. The honourable gentleman then referred to the Australian Capital Territory Companies Ordinance relating to the takeover codes and particularly to what was done in respect of the Eggleston Committee's recommendations. The Treasury submitted a paper to the Eggleston Committee. I am glad to say that a large number of its recommendations were, in fact, accepted. The honourable gentleman went on to say: Are we to wait until the States enact complementary legislation?' If the honourable gentleman had studied what the Attorney-General **(Mr Bowen)** has said he would have known that there was complete co-operation between the States and the Commonwealth after several meetings between the Attorneys-General on the Eggleston Committee report. There has been very nearly a complete identity of views with only two exceptions. We have now been assured by the State AttorneysGeneral that they are proceeding to legislation as recommended by the Eggleston Committee. There are, as I said, two differences between what we propose on the Australian Capital Territory Ordinance and the legislation that will be passed by the States. One relates to the fact that we propose to require 28 days notice to be given under the takeover code in sections 184 and 185 of the Uniform Companies Act. I believe that the States want 21 days and I think that they will stick to that decision. Secondly, we have made some different proposals relating to section 36 of the Uniform Companies Act as to voting rights, that is whether there are to be differential voting rights between overseas shareholders and Australian shareholders. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- You are making heavy weather of it. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr MCMAHON: -- I do not think the honourable member understands this, so he should not interject. Much as 1 like him, I do not think ignorance should be condoned even with people one likes. {: .speaker-K0O} ##### Mr Connor: -- Come to the important point. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- I sympathise with the honourable member but, frankly, 1 can do no more than sympathise with him. 1 now want to deal with three matters in respect of which the Leader of the Opposition showed that he was totally astray. First, 1 will deal with his remarks about life offices in Australia. [Quorum formed.] In dealing with life offices it is obvious that the Leader of the Opposition has again not bothered to check on the facts, otherwise he would never have made the statement he did. I will give a few illustrations. One example is the proportion of total new business written in 1966 by the large Australian life offices. In 1966, 70% of the total new business was in fact written by Australian corporations. Does that indicate that the life offices are being forced out by the overseas corporations? On the contrary, I believe they are well able to cope and to cope not only domestically but also in the field of international business as well. The second point I want to deal with relates to overseas activities of Australian life offices. Some months ago when I looked at these figures I felt a great degree of pride in the fact that the Australian corporations could make their way overseas against international competition and could beat the big international corporations when competing overseas. The simple fact is that of new sums insured by Australian life offices, those written overseas in 1966 amounted to $947m or 31.5% of their total assets. Of total life assets held overseas Australian life offices held $ 1,269m out of $4,383m, and their income was $220m out of a total of S742m, or 29.6% of the total. These facts have never been mentioned before to my knowledge, lt does illustrate the fact that, the honourable gentleman puts his foot in his mouth before he speaks and gets his tongue out before he knows what the problem is about. That is the position with life offices. The Leader of the Opposition referred to the visit to North West Australia by the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** and he said that the Prime Minister had reached the conclusion then that Australian investment in new mining corporations was at a dangerously low level. I believe that Australian investment in mining corporations should be increased, but I wonder whether the Leader of the Opposition has heard that Mount Newman is almost exclusively Australian owned and controlled. The Robe River development involves an export contract of $ 1,250m, one of the biggest contracts which Australia has had. The Australian firm has underwritten 51% of the total capital and has made a very wise and sensible arrangement with the Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd as to railways and port facilities. In dealing with this subject the honourable gentleman again did not care very much about the facts and has staked his reputation on a series of untruths bordering on complete misrepresentation. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Order!** I have noticed an increasing tendency on the part of honourable members to use expressions which have been described as unparliamentary. I suggest that honourable members might take note of this and in the future refrain from using the word. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- What is the word, Sir? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -The Treasurer stated that something that the Leader of the Opposition said was an untruth. This word has been used before and it has also been noticed that some honourable members have stated that other honourable members have said things that are not true. I suggest there are other words that could be used. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- I withdraw the word untruth'. I simply say that the statement is not in accordance with fact. I now move to the next point raised by the honourable gentleman concerning the developments at Gove. Originally Australian interests were offered a 50% interest. When this mining venture was first looked into it was considered that it would give a return of 7i% to the Australian participants. Subsequent investigation showed that a 7i% return on bauxite and alumina operations could not be sustained. In those circumstances could the Government say to the Australian participants *You invest', when there were dozens of opportunities for investment elsewhere which would have allowed better allocations of resources and would have been more in the interests of the shareholders. {: .speaker-JMC} ##### Mr Arthur: -- It would make the insurance companies invest. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- Yes, I thank the honourable member for reminding me of that point and I will deal with it later on. I believe that what happened then is that Alusuisse, the Swiss company, said: 'All right, we still want you to be participants in this project,' and offered an interest of between 30% and 40% - I cannot remember the exact figure, but it is one or the other. The Australian participants in the corporation were permitted to export bauxite, the raw material, to other parts of the world, so that it could get what was called a proper ratio of profits to assets employed. In other words, they would not get into the processing business in this aspect but would simply export the raw material itself. My own view as one who has a pretty good knowledge of investment finance is that this was not only a wise proposition by Alusuisse but it was also a very good proposition as far as the Australian participants and other investors were concerned. I now turn to the interjection made by the honourable member for Barton **(Mr Arthur).** Every person who pays life insurance premiums must recognise that what the Leader of the Opposition wants to do is to compel the life offices to put more of those premiums into investment irrespective of whether or not the life offices think it is going to give the greatest possible benefit to those who pay the premiums to the offices or whether the investment is a safe one. Every contributor to a life fund, whether it be a life office assurance or a superannuation fund, must know that what the Leader of the Opposition is recommending is that the return which will be available from the investment of premiums will be substantially reduced, and there would be a compulsion on the life offices to move from what they regarded as the more to the less favourable kinds of investment. He could not have understood the implications of his statement. I want to emphasise this because I want to indicate that this is a reversion to the Chifley policies of 1949 when an attempt was made to nationalise the banking system of this country. The next point I want to refer to is the statement made tonight by the Prime Minister, which I completely support, and it relates to the guidelines, then to foreign investment and overseas takeovers, and to convertible notes. I want to emphasise to the House that each of the matters dealt with by the Prime Minister has been under investigation for a period of very nearly 3 years. As the Treasurer, I know that ever since I have held this position I have been studying the question of guidelines and convertibles and I have in more recent times been looking, as the honourable gentleman said, at the problem of company takeovers. These are tremendously important matters from our point of view. In fact, our future growth and development depend to a large extent on foreign investment. Neither the Prime Minister nor anyone else could have realistically introduced a statement in this House on foreign investment in Australia unless it was based on fact and unless it was backed by the most detailed investigation of what is likely to happen as a result of the decisions that were taken by the Government. The honourable gentleman referred to a securities and exchange commission. I said that I believed the States should have a look at this matter in order to see whether such a commission should be introduced in Australia. When I was speaking about this matter in the House I also pointed out that we had no jurisdiction because the stock exchanges did not operate in the Australian Capital Territory and very few of the great corporations were registered here. But what we did do was to recommend to the Eggleston Committee that it should consider whether an exchange commission should be established. The Committee said no. However, it did go on to recommend that a companies commission should be established and that it should look into the auditing requirement and whether the books of a company have in fact been properly audited and presented for public examination and for public knowledge. The honourable gentleman went on to mention the question of an Australian Industry Development Corporation. I want to point out that in place of this organisation the Government has approved the establishment of the Australian Resources Development Bank. I emphasise that this Bank has performed a magnificent operation in Australia. It has assisted Australian interests in participating in the development and exploitation of Australian resources by these interests. Already in little more than 14 to 16 months $180m has been committed over a very wide range of activities, mainly in the extractive industries referred to by the honourable gentleman. The Australian Resources Development Bank has the power to borrow not only in Australia but overseas. The reason why the Bank has trot borrowed overseas in recent months is that the markets are not there through which money can be borrowed. To give an illustration of this difficulty, I mention that at the beginning of this month we had to repay $A78m overseas because I do not think we would have been able to raise the money if we had tried. If we had tried to raise this money the rate of interest would certainly have been more than 10% and that is more than we were prepared to pay as a Government. So again I want to point out that the honourable gentleman has not really considered the facts. He does not know enough about them to be able to make the pious type of statement that we have heard him make tonight. 1 come now to the pharmaceutical business. I want to emphasise here and now that I believe that the Australian businessman is second to none, providing he is in a business than can develop the flow of funds or incomes flow that permits him to compete with international companies. Tt is only since the present Government - the LiberalCountry Party Government - has been in office that the necessary stimulus has been given to growth in this country. As growth has taken place so too have we found more or less commensurate growth so far as Australian corporations are concerned. I have watched with an enormous degree of interest in recent days Australian takeovers in the United Kingdom and in other parts of the world. Only a few months ago we approved the action of one transport company taking over one of the most powerful of the Californian transport companies. Within a matter of 6 to 9 months we found that this company was not only doing well but was writing back home and asking whether it could get exchange approval to absorb other American companies. If the Leader of the Opposition wants another example I mention that the 'News of the World' is being taken over by News Ltd of Adelaide, which is owned by an Australian interest. I hope that this company will make a success of this venture. Turning to the pharmaceutical field we find that Nicholas Pty Ltd in Australia has recently announced that it will be taking over control of Nicholas-Aspro of the United Kingdom. Here, therefore, we find the reverse movement that is seldom referred to by the Opposition or for that matter is seldom referred to by the Australian Press. In my view, these activities illustrate in clear language that Australians, given the opportunity, can compete with the rest of the world. I for one, unlike the Leader of the Opposition am not ashamed of them. 1 do not want to take up very much more of the time of the House, but I want to point out to honourable members that this country has quite a remarkable rate of growth. There is no country that 1 know of, other than Japan, that can equal our rate of growth. Today honourable members will have seen mentioned in the Australian newspapers that the United Kingdom had a rate of growth last year in real terms - that is in its financial year - of something of the order of 3.5%. In the United Kingdom that is thought to be a good performance. But when T mentioned that our rate of growth during the last Budget year was 8.7% I did not hear any cheers from the other side of the House. This is because we have become accustomed to the rates of growth that outdistance and outpace those of the rest of the world. As I have said, this is with one exception - Japan. That country deserves its record for the way in which it has worked and for its prodigious efforts in new enterprises. I come back to two other facts that should be mentioned. One raises the very important problem in relation to the extent to which we can in fact ensure that Australians invest in overseas corporations established here. Our country has a very, very high savings rate. I have said this before, if not in the House then publicly. We are one of the big savers in the world. Twenty-six per cent of everything we produce is in fact ploughed back for the future. Other countries that plough 13% come to the conclusion that they have done pretty well. When one associates with that 26% and therefore a low consumption rate the fact that we have a state of full - and I believe now very nearly over-full - employment then to the extent that we divert resources into the overseas corporations we must of necessity take them away from the Australian businesses and Australian enterprises themselves. There is no alternative. It is a mathematical certainty that this will happen. 1 see that my colleague, the Minister for the Navy **(Mr Kelly),** is indicating some doubt about this. Let me illustrate the point again. When we have 26% of our gross national product going into new investment by Australians and we have full employment and a low consumption rate, then if we are to divert investment to foreign corporations we have to take investment from some other sector and that must be the Australian sector of the economy. So, in this case, we have to exercise a particular degree of caution before we say that we want this kind of transfer to take place on a very large scale, in fact, it cannot occur. What we are doing, 1 believe, is to prove to overseas corporations that as and when the opportunity arises we want them to provide us with opportunities for the development of this country and to participate in equity capital of overseas corporations. The Leader of the Opposition also referred to the fact that we want increasing Australian participation in management and in scientific control. In particular he referred to the great mining corporations of this country. Again, what he said shows that he has not read what has been stated so frequently, not only by **Dr Brash** of the Australian National University but also by **Sir George** Fisher of Mount lsa. **Sir George** Fisher pointed out that he did not know of one great mining corporation in this country which was in fact managed either technically, scientifically or in any other way than by Australians. If one looks at the great corporations - Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd, Mount Isa Mines Ltd, the Western Mining Corporation Ltd, Gold Fields of Australian Development, the Broken Hill Pty Ltd and all the others - one sees that predominantly, almost exclusively, they are run by Australians and the management is largely controlled from Australia. So I think that illustrates in very clear terms that the Leader of the Opposition had not done his homework when he made his speech in the House tonight. 1 welcome the statement by the Prime Minister because 1 think that not only is it liberal in its approach, but it will not act as a deterrent to overseas investment coming to these shores. I can only emphasise what the Prime Minister has said, that if we did not have this investment, do honourable members think for one moment that we could continue our immigration programme at its present high rate? Do they think that if we were to lose $400m or $500m of private capital investment, the average working man would be able to sustain his standard of living in the way in which it has been sustained and is being improved? Do they think that we could continue with our rale of growth, which will permit us to have a population of 20 million people by 1998? No, of course we would not be able to do this. In other words, it is of critical importance to us that we do nothing to reduce the private capital inflow into this country and that we do everything we possibly can to borrow on behalf of the Government, on official account, to ensure that we get command of resources overseas so that we can continue this rate of development and even improve it in the months ahead. The phrase has been used that the years in front of us are tantalising years, and so they are, because with the passing of say, 4 or 5 years, we will get to a stage in terms of export of minerals which will practically transform this country from one that relies enormously and importantly on private capital inflow to one where, although private capital inflow will be tremendously important to us, it will not represent the same degree of importance as it did, say, 10, 15 or more years ago. In other words, as the days pass by, not only will we become more strong internally, and not only will we achieve a rate of growth in real terms of 6% and take it in our stride, but in 4 or 5 years we will be able to get a rate of exports, mainly due to exports in manufactured goods, and particularly in the exports of minerals which - as I have said and I repeat this statement - will transform this country, give us opportunities for better standards of living and permit us to play an increasingly important part in the help which we can give by way of aid programmes to our neighbours to the immediate north of us, many of whom are living under substandard conditions. The only other point I want to make - and I hope that I might be able to say a little more about it in the course of the next few days - is that twice the Leader of the Opposition has referred to the fact that our living standards are not in fact rising in Australia. I had some figures taken out today, and I am glad to be able to announce to the House, particularly to those honourable members to the right of the Chair in the House - to the Liberal and Country Party members - that on the figures, we are not only sustaining and improving our standard of living but, over the last IS years, for which I have taken out the statistics, the percentage increase has steadily moved forward from approximately 1.3% per annum to 2% to 2.5% per annum. I believe that those figures are true proof of the fact that in 20 years of Liberal-Country Party government, not only have we seen this rate of growth sustained and improved but the standard of living of the working man has improved, too. We have been able to improve the standard of living of all those people who benefit from welfare payments and who, we believe, are the most needy sections of the community which ought to be so consistently helped by the Government. {: #subdebate-26-0-s3 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr CREAN:
Melbourne Ports -- by leave - The House has waited a long time to receive from the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** a statement on what he describes as the guidelines of foreign investment. With all respect, I submit that the guidelines still do not guide, and surely that is the critical issue which faces this Parliament. I agree with the Prime Minister that a large proportion of our total resources in Australia are devoted to investment. I think he would agree that the major part of that large proportion comes from internal resources and that foreign investment, if you like, is only a marginal part of total investment in Australia. But surely when we talk about guidelines what we are wanting to describe or what we are trying to define, is where the foreign investment should go. Surely that is the argument about which we ought to be concerned. With all respect to the Prime Minister, it still seems to me, at least, that he has left the question up in the air. If one wanted to argue as to whether or not in 1969 Australia would have reached its present level of economic development without foreign investment, there is no argument so far as I am concerned. The country is better advanced now than it would have been if there had been no foreign investment. But surely the question about which we should argue is whether we have reached the point where we cannot go any further and whether all effects of foreign investment are on the side of advantage and none on the side of disadvantage. Surely this is the question about which we should be concerned. Within the last several years overseas investment has run at a level, in round terms, of SI, 000m per annum. If we had not had that level of foreign investment over the last several years, instead of having what are described as current balances on international reserves, again of approximately $ 1,000m to $ 1,200m, we would have had either to restrict our imports or greatly expand our exports - which is not a very easy thing to do immediately - or we would have had to introduce some sort of import control. Nobody is arguing about these effects. Surely the question about which one is arguing is how far we can continue to go at our present prodigal rate. At least, I think the fact that the Prime Minister acknowledges that something has to be said upon this matter indicates that even the Government realises that these sorts of things cannot continue indefinitely. This evening both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** have introduced a lot of extraneous matters into the debate. One of the most peculiar intrusions into the debate by the Prime Minister was his reference to convertible notes. As my colleague the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** suggested, this is an entirely internal matter, lt is something which was mentioned in the Budget and which demands an amendment to the income tax law. It is something which so far has not been included in the amendments to the income tax law that are before the House. As 1 understand it, we will have the usual crazy introduction in the next few days of quite important amending legislation and in this instance amendments to amendments. The Government may believe that this shows it has given serious consideration to these matters, but we certainly do not. What does the question of convertible notes have to do with guidelines on foreign investment? I would be interested in an answer from somebody on the other side of the House. Certainly the answer has not come from the Treasurer, who will be responsible for bringing down the amendments in the next day or so. He should have brought them down when he introduced legislation a fortnight ago. But what have convertible notes to do with the overall question of foreign investment? I want to put some points in the time at my disposal. I see by the clock that my time is unlimited, but out of mercy for those who are listening I will not take an unnatural advantage of them. Surely we have reached the situation in Australia where we can say that it would be rather disastrous if foreign investment suddenly dried up. At least that is the situation that has been brought about by this Government. It is not a situation that will be suddenly thrust upon the nation by a change of government, although in my view a change of government would improve the situation. Let us look at what we call reserves. After all reserves are only an acknowledgement that the rest of the world will accept payment in something other than our own currency, as my friend the honourable member for Mitchell **(Mr Irwin),** who was formerly a banker, knows. At the moment our reserves are about $l,000m, to which we can add some curious items called our second and third lines of reserve. He may know more about that than most people do, and I am assuming that most people do not know very much about it. But $ 1,000m is about the value of 3 months of either exports or imports for Australia. We have been able to live at this rather heady rate in recent years. When the Treasurer talks about our recent rate of growth, he must realise that our rate of growth has been conditioned not only bv our own efforts but also by the fact that we have brought in about $ 1,000m of capital investment in each of the last several years. I ask the House to examine the figures for our rate of growth which the Treasurer gave. He meant also that our growth was conditioned by our capital expenditure and our capital expenditure runs at a rate oscillating between 24% and 26% or 27% of gross national product each year. But we should exclude private dwelling construction and other new building and get down to the item 'all other'. As I have tried to emphasise in this House on many occasions it is this item 'all other fixed investment' that is the mainspring of growth in Australia. {: .speaker-KJG} ##### Mr Irwin: -- How much is that? {: .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr CREAN: -- The estimate for 1968-69 - it is still tentative - is $2,375m, or about one-quarter of the total gross fixed capital expenditure. This is a serious matter when we are considering overseas investment. Not a great deal of overseas investment goes into private building construction or other building. Foreign investment mainly goes into the basic under-structure of Australian industry. As the report of the Vernon Committee and other documents show, in more fields - the motor vehicle industry is a good example - we have almost 100% foreign ownership of industry. As I have said before, if the motor vehicle industry sneezes the economy gets pneumonia. Similarly in other industries, such as chemicals and paper manufactures, overseas ownership and control is preponderant. Surely the Treasurer and the Prime Minister should have had this in mind when they spoke about guidelines for foreign investment in the future. But not a word was said about it tonight. What the Government is trying to establish is how well we are doing in this country. I repeat that most of our capital expansion depends upon lifting ourselves up by our own boot straps, irrespective of the boot heels that a former Prime Minister mentioned. Literally most of the economic activity in Australia takes place by reason of Australian enterprise and by reason of the actions of Australian government. On the question of foreign investment, surely this is what guidelines are supposed to be. Surely the Prime Minister should have said: 'We recognise that in some circumstances we cannot do without foreign investment'. What he ought to have tried to delineate are the terms on which that foreign investment should be allowed to come in. I submit that that is what the Australian people are waiting to hear. They do not want to hear about a great declivity, that all the honourable members on the Government side of the House favour foreign investment and all the honourable members on the Opposition side oppose it. Because of the situation that the Australian economy is in at the moment, we on this side of the House recognise that a great declivity would be caused if foreign investment were to stop suddenly. But what we say is that foreign investment is at least a two pronged process. It is of advantage to those foreign interests that come here. They come here because they believe that it is safe to invest here. On the other hand, surely we should ask: Why is it safe to invest here? Those terms are on our side. The reason it is safe to invest in Australia is that we have political stability here, and we will have more stability if a Labor government takes office after the next election. We will then be rid of the confusion, the lack of coherence and the lack of co-operation that we have at the moment. Australia has a skilled labour force. Surely that is the result of our levels of education. They are still inadequate, but they are better, let us say, than those that exist in Peru or in some other places. At least we have a reasonably intelligent labour force. We have migration. This was mentioned by the Treasurer. Migrants are coming to Australia at the rate of 120,000 or 130.000 per annum. We have an abundance of natural resources. Surely they are the inheritance of the population rather than the preserve of Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd or Esso, internal and foreign ownership in combination. The natural resources are under the soil; they belong to the people. But nevertheless foreign investment is interested in them. At least in foreign investment there are advantages on both sides. As regards takeovers, which have been mentioned tonight, do we need anybody to teach us how to make biscuits or jam? Do we need people to tell us how to build hotels in Sydney or Melbourne? This is what is happening. Any day read the pages of the Financial Review' and you will see carefully laid out details of proposed takeovers and the terms upon which companies are to be taken over. Having regard to the nature of most of these companies, if they need to' be taken over it is an indictment of the capacity of what is supposed to be private enterprise in Australia. Whatever you may think about matters private, there should be no undertones about what is apparently implied by enterprise. 1 would think that the Minister for the Interior **(Mr Nixon),** who is seeking to interject, would have enough on his hands with the critical crisis in the wheat industry. Surely some of the problems of the wheat industry can be attributed to people like the Nabisco organisation and other great international flour users trying to disrupt the International Grains Arrangement by conducting black market operations. {: .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr Nixon: -- That is an emotional statement. {: .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr CREAN: -- It may be but if you and your colleagues in private, notwithstanding what you say publicly, are not concerned about the fate of those in Australia who live on the product of farms then I must accept as true the statement that I read in a pamphlet that came to my attention today that the Country Party is a disaster for Australia. But this is beside the point as far as my arguments are concerned. I submit that guidelines are important. I think you need some guidelines for the wheat industry, notwithstanding the complacency now being displayed by the Minister. The original trade practices legislation, introduced by **Sir Garfield** Barwick as Attorney-General, contained provisions relating to takeovers. It provided that any undertaking with a capital of $500,000 should not be taken over without the scrutiny of the authority established under the legislation. I believe legislation of that kind is still necessary, but we do not have it in this country today. Another matter that should be of concern is the inadequacy of our uniform company law. At present any undertaking, no matter how big or small it may be and no matter where it wants to operate, may take shelter by registering in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra or Adelaide - any capital city for that matter. But, as we have seen recently in the case of State legislation and the Hamersley iron ore group, a company may use the protection afforded by the deficiency of a State law to operate at large on a national scale. Today we have national giants operating within the confines of antiquated legislation but even those national giants appear as comparative pigmies when we have regard to the machinations of gigantic intruders from overseas. This is an area in which government could lay down some guidelines but again we have had complete silence this evening from the Prime Minister; only a few rumblings about convertible notes. {: .speaker-KIW} ##### Dr Mackay: -- Do you suggest- {: .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr CREAN: -- The honourable member for Evans is a great authority on these things. He may have leave later to tell me and my colleagues what convertible notes have to do with guidelines to foreign investment. This evening the Prime Minister spent almost 10 minutes talking about something that had nothing to do with guidelines to foreign investment. The matter to which he referred should have been included in the tax legislation that was introduced nearly 10 days ago and which J expected to debate last Thursday. I was told that the debate may proceed today but I am now told that it will not proceed before next Thursday because following upon tonight's statement a sheaf of amendments must be included in the Bill. These are fundamental problems that should have been tackled not 3 months ago or 3 years ago but 10 years ago. Now, within a few weeks of an election, the Government has told us what it proposes to do. The honourable member for Mitchell seems to want to interject. {: .speaker-KJG} ##### Mr Irwin: -- Keep going. You are good. {: .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr CREAN: -- I hope so. Nobody would deny that our economy is not the better for our international transactions. As a student of economics 30 years ago I learned something called the law of comparative costs. It used to be illustrated by a fairly simple example that it was better for the lawyer to pay some unskilled humble youth to mow his lawn than to mow it himself because he could spend $1 having his lawn mowed but could earn in that time $10 in court. Much the same sort of argument is supposed to apply in international transactions. I am sure that every member of the Country Party will agree that we produce more wool and wheat than we consume internally because somebody else in the world wants them and because from the sale of our surplus we are able to import things that we cannot produce ourselves. This is a pretty simple sort of solution in 1969. We have arguments as to whether primary producers should have guaranteed prices for the things they produce and whether secondary industries should enjoy some protection. All this is beside the point. The interplay of all these things, plus an item for invisibles - shipping, insurance and other kinds of transactions - make up our international transactions. For at least 15 years - most of its life - the Government has had an adverse trading balance. We import about 25% more goods than we export. This imbalance has been countered by an item called capital inflow. But as T. S. Eliot said, most people are willing to invest but most expect dividends. Those who invest in Australia want to see a return on their investments. In any normal capital flow-back you have the imponderable of undistributed profits, which basically are taken out of the hide of the Australian consumer. You pay a couple of thousand dollars for a Holden motor car, which apparently is produced for about $1,500. Part of the extra $500 goes to the United States. That all comes out of the hide of the user of the Holden car in Australia. We have reached the situation where the flowback to foreign investors is a preponderant part of the capital outflow each year. This sort of thing cannot go on indefinitely. Surely this is the reason why we are talking about guidelines on foreign investment. T will conclude by mentioning what the Labor Party says. 1 have taken up more time than I had expected to take, but I think that this is a matter that needs serious consideration. With all respect to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, neither of them brought out what the fundamental issues are. I am suggesting that there is no disagreement between both sides of the House that for some time yet we will have to rely on foreign investment in Australia. But we should be looking at ways to expand our exports. Part of the difficulty in expanding our exports is this inextricable link with foreign control. When we discover oil, instead of being our own it belongs to some foreign intruder who says that he provided the know-how. Possibly we cannot do much about what has been done already but we can do something about the future. We are asking why in certain transactions we should not say that we will buy the know-how but will let the overseas interest own the capital transaction. This is one guideline upon which I have been interested to have some advice. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Whitlam)** gave the example of Gove. We expected to have a 50% Australian equity in this project but for some reason we found we could have only 30%. The Leader of the Opposition suggested that we should use certain capital resources that are available in Australia but which have not been mobilised. Surely the purpose of the Australian Resources Development Bank was to do this sort of thing. Possibly private enterprise has not enough enterprise and courage to venture into some transactions. In those cases we could allow the foreigner in entirely or use a certain amount of government intervention. We expected to have some sort of clarity on this this evening, but we have been subjected to a lot of humbug by the Prime Minister about guidelines. The nation has been hanging on the brink for weeks and weeks, and it is still hanging on the brink as far as the F111 aircraft is concerned. This evening the Prime Minister made a statement about guidelines for foreign investment. As I said earlier, they are guidelines that do not guide; they only confuse. I submit that the House is entitled to a better answer than it has received. {: .page-start } page 1404 {:#debate-27} ### BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE The following Bills were returned from the Senate without amendment: Loan (Swiss Francs) Bill 1969 Loan (Canadian Dollars) Bill 1969 Tasmania Grant (Cressy-Longford Irrigation Works) Bill 1969 {: .page-start } page 1404 {:#debate-28} ### FISHING INDUSTRY RESEARCH BILL 1969 Bill - by leave - presented by **Mr Anthony,** and read a first time. {:#subdebate-28-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-28-0-s0 .speaker-BU4} ##### Mr ANTHONY:
Minister for Primary Industry · Richmond · CP -- I move: That the Bill be now read a second time. This Bill stands as recognition by the Government of the growing importance of the fishing industry to the national economy, as an earner of export income, as a generator of employment both at sea and ashore and of domestic income, and as a producer of wealth from the resources of the seas and oceans surrounding this continent. The purpose of the Bill is to establish a Fishing Industry Research Account which will support projects of research, education, extension and development for the benefit of the Australian fishing industry, and to provide machinery for the management of the account. Fishing joins the other significant primary industries, such as wheat, wool, dairy, meat, tobacco and poultry, that contribute money for their own research and development which the Government matches in accordance with its long-held policy of aid to primary industries that help themselves. The research account which the Bill will establish will operate in a similar manner to the others I have mentioned. That is, the Consolidated Revenue Fund will match moneys raised from the industry and there will be a committee to advise the Minister on expenditure from the account. However, there is one significant point of difference between this proposed account and most of the others. The Commonwealth itself will not collect the industry contribution; this will be done under State legislation. The methods employed by the States to collect the industry contribution range from special licence fees to production charges. Several States have already enacted legislation to collect contributions from the fishing industry. I am pleased to see this initiative by the States, indicating as it does the importance with which they regard the development of this industry, and I look forward to early enactment of similar legislation in those States where it has not already been done. The Parliament is thus considering only one Bill in contrast to the three Bills usually required for measures of this sort in relation to other primary industries. The Bill is the culmination of a series of events that began in 1967, when my predecessor informed State Ministers responsible for fisheries matters that if the fishing industry were to contribute ' funds for the purposes I mentioned a moment ago, he would be ready to go to the Government with a proposal that the Commonwealth match those amounts. Since that time there has been continuing discussion and negotiation between the Commonwealth and States aimed at bringing this scheme to fruition. The States are completely in agreement with the overall scheme of arrangement that has been developed. The fishing industry, through its representative body, the Australian Fishing Industry Council, has given full support to the scheme. The research account will support projects of benefit to the fishing industry throughout Australia as a whole. It may well happen that a particular project will be supported by a State or a group of States in company with the Commonwealth. Cooperation of this sort is greatly desirable whenever it can be arranged but the Commonwealth Account will as a matter of principle be reserved for projects of nationwide benefit. The present Bill makes no reference to the Northern Territory. Nevertheless, the Government intends that funds collected from the fishing industry there will be matched. The appropriate authorities have been informed that when a scheme for collecting the industry contribution has been developed to meet the special feature of the Territory's fishing industry, the necessary steps will be taken to bring these contributions within the purview of this legislation. I turn now to the provisions of the Bill. The methods of collecting the industry contributions make it necessary for those contributions to be specified in the Bill. Clause 4 empowers the Minister to approve a State fund for purposes of calculating the Commonwealth matching amount. This approval may be made retrospective to the beginning of the present financial year. Only one fund in each State will be approved at any time. As well as approved funds in the States, clause 5 empowers the Minister to approve certain kinds of moneys in those funds. This provision is necessary to separate industry contributions, which the Commonwealth will match, from moneys derived from gifts, interest on investment, proceeds from sale of goods or equipment and similar matters, which the Commonwealth will not match. The Commonwealth Consolidated Revenue is appropriated in clause 7 by an amount equal to the payments of approved moneys into approved State funds and this appropriation is paid into the Fishing Industry Research Trust Account established in clause 6. Moneys derived from gifts, interest on investment and similar matters in relation to the Commonwealth Trust Account may also be credited to that Account. Clause 8 provides that funds held in the Research Account may be expended by the Minister, on the advice of the Fishing Industry Research Committee established in clause 10, on projects of research, education, extension and development for the fishing industry. For example, biological research is used to describe the fish stocks and the most appropriate regimes for their exploitation as well as to predict future catches. Another important application of biological research is in the provision of information on which decisions concerning the management and conservation of the fish stocks can be based. Australia's position in international fisheries negotiations will be significantly strengthened by having this information. The Research Account will be available to support projects additional to the current activities. Coastal countries claiming exclusive jurisdiction over fisheries have a responsibility to manage and conserve the resources which they claim. Research projects such as the Research Account might support will be of fundamental value in describing the patterns of rational exploitation of the fish stocks in accordance with sound management and conservation practices. Another example is technological research on fishing boats, gear and methods, on handling and processing of fish products and on development of new methods of utilising or presenting fish products to the consumer. In addition there will be economic and market studies. To provide the fishing industry with information on research findings, from Australia and overseas, extension services will be provided, while special attention will be given to the provision of vocational training and technical education to equip operatives with the necessary skills to apply up to date technologies. All these matters are integral parts of fisheries development and, in addition, direct developmental activities such as exploratory fishing and introduction and trials of new or prototype equipment might also qualify for financial support. Naturally, there will have to be a system of priorities developed along with the programme of expenditure and the Committee will require to have an eye to the overall needs of the fishing industry and how they might be satisfied in the best interests of the nation. The Research Account will not be available to provide finance to fishermen, processors or marketing authorities for acquisition of new equipment which might be financed by normal commercial lending sources. On the other hand, universities and private research bodies of good standing may apply to the Research Committee for assistance from the Research Account. The membership of the Committee has been proposed with the full agreement of the States. I am particularly pleased that the industry voice on the Committee will be provided by the Australian Fishing Industry Council. In addition, there will be one member representing the State fisheries authorities on the nomination of the Australian Fisheries Council and one representing the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The representative of my Department will be the chairman. To foster ideas and broaden the perspective of the Committee, provision is made for each member to be accompanied by a personal adviser. The Minister may also appoint expert advisers to the Committee in connection with any particular programme. Machinery provisions for matters such as entering into agreements for the conduct of research, the appointment of deputies of members, the removal of members and deputies, the quorum and voting of the Committee and the payment of fees, expenses and allowances to members, deputy members, personal advisers and expert advisers, follow similar lines to those in other legislation of this kind. The Bill provides for an annual report to be presented by the Committee and tabled in each House. It is intended that my Department will provide the Committee with necessary administrative and clerical support as well as operate the day to day management of the Research Account. I believe that honourable members on both sides of the House will welcome this Bill as an expression of the encouraging disposition of the Parliament towards an industry whose potential benefits to the nation are waiting to be more fully achieved through the application of research. I commend -the Bill to honourable members. Debate (on motion by **Dr Patterson)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1406 {:#debate-29} ### AIRLINE EQUIPMENT (LOAN GUARANTEE) BILL 1969 Bill - by leave - presented by **Mr Swartz,** and read a first time. {:#subdebate-29-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-29-0-s0 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Civil Aviation · Darling Downs · LP -- I move: This is a Bill seeking the authority of the Parliament for the Treasurer **(Mr McMahon)** to guarantee, on behalf of the Commonwealth, loans raised by Ansett Transport Industries Ltd in financing the purchase of one Boeing 727 and six Douglas DC9 aircraft. Trans-Australia airlines and Ansett Airlines of Australia now have six DC9s, and will acquire their fifth Boeing 727 in November, bringing the total domestic front line fleet to twenty-two jet aircraft. Early this year, the Government considered proposals by the two airlines that each should purchase another Boeing 727 aircraft and a further six DC9s for delivery between March 1970 and March 1972. These proposals were based on a careful appraisal of the likely traffic growth in 1969, 1970, 1971 and beyond, and my own Department's studies confirmed that the additional aircraft planned by the airlines would be essential if there was to be sufficient capacity to meet the growing demand on the main air routes. This is especially so as the remaining turbo-prop Electras and Viscounts are to be progressively phased out of service. By early 1971, the two airlines hope to have standardised their fleets on the Boeing 727 and DC9 for front line operations, both types having proved to be eminently suited to Australian conditions. In the light of all the circumstances the Government has approved the aircraft acquisition programmes of the airlines, and has also agreed to facilitate the financing of the purchases by seeking parliamentary approval to raise loans on behalf of TransAustralia Airlines and to guarantee, if requested, any loans raised for the purpose by Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. The latter arrangement is needed to ensure, as far as possible, that the private airline can borrow on terms comparable with those available to the government airline, a vital consideration in a project which will cost each operator some $36m in all. Similar guarantees have been given with the approval of Parliament in respect of the company's purchase of its six DC9s and its fifth Boeing 727. Ansett Transport Industries Ltd has indicated that it will endeavour to borrow up to $28.6m, or 80% of the estimated cost of its seven new aircraft, in accordance with the normal procedure in projects of this kind. The Bill places a limit of $US32m on the loans subject to Commonwealth guarantee, this being the equivalent of $A28.6m. Time has not yet permitted the company to complete its negotiations, but it expects to raise approximately SI 6.3m in Australia from a bank and other financial institutions, and the balance of $ 12.3m in the United States. The Bill now submitted is on similar lines to the Airline Equipment (Loan Guarantee) Bill which was approved by Parliament last year. It provides that, before giving a guarantee for any loan, the Treasurer is to be satisfied that the moneys are borrowed on reasonable terms and conditions, that proper security is given to the Commonwealth over the aircraft and associated spares and equipment, and that undertakings are given by the company on such matters as insurance, mortgages, and export of the aircraft. The company will also be required to make available its financial accounts and records to an officer authorised by the Minister for Civil Aviation while any part of the loans remains unpaid. In assisting Ansett Transport Industries Ltd in this way to obtain suitable finance for the next phase of the company's equipment programme, the Government aims to ensure the continued operation of its successful two airline policy. In common with Trans-Australia Airlines, the company will, with Commonwealth support, be able to obtain much-needed aircraft within a reasonable time. At the same time, each airline will be able to finance the purchase of its aircraft on a similar basis. Debate (on motion by **Mr Charles** Jones) adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1407 {:#debate-30} ### LOANS (AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AIRLINES COMMISSION) BILL 1969 Bill - by leave - presented by **Mr Swartz,** and read a first time. {:#subdebate-30-0} #### Second Reading **Mr SWARTZ** (Darling Downs- Minister for Civil Aviation and Minister assisting the Treasurer [11.13] - I move: >That the Bill be now read a second time. This Bill seeks the approval of the Parliament to borrowings by the Commonwealth not exceeding the equivalent of $US31m - (SA27.7m) - to assist in financing the purchase of one Boeing 727 jet aircraft and six Douglas DC9 jet aircraft and related equipment by the Australian National Airlines Commission, that is, Trans-Australia Airlines. These aircraft, the total cost of which will be approximately $US38.4m - ($A34.3m) - are due for delivery between March 1970 and March 1972. After they all have been delivered, TAA's fleet of jet aircraft will consist of six Boeing 727s and twelve Douglas DC9s. On previous occasions when we have introduced legislation for borrowings to assist in the purchase of new aircraft by Qantas and TAA the loan agreements have already been signed but have usually been conditional on suitable legislative authority becoming available later. This is normally possible in a private borrowing in which securities are not offered to members of the public through the issue of a prospectus. On this occasion we have not yet been able to settle any firm borrowing arrangements although it appears that some favourable opportunities may arise in the course of the next few months. In the difficult borrowing conditions generally prevailing at present in overseas markets, we must be in a position to take advantage of any such opportunities without delay. At this stage it appears that it may be possible to arrange for up to one-half of the amount to be borrowed by a European unit of account loan, which would seek subscriptions from members of the public in seventeen European currencies. If such a public borrowing eventuated, it would be necessary to demonstrate in a prospectus the full legal chain of authority upon which the Commonwealth was borrowing the funds. It would also be necessary to establish that the Commonwealth could legally pass on the loan proceeds to TAA. Other possible avenues of finance being explored include assistance from the Export-Import Bank of the United States in conjunction with the aircraft manufacturers. The Bill has been drafted to provide for these possibilities. 1 should perhaps mention that the borrowing authority we are seeking would be no different in principle from the standing authority which is already available under the financial agreement and associated legislation to arrange public loans for the Commonwealth. Similar arrangements also apply under the Loan (Defence) Act 1966 for a series of borrowings for defence purposes. The other arrangements for the loans will be similar to those approved by Parliament for previous loans for TAA and Qantas in recent years. The Commonwealth will be the borrower in the first place, and the full proceeds will be made available to TAA on terms and conditions to be determined by the Treasurer pursuant to clause 6 of the Bill. These terms and conditions will be the same as those under which the Commonwealth itself borrows the money. As the airline will be required to meet all charges under the loan agreements, the Commonwealth will, as usual, merely assume the function of an intermediary in these arrangements. The detailed terms and conditions of the loans to be arranged will be subject to approval by the Loan Council. The total amount to be borrowed has been authorised under the 1969-70 programme approved for the Commonwealth at the Loan Council meeting in June 1969 and will be additional to the Commonwealth's approved pro gramme of $132m for State housing purposes. I commend the Bill to honourable members. Debate (on motion by **Mr Charles** Jones) adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1408 {:#debate-31} ### NORTHERN TERRITORY (ADMINISTRATION) BILL 1969 Bill - by leave - presented by **Mr Nixon,** and read a first time. {:#subdebate-31-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-31-0-s0 .speaker-009OD} ##### Mr NIXON:
Minister for the Interior · Gippsland · CP -- I move: The purpose of this Bill is to amend section 21 of the Northern Territory (Administration) Act which provides for the establishment and operation of the Aborigines Benefits Trust Fund. Under this section, royalties received by the Commonwealth for minerals or timber taken from the land which has been reserved for the used and benefit of Aboriginals are appropriated out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and paid into the Trust Fund. The Minister is authorised to approve payment out of the Fund of moneys which are to be paid or applied to or for the benefit of Aboriginals. The Trust Fund was established in 1952 at the time Aboriginal reserves were opened for mining exploration and prospecting. The intention behind the establishment of the Fund was to give some compensatory benefit to the Aboriginal people for the loss of the use of land reserved for their benefit and any disturbance to their way of life because of mining operations. In 1961 the Act was amended to include in the revenues of the Fund the amounts received by the Commonwealth for royalties on timber taken from reserves. The rate of the royalty to be paid in respect of mining and timber operations carried on in reserves is fixed by ordinance. With regard to mining, the standard royalty payable is *2i%* of the gross value of the minerals taken, less certain statutory deductions, and this is twice the royalty paid where mining is carried on outside an Aboriginal reserve. With the development of manganese mining at Groote Eylandt and bauxite mining at Gove, the Trust Fund will be a very important source of finance available to assist Aboriginals. Royalties from Groote Eylandt are expected to rise progressively to about $400,000 annually in 1975. Royalties from Gove are expected to commence in 1971 when about $600,000 should be paid to the Fund; this figure should rise to about $870,000 annually in 1975. From these two projects alone, the income of the Fund will be in excess of Sim a year in 1975 with a total revenue up to that time of about $5m. There is, of course, a possibility of other major mineral discoveries on reserves and if a wood chip industry were later established in Arnhem Land this could produce up to $250,000 additional revenue for the Fund each year. In view of the growing importance of the Fund as a source of assistance for Aboriginals in the Territory, the Government has reviewed the whole concept of the Fund and the way in which the Fund should operate. The Bill now before the House proposes certain legislative amendments to the Act with regard to the Fund and later I will also inform the House of the principles which the Government would wish to see followed with regard to the use of the revenue of the Fund. In brief, the changes proposed by the Bill are that: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. rentals from leases of land on Aboriginal reserves, other than mining leases, be paid to the Trust Fund in addition to mining and timber royalties; 1. the Minister may determine that other revenue derived from land within an Aboriginal reserve be paid into the Fund; 2. payments of interest on, or repayment of, any loans made from the Fund are to be paid into the Fund and security can be taken in respect of loans granted; 3. the Minister may authorise the offsetting in whole or part against revenue from timber royalties, expenditure by the Commonwealth in connection with the establishment and development of planted forests or the development of native forests; 4. similarly, the Minister may authorise the offsetting against revenue from lease rentals, Commonwealth expenditure on land subdivisions including the provision of roads, water, sewerage and other services; 5. the expenses of administering the Fund to be met from the revenues of the Fund. Leases on reserves for pastoral and agricultural purposes will be granted only to Aboriginals. As reserves have been established for the use and benefit of Aboriginals generally, it is considered reasonable that net revenue from leases of land should be paid to the Trust Fund. The Commonwealth could be required to expend considerable sums on the development of forests and the subdivision of land on reserves. In normal circumstances revenue from timber royalties would be regarded as including the re-imbursement of government expenditure incurred for silviculture, fire protection and forest management. Revenue from lease rentals similarly is regarded as meeting some part of the cost to a government in making serviced land available to lessees. It is considered reasonable that the Act should make provision for the application of these principles to forestry operations and the provision of serviced land on reserves, although the Bill proposes that the Minister should have a discretion both with regard to whether there should be any offsetting of costs against revenue in particular cases and the portion of those costs for which the Commonwealth should receive repayment. The Bill also proposes to reinstate the earlier provisions, omitted when amendments were made in 1965, that mineral and forestry royalties from land which at any time after 2nd September 1953 was a reserve shall be paid to the Trust Fund. The date referred to what was the date of commencement of the legislation which permitted prospecting for minerals on Aboriginal reserves. Excisions from reserves are not contemplated at present, but in the event of any future change in the status of land which is now reserved for the Aboriginal people, Aboriginals will continue to receive the benefit of royalties and other revenues from that land. It is also proposed that action be taken administratively to establish a committee to advise the Minister on the allocation of moneys from the Fund. This committee will have an Aboriginal majority; initially there will be some places on the committee for officials who have responsibilities in Aboriginal affairs. One of the principal uses of revenue from the Fund is seen as grants to Aboriginal communities for community facilities such as halls, council houses, and sporting facilities. It is proposed that these grants will be made to local bodies representative of the community and that the representatives will decide how the money is to be spent. Because it is thought important that local communities be identified as closely as possible with major economic developments in areas where they reside or. hunt, it is proposed that, as a first priority, consideration be given to grants to communities, such as Yirrkala, where there is some major development taking place. AH Aboriginal communities which live on reserves and Government settlements and mission stations will however be eligible for such grants. Other purposes for which the moneys of the Fund might be used include the making of loans or grants to assist Aboriginals either individually or in groups to establish themselves in productive industries or in commercial! undertakings especially on reserves, and the provision of finance for Aboriginal equity participation in substantial commercial undertakings on reserves. It is proposed that loans should also be available from the Fund for the purchase of furniture, or to build or purchase houses, and for assistance in special cases for education and training which might be additional to any assistance normally provided by the Government or through existing schemes. Loans for houses will be additional to the Government's normal housing programmes for Aboriginals. lt seems desirable to state the relationship of this Fund to the Capital Fund for Aboriginal Enterprises which is administered by my colleague, the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs **(Mr Wentworth).** The Capital Fund can be used only for the purpose of making loans to assist Aboriginal to engage in business enterprises. There may, however, be cases where with an initial grant of part or even all of the capital required, the venture can succeed. In such cases capital grants from the Trust Fund are a possibility. There could, of course, be occasions when it would be appropriate for assistance to be granted from both Funds to a particular enterprise so that the resources of the two Funds can be used jointly in the best interests of Aboriginals. In the past, the Government has, of necessity, concentrated its efforts on improving the social situation and the educational standards of Aboriginals and giving training to adults which would give them skills on which they could support themselves. The time has come when the Government considers that without relaxing efforts being made on social advancement, there should be an additional concentration of effort to improve the economic position of Aboriginals in the Territory. There are some substantial natural resources, particularly in the Arnhem Land Reserve, which we intend shall be developed by the local people. Proposals are now already under consideration for pastoral projects in particular areas and we are looking at proposals for additional assistance to missions which have already started various projects which appear to have potential to become businesses under Aboriginal ownership, though with European management in the early stages until the Aboriginal people gain experience. Other projects being looked at or developed are the logging and milling of timber, fishing on a commercial scale in various centres, contract fencing and mineral prospecting. The feasibility of these projects is being studied by the Department of the Interior and the Office of Aboriginal Affairs where finance from the Capital Fund is a possibility. Already one group at Yuendumu has been provided with loans from the Capital Fund to establish a plant at Yuendumu for extraction of copper from local ore. Recently I approved a loan from the Trust Fund to enable another group to build and operate a kiosk at Standley Chasm. 1 might say in passing that last Sunday, in company with the honourable member for the Northern Territory **(Mr Calder),** I visited the area to see where this investment is to take place. A major decision made this year will increase the responsibility of Aboriginals for maintaining themselves and their families and give them experience in living in a community which is based on payment in cash for goods and services supplied. This was the introduction of higher training allowances which have been paid on settlements from February of this year. This replaced the old system of Aboriginals being given food, clothing and housing, etc., plus a minimum amount in cash for the training they are undergoing on settlements. The Government has also provided subsidies to the missions in the Northern Territory to enable them to pay the same training allowances to residents of mission stations from 19th August. I see these financial decisions as being of major importance. They reinforce the programmes of housing and home management training which are encouraging more of the people to live as family units, with the housewife managing her own family budget and seeking better furniture and home equipment. As I have said, it is contemplated that some of the Trust Fund moneys should be available for loans for the purchase of furniture and houses. Looking at the Government's efforts and achievements in the field of Aboriginal welfare in the Northern Territory, it would be impossible to measure the results of those efforts in any quantitative way and come up with a picture which would represent the true result. There are certainly areas where more could be done given the funds and physical resources necessary to correct deficiencies. Also in some areas where considerable effort has been expended, the results on the surface may appear not to be very tangible. Nevertheless, if we look back 10 or 20 years we can see that the position has improved out of sight. People who were living in the most primitive of circumstances, with very little being done for them and little possibility of change are now in touch with the wider community. They have access to health services, their children are going regularly to school, a great many are becoming accustomed to houses, to a settled life, and to regular employment. The position of the Aboriginal people must be looked at in human terms. The reactions of Aboriginals cannot always be looked at in the terms of the reactions of a European in the same situation. There are complicating factors for the Aboriginals of tribal customs, rules and relationships and the effect of the change to living in an environment which is so greatly different from their past. We need to know more about Aboriginal thinking and the problems as they see them. While it would be foolish to claim that the story of Aboriginal welfare in the Northern Territory is one of unqualified success, it has its successes as well as its failures. Complete success cannot be claimed until the Aboriginal people are living at social and economic levels which do not place them at a disadvantage compared with their fellow citizens. It is, however, true that today twenty children who attended Kormilda College last year are now attending the Darwin High School; it is true that today Aboriginals on settlements and missions have more of the skills necessary to enable them to contribute to the development of the areas where they live; and it is also true that many Aboriginals are now showing a positive response to opportunities to take up business enterprises on their own account and that expanded financial assistance is available for this purpose. There is a great deal of sympathy and interest expressed by people and organisations throughout Australia for the Aboriginal people. This is most commendable and I welcome and applaud it. I would ask, however, that those who feel that not enough is being done in a practical way to assist Aboriginals, remember that there are dedicated people working on mission stations and settlements who have given many years of their lives to the cause of Aboriginal advancement. These are (he people who have to deal directly with situations as they are on the ground, and live with disappointments and frustrations as well as enjoying the satisfaction of seeing and contributing to social and economic progress. It will take considerable effort by the people who live and work amongst Aboriginals to ensure that the economic projects proposed will be successful, and there is room for more dedicated people in this work. I hope that my remarks have conveyed the important role which is seen for the Aborigines Benefits Trust Fund in advancing the social and economic position of Aboriginals in the Northern Territory and that all honourable members will not only support the measure before the House but also support the principles which the Government considers should be followed in administering the moneys available in that Fund. Debate (on motion by **Mr Stewart)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1412 {:#debate-32} ### STATES GRANTS (ADVANCED EDUCATION) BILL 1969 Bill - by leave - presented by **Mr Malcolm** Fraser, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-32-0} #### Second Reading **Mr MALCOLM** FRASER (WannonMinister for Education and Science) (11.34] - 1 move: >That the Bill be now read a second time. On 21 st August when I tabled a number of reports dealing with education I foreshadowed that we would be introducing legislation to implement the Government's decisions on the second report of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Advanced Education dealing with the program of development for colleges of advanced education for the 1970-72 triennium. Since the Bill before the House is along the same lines as the Bill which governed our operations in 1967-69 I intend merely to give the House a general review of the financial implications of the Bill and to mention one or two features which seem to merit particular reference. I emphasise that when I tabled the report I made a broad, general statement outlining the Government's proposals. The House will recall that immediately before the recess I introduced the States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill (No. 2) in which I indicated that the maximum Commonwealth recurrent grants to the colleges for this current 1967-69 triennium are to be increased to $19.8m. For the 1970-72 triennium the Commonwealth grant to the colleges in the States will be approximately $43 .2m, which is an increase of 118%. The capital programme for the current 1967-69 triennium called for Commonwealth grants of $24m. The new triennium will call for Commonwealth grants for capital development of S57.4m- the latter including $8m for the Australian Capital Territory. Overall the present proposals call for a total com bined Commonwealth and State expenditure of approximately $107m for capital works and $128m for recurrent expenditure. One of the new features in the Bill - covered by clause 4 - allows recurrent expenditure to be transferable within the States as between colleges and as between the years of the triennium, that is, money unexpended in one year may, on request from the State and with the approval of the Commonwealth Minister for Education and Science, be carried forward to a later year of the triennium provided, of course, triennial totals are not breached. The Government has accepted the principle that teacher education is a proper function of colleges of advanced education. Consequently, the Bill before the House makes provision in its Schedules in the first instance for the 1970-72 triennium for schools of education to be developed in association with the colleges of advanced education at Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Wagga, Bathurst and Hobart. Not included in this Bill, which is a States grants Bill, is the Canberra College of Advanced Education which is also proceeding with plans for the introduction of a school of teacher education. Funds for the Canberra college generally will appear in the normal estimates of my Department. The Bill also provides for the development or redevelopment of colleges at Wagga. Bathurst and Orange in New South Wales, at Roseworthy and the School for Dental Therapists in South Australia, at Muresk in Western Australia, and at Prahran and Warrnambool in Victoria. A feature which is receiving marked new attention is the provision of residential colleges, where appropriate, in colleges of advanced education. At Toowoomba and Rockhampton new colleges have been developed in this triennium and in the next triennium there are, for example, further developments at Rockhampton, extension to residential accommodation at Hawkesbury and Wagga Agricultural Colleges, and new residential accommodation at Bendigo and Ballarat. There are extensions to the residential accommodation already available at Roseworthy and a new residential college is being built in association with the Kalgoorlie School of Mines. There is one feature of the residential accommodation question which merits particular attention. At Toowoomba and Kalgoorlie two colleges will be erected with the help of private subscription; the arrangement here being similar to that applying to university affiliated colleges in which the Commonwealth provides $1 for every SI raised privately. Funds 4>r these purposes are included in the Second Schedule to the Bill. As provided for in clause 6, we are continuing on the same basis as in the last triennium our unmatched grant of $500,000 for the development of college libraries in the 1970-72 triennium. These grants are intended to be additional to the States efforts in the development of library services within the colleges. In conclusion, it may be said that the recurrent and capital schedules to this Bill incorporate a programme for the colleges of advanced education in the Australian States as proposed to us in the second report of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Advanced Education. I therefore commend the Bill to the House. Debate (on motion by **Mr Stewart)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1413 {:#debate-33} ### STATES GRANTS (INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS) BILL 1969 Bill - by leave - presented by **Mr Malcolm** Fraser, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-33-0} #### Second Reading **Mr MALCOLM** FRASER (WannonMinister for Education and Science) (11.40] - I move: >That the Bill be now read a second time. This Bill has been introduced to authorise special purpose grants to the States for transmission to independent schools as a contribution from the Commonwealth to their running costs. The Government's decision to make payments of this nature at rates of $35 per annum for each primary pupil and $50 per annum for each secondary pupil in independent schools throughout Australia as from the beginning of 1970 was announced in the Budget Speech. I expanded on the *Government's* attitude and its intentions in a statement to the House on 13th August last. Payments at the rates just mentioned will be available to a school in respect of every primary or secondary student enrolled for full time education at the school census date in August of each year. However, schools conducted for the profit of individuals will not be eligible for assistance. The general criteria to be used in defining primary and secondary education for the purpose of these grants will be those accepted in each State for the State's own schools. Therefore, while there will be some differences from State to State, there will be a consistent attitude to all independent schools within a State. The Bill gives a discretion to the Minister to determine whether particular pupils who are receiving special educational treatment by reason of physical or mental handicap or for other reasons are to be regarded as at the primary or secondary level. Provision is made for payments of grants by instalments and for subsequent adjustments should these be necessary. The intention is that the principal of a school will make formal application to the Department of Education and Science at or before the beginning of a year and that, with the Minister's approval, the first instalment will be paid early in the year with a final instalment after the census return of school enrolments has been received and examined. Payments will be made for the benefit of each school on two conditions. Firstly, the whole of the amount will be applied towards meeting the recurrent expenditure of that school in providing primary and secondary education. Secondly, the school will arrange for the submission to the Commonwealth Minister of a statement by a qualified accountant to the effect that the money has been used for that purpose. The recurrent expenditure of a school will be that normally understood in business accounts. As far as possible, the administration of this programme will be carried out by officers of the Commonwealth. In accepting a grant under the legislation, a State will be required to account for the disposition of the grants, but the observance of the conditions as to their use by the school will not involve any obligation by the State. Every State Premier has indicated the willingness of bis State to co-operate with the Commonwealth in this new programme. Provision is made in the Bill for an annual report to the Parliament showing total payments authorised in respect of a year for each State, together with particulars of the amount authorised for each school. The Bill deals only with per capita grants to independent schools in the States. In the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, the present per capita grants will be increased by amounts equal to the new per capita grants to be made to independent schools in the States. Funds will be provided on the estimates of the Department of Education and Science. The estimated expenditure in respect of the financial year 1969-70 and the calendar year 1970 for independent schools in the States and in the two Territories is shown in a table which, with the concurrence of the House, 1 incorporate in Hansard. 1 commend the Bill to the House. Debate (on motion by **Mr Whitlam)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1414 {:#debate-34} ### SOCIAL SERVICES BILL 1969 {:#subdebate-34-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed (vide page 1 379). {: #subdebate-34-0-s0 .speaker-L0U} ##### Mr LEE:
Lalor -- Some time earlier in the evening the honourable member for Grayndler **(Mr Daly)** spoke on this Bill. I am proud to be a supporter of the Government which seeks to bring in the following provisions for pensioners: The standard rate of pension for aged persons to be increased by $1 a week to $15; the married rate of pension to be increased by 75c a week to $13.25; the additional pension payable for all children after the first child to be increased by $1 a week to $3.50; and where there is a child under 6 years of age or an invalid child requiring full-time care the mother's or guardian's allowance to be increased by $4 to $6 a week. However, the period for which age, invalid and widows pensions may be paid in respect of temporary absence from Australia is to be extended from 12 to 30 weeks. Conditions under which a widow who returns to Australia from overseas after the death of her husband overseas may obtain a pension have been liberalised. Lastly, a tapered means test will replace the old means test. 1 think the Minister for Social Services **(Mr Wentworth)** referred to this old means test as a 'knockout' means test, and that is not a bad name. Under the old system the pension payable was reduced by $ 1 for each $1 by which means as assessed exceeded the free area. Under the new system the reduction for each $1 will be only 50c The list of improvements to the Social Services Act is quite an imposing one. *I* have been sitting here for some time waiting to speak. I had in mind making some comments on the speech made by the honourable member for Grayndler, whom I see sitting at the table now. For 50 minutes he made a speech which I thought was most destructive. During the last 9 minutes of his speech he referred to the Labor Party's policy. He spoke for 50 minutes or thereabouts in an attempt to destroy what the Government was trying to put up as improvements and for only 9 minutes on the Labor Party's policy, part of the 9 minutes being taken up by references to events of some 20 or 25 years ago. It seemed to me that for the most part the honourable member had nothing very specific to say. He made only vague statements about the Labor Party's policy. The Bill has been introduced to put into effect the promises made by the Prime Minister **(Mr Gorton)** when he became Prime Minister after the death of Harold Holt. Shortly after he became Prime Minister he promised to do something real for the sick, the aged and those who had suffered misfortune. I believe this Bill goes a long way towards achieving those aims. Certainly a good deal of progress is being made to increase the real value of the pension, despite what the honourable member for Grayndler said. He quoted some figures, but I believe that those which I will quote later are more accurate than those which he quoted. I think the pension should be tied to the cost of living rather than to the average wage. As the Minister stated, the real value of the pension has been increased by 75% over the last 20 years. One of the main benefits of the Bill will be the tapered means test. A lot of sound and deep thinking has gone into this. As the Minister indicated earlier, the Government was thinking of the introduction of a tapered means test long before the Labor Party put forward its proposals in, 1 think, 1966. One of the great benefits of the tapered means test is the incentive which it provides to people in their 60s to continue to work and to produce. This is a good move, because it is essential in these clays of full employment that people should continue to work and to produce, for the good of themselves and for the good of the country, for as long as they can. These benefits will cost an additional $96m in a full year. lt is true that these concessions outstrip the Treasurer's estimate of a 6% increase in national productivity. .However, the incentives are made quite valuable through the tapered means test. The tapered means test will counterbalance the cost of the increased benefits to the community because people will be encouraged to contribute to the economy by continuing to work and to produce. I believe that the Minister for Social Services had a good deal to do with introducing these proposals. He is a man of deep thought; a man who goes into things properly. As we have seen, he is a man who produces quite unorthodox but very valuable solutions. He gets away from the normal and produces something of real value to the country. 1 am very pleased to see this benefit and proud to be a member of the Government team which has brought forward these proposals. Productivity will benefit through the tapered means test. The economy, which is reaching boom proportions, needs additional labour in the work force, and I hope that men of over 60 years of age and even over 65 years of age will continue in the work force, if not in a full time working capacity at least in a part time capacity. We certainly need more production. Many of these older men are very dedicated to their work. I hope that the tapered means test will encourage people to work a little longer, lt will be of great benefit to the younger people who are coming on because they wilt see an example being set by the older people in the work force, it is surprising that many people have not been prepared to work because of the way in which wages and salaries have affected their pensions. 1 have learned of a great number of these cases in business. When one speaks to a man who is 65 years of age and who is retired one finds that he wants to work only part time; he wants to work for only a few hours a week. He is very careful not to go beyond a certain number of hours work and so affect his pension. These proposals will do a great deal to loosen up such an approach to working, and I am quite sure that such people will become quite valuable members of the work force in this full employment economy. Tonight we heard another prophet of doom from the other side of the chamber. Recently in a speech I made I referred to prophets of doom. It seems that much of the time given to speeches by the members of the Labor Party is taken up in decrying what has been done. 1 would say that 75% of the speeches made by honourable members opposite are spent in denigrating the case which the Government has proposed in order to improve the position of the Australian people. No longer can it be said that pensions are not keeping pace with the cost of living. Between June 1968 and June 1969 the consumer price index - which I prefer to use instead of the average wage - rose from 104.2 to 107.2, a rise of 2.87%. During this time the standard pension rate rose from $14 to $15, a rise of 7.14%. So over the last 12 months the consumer price index rose by 2.78% against a standard pension rate rise of 7.14% and a married pension rate increase of 5%. Last year I spoke about pensions and pointed out that they had increased by 33% since 1963 compared with a rise of 16% in the consumer price index during that time. The proposed increases confirm the Government's growing concern for the people in the field of social welfare. Indeed, the increase in expenditure on social welfare has been astronomical since this Government came to office. Why, only $170m was spent on social welfare in 1949-50. Last year I complained about the complexity of pensions. In fact, many Government proposals are now very complex, but the field of pensions is a particularly complex one and I am pleased to note that tables have now been prepared which make it easier for aged people and indeed members of Parliament to work out the amount of pension for which a person might be eligible. A simple calculation based on the tables now provided will give an approximate answer to that question. It is only right that tables such as these should be provided to make these matters easier of understanding, and I commend my esteemed colleague from South Australia, the honourable member for Sturt **(Mr Wilson)** for his research in this field and for the production of a very fine social services ready reckoner for those reaching the retiring age. I am surprised that such a table has not been made available before. The tables now available will be of tremendous value. I believe that aged people will be able to read them quite easily. Two tables have been provided - one for single pensioners and another for married pensioners. If referred to, they will be of tremendous help to those who are on the fringe of becoming eligible for a pension. There will, of course, be many independent people who will not accept a pension. I know of many in my electorate who have been completely independent of government help throughout the whole of their lives. They have taken great pride in being independent of government help. Many of them still will not wish to accept a pension. These are people who have lived through two world wars and a very severe depression. They are people who have gone through life with the minimum of help from anyone and they are going to find it very difficult, even now, to accept a pension. Some of them have small nest eggs put aside. Some of them do not spend very much on themselves and as they become older it is not easy for them to change their way of life. I am very proud to be associated with them and to know that they want to be independent of government help, but I do not think these people who, during their lifetime, have contributed so much to the economy of the country should forgo whatever help the Government may wish to give them at this late stage of their lives. They have certainly worked and indeed slaved through many difficult periods. As I have said, they have struggled through two world wars. Some of them probably reared families during the Second World War. They put their shoulders to the wheel. While their sons and daughters were away in the armed forces, they bore the burden. They worked harder and in many instances did the work of two people. Today they will be able to accept some measure of comfort from the assistance that is being made available by the Government. 1 hope that these people will not continue to be independent and that they will take advantage of the assistance that is now being offered to them at this late stage of their lives. They worked in factories, in the home and on the farms when labour was scarce. They struggled during the great depression and perhaps even during the credit squeeze. They may have retired about the time of the credit squeeze. The other day I met a frail, elderly lady who was trying to cross a very busy street. I think it was in the electorate of the honourable member for Wills **(Mr Bryant).** The lady was finding it very difficult to get across the road in the busy suburb of Coburg in Melbourne. This brought to my mind some of the very real difficulties that our elderly people face. It is up to our generation to see that adequate provision is made for them. This lady was well on in years. She was frail and shaky, but she was straight and proud. She could have been one of the people who will be eligible for a part pension under the tapered means test. She could be the grandmother of a dozen young, virile Australians. Of all people she would be entitled to some help. If Australia generally is well off, as I believe it is, adequate provision should be made for these people. We are now providing not only an age pension under a tapered means test, but a new plan to help the frail aged. Help will be provided for those over 80 years of age, those who cannot cross busy streets very easily, those who need help to get along, those who need a walking stick, those who find the cleaning of the house and the weeding of the garden beyond their capacity because of their age, those who arc lonely and who are on their own and those who are frail but do not need nursing care. A helpful plan has been implemented, lt is additional to the age pension. Under this plan $3 a week will be paid to institutions for the frail aged. In addition $14 a week will be available for light nursing and $35 a week for heavy nursing. T suggest that the churches, the service clubs and the councils become involved in this scheme, because two-thirds of the cost of new homes for the aged is now available from Government sources. Communities in the cities and towns throughout Australia should get behind this new scheme and take advantage of the finance that is available to them. I suggest that a country town could find perhaps *$80,000* in assets, including buildings and land, or in cash and could take advantage of the Government aid. If $80,000 is found, the Government will provide another $160,000. The result could be a very fine home for aged people in every town and perhaps in every suburb of the very large cities. Then, of course, the $14 or $35 a week would be available for those who need nursing assistance and $5 a week would be available to help in the upkeep of those who do not need nursing. Then the organisation would receive a share of the pension, which would help to run the establishment. If the community really becomes involved, no aged person should be lonely or ill without being able to depend on someone else for help. 1 commend my colleague, the honourable member for Swan **(Mr Cleaver),** on what he has done in this field in Western Australia. He has done a great deal in this sphere. I think the Minister for Social Services and, indeed, the Prime Minister have been to Western Australia to open some of the buildings that his organisation has been able to produce in one of the suburbs of Perth. I am very proud tonight to be associated with the increased pensions provided under this Government's scheme. As I said before, this is a further step forward under the Prime Minister's promise to help those who are aged, those who are sick and those who have faced misfortune. Debate (on motion by **Mr Crean)** adjourned. House adjourned at 12.7 a.m. (Wednesday). {: .page-start } page 1418 {:#debate-35} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS UPON NOTICE The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated: {:#subdebate-35-0} #### Social Workers (Question No. 1642) {: #subdebate-35-0-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >Can he give information on social workers later than that he gave me in his answer on 7 November 1968 (Hansard, page 2676) to my question No. 749 of 11 September 1968. {: #subdebate-35-0-s1 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The Public Service Board has advised me as follows: (1), (2) and (3) The schedule at Attachment A' updates the information provided in the answer to question No. 749. The statistics relating to the number of students who qualified refer to those who had degrees, diplomas or post-graduate diplomas conferred between August 1967 and July 1968. Information on the number who qualified at the end of 1968 will not be available until later this year. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. and (5) Information on those parts of the questions relating to State public services and local government bodies is not available. The number of qualified social workers employed by Commonwealth Departments at15 August 1969 is shown in the following table: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. It is now anticipated that on additional 30 social workers will be appointed by mid-1970 under a Grant-in-Aid Scheme applying to voluntary social welfare agencies which assist migrants. (b) Includes 12 in Northern Territory Administration. (c) Employed under the Naval Defence Act 1910-1968. The latest preliminary estimates available, based on information obtained from departments, suggest that the total number of Social Worker positions in the Commonwealth Service will increase to between 260-270 over the next three years. There are also approximately 38 current vacancies. Against these needs the Commonwealth Service has 23 Cadet Social Workers and plans to recruit a further 23 to commence their cadetship in 1970. * See page 1549 for extended answer. Research and Development Activitiest {:#subdebate-35-1} #### Commonwealth Expenditure (Question No. 1470) {: #subdebate-35-1-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the expenditure of funds from various Commonwealth sources on research and development activities (including necessary capital and supporting expenditure) by (a) each of the scientific laboratories listed in his reply to me on 30th May 1968 (Hansard, page 1881) and (b) each of the following in the last financial year: {: type="a" start="i"} 0. Industrial Research and Development Grants Board {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. Australian Academy of Science 1. Australian Mineral Development Laboratories 2. Australian Research Grants Committee 1. Universities and other tertiary education bodies {: type="i" start="vi"} 0. Australian Universities Commission 1. Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Advanced Education 2. Queen Elizabeth II Fellowships 3. National Health and Medical Research Council 4. Australian Drug Evaluation Committee 5. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies 6. Social Science Research Council 7. Australian Water Resources Council 8. Department of Social Services 9. National Radiation Advisory Committee 10. Bureau of Census and Statistics 11. Bureau of Agricultural Economics 12. Joint British-Australian Long Range Weapons Project 13. Joint United States-Australian space and communications projects 14. Australian Council for Educational Research 15. Australian Humanities Research Council 16. Australian Council of Social Services 17. Australian Council for Rehabilitation of Disabled 18. Australian Council on the Ageing 19. Medical Research Endowment Fund 20. International Cancer Research Agency and 21. Kimberley Research Station. 1. Was any other expenditure of Commonwealth funds incurred for research and development activities in natural, social or applied science and technology in the last financial year; if so, what organisations were responsible for the expenditure, and what amount was involved in each case. {: #subdebate-35-1-s1 .speaker-KH5} ##### Mr Gorton:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. (a) and (b) I have been advised by the responsible Ministers that expenditure in 1967-68 of Commonwealth funds on research and development activities (including necessary capital and supporting expenditures) by the scientific laboratories, etc., nominated by the honourable member was: {:#subdebate-35-2} #### Titanium Deposits (Question No. 1794) {: #subdebate-35-2-s0 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for National Development the following question, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the locations of the deposits of titanium referred to in answer to my question No. 1562 (Hansard, 12 August, page 149). 1. Who holds the mineral rights over these deposits. {: #subdebate-35-2-s1 .speaker-KDT} ##### Mr Fairbairn:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Details of locations of rutile and ilmenite deposits in Australia currently being mined are set out in the table below. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. As far as individual lease holdings are concerned, this is a State matter, and it would be necessary to obtain the required information from the Department of Mines in the relevant States. {:#subdebate-35-3} #### Australian National Line: Construction of Ships (Question No. 1837) {: #subdebate-35-3-s0 .speaker-KGH} ##### Mr Hansen:
WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND asked the Minister for Ship ping and Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many ships are under construction or on order (a) in Australia and (b) overseas for the Australian National Line and other owners. 1. Who are the builders. 2. What is the tonnage of these ships. 3. When did the Government approve the orders. 4. What is the estimated date of completion in each case. {: #subdebate-35-3-s1 .speaker-5E4} ##### Mr Sinclair:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The following is a list of vessels under construction or on order, through the Australian Shipbuilding Board, in Australian yards for Australian owners: In addition to the above eighteen vessels a number of smaller vessels are also under construction at various yards in Australia. To my knowledge only one trading vessel is at present on order or under construction overseas for Australian owners. An 11,000 dwt roll-on/ rolloff vessel under construction at Kawasaki Dockyard, Japan for Flinders Shipping Company is due for completion in July 1970. In addition, approval was given on 6th June 1969 for the Australian National Line to purchase two of the four 25,000 ton container vessels ordered by Associated Container Transportation (Australia) Ltd from the Bremer Vulkan Shipyard, Bremen, West Germany. One of these vessels was recently delivered to the Line and the other is in the early stages of construction. {:#subdebate-35-4} #### Drought Mitigation and Flood Control (Question No. 1853) {: #subdebate-35-4-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND asked the Minister for National Development the following question, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he make an early statement regarding the repeated urgent appeals of Queensland for con tinuity in Federal action, so effective in other States, for drought mitigation and flood control in the State now most in need of such control, especially in areas where groundwater salination now threatens established rural export industries. 1. Has the Government any plans for completing, before the hoped-for summer rains, the lowcost first and urgent stage of the Burnett-Kolan-lsis proposals. 2. Is the scheme a critical one in regard to drought mitigation and flood control. 3. Would the scheme more than pay for itself in one dry season after the weirs were filled. 4. Can he suggest any source of information which would tend to show that Australia can afford not to go ahead immediately with this work. {: #subdebate-35-4-s1 .speaker-KDT} ##### Mr Fairbairn:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. As announced recently by the Prime Minister, the Commonwealth has offered further drought assistance up to $8 million in 'he current year to assist Queensland in its present difficulties. Furthermore, as I outlined on 13 th August in speaking on the subject of drought generally, the Commonwealth is providing finance for a range of measures designed to alleviate the effects of drought, and some of these are of particular relevance to Queensland. I am not aware of any specific request for Federal action in relation to flood control in Queensland. 1. It is not the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government to plan the completion of the first stage of the Burnett-Kolan-Isis proposals or of any other State water development project. The Commonwealth Government however has before it a request from the Queensland Government for financial assistance with this scheme, but no matter what the outcome of this request might be, there is no possibility of these works being completed before the hoped-for summer rains. 2. The scheme appears likely to confer considerable benefits in reducing the effects of drought in the project area. There is little indication of benefits in relation to flood control. 3. The Commonwealth has not yet made a detailed assessment of the net benefits that might result from the scheme. 4. As indicated in the second part of the answer to the question, the responsibility for this project is primarily with the State rather than with the Commonwealth Government. As far as the Commonwealth Government is concerned, the question is not only one of determining the merit of this particular project, but of further determining priorities as between this and many other competing demands for Commonwealth funds. {:#subdebate-35-5} #### Colleges of Advanced Education (Question No. 1615) {: #subdebate-35-5-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the number of new enrolments and the total number of enrolments at colleges of advanced education this year. 1. What is the (a) number and (b) percentage of students at the colleges who hold Commonwealth advanced education scholarships this year. 2. How many persons (a) applied for, (b) were offered and (c) accepted scholarships and what was the percentage of applicants who accepted scholarships. 3. How many Commonwealth advanced education scholars were enrolled in the first year of their courses al each college this year. 4. How many Commonwealth advanced education scholars are in (a) full-time and (b) part-time studies this year. 5. How many full-time Commonwealth advanced education scholars are receiving (a) part and (b) full living allowances this year. 6. How much does the Commonwealth expect to pay this year in respect of Commonwealth advanced education scholarships for (a) fees, (b) living allowances and (c) fares. 7. What was the (a) number and (b) percentage of Commonwealth advanced education scholars who failed last year in the (i) first year and (ii) later years of their courses. 8. What was the student-staff ratio in each college last year. (10; In which colleges and courses have quotas been imposed this year. 9. What was the (a) number and (b) percentage of eligible applicants who were excluded by these quotas. 10. Which colleges have increased fees this year and by what (a) amount and (b) percentage. 11. Has he obtained from the States information which will enable him to say what (a) amount and (b) percentage of its income each college received from (i) the Commonwealth, (ii) the State, (iii) endowments and benefactions and (iv) fees in the last year. 12. If so, what (a) amount and (b) percentage of fees received by each college was paid by the Commonwealth. 13. Has he investigated how many students entering the colleges this year had unsuccessfully sought entry to a university. {: #subdebate-35-5-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The last available data supplied by the various Stale and college authorities shows a total of 42,813 students in colleges of advanced education this year. This figure generally relates to total enrolments in courses which attract a Commonwealth grant. However, figures supplied by the Victoria Institute of Colleges for the affiliated colleges also include enrolments in certain additional certificate courses. Colleges do not generally supply details of new enrolments in their submissions. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The total number of students holding Commonwealth Advanced Education scholarships at 30 June 1969 is 3009. All of these students are enrolled in courses entry to which normally follows completion of secondary schooling to matriculation level. The colleges and institutions at which these courses are conducted include most of those named in the States Grants (Advanced Education) Act and also a number of other institutions. The number of Commonwealth Advanced Education scholars enrolled at 30th June in colleges named under the Act is 2,446, which is 5.7% of the total enrolment of 42,813 given in answer to part (1) of this question. 1. (a) The number of applications received for Commonwealth Advanced Education scholarships available in 1969 was 42,315. Some 80% of these students were also applicants for Commonwealth University scholarships. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. The number of Commonwealth Advanced Education scholarships offered in 1969 was 4,007. 1. The number accepted was 1,471. This represents 3.5% of the total number of applicants, or 36.7% of the students who received the offer of an award. 2. The following numbers of Commonwealth Advanced Education scholars are enrolled in the first approved year of their courses in 1969. It should be noted that certain courses to which entry may be gained 1 year below matriculation level are. for purposes of the Commonwealth Advanced Education Scholarship Scheme, approved from the second year of the course. The statistics shown here include students who accepted awards in earlier years, deferred entry to their courses at the time and commenced training in 1969. The distribution of scholarship holders who are enrolled in first year courses is summarised in the following table: {: type="1" start="5"} 0. At 30 June 1969 there were (a) 2,479 holders of Commonwealth Advanced Education scholarships studying full-time and (b) 530 studying parttime at colleges of advanced education or at other approved institutions. 1. Under the Commonwealth Advanced Education Scholarship Scheme, living allowance is payable only to scholars in full-time study and is subject to a means test. For most scholars the rate of allowance is assessed on the basis of their parents' incomes. At 30 June 1969 the number of full-time Commonwealth Advanced Education scholars eligible to receive (a) part living allowance was 870 and (b) full living allowance was 428. In addition, there were seventy-eight scholars classified as independent' of whom 'the majority were receiving full living allowance. {: type="1" start="7"} 0. The actual expenditure on benefits to students under the Commonwealth Advanced Education Scholarship Scheme for 1968-69 and the estimated expenditure for 1969-70 are expected to be: 1. The number and percentage of Commonwealth Advanced Education scholars who failed in their courses in 1968 were: {: type="1" start="9"} 0. The calculation of meaningful staff-student ratios continues to be a particularly difficult exercise in regard to colleges of advanced education. There are wide variations in the use made of part-time staff in the various colleges. A number of the colleges conduct courses at both the tertiary and sub-tertiary levels; thus while statistics relating to full-time staff are available, the fact that many teachers are engaged at both levels prevents the calculation of meaningful ratios for the tertiary component 1. At the following colleges in the courses specified, some eligible applicants were not offered a place this year. {: type="1" start="13"} 0. The information requested is not available. The requirements of the States Grants (Advanced Education) Acts are met with certified statements from the States relating to the amount of fees and State contributions applied to approved courses at a college; from this figure the level of Commonwealth grant attracted is calculated. It is not necessary for the State to separate for any college its various components of income. 1. As noted in answer to Question 13 the States, in respect of colleges of advanced education, are not required to separate State grants and fees for the purposes of assistance under the States Grants (Advanced Education) Act 1967. Therefore the figures of fees received by such colleges and by other colleges not in receipt of assistance are not available. However the following table shows for each State the amount paid by the Commonwealth for fees on behalf of Commonwealth Advanced Education scholarship holders in 1968. {:#subdebate-35-6} #### Conference of Commonwealth and State Tourist Ministers (Question No. 1652) {: #subdebate-35-6-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: asked the Minister representing the Minister-in-Charge of Tourist Activities, upon notice: >What requests or suggestions were made at the meeting of Commonwealth and State Tourist Ministers on Dunk Island in June for legislation or administrative action by (a) the Commonwealth (b) the Territories and (c) the States. {: #subdebate-35-6-s1 .speaker-009MB} ##### Mr McEwen:
Deputy Prime Minister · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. State Tourist Ministers and the Commonwealth Minister meet annually at the Tourist Ministers' Council to discuss tourism matters of mutual interest. This year the Meeting was held at Dunk Island in July; by custom each State is host to the Council in turn. The Commonwealth has participated in these discussions since the appointment of a Minister with specific responsibilities for tourism, in December 1966. 1. Ministers take the opportunity to engage in a full and frank exchange of views on a wide range of subjects affecting the growth and development of the tourist industry. 2. Proceedings of (he Tourist Ministers' Council are confidential: however, press statements covering major items discussed by the Council were issued at the conclusion of the Dunk Island meeting. I am sending a copy of these statements to the honourable member. Wool (Question No. 1751) {: #subdebate-35-6-s2 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP irns asked the Minister for Trade and Industry, upon notice: {: type="i" start="i"} 0. Is he able to say whether the wool scouring firm, Pacific Wools (Aust.) of Footscray, Victoria, has closed down, putting off eighty-three men and Tendering idle valuable machinery which made the company the leading operator in its field in Australia. 1. Is it a fact that the close down in the wool processing industry is likely to extend and so endanger the whole operation of the industry in Australia. 2. Can he say, from information available to him, whether it is widely believed that this situation is the result of long protracted consideration of the industry by the Tariff Board and the view in the industry that the Government considers it to be expendable in securing the more economic and efficient use of resources. {: #subdebate-35-6-s3 .speaker-009MB} ##### Mr McEwen:
CP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="a" start="i"} 0. I am informed by F & T Industries Aust. Ltd that Pacific Wools (Aust.) is due to close down soon as part of a rationalisation programme of the F & T Group's wool processing activities. When the closure announcement of Pacific Wools (Aust.) was made 86 people were employed at this unit and the estimated time of winding up was 2 to 3 months thus giving personnel time to find alternative employment. I also understand that negotiations are in hand for the sale of the wool processing section of the company's operations as a going concern. {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. I am not aware of any contemplated closedown in the industry apart from the F & T rationalisation. 1. The processed wool industry is not currently under reference by the Tariff Board. There is no basis for any view that the Government considers the industry expendable. {:#subdebate-35-7} #### Australian Labour Force (Question No. 1841) {: #subdebate-35-7-s0 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr CREAN:
MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Treasurer, upon notice: >What was the average annual percentage increase in the Australian work force in the periods 1948-49-1953-54, 1953-54-1958-59, 1958-59-1963-64, and 1963-64-1968-69 which are listed on page 1 of the Australian Economy 1969. {: #subdebate-35-7-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The Commonwealth Statistician has advised that, until recently, particulars of the Australian labour force were available only at the dates of the population censuses. For the period from 30th June 1947 to 30th June 1966, allowing for changes in the method of defining the labour force, the average annual percentage increases in the labour force were: > >1947-1954 .. .. .. 2.12 > >1954-1961 .. .. .. 1.91 > >1961-1966...... 2.36 > >The estimated average annual percentage increase in the labour force between the years 1966-67 and 1968-69, based on sample surveys of the population, was 2.54%. Civil Aviation: Airport Requirements (Question No. 1806) {: #subdebate-35-7-s2 .speaker-JR9} ##### Mr BOSMAN:
ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Who are the officers who comprise the Interdepartmental Committee to examine problems associated with future airport requirements at Sydney. 1. Why was the Committee so designated. 2. Which Commonwealth and New South Wales State Government Departments are represented on the Committee. 3. Are the State representatives on an equal basis with those of the Commonwealth. 4. Why was the Committee not charged specifically with nominating and recommending the location of Sydney's next major airport. {: #subdebate-35-7-s3 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Interdepartmental Committee consists of: **Mr J.** H. Harper (Chairman) ; First Assistant Director-General (Operations), Department of Civil Aviation. **Mr N.** W. HillChief Airport Engineer, Department of Civil Aviation. **Mr E.** S. KeehnFirst Assistant Secretary, Management Services and Property, Department of the Interior. **Mr J.** M. Brown ; Chief Property Officer, Sydney, Department of the Interior. **Mr J.** M. WarkAssistant Secretary, Department of the Treasury. **Mr R.** S. GilbertAssistant Secretary, Department of the Treasury. **Mr H.** C. Williams;Assistant Director General (Roads and Aerodromes), Department of Works. In addition representatives of the Department of Defence and the Service Departments will be drawn in as appropriate. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The Committee was so designated as being representative of the Departments best able to advise the Government on the issues involved in the consideration of the need for additional major airport facilities in Sydney in the future. 1. See (1) above for Commonwealth Departments. There are no New South Wales State Government Departments involved in these investigations at this stage. 2. See (3) above. 3. The Committee has been charged with investigating the future major airport requirements for Sydney and recommending the action which it considers should be taken to meet such requirements.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 September 1969, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.