House of Representatives
5 December 1974

29th Parliament · 1st Session



Mr SPEAKER (Hon. J. F. Cope) took the chair at 10 a.m., and read prayers.

page 4593

PETITIONS

The Clerk:

– Petitions have been lodged for presentation as follows and copies will be referred to the appropriate Ministers:

Family Law Bill

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives of Australia in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of the Commonwealth respectfully showeth:

That we support the concept of no fault divorce in the Family Law Bill because:

  1. . Marriage is not merely a contract it is a relationship.
  2. That if a party withdraws from that relationship for whatever reason there is no good to be achieved by insisting on a continuance of a contractual shell.
  3. That where a marriage relationship has demonstrably broken down divorce should be as quick and simple as possible in the interests of the dignity of the parties and the emotional well being of the children.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Family Law Bill be debated and passed as soon as possible.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray, by Mrs Child and Mr Malcolm Fraser.

Petitions received.

South Africa: Apartheid

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

  1. That many Australians, including Church, Unions, Student and Community leaders are bitterly opposed to apartheid in South Africa.
  2. That, according to the World Council of Churches, outside investment in, or economic involvement in South Africa can only ever lead to minor improvements in wages and working conditions but, overall, reinforces the system of apartheid.
  3. That the Australian Government is seen by many Australians and Africans to be actively encouraging Australian involvement in apartheid through the presence in South Africa of two Trade Commissioners and the links between Qantas and South African Airways.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the House urge the Government to

  1. Bring back the Australian Trade Commissioners from South Africa by Christmas.
  2. To actively discourage Australian firms and traders from investing with or trading with South Africa.
  3. To withdraw the landing rights of South African Airways in favour of an arrangement with an African Airline and
  4. Increase its aid to African countries especially the new or emerging Governments of Mozambique, Angola and Guine. by Mr Lamb and Mr McKenzie.

Petitions received.

Uranium

To the Honourable the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That whereas uranium found in vast quantities in Australia is the raw material for the nuclear fission reaction.

And whereas presently assured reserves of uranium in Australia represent a potential production of over540.000 kilograms of Plutonium 239 if utilized in Light Water Reactors overseas,

And whereas the Maximum Permissible Inhalation of Plutonium 239 is 0.00000025 gram,

And whereas Plutonium 239 is one of the most dangerous substances human society has ever created, causing mutations and cancers,

And whereas there are no methods of safely and absolutely confining Plutonium from the biosphere for the requisite quarter of a million years,

And whereas Plutonium coming in contact with the air forms an aerosol cloud of micron-sized particles, its most dangerous form,

And whereas the export of uranium may return to usan import of Plutonium particles dispersed in the global environment via the circulation of the atmosphere.

And whereas there are no sure safeguards against the military use of nuclear fission, and the nuclear proliferation represents a prime environmental threat to all forms of life on the only earth available to us,

And that it is therefore an act of self-preservation to demand a halt to all exports of uranium except for bio-medical uses,

Your petitioners humbly pray that the members, int heHouse assembled, will take the most urgent steps to ensure:

  1. That further mining and export of uranium from Australia except for bio-medical purposes be banned.
  2. That the Australian Atomic Energy Commissionbe transformed bytherewriting of its charter into an Australian Energy Commission to further the understanding of energy flows through our society and to promote national economic independence and self-sufficiency.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Uren.

Petition received.

Metric System

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled: The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the plan to obliterate the traditional weights and measures of this country is causing and will cause widespread inconvenience, confusion, expense and distress.

That there is no certainty that any significant benefits or indeed any benefits at all will follow the use of the new weights and measures.

That the traditional weights and measures are eminently satisfactory.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray:

That the Metric Conversion Act be repealed, and that the Government take urgent steps to cause the traditional and unfamiliar units to be restored in those areas where the greatest inconveniences and distress are occurring, that is to say, in meteorology, in road distances, in sport, in the building and allied trades, in the printing trade, and in retail trade.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Malcolm Fraser.

Petition received.

Taxation: Education Expenses

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled: The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the reduction of the allowable deduction of education expenses under Section 82J of the Income Tax Assessment Act from $400 to $150 is $50.00 below the 1956-57 figure.

That this reduction will impose hardships on many parents who have children attending school, whether nongovernment or government; and particularly on parents with more than one child at school.

That this reduction will further restrict the freedom available to parents to make a choice of school for their children.

That some parents who have chosen to send their children to a non-government school will have to withdraw their children and send them to government schools already over crowded and under staffed.

That the parents to benefit most relatively from educational income tax deductions, in the past and even more in the future, are the parents of children in government schools and this has a divisive effect in the Australian community.

That parents should be encouraged by the Australian government to exercise freedom of choice of the type of school they wish for their children. The proposed reduction means an additional financial penalty is imposed on parents who try to exercise this choice and discourages them from making an important financial contribution to Australian education over and above what they contribute through taxation.

That an alternative system, a tax rebate system, could be adopted as being more equitable for all parents with children at school.

To compensate for the losses that will follow from the proposed reduction and to help meet escalating educational costs faced by all families your petitioners most humbly pray that the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled should take immediate steps to restore educational benefits to parents, at least at the 1973-1974 level either by increasing taxation deductions or through taxation rebates. by Mr Gorton.

Petition received.

Foreign Students in Australia: Rights

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled: The humble petition of the undersigned citizens and foreign students in Australia respectfully showeth:

That many foreign students in Australia, as well as many Australian students are deeply concerned at the political surveillance of foreign students in Australia by the officials of foreign missions from the nations of these students, particularly students from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines. Indonesia, South Korea and South Vietnam.

That the undersigned strongly object to the extension into Australia of the laws of foreign nations in regard to the political activities and or beliefs engaged in by foreign students during their stay in Australia.

That foreign students on their return home have in fact been charged with activities engaged in while in Australia which under Australian law are legal.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled will ensure that:

  1. foreign students in Australia are not subjected to political surveillance;
  2. foreign students in Australia have full civil rights while in Australia;
  3. the Governments of the nations concerned are informed in the strongest possible manner that political recriminations against students for activities engaged in while studying in Australia will not be tolerated;
  4. foreign students who because of their political activities in Australia fear for their personal security upon returning to their home country be granted permanent residence in Australia. by Mr Howard.

Petition received.

Rural Industries

To the honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled: The humble petition of the undersigned citizens from Gloucester and the surrounding areas respectfully showeth:

That we believe the Government ought to be made aware of-

  1. The desperate economic state of primary industries and
  2. the danger of imminent and total collapse of thebeef and timber industries, particularly in the Gloucester area.

Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Goverment give first priority to restoring stability to rural industries by all means at its disposal.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. byMrLucock.

Petition received.

National Health Scheme

To the honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled: The humble petition of undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the proposed ‘free’national health scheme is not free at all and will cost four out of five Australians more than the present scheme.

That the proposed scheme is discriminatory and a further erosion of the civil liberties of Australian citizens, particularly working wives and single persons.

That the proposed scheme is in fact a plan for nationalised medicine which will lead to gross waste and inefficiencies in medical services and will ultimately remove an individual’s right to choose his/her own doctor.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Government will take no measures to interfere with the basic principles of the existing health scheme which functions efficiently and economically.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr McLeay.

Petition received.

Universal Health Scheme

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled: The humble petition of undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the proposed Universal Health Scheme is essential to the well being of all Australians, in so far as it will-

  1. Provide that all Australians irrespective of their means will have access to a high standard of health care.
  2. Every Australian will be automatically covered for doctors’ and hospital bills thus ensuring that citizens will no longer be burdened with additional psychological strains because of inability to meet the high cost of medical treatment.
  3. It is committed, in principle, towards the ideal that an individual’s contribution to the cost of health services should be based on his or her capacity to pay- that people who derive the most financial benefit from our society should give the most for its support.
  4. It guarantees freedom of choice so that every Australian will be able to attend the doctor or hospital of his or her own choice.
  5. In the long term it will take the politics out of medical care and will thereby allow dedicated members of the medical profession to return to the occupation of their choiceThe care of the ill and the prevention of disease.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Government will hasten to introduce this much needed scheme so that health care services in Australia can begin to function equitably, efficiently, and economically.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Morris.

Petition received.

page 4595

QUESTION

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

page 4595

QUESTION

NITROGENOUS FERTILISERS

Mr BUNGEY:
CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture aware of statements made in Western Australia by distributors that deliveries of the nitrogenous fertiliser urea cannot be guaranteed for the 1975 cropping program? Will the Minister investigate whether the statements are valid, and if so the reasons for such a shortage? Additionally, will the Minister take all possible action to see that sufficient urea is available for the forthcoming cropping year?

Dr PATTERSON:
Minister for Northern Development · DAWSON, QUEENSLAND · ALP

– I have been aware for some time of reports of possible shortages of nitrogenous fertilisers- not only urea, but also some of the ammonia sulphate compounds. I can assure the honourable member that I am taking a very close look at this matter. He well knows that in addition to Western Australia being a major user of nitrogenous fertilisers, the Queensland sugar industry is vitally concerned as are the horticultural areas. All I can say to him is that we are closely watching the output of the manufacturing plants throughout Australia and the availability of the relevant raw materials.

I also take the opportunity to clarify an issue in relation to nitrogenous fertilisers. Last week there was tabled in this House a recommendation by the Industries Assistance Commission against providing a bounty to the manufacturers of nitrogenous fertiliser. Unfortunately, this was widely interpreted as being a recommendation against the subsidy payable on the sale of nitrogenous fertiliser which, of course, is designed to reduce the overall price of nitrogenous fertiliser in Australia. The bounty on the manufacture has not been in operation for a number of years. I think it was terminated whilst the Liberal-Country Party Government was in power in 1970. So it is not to be confused with the subsidy, which is still in operation. Unfortunately, this confusion in the interpretation has had the effect in some instances of increased buying of nitrogenous fertiliser. As to the principal purport of the question, the honourable member may rest assured that it is being looked at very closely.

page 4595

QUESTION

PACIFIC DEFENCE REPORTER’: ADVERTISEMENT

Mr NICHOLLS:
BONYTHON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

-Has the Minister for Defence seen an advertisement for the December issue of the ‘Pacific Defence Reporter’ carried in the current edition of that magazine? Does that advertisement imply that the Minister has contributed an article headed ‘No Threat for Fifteen Years’? Did the Minister in fact contribute such an article?

Mr BARNARD:
Minister for Defence · BASS, TASMANIA · ALP

– I have seen the advertisement referred to by the honourable member which features the statement ‘No Threat for Fifteen Years- Lance Barnard’, and detailing the contents of its next issue. I can only describe this as one of the most scurrilous and misleading of business practices. I have not in fact contributed to this edition of the magazine nor would I contribute to any edition. I express my disgust at the use of my name without my permission to imply the existence of an article when in fact there is none. The title implied is mischievous. I have never used the phrase ‘No Threat for Fifteen Years’. This is a meaningless paraphrase by a man who is incapable of grasping the clear statement by the Government’s strategic advisers. It simply reinforces my conviction that this is a publication incapable of serious analysis. I will discuss with my colleague, the Minister for Services and Property, the question of whether this advertisement is a breach of privilege. If it is, the appropriate action will be taken.

page 4596

QUESTION

MOTOR VEHICLE TAX

Mr PEACOCK:
KOOYONG, VICTORIA

-My question is directed to the Prime Minister. I refer him to the intention of the Government to impose an additional penalty on Australian taxpayers if they are in a position to utilise a motor vehicle not owned by them. As the rate is to be either 12 per cent or 24 per cent, will the Prime Minister advise whether he will be paying the additional tax on the full commercial rate of his $30,000 Mercedes?

Mr WHITLAM:
Prime Minister · WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I expect that I will. Any use that I make of an official car for personal purposes and any use that is made of the official car by my wife will be covered by this law, and perfectly properly so. I guess that this will apply, quite properly, to official cars and hire cars availed of by any members of the House. Incidentally, I cannot vouch for the price that the honourable gentleman puts on my Mercedes. He will be happy to know that my predecessor is testing one at the moment.

page 4596

QUESTION

FIRE FIGHTING SERVICES: PERTH AIRPORT

Mr BENNETT:
SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– Is the Minister for Transport aware of proposed industrial disputes in Western Australia in relation to proposed cuts in airport fire fighting services? Are statements that fire services at Perth airport are of minimum standard as laid , down “by the International Civil Aviation Organisation correct? Are airport fire fighting services in Western Australia adequate? If so, will the Minister assure the House that they will be maintained at that standard? If they are not adequate, will he assure us that they will be brought up to international standard?

Mr CHARLES JONES:
Minister for Transport · NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA · ALP

-I can assure the honourable member for Swan that at the present time the Perth Airport fire services are of the required International Civil Aviation Organisation standard; I believe they are category 9. The standard is governed by the number of aircraft movements in a 3-months period, and Perth complies with that standard. There are 1 1 categories all told. Sydney and Melbourne are in category 1 1 and, therefore, they have larger fire services than Perth has. However, should Perth’s category increase by reason of the increase in the number of aircraft using the airport in a 3- months period its fire services will be stepped up to comply with that standard. But it will not be reduced below what the ICAO standard requires.

page 4596

QUESTION

INFLATION

Mr ANTHONY:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I ask the Prime Minister: If inflation is the most serious and urgent problem facing the nation and if he believes that a united national effort is needed if we are to meet and overcome this problem does he accept that if the Australian people are to be united and determined in the fight against inflation they must be told the truth, however hard that might be, about the causes of inflation and about what must be done to deal with it? I ask the Prime Minister whether he will bring to an end the campaign which he and his Ministers are at present conducting to depict Australia’s domestic problems as being simply a part of a worldwide problem. Does he not realise that every time he or one of his Ministers presents this argument they are only undermining the will of people to fight inflation and sapping their determinatin to get down to the real causes of the problem which, in the main, are of domestic origin? Finally, will the Prime Minister tell the nation that Australia is well insulated from the international economic forces affecting many other countries and will he call on all Australians to join him and his Government in a resolute attack on a problem we have largely brought upon ourselves and which only we can solve?

Mr WHITLAM:
ALP

– There are, of course, some domestic reasons which account for the serious rate of inflation in Australia. I have taken every available opportunity to seek the co-operation of Australians in countering those domestic components of inflation. Nevertheless, I must recognise, and Australians altogether should recognise, that the main components of inflation now are international. It surely should be obvious to everyone that all the countries with societies and economies comparable to ours are suffering inflation.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– Would you ask the Treasury to examine the components of inflation?

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Wannon will cease interjecting.

Dr Forbes:

– Why does the Prime Minister not -

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Barker will cease interjecting.

Mr WHITLAM:

– Let me deal with one component of the Opposition at a time. It is obvious to everybody, Australians and people overseas, that all countries like Australia are suffering from inflation and unemployment and they affect each other. It is more than usually difficult for Australia to insulate herself because proportionately we would be the largest trading country in the world and even in absolute terms we would be the twelfth largest trading country in the world. We cannot insulate ourselves. It is far too glibly asserted that because we have not been as seriously affected by the oil crisis as some other countries therefore we are not affected by international inflation. There are other components of international inflation in addition to the oil crisis. The oil crisis has, in fact hit Australia quite seriously as well. The right honourable gentleman askes me whether inflation is the worst problem facing Australia. I would not believe that it is a worse problem than unemployment. However, unemployment is not so serious a problem in Australia as it is in comparable countries, for example, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, the countries of Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia. Unemployment is not so bad in Australia as it is in those other countries, but it is very high by Australian precedents. Inflation in Australia is much more comparable with inflation in those other countries.

The right honourable gentleman asks me what can be done by a united appeal. I have been very disappointed by the lethargy of the Premiers in this respect. It will be remembered that last August the 6 Premiers and I agreed that our officials should get together to produce working papers on those matters of government policy, procurement and employment which would affect inflation and in relation to which by combined action we could mitigate inflation. The officials, Federal and State, prepared those half dozen working papers very promptly and competently. I dispatched them to the Premiers. Some Premiers, including the Premier of Queensland, have not yet responded to that work which all our officials did expeditiously two or three months ago.

page 4597

QUESTION

NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS BUREAU

Mr REYNOLDS:
BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES

-I direct a question to the Minister for Manufacturing Industry. I note with approval that the Government is about to establish in Sydney the first of a number of National Small Business Bureau offices for the purpose of counselling and feedback of information. Is the Minister aware that quite a number of small businesses are reportedly facing an immediate threat to their existence? Is an important part of their problem the inability to obtain finance on reasonable terms? In the circumstances, do such businesses risk being engulfed by large scale businesses which are better able to withstand the present liquidity problems? Finally, can the Minister give an assurance that urgent consideration will be given to assist efficient small businesses to continue in operation?

Mr ENDERBY:
Minister for Manufacturing Industry · ALP

– It is true that the Government recently announced the setting up of a National Small Business Bureau which is designed specifically to be of aid to small businesses. In doing this the Government recognised that small businesses account for a very significant number of the overall businesses in Australia and that they face problems that are not faced by large businesses. In particular, they face problems with regard to finance, accessibility to expertise, market information and matters of that sort. It was for these reasons that the National Small Business Bureau was brought into being. It is at an early stage as yet, but it is hoped that ultimately there will be offices of the Bureau in each of the capital cities and regional centres of Australia. Recently it was announced that a counselling service would be set up on a pilot basis in Sydney and Perth as from 1 January and it is hoped that as from early in 1975 a series of management aid booklets will begin to appear and be made available to small businessmen.

Implicit in the honourable member’s question is the notion of the vulnerability of small businesses in their relationships with big business. In this regard, of course, the Government has moved very strongly with its anti-restrictive trade practices legislation. This is because business that is in a monopolistic situation can often work against the interests of small businesses. The trade practices legislation gives a great amount of protection to small businesses. I should also say that the recently announced special assistance scheme to non-metropolitan areas also is a means of channelling funds to businesses in non-metropolitan areas. For instance, it would help firms affected by certain categories of entitlement in regard to their liquidity problems. The recent devaluation of the Australian currency is another example which could work to the advantage of small business.

I should also say that I am advised that the Reserve Bank of Australia has indicated to the trading banks that enterprises, big and small. which are soundly managed and financially viable should not be prevented from carrying on merely because of a temporary lack of funds. In that context, I understand that the trading banks have increased substantially their lending over the last four or five weeks. So the Government has been very active in this regard because it has recognised the enormously important role played by small business in Australia.

page 4598

QUESTION

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: APPOINTMENT OF OFFICER

Mr CONNOLLY:
BRADFIELD, NEW SOUTH WALES

-I wish to ask a question without notice of the Minister representing the Attorney-General. Are investigations being conducted into the allegations made last night by the honourable member for Bennelong regarding the recent appointment by the Deputy Prime Minister of an office co-ordinator? Is the officer in question a permanent or temporary public servant? Is it a fact that no security examination was made prior to this officer’s appointment?

Mr WHITLAM:
ALP

-Mr Speaker, I will take this question. I did not hear the statement made last night in the adjournment debate and I have not been able to check it in Hansard, which has not yet been distributed. But as a result of the accounts in today’s newspapers I have discussed this matter with the Deputy Prime Minister and he wishes me, as soon as the Hansard comes to hand, to get in touch with the Premier of New South Wales to secure the fullest and earliest account of any investigations.

page 4598

QUESTION

ASSISTANCE TO INDUSTRIES

Dr GUN:
KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– My question is directed to the Minister for Manufacturing Industry and is complementary to the question which was just asked by the honourable member for Barton. The Minister will recall that last week I asked him whether assistance could be given to industries which were considering retrenching employees because of excessive stocks. Rephrasing that question I ask: If the Government has to spend say $100,000 re-employing workers under the Regional Employment Development Scheme anyway, is it not better to keep them employed at their present jobs by spending a fraction of that amount in helping a firm to maintain a high level of investment in stocks, for example, by assisting in paying the interest on overdrafts? If this is done, will it not have the further benefit of averting future shortages? I again ask the Minister: Will he give consideration to this proposal and make a recommendation along these lines to the

Government? Has he anything to add to the answer he gave to my previous question on this subject?

Mr ENDERBY:
ALP

– I do recall the question the honourable gentleman asked a week or so ago, and in fact much of what I said in response to the last question that was put to me is applicable to this question as well. It does sometimes strike one as odd that sums of money which match their earnings for the previous 6 months can be paid under the income maintenance scheme to employees who have been retrenched for a particular reason, when they are not engaged in any productive form of activity. It is partly in response to that that the special assistance scheme for non-metropolitan areas was introduced. As honourable members know, 1 announced here the other day that substantial sums of money have been approved to be paid to a number of firms in non-metropolitan areas, most of them, I recall, being in the textile industry. I think I am correct in saying that the total figure to date is about $1.5m In large measure those sums of money do what the honourable member suggests. In very round terms, they equate with the cost of the labour component in the cost structure of those firms. That means, of course, that the firms are able to continue, and continue in production particularly. It is sometimes said that at this time, because of other problems in the economy, there is difficulty in disposing of the goods being produced, but surely that should not continue because, as the market stabilises, the goods should be disposed of. I will take the matter further, as the honourable member suggests.

page 4598

QUESTION

DEFENCE OF AUSTRALIA

Mr WENTWORTH:
MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES

-My question is directed to the Minister for Defence. Has his attention yet been directed to the decision by the British Labour Government to withdraw British forces from this hemisphere? Is he aware of the strength of isolationist sentiment in the United States, a sentiment, incidentally, to which the policy of his Government has contributed what it can? Has he yet had an opportunity to read the intelligence reports which warn of the possiblity of new initiatives on a world scale in 1975 and 1976 from Communist aggression? Does he know that the plans for the Australian defence forces made by his Government will permit only token resistance within that time if Australia should face a threat in isolation? Finally, will he employ this parliamentary recess to prepare a proper defence plan for Australia to give us protection over that short term so that when the House meets on 1 1

February it can turn its attention to what should be the first concern of the Australian Parliament, that is, the security and continued existence of the Australian people?

Mr BARNARD:
ALP

– I will reply to the first part of the honourable member’s question; I think the rest of it quite properly ought to be put on the notice paper. The statement made by the British Minister for Defence clearly outlined the decision of the Defence Department of the United Kingdom in relation to its commitments east of Suez. The honourable gentleman would appreciate, of course, that Prime Minister Wilson kept the Prime Minister of Australia fully informed of the contents of that statement before it was made. We accept the United Kingdom decision to withdraw its garrison forces from Singapore. However, it has decided to leave elements of the Royal Air Force in that area and they will continue to operate with elements of the Royal Australian Air Force which are located at Butterworth. At the same time the United Kingdom Minister for Defence made it quite clear that his country would continue to co-operate with Australia and New Zealand and the other countries which are parties to the Five Power Arrangements. The Australian Government believes that the United Kingdom Government acted quite properly in this matter.

page 4599

QUESTION

NEW SOUTH WALES PETROL TAX

Mr THORBURN:
COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I direct a question to the Minister for Minerals and Energy. It is a fact that the recent petrol and fuel tax introduced in New South Wales discriminates against motorists in that State? Will the tax boost disproportionately transport and manufacturing costs in that State?

Mr CONNOR:
Minister for Minerals and Energy · CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

-The impact of the New South Wales legislation to which the honourable member refers is directed primarily against the major centres of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. Its effect is tapered in respect of other parts of the State and therefore it is wholly and in fact grossly discriminatory. It is taxation of the worst possible type. In fact, in many respects, New South Wales is being taken back to the early days of the postFederation era. The tax will be equally destructive in its impact upon manufacturing industry and other forms of economic activity.

If we were considering this matter in terms of political advantage only we would leave the New South Wales Government to its own devices and the wrath of the people of that State. Instead, there is a very real need for the national Government to have a look at the whole situation. For a considerable number of years there has been doubt in legal circles in New South

Wales as to the validity of liquor registrations in respect of the hotel system and whether it was not in fact a disguised excise duty. Similar considerations could be applied to this tax on petrol and fuel because although it is allegedly a registration licence which is based upon the sales of petrol and similar products, in point of fact it is very very close to being an excise duty. In fact. 1 have asked the Attorney-General to examine the matter in that regard. For the future the people of New South Wales can look to being wholly disadvantaged. We have a situation where the major State of Australia which makes the greatest contribution to Australia’s economy will have the worst possible impost placed upon it.

Mr McMahon:

– What do you want them to cut down- health services and education?

Mr CONNOR:

-The right honourable member for Lowe is well aware of the impact of that State. The whole of his Party is resentful about it but is not prepared to do a thing. It is a case of asking his fellow conspirators in New South Wales to do something for the people of that State.

page 4599

QUESTION

KANGAROOS

Mr CORBETT:
MARANOA, QUEENSLAND

-Is the Minister for the Environment and Conservation aware that in many parts of Australia the kangaroo population is estimated to be at record levels? Is he aware that it is dangerous to drive, especially at night, on many country roads because of the danger of hitting kangaroos? Will he consult with the Minister for Customs and Excise and with the highly competent and dedicated State fauna authorities with the object of having the ban on the export of kangaroo products lifted, and so institute the humane harvesting of surplus kangaroo populations and avoid the threatened fearful wholesale destruction of kangaroos by poisoning?

Dr CASS:
Minister for the Environment and Conservation · MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA · ALP

– I have already approached the Minister for Customs and Excise in relation to the only 2 States which so far have notified us that they have accepted the advice provided by the working party made up of the experts from the States, not from the Australian Government, on an acceptable program of control of kangaroos. So far 2 States have complied with the working party’s suggestions, namely, South Australia and New South Wales. I have approached the Minister for Customs and Excise and expect a reply from him shortly on a lifting of the ban or some modification of the ban to accommodate the 2 States which are complying with the required program.

Until the other States agree with their own expert committee I am not prepared to advise the Minister for Customs and Excise that he should consider lifting the ban for those States. Yet I share the honourable member’s concern about the kangaroo and the fact that the problem will lead to the sort of indiscriminate slaughter about which the honourable member is talking. In fact the honourable member for Wakefield in the debate on this question yesterday indicated that in some situations it is quite likely that the farmers will commence poisoning kangaroos because they do not want to be harassed by excessive populations of kangaroos. I concede that this is a problem. We have never been so foolish as to say that the problem would not arise, but it is entirely in the hands of the States. When they are prepared to accept a program which their own experts drew up we will oblige by modifying or abolishing the ban.

page 4600

QUESTION

INFLATION

Mr WILLIS:
GELLIBRAND, VICTORIA

-I ask the Deputy Prime Minister: Is it a fact that Australia’s rate of inflation in 1972- the last year of office of the previous Government- was notably above the average inflation rate for all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries? Can the Minister inform the House whether this disparity has been reduced under the present Government?

Dr J F Cairns:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

– The comparison between rates of inflation in the OECD countries and Australia has been under discussion in the House for some time. The Opposition has consistently taken the view that the rate in Australia is now higher than in the other OECD countries. That is true if one bases it on a 1961-71 average. But if one bases it on a 1972 average the rate in Australia was higher than in the OECD countries and that rate has diminished.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The right honourable member for Lowe will not interject.

Mr McMahon:

- Sir, he is not telling the truth.

Dr J F Cairns:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

– The right honourable member is becoming very petulant lately. The figure for 1973 shows a decline in the rate in favour of Australia. The 12 months to September 1 974 show a further decline. The ratios are sometimes like 1.23 in 1972, 1.23 in 1973, and 1.13 in 1974. It is obvious why this decline has taken place. I have tried to point out in comparing the rates of inflation in Australia and the OECD and the rest of the world, especially before the last election campaign when I compared the quarter that had shown a decline in Australia, that I was using that comparison solely in relation to other countries. The reason for that higher rate of inflation in Australia in the early stage was that Australia experienced an export boom. Exports rose by over $2,000m in 1972 and because of the fantastically high level of capital inflow, which was over $3,000m, more than $5,000m of new money was available for expenditure in Australia. That comprised a very large base for the Australian banking system. Whatever the right honourable member of Lowe happens to say about this situation, the statistics are clear. The rate of increase in money supply, particularly M3, showed an increase all the way through 1972 reaching, I think, the highest quarterly percentage increase in December 1972 in Australia’s history up to that point. It was 24.9 per cent.

Mr McMahon:

– True, but you could have taken action in March 1 973.

Dr J F Cairns:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

-Well, I am describing 1972. 1 am glad that the right honourable gentleman now agrees with me because the impression I obtained last week was that he disagreed. The rate in Australia was high at first because of the extraordinarily high boom in this country and the capital import boom compared with any country of the OECD or with any other comparable country. That shows where inflation came from; it came from outside, as the Prime Minister so clearly said in answer to questions a few minutes ago. On the other hand, now that inflation is like that- inflation is international and it is part of the international system; a one world economic system- the responsibility of dealing with inflation lies upon Australia. The Government has to play a leading role in that responsibility. In order to do this it is necessary for the community to understand both the causes and the origins of inflation if we are to be able to co-operate in the best possible way to achieve its control.

It is no good the Opposition trying this argument that inflation is simply Australian in origin; it is not. It is, of course, proper for the Government and everybody else to point out that the primary responsibility for dealing with inflation lies on the Australian people. Unless we can maintain a rate of income increase right across the board and for every section that it is possible for the economy to handle and possible for different sections of industry to handle, we will not regulate inflation. At the same time, we must be equally committed to understanding that inflation cannot be suddenly dropped by 5 per cent or 10 per cent; that would cause economicchaos. It is possible without economic chaos to regulate inflation only gradually. At the same time, wherever unemployment does show up, where productive resources can be used to turn out goods and services onto the market, the Government and the community must be determined to see those resources are used, and that there is no unemployment as a result.

page 4601

QUESTION

MINISTERIAL STAFF

Mr SINCLAIR:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES

– The Prime Minister will be aware that, in the publication for the second time in a few weeks of unusual circumstances surrounding events pertaining to members of the staff of his Deputy, the doubts and suspicions must necessarily flow to the honesty and integrity of many of the industrious staff of members of his own front bench and of others within the Parliament. Of course, from this the Prime Minister must acknowledge also that there is genuine community apprehension about the competence and integrity of Ministers, that is, of course, even apart from the obvious failure of the policies that they espouse. Is it true that the Prime Minister and this Government do not follow any system of security clearance for the staff of Ministers? Will the Prime Minister assure the House that, in the future, security checks will be followed with respect to staff appointed to this Parliament so that all those other worthwhile members of staff can be cleared? Will the Prime Minister assure the House that if there are unusual circumstances surrounding any particular member of staff, perhaps that matter might be referred to the Royal Commission now inquiring into security and to which he has appointed His Honour, Mr Justice Hope, currently to inquire?

Mr WHITLAM:
ALP

-Early last year quite a number of questions were asked about security clearances of ministerial staff. It was made plain at that time that any person on a ministerial staff who had access to classified information had to be cleared. This was made clear well over a year ago. There has never been an allegation in the Parliament or in any of the media, so far as I have ever seen, that there has been any breach of security by any member of the staff of any of my Ministers. If there are any allegations about any of my Ministers the proper way to deal with the allegations, of course, is to move a motion against the Minister concerned and to give him an opportunity to reply. For decades now in this place I have objected to the general aspersion about any group of people, whether it is a minis*try or members of a party. If people have an allegation to make they should specify that allegation and thus give an opportunity for the person concerned to reply. Again, if people are making allegations about any members of staff they should have the decency and courage to specify which members.

It is true that it is improper, indecent and disorderly to mention the names of persons in questions without notice. But there are other methods of raising these matters at other times in the House. The etiquette of the House is that if any person for whom any member of Parliament is responsible is to be mentioned, that member is given notice that the matter will be raised. The honourable gentleman professes to be concerned about the reputation of ministerial staff. His question casts aspersions on all members of ministerial staff. I know quite well the distress which can be caused by this practice. For instance, this morning one of the newspapers mentioned a member of my staff in the general context of the allegations which the honourable gentleman is titillating. There was no truth whatever in the allegation against the member of my staff. What am I to do about it? Am I to mention him? Am I to make a personal explanation afterwards? Am I to issue a public statement? Is he to resort to the courts?

People in this House are far too free in referring to the conduct of persons who are not members of this House. A member of this House can be called to account for the conduct of his staff but it is a particularly miserable and cowardly practice to cast aspersions on the ministry in general and ministerial staffs in general. I will answer for the integrity, the propriety and the capacity of any member of my staff. Each of my Ministers Will do the same. I have no reason whatever to doubt the wisdom or the propriety of the appointments which my Ministers have made. At the present moment a campaign is being conducted about an appointment by my Deputy. In a long acquaintance with my Deputy, sometimes in circumstances of confrontation in years past and, of course, for many years more recently in circumstances of the closest collaboration, I have never had the least reason to doubt. I have never had any insinuations put to me about the honourable gentleman’s, honesty, candour and propriety.

Dr Forbes:

– There is always a first time.

Mr SPEAKER:

– I warn the honourable member for Barker.

Mr WHITLAM:

-The honourable gentleman who interjects used to be an officer and a gentleman. Nobody would believe that today.

page 4601

QUESTION

DISALLOWED QUESTION

(Mr Speaker having disallowed a question being asked by Mr James)-

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honourable gentleman will have difficulty in rephrasing the question. I call the honourable member for Macquarie.

Mr James:

– I have another question. I ask the Minister for Defence: Is it true that the Navy is going ahead-

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Hunter will resume his seat. I have called the honourable member for Macquarie.

page 4602

QUESTION

BEEF INDUSTRY

Mr LUCHETTI:
MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES

-I direct my question to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister will be aware of the serious market outlook for the beef industry of Australia. Did he discuss this question with the President of the United States during his recent visit? Was this subject also discussed with the Japanese Prime Minister on his trip to Australia? Can the Prime Minister list the countries in which he will be having discussions on the beef industry during his forthcoming tour of Europe? Does the Prime Minister agree that the serious position faced by beef producers in Australia justifies top level discussions on the future of this important industry? I would ask the Prime Minister to give priority to discussions of this kind.

Mr WHITLAM:
ALP

– The honourable gentleman will realise that the Government and I have been giving considerable attention to this matter for some months past. I did discuss the matter with President Ford in Washington and with Prime Minister Tanaka in Canberra. I expect to be discussing it next week in Brussels, the headquarters of the European Economic Community, and probably in Moscow in January. As the honourable gentleman will have known, I will be accompanied to Europe by the Secretary of the Department of Overseas Trade and there will be relevant officers from other departments which might be concerned with any arrangements which are made in connection with trade. The fullest opportunity was taken to impress upon Mr Tanaka the seriousness of the Japanese ban on meat imports and its effects on the Australian beef industry. Australia pressed most firmly for the re-opening of the Japanese beef market. As regards the United States, that market is not restricted, but I took the opportunity during my visit to Washington to express Australia’s concern that no restrictions be imposed. I did that not only with the President whom the honourable gentleman mentions, but also with the leaders of both sides- the majority and minority leaders in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. I have already said in the House that I would raise the question with the representatives of the European Common Market, and I welcome the opportunity to say that I will be seeking an opportunity to do likewise in Moscow. Last week, as I informed the House, a senior official from the Soviet Union discussed with me the subjects which we would be raising, and this was one that I mentioned to him.

The Government fully appreciates the serious situation in the Australian beef industry which has arisen because of the restrictive action taken by other countries against beef imports. There are political difficulties in all those other countries because there is a limited number of countries where the population eats meat in any quantity and those countries usually have an indigenous industry which exerts very considerable political pressure against imports of meat. The Government has used every possible means to make Australia’s concern known and to seek the re-opening of markets. These have included representations at the highest level, visits by delegations, action in relation to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and an Australian initiative in Washington in October to bring the major exporting and importing countries together with the object of achieving greater cooperation and consultation. These efforts will be continued with all possible vigour. I will be happy to pursue them myself as the opportunity arises in future as I have in the past.

page 4602

QUESTION

QUESTIONS

Mr SPEAKER:

-As I believe this sessional period will conclude today I would like to announce that the number of questions asked in the period by the Liberal Party was 209 and by the Country Party 105. That has been done on a 2 to 1 basis as far as possible.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– How many questions did the Labor Party ask?

Mr SPEAKER:

– I inform the honourable member that, all told, members of the Opposition Parties have asked 314 questions, and members of the Government Party have asked 284 questions. I state that position for the record.

page 4602

MIGRANT EDUCATION

Mr BEAZLEY:
Minister for Education · Fremantle · ALP

– Pursuant to section 12 of the Immigration (Education) Act 1971-1973 I present the Annual Report on Migrant Education for the year ended 30 June 1 974.

page 4603

PER CAPITA GRANTS TO INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS

Mr BEAZLEY:
Minister for Education · Fremantle · ALP

– Pursuant to section 7 of the States Grants (Independent Schools) Act 1969-1972 I present a statement of the payment of moneys made to each State under that Act as per capita grants in respect of each independent school during the 1973 calendar year.

page 4603

RECURRENT GRANTS TO SCHOOLS

Mr BEAZLEY:
Minister for Education · Fremantle · ALP

– Pursuant to the relevant section of the States Grants (Schools) Act 1972-1973 I present a statement of the payment of moneys made to each State under that Act as grants for recurrent expenditure during the 1973 calendar year.

page 4603

POVERTY

Mr UREN:
Minister for Urban and Regional Development · Reid · ALP

– For the information of honourable members I present an urban paper prepared by Mr Peter Le Breton entitled ‘Poverty’. Due to the limited numbers available, arrangements have been made to have reference copies of the paper placed in the Parliamentary Library.

page 4603

NATIONAL HIGHWAYS REPORT

Mr CHARLES JONES:
Minister for Transport · Newcastle · ALP

– For the information of honourable members I present the Report on a National Highways System by a committee of senior representatives of the Australian Government and State road authorities. In tabling this report I should make it clear to honourable members that this is not a report to the Australian Government.

page 4603

PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION TO INDIA, PAKISTAN AND IRAN

Mr Les Johnson:
Minister for Housing and Construction · HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– For the information of honourable members I present the official report of the Australian Parliamentary Delegation to India, Pakistan and Iran.

page 4603

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LEGISLATION

Mr ENDERBY:
Minister for Manufacturing Industry · Canberra · ALP

– For the information of honourable members I present an interdepartmental committee report entitled ‘Proposed Freedom of Information Legislation’.

page 4603

DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION

Dr CASS:
Minister for the Environment and Conservation · Maryibyrnong · ALP

– For the information of honourable members I present the first report of the Department of the Environment and Conservation covering the period from the establishment of the Department in December 1972 to 30 June 1974.

page 4603

PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS

Mr RUDDOCK:
Parramatta

-Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr RUDDOCK:

– Yes. I claim to have been misrepresented by the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) yesterday at question time when the Minister claimed that a question by me to the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) on 13 November last did not reflect the true position in any way. That question contained 2 points, both of which were substantiated by the Minister’s supplementary answer to my earlier question to the Prime Minister. The first point was that differences existed between the Minister for Urban and Regional Development and the Minister for Services and Property (Mr Daly) as to how this development should take place. The differences alleged have clearly existed, as the Minister for Urban and Regional Development has now confirmed that plans for acquisition of additional lands wanted by him previously, and as demonstrated by plans referred to in the Parramatta ‘Advertiser’ in September 1973, have been abandoned. The differences have existed and in the battle the Minister for Urban and Regional Development appears to have lost. The second point was that my predecessor, the Honourable Nigel Bowen, had been instrumental in commencing negotiations in 1972 for the Meggitt site. This allegation was correct as confirmed by the Minister when he said that my predecessor had made representations upon which a Cabinet submission was based. Clearly my remarks in the question, contrary to the Minister’s statement, were true in every way.

Mr UREN:
ALP

-(R.cid-Minister for Urban and Regional Development)- Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Does the Minister claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr UREN:

– I do. Firstly, the suggestion that there were differences between Mr Daly and myself is completely untrue. In fact there was an agreement as a result of which land was acquired with access to Marsden Street to permit access to Murray Brothers (Parramatta) Pty Ltd. This was the only request made by me at any time- if that land were acquired there would be interconnection between the shopping area and the proposed development of Murray Brothers. There has been much rambling going on for considerable time by the honourable member for Parramatta (Mr Ruddock) about who could claim credit for the proposal to develop Meg.gitt’s site in Parramatta. I nailed the lie- if I may use that word- in my statement in the Parliament yesterday when I said that there was agitation after the Woolloomooloo site was rejected. For 2 years prior to that I had been suggesting that the Commonwealth centre should be located at Parramatta and not Woolloomooloo.

Agitation subsequently was made by the former member for Parramatta, out of desperation and pressure built up by my agitation. The then Government considered the matter. A Cabinet submission was made by the then Minister for the Interior in October 1972 but the Cabinet rejected that proposal. Therefore it was not the Government of that day that acquired the land; it was the present Labor Government. It was as a result of joint ministerial decision by the Minister for Services and Property (Mr Daly) and myself that the Meggitt site was acquired. The Department of Services and Property is negotiating to determine whether the baby health centre can be incorporated in the development. We have acquired further land in the north-west corner of the site where at present a petrol station is located. We have also acquired a right of way to integrate the development of the Australian Government site with the proposed development of Murray Brothers. These are the facts. All along I and the Minister for Services and Property personally- I stress the word ‘personally’have wanted to integrate the Commonwealth development with other future development in Parramatta, not to isolate it.

Mr SINCLAIR:
New England

-I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER:

– Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr SINCLAIR Yes. In the reply by the Prime Minister to the question I asked of him at question time this morning it seemed to be implied that, in some way, I had criticised the staff of members of the Ministry of this place. That is not true. Indeed, the question was intended to do the exact reverse. I have a tremendous respect for the industry, application, honesty and candour of those who work within the ministerial staffs of this place, as I have for those who work in my own office and those who work within offices of other members on this side of the House. The intention was in no way to reflect on those who work in those offices, but I specifically referred to those 2 recent blemishes that have emerged within persons who are employed on the staff of the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr J. F. Cairns).

Mr WHITLAM:
Prime Minister · Werriwa · ALP

I seek leave to speak on the same subject.

Mr SPEAKER:

– This is a matter of a personal nature and not exactly a personal explanation. The Prime Minister is in order and can speak.

Mr WHITLAM:

– The honourable gentleman referred to the two recent instances on the staff of the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr J. F. Cairns). Everybody who has read the newspapers would know what one instance would be. But I am at a complete loss to know what the other one would be.

Mr Sinclair:

– I was referring to Peking and China.

Mr WHITLAM:

-Now I understand. I believe that this is a useful illustration of what should be the proper method of dealing with these matters. The honourable gentleman asked me a question about a matter of which I knew nothing. There was no reason I should know about it. Subsequently it has all been explained completely satisfactorily. There was no reflection whatever on the Minister concerned. I do not think it is proper to deal with the unfortunate condition in which the former member of his staff found himself. I have known people on ministerial or Opposition staffs who have been carried away by the hospitality of various occasions. I think that it is perfectly human, perfectly predictable and perfectly forgivable. But I take the opportunity to say that if any honourable gentleman believes that there is any impropriety on the part of any of the staffs of any of my Ministers, I would like that honourable gentleman to give me a letter about it and I will take up the matter. Obviously, I would take it up with the Minister concerned. But I do not believe that is is helpful to individuals -in fact it could be very damaging to them- and I do not believe that it does credit to the institution of Parliament or to representative government that questions without notice concerning individuals should be raised in the House. People should be mentioned in the House only if they can answer for themselves. But, of course, I would take seriously any allegation which was made about a member of my staff or any other ministerial staff. I rely upon the discretion of my Ministers as to whom they appoint. I do not presume to vet appointments. I have had no reason to cavil at any of the appointments. But if anybody thinks that he has good reason to raise these matters, I believe that the proper and decent thing to do is to raise them in correspondence. I do not believe that it is proper or decent to raise them by way of a question without notice.

Dr J F Cairns:
Minister for Overseas Trade · LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

- Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Dr J F Cairns:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

– Yes. I desire to make a personal explanation because I believe that there is no other way in which I can put a few misrepresentations in order. The personal explanation concerns the appointment to my staff of Miss Junie Morosi. Two days ago I took the necessary steps to have Miss Morosi appointed as private secretary at a salary of $12,200 plus overtime. This is the normal salary of a secretary to a Minister. It represents approximately the salary of most secretaries to Ministers. In some cases the salary of a secretary is a little lower than that, where the higher grade is reserved for somebody else. In some cases, the salary is considerably above the one that Miss Morosi will be receiving. She will be classified as a ministerial officer grade 2, which is the normal grade. There was no suggestion anywhere that she would be paid $17,000 or $17,500. This rumour is the result alone of unfounded newspaper speculation, as is the other minor point that she would be appointed office co-ordinator. That has never been thought of or mentioned and in some way or other it is a newspaper invention. I am quite satisfied that Miss Morosi is a person of very considerable ability, character and integrity. Naturally, I have made inquiries and it is for me to judge the character, integrity and ability of the people I appoint to my staff. I am satisfied about that. I am not going to be influenced by newspaper campaigns which have an element of the scurrilous and an element of the irresponsible. I suggest to honourable members that if I had chosen a man or even a woman who was not good looking, perhaps nothing would have happened.

The second matter referred to as a blemish by the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair) who is sitting at the table concerns a Press secretary who was in my employ for some months. During that time he behaved extremely well. As the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) has just said, an incident happened in Peking following a banquet. I do not think that Mr Green was the first man associated with a Minister in this Parliament who got a little under the weather. That is not an uncommon event. He had resigned beforehand. This was his last job. I do not take that serious a view of it. I regret that it happened. I made sure that he apologised and made redress to those in whose presence he had misbehaved. But I do not think it is a national question and I do not think the honourable gentleman at the table is being fair when he regards that as a blemish and associates it with me.

page 4605

BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE

The following Bills were returned from the Senate without amendment or requests:

Urban and Regional Development (Financial Assistance ) Bill 1974.

Income Tax Bill 1974.

page 4605

PHOSPHATE FERTILIZERS BOUNTY BILL 1974

Bill presented by Mr Sinclair, and read a first time.

Second Reading

Mr SINCLAIR:
New England

=1 move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, I present a Bill to continue the fertiliser phosphate bounty from 31 December 1974 until 31 December 1977. Honourable members will be aware that earlier this year, the Government decided not to renew the phosphatic fertiliser bounty legislation when it fell due at the end of this year. That Government decision stands in stark contrast to the decision of the Government taken at the same time to continue the Nitrogenous Fertiliser Bounty Act. The Opposition believes that the bounty should be continued because it believes it to be in the best interest of Australian agriculture. It calls on the Government to support this measure in the best interest of maintaining the fertility of Australian soils and also in the interest of holding down farm costs.

The use of phosphatic fertilisers in Australia has for almost a century been of crucial importance in improving productivity on existing land sown crops and improving pastures. Experiments carried out nearly a century ago at Roseworthy Agricultural College showed up the suspicions of earlier agricultural scientists in Australia that Australia’s soils were notably deficient in phosphate. Phosphorus is one of the vital elements necessary in sustaining vigorous plant growth. The use of phosphatic fertilisers in many areas, particularly marginal farming areas, has been largely responsible for the settlement of those areas. Tragically, the reference to the Industries Assistance Commission has been with respect only to one very narrow part of marginal farming areas. Phosphatic fertilisers are, in fact, quite vital to production levels in significant areas of production in Australia and not only to the marginal farming areas with which that reference dealt.

The reason why Australian soils are deficient in phosphate is tied up with the nature of the soils in Australia. Australia, the oldest continent in the world, has seen because of that much depletion, due mainly to leaching of nutrient levels. Consequently, it has been necessary in many areas in order to retain yields and productivity for phosphate to be added to the soil because it is an ion which is easily leached from that part of the soil profile from which most pastures and crops draw their nutrients. The usage of superphosphate within Australia has been one of fluctuating fortunes. In the late 1930’s, Australian farmers were using approximately one million tons of superphosphate per year. By the end of the second World War, phosphate usage was down to less than 500,000 tons and it was in 1941 that a bounty was first instituted to offset the high cost of phosphate rock from other than the usual sources of supply.

The wartime bounty ceased in 1950 and it was not until October 1963 that the phosphate bounty was reintroduced. During that period the price of superphosphate to Australian farmers remained approximately the same. At the same time, the purpose of the Bill ‘s first introduction in 1963 was to encourage the usage of superphosphate in order to increase farm productivity and to improve farm management practices, particularly in relation to maintaining and improving the fertility of Australian soils under improved pastures or crops. Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a table which indicates the use of superphosphate for crops and pastures between 1965-66 and 1971-72.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins:
SCULLIN, VICTORIA

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

Mr SINCLAIR:

-I thank the House. This table shows movements in the usage of superphosphate during the period mentioned and indicates the importance of superphosphate to cropping and improved pasture management. I should point out that where usages of superphosphate declined from year to year, it

was because of extremely bad seasonal conditions. Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a table showing the movements in the usage of superphosphate from 1947 to 1971.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

Mr SINCLAIR:

– This table shows that the area topdressed to superphosphate increased by approximately 1,000 per cent in the period under review. The amount of superphosphate used increased by more than 1,000 per cent. The undeflated price of superphosphate per ton increased by approximately 70 per cent and at the same time the application rate, expressed in cwts per acre, increased by approximately 24 per cent. These tables show that Australian farmers recognise the importance of superphosphate as an essential tool in their management practices as a means of improving productivity. The Government’s denial of assistance of the bounty to farmers is regarded by the Opposition parties as a totally retrograde step and even more so at a time of record inflation. The denial of the bounty, as I will now show, will undoubtedly result in a significant decline in the rate of superphosphate usage, a decline in the productivity of Australian farmers, and a reduction in the fertility levels of Australian soils. Ultimately this must result in higher costs of farm produce to consumers, wherever they live in Australia or overseas, and it must result in a lower quality of production. So the inevitable result of this Government’s policies is an increase in price for the consumer and a decline in quality, and yet this is a government which is asserting that it is important that the consumers in the city or in the country, wherever they live, should be cared for.

Currently the bounty payment paid to fertilizer manufacturers is approximately $11.81 per tonne. The price per tonne of single superphosphate ex works in bulk from either Port Kembla or Newcastle between 3 1 July 1 973 and 30 June 1974 was $17.88. Between 1 July 1974 and it is estimated 31 December 1974, the date the bounty ceases, the price per tonne ex works is $34.87, after deduction of the bounty payment of $1 1.81. Although the figures are not available for 1 January 1975 the price of single superphosphate per tonne must be at least $53.28 after allowing for an increase of $6.60 for increases in the price of rock phosphate, and $ 1 1 .8 1 for the non-payment of the bounty.

Although labor costs have made a significant contribution to the increase in prices, the major cause of increased prices of single superphosphate, double superphosphate and triple superphosphate is largely increases in the price of rock phosphate. Honourable members will be aware that Florida and Morocco, the two major world sources of phosphate rock, from which Australia does not draw significant supplies, have increased dramatically this year the price of rock phosphate. From Australia’s traditional sources of supply- Ocean Island and Nauru- the price has also increased significantly. In fact, in the past 6 months rock phosphate prices have increased by more than 130 per cent. The cost insurance freight price of phosphate rock to Australian manufacturers has moved as follows: (i) 1 July 1973-30 June 1974, $17.43 per tonne; (ii) 1 July 1974-31 December, 1974, $36.00 per tonne; (iii) 1 January 1975 $46.98 per tonne. That is the cost insurance freight price of phosphate rock to Australian manufacturers. It is no use the Government saying ‘But we are about to assist the establishment of significant new phosphate rock deposits up in Cloncurry and that is going to reduce in the very short term the cost of phosphate rock to Australian consumers. ‘ Of course we all hope that ultimately it will do that, but there is no prospect of that phosphate rock being available immediately to Australian agriculture. There is an inevitable time lag in the development of those phosphate rock deposits, and the cost of extraction, the freight from their fairly remote situation and the cost of processing the rock is such that the landed cost for southern consumers of superphosphate and for the manufacturers using phosphate rock is still not determined.

I should like to point out that approximately 0.6 of a tonne of phosphate rock is required to make one tonne of” single phosphate. The major additive is sulphuric acid, which is used to degrade the phosphate to superphosphate. The price of sulphuric acid has also increased significantly The major reason for the increase in the average price of the rock phosphate has been significant increases in the price of Nauruan and Ocean Island rock phosphate, which have increased from approximately $13 to $14 per tonne fob up to the end of February 1974 to the anticipated price of $55 to $56 per ton fob from 1 January 1975. That is an increase from $13 to $14 per tonne at the end of February 1974 to an anticipated price of $55 to $56 per ton fob from 1 January 1975, yet the Government is not going to renew the superphosphate bounty. The price of Nauruan phosphate has been related to the world price of Florida rock phosphate. The price of Florida rock phosphate, as I have already mentioned, has also increased dramatically this year. The fob cost of Christmas Island phosphate has increased only marginally in this period.

Before continuing, I should like to draw to the attention of honourable members an article in the ‘Quarterly Review of Agricultural Economics’ published by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in January 1974. That article- ‘The

Use of Superphosphate on Australian Pastures: An Exploratory Analysis’- by E. J. Warring and J. G. Morris, reports the results of an exploratory analysis of the influence of a number of factors on the use of superphosphate for application to pastures in Australia. I believe it is quite material in considering this Bill to quote from one section of that article. The article states:

The effect of the bounty was to induce primary producers to top dress significantly greater acreages than would otherwise have been the case.

In other words, there was a direct relationship between the policy which the Liberal-Country Party Government introduced and the consumption of superphosphate. The article goes on to calculate price and demand elasticity of superphosphate usage for improving pastures.

Bearing the results of that study in mind I draw to the attention of the House the fact that there have been distinct signs of falling off in the demand for superphosphate since 1 July 1974. 1 should also like to point out that presently the single superphosphate plants of Port Kembla and Newcastle are reduced to less than 50 per cent of their operating time and capacity with a consequent reduction in labour employed at these plants. This is expected to continue and perhaps to deteriorate further during the New Year. In other words, it is not only a question of what is happening on the farm, it is also significantly now beginning to affect those who are superphosphate producers. Various attempts have been made to establish the elasticity of fertiliser consumption to price; in other words, the percentage change in consumption for a one per cent change in price. The study by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics indicates an elasticity level of minus 0.52 per cent based on the ex works price after bounty deduction from the period between 1 July 1951 to 30 June 1972 embracing price changes up to 36 per cent. In simpler terms, a 36 per cent price increase of superphosphate ex works is expected to give an 1 8.7 per cent reduction in demand. So that as the price goes up the demand goes down and the relationship is calculated minus 0.52 per cent based on the ex works price. At the University of New England similar calculations have been made. The Agricultural Business Research Institute of the University calculated 2 falls for the elasticity consumption at 2 levels of price increase. These are: minus 0.51 per cent for a price increase of 35 per cent and minus 0.43 per cent when the price is 6 1 per cent. These calculations have been based on the price of fertiliser at the farm gate. They show conclusively that a rise in superphosphate prices leads to a substantial fall in the demand for superphosphate.

I have already pointed out the importance of the usage of phosphatic fertiliser to Australian farmers. Without the use of phosphatic fertiliser many of the farmlands of Australia will regress inevitably to low productivity levels in spite of the nature of the seasons. I have also pointed out the price of superphosphate, mainly due to the increase in rock phosphate price, has risen and will continue to rise significantly and I would draw the Minister’s attention to the fact that the purpose of the bounty is to reduce the cost of fertiliser to farmers. The importance then of the bounty cannot be overstated. In other words, what is happening is that the bounty has been a catalyst to induce farmers to use superphosphate. Because farmers use superphosphate the works that produce this product are able to generate employment. There was significant investment in superphosphate plants around Australia. From those there was a chain right through ensuring the quality and quantity of production to the consumer who goes into the greengrocer’s store and ultimately buys vegetables for the kitchen table. Overall the change that the Government is imposing will reduce the usage of superphosphate significantly. Of course, if the bounty is to be extended consumption of superphosphate will be maintained at an adequate level, and the maintenance of the consumption of superphosphate is without doubt to the benefit not only of members of the farming community but also of the producers of superphosphate and, of course, ultimately the Australian consumer.

Beyond that, of course, Australia has a commitment to the world. We have a commitment that was expressed by the Minister for Agriculture, (Senator Wriedt) at the recent World Food Conference. The commitment was that Australia should contribute more to the world food bowl particularly to help sustain those who live in the lesser developed countries of the world. The usage of phosphatic fertiliser is one way of achieving that aim. In the past 2 days this House has been debating legislation designed to protect our natural resources. The fertility of our soils is perhaps our most valuable natural resource and the best way to protect it is to make sure that the fertility is maintained and wherever possible improved. The bounty system encourages the use of superphosphate and improves the fertility of our soils. This legislation is designed to continue the bounty.

The Government has initiated an inquiry by the Industries Assistance Commission on the effects of the withdrawal of the bounty to new land farmers in Western Australia. We regard that reference as extremely limited because the withdrawal of the bounty affects not only those farmers on new land farms in Western Australia, although they are critically affected, but also most areas of agricultural production in this country. It affects those who are in the high rainfall pasture zone. It affects so many of the farming community that a narrow reference of the type that the Government has sent to the Industries Assistance Commission denies the opportunity of considering the point of view of those others who are affected.

A group of growers from my electorate who are members of the Glen Innes branches of the United Farmers and Woolgrowers Association and grazier association tendered to the Industries Assistance Commission statistics relating to their dependence on superphosphate. They produced figures which showed the costs to them as consumers of superphosphate and the benefits that flowed from the use of superphosphate. The Industries Assistance Commission, in my view quite correctly, said that this was outside the terms of its inquiry. It is not sufficient for the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) to come into this Parliament and say that perhaps out of the Industries Assistance Commission’s report, when it comes, there may well be a broadening of the consideration of the need for the bounty to be put back on superphosphate. That is no use because the bounty is to terminate on the 3 1 st day of this month. As from that date the prices to which I referred a moment ago will be the base prices that will be charged to the Australian consumers. We believe that the reference to the IAC is far too limited to take into account the range of needs of Australian agriculture. We believe that the withdrawal of the bounty affects all Australian farmers.

I would like to point out that after the Government decided to cancel the superphosphate bounty it made the decision to continue the nitrogenous fertiliser bounty. The morality of those 2 decisions stands in stark contrast one to the other, particularly in view of the resource we are seeking to protect, a resource which members from both sides of the House acknowledge and a resource for the maintenance of which the Minister for Northern Development and the Northern Territory, has been a principal advocate in other days- the soil fertility of the nation. This resource needs to be protected not just for today or for our generation but for future generations.

I would like to make one final point. In recent months it has appeared that New Zealand farmers and Australian farmers are to be given entirely different systems of support. A law has been introduced by the Labor Government in New Zealand which ensures that the cost of superphosphate to the New Zealand consumer will be no more than $26 per tonne. That subsidy takes into account the rise of phosphate rock prices and the benefits that flow to the New Zealand nation. This is an area where demonstrably there is a community and national interest in the maintenance of an incentive to consumption. We on this side of the House believe that the incentive to consumption given by the phosphate bounty should be preserved. It is for that reason that I have initiated this Bill and I commend it to the House.

Mr STREET:
Corangamite

-The Government’s decision to abolish the superphosphate bounty as from the end of this month will go down as the most ignorant and shortsighted of all its decisions, and that is saying something. There does not seem to be any possible coherent reason for the abolition of this bounty. The Minister for Northern Development and the Northern Territory (Dr Patterson), as mentioned by my colleague the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair), has on numerous occasions referred to the important role of the bounty in increasing the usage of superphosphate. We even have the extraordinary situation of the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr J. F. Cairns) himself admitting that the decision to phase out the bounty was not only a bad one but also was handled badly. His criticism relates not only to the decision itself but also to the way in which it was handled.

Having established the Industries Assistance Commission to investigate and report on all forms of assistance to all Australian industriesprimary, secondary and eventually, I understand, probably tertiary as well- and established the machinery to investigate these issues properly, the Government by-passed its own instrument and went ahead and made this ad hoc decision clearly without proper knowledge and without reference to the Commission. The ridiculously narrow reference which has been made on the new land farming in Western Australia, to which my colleague referred, will do little to redress the harm that has been done. In the face of constantly mounting criticism, both from within its own ranks, from primary producer organisations and from those on this side of the Parliament, the action of the Government has, I regret to say, been just plain pig-headed. It has just not been prepared to listen to the arguments that have been put forward. It has not been prepared to read the arguments that have been propounded or the statistics that are prepared within its own Bureau of Agricultural Economics on the result that will follow this decision. It is difficult to over-emphasise the importance of superphosphate under Australian conditions. It is well known that phosphorus is the great deficiency in Australian soils in the medium to high rainfall areas and in the irrigation areas which can benefit from fertilisers. There is no doubt whatever that with the reduced usage of superphosphate which will follow the abolition of the bounty there will be a progressive reduction in the fertility of Australian soils. I do not think that even the Minister for Northern Development would doubt the truth of that statement. This was the theme which was developed by the honourable member for New England.

It is well known that the legumes, the clovers, particularly subterranean clover, respond greatly to superphosphate. It is also well known that the legumes are the great fixers of nitrogen in the soil on which high production grasses can feed. I am talking about grassses like phalaris, cocksfoot, rye and all the fescues. Without the nitrogen supplied by the legumes, particularly the clovers, production will decline because the fertility of the soil will decline. I am informed that Professor Donald of the Waite Institute, one of Australia’s foremost agricultural scientists, wrote to the Minister for Agriculture (Senator Wriedt) urging that the Government reconsider this decision. Quite apart from anything else, this is a ridiculous time to abolish the bounty. As has been pointed out, the rise in the world price of phosphate rock is tremendous. It has probably trebled in 1 8 months. At the same time we have a huge increase in domestic costs of production in Australia. Most of them can be laid fairly and squarely on the inflationary policies of this Government. For example, in the last 12 months the cost of shearing has gone up approximately 40 per cent between one shearing and the next. During that time there has been a substantial reduction in the price of wool, and wages and costs generally are skyrocketing.

The price of superphosphate rock is trebling. In this situation the timing of the Government to abolish the bounty is almost unbelievable. There is no doubt that superphosphate usage will decline. I referred earlier to the work done by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics on the elasticity of demand and the usage of superphosphate in relation to price. I understand that most of the superphosphate plants in Australia now are working at about 50 per cent of their capacity. With the anticipated further rise in the price of superphosphate after 1 January, due not only to the abolition of the bounty but also because of the further rise in phosphate rock prices, it is likely that the production of these plants will represent an even smaller proportion of their total productive capacity.

The results of research which has been undertaken all over Australia on a wide variety of soils have established quite clearly the importance of regular maintenance dressings. It is not good enough just to wait until there is the odd big year to put on superphosphate. Of course there is a tremendous response in that particular year, but what is needed to maintain improved pastures at a high level of production are annual maintenance dressings. They are the most efficient way of doing it. But now people will cut back drastically immediately. They will hope that prices for their products improve and then when they have the odd big year they will get back into a reasonably heavy dressing of superphosphate. But that will not lead to the best usage of improved pastures.

The results of reduced superphosphate usage will be apparent immediately in some industries and will take longer to appear in others. For example, in the pastoral industries, particularly in areas that have received a large amount of superphosphate perhaps over a period of 30 years, the decline in the production of meat and wool may not be immediately apparent, especially if we have reasonable seasons. But that does not apply to the agricultural industries. I am thinking particularly here of wheat because the wheat yield with the reduced usage of superphosphate will drop and it will not take long for that to be reflected, not only in the production of wheat but also in its local price.

Part of the formula upon which the domestic price for wheat is calculated is yield. If the yield drops the formula provides that the price will be adjusted accordingly. So it will not take long for this stupid action to be reflected not only in the price of wheat but also in the price of bread and all the other products in which wheat is usedbreakfast cereals and so on. Then the Government’s stupidity will be apparent not only to the farming community; it will be apparent to all citizens. As I said, lower meat production might take a while to be apparent, but meat production will fall. That will not, incidentally, be of any help in the present situation of oversupply. I think there is general agreement that this critical period in the meat industry that we face will be of short term duration. So we will have the problem of a resurgence of demand, I believe, in a couple of years time. By that time the effects of the reduced use of superphosphate will be apparent. So just when demand for meat will be increasing we will have a fall in production due to the abolition of the bounty.

The honourable member for New England referred to the contrast between this Government’s attitude and that of the New Zealand Government which has taken the very reasonable attitude that, to encourage continuity- I stress that word- of production and some semblance of being able to budget with the knowledge of the costs, superphosphate in New Zealand will be sold for $26 a tonne and the bounty has been adjusted accordingly. I believe it now stands at NZ$18 a tonne. This makes the actions of the Australian Government in many areas- with conditions exactly the same as or similar to those in New Zealand- even more incomprehensible. The decision to abolish the bounty, will affect both large and small producers, but it will affect the smaller producers hardest. The smaller producer has to make the most of every acre of his land. He has to produce at maximum efficiency, and he cannot do that if he reduces his application of superphosphate. So proportionately he will be hardest hit because the larger producer, as his gross income is bigger, can cut back on his production and probably still survive even though at lower efficiency. But the smaller producer cannot. He just has to make every acre of his ground produce. So proportionately it will hit him a great deal harder than anybody else.

One incidental result in country areas, particularly those with larger holdings, will be a reduced demand for labour. With sheep and cattle numbers eventually being cut back because the pastures will no longer support them, demands for labour will eventually be reduced. The Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) and the Deputy Prime Minister have attacked the bounty in the past. They claim that some producers have obtained considerable financial benefit from it. But I would point out that the large users of superphosphate are large producers. Their costs are higher. When they have a good season, they pay more tax. Proportionately, they gain no greater benefit from the bounty than the small producer. In fact, as I mentioned a moment ago, I believe that proportionately they are probably getting less because of their capacity to reduce gross production or gross income and still survive. It is not too late- nearly too late but not quite- for the Government to take action to reverse its stubborn refusal to reinstate this bounty. This is one action that the Government could take which would help to restore some confidence to the rural industry whose confidence is being shattered by a successive series of unbelievably stupid and sometimes even vindictive decisions of this Government. It has taken away incentives for increased efficiency, productivity and soil, water and fodder conservation.

Mr Bryant:

– Go on.

Mr STREET:

– It has. It is no longer possible or attractive for individual farmers not only in their own interests but also in the national interest to drought proof themselves. When tough times come and farmers have had no incentive to drought proof themselves, there will be demands on the public purse to get them out of trouble. This is what the Opposition has constantly pointed out. The Government can take action now. I call upon the Minister for Northern Development and Minister for the Northern Territory to support this Bill. I know that he supports the principle embodied in it. It may not be too late, as I said a moment ago, to give the primary producers of Australia, who have suffered so much under this Government, a Christmas present for which they would be most grateful. I support the Bill. I have much pleasure in seconding the motion of my colleague, the honourable member for New England.

Debate (on motion by Dr Patterson) adjourned.

page 4612

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

Mr SINCLAIR:
New England

-Mr Deputy Speaker, I move:

I move this motion because we believe that it is necessary for this legislation, covering the bounty which is to expire on 3 1 December of this year, to be voted on. We do not believe it adequate that the consideration of the legislation be adjourned indefinitely. Today the House rises. The matter presumably will come on at some indeterminate date next year. By that stage, the bounty will have terminated. We believe it imperative that this House make a decision with respect to the Bill by voting on it today before the House rises.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins:

-Is the motion seconded?

Mr STREET:
Corangamite

– I second the motion. I do so for exactly the same reasons as my colleague, the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair), has outlined.

Question put:

That the motion (Mr Sinclair’s) be agreed to.

The House divided. (Mr Speaker- Hon. J. F. Cope)

AYES: 0

NOES: 63

Majority……. 12

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the negative.

page 4613

QUESTION

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: NEEDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE

Mr STREET:
Corangamite

– I move:

That this House expresses its concern at the Minister for the Capital Territory’s total lack of understanding of the needs of young people in the Australian Capital Territory, including their accommodation requirements.

It is an indictment on the Minister for the Capital Territory (Mr Bryant) and on the Labor Government that this motion should need to be moved at all. The events of the past few days have only served to confirm the inability of this Government to understand the needs of the community in general and of young people in particular. The significance of this motion in national terms is obvious. The Labor Government and all its Ministers are in full control of their destiny in the Australian Capital Territory. They have no-one else to blame for what they do and for what they fail to do. They cannot dream up ways of accusing State governments of causing delays and frustrations. They have the A.C.T. to themselves. The consequence is that the Government’s performance in the A.C.T. becomes a barometer for the rest of Australia. If there is any way to determine the capacity or the lack of capacity of this Government, then one need no more than look at the A.C.T.

Regretfully, the Government’s policies in this area have been a disaster. I have referred to the inadequacies in the Government’s policies over a wide area in the past. Today I raise specifically the question of young people. The significance of looking at the needs of young single people in the A.C.T. is obvious. There are more than 80,000 single people in the A.C.T., more than 20,000 between the ages of 15 and 24. The average age of new residents coming to Canberra is 24 years. The future of Canberra will rely on its new residents and the success they have in establishing new careers and new lives in Canberra. Newly arrived young people who come to Canberra face added difficulties to their counterparts in other States. They come to a strange city without the benefit of close friends, relatives or family. I believe it is time that more attention was given to these aspects of creating new cities and new growth centres. It is time that someone began to speak up for youth. I am convinced that the present Minister will not speak up for them.

In making a plea for young people in the A.C.T. I am not calling for more physical facilities. I think everyone is willing to recognise that in terms of roads, schools and physical setting, Canberra is well-served. The danger is that the complacency of this Minister will lead him to lose sight of the sociological aspects of urban planning and community development. We have all heard the criticism of Canberra as a dead city. It is said to have no heart. If these criticisms are to be overcome it is necessary that every step be taken to allow the community to be more involved in the decisions that affect them.

In recent weeks I have asked a number of questions of the Minister for the Capital Territory concerning young people and the provisions made for them. The Minister’s complacent disinterested replies are a cause of concern. The big saviour for Canberra was supposed to be its own Minister and its own Department. Initially, we had the member for Canberra (Mr Enderby) as Minister. He failed abysmally and was replaced. Unfortunately, the change has not produced any improvement. As an example of the Minister’s extraordinary lack of understanding and his failure to interest himself in the needs of Canberra people, I refer to question 1406 in which I sought information on the number of social workers in the A.C.T. The Minister informed me that his Department did not have such statistics. He did not say he would try to get the information, or express any other interest. I also asked in another question the proportion of new residents coming to Canberra who are single. He replied in 3 terse words: ‘No information available’. I am tempted to replace those words with: ‘I am not interested’. I also asked a question on the number of social workers provided to Commonwealth hostels. As honourable members are aware, there are more than 2,000 young people who live in hostels in Canberra. The majority of new people coming to Canberra live in a hostel at some stage. Some are as young as 16 and 17 and have left home and parents for the first time. It is of obvious importance that they be given every assistance in their initial period. The Minister, in his same terse manner, simply said that his Department does not provide social workers for Commonwealth hostels. He simply said that there were 36 social workers and welfare officers employed by the Department whose services were available to all members of the community. He did not say whether he thought there was a need for social workers to be provided for the hostels. He just dismissed the question without further thought. I pay tribute to the work of the churches in the hostels. They have done a firstclass job in providing some counselling services to young people.

I also asked the Minister what was the city or town of origin of newly arrived unmarried residents. The uninformative reply was simply that statistics of this nature are not kept by the

Department. It is obvious that not only does the Minister have a total lack of understanding of the problems of young people but also that he is not interested in seeking out information which might enlighten him. One begins to wonder why this Government created a separate Department in the first place if it does not have on hand information of this kind nor apparently will it try to get it. How is the Minister able to make decisions about the needs of young people if he has so little information available to him? In the past the Opposition has criticised the Government’s decision to remove the National Capital Development Commission from the control of the Minister responsible for the A.C.T. Admittedly, one would have grave doubts as to this Minister’s ability to administer the Commission, but it is essential that if any one person is to be responsible for Canberra ‘s future he should have some say in the way in which it develops through the activities of the Commission. Similarly, we oppose the Government’s decision to place the Australian Capital Territory Police Force under the control of the Attorney-General. I have already expressed the Opposition’s view that the A.C.T. police must be responsible to the Minister in charge of theA.C.T.

The Government may attempt to ignore the significance of this motion. I hope it does not. Judging from its performance in the A.C.T., it is clear that it does not have a policy for youth. It is projected that in 1981 there will be more than 2.6 million persons in Australia aged between 10 and 19. This will constitute over 16 per cent of the Australian population. In comparison those over 60 would constitute only 12 per cent of the population. Labor has run Canberra as its social laboratory. It is in danger of turning it into a sociological desert. I quote from a recent report on urban development in Australia by Professor Alonso who visited Australia in 1973 and submitted a report to the Government. He stated:

It is well recognised in Britain that, at least in their early years, social problems can be as acute in the new towns as in the older, less physically attractive older city environments. Lack of community life or neighbourhood organisation, absence of diversity of activity and remoteness from other places, a restricted ‘social class mix’, have contributed to psychological problems, manifesting themselves sometimes in high rates of juvenile delinquency, depressions and malaise. The sense of being uprooted from familiar environments, from friends and relatives is a strong one in new towns . . .

From these points of view even Canberra seems not to be entirely ideal and hardly to form a model for growth centres which will be based on a wider cross section of the Australian people.

These are the points I want to emphasise to the Minister, because what I fear and what the Australian people must fear -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin:
BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES

-It now being 12 noon and 2 hours after the time of meeting of the House, the debate on the motion is interrupted.

Motion (by Mr Bryant) agreed to:

That the time for discussion of notice No. 2 General Business be extended until 12.43 p.m.

Mr STREET:

– I thank the Minister. What I fear and what the Australian people must fear is that the same mistakes as this Minister is making in Canberra and the same callous lack of understanding of social problems involved in new cities will be repeated in other growth centres that this Government is planning. I wonder whether the Minister has read the ‘Youth Say’ report which was commissioned by one of his colleagues. I wonder whether he has examined it and assessed the impact of the kind of things youth had to say then. For example, the preferences of youth are not for meeting rooms, clubs, societies, grounds and club rooms for team sports, but for things like an old building that young people can run the way they want or music centres for bands, orchestras or learning instruments, or a big block of ground or bush that young people can organise in the way they want. I wonder whether the Minister has read page 1 13 of the report and, if he has, what he has done about it, because quoted in it are comments from a group of Canberra hostel residents: ‘Canberra looks beautiful and everything like that: there seems to be very little provision for people to meet each other’. ‘I’ve been here 18 months and I don’t know any groups of Canberra people ‘.’For base typists, clerks or CAs. over half our wages go on board and then the only way we can get out is by going to a place where we have to pay a lot of money and this is just not possible …. you get depressed because you can’t buy clothes and you cannot do anything to make yourself happy.’ ‘You find people with hangups and everyone sort of pushes their problems on you . . . you can’t help and you get depressed . . . and everyone is sort of going round in a big vicious circle. “Hundreds of us are living together under the same roof, not with our families seeing the odd friend now and then … we never get any advice from any older people: we just have to work out our own problems. There should be counsellors in the hostels .”We are not all mad but we do need a little help sometimes. ‘

Unless the Minister and this Government can come to grips with these problems in the A.C.T. and concentrate on policies for youth then the chances are that they will fail everywhere in Australia. The consequences of that are of national significance. I have suggested in the past some of the things the Minister should do. Let me quote the recommendations of the report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, completed in 1972:

Governmental and non-governmental policies should be directed at involving youth in national development. Opportunities should be made available for the effective participation of young people in institutions at the highest levels of decision making, policy formation and administration, particularly in those institutions that bear most heavily on youth. Attention should also be given to programs initiated and operated by young people themselves.

This is the kind of recommendation that Minister should be considering. I have called for the Minister to appoint an advisory panel of youth workers and young people in Canberra with representatives of hostels to advise him regularly on the needs of single people in Canberra. I have also called for an immediate inquiry into the running of Australian Capital Territory hostels. The consequence of the disastrous housing policy of this Minister is that no rental accommodation is available, Government housing lists are growing longer- unless you have friends in high placesand so many will be forced to stay in hostels. Over the past 12 months tariffs in hostels have increased by 55 per cent. I have asked the Minister to consider more closely the area of cooperative housing because this is a form of housing that I believe is suitable for young single people in Canberra.

I am hopeful that in response to this motion this morning, the Minister will take the opportunity of informing the House of his policies for youth in Canberra. He may be able to demonstrate today that he does have an understanding. If he does, it will be necessary then to start acting, instead of talking, to achieve the kind of progress that is sorely needed. I was delighted to see in yesterday’s ‘Canberra Times’ details of a youth involvement program. I welcome this program, but it will last for only 3 weeks. What is needed is a continuing program. I noted with interest also reports today that a study on suicide is to be instituted in Australia by the National Health and Medical Research Council and will commence in Canberra. I draw the attention of the Minister to my question on notice on this topic, which has been on the notice paper for some time. The young people of Canberra are looking for a lead from this Government. So far they have not received it. I hope that in raising this matter this morning, I will stir some activity from the Minister and the Government in an area in which, as I mentioned a moment ago, it is most sorely needed.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

– Order! Is the motion seconded?

Mr Graham:

– I second the motion.

Mr BRYANT:
Minister for the Capital Territory · Wills · ALP

– I suppose one hears everything in the end. When I hear people opposite, condemning the provisions for young people in Canberra, after their 23 years of almost total inactivity- the things which they did do were the wrong things- I am astonished that they should take up the time of the House in such a way. What was their activity on behalf of the youth of Canberra over the last 23 years? They sent them to Vietnam. They called up thousands of young Australians, spending their time and the nation’s wealth on them. What did they do in the Australian Capital Territory? About the only constructive thing they did was to build a remand centre at Red Hill. Their only interest in young people was to lock them up. What did they dc for young people in places like Norfolk Island where the only thing that can be done for them is what was done when New South Wales was established back in 1 788- deport them.

I find, as I go through the ordinances and the procedures and the structure of the situation, that in fact the previous 23 years have been a complete dead loss. We face the fact that not only in physical matters but also in administrative and legal matters we have to overcome all that backlog. I think it is worth while mentioning some of the things that we have done in this city. First of all, I will answer one or two of the problems that the honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street) raised. He referred to the general statistical question. He said that we do not know the place of origin of the young people who come to this city, and that we have no statistics on whether they are married or single. What is he suggesting- that we have some kind of police state in which, when people cross the border, they have to answer some questionnaire or report exactly on their marital status and all the rest of it? That cannot be done in a modern society. It is true we do not have the actual statistics, but it is also true that we know what the situation is. We do know that thousands of young people in Australia are flocking to this city, as are other people, because it is one of the most attractive places in Australia to live.

It is true, of course, that the people in the hostels are not adequately catered for socially. That is a legacy of the past. It is also one of the problems of modern society. It is true that the young people of today often require a different social situation in which to solve their social problems and to answer their social questions from the situation in our younger days. It is true also that we are taking action in all those areas. I deny that we are complacent, that we are not allowing the young people to participate, or that we are creating an invironment in which it is impossible for them to live fruitfully.

The problems of birth control, sexual problems, abortion etc are problems which have been rolling down the ages and have been encountered by every generation. In this city we have taken concrete, absolute and positive steps to assist people with these problems. We have established institutions to help people sort out their legal problems. We have maintained rent controls and consumer protection. In the general area of society in Canberra, we are takling the social questions which bedevil all of us. When I refer to young people, I mean anybody who is under 25 years of age. I think about 51 per cent of the population of this city are under 25 years of age. These include university students, people entering the Public Service for the first time, school children, young children attending preschool centres and young married people who have to face the facts of life in regard to housing.

It is true that, as in every other part of the world and particularly in Australia, it is difficult to maintain private rental accommodation of an adequate quantity at an adequate price. But at least in this city the question of housing is being tackled much more effectively than anywhere else. There are more houses under construction in proportion to the population than anywhere else in Australia. I consider that some government houses are a little too austere but at least the price at which they are being erected is lower than the price for private enterprise housing. One of the fundamentals of housing in Canberra is that it is the cheapest land in Australia- cheaper by thousands of dollars, and is available almost on demand, at the rate of about 300 blocks of land a month. The facts are that people here can obtain the best serviced land at the best price anywhere in the Commonwealth. Compared with other land, it is much better planned, is not out at the end of an unmade road as one might find in Melbourne and is not at the end of an unserviced suburb as one might find in other cities. That is probably the greatest continuing achievement of this Government.

The creation of stable and cheap land prices was one of the contributions of my predecessor, the honourable member for Canberra (Mr Enderby), who was denigrated by my friend from Corangamite. Let us take a look at a few other areas of enterprise. At Philip there is a heated swimming pool. It would be worth while having a look at the thousands of people- young and old, but particularly young- who use it. The previous Government would not do anything about it.

Mr Street:

– Do you intend to set up a youth panel?

Mr BRYANT:

– We have advisers. Yes, we will establish it. Let me say this: Constructive observations and advice are as welcome from honourable members opposite as from anyone else. We have a large number of advisory panels in this community. I think the suggestion of a youth panel is a good one. We have been using groups of young people as they come to us, as I will explain directly. The Government has acquired and restored something which would be appropriate to the politics of the honourable member for Barker (Dr Forbes)- the merrry-go-round. Whilst in some ways it is an exotic adventure for a city, it has made a great contribution to the life of the centre of the city. An ice skating rink has been established at the showground and a national fitness camp has been set up near Tidbinbilla.

Some of these areas of more exotic recreation for young people include bike trails. Most people, young and old, regard trail bikes as poison. They do not mind them as long as they are far away. In my experience and observation of the Department of the Capital Territory and its officers I have found that they go to great pains to attempt to create facilities such as trail bike areas for young people. Of course, they have only to be put in the wrong place and the Department ends up in real trouble. Another exotic sport is rally car driving. I had a look at the way it was conducted one Saturday night. I found that all the members of the rally car driving organisation were full of praise for the way in which the Department, the Forestry officers and so on, cooperate with them. An indoor recreation centre, including a heated pool, is planned for north Belconnen. Child care centres have been established. Honourable members opposite ought to pay a visit to the occasional care centres and have a look at the houses which have been made available to women’s groups to provide care for children whose parents are in special need. A women’s refuge has been set up. I have an enormous list of these things here.

It may be worth while to mention that the expenditure on recreational and cultural facilities has gone up by 50 per cent to $750,000 and the expenditure on parks and reserves has gone up by one-third to $550,000. The expenditure on education has doubled and it is now $ 13.2m. A bicycle path, tree lined for most of its 4 kilometres, has been built. A study is in hand to extend the network. So in all of these areas the Government is taking positive steps to make the city more livable and more enjoyable for the young people who find themselves beset with difficulties. For instance, in the case of young delinquents and so on I think that one of the great problems is the inheritance of the form of law, and the Government is tackling that. I know that other honourable members want to speak, and in the parliamentary system it is the privilege of the Opposition to spend its time being in gross and serious error, as the honourable member for Corangamite was this morning. His colleague who seconded the motion will want to speak. There are lots of other areas I could cover. I am not here to speak for the young people; I have spent a lot of time speaking to them. I want to acquaint the House with one instance. Six or eight weeks ago I was driving around the city on a Sunday morning, having a look at the facilities, or lack of them, at that stage for garbage collction.

Mr McLeay:

– Was it a Commonwealth car?

Mr BRYANT:

– Yes, it was a Commonwealth car because I was on duty, as I always am. I picked up 2 young men who were walking along the side of the road. I conversed with them. They told me about the problems of the young people at Mawson. I said: ‘Well, nobody has come and told me about it.’ A few days later I found a group of young people, about 13 or 14 years old, in my office. They had come to see the Minister. I think it is a refreshing feature of Australian democracy that that happened. Subsequently I went out to their area and had a conference with them. They were all aged between 13 and 15 years. They put before us their needs. They said that they needed the kind of place that the honourable member for Corangamite mentionedsome old building or some building not used for other purposes which they could use for theirs. Fortunately we had out there a pavilion on a sports ground which was going to be vacant for six or eight months because the ground was to be repaired. That was made available to them for their club area. It is true that in this city there are some deficiencies in planning. There are no old buildings around. There are no scout huts and anglers huts one finds dotted around other communities.

Perhaps my colleagues opposite are speaking through ignorance. Perhaps I have failed to communicate with them because I have been concentrating on communicating with the people of Canberra. On the question of hostels, my inclination is to establish a much greater number of flats in the city. The Government has gone into the market to purchase them. I will not take up any more time of the House on this matter. I hope that my colleague the honourable member for Fraser (Mr Fry) will have a chance to say something about it. He has worked in the Department and he was a member of the Advisory Council. I give the House an absolute assurance that such terms as ‘complacency’ and ‘ignorance’ are simply not applicable to the work of this Government. Many ministers are concerned with the Australian Capital Territory. The young people of Canberra are better served than people in any other part of Australia. The Government will continue to work towards overcoming the deficiencies in the rest of Australia as it has done here.

Mr McLEAY:
Boothby

– In the first place let me congratulate the honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street), who is the Opposition’s spokesman on the Australian Capital Territory, for bringing this matter to the attention of the House. It is very important and I am pleased to be associated with him and to be taking part in drawing the attention of the House to the housing deficiencies that exist in the Australian Capital Territory, as I am the Opposition’s spokesman on housing. I listened carefully to what the Minister for the Capital Territory (Mr Bryant) had to say. I was interested to hear him list amongst his achievements a heated swimming pool somewhere in the Australian Capital Territory. Nobody can live in a heated swimming pool. It is housing that is the big deficiency in the Australian Capital Territory. Only yesterday I spoke to a Commonwealth public servant here who is forced to live in a caravan park. It costs him $20 a week just for the space plus power. He has to provide his own caravan.

What the Opposition is saying is that the difficulties which young people endure in trying to secure accommodation here have been compounded by this Minister and by his predecessor in the 2 years of Labor administration. The Government has given preference to building office accommodation for its public servants rather than living accommodation. The honourable member for Corangamite and I put out a release a month or so ago in which we made the point that the Government has started a 3-year $80m program to provide office accommodation for, I think, 12,000 public servants, but this year’s housing target is only 1 ,400 units. That is a reduction from the 1,550 provided last year.

Mr Bryant:

– How many millions are involved?

Mr McLEAY:

– The Minister always wants to talk about how many millions of dollars are involved. What he does not realise is that with the present rate of inflation money is becoming of less value and the millions he quotes today will be worth only thousands next year. I suggest that the Minister should examine the Commonwealth hostels in Canberra as he travels around during the weekends. Conditions in these hostels vary from barely tolerable to downright disgraceful. I have attended meetings and have eaten meals at these hostels. I spent 10 years of my school life as a boarder. At that time I thought the accommodation in the boarding school was rather spartan but I realise now that it was vastly superior to the accommodation provided by this Government at some of its hostels in Canberra. Commonwealth public servants have no choice; they have to come to Canberra to work and must live here or near Canberra. The Opposition believes that the Government has an obligation to provide decent accommodation for its employees but this Government is, in a sense, exploiting its employees.

Labor policies have created the highest escalation in building cost since Federation, a grave shortage of houses, flats and units both for sale and for rental, and the most unsatisfactory and yet expensive boarding house type of accommodation in Australia. My recollection is that the tariffs for hostel accommodation in Canberra have increased by 55 per cent in the last 12 months. The establishment of the fair rents board, or whatever it is called here, has further diminished the chances of Canberra people obtaining rental accommodation. Home owners are not encouraged to let their houses at the rentals assessed by this board- rentals which frequently do not even cover the cost of servicing present high interest charges. The interest rates prevailing today are the highest in Australia’s history. This situation was desperately created by the Labor Government which claims, I believe falsely, to be a low interest party. The Government recently introduced a concessional interest rate scheme for home buyers. This concessional rate is determined on a proportion, I think 90 per cent, of the average wage. As a result of this ordinance a public servant or anybody else in the Australian Capital Territory receiving a salary of $136 a week is entitled to a concessional interest rate of 5 Vt per cent. If his friend is earning $ 1 3 7 a week, or $1 more, he will be liable to pay 9lA per cent interest. On a weekly basis this means that the penalty for the first person increasing his income by $1 a week from $136 to $137 is $15 a week in increased interest. Of course this removes the incentive for people to improve their situation.

Against all this confused background of Government control and Government incompetence, which has left Canberra with a grave shortage of accommodation, there is now revealed the positively shameful behaviour of the Attorney-General. Senator Murphy has sought to break all the rules and in a most improper way to wangle for a friend- a business associate I believe- the top position on the waiting list for one-bedroom flats in the Australian Capital Territory. The waiting time for these flats at present is slightly more than 5 years. It would be 105 years if all those who are eligible to apply did apply and thought they had any chance of obtaining one in their lifetime. There is also a means test applied to applicants for this accommodation. Anyone earning more than $110 a week gross is ineligible for a government flat. In spite of these provisions, not only the AttorneyGeneral but also the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr J. F. Cairns) and the former Minister for Immigration are falling over each other to secure for this young lady, a Miss Morosi, subsidised government accommodation.

Mr Bryant:

– It is not subsidised.

Mr McLEAY:

– Of course it is. A person cannot go to the private sector and get this sort of accommodation for what the Government is charging.

Mr Bryant:

– Rents in Canberra are determined on an economic basis and include provision for construction costs, amortisation and interest payments.

Mr McLEAY:

-That is not so. This is all the more reprehensible and I am surprised at the Minister for defending it when we consider this person’s salary.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

– I do not think this matter is relevant to the motion before the Chair.

Mr McLEAY:

– Of course it is. We are dealing with low cost accommodation in Canberra, and I am making the point that here is someone on a high salary who has been appointed by I do not know whom -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-The motion before the Chair refers to young people and I think the matter the honourable member is attempting to raise is not relevant.

Mr McLEAY:

– It is, because young people are on the waiting list for these flats. This is the reason why we altered the motion. The Deputy

Prime Minister came into the House after question time and said that this young lady’s salaryshe is a young person- was not $17,000 but $12,200, plus overtime and presumably plus fringe benefits. I know that there are private secretaries employed in this place who are earning $23,000 a year. I wonder whether the fringe benefits include the appointment of her husband to the Film Censorship Board at $1,000 a year. I wonder whether the Minister will tell us what qualifications her husband possesses. What has happened to the Government’s professed concern for the lower income groups- the widows, deserted wives and those whose only hope of obtaining accommodation is through government housing? I know that the Minister had received a letter from the President of the Single Mothers Association, I think it is called, expressing concern that none of her members can get accommodation because this sort of thing is taking place. I think the Australain public is entitled to know all the interesting details.

Mr Bryant:

– This is not true.

Mr McLEAY:

– The Minister suggests that what I have said is not true. Let us know the truth of this whole affair. It already smacks of bourgeois political patronage. For example, which office does employ Miss Morosi? First we heard that she was to be the Deputy Prime Minister’s private secretary, but only last night -

Mr Bryant:

– I suppose this has something to do with the motion. Mr Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order. I sat down to enable more time to be given to this debate on the assumption that it would proceed in accordance with the motion. If some honourable member wants to take up the matter to which the honourable member is referring with me outside, I am the man for him. I will go to Boothby and discuss it but it is wrong for such discussion to occupy time that this Government by grace has given for this motion, especially as I will have no chance of answering the honourable member.

Mr McLEAY:

-The Minister says -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Let me rule on the point of order first. I think the honourable member for Boothby is straying from the motion and I should be pleased if he would return to it.

Mr McLEAY:

– These facts may be unpalatable to the Minister and to the Government but they are entirely relevant to the motion, which the Opposition altered last night so that they would be. The position is that someone is being given an unearned priority which means that someone else will be unable to get accommodation of the type I have mentioned. If that is not relevant to the motion, I do not know what is. I think we are entitled to know the position. Senator Murphy wrote a letter to the Minister for the Capital Territory and I seek permission to table it. May I have permission from the Minister?

Mr Bryant:

– I suppose so.

Mr McLEAY:

-The Attorney-General said that Miss Morosi ‘s work was extremely important in the field of human rights.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is the honourable member seeking leave to incorporate the letter in Hansard?

Mr McLEAY:

– Yes.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? Mr Bryant- No.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Leave is not granted.

Mr McLEAY:

– The Minister has changed his mind. I do not know why.

Mr Bryant:

– It is not relevant to the debate.

Mr McLEAY:

– The Minister does not need to help the Deputy Speaker. He knows how to run this place. This letter is entirely relevant. In it Senator Murphy said that Miss Morosi ‘s work was extremely important in the field of human rights, yet within a week she is to leave this job. This work is to be abandoned and her skills will be used in the office of the incoming Treasurer. Last night I appeared on ‘This Day Tonight’ and was followed by Mr Grassby. He said- I quote precisely- in referring to this young lady:

She joined me on 1 September. She is still working for me.

I emphasise that this was said last night. Mr Grassby was asked: ‘Is she going to the Treasury?’ He said: ‘I could not tell you that, Richard.’ So the story continues. We do not know what has happened. I believe that the appointment of Mr Grassby as $25,000 a year community development officer, or whatever his title is, is in itself a sickening example of jobs for the boys. Many Australians are wondering whether we have seen only the tip of the iceberg. This Government, which delights in establishing royal commissions and committees of inquiry, should immediately investigate this whole affair or at least refer it to the Commission currently investigating the administration of the Public Service.

As I said previously, I have received hundreds of complaints from disadvantaged peopleyoung people in the terms of this motion- and I know that my colleague, the honourable member for Corangamite, has received similar letters.

Mr Street:

– There is a 4-year waiting list for this type of accommodation.

Mr McLEAY:

-Actually at present it is a 5-year waiting list and the way this Government is going it will become a 6, 7, 8 or 9 year waiting list until we get rid of this Government

Dr Forbes:

– That is not really so, is it?

Mr McLEAY:

-Yes, it is entirely correct. The people of Canberra ought to know what is going on and what is happening in high places. I think we are entitled to know and the Australian people are entitled to know what Miss Morosi’s qualifications are. The Attorney-General has described her as a most engaging employee. But, as far as I know, ministerial staff, certainly those working for Treasurers, traditionally have always had academic qualifications as well as being most engaging employees. I ask the Minister: What is the truth about this? What is the truth in the allegation of a flat being allocated? Was the lease signed or was it not signed? I believe that it was. The Minister would not let me table a copy of a letter which confirms that the lease was signed. My information is that the lease was signed. We are entitled to know when and what subsequently happened to it. Charges have been made in respect to this young lady and her husband which concern the New South Wales Commissioner of Corporate Affairs. Mr Deputy Speaker, I do not want to transgress your obvious generosity by going into that matter.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin:

-I have been letting the honourable member stray -

Mr McLEAY:

– I have been straying, Mr Deputy Speaker. I think that these matters should be investigated and not swept under the rug. For example, I would like to know what use has been made of VIP aircraft by Ministers and whether this young lady has been a passenger.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-The honourable member is straying a lot now.

Mr McLEAY:

– I am straying, Mr Deputy Speaker. But I am concerned on behalf of the great majority of Australian people who I believe have an interest in this matter. We want a frank and open investigation. I can assure the Government that there are serious and farreaching implications to this whole affair. Let us bring them out into the open. The style of government domonstrated in recent months is totally unacceptable to honest and fair minded Australians.

In the short time left to me, I wish to comment on what the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) had to say after question time today. He complained about a matter. He did not mention my name, but it was I who placed questions in regard to this matter on the notice paper. I was not in the chamber but I heard what he had to say over the public address system. I think he said that we should write to him about such matters. Is that what he said? I think he said that we should write to him. What he is really saying is that we should keep this kind of thing quiet and not bring it out into the open. He objected to my putting the questions on the notice paper. But, Mr Deputy Speaker, as you would know the forms of this House require that any question which includes a person’s name must be placed on the notice paper. It would be contrary to the Standing Orders for an honourable member to ask in this House a question which raised a person’s name. Mr Deputy Speaker, you know that, I know that and so does the Prime Minister. That is the reason why this was done.

I suggest to the Government, the Prime Minister and to anybody else who is interested that they have a look at the notice paper today. These questions no longer appear on the notice paper. This is because the Opposition wanted to leave the matter free to be debated and because we were told that the Minister was going to reply to those questions and issue a statement to the Press at 5 o’clock last night. This did not happen and has not happened, so far as I know, up to this moment. Of course, the questions will be placed back on the notice paper. I support very strongly the motion moved by the honourable member for Corangamite and thank him for taking the initiative in this matter.

Mr FRY:
Fraser

-This is the sort of motion which one would have expected to be moved by the Australian Labor Party when it was in Opposition in respect of the present Opposition when it was in government. That would have been justified. Of course, it is quite ridiculous to move this sort of motion against the present Government. This is because the whole focus of the Government’s policy has been towards young people. We have been looking ahead. We are not looking at the past and trying to maintain the status quo. The main element of our legislative program has been orientated towards the aspirations of young people. It is quite ridiculous to make this sort of charge against the Government. National issues have been mentioned by my colleague, the Minister for the Capital Territory (Mr Bryant). The first thing the Government did when it came into office was to stop young people being conscripted to fight in an immoral war, a war in which they did not believe. We gave young people the right to vote at 18 years of age. We abolished tertiary fees in education. Conscription was abolished altogether on the first day the new Government took office. The abolition of tertiary fees enabled people from working class homes to attend our tertiary institutions for the first time. All these measures have been fundamental things which have had a profound influence on the future of all young people in the whole of Australia and in the whole of our society. This is no more so than in Canberra.

We did great things for young women by abolishing discrimination in the Australian Public Service. All these measures were directed towards young people. They responded by voting overwhelmingly for the Australian Labor Party both at the election in 1972 and in May of this year. I am sure that they will continue to do so. I believe that the honourable member for Boothby (Mr McLeay) is not interested in young people. He devoted most of his time to trying to score off the Government about the housing of an adult person and about her employment.

Mr Bryant:

– The level of pursuit of one person.

Mr FRY:

– That is right. He is not concerned about the thousands of young people in the Australian Capital Territory. He was endeavouring to smear the Government on information, the source of which he did not disclose and which I understand was stolen from a Public Service file. This is the basis of the information. He is smearing the Government. This has nothing whatever to do with young people.

The honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street) wanted to discuss these matters on the local domestic level. My colleague the Minister for the Capital Territory has outlined a shopping list of things that have been done for young people in the Australian Capital Territory. I want to expand on this list just a little and mention a few things which he did not mention in particular. I want to pay tribute to the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Young Women’s Christian Association in the Australian Capital Territory. We are very fortunate to have a man of the calibre of Mr Eric Boyson as director of the YMCA. This organisation has been in the forefront of providing amenities for young people in this Territory. Wherever a new town has been developed the YMCA has been one of the first organisations to establish itself. It has provided a tremendously wide range of amenities for young people. Recently a grant of $ 1.6m was approved for the YMCA to build a 200-bed hostel. Honourable members opposite apparently are not aware of these things. Are they aware of the

Canberra youth orchestra? Hundreds of young people are trained to an extremely high standard in music. The orchestra has just had a very successful and rather triumphant tour overseas. Apparently, Opposition members have not heard of the youth orchestra of the Australian Capital Territory.

Are honourable members aware of the Griffin Centre where over 100 cultural organisations meet regularly? The majority of those organisations are concerned with young people. There are hundreds of organisations for young people in the Australian Capital Territory. Nowhere in Australia are they better catered for than in the Australian Capital Territory. We have heard something about heated pools.

The previous Government did not believe in heated pools. It believed in establishing a succession of white elephants in the Australian Capital Territory. It constructed five or six swimming pools which could be used only for about 6 weeks of each year and which were very costly to the community. The main problem with these swimming pools in this sort of climate is that we were unable to teach young people how to swim. The success rate of our learn-to-swim activities was 20 per cent, that is, only 20 children out of every 100 children we tried to teach to swim were successful in learning. After much agitation by the Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council- mainly from the Australian Labor Party members of it- the National Capital Development Commission incorporated in its budget for 1972 expenditure for one heated swimming pool. When the then Government considered the budget of the National Capital Development Commission it dropped only one item from that budget totalling S69m. Honourable members would not guess what it was. It was the item of expenditure for the heated pool for the people of the Australian Capital Territory. By doing so, that Government denied the people of the Australian Capital Territory the opportunity to teach their young children to be safe in the water and to be able to look after themselves. That is how interested that Government was in the Australian Capital Territory. We still have no heated swimming pools but several are in the planning stages. If the people can wait a little longer we will have heated pools in all areas of Canberra.

Mr Bryant:

– There is one at Phillip.

Mr FRY:

– We have heated one open swimming pool at Phillip as an interim measure. But permanent heated swimming pools will become the order of the day.

Let us look at the other general avenues of sport. Let me take football as my first example. In Canberra young people do not have to play Aussie Rules to be socially acceptable. They can play any type of football they like. They can play rugby league, rugby union, soccer or Aussie Rules. They can have the lot. In my electorate there are very strong organisations catering for all these sports, particularly in the junior league. There are several junior clubs which have hundreds of members. These are all being catered for through the facilities of the Department of the Capital Territory. In my job of representing the electorate of Fraser I have to make frequent representations to the Minister and the Department on behalf of organisations catering for young people. My representations have always received the most sympathetic and positive consideration. It has been a pleasure to make representations because I know that they will be listened to and that if it is possible to do something it will be done. There are many projects in the pipeline at the moment.

We have made special provision in the Australian Capital Territory for the education of young people. Nowhere else in Australia are so many 4-year-old children attending pre-school. Over 90 per cent of 4-year-olds in the Australian Capital Territory attend pre-school. We have done splendid things in regard to child care. Nowhere else in Australia are there available the child care facilities that we have in the Australian Capital Territory. The school without walls has been operating to cater for children who feel that they can learn in a different environment to that of the Government schools. This too has been a great success. There are many other fields. Orienteering has been a great success in Canberra and people are allowed to use the softwood forests in the Australian Capital Territory for this purpose. We have set up cycle tracks, we have got horse holding paddocks for use by young people who are interested in horse riding. The other area to which I should like to refer briefly is the very close involvement we have with planning. We have consulted young people right along the line in planning in the Australian Capital Territoryin Gungahlin, in Belconnen, and in the new youth involvement program.

I conclude by paying tribute to the very sympathetic and benevolent administration of the Minister for the Capital Territory (Mr Bryant). It is because of this type of administration that we have attracted thousands of young people to this electorate from other Electorates, and this is the basic cause of any shortages from which we may suffer.

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Original question resolved in the negative.

page 4622

QUESTION

SUPPLEMENTARY ASSISTANCE TO PENSIONERS

Debate resumed from 3 1 October on motion by Mr Went worth:

That, in the opinion of this House, restrictions upon the granting of supplementary assistance to pensioners are too severe.

Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar

- Mr Deputy Speaker, I am very much astonished that this motion has been brought on only at the last moment. It has been on the notice paper for a long time and I have spoken in regard to it for only 30 seconds, I think. It is one of a series of motions in regard to the improvement of our social services which I have brought forward and one which I would have thought that the Government, if it had any bona fides in its approach to the social service question, would have wanted to have debated. I have tried to bring this series of motions forward in a non-partisan way because I believe that most of them would incorporate policies which if they were understood by the Government would be approved by the Government. I want to look briefly at the notice paper and the motions which stand in my name because I believe that they do form a consistent policy. First, we have this motion today, on which I have spoken so far for I think 30 seconds. I think I should read out that motion. It is Order of the Day No. 1 and it states:

That, in the opinion of this House, restrictions upon the granting of supplementary assistance to pensioners are too severe.

The pensioners who get supplementary assistance are the poorest and most needy of all pensioners. One would have thought that the Government would have given some time for the proper moving of this motion. Another motion in my name appearing on the notice paper states:

That, in the opinion of this House, finance should be made available to assist pensioners who own their own homes to meet rates and other necessary outgoings.

These 2 motions should be read together because, whereas it is the most needy who need supplementary assistance- and they get it because they pay rent- something should also be done for pensioners who own their own homes and pay rates; not necessarily the same kind of thing should be done, but something should be done. For example, in the United Kingdom there are advances made for this purpose- not grants but advances- and in this respect perhaps we should take a leaf out of the United Kingdom ‘s book. Whether this be done or not, it is surely something which should be debated and it should be engaging the attention of this House. I have been Minister for Social Services and I know the gaps that still remain in our social services structure.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin)Order! It being 12.45 p.m., the time allowed for precedence to general business has expired.

Mr Wentworth:

– I am very sorry about that.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-The honourable member for Mackellar will have leave to continue his speech when the debate is resumed.

Mr Wentworth:

– I thank the House.

page 4623

STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION

Dr JENKINS:
Scullin

-On behalf of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Conservation, I bring up the report of the Committee on deposits on beverage containers, together with extracts of the minutes of proceedings.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Dr JENKINS:

-I seek leave of the House to make a short statement in connection with the report.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Dr JENKINS:

-I bring up the report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Conservation on the question of the need for a uniform substantial deposit on all beverage containers. This is the fifth and most substantial report of the Committee, which was established in the Twenty-eighth Parliament and reappointed in May of this year following the double dissolution.

The question of solid waste management in Australia was one of the matters referred to the Committee on its appoinment by the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, the Honourable Moss Cass. For this reason the Australian Environment Council considered it appropriate to refer the question of deposits on beverage containers through the Minister to the Committee. The Committee recognises that a study of the problems associated with the disposal of beverage containers in isolation from packaging and solid waste generally is unsatisfactory. The reference was however accepted as reflecting the wishes of the Environment Council and the environmental impact of beverage containers, while only part of a wider problem, does raise a number of specific issues. The time available today does not permit discussion of the wide range of issues which emerged during the course of the inquiry but some of these are considered at length in the report and others will be dealt with in depth in subsequent reports by this Committee. One matter with which the Committee is particularly concerned is the developing trend towards the use of plastic and plastic-coated cardboard containers but it was considered that insufficient evidence was available to the Committee to make recommendations relating to them in this report. This matter will be considered in a later report.

The recommendations contained in this report were adopted unanimously by the members of the Committee and will provide the basis for the Australian and State Governments, in cooperation with industry and conservationists, to frame legislation and develop the necessary administrative machinery. The recommendations will have the effect of: 1. reinforcing the existing voluntary deposit scheme; 2. encouraging the use of returnable, refillable containers; 3. acting as a stimulus for the development of recycling technology; 4. reducing the drain on Australia’s finite natural resources; and 5. providing finance for research programs, for solid waste disposal and for anti-litter education programs.

The optional three cent tax on non-returnable containers recommended by the Committee is approximately equal to the price difference between the contents of a non-returnable container and those of a returnable container. The taxdeposit system will provide cheaper beverages for consumers by increasing the usage of returnable containers and will ease the financial burden on local government and other organisations responsible for the collection and disposal of solid waste. The Committee strongly recommends the application of the funds provided by the tax system to finance research into problems of solid waste disposal and related public education programs. The need for these measures cannot be over emphasised. The recommended ban on ‘ring-pull’ tops, which are a recognised environmental hazard, should not be seen as punitive to the industry as it comes at a time of introduction of new types of self-opening cans which are more environmentally acceptable.

I would like to congratulate witnesses on the very high standard of submissions tendered to the Committee and indicate that it was our intention to have the evidence reproduced in printed form but the cost proved to be prohibitive. Copies of evidence are however available to the public in roneoed Hansard form.

I acknowledge the efforts of all members of the Committee who worked long and hard on a difficult inquiry to produce what I consider to be a most satisfactory report. I particularly express my appreciation for the support and assistance of my Deputy Chairman, the honourable member for Bendigo, Mr Bourchier. I also thank the members of staff who worked on this inquiry for their conscientious efforts and acknowledge the contribution of the former Clerk to the Committee, Mr Tim Richmond, who was appointed as technical adviser to the Committee when he left the staff of the House of Representatives in September of this year.

In concluding my remarks, I would like to comment on 2 matters relating to the conduct of this inquiry. The beverage industry, from the container production stage to the retail outlets involves many millions of dollars of investment and provides employment for several thousand workers. In considering the implications of a deposit scheme the Committee was restricted to second-hand information on the implementation and effects of deposit systems in comparable overseas situations.

I believe that it is time that the Australian Parliament reconsidered its attitudes to overseas travel by committees and sub-committees of the Parliament where a substantial case can be made that the effectiveness of an inquiry may be jeopardised by lack of first-hand information. Extra-parliamentary committees, commissions and government departments are not inhibited in the same way.

In this particular case, the expenditure of public funds on a visit by a sub-committee to the United States of America, Canada and perhaps Scandinavia would have been perfectly justifiable if we consider the effects that the Committee’s recommendations can have on a significant sector of Australian industry. I feel the Parliament leaves itself open to charges of irresponsibility by conducting inquiries of such complexity as this one and with such extensive economic implications ‘on the cheap’.

Another more disturbing feature to emerge since the Committee completed drafting the report is the pressure placed on members of the Committee and its staff to divulge its findings and recommendations before the Committee completes its obligations by reporting directly to the Parliament. I am particularly distressed that some of this pressure has come from certain members of this House. Others involved were some members of the Press, lobby groups and representatives of industry. I consider this action regrettable and it leads me to suggest that consideration be given by this House to adopting the procedure of having committees table their recommendations immediately upon their completion. The related report would be tabled as soon as its printing was completed. This course of action may save members and staff of committees being subjected to the treatment I have referred to. I commend the contents of the report for the consideration of the Parliament.

Mr BOURCHIER:
Bendigo

-I seek leave to have my report in support of the statement made by the honourable member for Scullin (Dr Jenkins) on this very worthwhile report incorporated in Hansard.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin)Order! Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The report read as follows)-

Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to endorse the remarks made by the Chairman of the Committee, the honourable member for Scullin (Dr Jenkins) and add my thanks to the members of the Committee and to its staff for the work which they put into this report to enable it to be tabled before the House of Representatives rises for the summer recess. I would like to make a few remarks on the report and I would like to point out to honourable members that the purpose of the recommendations is primarily to damp down the rapid growth of demand for non-returnable beverage containers. It is not envisaged that the Committee’s recommendations would have the effect of removing throwaway containers from the market. Experience overseas shows that a deposit system on nonreturnable containers, while reducing the rate of demand for them, allows them to remain as a viable market product.

The 3c tax which the Committee recommends be placed on non-deposit bearing beverage containers would appear to have an inflationary effect in the area of non-deposit bearing returnable re-usable containers such as beer bottles which at the present time do not carry a returnable deposit. However, it should be recognised that the 3c tax which is payable only once at the point of manufacture of the container will have little effect on the price of the beverage. To illustrate this, a beer bottle may be used at least 10 times on an average before it is recycled. The tax being paid only once means a charge to the bottler of 3c only per filling. Of course, if the bottler accepts the option of placing a deposit of at least 5c on his containers, the 3c tax would not be applicable.

The need for this inquiry came about through increasing public recognition of the litter and disposal problems created by the non-returnable beverage containers. To illustrate this, I mention some facts supplied in evidence to the Committee which will give honourable members some idea of the magnitude of the problem into which the Committee was asked to inquire. It was stated in evidence that an estimated 837 million throw-away containers would be sold in Australia in 1973-74. BHP estimates that 91.1 million bottles and cans were littered in Australia in 1972-73. The Victorian Country Roads Board estimates that it spends $23,000 a year in collecting discarded cans and bottles alone along the highways for which it is responsible. On the Princes Highway between Melbourne and Geelong an average of 300 drink containers are collected each week. The dimensions of the problem are obvious.

The Committee recognises that if any deposittax system is to operate effectively, it must be adopted in a uniform manner throughout Australia. We hope that the various State Ministers for Environment on the Australian Environment Council will support the recommendations of this Committee which were made in response to a request by them and will urge their adoption by their governments. Experience overseas shows that a piecemeal approach by isolated States creates problems of administration which can severely reduce the effectiveness of the scheme. This is why the Committee has opted for a national scheme administered by the Commonwealth Government on behalf of the States.

This inquiry has revealed to the Committee the need for a comprehensive education program at all age levels to make the public aware of the costs in money terms to the community and the environmental problems associated with waste disposal and particularly with litter. At the same time, government and industry should work together to remove incentives for people to litter. The ‘throw-away’ psychology is expanding and exacerbates the litter problem and this psychology is typified by the promotion of convenience packaging of which beverage containers form the most obvious component.

The Committee expects that the funds raised through the taxation system which we recommend will provide funds for anti-litter education programs and will relieve the burden on local government and other authorities responsible for the collection and disposal of litter and solid waste generally. Industry must be prepared to accept its responsibility in this regard and must examine closely the environmental implications of the marketing of new products so that problems of the proportions created by throw-away beverage containers will not occur again.

page 4625

JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRICES

Mr HURFORD:
Adelaide

-On behalf of the Joint Committee on Prices I bring up the Committee’s report from the Import Prices InquiryPrice Effects of Currency Changes (Report No. 3), and minutes of proceedings of the appropriate committee meetings.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Mr HURFORD:

– I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a statement in connection with the report. I might add that I have arranged for copies to be available in the House for honourable members.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

– Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The statement read as follows)-

The report that has just been tabled is the third report from the present Committee and the eighth report from the prices committees. The report is the third and final report on the reference from the House of Representatives which requires the Committee to report on whether consumer or user prices of imports failed to respond to reductions in landed costs following the December 1972 upvaluation of the Australian dollar and other relevant currency changes in 1973.

The Australian dollar has now been devalued but there are important lessons to learn from the upvaluations and this report seeks, in part, to indicate them. First, it should be noted from the graph on page 60 of the report that the upvaluations had a visible impact on import prices. The graph shows that at a time of rapidly accelerating inflation in all major industrial countries and of rapid expansion of demand in Australia, import price indices showed visible, though only temporary, reductions after the upvaluations. But the graph is based on ‘free on board’ (f.o.b.) statistics and cannot, therefore, be used to show the reaction of consumer or user prices in Australia to changes in landed costs.

The Committee found that the only way to discharge its terms of reference was by means of commodity case studies. Thirty-five commodities were selected which, in the opinion of the Committee, covered ‘. . . imports having a significant effect on domestic costs and prices’ (terms of reference). These commodities accounted for over 60 per cent of total commodity imports in 1972-73. This commodity coverage has involved the Committee in timeconsuming consideration of over 300 submissions.

Table 3 on page 58 shows, in summary form, the response of import prices to the upvaluations for the 35 commodities selected for investigation. This table can be further summarised as follows:

The findings in the case studies are brought together at Appendix IV of the report. These findings can be usefully re-arranged as follows:

  1. Following the upvaluations landed costs have been reduced in respect of imports of-

Agricultural machinery

Excavating and levelling machinery

Telecommunications equipment

Non-electric machinery

Office machines

Photographic equipment

Internal combustion engines

Anti-knock preparations

Jute

Motorcycles

Tyres and tubes

Pharmaceutical products

Toys

Printed matter

Tea

Alcoholic beverages

Unmanufactured tobacco

  1. Consumer or user prices have responded to these reductions in respect of-

Excavating and levelling machinery

Telecommunications equipment

Non-electric machinery

Office machines

Photographic equipment

Internal combustion engines

Jute

Motor cycles

Tyres and tubes

Pharmaceutical products

Toys

Printed matter

Tea

Alcoholic beverages

  1. Following the upvaluations landed costs have not been reduced in respect of imports of-

Chemicals

Petroleum

Plastics

Man-made fibres

Crude rubber

Timber

Flat glass

Footwear

Paper

Textiles

Clothing

Floor coverings

Motor vehicles

Domestic appliances

Ceramic tiles

Cutlery

Coffee

Fish

  1. However, the upvaluations have restrained the price increases for most of the commodities referred to in (c) above.

The conclusion which can be drawn is that in the case of equipment for production (producer goods) the upvaluations resulted in reductions in landed costs and these reductions were generally passed on to the end-user. For producer materials (raw materials), the boom in world demand and world-wide material shortages in 1973 led to a rapid increase in prices in overseas markets so that landed costs in Australia increased despite the upvaluations. However, the upvaluations generally restrained these price increases.

The Committee notes that producer goods and raw materials account for 70 per cent of commodity imports. With respect to consumer goods which make up the balance, the results were more mixed. For commodities such as tea, consumer prices responded promptly. For clothing and footwear, the practices of ‘psychological pricing’ and ‘averaging ‘of retail margins appear to have denied the consumer of imported goods the full benefits of the policy measures taken by the Australian Government in 1972 and 1973.

I would like to expand on the last sentence. During the course of the inquiry the Australian Government reduced tariffs by 25 per cent across the board’ (the tariff cuts) in July 1973 and also upvalued the Australian dollar in September 1973. The tariff cuts and the upvaluations have had a cumulative effect on landed costs of imports and it is not possible, in practice, to separate the price effects of the one from the other. What the evidence and other information suggests is that these measures have contributed to keep import prices below the rising prices of comparable Australian products.

Major retailers told the Committee that the business of retailing is very much one of averaging margins and that the margins on some imported goods could be supporting the finer margins on goods made in Australia. The Committee was not able to assess from the available evidence whether or not the practice of ‘averaging’ retail margins has restrained increases in the general level of retail prices following the upvaluations and the tariff cuts or whether averaging has resulted in increased profitability for retailers. However, this is now within the powers of the Prices Justification Tribunal.

To repeat, then, the practices of averaging retail margins appears to have denied the consumer of imported goods the full benefits of the policy measures taken by the Australian Government in 1972 and 1973. In a few instances the Committee has found that foreign suppliers have used their market power to obtain windfall gains from the upvaluations by quoting their prices in Australian dollars.

To counter-balance, where possible, this abuse of market power and to measure the price effects of currency changes more speedily by better statistics rather than by commodity studies, the Committee has made the following recommendations:

  1. That the Australian Government invites the attention of the Prices Justification Tribunal and the Industries Assistance Commission to the need to scrutinise, where appropriate, the treatment of ‘the foreign exchange risk ‘ by Australian companies that import from associate companies overseas;
  2. that the Australian Bureau of Statistics be given the necessary resources to enable preparation and publication as soon as possible of import price statistics that give imports on a cost, insurance, freight and exchange basis and also statistics that show the prices of import materials and fuels used in manufacturing;
  3. that the Australian Bureau of Statistics be prepared to publish from time to time an index that comprises those consumer items within the Consumer Price Index that are fully imported, have a sizeable import content or face significant import competition.

I commend the report to the House.

page 4627

TWENTIETH COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE HELD AT COLOMBO, SRI LANKA -SEPTEMBER 1974

Mr DALY:
Minister for Services and Property · Grayndler · ALP

– I present the report of the Australian Branch Delegation to the Twentieth Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference held at Colombo, Sri Lanka, during September 1974 and seek leave to make a statement in connection with it.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr DALY:

– I thank the House and present the report. I was honoured to lead the delegation which was broadly representative of all Australian political parties. Its members were: Senator I. A. C. Wood; Senator G. Georges; Mr A. W. Jarman, M.P.; Mr P. E. Lucock, C.B.E., M.P.; Mr R. H. Sherry, M.P.; Mr J. A. Pettifer, the Deputy Clerk of the House of Representatives, as Secretary to the delegation; and myself.

Honourable members will be well aware that these conferences are annual events. They will also know that the primary purpose is an exchange of ideas on matters of mutual interest to our fellow parliamentarians throughout the Commonwealth of Nations. The Conference was attended by delegates from 85 branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and by representatives from kindred groups in the Republic of Ireland, the French equivalent of the Association and the Commonwealth Secretariat. It was conducted in 6 plenary sessions, 4 committee sessions and 4 panel discussion periods and when they have time to read the report, honourable members will appreciate the wide ranging agenda of some 17 items. The Commonwealth Branch delegation quickly established a happy and easy relationship with our colleagues from the State branches, and with fellow delegates from the Australasian region. In all, delegates from the Australasian region spoke to 1 5 items of the agenda on 39 occasions and proportionately this must surely be accounted a worthwhile contribution. Noteworthy was the harmony among all delegates from the Australasian region and to me this emphasised a growing community of interest which flowed over from the formal sessions to informal discussions on other occasions.

I should like to place on record my appreciation of the co-operation and support of my Deputy Leader, Mr P. E. Lucock, from all members of the branch and indeed from our State branch colleagues. There have been times when we have spoken with many tongues, but on this occasion I think I can assure the House that the voices were recognised as Australian. The Conference also dealt with other procedural and organisational matters affecting the management of the Association and I am happy to report that our nominee, Mr R. H. Sherry, M.P., was sponsored by the Western Samoan branch and elected unanimously as the Australasian Regional Councillor on the General Council. I congratulate him and I think that all honourable members know him well enough to know that he will be a worthy representative.

It will go without saying that our delegates were extremely grateful to the Executive Committee and members of the Sri Lanka branch for the excellence of the program and for their most generous hospitality, and in this regard I am sure that members will not mind my mentioning particularly the Honourable Stanley Tillekeratne the Speaker of the National State Assembly of Sri Lanka and the President of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Association, Mr Sam Wijesinha the Honorary Secretary of the Branch and the Clerk of the National State Assembly, and his very able assistant Mr Kingsley Karauntilleke who some members may remember during his attachment to this Parliament during the 1970 Conference hosted by Australia.

I am sure that I speak for all members of the delegation in expressing our thanks to the Australian High Commissioner in Colombo, His Excellency Mr H. G. Marshall and his good wife for their unfailing courtesy and support. His arrangements were complete in every respect and in the best tradition of our foreign service. Not leastly, the delegation would like to thank our Secretary, Mr John Pettifer, Deputy Clerk of this House, for his well-known unobtrusive efficiency. Finally the delegation would like to thank the branch for choosing them and the Government for supporting them so generously.

Mr LUCOCK:
Lyne

-I seek leave to make a short statement on the same subject.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr LUCOCK:

-It is with a great deal of pleasure that I support the remarks made by the Minister for Services and Property (Mr Daly) in presenting the report of the Twentieth Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. We have spoken about the reports presented on behalf of other delegations on other occasions and I am sure that there is no necessity for me to go into this report in a great amount of detail. However, I would like to comment officially on the leadership of the Minister. I have said on other occasions and I say again that he made a tremendous contribution and his leadership played no small part in the Australian delegation having such a successful conference. I would also like to pay a compliment to the members of the Minister’s staff who assisted us on many occasions in many ways while we were there. The Minister mentioned the assistance we received from the Australian High Commissioner and his wife and staff in Colombo who, along with the Minister’s staff, did a fantastic job. All of these things contributed to the success of the conference. The work of Mr Pettifer has been referred to. We know of the capabilities of Mr Pettifer from the efficient way in which he carries out his duties here in this House. Those capabilities were exemplified at this conference. I would also like to join with the Minister in congratulating the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Sherry) on his appointment as the Australasian Regional Councillor on the General Council. I have said before that these conferences are important because they discuss the subject matters that concern the whole of the Commonwealth. I also congratulate members of the delegation who gave the Minister their strong support. The contributions that they made at this conference meant that Australia’s prestige was high among the other countries that attended the conference. I have much pleasure in supporting the remarks of the Minister.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.

page 4628

BANKING BILL 1974

Bill returned from the Senate with amendments.

Motion ( by Mr Crean) agreed to:

That the amendments be taken into consideration in Committee of the whole House forthwith.

In Committee

Consideration of Senate’s amendments. Clause 3.

Part III of the Principal Act is repealed and the following Part substituted:

39-

Senate ‘s amendment No. 1 -

In sub-section (6) of proposed section 39, lines 16 to 23, leave out the sub-section, insert the following sub-section:

Regulations under this section may provide that no act or thing done, or contract or other transaction entered into, is invalid or unenforceable by reason only that the provisions of the regulations have not, or a particular provision of the regulations specified in the regulations has not, been complied with, but regulations so made shall not be construed as having the effect of preventing a person from being convicted of an offence against the regulations by reason of his having failed to comply with a provision of the regulations.’.

Clause 5.

Senate’s amendment No. 2-

In sub-clause ( 1 ), lines 32 to 38, leave out the sub-clause, insert the following sub-clause:

1 ) No act or thing done, and no contract or other transaction entered into, before the commencement of this Act, shall be deemed to be, or ever to have been, invalid or unenforceable by reason only that a provision of the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations has not been complied with, but the foregoing-

does not apply to any act, thing, contract or other transaction the validity of which, has, before 3 December 1974, been called in question, for that reason, in any proceedings, whether or not the proceedings have been completed before that date, except proceedings in which the court holds that it is just and equitable that the act, thing, contract or other transaction should be treated as being valid; and

shall not be construed as having the effect of preventing a person from being convicted of an offence against the Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations by reason of his having failed to comply with a provision of those regulations. ‘.

Mr CREAN:
Treasurer · Melbourne Ports · ALP

That the amendments be agreed to.

The amendments to the Bill were inserted in the Senate after a great deal of discussion and are designed, in the view of those who moved them, to improve the efficacy of the Bill. I offer no objection, or any argument against them.

Mr GARLAND:
Curtin

-On behalf of the Opposition I have no desire to add any further to the debate which took place in the Senate. The Opposition supports the amendments.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

page 4629

ELECTORAL BILL 1974

Bill presented by Mr Daly, and read a first time.

page 4629

PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE ACT: REFERENCE OF WORKS

Central Laboratory Facilities, Casuarina, Northern Territory

Mr Les Johnson:
Minister for Housing and Construction · HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the PublicWorks Committee Act 1969-1974, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report: Construction of proposed central laboratory facilities, Casuarina, Northern Territory.

The proposal is to provide a comprehensive laboratory service for the Northern Territory health services and, by transfer of the Pathology Department from the Casuarina Hospital to the proposed laboratory building, to allow for expansion of the outpatients services area of the Hospital. Construction will be of 6 storeys of reinforced concrete frame with external cladding of precast spandrel panels. Roofing will be vinyl bonded metal deck. Internal walls will be steel framed sheeted with plasterboard. Floor finishes will suit the requirements of the various areas. Ceilings will be of acoustic tiles and plasterboard.

The building, generally, will be air conditioned with mechanical ventilation to areas where air cannot be recirculated. Some reticulated gaseous systems will be piped from the main ward block and others from cylinder manifolds in the plant room. Other engineering services to be supplied include sewerage, water and storm water drainage, fire protection systems and emergency power supply. Existing roads will be extended to the building entrances and adjacent car park. The site is to be landscaped. The estimated cost of the proposed work is $7.4m at August 1974 prices. I table plans of the proposed work.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Construction of Australian Government Centre, Parramatta, New South Wales

Mr Les Johnson:
Minister for Housing and Construction · HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the PublicWorks Committee Act 1969-1974, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report: Construction of Australian Government Centre at Parramatta, N.S. W.

The proposal is for the construction of a modern office complex with a view to accommodating 2,500 Australian Government office users in the first phase and with capacity for ultimate development to accommodate between 4,500 and 6,000 officers. The ultimate development will make provision for civic, community and staff amenity facilities and for retail purposes. The office accommodation will be concrete framed structures designed so as to provide flexible general purpose office areas for Australian Government usage. The complex will be designed for minimum maintenance with floors being carpeted in office areas. Acoustic treatment will be provided to reduce the general noise level.

The buildings will be air conditioned and fire protection will be installed. The estimated cost of the proposed work at December 1 974 prices is as follows: Stage 1, to provide accommodation for 2,500 officers, plus car park, plus 40 per cent of the community /retail facilities- $21 m. The total cost of the development is as follows: Alternative 1, for 4,500 officers, $36m; alternative 2, for 5,000 officers, $38m; alternative 3, for 6,000 officers, $43m. I table plans of the proposed work.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 4630

EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS BILL 1974

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 28 November, on motion by Dr Cairns:

That the Bill be now read a second time. (Quorum formed).

Mr ANTHONY:
Leader of the Australian Country Party · Richmond

– In speaking on the Export Market Development Grants Bill I want to say that it is pleasing that the Government has at last brought forward proposals to give an incentive to encourage the export of Australian manufactured goods. For far too long manufacturing industries generally have been in a state of complete uncertainty as to what the Government’s attitude is to be in relation to a continuing program of giving incentives in this area. In the previous Liberal-Country Party Government we did develop a most worthwhile and effective incentive scheme which did a tremendous amount to encourage production especially of manufactured goods for export by Australia. Indeed it helped to develop Australia’s reputation as an exporter not only of primary and mining products but also of manufactured products. The great advantage of manufacturing industries in becoming more involved in the export market is not that this just widens the base of our export potential and therefore gives us a high degree of security and stability, but, for manufacturing industries, the whole basis of success in their operations, resulting in their becoming more viable, is volume of production. The more that can be sold to markets other than Australia, the greater their continuing throughput and the greater can their unit costs of production be reduced.

One of the serious consequences of the Government’s policy over the past 12 months especially its impromptu methods of revaluing the currency has been to hit very hard at manufacturing industries which, in the period of the regime of the previous Liberal-Country Party Government, had built up quite an extensive export outlet. Now, because it has become difficult to sustain export performance in those outlets operations have been reduced. Their whole Australian operations then become a rather doubtful economic proposition. When that happens, people must be dismissed, expansion programs are reduced and so stagnancy develops within the area of secondary industry.

I do not think anyone will challenge me when I say that there is tremendous apprehension and concern throughout the manufacturing areas of Australia as to what lies for them in the future. Our scheme which was a fairly sophisticated scheme was costing the then Government $ 100m a year. I do not think $1 of that sum was wasted. Any money that was paid by way of government assistance was more than doubly repaid in the effectiveness it provided in developing manufacturing industry in Australia, giving us this very sound industrial base. But, today, we have a new scheme. I suppose we must be grateful for any mercies shown by the Government towards the private sector. But really, the scheme is completely inadequate. It does not really meet the needs and it will only partially provide the impetus which these manufacturing industries require and which over many years creates such a worthwhile export performance. What is given now to many industries will be more or less useless because of the limitations that are imposed. I know that the Government has a fetish about giving too much to big companies based on its philosophy that anything that is big is bad; therefore we cut it off.

Mr Peacock:

– Except big government.

Mr ANTHONY:

– Well, government monopoly is honourable at all times and government monopolies can do no wrong.

Mr James:

– The people ‘s monopolies!

Mr ANTHONY:

-There we are: The good old socialist jargon- the people’s this and the people’s that. Looking at the people’s Post Office these days, we wonder whether it is a very efficient undertaking. This legislation as now drawn excludes the bigger operators or the people whose performance is accelerating at such a rate that they will be discouraged from going any further. Thus, half the effectiveness of the program is cut out. This idea that too much is given to the big operator is false thinking. It is fair to lodge that accusation only if that assistance is depriving smaller enterprises of obtaining their fair share. In the previous scheme that operated, not one small company was deprived if it had an export performance comparable with what a large company had. It was operated on a rolling basis. In other words, a company had to keep improving its export performance if it qualified for the rebate. The present scheme seems to me to be one in which a great deal of discretion will be used in selecting what companies will qualify under the arrangement proposed.

I have been looking at the possibility of putting forward some amendments which will make this Bill very much more sensible and wider in its application. These would not be amendments that would place an onerous additional financial burden on the Government. I hope that, within the very limited time that I have available, I might be able to draft these amendments for consideration in the Senate, although with the very rushed program I have not had a chance to formulate them for presentation to the House today. I do put the Government on warning that if we can get time to draft these rather modest amendments, but amendments which will make the Bill much more effective, they will be presented in the Senate. I hope that the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns), who has been talking regularly to people involved in exporting and telling them that he is sympathetic to developing export incentives for industry, might give consideration to some of our amendments.

This scheme really is far too limited. It provides $27. 5m to encourage exports from this country. The scheme operated by the previous Government would have provided $ 100m. Quite clearly, a number of people who obtained a benefit will no longer receive that benefit. If ever there was a country that should be giving these incentives today, from the point of view of increasing our overseas revenue and, more importantly, giving encouragement to manufacturing industries to keep their operations viable and active it is Australia especially right now when unemployment is developing and when employment opportunities, particularly in this important employment area, are being put at risk. I hope that the Government will give a great deal of consideration to the amendments that we may bring forward.

Today we will be supporting this legislation through this House with the one qualification that, as I have mentioned, this afternoon I hope we will have time to iron out our proposed amendments. This Bill is a rather complex piece of legislation. It provides quite a new means of providing incentives. It is a most selective means. A board will be set up. It will not be autonomous. It seems that it will operate at the discretion of the relevant Minister. A scheme which is not based on any set formula is always open to favouritism and to patronage. I would hope that we never will have to challenge the Government on being unduly discriminatory or giving patronage to people because this is the way it will be operating. Our previous scheme operated on a mathematical basis through which manufacturers obtained a rebate on their payroll tax. It worked extremely successfully. Anybody who has been a part of that scheme and who belongs to the great manufacturing area of Australia, which after all is the biggest employment area, will say that the former scheme worked extremely successfully and that a great deal of merit should go to the previous Liberal-Country Party Government for the introduction of that scheme. If we are returned to office and this legislation as it now stands is still on the statute book, we will consider it quite inadequate. We will be reviewing it with a view to making what is proposed a much more successful scheme to provide incentives to encourage exports by Australian manufacturing industries.

Mr MACPHEE:
Balaclava

– I support entirely and wholeheartedly the views expressed by the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony). The export incentive schemes of the Liberal-Country Party Government were essentially aimed at encouraging Australian manufacturers, firstly, to develop new markets and, secondly, to increase their sales in existing markets. This Bill now before the House is aimed at developing new markets but it certainly and deliberately refuses to supply any incentive to increase the volume of sales in existing markets. It is quite inadequate for the needs of Australian exporters. It is certainly better than nothing, as the Leader of the Australian Country Party has said, but it does not go far enough. It does not contain anything which will encourage people to increase what now may be marginally profitable exports to markets which they have worked hard to open up. The Bill contains a clause which is aimed at eliminating so-called abuses of the previous scheme. One would have thought that it would have been possible to have inserted this clause into the existing scheme rather than to abandon part of the existing scheme and no longer provide incentives to persons who are increasing or who are capable of increasing their volume of sales in particular markets. In other words, we should eliminate the abuses rather than eliminate the incentives.

With the serious decline in investment in Australia, to which Opposition spokesmen have often referred in this House, it is important that we have even more than we had before export incentives, even as a temporary means of stimulating investment, of producing economies of scale, of increasing output and, consequently, of increasing employment opportunities. A very serious deficiency in the Bill is that it fails to provide an incentive to export on an increasing scale to established markets. The reasoning of the Government seems to be that if one has already proved that one can export in certain areas then one has all the incentive one needs, because if one is making any kind of sale one can continue to make a sale. This is highly specious reasoning because it ignores many practical considerations. It ignores the cost of servicing the market and of maintaining people there, and it ignores the part that there are others from other countries who are competing in those markets for what is, of course, a defined and limited area. That, together with the internal pressures in Australia, has really led a lot of people to consider whether they should withdraw from the export markets in which they hold a somewhat tenuous toe-hold but could hold a greater one if incentives were given to them to stay there and to continue to expand.

The Government’s view may well have been forfeited by the statistics for the first half of this year which show the export of manufactured goods to be in a healthy state. But this is partly because of the shortage of goods on a worldwide basis. With the enormous cost pressures which Australian manufacturers are now experiencing their ability to compete overseas has declined very sharply. Therefore they need an incentive to expand existing markets as a means, as I have said, of stimulating investment and of creating employment opportunities in Australia. There is a contraction of manufacturing industry in Australia. Therefore there are fewer goods to export than previously. The profits to Australia from exports are therefore much lower than they used to be and we desperately need incentives to restore the level of export earnings.

Not all companies will be in a position to avail themselves of the grants which this Bill proposes. Of course some companies will take advantage of these incentives in order to find new markets. But there are many which, because of the nature of their operation, will wish to expand existing markets in which they gained a toe-hold in more propitious circumstances than those which now prevail. Such companies will find it increasingly difficult to move into other markets in which they may have an equally tenuous position. Australia’s high rate of inflation makes it very difficult for Australian manufacturers to compete with competitors from low labour cost countries and with countries which have more generous export incentives than Australia has ever had. They also have to compete with countries which have large populations which already produce through an economy of scale which makes the goods easier and less costly to produce.

The Government has been praised by the Opposition for its recent export bank legislation. It is a great shame that much of the reasoning behind the Government’s move in that area has not been translated into the area of export incentives. I have no doubt that the manufacturing, industrial and craft unions will share the view which has been expressed by the Opposition today. In fact, the Government should be promoting exports on a major basis at this time as a means of maintaining a viable and vital private sector in the economy. The Government should recognise that not only is there the need for increased investment and higher employment opportunities but also there is a need to retain technical expertise and continued productivity improvement. It is this productivity improvement rather than massive Government handouts which will make the greatest contribution to an increase in the standard of living of all Australians. Export incentives and increased earnings from exports will go a long way towards achieving that.

These are very general observations. I shall now make some rather more specific points on the Bill. The Deputy Prime Minister (Dr J. F. Cairns) in his second reading speech said that the Bill aims at developing new markets rather than at perpetuating payments on exports. The Minister also said that he has discussed this scheme with exporters. Yet I would be amazed if any of those exporters who have spoken to the Deputy Prime Minister would have asked the Government to perpetuate payments on exports. Rather they would have asked for something akin to the Liberal-Country Party scheme which gave them an incentive on an increased volume of exports, which is hardly a matter of perpetuating payments on exports. This grant on the increased volume of exports would take into account the sales position at the end of a given 12 months and compensate or make a grant as an incentive for the improvement in sales in that area in the following 12 months. This would in fact assist those who have spent a lot of money on sales promotion in a particular area, who have to continue to spend money to service existing clients and who, under this Bill, will not be compensated for that continued follow up work

One would think that the extension of a market by many companies or many industries would, in many cases, be more economic to the company and more beneficial to Australia in terms of a return on investment and higher employment levels than in finding new markets. One can spread some of one’s goods too thinly. Industries vary. It must be a matter for each company to decide whether it will expand the existing market or whether it will seek a new market. But this Bill denies the right of a company to make that kind of choice. Now companies will decide either to contract and close markets which are only marginally beneficial without further incentives or they will be forced to move into new areas. We could face a problem here with some of our largest export earners, such as in the expensive capital equipment area where the problem can be solved only with a very heavy outlay and with years of promotion by a company.

Under clause 7 of the Bill a company may fail to qualify for a grant. Under clause 7 a firm which has spent less than $5,000 over 3 years is eligible for reimbursement in respect of further market promotion expenditure in the market, up to the sum of $100,000 per annum over each of 3 years. Yet a firm which has done a market survey which convinces that firm that it has to spend more than the Bill now allows- that is, it may require 6 years and a larger capital outlay than $5,000 in a total of 3 years- becomes ineligible for the premium payments on further market development. This is inequitable. As the Leader of the Country Party said, it is aimed at larger companies. It is another example of what one can only describe as a very foolish foible by the Government in respect of larger companies.

It is commendable that the Government is making it possible for small companies to find new markets. But it is utterly stupid to deprive some of our largest companies of this benefit and, therefore, deprive Australia of the benefits which would come from genuine incentives given to larger companies to export.

The operation of this Bill will also cause an injustice to other active Australian exporters. I have mentioned those who export capital equipment. We could also find the situation that there are 2 domestic competitors in Australia, one of whom has established a market overseas and now finds that the other, working on the basis of the pioneering work which he has done, now says: ‘If he can sell his goods in that market I can sell mine. I will go there and I will compete with him.’ What a foolish situation that is, because under the Bill it is a new market to the second company but it is no longer a new market to the first company and the first company gets no benefits from extending its activities and from its efforts to try to increase its volume of sales in the market which it has pioneered at considerable expense to itself and under the previous incentive program of the Liberal-Country Party Government. Under the Bill it is a new market to the new company, which goes there and seeks to take away from his Australian competitor what his Australian competitor had been developing and for which he is no longer compensated. This is an extreme disadvantage and injustice under the Bill. It is an absurd waste of Australia’s resources if we have 2 companies competing with each other in this fashion in a market.

Referring again to the obsession with big companies, one must say that it is inevitable that a great deal of our exporting will be done by big companies. Many of them are geared to this type of operation, and we as a country benefit by the earnings which they make. We benefit by the extended employment which they offer because of the fact that they are exporting more and producing more goods, and we benefit from the economies of scale, which produce generally lower prices in the home market. It is an inspiration to go to an export awards presentation and to learn of the small companies which are exporting in some of the most difficult markets, and therefore it is pleasing to see that in respect of at least new markets they will be compensated. Many of them will find it a major barrier not to be given an incentive to continue to work in and expand the market which they have so recently pioneered.

In other words, all export is good for Australia, and it is detrimental to our economy for there to be provisions in this Bill which discriminate against large companies. Certain provisionsclauses 10, 15 and 16- do precisely this. By clause 10 and clause 16 the maximum benefit of $100,000 per annum is limited to a group of related firms. Abuses could have been coped with by clause 38, a clause which I commend. The result of the inter-action of clause 10 and clause 16 is that there is placed upon large companies or upon diverse companies a penalty. As we all know, one of the modern economic phenomena is the diverse corporate body, the group of companies which need not have very much in common with each other in terms of their production methods, in terms of the goods they make or in terms of their marketing techniques or areas. Yet though each division of the company might be relatively small and each division may have a healthy export market, it is to be penalised by the fact that it has the same group company ownership or some other relationship denned by the Bill.

I repeat that if there have been groups of companies which have been guilty of abuses in respect of export incentives in the past, they should be exposed as such and they should be dealt with. I believe that the provisions which the Minister has inserted in this Bill can cope with that point, but to me it seems tragic that, at a time when some of our diverse companies have been diversifying in order to insulate themselves against the impacts of inflation and are endeavouring to export certain of their product lines, they are now to be penalised because of a provision which was probably aimed at multinationals on the theory that another wing of the multi-national corporation overseas could probably fulfil the commitment, or that the multinational would be able to find funds to finance its own exports. These are the kinds of problems which still cause Australia great concern. If a multi-national corporation overseas considers that without export incentives in Australia it can export from country A to country B rather than from Australia to country B, it will do so, and that is Australia’s loss. We have gained nothing from the so-called penalty on the multi-national corporation. It is a loss of export earnings, employment opportunities, etc. in Australia. That is why I believe that the maximum benefit of $100,000 was set by the Government with multinational companies in mind. It will still disadvantage some multi-national companies, but it will certainly disadvantage many other companies in Australia. Many of the multi-nationals that it will disadvantage have operated with great credit in Australia, and they have earned this country a great deal of export income. Likewise, in foolishly discriminating against big business in general and multi-nationals in particular, the Government will harm many of those Australian companies which are entirely dependent upon their Australian operations to promote their overseas exports. I am not talking just of Australian multi-nationals; there are lots of Australian companies wholly operating within these shores which are wholly dependent upon the economies of scale they can get from exports, but still find that exports as such are marginally profitable enough for them not to operate without incentives. Many of those businesses may in fact close down. Many Australian companies are being damaged very severely at the moment. They have been damaged more severely than the multi-nationals. They need export opportunities.

Clause 15 provides for a differential rate for expenditure incurred in exports in relation to government sponsored promotions and nongovernment sponsored new market development. Although one must praise government sponsorship, one must recognise that the best people to decide where the markets lie and how they should be developed, are certainly those in private enterprise- the people who put up the risk capital and the people who must exercise the initiative. To have differential rates according to whether it has a government blessing or not is indeed most unjust and impracticable in commercial terms. For example, at a government trade display, a large manufacturer of heavy equipment cannot necessarily be expected to incur the expense of participating in the trade display. He may participate by using photographs or by having a representative on the spot. If in fact he seeks to have his own promotions elsewhere in his own way, he is rewarded at a lower rate than others who attended the Commonwealth Government sponsored display. The existence of such a differential may even encourage a new type of abuse under the scheme.

I deal next with the question of markets. In many large and economically complex industrial countries such as the United States of America, it is no longer realistic to define a market merely by reference to geographic boundaries. I understand full well the problem which any one would have in defining a market, but I would ask that when the Government reviews the operation of this scheme, as it has said it will, it will examine whether it is feasible to look at a country like the United States and call it a market. Merely because one has penetrated the West Coast, it does not mean that one will penetrate the South or the Mid West, let alone the East Coast. That could be seen as a separate market.

Finally, on the question of costs, I would go one step beyond the criticism which the Leader of the Australian Country Party made of this scheme. While the previous scheme was reported to have cost $100m, $78m of this amount was in the form of tax rebates. The present scheme costing $27. 5m is all taxable. At a company tax rate of 47.5 per cent, the net cost to the Government of this scheme is only $ 14.5m. If it is assessed at the rate of 45 per cent company tax, the net cost to the Government is $15m. The cost of this scheme is therefore greatly reduced as compared with the previous scheme in terms of benefits to exporters and benefits to Australia. It is even more greatly reduced than the Minister said in his second reading speech. This, I believe, will reflect adversely on the Australian economy.

Dr J F Cairns:
Minister for Overseas Trade · LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

– in reply- It is pleasing that the Opposition is supporting this Bill. There are one or two points I would like to make. First of all, the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony) spoke about uncertainty. There is no uncertainty about this scheme. The position taken by the Government was that the previous scheme, the market development assistance scheme and the export incentive grants, would come to an end. The date of that was stated clearly. Press statements were made about the new scheme on 18 December 1973 and 2 July 1974. In addition, a number of seminars were held between officials of the Department and the industry. The new scheme was fully explained and understood. Quite a number of suggestions made at those seminars were taken up and put into effect.

In making a decision about bringing the old scheme to an end the Government had to take into account whether it was prepared to impose upon taxpayers a cost of over $ 100m, rising with increases in the assisted types of exports. In speaking to this measure the Opposition has not mentioned the significance of that cost which is in fact imposed upon taxpayers. It was a transfer from taxpayers to a few very large companies- a little over twenty- so that one per cent of those who received the benefits of the market development assistance scheme received over 50 per cent of the benefits, and 2 per cent of the recipients of the other scheme- the exports incentives grants scheme- received over 50 per cent of the benefits.

Let us look at particular things such as motor cars. Under this scheme the Australian taxpayer is probably paying $70 or more for every motor car exported from Australia. The Government, as in all these matters, has to make a decision according to its priorities, and the priorities of this Government are that it has to draw a limit to the extent to which it will impose upon taxpayers a burden as heavy as $100m and more for the benefit predominantly of a few fairly large companies. The honourable member for Balaclava (Mr Macphee) spoke about control of this scheme and about abuses. In order to obviate abuses, this scheme is based on a performance test with a ceiling limit and there are certification requirements. The main point is that companies should justify their expenditures by their examinable performance. I think the taxpayers would expect that any government would find it necessary, as this Government has done, to employ that kind of control over the scheme.

The honourable member raised the question of discrimination. I point out that in many ways this scheme is much less discriminatory than the other scheme. I pointed out how the other one discriminated in favour of size. This one is less discriminatory. All companies qualify, including marketing boards and the smaller firms which one would expect that the average citizen would normally see as being more justified to receive assistance are discriminated against less than under the old scheme. There is a difference in the premium rate and the standard rate, but there is a good reason for that difference. Whether a company receives the premium or the standard rate depends not upon whether it is small or large but on whether it is a new or established operation. I think it is common sense to provide the higher rate for those who are making the establishment expenses. Those who receive the lower rate have already incurred the higher establishment expenses. Having got over that and having received assistance for it, it seems to me sensible that they should receive only the standard rate. A scheme of this sort- the remarks made by the 2 Opposition speakers related to the old scheme- has to be related to the general state of the economy. I think it is desirable that there be a continuing plan of reasonable assistance to exporting manufacturers.

Last week I had the pleasure of being able to present export awards. There have been some remarkably fine performances by the companies that have been most successful in exporting. I think there is room for continued application of thought as to what might be done about exporting. It is unfortunate that so many people who make representations to the Government do so simply in terms of campaigning for the old scheme. I am sorry that the 2 Opposition speakers have joined with the numbers campaigning for the old scheme. The old scheme had many defects and faults, and it was most necessary to prevent the abuses- I use the term that has already been used- that were operating under the old scheme. It would be much better if we were able to apply ourselves to achieving something better rather than campaigning for the return of the old.

I am sorry that we do not have the amendments that the Leader of the Australian Country Party suggested he might be able to prepare by the time the Bills go to the Senate. What is involved in these Bills is fairly well known. When those amendments arrive the Government will certainly have a look at them in the Senate. But just as the Opposition believes it has a right to have a Bill presented to it with notice, I believe that the Government also has a right to have amendments presented to it with notice. I hope that when the Leader of the Australian Country Party is ready with his amendments he will not wait until this Bill reaches the Senate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Dr J. F. Cairns) read a third time.

page 4636

HEALTH INSURANCE LEVY ASSESSMENT BILL 1974 [No. 2]

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 27 November, on motion by Mr Crean:

That the Bill be now read a second time. (Quorum formed).

Mr STEWART:
Minister for Tourism and Recreation and Minister assisting the Treasurer · Lang · ALP

and the Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill [No. 3] as they are associated measures. Separate questions will, of course, be put on each of the Bills at the conclusion of the debate. I suggest therefore, Mr Speaker, that you permit the subject matter of the 3 Bills to be discussed in this debate.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering the 3 measures? There being no objection, I will allow that course to be followed.

Mr CHIPP:
Hotham

-The House is debating 3 health levy Bills the purpose of which essentially is to provide the funds for the notorious Hayden health scheme. At the outset I make it very clear that the Opposition will be as resolute in its opposition to these 3 Bills as it has been twice before. Although I honour the friendship of the Minister for Tourism and Recreation (Mr Stewart), who assists the Treasurer (Mr Crean), I should have thought that as these Bills could be the last which the Treasurer as such would have handled I might have had the additional honour of having him confront me across the table. These Bills have already been debated in this House this year. The Opposition voted against them, but they were passed by the Government numbers in this chamber. The Bills went to the Senate where they were rejected. They are now back in this chamber, and the Opposition will be as resolute in opposing them as it was before.

Mr Duthie:

– As bloody-minded.

Mr CHIPP:

– That is hardly appropriate language for a lay Methodist preacher to use. In opposing these Bills we are conscious of the constitutional possibilities our opposition raises. We realise that we are putting into the Government ‘s hands a weapon for another double dissolution. If it chooses to take this issue to the people and involves this House or both Houses the Opposition will accommodate it in a flash- if the Government dares. These Bills will have the effect of adding to people’s income tax to the extent of 1.35 per cent of taxable income over and above what they are paying now so that the Hayden health scheme can be part funded. This 1.35 per cent will not, of course, fund the Hayden health scheme completely as the major proportion of the cost will be taken out of Consolidated Revenue. It is pathetic that the Government should pursue with obsessive zeal the introduction of such a scheme at a time of raging inflation. I pick up a newspaper, the ‘Australian Financial Review’, which has not been notorious for supporting the Opposition in recent times. It carries the headline ‘A sick economy’.

Mr Keating:

– It is intelligent.

Mr CHIPP:

– The honourable member for Blaxland says it is an intelligent newspaper. I acknowledge his interjection so that it will appear in Hansard, I shall now quote what the ‘Australian Financial Review’ says about the Labor Party:

The Whitlam Government, beleaguered by rising unemployment and inflation, was yesterday presented with a statistical picture which shows that Australia is headed For a set of more intractable economic problems.

It is now clear that Australia is in an economic slump which will at least match the decline of 1 960-6 1 .

Do the honourable members for Blaxland and Wilmot agree that this is an intelligent commentary?

Mr Keating:

– I think it is an intelligent paper but I do not agree with everything it says.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Blaxland is out of his position.

Mr CHIPP:

– The honourable member for Blaxland has never been in position in his life. I quote further from the ‘Australian Financial Review’. It states:

What is a nice little country like Australia doing in a mess like this? … A great deal of the Whitlam Government’s Cabinet is preoccupied with the perks of office, the seductive, corruptive world of patronage and little else.

This is not a two-bit newspaper; it is one of the highly respected financial newspapers of this country. In its leader article today it states:

For reasons unconnected with the vagaries of nature the economic growth of Australia has gone into reverse.

Any suggestion that this can be explained in terms of international trends is intelligence-insulating deception.

It is quite simply a matter of extremely poor domestic economic management.

In conclusion the lead article states:

In the process, Labor has taken what must be one of the best positioned economies in the entire world and turned it upside down.

In the light of that we now have this added insanity of adding to the fires of inflation by representing these health levy Bills.

If what I have said is not sufficient, I take some comments made recently by one of the great admirers of the Government, Professor Downing. I can testify to his competence because he turned out a large number of students from the University of Melbourne with commerce degrees including, I understand, the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) and myself. In talking of the economy a day or two ago Professor Downing said:

Each of them -

He was talking about the compensation scheme, the superannuation scheme and the health scheme- is admirable in itself. Add them together, however, and the total cost on prospect is sobering . . . The total cost to public revenue of these 3 major proposals … is just on $4,900m, about 10 per cent of gross domestic product.

This means that 10 per cent of everything we produce is being diverted by the Labor Government, a socialist government, into these 3 areas. Professor Downing who, I remind honourable members, is a distinguished gentleman and the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, continued:

The additional burden will fall mainly on lower-income people not now contributing to private schemes.

Is it the Labor Government that is doing thisthe so-called champion of the working class? Is the Labor Government impacting this additional cost on the people who cannot afford to pay it at a time of raging inflation which is crippling the economy and crippling the poor? Professor Downing continued:

This increased revenue will all have to be raised through direct or indirect taxes and will involve an increase of tux revenues from 22.3 per cent of gross domestic product to 28 per cent- an increase of 25.5 per cent.

That means to finance these 3 schemes taxes, both direct and indirect, will have to increase by 25 per cent. Professor Downing concludes with this devastating comment:

It is, however, now painfully clear that the people of this country will not take a sharp sudden increase in taxes without pressing for equally sharp sudden increases in their money incomes in an effort to ease the incidence of these taxes. Since the schemes are all costed in terms of percentages of gross domestic product, any such inflation of money incomes will lead directly to increased expenditures on these schemes and will thus set off a vicious inflationary spiral.

In the light of that advice, and when every economist in the country and responsible financial newspapers are saying ‘For God’s sake halt this crazy inflationary spiral’, it passes my comprehension that the Labor Party would introduce something that represents a further stimulus to increase incomes and increase prices. Even if this were a good scheme, which we do not believe it is, now would be a bad time to bring it in.

What does it mean- these goodies included in the health scheme which we are now debating, the compensation scheme and the superannuation scheme? It means, in effect, that this Government is saying to every wage earner in Australia: ‘Look, we cannot trust you with how you spend your money. We are going to spend it for you.’ These 3 schemes alone will mean that after people have paid their taxes the Government will go to them and say: ‘We are going to take 10 per cent of your take-home pay over and above what we are taking now in taxation to finance these schemes because we believe they are good for you. It does not matter whether you want to put that discretionary dollar of yours into further education for your children, to add a room on to your house or use it for some other function ‘. The Government says: ‘ We know best; big brother knows best. We are going to rip it off you. We are going to take a further 10 per cent of what you take home because we know better than you’. Who does the Government think pays for all these goodies? Does the Government think it can continue to print money in printing presses? I would like to inform the Government that it is the ordinary man- the wage earnerwho pays. The worker pays for this. When will this Labor Government realise that it cannot dip its hands into a barrel and produce money to pay for all these goodies? When will it discover that there is no magical golden goose that lays the golden eggs for it to pick up so that it can shower goodies over people? Let it realise that there is no bottomless pit into which it can dip its hands and draw out billions of dollars without any restraint.

Apart from the effects that such action will have on the economy, it will have a much more serious impact on something which is even more important than the nation’s economy. I refer to the health of individual Australians. I believe that this legislation will have a bad effect on health care and the health of Australians and their families. It is really sad to look back over the last few years and to see that every field of endeavour in which the Australian Labor Party has intruded since it came to office 2 years ago it has ruined. It has not touched anything that it has not ruined. What has the Labor Government done to the housing situation? Is it possible now for a young couple to buy a house without mortgaging themselves in perpetuity and paying the highest rate of interest we have ever known in this country?

Mr Keating:
Mr CHIPP:

– Can the vocal honourable member for Blaxland tell me one Minister who has done a good job? Let him tell me one Minister in relation to whom he can get on a public platform and say: ‘There is a good Minister. I am proud of him. I am proud of the job he has done’. Honourable members opposite could not name one such Minister. You have ruined the defence forces of this country. You have ruined any opportunity for oil exploration. You have stopped oil exploration in this country when there has been an international oil crisis. You have set interest rates in the country at the highest level they have been in the nation’s history. You have massive, crippling unemployment. You have ruined secondary industry -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Luchetti)Order! I ask the honourable member to address the Chair and I ask other honourable members to cease interjecting.

Mr CHIPP:

– This Labor Government has ruined everything it has touched. It now has secondary industry in utter chaos and confusion. It does not know where to go. The average man is paying more tax than he has ever paid before. The Government has made a farce of and demeaned this insititution of Parliament. Is there a member opposite who would stand up and be proud of the Minister for Transport (Mr Charles Jones) and the way he has behaved in the last 10 days? Is there a Labor Party member who would be proud to stand up beside his Minister? Everywhere one turns, one sees chaos. What sort of comfort will there be now for the thousands who are thrown out of work by the larrikinism of the Minister for Transport. We saw what happened to thousands of employees of Ansett Airlines of Australia and Trans-Australia Airlines. What about the position of thousands of school leavers? Would they find any comfort in this Government? I repeat that the Government has not touched anything without ruining it. Now, it is going to ruin the nation’s health care system which will mean that it will interfere with the health of Australians.

Mr Scholes:

– You are complaining because there is nothing in it for you.

Mr CHIPP:

-I would have thought that the honourable member for Corio was more worthy than to make that contemptible remark which I will regard with the utter contempt that it deserves. If the honourable member wants to hold on to his seat of Corio, which has now become more tenuous than ever because of the Government’s policies, he should make remarks more worthy of a member of Parliament than the one he has just made.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Order! I ask the honourable members to cease interjecting and I ask the honourable member who is speaking to address himself to the Bills before the House.

Mr CHIPP:

- Mr Deputy Speaker, I am being provoked beyond reason. I seek your protection. Let me say what this Labor Government is going to do to the nation’s health. This national health scheme which the Government is introducing is very similar to that which is operating in the United Kingdom. There are some areas of difference but it is essentially the same. Recently, the presidents and deans of Britain ‘s royal colleges and faculties of medicine made a statement. These people are not political creatures. They belong to one of the most prestigious bodies concerned with health in the United Kingdom. They desperately seek not to become political. They had this to say in relation to the health scheme in Great Britain:

The ills within the National Health Service are serious and, by threatening standards, threaten the health and wellbeing of the community. There is a real danger of standards declining to a point from which recovery will be impossible within the foreseeable future.

That is what this Labor Government is trying to do in this country. Its health care scheme will do to Australians what the British Labor Party’s health scheme has done to the British people. I wish to quote what was said by another Englishman. This man works in the nationalised health service in the United Kingdom. He is a doctoran administrator- at one of the leading British hospitals. He said:

The British scheme was starved for funds because of the economic climate.

The shortage of money, together with the British Government ‘s reorganisation of the scheme on a regional basis, had caused chaotic conditions. ‘The reorganisation of the scheme, the first since its inception in 1948, has proved disastrous because of the shortage of money ‘, Dr Sowry said. ‘It has stultified the hopes of people who were looking forward to rebuilding- all projects have been indefinitely deferred ‘.

That is the situation with nationalised health. This is what that kind of health scheme has done to British medicine. This scheme will mean that any person who becomes ill, contracts a disease or sustains an accident will receive a poorer service from the medical profession, will have lower standards thrust upon him and will pay more for the service. Yet the Government still wants to bring in such a scheme. As with the British scheme, we will find people queueing to see a doctor, not knowing which doctor they will see at the local clinic. There will be a waiting time for operations at public hospitals. This sort of scheme turns human beings into anonymous cases with numbers rather than treating them as people. This scheme destroys private hospitals and dries up the charitable services that go with them. For instance, I refer to the magnificent services performed by Catholic nuns and other men and women interested in the care of their fellow human beings. It destroys the private nursing home concept in Australia and gives doctors institutionalisation.

I refer to the case of woman having a baby. It has been traditional in Australia that a young mother having a baby has her family doctor consult her during her confinement. He knows her history and background. The chances are that he has delivered other children from that woman. This is a basic facet of our medical health care system. I know that the Minister for Social Security is desperately trying to devise a means so that that present system in this regard can be maintained so that even under his health care scheme a woman will still be able to go to her own doctor. My inquiries through the public and private hospital systems and through the medical profession indicate to me that no matter what the Minister’s good intentions might be, it is just impossible and impracticable under the Hayden health scheme to do this. The day of a woman having her doctor attend her in hospital when she has her baby will eventually be over. We have the concept of one government health fund proposed by this legislation. We will see the finish of friendly societies as they operate now and the finish of private health funds which are great community co-operative societies. We will see the finish of those funds operated by trade unions and employees in factories. It is the finish of all those organisations. The Government says: ‘You are doing no good. We want to take you over and build one massive government health insurance fund’.

I made a statement the other day on behalf of the Opposition. Unhappily, the Press who attend this Parliament seem obsessed with quoting statements by Ministers and other unimportant news rather than giving any sort of important statement like that the responsible coverage it deserves. I said on behalf of the Opposition that when we were re-elected to government, at the appropriate time we would disband the Government health commission while at the same time, whenever that time may be, doing all we could to facilitate its employees with other employment. What will this Government health fund do? It will have to process 90,000 claims a day. It is hard for the mind to absorb that kind of figure. In Australia 90,000 people make a medical or hospital claim every day- 450,000 a week- and all of those are to go into the one mammoth, giant, bureaucratic body of the Government health fund. Can one imagine the chaos, the despair, the delay that are going to take place.

I mention again- I have mentioned it at other times- that I am becoming increasingly concerned about the records that will be kept by the Government health fund. I respect what the Minister says, that it is his intention to give every protection to the records of the health fund organisation so that they will not be made public. But about 5 months ago I was in the United States and I studied this very problem. I saw what it is possible to extract from a computer. By pressing one button you can get virtually the whole of the medical, dental, and psychiatric history of any human being who is registered with that health fund. That is all it needs- the pressing of a button- and it throws out the information on a piece of paper. The easy ability to get that kind of information from that sort of bank is I believe terrifying to those people who want to protect civil liberties, as Liberals do. I would accept the argument that that information is already in the private health funds now. Yes, of course it is, I would concede that. But it is one thing to have this kind of information about 13 million Australians scattered through 90 different organisations. That is one proposition. It is another proposition to have it all in one giant computer brain: How many times you have been to a psychiatrist, how many times somebody in the family has had an abortion, how many times a venereal disease or some other social stigma has been attached to somebody in a family, all available from one computer bank by the pressing of a button. Without wanting to demean any public servant or any private health fund official, the price of obtaining that sort of information- information which may ruin a person’s career, information which could be splattered across the front page of a newspaper- is the price of the integrity of one public servant, and we know that there are some people in the world who can be bought for a price. This legislation, if we pass it, would enable that to happen, notwithstanding the guarantees of secrecy. We have not heard from the Minister on this question.

On the other hand, the Opposition has an alternative policy on health to that of Labor. It is set out in the handbook ‘The Way Ahead’, which contains 138 pages of Liberal Party and Country Party policies. We believe our policy is viable, it is real. I thank the Minister in anticipation for his authority to incorporate just that part of the handbook on pages 40 and 41 relating to the funding of medical services.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Luchetti:
MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES

-Is there very much of it?

Mr CHIPP:

– About one and a half columns.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

page 4640

QUESTION

FUNDING OF MEDICAL SERVICES

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

The Liberal and Country Parties believe in a comprehensive hospital and medical insurance scheme which will enable the maximum number of people to be insured while maintaining the right of choice.

Approximately 92 per cent of the Australian people are now covered by health insurance. These people should be left undisturbed.

We are concerned about the 8 per cent who are not covered for health insurance- particularly those who cannot themselves bear the financial cost of their own health care. We aim to ensure that all in the community have available to them the full range of health care services, regardless of their means. For this aim to be administratively practicable and equitable, health insurance cover must be extended. Therefore, the taxation mechanism will be used to attract as many as possible of the 8 per cent not now covered by health insurance in the following way:

In addition to the item which allows for a health insurance premium deduction, there will be an item on the taxation return form applying to people who do not already hold hospital or medical insurance, or who are covered in some other way. This item will enable individuals to authorise the Taxation Commissioner to collect their subscriptions for basic hospital and medical insurance cover, by making an adjustment to the taxation return. People will be asked to nominate a hospital and medical benefits fund of their choice from an appropriate list.

If they do not nominate a fund, they will be automatically enrolled in a fund and a subscription collected as above, unless they indicate by a letter attached to the return that they do not wish to become a subscriber to any health insurance fund.

The Department of Social Security will apportion the total amounts of premiums so collected by the Taxation Commissioner to the private funds by a system of public tender.

The rate deducted via the taxation mechanism will be for medical benefits and public (standard) ward accommodation.

Low Income Earners

The present health scheme offers a subsidy towards the cost of health insurance premiums for families on low incomes, social security beneficiaries receiving unemployment, sickness or special benefits and newly-arrived migrants.

The Liberal and Country Parties will introduce a more equitable sliding scale system of supplementary contributions as a negative component of taxation income. This contribution would be applied to taxable income instead of gross income and with income eligibility limits tied to changes in average weekly earnings, reviewed annually.

Any taxpayer whose taxable income is below the poverty line would pay nothing and the government would automatically contribute the full extent of his premium. As the levels of taxable income increase, government contributions would decrease on a scale percentage basis.

Persons whose taxable income make them eligible for the negative tax contribution and who have already paid premiums to a private health fund will be given a rebate for the excess amount they have paid.

The Liberal and Country Parties will ensure that no person need now be uncovered for economic reasons.

Pensioner Medical Services

Pensioners are entitled to the same range, quality and convenience of health care as other members of the community. Pensioners will be eligible for subsidised health insurance in the same way as other income earners. All pensioners at present entitled to belong to the Pensioner Medical Service will have all their health insurance premiums, and the ‘patient moiety’, paid by the government.

Doctors will be paid the full consultation fee as determined by the Medical Fees Tribunal. In other words, pensioners will be treated in precisely the same way as other members of the community.

Such arrangements will remove a disadvantage suffered by pensioner patients in the past. Hitherto, when a doctor prescribed pathological x-ray or other services, a pensioner patient had to attend the outpatient clinic of a public hospital, whereas non-pensioner patients attended the appropriate clinic most convenient for them. Pensioner patients under the Liberal and Country Parties’ scheme would be able to attend the clinic most convenient to them.

Mr CHIPP:

– I thank the Minister and I thank the House. Notwithstanding the vilification of the present health scheme, the Opposition says that this is still a good health scheme that we have operating at the moment. We would concede the need for further development in the light of experience and changing conditions. What disturbs us is the way in which the Minister in particular has vilified at every opportunity every person connected with the present health scheme. He has abused doctors, he has vilified the health funds, calling them rapacious. He has brought the nursing homes of this country to the brink of destruction on many occasions. He has signed the death warrant of private hospitals. His Government is responsible for the worst inflation we have had in this country for many years, if not ever, and because doctors apply, like everybody else, for an increase in their salaries he vilifies them as being grabbing doctors. As far as I know, the only people in the community who have not had a rise in the last 3 years are the poor, miserable unfortunate creatures who happen to be members of Parliament. Everybody else, of course, has had massive increases in salary. Why should the doctors not have increases also?

The Liberal Party’s policy is one of universal health care. We care for the 8 per cent of people who are not covered for health insurance and we have a policy to cover them. We care for the people on low incomes who cannot afford the now expensive private health insurance and we have a sliding scale by which they can contribute for their private health insurance according to the level of their incomes. We have checked our scheme with former experts in the Taxation Office, with constitutional lawyers, with State governments, with the professions and with the private hospitals, and although most of these people have slight criticisms and suggestions about our health scheme they are in fundamental agreement with it. The opposite can be said of the Labor Party’s health scheme. There is not one reputable organisation concerned with health care in Australia which supports the Labor health scheme. Fifty-six per cent of the people surveyed in a gallup poll would not have a bar of it, and yet today we still have this Government obsession about forcing the legislation through this House. Our health scheme is being updated all the time, and today I want to make a new announcement of policy which will be in the Press boxes in a moment or two. It reads:

The Liberal and Country Parties recognise that the States face grave financial difficulties in developing their hospital and health services, because of the unwillingness of the Labor Government to increase Commonwealth support in line with inflation.

A Liberal and Country Party Government will provide an immediate and large injection of funds into State Health systems.

The Commomwealth Government today contributes only $5.00 per day towards the bed costs of Pensioner Medical Service patients, provided with free treatment in a public ward.

Mr Stewart:

– Where is your money coming from? Will you print notes?

Mr CHIPP:

-The Minister interjects. If he hears me out he will realise that this money would have been given to the States by his Government with tags, the kind of tags which the Labor Party always uses. It says to the States: ‘We will give you this money but in return you have got to hand over to us your soul. You have to hand over to us the control of State hospitals’. Our scheme is vastly different from the Minister’s. We will allow the States to maintain autonomy with their health services and with their hospitals. The new policy statement continues:

Originally the Commonwealth contribution represented a substantial proportion of the bed-costs of pensioner patients. This is no longer the case- hospital bed costs ranging to above $50.00 per day -

And the Commonwealth only provides $5 a day.

The States now bear the brunt of the burden of providing free hospital treatment for pensioners. This has placed an intolerable strain on scarce State resources, particularly in times of higher inflation.

The Liberal and Country Parties recognise the pressing need for more State resources to be made available for the development of hospital and health services.

The Commonwealth Government has the Constitutional power to provide medical and hospital services for pensioners, and with it the responsibility to make a significant contribution towards the hospital care of pensioners. This responsibility should be exercised without seeking to take over financial control and management of State hospitals.

As the Labor Party would want to do.

A Liberal and Country Party Government will increase the proportion of the Commonwealth contribution towards the daily bed costs of pensioners from 10 per cent to 50 per cent. On present costs this would result in an increase of the Commonwealth contribution from $5 per day to at least $22.50 per day.

An LCP Government will also enter into urgent negotiations with the States and the Voluntary Health Insurance Funds on a number of other matters, including- improving the presently inadequate SHBP for low income peoplemedical benefits cover for outpatients.

We would also improve ambulance services, cover for psychiatric patients and other matters. These are the sorts of matters the States have been asking for for 2 years at conferences and the Government has refused them. On return to power we will take those actions that I have just described.

In conclusion, we think that this Bill is badly timed. It is a bad Bill and we will oppose it here. We will divide on it here. We will oppose it in the

Senate and hopefully reject it again in that place which I would think would be the just deserts of a very bad Bill.

Mr LLOYD:
Murray

-As the honourable member for Hotham (Mr Chipp) has said the 3 Bills before us are the same as those introduced on 10 July and they are part of the Government’s badly foundering health proposals. As day succeeds day, the only certainty in the whole of the Government’s proposals for its health insurance scheme is that it will not be introduced. Of some particular interest is that on 10 July when the Bills were introduced for the first time there were 4 Bills and the fourth Bill was the National Health Bill to repeal or to have the ability to repeal the present National Health Act. There may be some significance in the fact that this Bill has not been reintroduced this time because the present legislation will be required for many years to come.

The Government does not need the 3 Bills to implement its health scheme. The 1.35 per cent tax levy that is the basis of these Bills can be replaced by taxation revenue and as time progresses the 1.35 per cent levy will be a falling percentage of the total cost of the scheme anyway. It is now well below one-half; it is possibly about one-third, if that, of the total cost to the Government. In other words, the majority of finance for this most expensive proposal will come from tax revenue, that is from every taxpayer’s pocket. The honourable member for Hotham made the point so well that the 3 schemes- health, national compensation and superannuation- will require a 25 per cent increase on the present taxation level of this country. This makes a farce of the speech of the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) in which he said that next year he will be able to reduce taxes again. The statement itself was a farce because the taxation reductions were only for those on lower incomes and once one gets to the middle level of taxation in Australia where the majority of Australians are paying tax- that is, on earnings of $5,000 to $6,000-a person’s tax actually increases. How these schemes can be implemented, if they are to be implemented, without massive increases in taxation is beyond the belief of those who have commented on it. As I have said, this makes a farce of the Prime Minister’s statement.

The ‘Australian Financial Review’ of today’s date has a most interesting editorial entitled: ‘Paradise lost by bungling- not by external forces’. So even the ‘Australian Financial Review’ has added to the chorus of those who say that the present plight of Australia is not the fault of external forces operating on this country which we cannot control but is the fault of bungling. One paragraph in the editorial states:

In the process, Labor has taken what must be one of the best positioned economies in the entire world and turned it upside down.

If this increase in taxation that will be required for these measures is made, how much more upside down turning will take place?

I believe that the Government’s scheme will not be introduced. The people of Australia are against it. Time after time gallup polls have shown that a majority of Australians are saying that they are satisfied with the present scheme. The health funds are against it as the honourable member for Hotham quoted from this morning’s Melbourne ‘Age’. In the short term the Government’s scheme would require the expertise in the agency arrangements of the private funds. The private funds would be very stupid to agree to this because as has been said before, they would be only committing suicide if they did so.

The medical professionals who are required to service our health scheme are against it. I also believe that four out of six State governments will be against it. This scheme cannot be introduced without the agreement of those State governments. The Minister for Social Security (Mr Hayden) wrote to the States some months ago to get their acceptance of the implementation of these proposals. To my understanding there is possibly only one State at this stage which will be going ahead, and that will be South Australia. This is not direct information- it has been taken from letters written to the medical profession in that State from which I will quote in a minute. If four out of six State governments refuse to be taken over, and this scheme would be a takeover of what has been a State responsibility, I defy anyone to say how the scheme can be implemented.

I now wish to refer to the position in South Australia about which Dr Deeble, the special adviser to the Minister for Social Security has been writing to Dr Cowling, the head of the Australian Medical Association in South Australia. These letters have been written on notepaper of the Minister for Social Security. Dr Deeble has been putting the points on how the scheme would be implemented in that State. He referred to the payment of doctors. This raises a very curious situation. In Canberra at present an alteration is being attempted in the staffing arrangements of hospitals in which private access by specialists will be restricted and abolished and will be replaced by a salaried specialist force. Yet at the same time in relation to South Australia Dr

Deeble, when speaking of the implementation of this proposal, stated:

In metropolitan hospitals a fee-for-service system within the limits of a pool would operate amongst doctors who accepted an invitation to participate in the care of ‘hospital patients’.

What a contradiction. What a farce of a supposedly uniform system which is claimed to be better than anything else when on the one hand in Canberra they are messing up an existing satisfactory arrangement and on the other hand in South Australia at the same time agreeing with a fee-for-service system as part of the supposed universal health scheme. What does the Government want? What does the Government really know about the implementation of its proposals.

The State Health Ministers, as the honourable member for Hotham said, have consistently at conferences recommended necessary but limited improvements to the existing scheme. Everyone acknowledges that improvements have to be made. But these should be made on an evolutionary basis not a revolutionary basis that will bring chaos to the health scheme. The honourable member for Hotham outlined the points that were made at conferences of Health Ministers. They are: Greater share of cost sharing for pensioner medical bed days- pensioners are an accepted Commonwealth reponsibility and it is right that we should not be loading the States at great cost to themselves with the cost of pensioners who are hospital patients; an improved subsidised health benefits scheme which would provide an automatic form of cover for low income people plus a greater degree of flexibility for family size; medical cover for outpatients; discussions on psychiatric patients and ambulance costs, etc.

We in government will co-operate with the State Health Ministers to allow them and us at the same time to meet the health arrangements which the majority of Australians have so clearly demonstrated they want. In a number of discussions already held with the majority of State Health Ministers I believe we have already shown our willingness for Federal-State cooperation on this most important health issue. The honourable member for Hotham in a significant statement 2 days ago, which was not reported, made reference to the Health Insurance Commission in which at the present time thousands of people are being employed in addition to the Department of Social Security at a cost of some millions of dollars to the taxpayers of this country- we say unnecessary cost. I want to quote 2 paragraphs from the statement by the honourable member for Hotham because I think they are important. He said:

The Liberal-Country Party Government would disband the Health Insurance Commission, if returned to power at an appropriate time, Mr Don Chipp, Shadow Minister for Social Security, said today.

Mr Chipp said he was making this statement now so that present and potential employees of the Commission would know where they stood. The Opposition’s intentions also needed to be made public in fairness to contributors to voluntary health insurance funds, staffs of these funds and their managements.

This also raises the interesting question of the Medibank publicity program. Starting in January the Government will spend more than $1.5m, Mr Deputy Speaker, of your money and of the taxpayers’ money on publicising the scheme which is not off the ground and which I believe will not get off the ground, which I have shown is internally contradictory, and which will require the co-operation of the States and variations between States for its implementation. What sort of constructive publicity can be mounted in such a confused situation? I believe it will be Party propaganda paid for by the taxpayers of Australia to the tune of more than $l.Sm. In this time of a Queensland election some curious statements have been made about health.

Mr Stewart:

– You should be telling the Broadcasting Control Board that.

Mr LLOYD:

-Is that a fact? I do not think so. These statements have been made about Queensland accepting or not accepting money for health services. I remind everybody that of the total Queensland health bill- this includes pharmaceutical benefit payments etc.- only 16 per cent comes from Commonwealth Government sources. The vast bulk of expenditure on health in that State comes from Queensland itself. So for the Commonwealth to talk about what Queensland is not doing or what Commonwealth funds it is not spending on health is rather farcical. In fact this BUI will hurt Queenslanders more than people of any other State. Queensland already has a free public hospitals system. If these Bills are passed Queenslanders will be taxed 1.35 per cent of their taxable incomes, which they are not taxed at the moment. In other words, Queensland and Queenslanders will actually be harmed by the introduction and passage of this Government legislation. The ordinary working family will be taxed twice if both husband and wife work; so the average family with both husband and wife working will also be harmed.

On Tuesday in this House the Minister for Health (Dr Everingham) said in reply to a question from the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh) … we have now managed to get the agreement of all States to the establishment of joint works councils to look at hospital building priorities.

The Queensland Minister for Health has asked me to tell the House and the people of Australia that that is not correct. The Prime Minister, as reported in the ‘Courier Mail’ of 4 December stated: … the Joint Hospitals Works Council for Queensland had discussed this on November 19.

He was referring to the Mt Gravatt hospital. I repeat that the Queensland Minister for Health said that no works council has been agreed to by Queensland. Exploratory discussions have taken place but as yet there is no council. Yesterday in Victoria exploratory discussions took place between representatives of the Hospitals and Health Services Commission and the Victorian Hospitals and Charities Commission on the possible establishment of a works council for that State. But Queensland and Victoria do not have hospitals works councils, in contradiction of what both the Minister for Health and the Prime Minister have said.

The point is that, particularly at this time when referring to health care in Queensland, one should be careful about what are the facts. The facts are not as suggested by the Minister for Health and the Prime Minister. One can look also at another curious situation in Queensland. It is stated that Mt Gravatt hospital should be built as a Federal Government hospital. This was a great announcement together with that dealing with Melbourne and Sydney hospitals some months ago. There has been curious silence about this ever since. I believe the Government has discovered- perhaps not the Government; perhaps most supporters of the Government did not want it anyway- or at least the Prime Minister has discovered that one just does not build a hospital overnight. It takes years of planning. One does not just move in as an Australian Government without the administrative backup that the States already have and take over the running of hospitals. The Queensland Government, as a constructive proposal, suggested that instead of Federal money being put into building the Mt Gravatt hospital at a greater rate than it needs to be built- the Queensland Government is building Mt Gravatt hospital anyway- this money could be far better used for the people of Queensland by rebuilding the Mater Hospital in

Brisbane. I am glad the Prime Minister acknowledged this in the ‘Courier-Mail’ report which states:

He said consideration was being given also to a Queensland proposal to rebuild the Mater Hospital on its present site in South Brisbane.

I think this reveals the more accurate position of health proposals as between the Commonwealth and the Queensland Governments at present. The Commonwealth Government is accepting the reality and some of the wisdom of these suggestions. I hope this is done as it would mean that Commonwealth money will be made available for rebuilding the Mater Hospital. If not, I suggest the Commonwealth still has its priorities wrong.

To conclude, as the honourable member for Hotham has said, the Opposition is opposed to these Bills now in the same way as it was opposed to them when they were introduced on 10 July. If the Government wishes to create a double dissolution situation on this matter and on health matters generally we will be happy to accommodate it.

Dr EVERINGHAM:
Minister for Health · Capricornia · ALP

-Mr Deputy Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation. The honourable member for Murray (Mr Lloyd), who has just spoken, referred to a joint works council in Queensland which I mentioned and which the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) mentioned. The honourable member said there is no such organisation.

Mr Lloyd:

– I did not; the Minister for Health in Queensland did.

Dr EVERINGHAM:

– I have with me a letter from the Queensland Minister for Health dated 3 December from which I quote in part. It states:

At the outset, let me say that there appears to be some misapprehension concerning ‘the recent meeting of the Joint Hospitals Works Council for Queensland ‘. At this point in time, no such Council has been formed. Indeed, officers of this Department could not be a party to such Council without the prior approval of Cabinet

It further states:

Discussions did take place between officers of the Department and the chairman and other representatives of the National Hospitals and Health Services Commission, concerning this State’s forward planning program for hospitals and institutions.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I rise on a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The statement being made by the Minister for Health has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Health Insurance Levy Assessment Bill (No. 2), the Health Insurance Levy Bill (No. 2), or the Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill (No. 3). I suggest that you rule that the Minister is out of order.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

– The Minister is entitled to speak in this debate and in the course of his remarks he is replying to something which has already been uttered in the course of the debate. He would not be entitled to make a personal explanation as he has not spoken in the debate, but he may speak in the debate proper.

Dr EVERINGHAM:

– Thank you for your ruling, Mr Deputy Speaker. In that case, I shall speak very briefly in the debate. The point I am making is that although in the opinion of the Queensland Minister for Health there is no such body which he is prepared to call the joint hospitals works council, he has agreed in principle to the formation of this council. The consultations for which the council is to be or has been set updepending on one’s point of view- have taken place. Grants of money have been allocated as a result and our understanding is that these grants have been approved and sent to the Queensland Government in the terms of that understanding. It does not matter to me what one calls that meeting. We do not have a legislative basis for joint works councils, but as far as I am concerned the bodies are performing the functions of such councils. That is my explanation of what the honourable member for Murray has said about misrepresentations, as he described them, by myself and the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam). There is no intention to deceive anybody. I do not care whether the meeting of officers of my Department and the Queensland Department is called a joint works council or it is called just a conference. The fact is that they have carried out the functions of a joint works council and the money is flowing.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– It is my intention to bring the debate back to the subject matter of the Bill. As the chief spokesmen for the Opposition, Mr Chipp and Mr Lloyd, have already outlined, it is the intention of the Opposition-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Luchetti)Order! The honourable member will refer to honourable members by their electorates.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– The honourable member for Hotham (Mr Chipp) and the honourable member for Murray (Mr Lloyd) have outlined that it is the intention of the Opposition to oppose these measures vigorously. We see them as being no different from the Bills in relation to the national health scheme which we have opposed ever since the Labor Government came into power. These are simply more Bills to make possible the imposition of Labor’s health scheme. This legislation proposes nothing more than an additional tax on the Australian people. No other name can be given to what is proposed. As if the workers and the people of Australia today were not already under Labor being forced to pay enough in taxation. We need this measure like we need a hole in the head. It completely ridicules the measures announced by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) recently when he introduced the third Budget that we have had since 17 September. Those measures were designed to reduce taxation. Here we are with the sun setting on the 1974 parliamentary session and the Government is endeavouring to rush through legislation to make it possible to impose extra taxation. What has amazed me about this debate is the complete and utter silence of Government members, not one of whom has come out to speak in favour of or to denounce the measures now before the House.

This legislation more particularly relates to the position in Queensland. If anything was to indicate the insensitivity of the present Federal Labor Government, it is this legislation. An election is to be held in Queensland on Saturday. Less than 48 hours from that election we are debating another tax measure, the effects of which will be particularly hard on Queensland people. Let me explain the reason for that statement. As everyone knows, Queensland already has a free hospital system. What Labor proposes is simply this: As a result of this legislation every working man and woman in Queensland who earns more than a couple of thousand dollars a year will be forced, whether they like it or not, to pay 1.35 per cent of their income as a levy. That means that this Government is offering Queensland free hospital services - something which Queenslanders already receive for nothing- in return for the extra taxation imposed by this legislation. Furthermore, this levy is an extra payment required additional to what people in Queensland and everywhere else in Australia pay if they belong to a health insurance organisation. When Queenslanders are forced to pay this levy, they will receive no right in return of entry to intermediate or private ward hospital accommodation. They will need to belong to a private health fund to qualify for that, just as they must today. Therefore, Queenslanders are twotime losers.

The Government expects the people of Australia to take this legislation lying down. Furthermore, it expresses surprise when the Opposition continues to oppose these measures. The facts of life are that this country has been devastated completely since the election of the Federal Labor Government. The people of Canberra are all right when these grandiose schemes are drawn up. Canberra, unlike any other city, is insulated from the effects of the actions of this Government because so many people are employed in the Commonwealth Public Service. In Canberra, the sun comes up and the sun goes down; there is never any change. But out in the cities- whether they be Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane, or smaller provincial towns like Julia Creek or Toowoomba- people are unemployed as a result of the stupidity and the implementation of the policies of this Federal Government. Nobody yet has been able to tell us how much the Government’s health scheme will actually cost. All we have seen to date is a Bill that the Government is attempting to whizz through today which will require 1 .35 per cent of the income of each and every working person to be paid, with a ceiling of $150. But with inflation at the rate of 22 per cent a year what will that percentage be next year? What will it be at the end of the following year? I clearly recall reading articles in English newspapers which stated that the English health scheme was cracking at the seams and was falling to pieces. It would be saved only by a sudden injection of another £Stg500m. Costs were escalating at such a rate that only extra money could hold it up. The Opposition spokesman, the honourable member for Hotham, explained earlier quite forcefully how everything that the Government has touched has fallen to pieces. I plead with the Minister for Tourism and Recreation (Mr Stewart), who is at the table, on behalf of not just the Opposition but all Australians to bring his influence to bear in the Cabinet and to see -

Mr Stewart:

– Will you finish if I give you a promise?

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

-Obviously the Minister is convinced as to the correctness of the argument I am presenting because he has just promised to do this if I sit down. If he listens to me, he will be even more convinced. The point I am making is that our shadow Minister, the honourable member for Hotham, has shown clearly that everything that the Labor Government has touched has been destroyed. We cannot afford this Government any more. Australia cannot afford the destruction of the institutions which presently stand. Let us take into account the cost of the Government’s proposed compensation scheme, superannuation scheme and health scheme. It has been calculated that these will cost an extra $4,800m a year. Is that right?

Mr Chipp:

– That is right.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I repeat that they will cost $4,800m a year. The component in the last Federal Budget collected from taxpayers in the form of taxation was $8,000m. This Government collected $8,000m from the Australian taxpayers to permit to introduce a budget on 17 September proposing expenditure of $ 1 6,000m. If the cost of these 3 schemes is added together for their introduction to be made possible taxation will need to be increased another 50 per cent or even 60 per cent. Everybody who is able to think knows that one of the problems in Australia today is that this Government has destroyed incentive. It is ripping so much from the wage earner and from every other person who goes to work that the stage has been reached when these people ask: ‘What is the use?’ If we do not have productivity or incentive to work in Australia, this nation will grind to a halt. All the grandiose schemes being proposed by this Government will not be possible for the simple fact that there will be no money with which to pay for them.

I predict, as we speak today in this Parliament, that the number of unemployed persons in Australia has reached 250,000. As I said earlierand it is widely accepted- inflation is running at 22 per cent. Contrary to the arguments of the Prime Minister inflation simply is not a world wide problem. It is a problem which we have in Australia as a direct result of the crazy policies of the present Government. It has absolutely no regard for a balanced economy. On every idea which the Government gets in its head it spends money like crazy to ensure that that idea is implemented. It is because the Government has transferred so much of the expenditure from the private sector to the public sector that Australia is in a spin like a rudderless aeroplane shot out of the sky.

Another untruth which has been told in this House is the story which has been spun for the sake of Queenslanders. The Minister for Social Security (Mr Hayden) stands in this House constantly and says that even though Queenslanders will have to pay this extra amount, it will mean about another $35m a year for the Queensland health scheme. I am getting sick and tired of saying this: I have taken the amount of money collected in income tax from Queenslanders, I have taken 1.35 per cent of this amount and allowed for those who are excluded because of their low incomes and I find that the Government is not giving Queensland a thing. It is taking an extra $35m out of our pockets, giving it back and saying: ‘Are we not wonderful?’

Mr Chipp:

– And out of working wives’ pockets too.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I will come to that. The Government wants me to stop speaking but there is no way in the world that I will stop because I enjoy dealing with the truth on this subject. So that is the great white lie. Furthermore, everywhere in Australia- a man, a husband, the head of the family unit -

Mr Stewart:

– Does the honourable member want me to call his bluff?

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– If the Government gags me the division will take 9 minutes. I will speak for another 7 minutes so I will let the Government do its mathematics on that. The contribution now to a private health fund of a husband who is working covers the entire family. That contribution is tax deductible. Under this Bill, which is being rushed through at the conclusion of the sitting this year, if the wife goes out to work she also will be forced to pay into the Governments coffers. The contribution will not be tax deductible. The amount of $150 extra which will be taken out will not be tax deductible. This is another double barrel. The honourable member for Hotham outlined a very strong point earlier when he said that the Government is setting up machinery to process 90,000 claims a day. That is more than half a million claims a week. Can honourable members imagine how many extra public servants will be required to do this? The Opposition has already warned what will happen when we return to power. I notice the honourable member for Hotham used the word ‘if. I do not even hesitate. I say that some time in the next year or so when we return to power this Commission will be dismantled by the incoming government. I say to those people who are thinking of becoming public servants in this area: ‘Do not say that you were not warned. We might help you to get another job but we will not continue with the octopus set up by the present Government’.

On behalf of all Queenslanders and, indeed, on behalf of all Australians, I say through you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that the Government should take a big jump at itself and recognise that almost all major decisions which have been implemented in the Government’s legislative program have been disastrous. I freely concede that there have been minor things which have been welcome changes. But the major changes which the Government has brought to this country have been disastrous. A quarter of a million unemployed Australians can testify to this. Every working Australian can testify to this because inflation is so high.

Everything the Government has endeavoured to do it has mucked up. I ask the Government: Please leave us with the present health scheme. From time to time the Opposition has said that it will introduce minor changes to make the health scheme that much better. Over 90 per cent of Australians are presently adequately covered. We do not understand the mentality of the present Government which wants to tip over completely the present scheme just for the sake of 4 per cent or 5 per cent of our population and to introduce a scheme which has not succeeded in any other country. Finally, if the Government is wondering why its popularity is as low as it is, I point out it is because the Government has ab; olutely no conception and no sensitivity. We are sick and tired of the way this country is presently being run.

Mr Chipp:

- Mr Deputy Speaker, may I have your indulgence for 30 seconds? We are having a cognate debate on 3 Bills connected with health. As I have said the Opposition is intractably opposed to each of the Bills. Let the record show that, notwithstanding that, we will be dividing only once on one Bill to save the time of the House and to co-operate with honourable members. This is in no way to be read as any lessening of our resolution to oppose the 3 Bills. We will be dividing on the second reading of this Bill only.

Question put:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The House divided. (Mr Speaker Hon. J. F. Cope)

AYES: 62

NOES: 51

Majority……. 11

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Mr Stewart) read a third time.

page 4648

HEALTH INSURANCE LEVY BILL 1974

[No. 2]

Second Reading

Consideration resumed from 27 November, on motion by Mr Crean:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Question resolved in the affirmative

Bill read a second time.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Mr Stewart) read a third time.

page 4648

INCOME TAX (INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS) BILL 1974 [No. 3]

Second Reading

Consideration resumed from 27 November, on motion by Mr Crean:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Mr Stewart) read a third time.

page 4648

STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT (LOAN GUARANTEES) BILL 1974

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 27 November, on motion by Mr Enderby:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Dr EDWARDS:
Berowra

-The Opposition does not oppose the main thrust of this legislation. Indeed, I would go so far as to say I am inclined to raise a cry in the style of the old time religion- ‘Hallelujah! At last, at last!’ This Government, from the start, has been bent on a policy of so-called restructuring of industry. Indeed, it has gone about it with some gusto. The only difference has been that neither the Government nor anyone else for that matter has any clear idea of just what the policy amounts to, and in particular, towards what end industry is to be restructured. The whole approach has been a matter of the cart before the horse or, as I put it the other day, we have had the exodus before the genesis.

We have had a whole variety of measures- all candidates for being declared ‘adjustment situations’ in terms of clause 5(1) of this Bill all tending to force structural readjustment. One is the recent very large and prolonged revaluation of the currency, which was partially reversed on 25 September last. I presume that the Government was aware, when it instituted that measure, of the profound effects of such a move on industry, particularly manufacturing industry, competing with imports and manufacturing industry seeking to export its goods. A second is the now notorious and also substantially reversed- we go one way, then we move the other- 25 per cent across the board tariff cut. There have been other tariff changes- major changes in the electronics industry and in the domestic appliance industry.

There has been a credit squeeze of unparalled severity, and other measures.

Under the pressure of these changes, industry has changed, and is changing, in significant ways. For example, under the impact of revaluation, a major machinery manufacturer located in the Albury-Wodonga complex has packed it in and moved to Sydney to conduct an import operation. I would say that is great stuff for the development of Albury-Wodonga- a major objective, as one understands, of the Government under a different head. Incidentally, the firm involved applied for, but has been specificaly refused structural adjustment assistance. I think it is worth stressing this aspect of the revaluation. As I said the other day when speaking on the Customs Tariff Bill, the tariff cut was one body blow to industry and the revaluation, in its magnitude and the length of time it was continued, was another body blow to industry. The revaluation vis-a-vis the United States of America was such that an American product could enter Australia, be subject to a tariff of, say, 25 per cent- no relation to the 25 per cent tariff cut in Australia- and still sell for less than the landed duty free price before the revaluation. So the effect of the revaluation, even leaving the tariff unchanged, was effectively to reduce assistance to that industry to negative protection.

I have cited the case of an industry- in the Albury-Wodonga area at that- which sought structural adjustment assistance and was refused it as if the currency change was of no relevance. As I said, we have had an exodus of firms and employees- it is in full swing- under the impact of the Government’s amateur economic management and the misguided enthusiasm with which it has pursued the policies to which I have referred. After this exercise in confusion, to pursue this analogy, comes the Genesis or at least part of it. We have this Bill, the Structural Adjustment (Loan Guarantees) Bill, the purpose of which is to authorise the Government to guarantee loans to firms to facilitate their structural adjustment from one industry where they are in difficulties as a result of Government policy measures- for instance, the 25 per cent tariff cut might well qualify as such a measure under clause 5 ( 1 ) of the Bill- to some other sphere of operations. I think that is a relevant phrase which raises a good question. By the Bill, firms are to be assisted to adjust out of an industry, but to what? Others and I have pointed to this issue on many occasions. Apart from the generalities in the annual report of the Industries Assistance Commission, there are still no specific answers to that question available.

This comes to the heart of the problem with this Bill namely, the extent of the ministerial discretion or discretions written into it- inevitably so with the Government floundering in the dark, as it is, but creating difficulties nevertheless in respect of this legislation. Thus clause 7(1) of the Bill states that the Minister shall not guarantee a loan unless he is satisfied of 3 conditions. The first is that he must be satisfied that as a result of the policy measure a significant and distinct part of a firm’s assets has been rendered ‘incapable of economic use.’ The second condition is that he must be satisfied that the firm in which the loan moneys will be employed ‘has taken all reasonable steps to adjust itself to that situation.’ The third condition is that he must be satisfied that the manner in which the loan moneys are to be employed is consistent with the national interest in relation to the use of resources.

Mr Kelly:

– What does he mean by that?

Dr EDWARDS:

– That is a good question. I am looking forward to the Minister enlightening us as to the sort of factors he will look at in satisfying himself that clause 7 ( 1 ) (c) the ‘manner in which the loan moneys are to be employed is consistent with the national interest in relation to the use of resources’ and, where the prescribed adjustment situation relates to any action of the Australian Government, it is consistent with the objective of the Australian Government in taking that action’. In clause 7 (2) even the first of the requirements I have just mentioned is overridden. There do not actually have to be any assets that have been rendered incapable of economic use. The Minister is to satisfy himself on these matters. The Minister alone is to judge or assure himself that the loan moneys are employed in a way which is consistent with the national interest in relation to the use of resources. We could get a great variety of views on that matter right at this moment. At present there is a notable divergence between the views of the Government and its principal adviser on industry matters- the Industries Assistance Commission. The LAC is for manufacturing industry restructured- in the national interest, of course -on the criterion of the efficient use of resources interpreted, as I see it, in the most narrow economic sense. On the other hand, for a variety of reasons including its immediate electoral survival, the Government is taking a different view, as its decision in respect of the motor vehicle industry clearly indicates.

Mr Kelly:

– It is in the South Australian national interest, though.

Dr EDWARDS:

– It may be in the South Australian national interest but a wide national interest is involved here. I confess I am largely on the side of the Government. There is a national interest in maintaining the technology of producing a vehicle right through. Also factors other than the efficient use of resources in the narrow economic sense ought to be taken into account in these matters. There are strictly economic matters, notably growth. Pursuit of narrow economic efficiency can tend to undermine the capacity and incentive for growth in many respects. That is a very important consideration. It could be put this way: The doctrinaire pursuit of the efficiency criterion will blunt- it is already doing so in this country- the growth performance of the economy. In particular, uncertainty as to future levels of protection has been having a major inhibiting effect on new investment and capital expansion plans. I suggest to the Government that it bears that in mind in its current rather desperate measures to resuscitate business.

I come back to my central point, which is that in the absence of a national industrial policysome understanding or some guidelines in the positive sense as to the activities which firms might adjust to- judgments under clause 7( 1 )(c) of the Bill will put a very heavy strain on the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby). He has come to appreciate that traditionally imports come from overseas.

Mr Enderby:

– I have broad shoulders.

Dr EDWARDS:

-But how will he determine that proposals to employ loan moneys are consistent with the national interest in relation to the use of resources? Clause 8( 1 ) of the Bill reads as follows:

The Minister shall not give more than 1 guarantee in respect of any 1 firm in relation to any 1 prescribed adjustment situation and for that purpose shall, unless he is satisfied that there are special circumstances that make it unreasonable to do so, treat firms that are associated with one another as 1 firm.

I would be very interested to know about the special circumstances. I can certainly imagine cases of large multi-product firms which are producing different products in fairly distinct avenues. In such cases I hope that if any two or more of those avenues get into difficulty as a result of Government policy, the largely separate components of those firms will be permitted to qualify under this Bill. Again there is ministerial discretion. The Minister must be satisfied as to what these special circumstances will be. We have been given no indication of that. My honourable friend the Minister suggests that he has very broad shoulders. He looks robust enough now and in good shape.

Mr Hewson:

– He shrugs them too often.

Dr EDWARDS:

– That is how he exercises them and develops them for the task that he is taking on under this Bill. The Minister is letting himself in for an almost impossible job. It is the sort of thing that belongs in another dimension, with the Industries Assistance Commission with its large and highly qualified staff- of the order or 400 or 500 people, no less- there to give guidance on assistance to industry. It is the Industries Assistance Commission to which one turns for advice in the ordinary dimensions of economic activity, as distinct from the so-called adjustment situation. I suggest to the Minister that in his own interest he should try to get out from under the pressures to which he would become subjected under this legislation to guarantee this loan or that loan. In other cases he will make decisions that are fair and just, but will they be seen to be so? It is important that loan guarantees given under this legislation be seen to be fair. I put this to the Minister: His capacity is above question but, as we have seen, on that side of the House Ministers can swap jobs and the discretion under this legislation could be operated by lesser hands than those of the Minister.

Mr Enderby:

– They are all honourable men.

Dr EDWARDS:

– That is as may be. However, I am raising the question of the capacity of the gentlemen elected to the Cabinet. Once they are elected that is it; the Prime Minister is stuck with them, as all honourable members know. If there is to be a change of one Minister there has to be a clean swap with another. This is the issue to which I am referring. In the Minister’s own interest, that is to take some of the weight of lobbyist pressure off his back- off his broad shoulders; in the interests of the importance of the treatment of applications not only being fair but being seen to be so; and, thirdly- I do not want to stress this too hard but one has to be realistic- to forestall the use of the powers under this Act in what could amount to political patronage, it is essential that as soon as possible the task of making recommendations in respect of government guarantees to loans for structural adjustments be vested in an appropriate board or advisory committee. Surely this is the normal procedure. There is a Rural Assistance Board in respect of the rural reconstruction program; the Export Development Grants Board is about to be established under legislation which was before this House an hour or so ago; and the Minister has foreshadowed a Structural Adjustment Board.

The Minister said that legislation to establish the structural adjustment board will take some time to prepare. I address a question to the Minister to which I would very much like an answer Why will the legislation to establish a structural adjustment board take such time? The Opposition is most firmly of the opinion that such a board should be established without delay. I ask honourable members to consider what is already happening under the so-called selective subsidy scheme. I wonder how many members of the House have heard of this scheme. The Minister stated to the House the other day that under the selective subsidy scheme a firm in Wangaratta, Victoria, will receive $400,000; the Wangaratta Woollen Mills Ltd, $150,000; Kelsall & Kemp (Tasmania) Ltd of Launceston, $100,000; and so on. I mention in particular Kelsall & Kemp because not long ago I visited that area. I have no doubt at all that the making of these grants to these companies in the situation in which they find themselves is fully justified, but my point is that these matters should come before an impartial committee.

The Government has adopted the principle, and much has been made of it in this House in relation to the Industries Assistance Commission, that in granting assistance to industry there must be public investigation, inquiry and report so that justice is done and seen to be done in the public arena. The public has a great interest in payments made under this selective subsidy scheme and it will have a great interest in the loan guarantees that will be made under this legislation. Accordingly, the Opposition urges the Government to get on with the establishment of the board without delay and to include, among its other responsibilities, the making of recommendations in respect of these loan guarantees. For that reason it is proposed- I am sure the Minister will concede I propose it very reasonably- that the present legislation be regarded as an enabling but interim measure. To underline my point- I am sure the Minister will agree- and to safeguard the public interest in this matter at the Committee stage of this Bill I propose to move the amendment standing in my name.

Mr Enderby:

– It has not reached me yet.

Dr EDWARDS:

– I understand it is available. The amendment is designed to encourage the setting up of the structural adjustment board, to which the Minister referred and to which I have been making reference, before 30 June 1975. I am sure the Government and the Minister will see fit to accept this amendment because I understand it is the Minister’s intention to press ahead with the establishment of the board and that the board should adopt advisory and administrative responsibility in respect of these guarantees. Therefore, in the confidence that the amendment will be acceptable to the Government, the Opposition supports the Bill.

Mr O’KEEFE:
Paterson

-I support the Bill for an Act to authorise the giving of guarantees on behalf of Australia in respect of loans made for the purposes of structural adjustment in industry. At the outset, I should say that this Bill has been made necessary by the maladministration of the economy by the present Government. There would be no need whatsoever for Bills of this nature to be presented to this House if the Government had acted wisely and had managed the economy efficiently. There was no need to make a 25 per cent tariff cut right across the board which has created such chaos in the manufacturing industries of this country. It is interesting to read the comments of the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby) in his second reading speech. He said that the Bill is:

To help progress towards the community’s social and economic goals, the Government sees it as desirable in appropriate cases to promote and make easier the process of structural change in industry.

For the reasons that I have mentioned, this structural change in industry should not be necessary. When we look at the reasons for the problem being created, we find that there has been a very sharp increase in imports into this country. They are increasing all the time. Profits are being squeezed by rising wages and costs and, of course, by the activities of the Prices Justification Tribunal. Interest rates are another problem which are causing industry great concern. There is no doubt that in the near future interest rates will certainly increase and finance will become very hard to obtain. Domestic and export demand have been slackening right across the country. This Government has made no real attack on inflation which is eating out the heart of our economy. Those are the reasons which have brought about the necessity for legislation of this kind.

There has been a fall in profitability with a consequent fall in capacity to invest and capacity to employ people. There is to be a reduction in the rate of company tax. But a great deal more must be done if the manufacturing sector of industry in this country is to get back on its feet.

All companies in all sectors have been told that they need to comply with the requirement that they pay their tax in quarterly instalments. This requirement is putting a very severe liquidity problem on many companies. The suggestion that deferment of quarterly tax payments is not now necessary because of the assistance to business liquidity from the proposed Vh per cent tax cut is totally wrong. It will not rescue companies on the brink of closure or assist others to maintain present production and employment. The urgent need of a great many companies is to have money in the bank right now so that wages and salaries and supplier accounts can be paid.

The dramatic increase in working capital is now necessary in order for companies to do the same amount of business, because the rapid escalation of wages, salaries and other costs, the steady lengthening of debtor payments and the erosion of profits have left many companies in a situation in which it is a struggle simply to achieve a cash flow which will meet their liabilities. This will be intensified in the next 2 months when holiday pay and loadings are due. The problem is one of time and the time to help is right now. Many companies right across the land will find it extremely difficult to meet their wage commitments at this Christmas time. The money now going on quarterly tax payments for many was the main hope of remaining solvent. For many, it would have enabled them to maintain present production and employment levels which otherwise would have to be cut back. The proposed 2!£ per cent company tax reduction, while greatly welcomed, will do little or nothing towards overcoming the immediate liquidity problems. The official stance that deferment of quarterly tax payments can be applied for if a company has not the money likewise does nothing to assist the company which has the money but which needs that money to keep business going.

In order to assist companies to maintain their operations and to curb the employment rundown the Australian Industries Development Corporation has recommended to the Government a return to the previous annual tax payments at least until the present crisis is over. This organisation urges strongly that an immediate announcement be made so that companies will know their position. Of course, the Government must do something about the damage being done to industry, as I mentioned earlier, because of its 25 per cent tariff cut across the board. That tariff cut has certainly failed to do what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to keep down prices. This has not happened. Prices are just as high as ever they were. All it has done has been to damage Australian industry and put many thousands of good Australians out of work. There must be more encouragement for export. There must be more encouragement for investment in industry and industry must be able to get finance on just terms. The Bill we are debating tonight is designed to assist industries by way of adjustment loan guarantees by the Government. As I have said earlier in this speech, there would have been no need for such legislation to be brought forward had sensible action been taken in the first place and not the irresponsible 25 per cent tariff cut which has thrown so many Australians out of work.

The tragedy is that whatever the Government does there is really no sign that it intends to do anything more than the meagre amount which it has done already. The outlook for the immediate future is by no means encouraging. It is estimated by economic experts that in the first quarter of next year inflation will be running as high as 25 per cent in this country. There is no sign at the moment of increasing domestic demand. World demand will remain slack. Liquidity will remain a problem and interest rates are unlikely to fall. As a matter of fact, interest rates in the business sector could increase considerably in the future. The picture is a depressing one.

I have tried to draw attention to these things to indicate that had our economy been properly managed in the first instance, assistance by the Government in the manufacturing field would not have been necessary. The Government now has to knuckle down to the job of trying to patch up as best it can the mess that it has created and carry manufacturing industry through the coming tough times with the least amount of economic and social fallout. Industry in this country is at the cross roads. A combination of circumstances has brought manufacturing industry virtually to the cross roads. The way straight ahead towards continuing growth of a viable manufacturing sector cannot at this point of time be said to be open. If present policies continue many sectors of industry will turn back or withdraw from domestic activity. There is already a strong turn to importing and to off-shore manufacturing. This means that many of our manufacturers, particularly those established close to the area that I represent, have closed down their industries. They have gone over to Asian countries to have their goods manufactured and have brought them back to Australia for sale here with the tragic loss of the employment in those areas. Companies taking these roads do so with the greatest reluctance. But they must take them for survival. In fact, most of such companies will be more profitable and the loss will accrue to the Australian people through growing unemployment and the closing of avenues for the application of higher skills.

Owing to the Government ‘s policy in regard to tariffs, in my electorate- in the city of Maitlandthe great mills of Bradmill Industries Ltd at present are employing just over 600 people whereas 12 months ago they employed 1,300 people. As I say, this action has been brought about by the tariff reduction. Clothing factories in my electorate are on the verge of closing down for the same reason. We have clothing manufacturers in the nearby city of Newcastle having to do the same thing. Policy need is urgent. This situation makes the establishment of comprehensive positive central policies for manufacturing industries a matter of the greatest urgency. If the Australian economy were much larger, the economic climate-setting approach previously referred to could well be the appropriate policy for the Government. It could perhaps be left to market forces to determine whether an industry should survive or not, but the facts of life are that the greater part of Australian manufacturing industry needs protection against imports or some other form of assistance if it is to survive and have some assurance of continuity, just as is done in the most highly developed countries. Highly developed countries overseas that many of us have had the privilege of visiting have high protection for their manufacturing industries. This being so, there is a need for some process of selection so that the industry structure built up largely under protection will be the most worthwhile from the national point of view. The way to do this is to establish the facts and, applying them to some frame of reference, identify the industries that are most worth while. The way not to do it is to destroy industries, hoping but not knowing that something better will take thenplace.

It can be said that the tariff policy adopted by the Tariff Board, now the Industries Assistance Commission, is an attempt to establish a basis for selectivity, but it is not acceptable because it is based on guesswork and it applies the second approach mentioned. It destroys the approach of hoping for the best. It now appears to have been adopted by the Government and, with the proposed addition of a structural adjustments board and a training scheme, both to operate in its wake, this has been referred to by the Government as its industry restructuring policy. Australia at present has no positive central government policies for manufacturing development. These assistances are all very right, but the Government has no across the board policies for manufacturing industries in this country. The need for them is urgent, and it is gratifying that at last a move towards establishing such policies has been taken by the creation of the committee within the LAC. It is imperative in the national interest that it completes its work with the utmost despatch. Mr Deputy Speaker, this legislation will no doubt be of assistance to industry, but it would not have been necessary if the economy of this country had been properly managed in the first instance.

Mr KELLY:
Wakefield

-This is a Bill which has been brought down only because of the problems to be found in the Australian economy at the moment. The thing that worries me about it- and the honourable member for Berowra (Dr Edwards) brought this out with crystal clarity- is that there are no guidelines for what is spelled out here as the national interest. The Minister is going to make the judgments on what is in the national interest. He has just said that he has got broad shoulders. Indeed he will need them, because this is a sample of the decisions that he is going to make unaided, with a legal background that no doubt gives him a fine flow of words and a good mind; but he has got to tackle probems that lie right at the heart of the Australian economy. Firstly, as the honourable member for Berowra said, he has got to make judgments about the economic use of resources. Do we think that the economic use of resources is a good thing? It would be a bold man who said that it is not. Is he going to say that employment is in the national interest and that we have got to create employment, at any price, by tariff protection? An example of this has only just come to light in the last day or two with the increase in the tariff on textiles making the position impossible for those who make up those textiles into garments. The Minister has got to weigh up employment, and if employment is the thing by which he is measuring national interest, then he has got to measure the employment gained in the textile industry against the employment lost in the garment making industry. That is no small task. Is he going to say that it is in the national interest to protect the car industry at the expense of $300m a year consumer subsidy? He has got to measure the cost of the employment lost in the transport industry and the increased cost of transport against this $300m a year subsidy.

I would not wonder if the Minister never slept again. He has got the most difficult set of problems that he has got to measure, unaided, in the national interest. He may have the benefit of advice from his Department, but all the talk we used to hear about open government and decisions being made in the open is gone now. The decisions are going to be made by the Minister. Are we going to see the advice given to him? I see the Minister shakes his head. Are we going to see the advice that the Department gives to the Minister? As far as we in this House are concerned, we are going to see judgments made by the Minister in the national interest on these kinds of questions. Let us take it further. The Minister is going to make judgments in the national interest on whether it is advisable to help an industry that is being hurt by imports from less developed countries, cheap labour countries. ‘Cheap black labour’ is the kind of brand that was used.

The Minister has got to weigh the damage done to our posture in international affairs. We make eloquent speeches about knowing that trade is more important than aid, and we all know that that is so. We all know that the greatest problem that haunts the world, and should be haunting us far more than it does, is this everwidening gap between the developed countries and the underdeveloped countries. It is going to be the Minister’s responsibility to weigh up which industries are going to be helped, knowing that if some are helped it will be in the national disinterest because it will dimmish the opportunities of the underdeveloped countries, to have some chance of existing- not of expanding but of existing. The Minister has got that cross to carry too. He has got to measure up whether that is in our national interest.

To take it further, the Minister has got to measure the cost of taking action to stop imports coming in from other countries and from the less developed countries which will have an immediate effect on our export industries in Australia. I will give again an illustration of this that has haunted me for many years. When I was in Bombay I went one morning to a factory where they were processing Australian skim milk powder. I asked them did they have any problems and I was told: ‘We have got one real problem. We cannot get the foreign exchange to buy the skim milk powder that we need and that the people of Bombay so desperately need.’ In the afternoon I went to another factory in Bombay where they were making sheets and I asked if they had any problems. I was told: ‘We have got one overwhelming problem. You have got a 45 per cent tariff wall. We cannot get our goods into Australia because of your method of protection’

The Minister has got to measure the benefits gained by that policy against the damage done to our export industries. He has got no small task, and he has got no official body to guide him. He and he alone is going to be the mentor, the decision maker in a field that is desperately important, not only for Australia’s economic well being but for our future survival in the long term. Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later hour.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

page 4654

WHITLAM GOVERNMENT

Ministerial Statement

Mr WHITLAM:
Prime Minister · Werriwa · ALP

-by leave- A year ago I reported to the Parliament on the Government’s first year in office. It was a year of far-reaching reform, of unprecedented achievement, of legislative activity surpassing all records. I ended my speech with these words:

I am confident that the Australian people, when next they are asked to choose between the alternatives before them, they endorse our record and renew our mandate.

The people did so. In April this year, for the first time in the history of Australia’s national Parliament, the Opposition in the Senate refused Supply to the elected Government. They forced an election by violating an established accepted constitutional principle. Senators elected Vh years and 6lA years before the Government in the House of Representatives, senators who had already blocked essential parts of our legislative program, forced us to the polls halfway through our term.

We accepted their challenge. We went to the people and the people returned us to office. On 18 May, Australians confirmed their decision of 2 December 1972. They endorsed our program. They strengthened our position in the Senate. They annihilated the Australian Democratic Labor Party senators who collaborated in this abuse of democracy. They confirmed Labor’s vote in the cities where the Government secured its mandate 17 months before. They gave us clear instructions to carry on with the job- the job they had elected us to do. We accepted those instructions and immediately set about to discharged them. We have worked unremittingly to fulfil our undertakings to the Australian people. It has not been easy. We have contended with the same obstruction we faced last year. Yet our record of achievement in 1974 is as solid and impressive as it was last year.

Our legislative program in 1974 was carried through on the same massive scale as last year. When the 28th Parliament adjourned for Christmas last year, 254 Bills had been introduced. A further 42 were introduced before the Parliament was dissolved in April. During the 29th Parliament, a total of 187 Bills has been introduced so far. The Parliament has therefore dealt with 229 Bills in 1974-a figure that exceeds all records for a single year with the exception of 1973. We have sat for a total of 667 hours this year up to noon today compared with 908 hours last year. The figures for either year represent the greatest number of sitting hours in a year for more than half a century.

We have consolidated and expanded the great reforms we began in 1973. Throughout the year we have contended with economic problems on a scale unknown for more than 40 years. Such problems would be daunting for any Government; for a Labor Government, committed to reform and innovation on the widest front, they have been double bitter and frustrating. Yet we have never relaxed our efforts to deal with inflation and unemployment. Every country in the Western world has faced these problems. No country in the Western world has solved them. Our record stands up well beside that of any other comparable nation.

Despite these problems, Australians today are everywhere better off than they were when Labor came into office. Average earnings have increased in real purchasing power by more than 7 per cent under the Labor Government. Our measures to strengthen and invigorate the economy are continuing. We no longer regard the Budget as the sole instrument of economic policy. This year, faced with unprecedented and complex problems of economic management, we have shown ourselves ready to act whenever necessary. Three weeks ago we announced cuts in taxation worth $ 1,200m in a full year. We have eased credit and boosted the money supply to maintain employment. Every financial weapon, every constitutional power at our disposal has been used in our fight against inflation and unemployment. Whenever it has been necessary to take action which may harm individuals or companies, we have done our best to shield those affected and cushion the effects of our decisions.

Economic problems, however, have not been our only distraction. The work of the Parliament has been made infinitely more arduous and protracted by the behaviour of the Senate. The deferment or rejection of a Bill does not affect that Bill alone; it delays and complicates the Government’s whole legislative program. It forces the Parliament to deal with measures over and over again. Our 4 referendum Bills were rejected twice by the Senate despite the fact that their rejection could not prevent the referendums from being held, and Opposition senators knew this. They preferred to delay the business of the House. The double dissolution was an unnecessary and intolerable interruption, not only for what it signified, but for the delay it caused to the Government’s work. Twenty-two Bills introduced during the previous Parliament lapsed when the Parliament was dissolved and had to be reintroduced and debated again. During the 29th Parliament which met in July, the Senate has rejected 12 Bills, deferred another 4 and amended 8- that is up to the present momentnot including those passed by the Joint Sitting.

Mr Sinclair:

– I am sorry to interrupt. But it is normal practice to let the Opposition have a copy of the statement. Have you a copy please?

Mr WHITLAM:

-You will be given it. If it were not for the fact that we were able to keep the number of separate Bills to a minimum by combining related matters in single Bills, the delay and interference with the parliamentary program would have been much greater.

With our mandate renewed in May we were ready to resume the task of government with even greater vigor and determination. If justice and sanity prevailed in these matters, we would have expected a fair go at last for our legislation. We got no such thing. The Opposition learnt nothing from its defeat. For the third time it rejected the 6 Bills on which the double dissolution was granted. Honourable members will recall the substance of those Bills. They were those implementing our universal health insurance scheme, our proposal for one vote one value, our Petroleum and Minerals Authority. They formed the basis of the double dissolution in April and the election which followed. The people endorsed these measures and the House of Representatives passed them for the third time. Yet the Senate rejected them again, knowing that the Joint Sitting would eventually, inevitably, pass them. It was a needless and petty delay.

The Senate’s campaign of wanton obstruction did not end there. With the passage of our health legislation Opposition senators proceeded to reject the ancillary Bills necessary to implement it. They have rejected our legislation, 3 times passed by the House of Representatives, to establish the authority of the national Parliament over Australia’s off-shore resources. They have continued to obstruct our proposals to expand the Australian Industry Development Corporation and enable it to assist Australian companies and protect Australian ownership of our industries.

For the third time they have rejected our legislation to encourage greater industrial harmony by facilitating industrial agreements and union amalgamations. They have rejected our electoral legislation which would simplify the complex and tedious voting methods which left Australia without a national Parliament between 10 April and 9 July. Only this week they rejected our Broadcasting and Television Bills and other legislation to encourage greater Australian participation in the film and television industry. All these measures have been endorsed- most of them endorsed twice- by the Australian people. The most important of them- those which formed the grounds for the double dissolutionhave been endorsed emphatically and specifically. Yet the Opposition persistently blocks them.

This pattern of obstruction is a travesty of the parliamentary system and a travesty of democracy. Throughout the world the parliamentary system is under challenge: in Europe, in North America, even in Britain herself. Nowhere is the system so strong that it can sustain these attacks on its basic foundations. The Opposition senatorsI certainly do not blame the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) for their conduct for he is powerless to control them- are not just attacking the Labor Government. They have declared war on the parliamentary system, on the ability of duly elected governments to govern effectively and carry through their program with the faith and confidence of the people.

In implementing our program, one of our primary tasks has been to improve the institutions serving the Government and the sources of information available to us. We have never been ready to accept the methods of the machinery we inherited from our predecessors. To do so would have meant accepting their values and priorities. Throughout this year we have continued the process of gathering information, making it public and reforming the institutions of government. Our earlier reforms are bearing fruit. The Grants Commission, whose charter we amended last year to enable it to deal with inequalities between regions, has brought in its first historic recommendations for grants to local government bodies. We have accepted those recommendations in full and made grants totalling over $56m to local councils throughout Australia. Those grants are among our proudest achievements. Again, last year, we established an expert and impartial Schools Commission to recommend grants to Australian schools on the basis of need. The first full year’s grants are now flowing through to schools in accordance with the Commission’s recommendations, and we have adjusted the amounts of these grants to take account of rising prices.

We have established new bodies to advise us and implement our policies. We have appointed an interim committee for a new Children’s Commission, which will plan and co-ordinate our programs for child care and other services. We are establishing an Overseas Trading Corporation and an Australian Science Council. We have extended the powers of the Prices Justification Tribunal to cover retail prices and the prices of imported goods. We have formed an expert committee representing industry, government and the trade unions to advise us on policies for manufacturing industries. We have established an Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. After months of obstruction by the Opposition we have at last set up our Petroleum and Minerals Authority to safeguard Australian ownership and control of those resources. We have had the benefit of a Green Paper on the problems of rural industry. There are currently no fewer than 8 royal commissions inquiring into matters of social importance. Perhaps the most important of them, the Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration headed by Dr H. C. Coombs, has undertaken the first comprehensive inquiry into the Australian Public Service for more than 50 years. Other royal commissions are dealing with the maritime industry, land tenures, the petroleum industry, intelligence and security, Tasmanian transport costs and human relations. In addition this year we have appointed 25 commissions, committees of inquiry and task forces to report to the Government.

Despite an irresponsible Opposition and complex economic problems, we have made great progress towards our goals in 1974. 1 list some of our achievements to demonstrate the scope and importance of what we have done. We have not been content to rest on our laurels or merely continue the policies we began last year. We have not merely provided more money for things we were doing before, though more money there has certainly been. We have launched new programs and initiatives. We have introduced our national compensation scheme based on the comprehensive report of Justices Sir Owen Woodhouse and Meares. We have embarked on our plans for a massive upgrading of technical and further education and have budgeted $ 100m for this purpose over the next 2 years. In this we are acting on the report of the Kangan committee which we received this year. We have reached substantial agreement with every State except Queensland on the establishment of land commissions to stabilise land prices in urban areas. We have accepted in principle the report of Mr Justice E. A. Woodward on land rights for Aborigines. We have caught up further with the sewerage backlog in our major cities, increased our grants for urban public transport and launched our plans for a national highways system. After the Premiers Conference in June we gave the States a virtual blank cheque for the construction of welfare housing. We have established our legal aid service and the first Australian Government community health centrethe first of many such legal aid offices and community health centres.

Certain achievements this year have been especially symbolic of our whole philosophyour legislation against racial discrimination, our work for women, our vigorous and successful policies for environmental protection, and our 30 per cent increase in our foreign aid program. We have continued our efforts to enhance Australia’s reputation abroad and to identify our people with the best and most enlightened movements in world affairs. We have confirmed our implacable hostility to racialism in all its forms by our vote in the Security Council on South Africa’s membership of the United Nations. We have broadened the range of our diplomatic contacts by establishing relations this year with more than 20 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. We are negotiating trade agreements with Iran, Thailand, East Germany, the Philippines, Bulgaria, South Korea, Laos, North Vietnam and Rumania in addition to the many agreements last year. We have concluded, or are negotiating, scientific or cultural agreements with 14 countries.

Australia has continued to play her pan in enhancing global strategic, economic and social security and progress. We have urged mutual restraint on the 2 superpowers in the Indian Ocean and have given our support in principle to peace zone proposals as part of our design to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have signed an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the application of safeguards pursuant to ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and proposed the introduction of an international service for peaceful nuclear explosions.

Australia has demonstrated its concern to bring about a more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth and to improve living standards in all countries. We have pledged $40m to the United Nations Emergency Program to assist the developing countries hardest hit by recent rises in oil and related commodity prices and other adverse economic conditions. We have offered $20m at the recent World Food Conference in Rome as an additional contribution to countries stricken by food shortages. We have given $5m to the Association of South-East Asian Nations for joint projects. We have become a founding member of the International Bauxite Association and have attended a recent meeting of iron ore exporting countries. Australia played an important role in the Law of the Sea Conference in Caracas and the World Population Conference in Bucharest. . Australia has been prominent in expressing concern about violations of human rights and upholding the right of all peoples to live in dignity and freedom. An Australian initiative on diplomatic asylum was brought before the 29th United Nations General Assembly. Australia had made known her attitude towards the detention of political prisoners and supported United Nations resolutions condemning the violations of human rights in Chile. We shall mark the 26th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights next Tuesday by becoming a party to 2 significant international conventions on the civil rights of women, the 1951 Equal Remuneration Convention and the 1953 Convention on the Political Rights of Women.

Humanity and enlightenment abroad are reflected in our policies at home. No government has done more for those most in need, for the working man and his family, for women and children. Never once in 25 yean, whether there was inflation or recession, did a Liberal government fail to lend its support to the employers in the national wage case. For 20 years unions had been arguing for the re-introduction of wage indexation. Only now are we as a government taking a positive attitude to the question. We have made a positive and constructive intervention before the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. Within hours of taking office we reopened the wage case to secure equal pay for women. In May this year we supported the extension of the adult minimum wage to women. We have taken new initiatives to protect employees by training and retraining programs and structural adjustment assistance. No-one should be in any doubt about the Opposition’s policies on the great problems before us. One thing is clearly implicit in our opponents’ proposals- the slashing of basic public expenditure on schools, welfare, health and cities. Employees and their families would be the first to suffer.

I want to emphasise as strongly as 1 can that the current problem of inflation in no way downgrades the importance of our Government’s total program- the program I announced in 1972, the program I repeated in May this year, the program once again endorsed by the people this year. We shall go ahead with that program. It is crucial to all our efforts to protect the Australian community from the buffets of economic change and circumstance. The fight against inflation and the implementation of our program will go on together.

With our program we shall build a fairer and stronger Australia, an Australia providing greater equality of opportunities for all our people and a greater abundance of these opportunities. We are not going to be deterred from those goals, the goals adopted by the people of Australia in 1972 and 1974. Our record this year has brought us closer to them. I emphasise that in everything we do, in all our plans and decisions, we shall proceed on the assumption that the Government will serve its full elected term. That is the basis on which we were elected and that is the basis on which we shall proceed.

I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard the details of the achievements which I have summarised and a list of committees, commissions of inquiry and task forces established since 13 December 1973 and reporting to the Government; reports tabled in the Parliament in 1974 on inquiries instituted by (a) the present Government and (b) the previous Government; statements arising from meetings of Australian Government and State government Ministers tabled in the Parliament in 1974; the text of treaties and so on tabled in the Parliament in 1974; the Government’s welfare reforms; the 28th Parliament-Government legislation program, and the 29th Parliament-Government legislation program.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted?

Mr Sinclair:

– The normal practice in this Parliament is to give to the Opposition a copy of the statement and a copy of the information to be tabled. Leave is not granted.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted?

Mr Sinclair:

-No copies of the information were given to the Opposition. Leave is not granted.

Mr Daly:

– I move, pursuant to contingent notice of motion:

That this House authorises the incorporation in Hansard of such papers.

Mr SPEAKER:

-The question is -

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– My speech will be very brief. We had this last year when the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) came in without warning and he has done it again.

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. I have to put the motion. The question is:

That this House authorises the incorporation in Hansard of such papers.

Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar

– It seems to me that this is a motion which the House should not carry. We have just heard from the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) a nauseating exposition of self praise without foundation, speaking of the frenzied activity of this Parliament but saying nothing of the havoc which that frenzied activity has caused outside to the people of Australia. Sir, I think it would be a disgrace if this man were allowed to incorporate in Hansard unheard the details of the quite unfounded torrent of self praise which he has emitted over us all today.

Motion (by Mr Daly ) put:

That the question be now put.

The House divided. (Mr Speaker- Hon. J. F. Cope)

AYES: 63

NOES: 50

Majority……. 13

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Question put:

That this House authorises the incorporation in Hansard of such papers.

The House divided. (Mr Speaker- Hon. J. F. Cope)

AYES: 62

NOES: 50

Majority……. 12

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative. (The documents read as follows)- 29th PARLIAMENT 1974

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

(Status to adjournment of both Houses Wednesday 4 December 1974)

Notes

The number of separate Bills has been kept to a minimum by combining related matters which might otherwise have been the subject of separate Bills, e.g. combining amendments to the same Act and incorporating in the primary Bill consequential amendments to other existing Acts.

Bills Passed Both Houses include 6 Bills amended by Senate, not by Government initiative, and Bill (as amended or otherwise) subsequently being passed by Both Houses.

Bills rejected, Laid Aside or Deferred include six Bills subsequently passed by Joint Sitting.

Other Bills Introduced, Debate Not Concluded, include 40 Bills which the Government expects to be concluded this year.

Appendices

  1. . Bills Passed Both Houses.
  2. Bills Rejected, Laid Aside or Deferred.
  3. Other Bills Introduced, Debate Not Concluded.

Appendix 1 29th PARLIAMENT 1974

page 4660

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

(to 4 December 1974)

Proposed Laws Affirmed at Joint Sitting on 6 and 7 August 1974

Commonwealth Electoral Act(No. 2) 1973

Senate ( Representation of Territories ) Act 1 973

Representation Act 1973

Health Insurance Commission Act 1973

Health Insurance Act 1973

Petroleum and Minerals Authority Act 1973

Bills Passed Both Houses

July-August Sittings 1974

Canberra Water Supply (Googong Dam) Bill 1974

Customs Bill 1974

Evidence Bill 1974

Excise Bill 1974

Extradition (Foreign States) Bill 1974

Financial Corporations Bill 1974

Glebe Lands Appropriation Bill1974

Income Tax Assessment Bill 1 974

Income Tax (Dividend and Interest Withholding Tax) Bill 1974

International Monetary Agreements Bill 1 974

Marginal Dairy Farms Agreements Bill 1 974

National Health Bill 1974

Northern Territory (Administration) Bill 1974

Parliamentary Papers Bill 1974

Parliamentary Proceedings (Broadcasting) Bill 1974

Prices Justification Bill 1974

Public Works Committee Bill 1974

Repatriation Bill (No. 2) 1974

Seamens War Pensions and Allowances Bill (No. 2) 1974

Social Services Bill (No. 2) 1974

States Grants (Urban Public Transport) Bill 1974

Statute Law Revision Bill 1 974

Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Bill 1 974

Trade Practices Bill 1974

Transport Planning and Research Bill 1 974

Urban Public Transport (Research and Planning) Bill 1974

Budget Sittings 1974

Aboriginal Loans Commission Bill 1974

Adelaide to Crystal Brook Railway Bill 1974

Aged or Disabled Persons Homes Bill 1974

Aged Persons Hostels Bill 1 974

Airline Equipment (Loan Guarantee) Bill 1974

Air Navigation Bill 1974

Air Navigation (Charges) Bill 1974

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1974-1975

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1974-1975

Arbitration (Foreign Awards and Agreements) Bill 1 974

Asian Development Fund Bill 1974

Australian Development Assistance Agency Bill 1 974

Australian Shipping Commission Bill 1974

Australian Tourist Commission Bill 1974

Broadcasting and Television Bill 1 974

Commonwealth Banks Bill 1974

Conciliation and Arbitration (Organisations) Bill 1974

Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Bill 1974

Customs Bill (No. 2) 1974

Customs Tariff Bill 1974

Customs TariffBill (No. 2) 1974

Customs TariffValidation Bill (No. 2 ) 1 974

Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (Pensions Increases) Bill 1974

Defence Service Homes Bill 1974

Delivered Meals Subsidy Bill 1974

Election Candidates (Public Service and Defence Force) Bill 1974

Excise TariffBill 1974

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Bill 1974

Handicapped Persons Assistance Bill 1974

Housing Agreement Bill 1974

Income Tax Bill 1974

Julius Dam Agreement Bill 1974

Liquefied Gas (Road Vehicle Use) Tax Bill 1974

Liquefied Gas (Road Vehicle Use) Tax Collection Bill 1974

Livestock Slaughter Levy Bill 1974

Livestock Slaughter Levy Collection Bill 1 974

Loans (Australian National Airlines Commission) Bill 1974

Loans (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill 1974

Local Government Grants Bill 1 974

National Roads Bill 1974

Nitrogenous Fertilizers Subsidy Bill 1974

Papua New Guinea Bill 1974

Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Bill 1974

Papua New Guinea Loan (International Bank) Bill 1 974

Papua New Guinea Loans Guarantee Bill 1974

Payroll Tax (Territories) Bill 1974

Post and Telegraph Bill 1974

Post and Telegraph Rates Bill 1974

Queensland Grant (Bundaberg Irrigation Works) Bill 1974

Queensland Grant (Clare Weir) Bill 1974

Queensland Grant (Proserpine Flood Mitigation) Bill 1974

Queensland Grant (Ross River Dam ) Bill 1 974

Roads Grants Bill 1974

Remuneration Tribunals Bill 1974

Repatriation Acts Amendment Bill 1974

Seamen’s Compensation Bill 1974

Service and Execution of Process Bill 1 974

Sewerage Agreements Bill 1974

Social Services Bill (No. 3) 1974

States Grants Bill 1974

States Grants (Aboriginal Assistance) Bill 1974

States Grants (Beef Cattle Roads) Bill 1974

States Grants (Capital Assistance) Bill 1974

States Grants (Housing Assistance ) Bill 1 974

States Grants (Schools) Bill 1974

States Grants (Special Assistance) Bill 1 974

States Grants (Universities) Bill 1974

Tarcoola to Alice Springs Railway Bill 1 974

Taxation Administration Bill 1974

Urban and Regional Development (Financial Assistance) Bill 1974

Universities Commission Bill 1974

Wheat Industry Stabilisation Bill 1974

Wheat Products Export Adjustment Bill 1974

Wheat Export Charge Bill 1 974

Wool Industry Bill 1974

Wool Marketing (Loan) Bill 1974

Wool Tax Bill (No. 1) 1974

Wool Tax Bill (No. 2 ) 1 974

Wool Tax Bill (No. 3) 1974

Wool TaxBill (No. 4) 1974

Wool Tax Bill (No. 5) 1974

Appendix 2

29TH PARLIAMENT 1974

page 4661

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

(to 4 December 1974)

Bills Rejected, Laid Aside or Deferred by the Senate (Against Government wish)

Double Dissolution Bills Rejected (Subsequently Affirmed at Joint Sitting)

Commonwealth Electoral Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 973

Senate (Representation of Territories) Bill 1973

Representation Bill 1973

Health Insurance CommissionBill 1 973

Health Insurance Bill 1973

Petroleum and Minerals AuthorityBill 1 973

Other Bills (Minerals (Submerged Lands) Bill 1974 (Minerals (Submerged Lands) (Royalties) Bill 1974 -Second reading negatived 24 July 1974 (Post and Telegraph Bill 1974 (Post and Telegraph Rates Bill 1 974 -Deferred 30 July 1974’ . . . until the Government introduces its Budget . . . ‘; subsequently replaced by new Budget Bills (National Health Bill 1974 (Health Insurance Levy Assessment Bill 1 974 (Health Insurance LevyBill 1974 ( Income Tax ( International Agreements ) Bill 1 974 -Second reading negatived 1 August 1974 (Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill 1974 (National Investment Fund Bill 1974 -Second reading negatived 13 August 1974

Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1 974 -Motion, that Bill be made an order of the day for the next day of sitting, negatived15 August 1974; debate resumed and second reading negatived 24 September 1974

Conciliation and ArbitrationBill ( No. 2 ) 1 974 -Deferred15 August until first sitting day after1 September 1974; debate resumed and second reading negatived 24 September 1974.

Electoral Laws Amendment Bill 1974 -Second Reading negatived 28 November 1974 (Broadcasting and Television Bill (No. 2) 1974 (Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Bill 1974 (Television Stations Licence Fees Bill 1974 -Second Reading negatived 3 December 1974

Appendix 3 29th PARLIAMENT 1974

page 4661

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

(to 4 December 1974)

Other Bills Introduced, Debate not concluded (It is expected that Bills marked * will be concluded before the end of the Sittings)

Before the House of Representatives

Australian Council Bill 1974

*Banking Bill 1974- passed both Houses but awaiting consideration of Senate amendment.

Customs TariffValidation (No. 3) Bill 1 974

Export Market Development Grants Bill 1974

Family Law Bill 1974-Passed by Senate; further consideration by House of Representatives deferred until 1975.

Health Insurance LevyBill 1974 [No. 2]

Health Insurance Levy Assessment Bill 1974 [No. 2]

Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill 1974 [No. 3]

Industries Assistance Commission Bill 1974

Loans (Australian Industry Development Corporation) Bill 1974

Public Service Acts Amendment Bill 197 1 -Passed by Senate

Remuneration and Allowances Bill 1974- Not to proceed

States Grants (Fruit-growing Reconstruction ) Bill 1 974

*Structural Adjustment (Loan Guarantees) Bill 1974

Before the Senate

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Queensland Discriminatory Laws) Bill 1974- yet to be considered by House of Representatives

Aboriginal Land Fund Bill 1974

Australian Film Commission Bill 1974-Passed by both Houses but amendments made by House of Representatives disagreed to by Senate, which has referred to Committee to draw up reasons for advice to House of Representatives

Appropriation (Urban Public Transport) Bill 1974

Banks (Housing Loans) Bill 1974

Book Bounty Bill 1974

Companies (Foreign Take-overs) Bill 1974

Dairy Adjustment Bill 1974

Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Bill 1974

Estate Duty Assessment Bill 1974

Homeless Persons Assistance Bill 1974

International Development Association (Further Payment) Bill 1974

Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 2) 1974

Income Tax (Bearer Debentures) Bill 1974

Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill 1974 [No. 2]

Judges ‘ Pensions BUI 1 974

King Island Shipping Service Agreement Bill 1974

Loan Bill 1974

National Compensation Bill 1974- report on Clauses by Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs due 30 April 1975

National Health Bill (No. 2) 1974

National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Bill 1 974

Northern Territory (Stabilization of Land Prices) Bill 1974

Nursing Homes Assistance Bill 1974

Papua New Guinea Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 974

Racial Descrimination Bill 1974-yet to be considered by House of Representatives

Refrigeration Compressors Bounty Bill 1974

River Murray Waters Bill 1974

States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill 1974

States Grants (Dwellings for Pensioners) Bill 1974

States Grants ( Nature Conservation Bill 1 974t

States Grants (Soil Conservation) BUI 1974t

States Grants (Technical and Further Education) Bill 1974

States Grants ( Universities) Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 974

States Grants ( Water Resources Assessment ) Bill 1 974

Stevedoring Industry Bill 1974

Superior Court of Australia Bill 1974

Wool Industry Bill (No. 2) 1974t

WoolMarketing(Loan)Bill(No.2) 1974t

Awaiting introduction from House of Representatives.

Appendix 4A. 29th PARLIAMENT 1974

page 4661

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

(to 4 December 1974)

Bills Amended by the Senate (not by Government Initiative)

Financial Corporations Bill 1974

National Health Bill 1974

Trade Practices Bill 1974

Roads Grants Bill 1974

National Roads Bill 1974

Australian Film Commission Bill 1 974

Aged Persons Hostels Bill 1974

Public Service Acts Amendment Bill 1974

Note: Nature of amendments and action taken are outlined in Appendix 4b.

Appendix 4b. 29th PARLIAMENT 1974

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

(to 4 December 1974)

Action on Bills Amended by the Senate

Financial Corporations Bill 1974 -Four amendments on 31 July/1 August to include as an objective of the Bill ensuring an adequate level of finance available for housing and relating to Reserve Bank powers; agreed to by the House on 2 August.

National Health Bill 1974 -Two amendments on 1 August to provide for direct appeal to a Supreme Court against the Minister’s decision and to remove provision for an injuction; agreed to by the House on 2 August.

Trade Practices Bill 1974 -Numerous amendments on 14/15 August, including qualifications and financial interest of members of the Commission, prohibiting giving effect to contracts only to the extent they are in restraint of trade, defining substantial control of a market, excluding dealings between related bodies corporate, exempting acquisition of assets in the ordinary course of business, requiring that the Court be satisfied that a person is involved in contravention before imposing a penalty, imposing a time limit for proceedings, and excusing a person from liability where he has acted honestly and reasonably in the circumstances; agreed to by the House on 23 August.

Roads Grants Bill 1974. -Two amendments on 16 August, disagreed to by the House on 23 August; Senate did not insist on its amendments and agreed on 17 September to alternative amendments made by the House; limiting Minister’s powers to require States to submit work programs and to require repayment of funds if States do work not in accordance with an approved program to urban arterial roads only; -Several amendments on 16 August to delete involvement of other Ministers and to allow for revocation of an approval only with the agreement of a State; agreed to by the House on 23 August:

National Roads Bill 1974 -Amendments on 16 August to require the Minister to enter into an agreement with a State before he may declare an export road or major commercial road; disagreed to by the House on 23 August, and not insisted on by Senate on 1 7 September -Two amendments on 1 6 August to delete involvement of the Minister for Urban and Regional Development or his officers; agreed to by the House on 23 August:

Australian Film Commission Bill 1974 -Bill, introduced into the Senate, amended extensively on 23 and 24 October affecting the power of the Minister to give general directions to the Commission, deleting a requirement for exhibitors of films to exhibit some proportion of Australian short films and deleting a provision that full-time members of the Commission not have any direct or indirect pecuniary interests in the film industry;Bill amended by the House of Representatives on 20 November and disagreed to by the Senate on 3 December.

Aged Persons Hostels Bill 1974 -Amendment on 28 November extending to five years the three year program; disagreed to by the House of Representatives on 2 December and not insisted on by the Senate on 3 December.

Public Service Acts Amendment Bill 1 974 - Bill, introduced in the Senate, amended on 3 December to insert new Part and a new Schedules restoring the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance into the Public Service Act; awaiting consideration by the House of Representatives. 28th PARLIAMENT 1973-74

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

Statistical Summary

Notes

These figures include 1 5 Bills re-introduced after the initial Bills were rejected, laid aside or deferred.

Bills Passed Both Houses include 21 Bills amended by the Senate, not by Government initiative, and Bill (as amended or otherwise) subsequently being passed by Both Houses.

Appendices

Double Dissolution 4a. Bills Amended by Senate- Summary List 4b. Action on Bills Amended by Senate

Appendix1 28th PARLIAMENT 1973-74

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

Bills Passed Both Houses

Autumn Sittings 1973

Acts Interpretation Bill 1973

Agricultural Tractors Bounty Bill 1973

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 1972-1973

Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 1972-1973

Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 1972-1973

Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 1972-1973

Australian Capital Territory (Evidence) Temporary Provisions Bill 1973

Australian Capital Territory Representation Bill 1973

Australian Electoral Office Bill 1973

Australian Institute of Marine Science Bill 1973

Book Bounty Bill 1973

Broadcasting and Television Bill 1 973

Cities Commission BUI 1973

Commonwealth Bank Bill 1973

Commonwealth Electoral Bill 1973

Crimes Bill 1973

Crimes (Protection of Aircraft) Bill 1973

Customs Tariff Validation Bill 1973

Defence Force (Papua New Guinea) Retirement Benefits Bill 1973

Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Bill 1973

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Bill 1973

Defence Forces Retirement Benefits (Pension Increases) Bill 1973

Defence ( Parliamentary Candidates ) Bill 1 973

Defence Service Homes Bill 1973

Evidence Bill 1973

Excise Bill 1973

Excise Tariff Bill 1973

Excise TariffBill (No. 2) 1973

Export Payments Insurance Corporation Bill 1 973

Grants Commission Bill 1973

Housing AgreementBill 1973

Housing Assistance Bill 1973

Income Tax Assessment Bill 1973

Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 2) 1973

Income Tax AssessmentBill (No. 3) 1973

Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill 1973

Insurance Bill 1973

Insurance (Deposits) Bill 1973

Interim Forces Benefits Bill 1973

International Labour Organisation Bill 1973

King Island Harbour AgreementBill 1973

Life Insurance Bill 1973

Loan Bill 1973

Marriage Bill 1973

Maternity Leave (Australian Government Employees) Bill 1973

Migration Bill 1973

National Health Bill 1973

National Service Termination Bill 1973

New South Wales Grant (Flood Mitigation) Bill 1973

Northern Territory Adminstration Bill 1973

Papua New Guinea Bill 1973

Papua New Guinea Loan (Asian Development Bank) Bill 1973

Papua New Guinea Loan GuaranteeBill 1973

Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance)Bill 1973

Parliamentary and Judicial Retiring Allowances Bill 1 973

Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Bill 1973

Pipeline Authority Bill 1973

Prices Justification Bill 1973

Public Service Bill 1973

Public Service Bill (No. 2) 1973

Public Service Bill (No. 3) 1973

Remuneration and Allowances Bill 1973

Repatriation Bill 1973

Repatriation Bill (No. 2) 1973

Repatriation ( Far East Strategic Reserve) Bill 1 973

Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Bill 1 973

Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classification) Bill 1973

Seamen ‘s War Pensions and Allowances Bill 1 973

Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Bill 1973

Social Services Bill 1973

Social Services Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 973

Social Services Bill (No. 3) 1973

South Australia Grant (Lock to Kimba Pipeline) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Aboriginal Advancement) Bill 1973

States Grants ( Housing Assistance ) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Housing) Bill 1973

States Grants (Technical Training) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Universities) Bill (No. 2) 1973

States Grants (Water Resources Measurement) Bill 1973

Stevedoring Industry Charge Bill 1973

Stevedoring Industry (Temporary Provisions) Bill 1 973

Superannuation Bill 1973

Superannuation Bill (No. 2) 1973

Supply Bill (No.1) 1973-74

Supply Bill (No. 2) 1973-74

Wool Industry Bill 1973

Wool Tax Bill (No. 1) 1973

Wool Tax Bill (No. 2) 1973

Wool Tax Bill (No. 3) 1973

Wool Tax Bill (No. 4) 1 973

WoolTaxBill(No.5) 1973

Budget Sittings 1973

Aboriginal Affairs (Arrangements with the States) Bill 1973

Aged Persons Homes Bill 1 973

Air Accidents (Australian Government Liability) Bill 1973

Airlines AgreementsBill 1973

Air Navigation Bill 1973

Air Navigation (Charges) Bill 1973

Albury-Wodonga Development Bill 1973

Albury-Wodonga Development (Financial Assistance) Bill 1973

Aliens Bill 1973

Apple and Pear Export Charges Bill 1 973

Apple and Pear Stabilization Bill 1973

Apple and Pear Stabilization Export Duty Collection Bill 1973

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1973-74

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1973-74

Atomic Energy Bill 1973

Australian Apple and Pear Corporation Bill 1 973

Australian Capital Territory Representation (House of Representatives) Bill 1973

Australian Citizenship Bill 1973

Australian National Airlines Bill 1973

Australian National University Bill 1973

Banking Bill 1973

Banking Bill (No. 2) 1973

Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Bill 1973

Canning-Fruit Charge Bill 1973

Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Bill 1 973

Commission on Advanced Education Bill 1 973

Commonwealth Banks Bill (No. 2 ) 1973

Commonwealth Teaching Service Bill 1 973

Commonwealth Employees’ Furlough Bill 1973

Companies (Foreign Take-overs ) Bill’ 1 973

Compensation (Australian Government Employees) Bill 1973

Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1 973 [No. 2]

Constitution Alteration (Incomes) Bill 1973

Constitution Alteration (Prices) Bill 1 973

Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Bill 1973

Customs Bill 1973

Customs Tariff Bill 1973

Customs TariffBill (No. 2) 1973

Customs Tariff Validation Bill (No. 2 ) 1 973

Death Penalty Abolition Bill 1973

Defence (Re-establishment) Bill 1973

Delivered Meals Subsidy Bill 1973

Diesel Fuel TaxBill (No.1 ) 1 973

Diesel Fuel Tax BUI (No. 2) 1973

Egg Export Charges BUI 1973

Excise Bill (No. 2) 1973

Excise TariffBill(No.3) 1973

Export Incentive Grants Bill 1973

Extradition (Commonwealth Countries) Bill 1973

Extradition (Foreign States) Bill 1973

Film and Television School Bill 1973

Fisheries Bill 1973

Growth Centres ( Financial Assistance ) Bill 1973

Handicapped Children Assistance Bill 1973

High Commissioner (United Kingdom) Act Repeal Bill 1973

Honey Export Charge Bill 1973

Honey Export Charge Collection Bill 1 973

Honey Industry Bill 1 973

Honey Levy Bill (No. 1) 1973

Honey Levy Bill (No. 2) 1973

Hospitals and Health Services Bill 1 973

Immigration (Education) Bill 1973

Income Tax Bill 1973

Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 4 ) 1 973

Income Tax Assessment Bill ( No. 5)1973

Income Tax (Non-resident Dividends and Interest) Bill 1973

Industrial Research and Development Grants Bill 1973

Industries Assistance Bill 1973

Land Commissions (Financial Assistance) Bill 1 973

Lands Acquisition Bill 1973

Law Reform Commission Bill 1973

Meat Export Charge Bill 1973

Meat Export Charge Collection Bill 1973

Mental Health and Related Services Bill 1973

Meteorology Bill 1973

National Health Bill (No. 2 ) 1 973

National Library Bill 1973

Northern Territory Supreme Court Bill 1 973

Papua New Guinea Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 973

Papua New Guinea (Application of Laws) Bill 1973

Papua New Guinea Loans Guarantee Bill 1973

Papua New Guinea (Transfer of Banking Business) Bill 1973

Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Bill 1973

Pay-roll Tax Assessment Bill 1973

Pay-roll Tax (Territories) Bill 1973

Post and Telegraph Bill 1 973

Post and Telegraph Rates Bill 1973

Post and Telegraph Regulations Bill 1973

Public Service Bill (No. 4) 1973

Public Works Committee Bill 1973

Queensland Grant (Dawson River Weirs) Bill 1 973

Queensland Grant (Kin chant Dam) Bill 1 973

Remuneration and Allowances Bill 1973

Remuneration Tribunal Bill 1973

Repatriation Bill (No. 3) 1973

Reserve Bank Bill 1973

Royal Style and Titles Bill 1 973

Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Bill (No. 2) 1973

Schools Commission Bill 1973

Seamen’s War Pensions and Allowances Bill (No. 2) 1973

Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1973 [No. 2]

Sewerage Agreements Bill 1973

Sheltered Employment (Assistance) Bill 1973

Social Services Bill (No. 4) 1973

Social Welfare Commission Bill 1973

States Grants Bill 1973

States Grants (Aboriginal Advancement) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill 1973

States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill (No. 2) 1973

States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill (No. 3) 1973

States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill (No. 4) 1973

States Grants (Capital Assistance) Bill 1 973

States Grants ( Fruit-growing Reconstruction) Bill 1973

States Grants (Home Care) Bill 1973

States Grants (Housing Assistance) Bill (No. 2) 1973

States Grants (Petroleum Products) Bill 1973

States Grants ( Rural Reconstruction ) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Schools) Bill 1973

States Grants (Special Assistance) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Universities) Bill 1973

States Grants ( Universities) Bill ( No. 3 ) 1 973

Statute Law Revision Bill 1973

Student Assistance Bill 1973

Superannuation Bill (No. 3) 1973

Supply Bill (No. 3) 1973-1974

Territory Authorities ( Financial Provisions ) Bill 1 973

Wheat Export Charge Bill 1973

Wheat Industry Stabilization Bill 1973

Wheat Tax Bill 1973

Wine Grapes Charges Bill 1 973

Wine Overseas Marketing Bill 1973

Wireless Telegraphy Bill 1973

Autumn Sittings 1974

Airlines Equipment Bill 1974

Appropriation Bill (No. 3 ) 1 973- 1 974

Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 1 973- 1 974

Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 1973-1974

Australian Capital Territory Representation (House of Representatives) Bill 1974

Customs Tariff Validation Bill 1974

Fisheries (Papua New Guinea Boats) Bill 1974

Governor-General Bill 1974

Legislative Drafting Institute Bill 1974

New South Wales Flood Relief Bill 1974

Queensland Flood Relief Bill 1974

Remuneration Bill 1974

Repatriation Bill 1974

Seamen ‘s War Pensions and Allowances Bill 1 974

Social Services Bill 1974

States Grants (Technical Training Fees Re-imbursement ) Bill 1974

Superannuation (Distribution of Surplus) Bill 1 974

Supply Bill (No. 1 ) 1974-1975

Supply Bill (No. 2 ) 1974-1975

Appendix 2 28th PARLIAMENT 1973-74

page 4664

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

Bills Rejected, Laid Aside or Deferred

Bills Twice * Rejected, Failed to Pass or Unacceptablv Amended by Senate

Commonwealth Electoral Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 973

Senate (Representation of Territories) Bill 1973

Representation Bill 1973

Health Insurance Commission Bill 1 973

Health Insurance Bill 1973

Petroleum and Minerals Authority Bill 1 973

Constitution Alteration (Simultaneous Elections) Bill 1974

Constitution Alteration (Local Government Bodies) Bill 1974

Constitution Alteration (Mode of Altering the Constitution) Bill 1974

Constitution Alteration ( Democratic Elections ) Bill 1 974

Other Bills Rejected, Laid Aside or Deferred by Senate

Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1973 -Deferred 30 May 1973, lapsed on prorogation ( Bill [No. 2] passed 27 November 1973 with mining code deleted).

Seas and Submerged Lands (Royalties on Minerals) Bill 1973 -Deferred 30 May 1973, lapsed on prorogation (Bill [No. 2] referred to below)

Compensation (Commonwealth Employees) Bill 1973 -Deferred 5 June and 1 1 December 1973, lapsed on prorogation

Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1973 -Second reading negatived 6 June 1 973

Trade Practices Bill 1973 -Bill introduced in Senate, deferred 24 October 1973. lapsed on prorogation

Lands Acquisition (Australian Capital Territory) Bill 1973 -Second reading negatived 6 November 1973

Seas and Submerged Lands (Royalties on Minerals) Bill 1973 [No. 2] -Second reading negatived 27 November 1973

Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill 1973

National Investment Fund Bill 1973 -Referred 28 November 1973 to Select Committee, lapsed on prorogation, restored on 13 March and referred back to committee 19 March 1974, lapsed on double dissolution.

Trade Practices Bill 1 973 [No. 2] -Deferred 6 December 1973, lapsed on prorogation, restored on 14 March 1974 and debate adjourned 3 April 1974, lapsed on double dissolution

Constitution Alteration (Inter-change of Powers) Bill 1974 -Deferred 19 March 1974, lapsed on double dissolution

Superior Court of Australia Bill 1974 -Second reading negatived 2 April 1 974

Note

The following Bills, initially deferred by the Senate, are included in the statistics as Bills passed both Houses:

Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Bill (No. 2) 1973 -Deferred 22 November 1973, restored on 5 December 1973 and subsequently passed

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 1973-1974

Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 1973-1974

Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 1973-1974 -Deferred 10 April 1974, subsequently passed same day following announcement of double dissolution.

Appendix 3 28th PARLIAMENT 1973-74

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

Other Bills Introduced, and Lapsed on Prorogation or Double Dissolution

In the House of Representatives

Introduced in the House

Australia Council Bill 1974

Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1974

Financial Corporations Bill 1974

Income Tax Assessment Bill 1974

Income Tax (Dividends and Interest Withholding Tax) Bill 1974

Northern Territory (Stabilization of Land Prices) Bill 1974

Privy Council Appeals Abolition Bill 1 973

Privy Council (Appeals from High Court) Bill 1 973

States Grants (Urban Public Transport) Bill 1974

Urban Public Transport (Research and Planning) Bill 1974

In the Senate

Received from the House of Representatives

Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill 1973 [1974] [No. 2]

National Investment Fund Bill 1973 [1974] [No. 2]

Australian Development Assistance Agency Bill 1 974

Australian Tourist Commission Bill 1 974

Commonwealth Banks Bill 1 974

International Monetary Agreements Bill 1974

River Murray Waters Bill 1974

Wool Industry Bill 1974

Introduced in the Senate

Arbitration ( Foreign Awards and Agreements ) Bill 1974

Family Law Bill 1974

Human Rights Bill 1973

Racial Discrimination Bill 1974

Note: List does not include Bills deferred by Senate and subsequently lapsed as these are included in Appendix 2.

Appendix 4A 28th PARLIAMENT 1973-74

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

Bills Amended by Senate (not by Government Initiative)

Australian Capital Territory Evidence (Temporary Provisions) Bill 1973

Pipeline Authority Bill 1973

Cities Commission Bill 1973

*Australian National Airlines Bill 1973

States Grants (Advanced Education ) Bill 1 973

States Grants ( Universities) Bill 1973

*Australian Citizenship Bill 1973

*Australian Capital Territory Representation (House of Representatives) Bill 1973

Public Works Committee Bill 1 973

States Grants (Petroleum Products) Bill 1973

Meat Export Charge Bill 1 973

Meat Export Charge Collection Bill 1973

Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1973 (No. 2 )

*Schools Commission Bill 1973

*Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1973 [No. 2]

*Industries Assistance Commission Bill 1973

*States Grants (Schools) Bill 1 973

Law Reform Commission Bill 1973

*Fisheries Bill 1973

*Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Bill 1 973

Hospitals and Health Services Commission Bill 1 973

Note- Amendments to 10 Bills marked * were accepted with some reluctance by the Government. (Amendments to the other Bills were accepted without division in the Senate and accepted in the House; or were not insisted upon by the Senate).

Nature of amendments and action taken are outlined in Appendix 4b.

Appendix4H 28th PARLIAMENT 1973-74

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION PROGRAM

Action on Bills Amended by Senate

Australian Capital Territory Evidence (Temporary Provisions) Bill 1973 -Bill, introduced in the Senate, amended on 29 March 1973 to delete the proposed limitation on term of operation; passed by the House on 29 March.

Pipeline Authority Bill 1 973 -Four amendments on 24 May 1 973 one requiring works costing more than$2m to be referred to the Public Works Committee: disagreed to by the House on 3 1 May and not insisted upon by the Senate on 3 1 May; one deeming the Authority to be a common carrier: disagreed to by the House on 3 1 May and not insisted upon by the Senate on 3 1 May; one requiring that a warrant be obtained before entry upon land where it has not been practicable to notify the occupier, further amended by the House on 3 1 May to provide that the warrant be issued by a Justice of the Peace rather than by a Magistrate; agreed to by the Senate on 3 1 May; one requiring 30 days rather than seven days notice before occupying land; agreed to by the House on 3 1 May.

Cities Commission Bill 1973 -amendments on 30 May 1973 to change the title of the Commission to Cities and Regional Development Commission; disagreed to by the House on 31 May, and not insisted upon by the Senate on 3 1 May.

Australian National Airlines Bill 1973 -amended on 1 June 1973 to require that the Australian National Airlines Commission transfer moneys provided for staff superannuation to the Commonwealth Superannuation Board; agreed to by the House on 2 1 August.

States Grants (Advanced Education) Bill 1973 -amended on 5 June 1 973 to require that the States report annually to the Australian Universities Commission on the expenditure of money granted to them; agreed to by the House on 2 1 August.

States Grants ( Universities) Bill 1 973 -amended on 5 June 1973 to require that the States report annually to the Australian Universities Commission on the expenditure of money granted to them; agreed to by the House on 2 1 August.

Australian Citizenship Bill 1973 -amended on5 June 1973 to substitute alternative oaths and affirmations including provisions for ‘renouncing all other allegiance’; alternative amendment proposed by the House on 23 August providing new oaths and affirmations omitting the requirement of renouncing other allegiance; insisted upon by the Senate on 1 1 September and agreed to by the House on 1 2 September.

Australian Capital Territory Representation (House of Representatives) Bill 1973 -amended on 7 June 1973 to permit a margin of allowance of 1 fifth in lieu of 1 tenth; agreed to by the House on 1 1 October.

Public Works Committee Bill 1973 -Bill introduced in the Senate, amended on 30 August 1973 to require the Public Works Committee to examine all capital works in excess of $2m undertaken by Statutory Authorities; amended by the House on 25 October to restore it to its original text but the Government gave an undertaking that independent examination would be undertaken in an attempt to draw up a more rational method of selecting works to be deferred to the Committee; agreed to by the Senate on 13 November.

States Grants (Petroleum Products) Bill 1 973 -amended on 10 October, 1973 to require future amendments of the schedule of subsidy rates to be notified to the Parliament in the form of regulations; agreed to by the House on 1 1 October.

Meat Export Charge Bill 1973 -amendment requested on 10 October 1973 to reduce the rate of charge on beef and veal from 1.6c to lc; not made by House on 6 November; not pressed by the Senate on 7 November.

Meat Export Charge Collection Bill 1 973 -amended on 10 October 1973 to establish a Meat Export Charge Trust Account; disagreed to by the House on 6 November, but similar amendments proposed in lieu; the Senate did not insist upon the original amendments and agreed to the House amendments on 7 November.

Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1 973 ( No. 2 ) -extensively amended on 16 October to 6 November 1973 including rejection of proposals to facilitate union amalgamations, to require a Commissioner to ensure that employees bound by agreement have been consulted and to give the Minister for Labor the right to administer all sections of the Act; agreed to by the House on 8 November.

Schools Commission Bill 1973 -extensively amended on 20-21 November 1973 including provisions on the structure of the Commission, appointment of members, functions of the Commission, reporting of operations and Schools Advisory Boards: the House on 27 November agreed to one amendment, indicating that any reference to schools refers to both government and non-government schools, but disagreed to the remaining 14 amendments; insisted upon by the Senate 5 December; the House on 5 December insisted on disagreeing to the amendments, the Senate on 12 December did not insist on its initial amendments, but made further amendments to which the House agreed on the same day.

Seas and Submerged Lands Bill 1 973 [No. 2] -amended on 27 November 1973 to delete Pan III (dealing with recovery of off-shore minerals); agreed to by the House 28 November.

Industries Assistance Commission Bill 1 973 -amended on 28 November to 5 December 1973, including disclosure of interests by Commissioners, extension of time from 6 to 10 years after imposition of duties before Commission can initiate review, and establishing a separate Temporary Assistance Authority; agreed to by the House on 5 December.

States Grants (Schools) Bill 1973 -amendment requested on 5 December 1973 to ensure minimum per capita grants to non-government schools; modification to this request proposed by the House on 12 December were agreed to by the Senate on 13 December.

Law Reform Commission Bill 1973 -Bill introduced in the Senate, amended extensively on 6 December 1973, including deletion of provisions for hearings, a requirement that Commission consider rights and liberties and prohibiting full-time judicial members unless Chairman is judicial office holder: agreed to by the House on 13 December.

Fisheries Bill 1973 -Bill introduced in the Senate, amended on 1 1 December 1973 to delete automatic forfeiture provisions: agreed to by the House on 13 December.

Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Bill 1973 -Bill introduced in the Senate, amended on 1 1 December 1973 to delete automatic forfeiture provisions; agreed to by the House on 1 3 December.

Hospitals and Health Services Commission Bill 1 973 -Bill amended on 13 December 1973 to require consultation between Australian and State Ministers before approval is given to make grants to certain organisations or persons in a State; agreed to by the House on 13 December.

ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE WHITLAM GOVERNMENT- 1974

INCOMES AND TAXES

Australians were better off in 1974 than they have ever been. Average weekly earnings increased by 3.2 per cent in real purchasing power in the year to June 1973 and have increased by a further 3.9 per cent in the year to June 1 974. There has been a gain in real living standards of more than 7 per cent under the Labor Government.

Tax Cuts

We have cut taxes. Our tax cuts, worth $ 1,200m in a full year, are based on a major restructuring of the tax scales to benefit those most in need. They will save $5 a week for people on taxable incomes of $6,000 and about $2 a week on taxable incomes up to $10,000. PA YE deductions from January to June 1975 will give the taxpayer the benefit of the whole of the latest tax reduction during that period.

Higher Pay

The Government has achieved a total increase of $17 a week in the minimum wage through its intervention in the national wage case before the Arbitration Commission.

Equal Pay For Women

The Government has achieved equal pay for women through its intervention before the Commission including the extension of the minimum wage to females.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments

The Government is backing the case for the restoration of quarterly cost-of-living adjustments. Our wage indexation proposals will be considered in the National Wage Case now before the Commission.

Annual Leave

We are supporting moves for four weeks’ annual leave. Our granting of four weeks’ leave to Australian public servants has hastened the extension of this reform to State public servants.

Family Tax Rebate

We have introduced a tax rebate for low-income families. In some cases the saving to a taxpayer from this rebate will be even greater than his saving from restructuring of the tax scale. A taxpayer with a dependent wife and two dependent children, and with a gross earnings of $4,000 a year, will save more than $3 a week from the rebate.

Home Interest Savings

We are allowing people buying their homes to deduct interest payments on mortgages from their taxable income. About 1,400,000 taxpayers will benefit from the deduction. Taxpayers will get the benefit in their PA YE deductions from January 1975.

Working Conditions

We have ratified 10 ILO Conventions and become the first Government in the southern hemisphere to extend the ILO Convention on maternity leave to its own employees. We are the first Government in the world to give paid paternity leave to husbands.

THE ECONOMY, INDUSTRY AND TRADE

Throughout the year the Government has contended with the world-wide problems of inflation and unemployment. Its approach has been flexible and many-fronted. In an international inflationary situation the Government has used every weapon and constitutional power at its disposal to check inflation and pursue its goal of full employment. Our record compares well with other countries facing similar problems.

Easier Credit

The Government has eased credit, boosted the money supply and cut interest rates on short-term Government securities. The Government is determined to reduce unemployment and monetary and fiscal policies have been directed to that end.

Monetary Measures

We have relaxed controls on foreign capital inflow and devalued the currency by 12 per cent as part of our effort to boost the economy and maintain employment in the face of world economic difficulties.

Structural Adjustment Assistance

We are helping people and companies who may be harmed by any measures we have taken to strengthen the economy. We believe the nation and not the individual should bear the burden of these necessary changes. Milk processing, textiles, apparel, footwear, and electronic industries have sought assistance so far. Payments totalling $200,000 have been made.

Manpower Policy

The Government has introduced a National Employment and Training System (NEAT) to train men and women in new jobs, relieve unemployment and streamline the nation’s manpower resources. Our Regional Employment Development Scheme is relieving unemployment and helping local works projects.

Assistance to Country Towns

To counter the effects of unemployment we have announced a special program of assistance to manufacturing industries in country towns affected by our economic measures.

Industry Panels

We have set up industry advisory panels representing industry, trade unions, consumer industries and Government departments to advise the Government on industrial planning and co-operation.

More Funds to the States

The 1 974-75 Budget provided for an aggregate increase in funds available to the States of 38.4 per cent. The greater part of this increase is in specific purpose payments. However, general purpose funds which the States may spend us they wish are to increase rapidly in 1974-75. Present estimates show an increase of 26 per cent.

Prices Justification Tribunal

We have extended the jurisdiction of the Prices Justification Tribunal to enable it to exercise greater influence over retail prices and prices of imported goods. We are helping the representation of consumer interest at Tribunal inquiries. Three new members have been appointed to the Tribunal and its staff is being strengthened.

Export Bank

The Government has established the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to function as an export bank. New trade agreements have been signed with the EEC to safeguard Australian exports to Europe.

Manufacturing Industry Committee

In July the Government formed an expert committee comprising representatives of industry, government, the trade unions and academic circles to advise on policies for the development of manufacturing industry. The committee’s report is expected to be available in 1 975.

National Small Business Bureau

The Government in 1974 established a National Small Business Bureau to develop and implement a comprehensive and co-ordinated national program of assistance. Triebureau has been assessing in depth the needs of small business and identifying deficiencies in existing services.

Tax Indexation

The Government has formed an expert committee to determine if any fundamental changes are required in the taxation system to take account of the effects of inflation on taxation paid by persons and companies.

AIDC

The Government has continued its attempts to expand the role and scope of the Australian Industry Development Corporation, but the Opposition has continued to reject our proposals in the Senate. The proposed legislation will extend the range of industries in which the Corporation may assist companies. It will promote Australian ownership and control as a primary objective. Unlike now, the Corporation will be able to initiate investment proposals itself and will no longer be required to borrow principally from overseas.

National Investment Fund

A National Investment Fund will be established to provide finance for AIDC to carry out its expanded role. Investors in the fund will include institutional investment, large foreign investors, and individual members of the Australian public.

Assistance to Inventors

The Government has announced a major program for assistance to inventors. The program aims to encourage invention by providing assistance to private inventors in the development of their concepts up to the final patent stage. In 1974-75 an amount of $228,000 has been appropriated to give effect to this new program.

Motor Industry

The Government has announced new measures to assist and strengthen the Australian motor vehicle industry. The Government intends the new policy to operate for ten years, thus providing a stable framework within which industry can confidently plan. The new arrangements will result in a better based industry with consequent advantages for consumers and the economy generally. They will also allow necessary changes to proceed in a manageable way.

Assistance will be based on a company average local content plan of 85 per cent. This will be supported by a tariff of 35 per cent on complete cars when imports were less than or equal to 20 per cent of total passenger motor vehicle registrations and 45 per cent when in excess of 20 per cent. A differential of 10 per cent would apply between duties on imports of cars and unassembled vehicles. Components would generally be dutiable at 25 per cent.

Shipbuilding

New assistance for the shipbuilding industry was given in 1974. The new arrangements provide for subsidy ranging from 25% on small vessels up to a maximum of 45% on large vessels, with the 45% to be progressively phased down to 25% by 1980. Import controls on ships will be modified, and subsidy extended to ships built for operation overseas by Australian flag operators.

Footwear

The Government has placed temporary import restraints on most types of footwear. The import restrictions are intended to limit imports of footwear over the next 12 months to a level 20 per cent higher than the level of imports in 1972-73. A reference on the long-term protective needs of the footwear industry has been sent to the Industries Assistance Commission.

Overseas Trading Corporation

The Government ha’ decided to establish an Australian Overseas Trading Corporation. The Corporation, which will have the powers to purchase and sell goods overseas, is designed to fill gaps in Australia’s existing trading systemespecially against the background of the changing international trade situationTrade Agreements

Trade agreements have been signed with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Iran, the German Democratic

Republic and Hungary. Australia has successfully negotiated an agreement on tariff reductions and other concessions with the European Economic Community to come into force on 1 January 1975. The purpose of the agreement is to compensate Australia for the loss of Commonwealth preferences following Britain ‘s entry into the Community customs union.

Foreign Takeovers

During 1974 the Government has closely scrutinised takeover activity by foreign interests among Australian companies. In the period to mid-November more than 340 proposed takeovers have been brought to notice. The Government refused 5 takeovers which it considered to be against the national interest; 126 were allowed to proceed; 21 have lapsed; in 146 cases action was not available under the Companies (Foreign Take-overs) Act and 47 cases are currently under consideration.

Financial Corporation Act

We have passed the Financial Corporations Act to give the Government adequate powers over non-bank financial institutions, thereby supplementing existing monetary policy weapons to assist in the effective management of the economy.

EDUCATION

The Government has continued the great progress begun last year in education. We have tackled new areas including technical and further education. We are spending four times as much as our predecessors on education. We are adjusting grants to schools to keep pace with the effects of inflation so that schools can still plan confidently ahead.

Primary and Secondary Education

Following the Government’s acceptance of the major recommendations of the Karmel Committee and the establishment of the Schools Commission, programs intended to upgrade educational opportunities for children in all schools, began to operate in 1974. Grants totalling $780m are being made available to schools throughout Australia over the two years 1974 and 1975 under seven programs- the General Recurrent, General Building, Libraries, Disadvantaged Schools, Special Education, Teacher Development, and Innovations Programs. This expenditure includes supplementary assistance of $82m for government and nongovernment schools provided in the Budget to compensate for the effects of cost increases.

Technical and Further Education

We have embarked on our plans for a massive upgrading of technical and further education. We are extending to new fields the great initiatives we began last year in primary and secondary education. The Government will spend $100m over 1974-75 and 1975-76 on technical and further education. We will augment our programs for education generally in accordance with the recommendations of the Schools Commission.

Universities

The Government announced the provision of special grants to universities over the 1 973-75 triennium for the establishment or expansion of appropriate courses to increase the output of social workers, special education teachers, and general medical practitioners. The Government also announced that new universities would be established at Campbelltown in New South Wales, Geelong in Victoria and at Albury-Wodonga.

Advanced Education

Significant developments in this field during 1974 were those relating to the education of teachers. All former Slate teachers colleges have now been integrated into the advanced education system as a result of the Government’s acceptance in 1973 of the Report on Teacher Education 1973-7S by the Commission on Advanced Education. From 1974 approved non-government teachers colleges are being assisted with recurrent costs following the Government’s acceptance of a Report by the Commission recommending that recurrent funds totalling $6.4m be provided for these colleges in 1 974 and 1 975. Funds of $4. 7m were provided in the Budget for 1974-75.

A further measure relating to the education of teachers is the proposed establishment of a committee of inquiry into the preparation of technical education teachers. The Committee, which is in the process of being established, will report to the Committee on Technical and Further Education and the Commission on Advanced Education in 1 975.

Student Assistance

From the beginning of 1974, the Government has replaced its former competitive schemes of student assistance at the tertiary and secondary levels with noncompetitive schemes intended to assist students with limited financial resources.

The introduction this year of means-tested living allowances for unbonded full-time students at approved tertiary and post-secondary institutions supplemented the Government’s decision to assume full financial responsibility for tertiary education and to abolish tuition fees in tertiary institutions in 1974. Appropimately 60,000 students are receiving living allowances under the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme compared with some 48,000 full-time students assisted under the former competitive tertiary schemes in 1 973. Some 8,500 students are receiving benefits under the Secondary Allowance Scheme, another new scheme introduced this year to assist families with limited financial resources to maintain their children during the last two years of secondary education.

Expenditure on the student assistance program has risen from $88m in 1973-74 to an estimated $I20m in 1974-75. General increases have been announced from the beginning of 1975 in benefits payable under student assistance schemes to assist students with rising costs.

Migrant Education

Expenditure on English Language programs for migrant children and adults is estimated at $20.4m for 1974-75, an increase of 43 per cent over expenditure in 1 973-74.

During 1974 the Government announced the appointment of a committee to inquire into the teaching of the languages of the major migrant groups in schools, and the establishment of a joint inquiry by the Australian, New South Wales and Victorian Education Departments into the educational programs of schools with high enrolments of migrant children.

Education in the A.C.T.

An Interim Schools Authority has been set up to administer and plan for the future development of the government school system in the A.C.T. pending the establishment of a permanent Authority. With the current emphasis on joint education, the Interim Authority has taken steps to establish school boards.

SOCIAL SECURITY

We have raised all pensions and social security payments. At the same time the Government is improving its whole social security program in other fundamental ways. We do not believe that social security comes from cash benefits alone.

Record Pension Increase

Pensioners in July received their biggest increase on rerecord an extra $5 a week. It was the second increase in 1974. Substantial increases have also been made in repatriation and service benefits. New benefits, including free medical care for ex-POW ‘s have been introduced. Pensions now represent about 24 per cent of average weekly earning.

Repatriation Benefits

We have substantially increased repatriation benefits and introduced new benefits for ex-servicemen including free cancer treatment for all Australian veterans and free medical, hospital, dental, ophthalmological, para-medical treatment and (subject to a small contribution) nursing home care to all former prisoners-of-war

National Compensation

We have introduced our plans for a National Compensation Scheme. They are currently under consideration by the Legislative and General Purpose and the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Standing Committees of the Senate. The legislation proposes a comprehensive compensation scheme and the payment of benefits for incapacity resulting from injury or sickness, based on proposals made in the report of a committee of inquiry established by the Government.

Aged or Disabled Persons Homes

The Government has increased the subsidy under the Aged Persons Homes Act (now the Aged or Disabled Persons Homes Act) from $2 for $1 to $4 for $1 and widened the scope of the Act to encompass accommodation for disabled adults. Subsidy was also extended to local government borrowings which were previously ineligible to attract a grant under the Act.

The Government approved two increases in the maximum subsidy limits under the Act and in April introduced a separate subsidy of up to $1,600 a unit for the acquisition of land. The two increases saw the subsidy limits rise from $5,200 to $7,800 for a single unit and from $6,000 to $9, 100 for a double. With the introduction of the $4 for $ 1 subsidy these limits rose to $9,360 and $10,920 respectively, plus a maximum of $ 1 ,920 a unit for land.

Hostel Care for the Aged

The Government has amended the Aged Persons Hostels Act to enable the maximum grant to be increased from $7,800 for each person accommodated to $9,000 from I April 1974 and to $11,700 from 1 October. An additional grant of up to $2,400 per person was introduced for the purchase of land. A further $250 a person is available for furnishings.

Meals on Wheels Subsidy

The Government has increased the basic rate of subsidy paid to ‘meals-on-wheels’ services from 20c to 25c for all meals served since I July 1974.

Handicapped Persons Welfare

The Government has announced major new initiatives to improve services to handicapped people and to Voluntary, religious and similar organisations caring for them. They include a free of means test incentive allowance of $5 a week to all disabled people employed in approved sheltered workshops and an increase in the rate of existing capital and equipment subsidy to sheltered workshops and handicapped children ‘s training centres from $2 for $ 1 to $4 for $ I .

Subsidies will be paid for maintaining existing buildings and for rehabilitation and recreation facilities (including holiday cottages and camps).

Training Allowances for Rehabilitation

A recent amendment to the Social Services Act provided for more generous training allowances to be paid to handicapped persons. The new allowances are based on the adult male average award wage payable under the new National Employment and Training System. The previous training allowances paid to the handicapped were based on the pension plus an additional allowance.

Nursing Home Benefits

There have been two increases during 1974 in Government nursing home benefits. The most recent increase was on IS October last and it was approximately $ 14m a year. The Government has allocated an additional $40m a year towards nursing home benefits. Government payments on behalf of nursing home patients will now be $16lm a year. This is a 73 per cent increase on the last Government’s figures.

Homeless Persons

We are assisting the homeless in new ways. Under a new program capital grants will be made to organisations over a three-year period for approved projects in order to improve inadequate existing accommodation, to provide additional accommodation and to allow for the development of new and innovative services. Advisory Committees in each State will be established.

Community Information Centres

Funds have been provided to help establish up to twelve community information centres. Arrangements are currently being made to make funds available to 12 suitable organisations for this purpose. In addition, funds will be available to assist existing Community Welfare Agencies in serious financial need.

Welfare Rights Program

Organisations dealing with particular ethnic or disadvantaged groups have been requested to formulate proposals for a welfare rights service to meet the groups they serve. An amount of $ 100,000 has been allocated in a pilot program to provide up to $ 1 0,000 to each of five organisations in Sydney and five in Melbourne. Five organisations have been approved in Melbourne and grants have been allocated. Discussions with suitable organisations in Sydney are at an advanced stage.

Australian Assistance Plan

The Australian Assistance Plan was introduced on a pilot basis in 1973-74. Grants were made to 35 bodies to cover the administrative costs involved in establishing Regional Councils for Social Development throughout Australia. The Budget increased the amount allocated for the operation of the Plan for $0.9m for 1973-74 to $5,970,000 for 1974-75. It is anticipated that legislation will be introduced next year which will lead to the establishment of approximately 70 Regional Councils for Social Development throughout Australia.

HEALTH

Legislation authorising the Government’s universal health insurance program was passed at the Joint Sitting of the Parliament on 7 August 1974. On 27 November the Government reintroduced legislation to finance the health insurance program. The program will be implemented on I July 1975 and the appointment of staff to the Health Insurance Commission is proceeding.

Community Health Centres

In 1974 the Community Health and Community Mental Health, Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Programs have been implemented. They will ensure a high standard of community based health care services in co-operation with the States, local government bodies, voluntary agencies and community groups.

In the two year’s operation of these programs the Australian Government has provided funds totalling $60m. A total of 356 Community Health and 109 Community Mental Health projects have been approved for Australian Government funding. The first Australian Community Health Centre was opened in 1 974 at Deer Park, Victoria.

Australian Hospitals Development Program

The Hospitals and Health Services Commission completed a study of hospitals in Australia and its report was tabled in Parliament in April. The Government has agreed to a five year program of capital assistance for the development of public hospital facilities and appropriated $28m for expenditure by the States on individual projects during 1974-75.

Optometrical Benefits

The Government is introducing fee-for-service benefits for optometrical consultation in co-operation with the Australian Optometrical Association. The present restriction on benefits for doctors’ consultations resulting in the prescription of spectacles will be removed when the optometrical consultation benefits are introduced. Optometrical consultation benefits will be payable for services by optometrists who undertake to charge no more than agreed fees. Benefits will be 85 per cent of those fees with a maximum patient payment of $5.

Dental Health

Dental therapy training schools have been opened in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia and existing training schools in Tasmania and South Australia have been extended. Construction is progressing on four new major training schools and three regional training schools. September 1 974 saw the occupation of the new Westmead Dental Therapy Training School in Sydney. The number of dental therapy trainees in Australia increased from 50 in 1973 to 204 in 1974. It is expected that this number will increase to more than 300 in 1 975. Since the inception of the scheme, grants to the States totalling $15,592,475 have been approved.

Free Hospital Scheme in A.C.T.

Free hospital treatment is being implemented in the A.C.T. This scheme will provide free medical treatment for hospital patients who choose to use it in the public hospitals in Canberra. It is designed to function side-by-side with private ‘fee-for-service’ care in public hospitals. It is in keeping with the Government’s policy to introduce hospitalisation without charge and without means test and provides for a choice not previously available in the A.C.T.

Pharmaceutical Benefits

The Government has removed many restrictions on the prescribing of drugs as pharmaceutical benefits. As recently as 1 December restrictions were removed from 47 different pharmaceutical benefits and the requirement for a doctor to obtain the authority of the Director of Health to prescribe certain benefit items was removed in respect of a further ten drugs.

Quarantine Service

The Government proposes to operate plant and animal quarantine as it already operates human quarantine, and thereby establish a comprehensive Australian quarantine service. State Premiers have been requested to facilitate discussions on detailed arrangements for the transfer of functions and the continuation of consultation between officers of their Departments of Agriculture and the Australian Department of Health. Operation of a comprehensive quarantine service by the Australian Government will permit increased efficiency through rationalisation of staff and other resources, greater flexibility, more uniformity and procedures and more effective planning and integration of administration.

Family Planning

On 8 October 1974 Dr Stefania Siedlecky was appointed Consultant in Family Planning to the Australian Department or Health. She will assist in the development and implementation of new initiatives in Family Planning.

CITIES AND REGIONS

The Government has developed its plans for creating new cities and improving our existing cities. We have reached agreement with the States on 76 boundaries Tor regions which the Government will use as the basis for its programs.

Grants to Local Government

We have approved the first direct grants ever made by a Federal Government to local councils. The first grants, recommended by the Grants Commission, total $S6.3m. Councils will be Tree to spend them as they wish to improve community services and amenities.

Growth Centres

In the financial year 1974-75 the Australian Government has provided $70.3m for financial assistance to the States Tor growth centres and related projects in Albury-Wodonga, Monarto, Geelong, Bathurst-Orange and HolsworthyCampbelltown. In Tasmania assistance will be provided for the State Development Strategy Study to continue.

Land Commissions

We have gone ahead with the establishment of Land Commissions in the States to acquire, develop and service land in existing urban areas for resale at fair prices to homebuyers

The South Australian Parliament has passed legislation setting up a Land Commission. The Victorian Government agreed in May to establish an Urban Land Council. Agreements in principle have been reached with New South Wales and Tasmania and substantial agreement has been reached in negotiations with Queensland and Western Australia. An Urban Land Prices Report for 1968 to 1974 will be published soon.

National Estate

We have safeguarded the national estate- the unique and beautiful things, the things worth keeping in our country. Last financial year 101 national estate projects were approved at a total cost of $2. 5m. We have begun discussions with each State on projects to be included in this year’s program under which a total of $8m has been allocated. An Interim Advisory Committee has been established on the National Estate pending a Bill to create an Australian Heritage Commission.

National Sewerage Program

We have caught up further with the sewerage backlog. In the last financial year $37.65 worth of approved works were carried out. A total of $1 10m will be made available for works started this financial year and the Government has held initial discussions with State officers on allocating these funds.

Inner City Rehabilitation

In 1974 the transfer of the Glebe lands in Sydney to the Australian Government was completed and the Australian Government Project Office was opened there in August. The office will run the rehabilitation project. Encouragement of local participation in planning will be one of its most important functions.

In Melbourne, a committee representing the Victorian Housing Commission, the South Melbourne City Council and the Government has been formed to administer the rehabilitation project at Emerald Hill on property acquired by the Australian Government in May.

Urban Local Roads

The Urban Local Roads Program is designed to improve the quality of residential streets and will include a number of innovations to lift the environmental standards of roads in urban and provincial centres. A total of $30m will be made available under this program in the next three years.

Water Supply Schemes

We are providing assistance for Adelaide’s treatment scheme and the north-west Tasmanian regional water supply scheme. A total of $4.4m will be made available this financial year on the same basis as for the national sewerage program- that is 30 per cent grants and 70 per cent at the long term bond rate.

Area Improvement

These programs are directed to specific regions where the Government has decided to concentrate assistance for social and economic reasons and because major deficiencies exist.

In 1973-74 the program operated successfully in two regions, one in the western suburbs of Sydney and another in the western suburbs of Melbourne, under which a total of $ 1 5.5m was spent. Subject to States’ agreement, the program will be extended to 1 1 more regions this financial year and $ 13.8m has been allocated for the program.

WOMEN

One of the continual and constant concerns of the Australian Government since is attained office two years ago has been the firm establishment of the basic human rights to those individuals and sections within the Australian community who have been denied them by reason of their birth, color, creed, nationality, or sex. in no way has the Government’s concern in this area been more clearly demonstrated than in its desire to raise the status of women in Australian society.

International Women’s Year

The United Nations has proclaimed 1975 as International Women’s Year. The Government welcomes this proclamation and is determined to make the Year a success.

A National Advisory Committee has been appointed to advise the Government on themes and programs and an initial $2m has been allocated for the Year. The Committee will give priority to those areas affecting every girl and woman in society. These are health and welfare, child care, education, work, creativity and general community attitudes. The Committee will also act as a catalyst to more effective action by government departments in respect of women. The program that will arise out of the funding of projects in these areas will reflect the Committee’s concern that each member of society be allowed the freedom necessary to develop within, and participate in, that society.

Conventions

Australia will mark the 26th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1974 by becoming a party to two significant international conventions concerned with promoting the civil rights of women. The first of these is the 1953 United Nations Convention on the Political Rights of Women. The second is International Labour Organisation Convention No. 100- the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951.

The Convention on the Political Rights of Women extends to women the basic right to take and to hold public office on equal terms with men.

Australia’s ratification of International Labour Organisation Convention No. 100, which provides for equal remuneration for work of equal value by men and women, means that the Government has now fulfilled its stated objective of ratifying all the International Labour Organisation conventions in the field of human rights.

Royal Commission into Human Relationships

On 21 August 1974 I announced the appointment of the Royal Commission into Human Relationships. The Commission’s task is to look into and report upon the pressures existing in Australian society that place a stress upon relationships between people. The terms of reference include such important matters as sex education, family planning, related medical training and services and the position of women in relation to these subjects.

Study of the Educational Needs of Women and Girls

In July this year the Government announced the formation of a Committee by the Schools Commission to undertake a special study of the effects of social change on the educational needs of women and girls. The outcome of this wide-ranging study will be a report recommending programs and changes to correct the present imbalance which has restricted the career and life-choices open to women and girls.

National Employment and Training System

The Government is not only concerned with ensuring that future generations of girls attain their fullest potential but where possible it hopes to provide opportunities for women who have so far been denied them. The National Employment and Training System, the first fully co-ordinated scheme to retrain redundant workers or train for the first time people who have been working below their capacities and interest, is of major importance to women. More than half the applicants since the system began on 1 October 1 974 have been women, and all successful applicants, regardless of sex, receive the same allowance if they enter full time vocational training.

Regional Employment Development Scheme

The Government has taken steps to ensure that women who have been made redundant receive sympathetic consideration under the Regional Employment Development Scheme. Projects involving women in areas where their unemployment is significant will be amongst those given preference and efforts are being made to ensure that women are employed on the projects approved.

National Minimum Wage

On 2 May 1974 the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission extended the adult minimum wage to women; the full implementation of this decision is to be achieved by 30 June 1975. The extension of the adult minimum wage to women, a long overdue step towards establishing equal pay for women and recognising the economic needs, rights and responsibilities of women, was given full support by the Government in the 1974 National Wage Case.

Committees on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation.

The National Committee on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation and its counterparts on the State level have been in operation over a year. It is notable that so far most of the Committee’s business has been handling complaints from women, ranging from recruiting advertisements and the denial of housing loans to women to the complaint that women’s jobs have been classified on the basis of sex and command lower rates of pay than equivalent jobs for men.

Housing Finance

On 12 November 1974 the Government announced that it intended to appropriate $150m to the savings banks for lending for housing. This finance is to be available to women, as well as to men, for the acquisition or erection of homes and for extensions to existing homes.

Estate Duty on Matrimonial Homes

In estates where the matrimonial home or an interest therein passes to the widow or widower of the deceased, the value of the deceased’s interest up to a limit of $35,000 is now excluded from the dutiable value of the estate. This is a recognition that the person who looks after the home and the family contributes as much to the economic value of the family home as the person who goes to work outside it.

Australian National Compensation Scheme

This scheme recognises the contribution made by women who, as housewives, support those in the paid workforce by extending to them the provisions of the scheme.

Technical Education

On 10 April 1 974 the Minister for Education tabled in Parliament the First Report of the Australian Committee on Technical and Further Education. The Committee recommended that the proposed Commission on Technical and Further Education consult with State authorities to remove any problems women may have in gaining access to courses within technical and further education; that technical and further education institutions should act more positively towards women by providing a range of refresher courses and arranging attendance times to suit married women; that technical and further education authorities should examine the possibility that the absence of facilities for child care inhibits women attending attending courses.

The Government as an Employer

A sub-committee was established by Joint Council at its 50th meeting as an appropriate means of considering various matters relevant to the employment of women in the Australian Public Service. The sub-committee’s charter includes a continuing review of development affecting the employment of women.

The Government is currently reviewing its personnel policies and procedures in relation to women in the Defence Force.

Health and Welfare of Woman

In the field of women’s health the first, and basic, initiative taken by the Government has been the establishment of the Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre. The aim of this centre is to meet a need expressed by women for a health service staffed by women and directed solely towards the special health needs of women. Since then the Government has funded a number of further such centres under the Community Health Program.

Special courses to facilitate re-entry of women into the health workforce are being developed. Further grants have been made to national family planning organisations.

In the field of aboriginal health, Aboriginal women are being involved to an increasing degree in the delivery of health care to their own people.

The Government’s proposed program for homeless women and men has been devised in response to a muchneglected need. The deserted or distressed woman and her child, the aboriginal or teenager in want or distress, the battered woman or the battered child, and the single parent will be amongst those without support or an income who will benefit from the program.

Culture and Recreation

The Government has been concerned that women, particularly those at home with young children, have access to the opportunities for self fulfilment and social contact that recreation offers. This was illustrated by some of the projects carried out during 1 973-74 and is illustrated in the proposals for the year 1974-75 which include several major projects specifically oriented to women- a survey of the leisure activities of woman with young children, workshop discussions about women and recreation, the production of a film on the recreational needs of Australian women and the development of new approaches to leisure activities for women.

Childhood Services

In the field of childhood services the Australian Government has allocated $75m for expenditure during 1974-7S. On 29 October 1974 the Government appointed an Interim Committee pending the introduced of legislation to establish the permanent Commission. The Interim Committee has immediately set about its tasks and the new comprehensive program of diversified and integrated services for children is now being implemented. Consultative committees which are representative of community interests as well as government interests at all levels of government are being established whose function is to advise on local needs, indicate priorities and recommend applications.

Legislation has been introduced to provide for depreciation deductions in 1974-75 and subsequent income years for capital expenditure by employers on the provision of child care facilities for children of their employees. This will encourage the private sector to share the community’s responsibility for children.

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RURAL INDUSTRIES

Most rural industries are continuing to enjoy high prosperity despite marketing difficulties overseas. The Government is continuing its policies to strengthen rural industry and to make it independent, where possible, of ad hoc grants and taxpayers’ subsidies. We are tackling the big issues of rural poverty and overseas markets. The Budget provided a $488m outlay on rural assistance.

Rural Incomes Inquiry

The Government has asked the Industries Assistance Commission, which it established last year, to inquire into fluctuations in rural incomes. The Government recognises that these fluctuations cause hardship to farmers and is seeking ways to remove them or compensate for them.

Other IAC Inquiries

The Government has referred many other rural matters to the IAC for inquiry and report. The IAC is inquiring into superphosphate manufacturing, mushrooms, apples and pears, dried vine fruits, bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis slaughter compensation schemes, rural promotion, rural research, rural reconstruction, dairying, new land farms in Western Australia and the nitrogenous fertilizer subsidy.

Floor Price for Wool

The Government is appropriating $3 50m to ensure sufficient funds for the Australian Wool Corporation to operate a fixed floor price on wool sold during 1974-75. This shows Labor’s determination to prevent a collapse in wool prices. Our action has engendered new confidence in wool as shown by a recent improvement in the market.

Wool Marketing

The Government has introduced a bill to grant wider trading powers to the Australian Wool Commission. The objective, strongly supported by the industry, is to provide the AWC with new powers to ensure that it can play a much stronger role in wool marketing to the benefit of growers and the industry.

Higher Wheat Payments

The Government announced on 30 October that for the 1975-76 season it will increase the first advance payment for wheat from $ 1 .20 to $ 1 .50 a bushel and will accept a suspension of wheat delivery quotas. This decision follows last year’s increase from SI. 10 to $1.20 a bushel, the first rise for 1 5 years. The new payment will provide a strong incentive to growers to boost acreages next season to help overcome drastic world grain shortages and allow Australia to play a stronger role in feeding a hungry world.

Wheat Stabilisation Scheme

The Government has agreed with the Australian Wheatgrowers’ Federation on conditions for a new five-year Wheat Stabilisation Scheme to begin with the 1974-75 harvest. The Scheme will assist in stabilising incomes of wheatgrowers over the next five years.

Food Aid Program

The Government has announced that Australia’s foreign aid program will be increased by $18.7m to help fight the current world food crises. The Government’s decision was a direct outcome of the recent UN World Food Conference at which the Minister for Agriculture foreshadowed an Australian contribution proportionate to Canada’s contribution of $5Om

Dairy Adjustment Program

The government has introduced a $28m Australian Dairy Adjustment Program to strengthen the ability of smaller dairymen to operate effectively under today’s conditions. A major feature of the Scheme is interest-free loans to help cream suppliers change over to refrigerated whole milk delivery.

Rural Reconstruction

The Australian Government agreed earlier this year to approve State Governments granting loans for rural reconstruction in 1974-75 to an amount of $28m. The operations of the Rural Reconstruction Scheme will be reviewed early in 1 975 to determine the level of assistance for 1 975-76.

Animal Health

The Government has decided to erect a $56m maximumsecurity Animal Health Laboratory to protect our livestock industries from foot and mouth and other exotic diseases which, if introduced into Australia, could virtually wipe out our export trade in livestock products overnight. The funds for the laboratory represent the largest capital outlay to the rural sector by any Government. The previous Government consistently refused requests to establish the laboratory.

Bureau of Animal Health

The Government has approved the establishment of a Bureau of Animal Health and appointed its Director. It will streamline animal health activities aimed at disease eradication and prevention. Along with the Animal Health Laboratory, it will be an essential pan of the Government’s plan to protect our livestock from disease.

Apple and Pear Corporation

Labor has replaced the old Australian Apple and Pear Board with the Australian Apple and Pear Corporation, an upgraded and more powerful body aimed at increasing the market prospects and returns for Australian fruitgrowers. The Corporation is a further step in Labor’s drive to upgrade the powers and performance of all rural marketing boards.

Fruit Industry Support

For the 1974 export season, the Government provided $2.6m to financially support the apple and pear industry.

Extension Services

Total expenditure for 1974-75 under the Commonwealth Extension Services Grant has been set at $7,975,000. compared with $7.2m in 1973-74. The funds are used by State Departments of Agriculture to improve the effectiveness of information and advice being provided to primary producers.

Green Paper

A Green Paper on rural industries, released to the public on 18 June, represents the first comprehensive review of rural policy in Australia for over 20 years. It sets out the major problems confronting agriculture and provides guidelines for policy makers.

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LEGAL REFORMS

The Government has reformed and strengthened the law on a whole range of social and economic issues. The reforms will tighten up on lurks, swindles and business malpractices as well as protect consumers and simplify legal procedures.

Trade Practices

The Trade Practices Act bans price fixing and other restrictive practices and protects the consumer. We have set up a Trade Practices Commission to administer the new laws.

Family Law

The Family Law Bill, introduced by the Attorney-General provides a single new ground for divorce and establishes a new Australia-wide Family Court to help people resolve their marital problems. It has passed the Senate and is now before the House of Representatives.

Racial Discrimination

We have re-introduced a Racial Discrimination Bill to prohibit racial discrimination in all its forms and provide effective remedies against acts of discrimination. A community relations council will be established. The Bill gives effect to an international convention to which 81 countries have subscribed.

Securities Legislation

We have acted to toughen the law on Stock Exchange lurks and swindles. The Attorney-General has tabled a Corporations and Securities Industry Bill based on the recent Senate Committee Report on Securities and Exchange.

National Companies Legislation

Progress has been made in drafting a bill for a National Companies Act. This bill will be introduced next year and will be integrated with the Corporations and Securities Bill.

Foreign Arbitration

A bill was introduced to enable Australia to accede to the 1958 United Nations convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards. The Convention recognises the value of commercial arbitration as a means of resolving disputes where more than one country is involved.

Superior Court of Australia

A Bill to establish the Superior Court of Australia was reintroduced into the House of Representatives and passed. It is currently before the Senate again.

Legal Aid

The Government has established the Australian Legal Aid Office to provide advice and assistance to persons in needparticularly disadvantaged persons- on an equal basis throughout Australia. Australian Legal Aid Offices are already operating in the State capitals, Canberra and Darwin. The Australian Legal Aid Office has already assisted over 20,000 persons.

Ombudsman

The Government is drafting a Bill to appoint an Australian Ombudsman to protect people from bureaucratic abuses and miscarriages of justice.

Territory Law Reform

Small Claims Courts have been established in both the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The jurisdiction of magistrates has been increased in both Territories to enable them to deal with a substantial number of criminal matters previously dealt with in the Supreme Courts, thus relieving the workload on the Supreme Courts.

The payment of probate fees on estates of less than $30,000 has been abolished. Progress has been made on the drafting of a new criminal law for the Australian Capital Territory, to replace the New South Wales Crimes Act that now applies.

Copyright

Following a decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court, now under appeal to the High Court, an expert committee has been established to consider whether the copyright law relating to photocopying libraries should be revised.

Computerization of legal data

The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Committee on the Computerization of Legal Data. The ultimate objective of the recommendations is a system for the storage and retrieval, in co-operation with the States, of all Australian and State legal information. The first step towards that objective will be the introduction by the middle of 1975 of a service based on the Acts of the Australian Parliament.

Reprint of Acts

Publication of all Acts of the Australian Parliament 1901-1973 has commenced. The first volume was published in September 1974, the second volume early in November and the third volume is expected to be available early in December. The remaining 9 volumes will, it is anticipated, be published at monthly intervals.

Nuclear Tests Case

The Attorney-General on behalf of the Government of Australia continued in 1 974 to present Australia ‘s case in the International Court of Justice for the complete cessation of atmospheric nuclear testing in the South Pacific Ocean. On 22 June 1973 the International Court on Australia’s application granted interim measures of protection ordering that the French Government should avoid the conduct of nuclear tests causing the deposit of radio-active fall-out on Australian territory. That Order still continues to apply.

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TRANSPORT

The Government is undertaking massive improvements in urban and national transport systems, including roads, railways, shipping and other services.

National Roads

The Government has passed legislation to provide $l,126m to the States for road development over the period 1974-75 to 1976-77. This represents an increase of 30 per cent over the $870m provided for the various forms of roads assistance in the previous three years. The most important new initiative in this legislation has been the acceptance of full financial responsibility by the Australian Government for the development of a national highway system, export roads and major commercial roads. $400m will be provided for this purpose and the Australian Government will be responsible for the strategic planning of these roads.

We have for the first time introduced assistance for urban local roads. This is in line with our aim of improving the urban environment and will be directed at redressing major areas of neglect such as the need to assist councils on the fringes of urban areas facing difficulty in keeping pace with development.

Urban Public Transport

The Government is providing financial assistance to the States for the upgrading of urban public transport services in the major cities. The Australian Government will meet twothirds of the cost of approved projects over a period of five years ending in June 1978. It appropriated $7 1.9m towards projects approved for commencement in 1973-74 and will appropriate $66. lm for approved projects commencing in 1974-75. The Australian Government’s financial assistance towards a total program of $207m will amount to $ 1 38m.

Planning and Research

The Government has allocated $lm to the States for urban transport research and planning projects commencing in 1973-74 on the basis of a two-thirds contribution by the Australian Government and a one-third contribution by the States. A further $7. 6m has been appropriated for distribution to the States during 1 974-75 with a further $ 1 8.4m to be distributed in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

Parramatta Railway Project

The Government has proposed to the Premier of New South Wales that the Australian Government construct a rail system radiating from Parramatta and servicing the rapidly developing areas of Hoxton Park, Carlingford, Epping and Castle Hill. Agreement has been reached with the New South Wales Government to study the feasibility of this proposal.

Tarcoola /Alice Springs Railway

The Prime Minister and the Premier of South Australia have signed two important agreements concerning railway construction projects and both were ratified by the Australian Parliament. The first is for the construction of a standard gauge line from Tarcoola on the Trans-Australian line to Alice Springs to replace the present narrow gauge line from Marree to Alice Springs, which is subject to disruption by flooding. This railway will greatly improve transport facilities to central Australia. Tenders have been called for work on the first section- Tarcoola to Robin Rise ( 1 60 km ).

The second is for the construction of a standard gauge line from Adelaide to Crystal Brook to complete the connection of all mainland capital cities to standard gauge.

The Australian National Line is to inaugurate in January 1 975 a new container service between Australia, the Philippines, South Korea and Hong Kong with the vessel now operating in the Japan trade, the Australian Enterprise. This vessel will be joined later in the year by a second ship to be purchased from the Flinders Shipping Company. ANL will operate its own marketing arrangements for this service.

Air Traffic Agreement

The Government has re-negotiated our air traffic rights agreement with the United Kingdom. A new basis for Qantas’ co-operation British airlines has been established and the withdrawal date in 1975 for British Airways ‘operations on the South Pacific route between Australia and the United States has been fixed with undoubted benefit to Qantas.

Brisbane Airport

The Government has decided to provide a new international terminal building complex at a cost of about $4.2m. Work is proceeding, with the completion target being the end of 1975.

Hobart Airport

We have decided to replace the terminal building with a larger building with more and better facilities at a cost of about $ 1.3m. Work is proceeding, with the completion target being the end of 1975.

Sydney Airport

The Government has decided to further develop the international terminal complex at a total cost of $7. 8m. The first stage of the project, estimated to cost about $2. 7m. was authorised in July with this stage completion target being mid 1975.

Domestic Airlines Fares

Government intervention has succeeded in lowering longdistance air fares on services between Sydney and Adelaide and between Sydney and Perth. A new fare structure, introduced on 12 August 1974, and expressed in cents per kilometre flown, consistently reflects a downward tapering in favour of long-distance passengers.

Qantas’ Purchase of Aircraft

In April the Government gave Qantas approval to buy three more Boeing 747B jet aircraft at an approximate cost of $70m. The new aircraft will bring Qantas’ fleet of the wide-bodied jets to 1 1. The new additions to the Qantas 747B fleet together with the airline’s 707 jetliners will enhance Qantas position as a leading world airline.

Shipbuilding

The Government’s new policy on shipbuilding, announced in December 1973, has been implemented during the year. This policy is designed to improve the long term efficiency of the industry and gives it a broader base. It extends availability of subsidy to Australian flag vessels built in Australian yards for operation overseas and to conversions of vessels in Australian yards. Smaller yards are assisted by extension of the subsidy to vessels between 1 50 a nd 200 gross tons and fishing vessels of 70 feet or more in length. The amount of building activity has been maintained during the year at the high level reached since our Government came to office.

Maritime Commission of Inquiry

The Commission of Inquiry into the Maritime Industry has contributed towards the furtherance of improved >. ““cal training and education in Australia by assisting the Department of Transport in an in-depth study of possible requirements in this area. As a result of that study, work is now proceeding to establish a school in association with u tertiary college.

RESOURCES

The Government’s basic aim is to ensure that the development of Australia’s mineral resources will bring maximum benefits to the Australian people. Ultimate responsibility for the exploration, development and processing of minerals must rest with Australians. All enterprises, whether Australian or foreign-owned, engaged in exploration, development or processing, must respect the national interest. The Government is using all its powers, including its export and exchange control powers, to achieve this aim.

Guidelines

On 3 November 1974 the Government released guidelines for foreign equity participation and control of the mining industry in Australia. These guidelines, a development of the policy outlined in October last year, set out the Government’s objectives for Australian equity in and control of the nation’s resources and industries.

Petroleum and Minerals Authority

The Government has established the Petroleum and Minerals Authority to develop our natural resources with Australian participation, ownership and control. This legislation was passed in the joint sitting of Parliament in August. A major portion of the Authority’s 1974-75 expenditure of $50m will be available to assist Australian mining ventures. It has already taken an equity in two Australian venturesWambo Mining Corporation and Mareeba Mining NL.

Coal and Iron Exports

The Government has increased Australia’s earnings from our mineral exports. In 1974 the value of coal exports for overseas steel mills has risen by 60% to more than $600m. We have renegotiated our iron ore contracts with Japan. The negotiations resulted in additional export income in a full fiscal year of $US193m.

National Pipeline

We have built 238 kilometres of our proposed national pipeline to carry natural gas from the North-West shelf across the Continent. This work is being carried out by the Pipeline Authority established last year.

Uranium Deposits

To develop Australia’s vast uranium deposits in the Northern Territory, we have authorised the Atomic Energy Commission to mine and sell our uranium reserves at Ranger in the Alligator River district of the Northern Territory. The Government is taking up shares in the Mary Kathleen mine in Queensland. We have reached agreement with Japan on a joint study in uranium enrichment for Australia.

Export Controls

Export controls on minerals imposed last year were extended to include petroleum products and fabricated and semi-fabricated copper products. A prime purpose of the controls is to ensure that export prices for Australian minerals are at a reasonable level in relation to export prices from other countries. The success of the Government’s policy is well illustrated in substantial increases in iron ore and coal export prices.

Coal Hydrogenation

On 2 November the Prime Minister of Japan and the Australian Government announced their agreement to cooperate in coal hydrogenation research through visits of experts and exchanges of technical information.

Offshore Sovereignty

The Australian Government is continuing to uphold its sovereignty over off-shore resources. It is fighting a legal challenge by the States to the constitutional validity of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act which became law in December 1973.

The Australian Government seeks the earliest possible resolution of the matter and has formally applied for hearing of the challenges at the commencement of the 1 975 term.

Royal Commission into Petroleum

The Royal Commission set up by the Government last year to inquire into all aspects of petroleum products, refining and pricing has sat through 1 974.

The Royal Commission conducted a special investigation into shortages of petroleum products in northern N.S. W. and Queensland. The Commission reported on 15 October and its findings are now being reviewed by the Government in consultation with the major petroleum companies.

page 4676

HOUSING

The Government is providing more funds to the States for housing than any previous Government We have given the States a virtual blank cheque for welfare housing. We are making increased funds available through the banks for homebuyers. At the same time we are developing our plans for more efficient and better co-ordinated building techniques.

Welfare Housing

In 1974 the Government has agreed to provide no less than S3 18m to the States for welfare housing in 1974-75. This allocation will permit an increase in expenditure this year of almost $ 1 25m over 1 973-74 and is nearly double the amount available to the States for welfare housing in 1972-73.

An amendment to the Housing Agreement was negotiated with the States to permit the allocation of more than 30 per cent of welfare housing advances to home builders accounts for lending through terminating and housing societies and lending authorities to prospective home-owners.

Homes for Pensioners

Legislation has been introduced to authorise the payment of interest-free grants of $30m to the States over the three years ending 30 June 1 977 for the provision of self-contained dwellings for single pensioners eligible for supplementary assistance. The eligible pensioners include aged pensioners. Class B widow pensioners and service pensioners who are permanently unemployable or suffering from tuberculosis.

Under the previous scheme introduced in 1969 grants of $5m a year were payable to the States for five years for similar purposes but the only pensioners eligible were those in receipt of age pensions.

Housing Corporation

The Government is setting up an Australian Housing Corporation to cater for the homeseekers in the Australian Government’s constitutional responsibility.

Defence Service Homes

We have further improved the Defence Service Homes Scheme. We are increasing the maximum loan from $12,000 to $15,000 and removing the restriction which previously prevented single men and widowers with the necessary qualifying service from receiving assistance.

Building Technology

A Task Force on Modern Housing Techniques has presented its report and moves have been made to act on the recommendation. The report shows that a small but significant industry already exists and is well established for the production of industrialised house components. The Government will stimulate and encourage this industry.

Housing Standards Advisory Council

The Australian Housing Standards Advisory Council was set up to bring together state and local government representatives arid many other interests concerned with building regulations and research. The Council also has the responsibility for overseeing the Task Force on Housing Standards set up to produce a model code’ for standards of dwelling construction.

The Australian Housing Research Council has been set up with the agreement of the State Housing Ministers and with funds to assist the housing authorities of each State with research and development in sociological and technological projects.

Forward Planning

We have embarked on a program of indicative planning for the housing industry. A Planning Council is being established to determine the desirable and feasible levels of home building activities for 1974-75 to 1976-77. The Council’s task will be to establish the growth rate in housing completions which will be needed to adequately house our population and the amounts of land, labour, materials and finance needed to achieve that growth rate.

page 4676

ENVIRONMENT

The Labor Government is the first to deal seriously with the problems of the environment and pollution. The Department of Environment and Conservation is studying all Government decisions which may affect the environment and is taking stringent measures to safeguard our natural heritage.

Impact Statements

We have brought in a law requiring all departments, authorities and private firms coming within Australian Government jurisdiction to submit statements on the likely impact on the environment of any proposals. The Bill contains extensive provisions for public participation in the decision-making process and allows environmental factors to be considered equally with economic, technical and other factors.

National Parks

We have established a professional service to manage national parks in Australian territories. With the passage of the legislation the Government will move quickly for proclamation of a number of outstanding areas, including Kakadu (N.T.), Gudgenby (A.C.T.) and the Great Barrier Reef, as national or marine parks.

Nature Conservation

We are providing $9m in 1974-75 as a first instalment of a three-year program to provide funds to assist the States in acquiring land for nature conservation purposes.

International Treaties

The Government has signed a treaty with Japan on migratory birds, a convention on wetlands of international importance and a world cultural and natural heritage convention. These agreements charge the Australian Government with responsibility for their enactment.

Accordingly, we will be required to work with the States to ensure that these international commitments are honoured.

Advisory Bodies

The Government has set up a Council of nature conservation ministers, comprising state and Federal ministers to seek national policies for nature conservation. We have established an Australian advisory committee on the environment with 15 members representing the community which will investigate and report to the Government on matters of environmental significance. We have set up a Bureau of Environmental Studies to provide a source of professional expert advice.

National Programs

The Government has embarked on an historic series of national programs aimed at protecting our air, water and soil. They include the national air monitoring program and a program to prevent pollution from ships, dumping of wastes at sea, and the discharge of pollutants into Australian waters from land based sources.

Mineral Policy

The Australian Government now requires all proposals for mineral development to be forwarded for scrutiny through the Minister for Minerals and Energy to the Treasurer, the Minister for Urban and Regional Development and the Minister for the Environment and Conservation.

page 4677

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS

We have done more for Aboriginals than any other Government. In the financial year ended 30 June 1974, the Australian Government spent $98.69m on implementing its broad range of programs in Aboriginal affairs. In the budget for this year it provided a further SI 63.6m to support continuing programs and new initiatives.

Land Rights

We are granting land rights to Aboriginals. The Government has regarded action on Aboriginal land rights as central to its program. In May, Mr Justice Woodward submitted the Second and final Report of his Aboriginal Land Rights Commission, recommending ways of granting land rights in the Northern Territory. The Government accepted in principle the recommendations of this epoch-making document and the views of Aboriginals are being consulted as a basis for legislation to give effect to them.

Aboriginal Land Fund

The Aboriginal Land Fund Bill has been introduced to give statutory form to the Government’s policy of providing generous funds to allow Aboriginal communities to buy land as a basis for their future social and economic development.

Wider Responsibilities

The Department of Aboriginal Affairs expanded its operations with the transfer to it of the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority in Western Australia and the transfer of the staff and functions of the Victorian State Ministry will be effected before the end of the year. The nucleus of an effective departmental presence has been established also in Queensland and New South Wales.

Loans Commission

We are setting up a Commission to make loans to Aboriginals, not only to support individual and community economic enterprises as in the past, but for housing, furniture, and other personal loans.

Queensland

We have taken legislative measures to override provisions of Queensland State legislation which discriminate against Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders on the basis of race or limit their fundamental rights and freedom.

National Health Plan

A national approach to raise the standard of health of the Aborigines of Australia to the level enjoyed by their fellow Australian is being planned and co-ordinated by the Department of Health. This national approach aims to lower the infant mortality and morbidity rates; improve the state of infant and child nutrition; climatic growth retardation: and eradicate infectious and chronic diseases.

Workshop on Aboriginal Medical Services

A workshop on Aboriginal Medical Services was held in Albury in July 1974 with wide representations from the Aboriginal Community to discuss the operation of existing Aboriginal Medical Services and the desirability of developing new services. The report on this workshop was tabled in the Parliament by the Minister of Health, Dr Everingham.

Federal-State Conference

At a Federal-State conference on aboriginal health services held in Hobart on 24-25 October 1974, representatives of State and Australian Government Departments met to discuss programs for the permanent improvement in Aboriginal health. Action was taken to ‘iron out’ problems and to find ways and means to implement the programs with minimum delay.

page 4677

DEFENCE

The Government has continued to provide strong defence strength to meet current and foreseeable needs. The strategic prospect for Australia is favourable. Our policy recognises, however, the uncertainties that attach to the longer term. Australia now has highly mobile professional, well-paid forces capable of expansion whenever necessary.

Defence Program

This year’s Defence vote is $1, 573m. Australia has today forces of 33 per cent larger than they were ten years ago and raised on an entirely voluntary basis. The size of the forces. their equipment and their supporting infrastructure are without precedent at a time when Australia is not engaged in conflict and when no such conflict is in prospect.

Defence Equipment

The Government has made important decisions this year on three new major items of procurement for the Servicespatrol frigates, replacement tanks for the Army and longrange maritime patrol aircraft. More decisions will follow each year.

Defence Force Manpower

Recruiting results in 1974 have been generally satisfactory, although there were some shortfalls in particular categories. The Government decided to increase the strength of the Regular Army by 1,300 to 3 1,500 during 1974-75. The financial and other conditions of service of members of the Defence Forces have been progressively improved during the year to ensure that service men and women enjoy similar benefits to those in the community. This review has resulted in salary increases for officers and other ranks, increases in some allowances, an up-dating of Service pensions and extension of re-settlement and repatriation benefits.

Committee of Inquiry into the CMF

For the first time in its history, a thorough independent review of the CMF has been initiated by the Government. This review, under Dr T. B. Millar, was completed at the end of March 1974 and tabled in the House on 4 April 1974. The Government will implement the broad recommendations made by the committee of inquiry.

Defence Academy

The Government approved earlier this year what its predecessors failed to do- the establishment of an Australian Defence Academy to provide education at a tertiary level for Officer Cadets of all three Services. It will provide education at a tertiary level for officer cadets of all three Services, for some cadets from overseas, and for selected serving officers. The Government also approved proposals under which the orientation and initial military training of Army officers will be centralised, in the early 1980s, in one training establishment.

Defence Force Disciplinary Code

The Government tabled in Parliament a report and draft Bill on the Defence Force Disciplinary Code. The Bill eliminates obsolete offences, reduces general levels of punishment and modernises such matters of sentencing, trial and review.

Research and Development

This will complete at a cost of $ 1 4m the development in Australia of the BARRA Sonobuoy for detecting submarines and ships. This program is the largest research and development project ever undertaken in Australian defence. It will provide our maritime forces with a sonobuoy without equal.

Assistant to the Civil Community

Defence Force assistance to the civil community has been placed on an entirely new and more effective footing with the advent of the Natural Disasters Organisation. The Defence Force has provided personnel, equipment, stores, vehicles and aircraft in floods and during the locust plague in Queensland. Examples of other forms of assistance are the provision of fuel for the sugar industry in Queensland in August 1974, aerial and hydrographic surveys of coastal areas and combating the Crown of Thorns starfish.

Defence Reorganisation

A comprehensive report on the reorganisation of the defence group of departments, submitted in December 1 973 by the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Sir Arthur

Tange, was adopted by the Government. Its recommendations are being implemented.

page 4678

OTHER DECISIONS

Childhood Services

The Government has announced plans for a Children’s Commission. We have appointed an Interim Committee pending the introduction of legislation for the permanent Commission. The Interim Committee has begun planning a comprehensive program of diversified and integrated services for children. In the field of childhood services the Australian Government has allocated $75m for expenditure during 1974-75.

New Deal For the Arts

The Government has continued its program to invigorate the arts in Australia. In our latest Budget we allocated S20m to the Australian Council for the Arts. Assistance to writers and artists in Australia has never been better. The Australian film industry is booming and gaining world-wide recognition. A bill has been introduced to establish the Australia Council as a statutory authority replacing the Australian Council for the Arts.

Australian National Gallery

The Government has set up an Interim Council for the Australian National Gallery comprising eleven members under the chairmanship of Mr Richard Crebbin. The Interim Council will be responsible for all Gallery affairs until the Gallery is established as a statutory authority.

Australian Science Council

The Government has announced that it will establish an Australian Science and Technology Council of 12 members by the end of the year. The main function of ASTEC will be to advise the government on the role of science and technology in the formulation and realisation of national objectives.

Consumer Standards

The Government is formulating strict new consumer standards. The Department of Science has carried out surveys of mercury in fish, processed cheese, retail meat, take-away foods, household soaps and detergents, lead release from ceramic tableware and plastic food packaging materials.

Grants For Sport

We have vastly improved opportunities for sport and recreation in the past 12 months. The Government has made grants totalling more than $4 to sporting and recreation projects throughout Australia.

Tourist Promotion

We are promoting the Tourist Industry in Australia. The Australian Tourist Commission has been empowered to promote Australian as well as overseas tourist resorts and services. Grants totalling $l.2m have been approved for 21 tourist projects in all States.

FM Radio Stations

We have announced plans for FM radio stations in Sydney and Melbourne. They will begin transmission of fine music programs this year. Other experimental AM programs are being established by the ABC and the University of Adelaide to develop new areas of programming in publicaccess and educational broadcasting. We have authorised 24 educational radio stations throughout Australia to provide an additional ABC network for country people.

New TV Stations

Eleven new ABC television stations, three new national television translators and two new commercial translator stations have been opened in country areas.

Parliament for Northern Territory

We have established a fully elected Legislative Assembly with nineteen members for the Northern Territory replacing the former partly nominated Legislative Council. We are going ahead with plans to give local autonomy to the Territory over a wide range of Government functions.

Electoral Reform

The Electoral Laws Amendment Bill 1974 was introduced on 13 November 1974. This Bill is designed to introduce substantial reforms to the electoral laws including optional preferential marking of ballot-papers, the registration of political parties, improved facilities for aged and ill electors, a means of obtaining speedier results and the earlier closing of polling booths.

A further Electoral Bill is being prepared relating to the public disclosure of contributions to candidates and political parties and the imposition of limits on expenditure by parties and candidates.

Flood Mitigation

We have set up a natural disasters organisation to coordinate our relief measures for floods and bushfires and other natural disasters. We have made available $66m to Queensland for flood relief, the largest grant ever made for a natural disaster in Australia.

Beef Roads

We have approved a new three year program costing $24m for beef export roads for Northern Australia.

Comment by Public Servants

The Government has given public servants greater freedom of speech. It has repealed the regulations which imposed a total prohibition on public comment by public servants ‘upon any administrative action or upon the administration of any Department’.

ASSISTANCE TO INDUSTRIES

  1. Rural Industries

In accordance with the recommendations made by Sir John Crawford as embodied in the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973 the Government has referred, for the first time, references to the Industries Assistance Commission which directly concern rural industries. These include references on rural reconstruction, rural products promotion, rural research in the dairy industry, and on whether any assistance should be given to reduce fluctuations in the incomes of rural producers.

  1. Mining Industry

The Government has asked the Industries Assistance Commission to determine the effect of taxation concessions and royalties on the development and efficiency of the petroleum and mining industries and whether the Australian Government should accord those industries assistance by way of differential taxation treatment. The Government has also asked the Industries Assistance Commission to inquire into taxation treatment for the production of gold in particular.

  1. Motor Vehicle Industry

On 14 November 1 974 a new plan to assist and strengthen the Australian motor industry was announced. It is the Government’s intention that the new policy would operate for ten years and would therefore provide a stable framework within which industry would confidently plan. No previous Government has undertaken to provide the local industry with a single plan which will help the local industry with its long term planning.

No previous Government has opened its decision-making process to such intensive public scrutiny so that all affected parties could examine and submit their views to the Government on such an important matter as the Industries Assistance Commission’s recommendations on the Passenger Motor Vehicle Industry.

  1. Performing Arts

In October a reference wassent to the Industries Assistance Commission covering the question of assistance for the Performing Arts in Australia. For the purpose of the inquiry performing arts included live performances of ballet, dance, opera, music, drama, music hall, vaudeville, puppetry and the like.

  1. Footwear

Temporary import restrictions imposed ( 18 Ocober 1974) to assist the local footwear industry.

COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY AND TASK FORCES ESTABLISHED SINCE 13 DECEMBER 1973 AND REPORTING TO THE GOVERNMENT

Advisory Committee on Approved Employers for In. ustrial Research and Development Grants

Australian Housing Standards Advisory Council

Australian National Advisory Committee on International Women’s Year

Committee of Inquiry into Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Naturopathy

Committee of Inquiry into Labour Market Training

Committee of Inquiry on Co-ordinated Registration and Operation of Federal and State Employee and Employer Industrial Organisations

Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections

Committee on Integration of Data Systems

Committee on Tertiary Assistance

Committee to Inquire into the Teaching of Migrant Languages

Committee to study Photocopying in Australia

Defence Force Organisation Development Survey

Interim Committee of the Capital Territory Health Commission

Joint Government Technical Committee on Mine Waste Pollution of the Molonglo River

National Advisory Committee on International Women’s Year 1975

National Committee on English Teaching

National Recreation Survey Task Force

Project Team on Childhood Services

Red Cliff Environment Inquiry

Royal Commission into Allegations concerning some Maritime Unions

Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration

Royal Commission on Human Relationships

Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security

Study Group into the feasibility of a National Sports Institute

Working party on joint action before wage fixing tribunals to limit wage increases

Working party on measures to reduce the multiplicity of wage fixing tribunals

Working party on the possibility of introducing taxation penalties on excessive wage increases

Working party on tendering procedures for Government Contracts

Working party on State legislation to support the jurisdiction of the Prices Justification Tribunal

REPORTS TABLED IN THE PARLIAMENT IN 1974 ON INQUIRIES INSTITUTED BY (a) THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT 7 March-Committee of Enquiry into the Protection of Privacy- Tabled by Mr Hayden 13 March- Independent Inquiry into Frequency Modulation Broadcasting- Tabled by Mr Bowen 21 March- Immigration Task Force- Tabled by Mr Grassby 2 April- Poverty Inquiry- Tabled by Mr Hayden 3 April- Committee on Legal Aid in Australia- Tabled by Senator Murphy 4 April- Committee of Inquiry into the Citizen Military Forces- Tabled by Mr Barnard 10 April- Committee on Technical and Further EducationTabled by Mr Beazley 10 April- Computerisation of Legal Data CommitteeTabled by Senator Murphy 10 April- National Forensic Institute Advisory CommitteeTabled by Senator Murphy 10 July- Working Group on Rural Policy- Tabled by Dr Patterson 10 July- National Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme Inquiry- Tabled by Mr Bowen 1 1 July- Maritime Industry Commission of InquiryTabled by Mr Bowen 1 July- A Report from the Aboriginal Land Rights CommissionTabled by Mr Bowen 17 July- Committee of Inquiry into Labour Market Training- Tabled by Mr Cameron 17 July- Committee on Integration of Data SystemsTabled by Mr Bowen 23 July- Australian Post Office Commission of InquiryTabled by Mr Bowen 23 July- Lake Pedder Committee of Inquiry- Tabled by DrCass 24 July- A Report from the CMF Committee of InquiryTabled by Mr Barnard 24 July- National Superannuation Committee of Inquiry -Tabled by Mr Hayden 25 July- Task Force to Investigate Modern Housing TechniquesTabled by Mr Johnson 31 July- A Report from the Interim Commission on Consumer Standards- Tabled by Mr Morrison 1 August- Committee of Inquiry on Co-ordinated Industrial Organisations-Tabled by Mr Cameron 19 September- Committee of Inquiry into the National Estate- Tabled by Mr Uren 26 September- National Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme Inquiry-Volume 2 (Rehabilitation and Safety) -Tabled by Mr Bowen 15 October- Committee of Inquiry into Technical Education in the ACT- Tabled by Mr Barnard 16 October- Royal Commission into Petroleum and Petroleum Products-Tabled by Prime Minister 17 October- National Rehabilitation and Compensation Inquiry- Vol. 3 (The Compendium )- Tabled by Mr Bowen 22 October-Pilbara Study Group-Tabled by Dr Patterson Bowen Basin- Industrial Potential- Tabled by Dr Patterson 26 November- A Report from the Commission of Inquiry into the Maritime Industry- Tabled by Mr Bowen 28 November- Task Force to investigate Modern Housing Techniques- Tabled by Mr Johnson 2 December- A Report from the Australian Committee on Technical and Further Education- Tabled by Mr Beazley 4 December- A Report from the Interim Committee of the Australian Council for Trade Union Training- Tabled by Mr Cameron (b)THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT 25 July- Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Integration of Medical Services of the Armed Forces (dated March 197 1 )-Tabled by Mr Barnard 25 July- Report by the Tertiary Education (Services’ Cadet Colleges) Committee- Tri-Service Academy within Australia (Dated January 1970)-Tabled by Mr Barnard 17 September- Preliminary Report by the Taxation Review Committee (Dated 1 June 1974)- Tabled by Mr Crean

page 4680

STATEMENTS ARISING FROM MEETINGS OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT AND STATE ‘ GOVERNMENT MINISTERS, TABLED IN THE PARLIAMENT IN 1974

14 March- Report on the Meeting of the Education Council, held at Hobart from 28 February to 1 March 1974-Tabled by Mr Beazley 2 April- Record of the decisions of the Special Meeting of the Tourist Ministers’ Council, held at Sydney on 2 1 September 1 973-Tabled by Mr Daly 10 April- Proceedings of the Conference of Australian Government and State Government Ministers, held at Canberra on 28-29 June 1973-Tabled by the Prime Minister 25 July- Agreement between the Governments of Australia, New South Wales and Victoria relating to financial assistance for the development of the Albury-Wodonga area, dated 28 June 1 974-Tabled by Mr Uren 25 July- Summary of decisions of the first meeting of the River Murray Working Party-Steering Committee, held on 7 November 1973-Tabled by DrCass 25 July- Proceedings of Conference of Australian Government and State Government Ministers (Water Resources), held at Canberra on 7 November 1973-Tabled by DrCass 1 August- Proceedings of Conference of Australian Government and State Government Ministers (Housing), held at PortHedlandon 13-14June 1974-Tabled by Mr Johnson 1 August- Report of Conference of Australian Government and State Government Ministers (Immigration), held at Adelaide on 9 November 1973-Tabled by MrCameron 13 August-Resolution of the 88th Meeting of the Agricultural Council held at Canberra on 7 December 1 973- Tabled by Senator Wriedt 13 August-Resolutions of the 89th Meeting of the Agricultural Council held at Hobart on 4 and 5 February 1 974- Tabled by Senator Wriedt 19 September- Summary of recommendations and resolutions of the Thirteenth Meeting of the Forestry Council held at Melbourne on 28 June 1 974-Tabled by Dr Patterson 26 September- Albury-Wodonga development- Ministerial Council. Communique of Meetings held on 23 April and 29 June 1974-Tabled by Mr Uren 31 October- Report on the Meeting of the Education Council held at Adelaide on 4 October 1974- Tabled by Mr Barnard 4 December- Notes of the Ninth Meeting of Australian Government and State Government Ministers (Labor) held at Melbourne on 22 February 1 974- Tabled by Mr Cameron 4 December- Notes of the Tenth Meeting of Australian Government and State Government Ministers (Labor) held at Melbourne on 30 August 1 974- Tabled by Mr Cameron.

TEXT OF TREATIES, ETC. TABLED IN THE PARLIAMENT IN 1974

Treaties to which Australia has become a party by signature: 30July-

Statute which has entered into force and to which Australia has become a party by acceptance: 30 July- Statute of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, drawn up at the Hague on 3 1 October 195 1 and accepted on 1 November 1973.

Treaties which have entered into force and to which Australia has become a party by ratification or accession: 30July-

I August-

Treaties to which Australia is considering becoming a party :

Treaties which have not yet entered into force and to which Australia has become a Contracting State:

Treaties which Australia has signed and which will enter into force by an Exchange of Notes: 28 November-

Treaty which has been signed by Australia and which is subject to approval: 20 November- Exchange of Notes between Australia and the United States of America constituting an amendment to the Agreement of 9 May 1963 relating to the Establishment of a United States Naval Communication Station in Australia, signed 29 March 1 974.

page 4682

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR GOVERNMENT’S WELFARE REFORMSSOCIAL SECURITY

In addition to the above schedule of cash payments, the Australian Government has completed the first stage of its plan to abolish the means test by abolishing the means test on age pensions for persons aged 73 years or more; introduced $14 per week home nursing care benefits for people caring for aged relatives in their home; increased the rate of personal care subsidy from $10 to $14 per week; increased the handicapped children’s benefit from $1.50 to $3 a day; increased the level of subsidy under the Aged Persons Homes Act and Aged Persons Hostels Act; made the supply of hearing aids and hearing aid batteries free of charge to pensioners and made it possible for pensioners, including repatriation pensioners, going overseas to receive their pensions regardless of country of destination; established the Australian Assistance Plan to assist in the development, at a regional level, of integrated patterns of welfare services within a nationally co-ordinated framework.

page 4684

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

Home Nursing Subsidy Scheme

The rates of subsidy payable to eligible organisations have been increased on two occasions since 2 December 1972. At that date the annual rates payable in respect of each nurse employed since 1956 were $4,300 for organisations established at the introduction of the scheme in 1956 and $2,150 for organisations since established. These rates were increased to $4,700 and $2,350 as from 1 September 1973 and to $6,200 and $3, 100 as from 1 October 1 974.

Royal Flying Doctor Service

For the triennium commencing 1 July 1974, grants towards the operating and capital costs of the Royal Flying Doctor Service have been increased to $2,900,000 from the amount of $ 1 ,455,000 available for the preceding triennium. The new level of assistance provides for operating grants of $700,000 and capital grants of up to $266,667 for each year of the triennium. For the preceding triennium the respective amounts were $3 1 5,000 and $ 1 70,000 per annum.

Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service

Effective from 1 July 1973, the Australian Government’s contribution to the operating costs of the Blood Transfusion Service was increased from 30 per cent to 35 per cent. For the current financial year this involves additional assistance of $98,803 to the Red Cross Society.

Wynnum Public Nursing Home

A special grant of $ 1.2m to Queensland has been authorised towards the erection of additional public nursing home accommodation at Wynnum Aged Persons Home. This assistance is over and above amounts provided under the States Grants ( Nursing Homes) Act 1 969.

page 4684

QUESTION

WELFARE HOUSING

Advances to the States for Welfare Housing: 1973- 74-$2l8.5m 1974- 75-$318m

Note: A surplus of $25m unspent at 30 June 1974 will be available for 1974-75.

Mr SNEDDEN:
Leader of the Opposition · Bruce

– I ask for leave to make a statement.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-We have just heard a statement made by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam), which is not the first but is probably the last he will make because of the declining level of performance of this Government. It finds that it has to go back to 1973 and to make a long recital about the actions of the Senate in 1973 and 1974 in order to pad out the statement. It was a disgusting statement for a Prime Minister to make because it does not in any way deal with inflation and unemployment; it does not deal in any way with the breakdown in the housing industry of Australia; it does not deal in any way with the lack of investment in Australia. It made no pretensions whatever to be a statement by a Prime Minister as to what his Government proposes to do to handle the problems that confront us. There was nothing in that statement by which the people of Australia could say: ‘Now we can have confidence in this Government, because this Government is going to provide the way out of the problems we have got’. What the Prime Minister did not read in his long recitation is worth recording in Hansard. It comes from an article in the ‘Australian Financial Review’ of today’s date. That publication does not have a very big circulation, but what the editorial had to say is very worth while hearing. It is headed: ‘Paradise lost by bungling- not by external forces’. It states:

What is a nice little country like Australia doing in mess like this?

Yesterday’s official statistics for the quarterly estimates of national income provide a glimpse of an economy in an utter mess.

Mr Cohen:

– Members of the Opposition are leaving the chamber.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Robertson is out of his place. He will cease interjecting.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-Everybody knows the honourable member to be light on for intelligence. He cannot even find his way to his own seat. We have often had interjections from him that are purposeless. He does not understand the problems and he never will. It is a great shame that he does not. When he came into this House there were high hopes for him but he is one of the great failures of the Labor Party. The ‘Australian Financial Review’ editorial goes on to say:

The general notion that public poverty is remedied by depriving the private sector of affluence has been shown to be utterly wrong in practical terms.

The Whitlam Government has redistributed income within Australia- from the private sector to the bureaucracy.

Little has dribbled back to the electorate at large.

The price Australia is paying for this restructuring of the nation ‘s economy is proving unconscionably high.

For reasons unconnected for once with the vagaries of nature, the economic growth of Australia has gone into reverse.

Any suggestion that this can be explained in terms of international trends is intelligence-insulting deception.

It is quite simply a matter of extremely poor domestic economic management.

That is the truth of the matter. Members of the Labor Party are so disinterested; they come in to the chamber like a lot of fauns to look at their great hero, their great charismatic leader who has converted this country into an economic mess, in the opinion of the independent observers in the Press gallery and the editor of the ‘Australian Financial Review’. What do honourable members opposite do? They come into the chamber and lick their Leader’s boots. Whatever he says must be until it gets into the silence of their Caucus. In the Caucus they roll him. The members of the Labor Party are running the Caucus. The cannot even sit in the chamber. They are the worst attenders

Mr Innes:

– I am here.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-The honourable member for Melbourne is here. He could not find his way into the Caucus room. They made him the Chairman of the Caucus Committee. He is the man who is standing by as President of the Victorian Branch of the Labor Party seeing unemployment in almost every section of industry . What has he done about it? He thinks he has a safe seat and because he has a safe seat, he thinks he is safe for ever and he can just allow unemployment to mount up and mount up and mount up. Every honourable member opposite with a safe seat thinks that, because he has a blood red Labor seat, he need not worry about unemployment or inflation. Unemployment figures for November will be published next week. Nobody has any doubt that the figure will be over 200,000. There is not a member on the Labor side who has any regard for school leavers whose first association with employment will be to go on the unemployment register. What a shocking indictment. Opposite me sits the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby). It is a very close photo finish between him and the Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr Les Johnson) as to who is the worst Minister in the Labor Government.

Mr McLeay:

– What about Charlie Jones?

Mr SNEDDEN:

-There is an even division in the Opposition as to which one is the worst. It is a dead-heat and what a dead heat it is. Two deadheaded Ministers arc now able to create this situation. I have received a letter from the managing director of a major business that is experiencing difficulty and has had to retrench people. I think it sums up the situation in the simplest way. His letter reads:

The borrowing powers of most companies are limited by debenture trust deeds. Inflation, coupled with falling profits- - due in some measure to the refusal of the Prices Justification Tribunal to permit an adequate return on investmenthas forced many companies into excessive borrowing simply to meet their working capital requirements. If it continues, these companies will soon reach their borrowing limits and will be unable to pay dividends. Under these circumstances they will find it impossible to raise additional equity capital and unless they can curtail their activities and sell some of their assets they will become insolvent. At that point there is no way in which the Government or anyone else can lend them money.

There will then be two alternatives open to the Government. They could abolish company tax or they could take up new equity investment. The former is probably impracticable, but the latter could easily be effected through AIDC, who would borrow overseas- possibly from the oil producing countries. Once this step has been taken- it is the beginning of the nationalisation of industry without the need for Parliamentary legislation.

That is what they have in mind: to bring the private sector to its knees; to cripple it. The private sector today is just trying to survive. Representatives from the private sector come to see the Minister for Manufacturing Industry. He gives them great words of wisdom such as ‘All imports come from overseas’.

Mr McKenzie:
Diamond Valley · ALP

– That is true.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-The honourable member for Diamond Valley has heard that statement IS times and he has suddenly realised why it is funny.

Mr McKenzie:
Diamond Valley · ALP

– It is funny because you said it.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– It was not funny when the Minister for Manufacturing Industry said it. The honourable member thought that it was some great new pearl of wisdom. The private sector is being brought to its knees with the deliberate purpose of creating unemployment. The retrenchments and the unemployment are in the private sector. I ask the Minister for Manufacturing Industry: When did he last encounter a retrenched public servant. There is no such person. What has happened is that the public sector spending is going up at an enormous rate so that the private sector can be crippled. Unemployment is estimated to be well above 250,000 people within a couple of months. In the face of this, the Labor Party can give no policy and can muster only six or seven men in the chamber. It has no policy to tackle unemployment.

Mr Daly:

- Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The right honourable member is reflecting on the attendance of the House. I point out that 25 per cent of the Opposition are away. Only 50 members of the Opposition voted in the last division.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! There is no point of order involved.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– The Leader of the House is the man who is supposed to run this House. He cannot give anybody any idea as to when it will rise. Honourable members opposite who had planned to leave Canberra tonight, have now much to their disgust, been told that they have to stay because the Leader of the House cannot order the processes of the House. The Prime Minister says that unemployment in this country is imported. How the blazes can you import unemployment?

Mr McLeay:

– They have containers now.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– They must have big containers. The Prime Minister says that unemployment and inflation come from overseas. The ‘Australian Financial Review’ says that that is a piece of insanity that insults anybody’s intelligence. But the Government keeps going on with the nonsense. The unemployment and the inflation were created in tins country. The unemployment is in the private sector and it is the private sector that is being affected. That is where unemployment is. That is where the dividends will not be paid. That is where there will be no investment in plant and equipment. That is where productivity will fail because we will be working with old-fashioned equipment and outmoded technology.

The suggestion was made that inflation comes from overseas. Are we to believe that a lot of busy people in Europe and Asia are parcelling it up and sending it out here? If it arrived here the wharfies would not unload it and if it reached the Post Office we would have to wait until after Christmas for it to be delivered. To say that inflation is imported from overseas is nonsense. Do honourable members remember the night- this was not included in the Prime Minister’s statement- when the entire economic brains of the Australian Labor Party, the whole three of them, met out at the lodge. The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr. J. F. Cairns) and the Minister for Defence (Mr Barnard) were there. They said; ‘We are going to slash tariffs by 25 per cent. ‘ Where was the honourable member for Melbourne then? Was he saying: ‘This will create unemployment’?

Mr Innes:

– Yes. I was.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– The honourable member for Melbourne says that he was, saying it would create unemployment. Why has he not done something about it in the period while unemployment has been growing? There is a brand new glass factory that cannot exist. There is unemployment there. Another night when the great economic brains of the Labor Party met out at the Lodge they made a statement: ‘We are going to increase interest rates’. They increase them all right. The interest on savings bank loans for houses went up from 7 per cent to 10 per cent. Building societies interest rates went up from 8 per cent to 12 per cent. How many times have we picked up a newspaper and seen a statement to the effect that there will be a reduction in interest rates? If the Government had reduced interest rates every time it said it was going to do it we would have negative interest rates today. The Government keeps talking but there is never any action, unless one could call rising inflation and rising unemployment action.

Mr Lusher:

– Tell them about Hawke.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-No. I cannot notice a stranger in the House. Perhaps that is why the honourable member for Melbourne is in the House. He is frightened that he might be converted into a stranger in the House. There is a demand for housing in Australia of about 170,000 houses a year. This year we will fall 50,000 short, and there is no way to catch up with that 50,000 in one year. That means that the young people of Australia will experience a shortage of houses for a number of years. Do honourable members remember the big advertisements such as: ‘Only Whitlam can give you full employment. Only Whitlam can reduce interest rates by 3 per cent*?

Mr McLeay:

– Only Whitlam is so much worse.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-That should have been the advertisement- ‘Whitlam is so much worse’. Never in the history of politics has a man delivered so many statements that he knew very well he could not fulfil. There has never been a leader of any political party who has failed so abysmally. In his statement the Prime Minister said that the Labor Government has been battling with the worst economic conditions for 40 years.

Mr Lusher:

– They created them.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– The Government created them. It created the worst economic conditions for 40 years. If honourable members cast their minds back 40 years they will recall that it was a Labor Government that did it then and it was a Labor government that was kicked out of office because the people were not prepared to put up with it any longer. The 3 great occasions on which there has been inflation and unemployment in Australia have been under a Labor government.

Mr Keogh:

-Tell us about the $23,000 you made the other day.

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! I will tell the honourable member about it if he is not quiet.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– I will be in the honourable member’s electorate. Why is it that the honourable member for Bowman is so despondent about his chances of winning that he is walking around his electorate saying to everybody: ‘Well, anyway I have earned my parliamentary pension. It does not matter if I go.’ He is the most despondent man in Queensland. Last time he won by a finger snap.

Mr Keogh:

– I will be there.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-He will be there campaigning but he will not he here. The Prime Minister said that Australians everywhere today are better off than they have ever been before. Tell that to the age pensioner; tell it to the student; tell it to the superannuitant; tell it to the people who cannot save because of inflation; tell it to the young people who cannot obtain a house; tell it to the people who are unemployed. The most scurrilous statement was made by the person who is about to become Treasurer. He said that in Australia unemployment is trivial.

Mr Enderby:

– He did not.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-He said that nationally and internationally unemployment in Australia was trivial.

Mr Enderby:

– He did not.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-The Minister should have a look at Hansard.

Mr Enderby:

– No, he did not.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-The Minister tried to protect him the other day and he could not because Hansard shows the words.

Mr Enderby:

– You could not walk straight.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-Hansard speaks the truth. The honourable gentleman interjects and says that I could not walk straight. That is an echo of the time when the honourable members opposite viciously and without any cause, led by a man who cannot tell the truth- the Prime Ministerattacked my colleague, the honourable member for Barker (Dr Forbes). They have done that persistently. The Minister for Manufacturing Industry has been in the forefront of it. I have nothing but contempt for him for throwing those personal insults at anybody in the House.

In his statement the Prime Minister said: ‘Every financial weapon, every constitutional power at our disposal has been used in our fight against inflation and unemployment.’ If the Government is so bad at using these weapons to achieve these results it does not deserve to be the government. As for a valedictory performance, has there ever been more shallow and hollow oratory? What are we supposed to do? Are we to sit down and assiduously read Hansard which incorporates a bundle of papers 6 inches thick purporting to be the achievements of the Government? The Prime Minister has blamed everybody for his troubles except himself. He has blamed Caucus, Cabinet, the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and the executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He has blamed the unions. He has blamed the multi-nationals. He has blamed the Senate and he has blamed the Opposition. Like Mrs Smith watching her boy Billy march along and believing that he was the only one in step, the Prime Minister is alleging that he is the only one in step. But he is the one who has lost the confidence of the Australian people.

There is no point in the Prime Minister alleging that, because he speaks nicely of whatever he does, we can put up with 250,000 people unemployed or with inflation running at over 20 per cent. Now he blames the Senate. We on the Op- . position side believe that the Senate has acted in the best interests of the Australian people. On every occasion that the Senate has acted it has done so with the concurrence of the whole of the Opposition- both Parties, in this House and in the Senate. It is perfectly clear that if the Senate had not acted as it did, Australia would already be on the road to government ownership, centralism and bureaucracy. That is what the Labor Party wants. That is what the Opposition will fight. That is what the Senate will fight and the Senate will achieve its aim.

The Prime Minister talked about a number of what he claimed were great achievements. One of the things that was mentioned was the appointment of an expert committee representing industry and the trade unions to advise the Government on policies for manufacturing industry. It so happens that Mr Jackson is the chairman of that committee and there is not a single representative of small business on that committee even though small business is by far the biggest employer in Australia. There is not even a member of manufacturing industry on that committee. That is the achievement of the Minister for Manufacturing Industry. What the Government should do is appoint the person whom the Associated Chamber of Manufacturers of Australia had recommended should be appointed- Mr Brack, who is the general manager of Australian Consolidated Industries Ltd. That representation had been made but an answer has not been received.

We are told that apart from that committee the Government has appointed 8 royal commissions, 25 commissions, committees of inquiry and task forces. What is the point of all of these commissions, inquiries and task forces if they achieve nothing, if they are just havens for persons in favour with the Government? The Government is providing jobs for the boys and jobs for the girls. There is no advantage in all those things. The shortest part of this statement by the Prime Minister concerns foreign affairs. He said:

We have continued our efforts to enhance Australia’s reputation abroad . . .

All I can say is that the attitude of most people in Australia is that we would have our reputation more enhanced if the Prime Minister stayed here and did not go overseas with a giant caravanserai which pays tribute to him. It is rather like an old prelate with his serfdom around him.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– Like a maharajah.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– Yes, but the maharajah had a scimitar. All the Prime Minister had was a blunt knife which he kept stabbing into Mr Crean leaving Mr Crean bloody but still breathing. The Prime Minister said:

Australia has continued to play its part in enhancing global strategic, economic and social security. We have urged mutual restraint on the 2 superpowers in the Indian Ocean and given our support in principle to peace zone proposals . . .

The Labor Party is operating on the basis that if one wants something badly enough it will happen. Government supporters want unemployment and inflation to go away so they hope hard and think it will go away. The same attitude applies to foreign affairs. They want to have a neutral zone in the Indian Ocean. They want a nuclear-free zone. They think that if they hope hard enough, it will happen, but the truth is that it will not happen. India has already exploded a nuclear device. The Indonesian Foreign Minister has announced that Indonesia will be atomically armed in the 1 980s- I think 1 984 was the year he mentioned. In those circumstances, with neither of those countries having signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and Australia having done so, how can we hope that the Indian Ocean will be a nuclear-free zone? The Government is hoping that it will come about. The Prime Minister has made no effort to encourage Indonesia or India to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

As for a zone of peace, it is perfectly obvious that if there are 2 superpowers, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, in competition with each other and if they both have naval forces in the Indian Ocean the threat to Australia can come from the ripples of competition between those 2 superpowers. It therefore follows that what we ought to do is to encourage in every way a balancing force, and that balancing force is the United States of America. The United Kingdom has just withdrawn from the region. It is extremely important for Australia to have the United States in the region as a balancing force to stop the competition between the 2 superpowers erupting into a threat to Australia and to other countries on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. However not a word was said about that in the Prime Minister’s statement. It was just passed over.

The Prime Minister then returned to domestic issues and we were told that the Labor Party had discovered the magic key to wage justice- wage indexation. The Government will put its proposal to the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and presumably the Commission will do something about wage indexation. But does anybody honestly believe that the automatic adjustment of incomes to prices, which was abandoned in 1953 because it was inflation creating, will solve the problem? It was just another step in the escalation of wages; therefore costs and prices. It was a cycle that kept going round. Does anybody believe that that is the magical solution? Nobody could believe that but the Prime Minister seems to believe that therein lies the essential key to the problem. He said:

It is crucial to all our efforts to protect the Australian community from the buffets of economic chance and circumstance.

But not a single word was said about how the Government will do this. What the Prime Minister said was:

The fight against inflation and the implementation of our program will go on together.

The plain fact is that if the Government continues with its program of massive government spending it will not cure inflation. Government expenditure cannot increase as it did by 20 per cent last year and as it is proposed by 32% per cent this year without the private sector being crippled. The Prime Minister has put nothing positive. He has made only a recitation of empty facts. I want briefly to recapitulate the 10 positive economic proposals that the Opposition has been putting forward so strongly. First, we proposed a $ 1,000m cut in personal income tax. That was taken by the Government.

Mr Enderby:

– That will be anti-inflationary, will it not?

Mr SNEDDEN:

-Does the Minister think it would be inflationary?

Mr Enderby:

– What do you think?

Mr SNEDDEN:

-Just to ensure that it is reported in Hansard I repeat that I said that our first proposal was that there should be a $ 1 ,000m cut in personal income tax. The Minister for Manufacturing Industry said: ‘That will be inflationary’. Our second proposal was that there should be cuts in some indirect taxes aimed at directly reducing some prices. I ask the Minister for Manufacturing Industry: Would that be inflationary?

Mr Enderby:

– You are making the speech.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-The Minister has now opted out of his comments. The third proposal was for a reduction in Government spending increase announced in the Budget from 33 per cent to 25 per cent. Fourth, there should be an instruction to the Reserve Bank to ease monetary policy to inject adequate liquidity into the economy and cash flow for business which would establish conditions for a fall in interest rates. Fifth, there should be a decision, publicly stated, setting out the future course of monetary policy. Sixth, there should be the abolition of the variable deposit requirements and an end to the prohibition on short term capital flows. Seventh, there should be a flexible exchange rate with the development of a foreign exchange market. Eighth, there should be investment incentives to restore business investment in new plant and equipment. Ninth, there should be a complete review of the activities of the various government bodies regulating business, including the Prices Justification Tribunal, the Industries Assistance Commission, the Trade Practices Commission, the Arbitration Commission, the Parliamentary Prices Committee and the Committee on Foreign Takeovers. Tenth, there should be a restoration of the authority of the Arbitration Commission and a more responsible approach to wage claims generally across the whole labour market.

Of these 10 policy proposals, the Government has adopted two. That is its mark- two out of ten. That is about where the Government stands. Until it adopts these positive economic proposals thai the Opposition has been putting forward, it will not succeed. All the Government has done has been to take the easy parts. Anybody can do the easy parts; it is doing the hard parts that counts. This country is second to none in the future that lies before it. It has the resources and the people. There is no country with better prospects than Australia. Unfortunately at present this Government is robbing the Australian people of the opportunities for the development it should have in achieving its future.

Mr Street:

– The Government has a negative approach.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– I am indebted to the honourable member for Corangamite. Instead of having an appreciation of the future of our natural resources and of the quality of our people, this Government has a negative growth rate. I remind the House of one other comment made by the Prime Minister when he campaigned. He was asked how he would pay for all die promises he was making. He very boldly said: ‘We will increase the growth rate of Australia in real terms by 7 per cent a year’.

Mr Anthony:

– That was an election pledge.

Mr SNEDDEN:

– Yes, it was an election pledge that he would increase the real growth of Australia by 7 per cent. But what has been his achievement? There has been a negative growth rate. In other words, we are going backwards. This has happened in less than 2 years. In its first year of office the Government did not do too badly because we left it with a good economy, but in 1974 it has gone bad. For the Prime Minister to say, as he did today at the commencement of his speech, that people of Australia have never been better off is the greatest bit of absurd hyperbole.

Mr Anthony:

– Claptrap.

Mr SNEDDEN:

-Yes, it was claptrap. It is an absurdity in itself and it is the sort of comment that can come only out of the mouth of the Prime Minister. It is the sort of thing that can be accepted only by such weak individuals as those who sit behind him in the Labor Party.

Sitting suspended from 6.15 to 8 p.m.

page 4692

STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT (LOAN GUARANTEES) BILL 1974

Second Reading

Debate resumed.

Mr KELLY:
Wakefield

-When the debate on the Structural Adjustment (Loan Guarantees) Bill was adjourned before the suspension of the sitting I was pointing out the terrific responsibility that falls on the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby) who has to make a judgment as to which company will receive a guarantee. That judgment will be made not in the light of any guidelines laid down by the legislation but on the basis of what is in the national interest. I was pointing out the dreadful responsibility that devolves on the Minister because, on his own responsibility, he has to make judgments that I think should be made with the benefit of some advisory committee, board or organisation which is to help him in his terrific responsibility of judging which things will be in the national interest and which companies will receive such a guarantee. I was pointing out that one of the problems that the Minister will face is whether he will assist industries that are competing with imports from less developed countries.

I referred to countries such as India which are trying to export some of their products to us in order that they may have some hope of expanding their exports so that they can perhaps buy some of our exports. I was using the illustration of the Bombay case that I know so well. It involved the company that was using Australian skimmed milk powder to make what it called a tone milk to give to the inhabitants of Bombay who badly needed milk protein. That company was unable to carry out its plan because it could not obtain the foreign exchange to import skimmed milk powder from Australia. Earlier in my speech I also referred to a textile factory which was making cotton sheets and which complained bitterly that it was not able to export the cotton sheets to Australia because of the high tariff barrier imposed on imported sheets. I referred to the fact that decisions made by the Australian Government at that time were inhibiting the growth of the skimmed milk powder industry in Australia and also the cotton textile industry in India. That is a sample of the problem that the Minister for Manufacturing Industry faces when he takes upon himself the responsibility of deciding what is in the national interest. This is another example of it: He may have to say that certain Japanese companies that are manufacturing cars in Australia will receive such a guarantee when we know that one of the reasons why it is difficult for Japan to import beef from Australia is that Australia is placing barriers in the way of exports of motor cars from Japan to Australia. That is just another sample of the problems that the Minister for Manufacturing Industry faces.

Another problem involves this question of decentralisation. We all know that one of the greatest problems facing Ausatralia is whether we can get a greater percentage of our people away from the capital cities. We know that in Australia a greater percentage of the population lives in the cities than in the country than is the case in any other country. We know that this is one of the fundamental problems which our economy has to face. The Minister will have to weigh up these facts when taking into account what kind of action he will take to encourage decentralisation. This is one of the things that is worrying him. That is why he is wearing that’ mournful expression that he has on his face now. He has suddenly become conscious of the fundamental facts that face him. It is not an easy problem to solve. It is usually accepted that the way to encourage decentralisation is to give increased protection to those industries which have some sectors of their activities in decentralised areas.

If the Minister thinks about the problem he will realise, as is spelt out in the annual report of the Industries Assistance Commission, what will happen if the import duty for the protection of Australian textiles is increased by 10 per cent. This is one aspect of the argument that is used to justify high protection, that this high protection will encourage decentralisation. But if he reads the IAC report further he will see that $25m of the consumer subsidy is to be used to encourage the production of textiles in the cities and $5m is to be used to encourage the production of textiles in decentralised areas. This is a measure of the problem that faces the Minister. What kind of assistance will he give to particular industries? Will it be done, according to this Bill, in the national interests? With all his erudition and education he will be faced with some of the most fundamental problems that I think any Minister has ever been asked to solve in the history of Australia.

Another one of the fundamental problems that will face the Minister, a problem that I would not like to be faced with, is the judgment that he has to make as to whether the private sector ought to be encouraged. In September the Treasurer (Mr Crean) made it quite clear that we ought to be increasing the percentage of our effort put into the public sector. Then 2 months later came the statement of the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) that an increasing percentage of our effort ought to be put into the private sector. The Minister, with all his wisdom, education and legal training has to make a judgment whether the national interest demands that an increasing proportion of our limited resources shall go into the public or private sectors. I do not say that he cannot do it. What I am doing is hammering home to him the size of the responsibility that he bears.

Another one of the responsibilities that he has to carry, and it is no small one, is to make a judgment whether it is in the national interest to encourage employment at the expense of growth. We all know that employment can be encouraged at the expense of growth. The Minister could say that he intended to encourage decentralisation. He could say that by encouraging certain Australian industries that were competing with imports he would help those Australian industries by the use of tariff protection. He could say that by doing this he would encourage employment in Australia. But then, in the last resort, he has to make a judgment between employment and growth. It is not an easy decision to make. I am not saying that I would have the easy answer to it. But the easy way in which the Minister has assumed that because of his education and legal training he has the background to make this kind of judgment rather frightens me.

Another problem that he has to face is whether industry should be protected because of the results of their own mistakes. In the case of the glass industry, for instance, we know that one of the things they did was to wrongly assess the demand for Australian glass, not recognising that there was going to be a downturn in demand. The Minister has got a way out for himself. He has got to decide whether or not in the national interest- and I come back to the Bill- he ought to protect companies that have made basic mistakes. That is not going to be an easy decision. If you are going to accept the responsibility for protecting companies that have made mistakes then you create a natural kind of encouragement for people to make mistakes. That is another one of the awful dilemmas that face the industry. That is a sample of the problems that the Minister faces. Chiefly, he faces the problem of whether or not we are going to be a country that depends increasingly on government intervention. I presume that his political philosophy would accept that one of the things that governments have got to do is intervene in the economic scene. If he does that, a tremendous burden is placed on him. One of the great dangers in tariff protection is that you encourage companies to lean on one another, to lean on the economy as a whole. The Minister nods his head. He agrees.

Mr Enderby:
Mr KELLY:

– But what I want to bring home to him is that he himself has now got this dreadful responsibility of saying that those industries that have leant the hardest are going to be helped the most. He might not agree with that, he might not say that they should be helped, but when one looks at the industries across the Australian economic scene that have been helped one sees that the ones that are most economically ill adjusted to the Australian economic environment are the ones that get the most help. The dreadful responsibility that the Minister will shoulder after this Bill is passed is that he will have to judge whether those who employ a lot of labour, and are perhaps the most unsuited economically to our situation, are the ones that are going to be helped. I hope that the Minister realises the dreadful burden of responsibility he will carry from the time when this Bill is passed. I would not like to carry that responsibility unassisted by some kind of outside body to hold things even. There is nothing in the Bill which takes away from the Minister a responsibility that I do not think he should be asked to carry and which I would not like to carry myself.

Mr HEWSON:
McMillan

-This Bill is another illustration of the Government’s procrastination and I must say that it is explained in very contradictory terms. Let me read part of the second reading speech of the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby) in which he said:

This Bill seeks Parliament’s approval for the first legislative expression of the Government’s intention . . .

Just imagine- 2 years in office and this is the first legislative expression of its intention. We have been trying for 2 years to tell the Government where it is heading. The Minister went on to say that this intention was announced by the Prime Minister on 23 April 1 974. He continued:

Virtually all features of the Government’s program for structural adjustment assistance are already in operation.

If they are already in operation, why do we need the Bill? I think that if they are already in operation we cannot look forward to very much because we have had nothing to date. The Minister then said that there is a need to give the whole program a more denned and permanent form through legislation to establish the Structural Adjustment Board, but that this would take some time. However, there must be legislative authority for loan guarantees and this is the real importance of this Bill. I think that is pretty reasonable. Who would want to set up a loan without any guarantees whatsoever? The Minister went on to say:

To help progress towards the community’s social and economic goals, the Government sees it as desirable in appropriate cases to promote and make easier the process of structural change in industry. . . . The costs of inadequate ability to make these changes can be very high. Estimates have been made- and I stress that the precise figures are very much a matter of debate -

They could be too- which suggests that the total cost of support of Australian industry in its present form may run into hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The encouragement of structural adjustments which will reduce this cost has been one of the central aims of this Government.

It has taken a jolly long time for the Government to get around to putting machinery into operation that would do something about it. Who says that it is not a centralist socialist machine? The Minister went on to say:

Over a period, if movement into more viable industries and particular sectors of industries can be encouraged, or indeed even if their growth can be fostered while investment in other less attractive sectors is not encouraged, steady worthwhile progress can be made towards a more soundly based industrial structure.

What a lot of philosophical poppycock. One needs to be a psychologist to understand what the Minister is talking about. I should be unkind to Australian industries if I were to say that this Bill should not be allowed to proceed. If I were acting upon my natural principles I would vote against it. I would say that it would be unkind because I know only too well the extent of industry’s financial position. But I say this: There would have been little need for this sort of action if the Government had recognised the consequences of its stupid actions in removing import restrictions and having 2 revaluations of the currency and an across the board 25 per cent tariff reduction. The resultant influx of cheap imported goods has placed our manufacturing industries in a very precarious position. In actual fact, many industries have had to close down. This is something that we all hoped would never happen.

One of the very unsavoury things about the Government’s attitude is its lack of feeling towards those people who run the industries and those people who have their capital invested. The initial pleas of these industries were completely ignored until such time as the inevitable happened and firms had to close down. The laying off of staff was delayed while the position was being explained to the Minister for Manufacturing Industry. All the employees had to be put off before the Minister really came to a decision. Surely we could see these things happening? We have been telling the industries and this Government for so long that the tariff policies of the Government and so forth were leading this country and industries into financial difficulties. Why the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) has not asked for the Minister’s resignation I will never know. It is beyond my comprehension, but perhaps I am being unkind to the Minister. It is not his fault that he cannot think beyond the level of the Prime Minister. As a last resort the Government, through the Minister for Labor and Immigration (Mr Clyde Cameron), is buying its way out of trouble by paying the employees retrenchment money- full pay for 6 months, and I understand that the employees are having difficulty in getting that too.

Mr Fisher:

– Up to 10 weeks delay.

Mr HEWSON:

– The honourable member for Mallee tells me there is a delay of up to 10 weeks.

Mr King:

– I know someone who has waited for 12 weeks.

Mr HEWSON:

-The honourable member for Wimmera tells me he knows of one person who has waited for up to 12 weeks. It is a pretty disastrous affair when you have not got a job and the Government does not come to the party, when you have not got Christmas money. But what a false set of values; pay for six months and no job after that. The Government talks about retraining. Retraining for what? Nobody has any business confidence. Nobody will set up an industry. It is a great prospect for the genuine worker. The incompetence of this Government in allowing the industries to suffer the embarrassment of going cap in hand for the assistance under the provisions of this Bill is to be deplored. How much better would it have been for the industries to have remained in a productive unit? This Government, of course, never considers productivity. People who are involved as administrators of various industries, particularly the textile industry, cannot really understand the Government’s attitude towards them. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to kill them. It is my honest opinion that this Government, because of its deliberate action, will go down in history as a cat and mouse Government. It plays with the people of this country in the same way as my own torn cat acts when he catches a mouse. He lets the mouse have a little run and then he pounces on him. The Government is doing exactly the same thing. This is a cold, calculating and heartless socialist regime. It says: ‘Do as I tell you ‘, not ‘ Do as I do ‘.

Today we are a chaotic nation with high inflation and a rising unemployment problem as well as a host of dissipated industries. Industries having reached this stage, after all the advice that this would be the end result, the Minister now proudly struts this legislation into this House at a time when we on this side, because of our concern for the future, have to accept it. The Bill seeks approval for the first legislative expression of the Government’s intention which, incidentally, was announced by the Prime Minister ( Mr Whitlam) first on 23 April and again on 22 October. This seems to be a principle of the Government. It softens you up with an announcement, then 6 months later it confirms it and sometime later you get the result. It is a son of stop and go philosophy and you are well prepared for the inevitable.

It has been recognised that country industries have particular difficulties in adjusting to structural changes and that is very easily understood by anyone who has been involved in getting industries into the country as I have been as a member of a shire council. I know that councils push themselves to their financial extremities to get industries into their areas so that employment opportunities can be given to the people. I believe that 56 million garments alone were allowed to be imported for a population of 13 million people. That seems a ridiculous sort of thing, does it not?

Mr James:

– I bet your wife bought some.

Mr HEWSON:

-She did not. In the presentation of this Bill the Minister has done quite an academic exercise on the industries as they were or as they should be. Millions of dollars are predicted to cure the present economic position. At this stage I must beg the Minister to go to the aid of the industry with finance as quickly as possible. I normally would not do this but I am conscious that the Government has us over a barrel. Some assistance has already been given. But this has been again too late to stop retrenchments. It is a pity that the Minister for Manufacturing Industry does not have any practical business experience. I realise that we are nearing the end of the session and therefore I will curtail my remarks on this Bill. I am very disappointed that we have reached a stage where we must accept something like this measure when preventative measures would not have allowed us to get into the position we are in.

Mr ENDERBY:
Minister for Manufacturing Industry · Canberra · ALP

– in reply- I will speak briefly because events are taking place in the Senate which I am told involve this House. I understand that this House will have to consider later certain matters that are being dealt with in the other place. May I single out for attention the remarks of the honourable member for Wakefield (Mr Kelly) who is a Liberal member of this House.

Dr Edwards:

– A good member.

Mr ENDERBY:

– A good member. I dismiss the remarks that were made by all other members of the Liberal and Country Party side of the House because they did not make any sense. All those members tried to do was to make some base political capital out of the situation. Apart from the honourable member for Wakefield there was not one member on the other side of the House who even understood what this legislation was about.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– You are lying.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Griffith will withdraw that remark.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– Well, I withdraw the fact -

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member will withdraw the remark.

Mr Donald Cameron:
GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I withdraw that he is lying, but he is not being honest.

Mr ENDERBY:

-This is an effort on the part of the Government, applauded in the introductory words of their speeches by every Opposition member who spoke, to find a solution to some of the needs that this country has had for many many years and has never been offered before. Every member who spoke from the other side of the House from the honourable member for Berowra (Dr Edwards) who led for the Liberal Party, right through to members of the Country Party, applaud the measure. Everyone applauds the measure and I thank them for it. They made reference to my broad shoulders and my ability to cope with the problems that face us, and I thank them for it. However, honourable members opposite could not resist the temptation to attack the Government for one reason or another, and this is so typical of their approach to economic measures in this country. They grudgingly applaud a measure which was introduced by the Whitlam Labor Government and then find some excuse or some reason to attack us. But they did not do anything for 23 years. We have had 2 years and no more to introduce this legislation which contains good provisions. It comes from their hearts and their mouths that they are good provisions.’

The only criticism of substance that came from the Opposition side, and I accept it, is that in the long term the functioning of this measure of structural change should be vested in a board, a little removed from the immediate Minister, whoever he might be- myself or someone else. I accept that, and of course honourable members opposite forget that I said it in my second reading speech. I quote what I said from the very first page of that speech:

There is a need to give the whole program a more denned and permanent form through legislation to establish the Structural Adjustment Board. This will take some time to prepare, but there is, in the meantime, a particular requirement Tor legislative authority within which loan guarantees may be provided as part of the program. It is for that reason that this Bill is being introduced.

Honourable members opposite applaud this legislation but they seize the opportunity to make cheap political capital out of it. It is almost as though honourable members opposite do not know what government is all about. It is true that not one of the speakers from the other side of the House who took part in this debate has ever had ministerial experience. But they seem to suggest that decisions are not made. Do they not know that Ministers make decisions every day on Industries Assistance Commission reports, on submissions for special assistance for nonmetropolitan areas and so on? Do they forget the decisions that Ministers make all the time? Is there anything really different in this kind of situation, because to hear honourable members opposite, particularly the honourable member for McMillan (Mr Hewson), one would think that the hidden hand would be the best way of allocating Australian resources to the best benefit of Australia. It is not.

Dr Edwards:

– What rot. We want it out into the open, too.

Mr ENDERBY:

-The honourable member for Berowra knows too much about economics to have fallen into that error. But the Country Party speakers do not seem to understand the nature of the problem. This is a measure that says that the Australian Government has a role to play in ensuring that Australian resources, whether they be capital, whether they be labour, whether they be technological advances- whatever form they may take- are facilitated to move into those areas where they serve the advantages of the majority of Australians. Left to individual businessmen it does not work that way. Those who are informed on the other side of the House know that. The honourable member for Wakefield knows it. The honourable member for Berowra knows it. But the Country Party speakers, of course, have nothing but pork barrels to guide them.

As I have said, this legislation is a major step forward. It is an instrument of structural change, designed to facilitate and make easy- not forcethe movement of resources from the less economic areas into more economic areas so that all

Australians can benefit. We had to wait some 25 years for the Whitlam Labor Party Government to take the first steps to do this. These are early days. As I said in the early paragraphs of my second reading speech we will be introducing measures to set up a structural adjustment board to systematise this decision-making process so that it does not depend upon an individual Minister. It is essential to create a system that has integrity, that is flexible yet firm, that can resist the pressures of lobbyists. I reflect the concern that was expressed for my welfare in a number of speeches from honourable members opposite because at the moment I am on the receiving end of lobbyists who exert enormous pressure. So I am conscious of the need to set up a structural adjustment board.

Make no mistake, this Labor Government runs away from no issues that face it. Where decisions are necessary, in the interests of Australians, we take them. With the support of the Liberal Party, and the reluctant support of the Australian Country Party because its members do not really know the answer to the problem and do not really understand it, this measure will go through. I hope that in the early months of 1975 I will bring in another measure which will incorporate this system of guaranteed loans for businessmen into a wider system under the administration of a structural adjustment board or a body with a similar name which will incorporate the special assistance provisions for nonmetropolitan areas, a structural adjustment system for closure compensation, solvency grants and all other assistance provisions. In that way we will facilitate, as the honourable member for Wakefield (Mr Kelly) has so long foreseen and demanded in this Parliament, a better allocation of resources in Australia so that we all will benefit. That was not the case under the LiberalCountry Party coalition which yielded to pressure groups- a bit here for that person to keep him quiet, and a bit for that person to keep him quiet and incidentally to keep the Liberal and Country Parties in office.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee

The Bill.

Dr EDWARDS:
Berowra

– I refer to clause 2 which reads:

This Act shall come into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

I move:

This proposed new sub-clause is similar to that which is in the Companies (Foreign Take-overs) Act which was renewed only recently. The amendment underlines the interim character of the measure. I think the remarks of the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby) underlined that very point. He said that he intends in the near future to develop the structural adjustment program by the establishment of a board and so on. This is what we are seeking.

I stress that in moving the amendment in these terms the Opposition supports the thrust of this Bill. In his second reading speech the Minister said: . . . in most cases structural adjustment can be left to occur naturally as a continuing process of adaptation by individual firms.

I think we have a firmer conviction about that than he does. But the difficulty is that we are in a situation which is not normal and in which particularly strong measures have been taken. In these circumstances the necessity for this Bill is doubled. It is a desirable measure in any case. But the point that we stress is that the Bill puts an unwarranted load on the Minister’s shoulders. He has conceded that and has said that he wants to remove the load as quickly as possible. The purpose of this amendment is simply to underline this point, to underline the interim character of the measure. We hope that the Minister will proceed in the way he has suggested.

Mr ENDERBY:
Minister for Manufacturing Industry · Canberra · ALP

– The Government cannot accept the amendment. In fact the Government rejects it more or less out of hand.

Dr Edwards:

– Right at the end of the session.

Mr ENDERBY:

– No. As I indicated in my second reading speech, the Government sees this measure as being incorporated into a wider system of structural change. But no government could accept the attitude expressed in the Opposition’s amendment which seeks automatically to take control of this measure out of the hands of government. The Opposition claimed to support the measure- mouthed its support for it- but it adopts the attitude that the legislation should automatically come to an end without any intervention of this Government at a certain time in the future, namely, 30 June 1975- a date chosen by the Opposition.

Mr Malcolm Fraser:

– You want a slush fund for your own political patronage.

Mr ENDERBY:

– If the honourable member wants to talk nonsense, let him go ahead. This measure, by all accounts, is a great advance in economic management in Australia. For 23 years the Government could have done with it. For 23 years the Government was denied it. This Government has introduced it and the Opposition grudgingly admits its merit. Then, seizing upon passages which I put in my second reading speech, it says: ‘Look, why do you not bring the legislation to an automatic end in 6 months time because you are going to marry it to a wider system of structural change anyway?’ I say: Of course I am. That is right. But being in government, the problem has to be solved by government. The Opposition looks at it from the point of view of trying to score rather nasty cheap little political points. The merit of the measure is not disputed. The Government cannot accept the Opposition’s amendment. It disputes the Opposition’s motives.

Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar

– I think that the Minister for Manufacturing Industry (Mr Enderby) has pulled the rug out from under his own argument. If he really thinks that the -

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Third Reading

Motion (by Mr Enderby)- by leaveproposed:

That the Bill be read a third time.

Dr EDWARDS:
Berowra

-In speaking to the motion that the Bill be read a third time I should like to emphasise that the Opposition attaches very great importance to the principle embodied in the amendment I moved. We feel that this Bill is a measure which opens up very wide scope for the patronage we have feared -

Mr SPEAKER:

-The honourable member is speaking on an amendment moved to a clause at the Committee stage. The Committee agreed to that clause.

Dr EDWARDS:
BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

-That is true. I want to say, as I have said before, that we support -

Mr SPEAKER:

– If the honourable member is speaking on the third reading, he must speak on matters that have not been raised.

Dr EDWARDS:

– I make it clear that we support the thrust of this Bill. We would normally have divided on the amendment if we had not been at this stage of the sitting.

Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar

– I am not happy about the Bill as it stands at present.

Motion ( by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

page 4698

COMMUNITY CENTRE DEVELOPMENT

Mr STEWART:
Minister for Tourism and Recreation · Lang · ALP

– For the information of honourable members I table a report on the implications of community centre development.

page 4698

QUESTION

JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRICES

Mr HURFORD:
Adelaide

-by leave-I present the transcript of evidence taken by the Joint Committee on Prices during a briefing session on the Consumer Price Index. I ask for leave of the House to incorporate in Hansard a statement in connection with that transcript. Before you seek leave, Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that copies of this statement are available in the chamber and will be sent to members’ offices.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

The causes and consequences of and the cures for inflation are subjects of continuing debate in the Parliament.

Most speakers use changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as a measure of the rate of inflation, yet few people appear to be aware of the way in which the CPI is compiled or what it seeks to measure.

In October of this year the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Prices invited three senior officers of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to brief it on the CPI. The Hansard of this briefing session has been tabled today and the Committee hopes that Honourable Members, journalists and others will take the opportunity to read this document. Before presenting the recommendations of the Committee I would like to highlight a number of salient points regarding the CPI.

First, the CPI measures the degree of change over time in prices for a selected group of goods and services which represent the consumption patterns within the economy. The whole idea of measuring price change is to keep constant all variables (for example, quality) except the price itself.

Secondly, the CPI is compiled by selecting a fixed combination of goods and services which are of constant quality, and then determining the aggregate cost of that combination or basket of goods and services. The CPI does not immediately reflect the substitution that consumers might make between individual items as a reaction, for example, to changes in relative prices. If the price of potatoes trebles, as it has in recent times in Australia, then consumers could reduce consumption of this item by increasing their consumption of rice, for example. Similarly the housewife may substitute chicken for beef or lamb for beef when the relative prices of these commodities change. Neither does the CPI promptly reflect changes in life style or consumer tastes. For example, if consumers suddenly double their consumption of ice cream the CPI would not register this change promptly.

Thirdly, prices are regularly collected by officers of the ABS for a specified basket of goods and services which are weighted’ according to their relative importance. Items within the basket are selected by using statistics of estimates of average consumption, statistics of imports, exports, primary and secondary production and censuses and surveys of retail sales. Every four to five years the group of items within the Index is reviewed to update the weighting pattern and list of items. This is called re-basing. In Great Britain this is done every year but less frequently in many other countries. The Australian CPI was last re-based in December 1973.

The specified basket of goods and services used to compile the CPI is derived mostly from estimates of average consumption. In most developed countries the weighting pattern is derived from the findings of household expenditure surveys but in Australia the basket is obtained from indirect sources such as production and imports. The ABS is now engaged on Australia’s first official comprehensive household expenditure survey. The ABS considered that the weighting pattern devised had been reasonably adequate for the purpose of the CPI. However, since the CPI is likely to become more complicated, it is desirable to complete a household expenditure survey, which will of course supply data for other important uses.

The first household expenditure survey will be followed immediately by a smaller survey. During the conduct of that smaller survey the ABS will consider the future frequency and scope of each survey.

The Committee recommends that resources be made available to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to carry out further expenditure surveys as soon as the frequency is determined from work being carried out at the present time.

Fourthly, at present the CPI is published quarterly. I might add here, however, that the food group of the CPI is published monthly. Most developed countries publish their CPI on a monthly basis and the Committee considers it would be appropriate for the Australian CPI to be published also on a monthly basis. This would allow more frequent assessment of anti-inflationary policies. The Committee was informed that preparation of a monthly CPI would require the equivalent of a further 25 full-time staff.

Fifthly, the Committee also recognises that as the CPI is only compiled for the State capital cities and Canberra it would seem appropriate to include some other large centres and rural cities such as Broken Hill and Bendigo. The Committee recommends that the priority to be given to this work should be referred to the proposed Australian Statistics Advisory Council ( ASAC) when it is established.

The Committee also sees merit in the preparation and publication at half-yearly intervals of an experimental index of food prices for country towns. An index of this type is presently prepared annually for about 200 country towns and is available on request. The Committee also recommends that this matter should be referred to the ASAC.

The Committee therefore recommends that:

  1. a ) resources be made available to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to carry out further expenditure surveys as soon as the frequency is determined from work being carried out at the present time;
  2. the Australian Bureau of Statistics be allocated the necessary resources to enable preparation and publication of the Consumer Price Index on a monthly basis;
  3. the following be referred to the proposed Australian Statistics Advisory Council when it is established:

    1. the widening of the Consumer Price Index to reflect price changes in other major cities and representative country towns; and
    2. the publication of the experimental index of food prices for country towns at half-yearly intervals.

page 4699

CHILDHOOD SERVICES

Mr LIONEL BOWEN:
Special Minister of State · KingsfordSmithSpecial Minister of State · ALP

– For the information of honourable members, I present a ministerial statement entitled: ‘Childhood Services’, dated5 December 1974.I will arrange for reference copies to be placed in the Parliamentary Library.

page 4699

BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE

The following Bills were returned from the Senate without amendment:

Income Tax Assessment Bill ( No. 2 ) 1 974.

Income Tax ( Bearer Debentures ) Bill 1 974.

Income Tax (International Agreements) Bill 1974 [No. 2]. Estate Duty Assessment Bill 1974.

page 4699

PUBLIC SERVICE ACTS AMENDMENT BILL 1974

Bill received from the Senate, and read a first time.

Second Reading

Mr LIONEL BOWEN:
KingsfordSmithSpecial Minister of State · ALP

I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I ask for leave to incorporate in Hansard that part of the second reading speech which was made in the Senate on 13 November 1974.I exclude from my request the last paragraph of the speech which relates to the clause dealing with the amendment inserted by the Senate with respect to oaths and affirmations.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The speech read as follows)-

This Bill includes proposed amendments of the Public Service Act and the Officers’ Rights Declaration Act. Apart from Part IV of the Bill, which I will mention shortly, the amendments are machinery provisions, and are part of the continuing process of ensuring the efficient functioning of the national public adminstration.

A number of progressive and responsible administrative re-arrangements have been made for the last two years.

Some of these have involved a re-organisation of the responsibilities of existing Departments and authorities. Others have been necessary as a consequence of new responsibilities which the Government has assumed. The amendments in clauses 8, 9 and 12 of the present Bill relate to various machinery aspects of such re-arrangements.

Clause 9 relates to the rights of officers when a department, or part of a department, is abolished. Before detailing the provisions of this clause it should be understood that it flows from a recommendation of the Joint Council of the Australian Public Service, a statutory employer/employee body which was established by the Chifley Labor Government in 1945. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Joint Council which, through its own work and through the work of sub-committees, makes a substantial contribution on a wide range of matters of general service interest.

When a department is abolished, a step which both the present and previous Governments have found necessary from time to time, one result is the abolition of all offices in that department. The same situation arises when pan of a department is transferred to another department. All provisional promotions to those offices lapse, and the Government shares the concern of both the Joint Council and the Public Service Board at the detrimental effect, both financially and other-wise, that this situation can have on persons who have been provisionally promoted. Those persons must cither be provisionally promoted once again to appropriate offices in the successor department, or miss the promotion altogether. Financial loss may be involved, since retrospective entitlement to higher salary when the second promotion is confirmed would not cover the period relating to the abolished, but identical, office.

The amendment in clause 9 will enable the promotion process to continue when the Board, after obtaining a report from the Permanent Head of the successor department, so determines. Provision is also made for further appeals to continue to safeguard the rights of other officers.

Clause 8 effects a related amendment to section 46 of the Act. This will permit recruitment notices published under that section to continue to have effect in relation to offices created to replace those that have been abolished. This will avoid the need for re-notification and associated delays in the recruitment process.

Clause 12 of the Bill relates to situations where staff are being transferred to Public Service Act employment. Before the transfer, such staff may have been employed by an Australian authority, a State Government, a State authority or otherwise.

In the past, transfers of this nature have been effected by an ad hoc legislative scheme. For example, the Public Service Act presently includes five separate Divisions dealing with the transfer of various categories of Australian and State employees. On other occasions special legislation has been enacted, examples being the Statistics (Arrangements with States) Act, the Mint Employees Act and the Aboriginal Affairs (Arrangements with the States) Act.

Inevitably, this ad hoc approach has led to delays and inconsistencies. It is the Government’s view that the introduction of common statutory provisions, capable of being applied from time to time as required, will have substantial administrative advantages. Accordingly, clause 12 introduces general provisions as to terms and conditions of employment which will be capable of being invoked whenever there is a transfer of staff to the Australian Public Service. Application of the new provisions would follow a decision by the Government that a Department, or other body staffed under the Public Service Act, was to assume a function being carried on by some other body. 1 turn now to clause 6 of the Bill, which amends section 25 of the Act so as to enable the occupant of an office established under an ordinance to be vested with the powers of a Permanent Head under the Public Service Act. This amendment has relevance to authorities to be established by ordinance in the A.C.T., such as the proposed Capital Territory Health Commission. This approach already applies with many authorities established by Acts.

Clause 13 of the Bill has been included as a result of an undertaking given by the Attorney-General in the light of a report by the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. Regulations provide for the payment by Australia of the fares of a close relative who visits a critically or dangerously ill officer or employee temporarily stationed away from his home. In its 48th Report, the Senate Committee expressed the view that the Regulations were ultra vires the Public Service Act. A notice of motion to disallow a regulation was withdrawn on the basis of an assurance from the Attorney-General that legislation would be introduced during the present Session to put that validity beyond doubt. My colleague’s view was that the regulations were in fact valid, but I am sure all honourable members will be in agreement with the Government’s view that the important thing is to put beyond doubt the power of the Board to make regulations in this important area. Clause 13 ensures the validity of the regulations. It will permit the Board to make similar regulations in the future.

The Bill amends the Schedule to the Act to update references to various Departments and Permanent Heads. Standard amendments consequential on the Remuneration Tribunals Act are included.

The opportunity has also been taken to include in the Bill certain amendments of the Officers’ Rights Declaration Act. That Act was passed in 1 928 to preserve the rights of officers who became employees of certain statutory authorities. In doing this it removed difficulties which arose when those employees subsequently wished to return to the Public Service. The Act does not cover officers of the Public Service who become employees of a public authority established by the law of a Territory. The amendments in clauses 16, 17 and 18 will ensure that the Act does apply to such officers if the Territory law is prescribed in regulations made under the Act. The Bill also makes consequential amendments in conformity with the change of name of the Service to the Australian PublicService.

Mr LIONEL BOWEN:

-I thank the House. With respect to the last clause of the Bill, this was an amendment inserted by the Senate relating to oaths and affirmations. This amendment is not acceptable to the Government. The Government opposed this amendment in the Senate. The reason for this opposition is that the obligation to make an oath or affirmation of allegiance is a pure ritual and a legal fiction. It has no practical effect. It in no way detracts from the obligations of all officers and employees to give the utmost loyalty to their country or from the requirement that they carry out their duties in a competent and trustworthy manner. Any breach of those obligations would be dealt with by the law in the normal process.

As a matter of interest there is no similar provision in the State Public Service or the British Civil Service. Further, it could create a barrier to a number of migrants many of whom have dual nationality. Officers who are migrants would be required to run the unnecessary risk of losing their original nationality where they have a dual nationality. There is an additional problem created by the wording of this unnecessary amendment in that it is strongly considered and it is certainly arguable that all officers and employees, who number in excess of 250,000, would be required to now take the oath of affirmation in a new form. In view of all these factors, the Government rejects the proposal. I commend the Bill to honourable members.

Leave granted for second reading debate to proceed forthwith.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
Wannon

– The Opposition proposes to oppose the Government’s amendment which will seek to delete the amendment that was added to the Government’s Bill in the Senate. It ought to be noted that because of procedural matters in the dying stages of an earlier session there was no earlier opportunity to debate a previous attempt by the Government to remove the oath and affirmation from the Public Service Act. The Government gave an undertaking that there would be an opportunity to debate the matter on consideration of another Bill relating to the Public Service. This was done in another place. The oath and affirmation were reinstated in the legislation as they had been in the former Act, virtually in identical form. The arguments of the Government to remove the oath and affirmation from the Public Service Act are specious and motivated by one purpose and one purpose only, that is, to remove every vestige of reference to Her Majesty the Queen. This is a process which goes on slowly and insidiously, and it is one which will be opposed by the Opposition.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee

The Bill.

Mr LIONEL BOWEN:
KingsfordSmithSpecial Minister of State · ALP

– by leave- I refer the Committee to Part IV of the Bill which concerns the ‘ Restoration of Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance’, and to the first Schedule of the Bill which reads in part:

‘SCHEDULE 4 OATH

I, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Queen of Australia her heirs and successors according to law and that I will loyally as in duty bound uphold the Constitution and the laws of Australia.

AFFIRMATION

I, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Queen of Australia her heirs and successors according to law and that I will loyally as in duty bound uphold the Constitution and laws of Australia.

‘SCHEDULES OATH

I, do swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen as a member of the Appeal Board constituted under the Public Service Act 1922-19 , for the purpose of the appeal made by (here insert the name of appellant) (or in the case of the Chairman or elected representative of the Division to which the appellant belongs as a member of any Appeal Board constituted under the Public Service Act 1922-19 , of which I may be a member) and that I will perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed or conferred upon me as such member without fear or favour affection or ill-will.

AFFIRMATION

I, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen as a member of the Appeal Board constituted under the Public Service Act 1922-19 , for the purpose of the appeal made by (here insert name of appellant ) (or in the case of the Chairman or elected representative of the Division to which the appellant belongs as a member of any Appeal Board constituted under the Public Service Act 1922-19 , of which I may be a member) and that I will perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed or conferred upon me as such member without fear or favour affection or ill-will.

SCHEDULE 6 OATH

I, do swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen as a member of a Promotions Appeal Committee constituted under the Public Service Act 1 922- 1 974 and that I will perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed or conferred upon me as such member without fear or favour affection or ill-will.

I, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen as a member of a Promotions Appeal Committee constituted under the Public Service Act 1922-1974 and that I will perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed or conferred upon me as such member without fear or favour affection or ill-will. ‘.

I move:

These amendments have been explained already in my second reading speech, and I have moved accordingly.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
Wannon

– For the reason that I have already given, the Opposition opposes the 2 amendments. The reason is a one line reason. The Government’s motives are plain. The Opposition’s intention is amply clear. The matter does not require further debate.

Question put:

That the amendments (Mr Lionel Bowen’s) be agreed to.

The Committee divided. (The Chairman-Mr G. G. D. Scholes)

AYES: 58

NOES: 47

Majority……. 11

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report- by leave- adopted.

Third Reading

Bill (on motion by Mr Lionel Bowen)- by leave- read a third time.

page 4702

LOANS (AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION) BILL 1974

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 28 November, on motion by Mr Crean:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr ANTHONY:
Leader of the Australian Country Party · Richmond

– In replying to the second reading speech of the Treasurer (Mr Crean) relating to the Loans (Australian Industry Development Corporation) Bill I say that we in the Opposition have looked very closely at this Bill. Whilst we do not have any objection to its intention in principle, we have suggested that certain safeguards should be put in by way of amendment to ensure that this additional raising power, with the Australian Government guarantee, does not allow the Corporation to act in a way which would give it a preferred position in raising money and lending it on the Australian market. I believe that the Government has circulated 2 proposed amendments which meet the wishes of the Opposition. One amendment will change clause 7 ( 1 ) of the Bill. It provides that the terms and conditions may be as the Treasurer determines. The proposed amendment which has been circulated makes it quite clear that any terms and conditions can only be such that the Corporation is not given an advantage by way of any Government subsidy or assistance in lending money on more attractive terms and conditions than those on which the Corporation raises money.

The second proposed amendment deals with the borrowing powers of the Corporation under the Principal Act which was brought down by the previous Government. We provided for a capital of $50m. Against that we allowed a borrowing ratio of 5 to 1 which enabled some $250m to be raised against that capital. However, the main purpose of this Bill is to allow the Corporation to borrow from overseas, those borrowings being underwritten by the Commonwealth Government. In other words, an Australian Government guarantee will be provided. There is some doubt in the present legislation as to whether the $250m provides for additional borrowings over and above what the Corporation has already borrowed or whether that is the ceiling which applies in the principal Act.

This proposed amendment, which has been circulated and which we accept, makes it quite clear that the limits of the borrowing will be five times the capital of the Corporation and that it can in no way be exceeded at any time. When the Opposition parties were in Government they were responsible for the introduction of legislation dealing with the Australian Industry Development Corporation. We believed that this legislation was essential to enable Australian enterprise to maintain and to develop an Australian equity without having to rely on overseas equity capital. There is a famous saying of a former Minister for Trade, Sir John McEwen. He said that he was very much against selling off parts of the farm at a time. The idea of the Australian Industry Development Corporation was to assist those people who wanted to retain their Australian equity in enterprises across this nation. I believe that the Corporation, with those principles in mind, has fulfilled a very useful role.

I think it is also fair to say that today there is a good deal of caution on the part of the Opposition as to how this Corporation might be used by a socialist government such as the one in power at the moment. The Corporation could be used to intrude unduly into Australian history by having more and more government involvement at the expense of private enterprise. For these reasons there have been discussions with the Government to tighten this piece of legislation. We requested, if not demanded, that the 2 amendments which have now been circulated by the Government be carried in this House. If they had not been circulated in this House we would have seen that they were moved in the Senate to ensure that limitations and restraints were placed upon a government which does not seem to be snowing too much consideration for propriety or ehtics in the way it is administering legislation today. I do not think it is unfair for me to make these accusations.

The Minister for Minerals and Energy (Mr Connor) has been intruding Commonwealth finance into the mining enterprises. Anybody who has looked at the Wambo affair must agree that it is one of the most disgusting and disgraceful affairs that has ever come before this Parliament. More of the moment is the Mary Kathleen uranium affair. The Commonwealth practically pushed itself into a position of underwriting a new call for capital by Mary Kathleen Investment Pty Ltd. When it was found that the shares were not fully subscribed on the stock exchange the Government said that it was going to move in and take up the deficiency, which accounted for about 42 per cent of the total. Only later was it discovered that the full information had not been given to the stock exchange and the Australian public. The actions of the Government are worse than those of the sharpshooters and the slickies we have seen operating on the stock exchange over the last few years who caused an investigation into the activities of the stock exchange. This is the most deceitful and scurrilous thing that a national government could ever do. It allows a parcel of shares to go on the market. Because the people think that it is an unprofitable venture to invest in they do not subscribe. The Commonwealth claims that it can then take up the bulk of the shares, but in this case we found that new contracts had been negotiated for the sale of uranium overseas, making it a much more successful venture. But the Minister did not have the decency to tell the public what the true circumstances were. Is it any wonder that the Opposition acts very cautiously.

Dr Klugman:

– Is it true that you received $lm -

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins)Order! The honourable member for Prospect will cease interjecting.

Mr ANTHONY:

-Listen to the honourable member for Prospect. He is scraping the bottom of the barrel. We see the Labor Party in desperate circumstances today. I would have thought that the honourable member with a bit of commonsense would have known that the poor Country Party is always struggling for funds. It certainly never received any money. If any Party received money from the multinationals during the last election campaign it was the ALP. We have heard so much about the legislation that the Government is to bring in to deal with multi-nationals, but when the Commonwealth Electoral Bill came into the Parliament it contained nothing about subscriptions to political parties. We know why. The main benefactor is the Labor Party. It has been screwing the arm of every major business company across Australia to get funds to keep the Party going. Look at the Curtin House appeal. The Government now says that anybody who makes a donation to the appeal can claim the donation as a tax deduction. The Treasurer- I am not too sure whether he is Treasurer today or not- said the other day that donations to the McEwen House appeal were tax deductible. Let me tell the Australian public listening to the broadcast that not one person who invested in McEwen House claimed a tax deduction.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

– Order! I think the right honourable member should return to the subject of the Bill.

Mr ANTHONY:

-Mr Deputy Speaker, I can well imagine your sensitivity to this question.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-The right honourable member is reflecting on the Chair.

Mr ANTHONY:

– I am not reflecting on the Chair. Mr Deputy Speaker, I can understand your point of view and I respect it entirely. I do not want to push the matter any further than I have done. I think that even you, Sir, must admit that it is a very sensitive area for anybody in the Labor Party. Having said that, I accept that the AIDC, which is really a finance organisation whose responsibility it is to raise funds and redistribute them to Australian interests to maintain holdings, has to borrow money overseas or within Australia. It is quite obvious that this organisation today is finding it very difficult to borrow funds. Within Australia interest rates have got out of all proportion. Thanks to the present Government interest rates have gone sky high and are cruelling everybody. Nobody would borrow from the AIDC at rates of interest at which it would have to compete on the Australian market. The supply of overseas money has tightened up enormously and nobody is particularly keen to lend to an Australian quasi-governmental authority, or to Australia at all. Foreign capital is drying up. There is no confidence in this country. There is no certainty as to what the future holds under the present socialist regime and, because of this, development is slowing down and we see unemployment, stagnation, and for the first time in decades we are running into a negative growth situation. That is one of the most alarming situattions. Australia today is running backwards and not forwards. Today in one of the most scathing editorials that I have written- I should say read- in my life -

Mr Dawkins:

Mr ANTHONY I do not think I could do much better than the ‘Australian Financial Review’, and that is saying a lot for the ‘Australian Financial Review’. In one of the most scathing editorials that has ever been written about any government that newspaper condemned the Government to the ultimate for its utter mismanagement and a very serious situation that the economy is getting itself into. The only way that the economy can get itself out of the present situation is by sensible management in conjunction with an increase in the rate of development and investment to bring about the development. If the AIDC is able to acquire funds and reinvest those funds in development projects it will make a useful contribution. It is only augmenting the very important private sector of the community, but it all helps. If the AIDC is to have adequate funds it seems that the only source from which to borrow on satisfactory terms and in any dimension is the oil producing countries of the Middle East, the Arab countries. It is almost humourous. I hate using the word ‘humourous’ but it is a fact that this Government, which has been so scathing and vitriolic in its remarks about overseas capital and foreign countries investing in Australia, is now bringing down legislation which will enable this Government authority, with the backing of a Government guarantee, virtually to beg for money overseas. It is a complete reversal and a contradiction of all the Governmentt’s policy statements and the great emotion it built up during the election campaign. Of course, we are all getting to know that anything the Government says does not really matter. It will change its mind if it is expedient or convenient.

However, let us accept that this is probably a useful decision and a wise one when the nation is getting itself into such a desperate situation. The idea is that now, with a government guarantee, there is hope of borrowing from the oil producing countries of the Middle East. It is on that subject that I want to dwell for a few moments. Probably one of the most worrying situations facing the Western world is the way in which surplus funds are now being accumulated by the Middle East countries because of the greatly increased price of oil and the surplus balance of payments situations which these Middle East countries are now getting into. If this situation continues the future of the economies of the countries of the Western world will be placed in jeopardy. The other day I read some remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) where he actually applauded the Middle East countries for putting up oil prices. He claimed that they had been underpaid for years and that it was right and justified that there should be such an extravagant increase.

Mr Sherry:

– You want to put up oil prices.

Mr ANTHONY:

– I will argue this out with the honourable member. What the Labor Party is doing is putting Australia at the mercy of the Middle East countries because it has no policy to go looking for oil. That is one of the most disgraceful things this Government has done. What will be the situation in this country in 5 years’ time when we do not have enough fuel to keep the economy going? The Labor Party is selling out Australian interests to the Middle East and the foreign oil producing countries.

Mr Sherry:

– You do not impress me with your snappy technique.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins)Order! The honourable member for Franklin will cease interjecting.

Mr ANTHONY:

-The honourable member for Franklin comes from Tasmania. The Australian Labor Party has just about destroyed Tasmania. It can destroy Tasmania but a few of us will be fighting for the rest of Australia. That is what will happen if the policies of the present Government continue.

Mr McVeigh:

– It will not destroy Queensland on Saturday.

Mr Young:

– It depends on how you draw the boundaries.

Mr ANTHONY:

-Mr Deputy Speaker, honourable members opposite are becoming a little tickled tonight.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Order! The House will come to order. One allows some tolerance at this stage of the proceedings but when the Leader of the Australian Country Party cannot be heard by honourable members it is going too far. I ask the House to come to order.

Mr ANTHONY:

– I do not think it is due to lack of volume that they cannot hear me. I think it might be that they do not want me to penetrate their ears. I was talking about the question of overseas fund raising. The idea of this legislation is virtually to recycle the surplus funds now being accumulated in the Middle East countries. Anyone who has studied the situation will realise that in a very short time enormous credits will be built up in these Middle East countries. This year we see that the major oil exporting countries have increased their reserves from $ 14,000m at 31 December 1973 to $35,00Om at 31 August 1974- an increase of about $2 1,000m whereas the balance of payments position in most other countries has been reduced. This is increasing the reserves of the oil producing countries at the rate of between $65,000m and $80,000m a year. If this continues, the OPEC countries will have a surplus of $250 billion within about 4 years. In fact this will mean that half of the world’s international trading funds will be in the hands of the Arab countries.

I believe it is very useful to find means of recycling some of these credits. The idea of giving this guarantee to the Corporation will enable Australia at least to borrow some of those funds, because no doubt those countries are not prepared to lend to private enterprise in this country while the present regime is in power. So if we can get some of those funds to help develop Australian products it will be very useful. I do not say that that is the answer to this very serious and alarming situation that is developing in the Middle East with the accumulation of funds but I think that, as an individual nation, we ought to ensure that we take advantage of it. It appears to me that these countries will not lend funds to Australia unless they have government backing. Provided the Government is prepared to accept -naturally it is, as can be seen from the amendments that have been circulated- the suggestions of the Opposition to ensure that the borrowing power of the Corporation does not exceed $250m and to ensure that the Treasurer’s discretion does not allow funds to be lent at a preferred rate to that at which they are borrowed, the Opposition supports this legislation as being useful in allowing Australians to maintain equity in Australian projects.

Dr KLUGMAN:
Prospect

-I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins:

-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Dr KLUGMAN:

– Yes. In response to an interjection from me the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony) apparently thought that I was referring to some donations to the Country Party from the multi-national corporations. What I was asking him was for a statement of personal involvement in view of the stories that have been circulating in this Parliament for a long time that the business interests of the Leader of the Country Party have received a significant loan from the Australian Industry Development Corporation in years past.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Prospect is going beyond the bounds of a personal explanation. He will return to where he has been misrepresented.

Dr KLUGMAN:

– It is a personal explanation. On a point of order, the point of order is that the Leader of the Country Party claims that I was referring to donations from the -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Order! The honourable member for Prospect will resume his seat. The honourable member started to make a personal explanation claiming to have been misrepresented. He has now changed it to a point of order.

Dr KLUGMAN:

– My actual statement was -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

– This is a personal explanation, not a point of order.

Dr KLUGMAN:

– My actual statement was a question to the Leader of the Country Party asking whether he himself and the business in which he is involved have received a very large loan from the AIDC in the past.

Mr ANTHONY (Richmond -Leader of the Australian Country Party)- Mr Deputy Speaker, if there has been any misrepresentation it has been by the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman). By innuendo he suggested that I or my Party might have borrowed from the Australian Industry Development Corporation. I can assure him that there is no association whatsoever, and the Labor Party can try as it likes to -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins)Order!

Mr ANTHONY:

-Oh, no, Mr Deputy Speaker. An accusation has been made against me and I will answer it. The honourable member may try to besmirch the Country Party and its Leader as much as he likes but he will find that there is no substance to it whatsoever.

Mr CONNOLLY:
Bradfield

-The Australian Industry Development Corporation was conceived in controversy, it had a complicated birth and its early years have been less than auspicious. Despite this, the objectives for which the AIDC were established have the support of . the Opposition. For that reason we are supporting this legislation. The important thing to realise is that in just 2 years the AIDC has lost $ 10m on the Australian stock market. Nevertheless, tonight we are debating a piece of legislation proposing to give the same organisation $2S0m, which is half of the total allowed under its Act. The essence of this legislation is directed at what should be the role of foreign investment in Australia’s economic recovery? That is how we have to see the situation today and for the foreseeable future. Under this Government capital inflow has fallen from $ 1,534m in 1970-71 to where we have a net capital outflow of $34.6m. The situation was very well covered today in the ‘Australian Financial Review’ which has already been quoted by numerous honourable members.

Mr Wilson:

– What was the headline?

Mr CONNOLLY:

-The headline is worth quoting. It was: ‘Paradise Lost by Bungling not by External Forces’. I draw the attention of the House to what the ‘Australian Financial Review’ said, it is something that all honourable members, including supporters of the Government, would do well to appreciate fully. That paper said:

For reasons unconnected for once with the vagaries of nature the economic growth of Australia has gone into reverse. Any suggestion that this can be explained in terms of international trends is intelligence-insulting deception. It is quite simply a matter of extremely poor domestic economic management.

The facts clearly speak for themselves. In the AIDC’s report for 1973-74 we are told that during the last financial year this organisation undertook new financial commitments valued at $42m for 28 industrial projects, thus bringing the cumulative total of project commitments undertaken since operations commenced in April 1 97 1 to $157m. As I mentioned earlier, many of these operations are worth while. Unfortunately, however the AIDC has, through its somewhat chequered career, shown quite clearly that it makes entrepreneurial mistakes the same as anyone else. The trouble is that when the AIDC was established it was funded with $50m from Consolidated Revenue, which is taxpayers’ money. It is on that basis that we must question whether those who are in charge of the AIDC are making responsible decisions.

Mr Young:

– As John McEwen.

DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins)-Order! The honourable member for Port Adelaide has persisted in interjecting. He is not in his usual place. It makes it very difficult for the Chair to exercise the tolerance that it would like to exercise at this late stage of the proceedings.

Mr Howard:

– In other words, play the game.

Mr CONNOLLY:

-Yes, the honourable member should play the game. I know it is his last night in school. Recently the AIDC issued a prospectus for raising finance on the Australian market. These funds were to attract interest at between 11 per cent and 11.6 per cent. The interesting fact is that when this issue closed the AIDC had secured only 10 per cent of what it sought. The reason is clear. When the market is now paying 15 per cent plus no one in his right mind will lend money at between 1 1 per cent and 1 1.6 per cent. What is more, this fund raising was not guaranteed by the Government despite the fact that for foreign loan a guarantee is granted. It is important to note from the AIDC report that its shares in companies had a book value last financial year of $22,964,000. Those same shares have a market value- I ask honourable members to mark this well- which has now fallen to $13,463,000. Of course, this is what we must expect. Anyone who has had to put up with the situation which the Australian economy has had to suffer for the last 2 years must appreciate that the AIDC must also suffer like the rest of the community.

The Australian economy can recover only if there is a substantial increase in net capital equipment investment and net capital inflow. This means that we must be prepared to draw on the funds which are now becoming available from the Arab world. Unfortunately until recently those funds had been available only on the basis of 80 to 190 day terms, which is quite useless for long term or medium term investment. Perhaps now that the Arabs have discovered that by 1980 they will be holding between $350 billion and $500 billion they are now in a better position to regard medium and long term loans as a serious proposition. For the sake of the Western world and for the sake of Australia I sincerely hope this is the case. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a table headed ‘Total new capital equipment- private manufacturing’ which shows the alarming position. I have already sought the concurrence of the Treasurer (Mr Crean).

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

Mr CONNOLLY:

-I thank the House. This Government, in its last 2 years in office, had a specific intention to limit and destroy overseas investment in the Australian economy. One of the main ways in which it did this was to apply stringent capital import controls which last year required that no less than 3316 per cent of all imported funds had to be placed with the Reserve Bank. In due course, after the damage was done, the Government discovered it had to reduce this, and it fell to 25 per cent. Then as a face saving operation it reduced it even further to 5 per cent. At last, it has removed it altogether. We are now being asked to approve legislation which is going to give the AIDC, through the Government, the capacity to borrow on the world money markets. What will happen to this money? Is it going to go into the Redcliffe project? Is it going to go into other important national development projects? Or are we going to see a reasonable amount of it squandered once again on the share markets of Australia?

Earlier I referred to the AIDC’s intention of borrowing money on the Australian market. According to its prospectus it sought $40m but the loan was subscribed to only 10 per cent of that amount. The report did not contain sufficient information and I doubt that any corporate affairs commission in Australia would have been prepared to accept it on that basis. If we are not careful the AIDC will become the problem child of Australian finance. It will become a bottomless pit to which Government will be expected to make a major contribution, not only from Consolidated Revenue but also in terms of our investment of overseas capital. What is important is that we must get overseas capital back into productive enterprises- back into the private enterprise sector of the Australian economy. If we can do that through the AIDC, well and good. However it is important that the AIDC should not be placed in a position where it can compete for the funds entering Australia, because it simply is not fair to expect private enterprise to be able to compete with a government instrumentality on that basis. This is one of the proposals the Opposition strenuously opposed during the earlier debates on this Bill. I am not prepared, at this stage, to say that this Government is going to give private enterprise a fair deal when compared with the AIDC.

The foreign investment issue facing Australia is of tremendous importance. The Labor Government quite clearly has failed to appreciate this fact. It promoted the issues of multinational companies and overseas investment for political advantage. Although it attacked overseas interests, Labor has not implemented any additional controls. I brought this matter to the attention of the Treasurer only yesterday. As this is my last speech in this House before the recess I take the opportunity of wishing you Mr Deputy Speaker, and through you, the Speaker, all honourable members and the staff a happy Christmas.

Mr CREAN:
Treasurer · Melbourne Ports · ALP

– I simply wish to indicate that at the Committee stage I will move an amendment as indicated by the Leader of the Australian Country Party ( Mr Anthony).

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

In Committee

The Bill.

Mr CREAN:
Treasurer · Melbourne Ports · ALP

– I refer to clause 7 which reads as follows: 7. ( 1 ) At the request of the Corporation, Australia may, on such terms and conditions as the Treasurer determines, for the purpose of assisting the Corporation to perform its functions under the Australian Industry Development Corporation Act 1970-1973, make available to the Corporation, by way of loan, such amount or amounts, not exceeding in the aggregate the amounts borrowed by Australia under this Act, as the Treasurer determines.

  1. Moneys required for the purposes of sub-section (1) are payable out of the Loan Fund, which is appropriated accordingly.
  2. Loans made by Australia to the Corporation under sub-section (1), shall, for the purposes of sub-sections 7 (4) and (S) of the Australian Industry Development Corporation Act 1970-1973, be deemed to be borrowings by the Corporation outside Australia.

The Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony) has indicated that broadly he agrees with the Bill. Discussions have been had about amendments that may have been inserted in the Bill in the Senate. Had that been so, it would have caused some difficulty. After discussion with Senator Durack, who I think is the Chairman of an Opposition party committee, we have agreed to amend clause 7. Speaking candidly, I believe that the amendments to the clause are implicit in the Bill and also in the speech which I made. But since they are required to be made explicit, I have no objection to them.

The first amendment is designed to ensure that there is no unfair advantage for the Australian Industry Development Corporation in onlending arrangements between the Government and the Corporation in relation to the proceeds of loans raised under this legislation. As far as is reasonably practicable, the financial terms of the on-lending arrangements will be no less favourable to the Government than the terms under which the loans are raised. The amendment to achieve this effect has been circulated to honourable members. I recommend it for acceptance by all honourable members. I move:

After sub-clause ( 1 ) insert the following sub-clauses: ‘( 1a) In determining the terms and conditions of a loan to the Corporation under sub-section ( I ), the Treasurer shall ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the financial terms on which the loan is made are not less favourable to

Australia than those upon which Australia borrowed the moneys out of which the loan is made. ‘(IB) For the purposes of sub-section (1a), amounts received by Australia by borrowing under this Act shall be deemed to be applied in the making of loans to the Corporation in the order in which those amounts are received. ‘.

The second amendment involves incorporating a new sub-clause in the Bill stating that this legislation does not alter the total amount that the Corporation can borrow under the formula laid down under section 73 of the Australian Industry Development Corporation Act 1970. I indicate that such a provision is already contained in this Act if this Bill is read in conjunction with the Act, but in order to be explicit I am prepared to accept the amendment suggested. This subclause limits the borrowing by the Corporation to five times the capital of the Corporation. Again, copies of the amendment have been circulated. I commend it for the acceptance of honourable members. I move:

Add at the end the following sub-clause: ‘(4) Nothing in this Act authorizes the Corporation to borrow moneys that, by reason of sub-section 7 (3) of the Australian Industry Development Corporation Act 1970-1973, the Corporation would not otherwise be permitted to borrow. ‘.

Dr EDWARDS:
Berowra

– I thank the Treasurer (Mr Crean) for agreeing to propose amendments along these lines. I think that the situation the Opposition feared was that the Treasury- Australia- would in practice come to bear risks arising from exchange rate fluctuations, they being the order of the day in the current world economic situation. Other financial intermediaries in competition with the Australian Industry Development Corporation- for instance, the Australian Resources Development Bank- have to bear such risks themselves. I would agree that the amendment now put forward would make it clear that when the Treasury on-lends, as the phrase goes, funds to the AIDC, it would be on the same terms and conditions on which Australia has borrowed them and in that sense the AIDC would bear these risks. The Opposition thanks the Government for proposing the amendments.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill reported with amendment; report- by leave- adopted.

Third Reading

Bill (on motion by Mr Crean)- by leave- read a third time.

page 4709

HANSARD REPORT

Mr SPEAKER:

– Earlier today the honourable member for Hotham obtained leave to incorporate in Hansard some material that included a graph. The Printer has advised that the production of the graph would present technical problems for him and, therefore, I have directed that the graph be excluded. The necessary consequential alteration to the reference to the graph has been made.

page 4709

STATES GRANTS (FRUIT GROWING RECONSTRUCTION) BILL 1974

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 3 December on motion by Dr Patterson:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr GILES:
Angas

-Because the States Grants (Fruit Growing Reconstruction) Bill relates fundamentally to a State grant I wish initiallyand for only a few minutes to draw the attention of the House to the parlous position of State governments through lack of State grants to aid with their revenue raising. For a start, South Australia is out of pocket by$ 13.7m. One ponders whether the sort of grant that we are considering tonight is really of the gravity to State governments of their revenue deficit. A second point I make tonight is that this Bill is purely a continuation of the 1972 legislation introduced by the Opposition when in government during that year. The tree pull scheme as it has become known was founded in difficulties two and a half years ago with the collapse of the traditional markets, such as the United Kingdom market and the European Economic Community market, which were then in a state of complete surplus in which the price had collapsed. It was also founded on the fact that pears in Victoria and apples in Tasmania both appeared to be in a state of semi-permanent surplus. It was a scheme confined to that period of time. Apart from some minor modifications which I shall mention later it now assumes the implications of a much more permanent law.

Throughout this debate I wish to draw to the attention of the Government, if I can, matters relating to reconstruction rather than matters relating to eradication. The full implication of the tree pull scheme proved ineffectual in most mainland States. For instance, in my electorate it was looked upon fundamentally as a waste of time. Very few successful applicants took advantage of the terms of the scheme. In fact, the floods in the Victorian section of the River Murray which eliminated many acres of peaches produced the situation in South Australia which I have just described. Therefore, the potential need for tree pulling disappeared in my electorate. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard a page of facts and figures. I have already shown it to the Leader of the House (Mr Daly).

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

Since the partial fell and clear fell scheme started under the 1972 bill, there has been up until 30 October 1974: 1,493 applications received for assistance 858 applications accepted for assistance, of which 45 1 were partial pull and 407 clear fell 99 pending applications 74 applications withdrawn 251 applications rejected 1,071 offers made 1 1 8 offers declined

The total number of funds approved for expenditure of the scheme since it first started is $2,675,000.

No cost- credit in Fund.

The rates of compensation are:

Fresh fruit- an average of $250 per acre with a $350 per acre maximum.

Canning fruit- an average of $350 per acre with a maximum of $500 per acre.

When the scheme was varied last year to bring in canned apricots the averages for fresh fruit moved from $200 to $250 per acre compensation.

No discrepancy exists in compensation payments for fruit grown on irrigated and non-irrigated land.

Mr GILES:

– In Tasmania the implications of the tree pull scheme have been very marked. Many acres of apples were eliminated. Presumably those Tasmanian growers have gone in for alternative forms of rural production such as beef, dairying, pigs, hops and a wide variety of agricultural pursuits. I believe that it is true that nearly two-thirds of Tasmanian apple growers applied for aid under the tree pull scheme. Approximately one-third of those who applied have been accepted. The effect on the apple production in Tasmania is currently that it is down by approximately 20 per cent. Finally the Government gave way to repeated requests from the industry in that State and allowed what is termed varietal reconstruction to take place in some apple orchards. All this meant was that under the terms of the Bill apple orchards could be grown and replanted contrary to the general terms of the Bill with 2 particular varieties of apple. These varieties were Cox’s Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious.

It seems that a bad decision was taken in regard to the former variety of apple. Evidently the reasoning behind the decision was that it was a popular eating variety of apple for the U.K. market. However, not only has this market now been virtually lost to Australian exporters but, indeed also has the EEC market for the very same reason, that is, the stringent entry conditions to that area. So it was a bad decision and, quite frankly, in the case of the Cox’s Orange Pippin variety of apple there was always a storage problem. It was very susceptible to disease such as bitter pith. As a result, very little varietal reconstruction has occurred in that State. The apple industry in Tasmania has asked the Government on several occasions for a fuller reconstruction of old orchards and to allow replanting of better varieties, including newer varieties from the United States of America in place of worn out trees.

In South Australia there is the same obvious need, particularly in the case of vines, both dual variety such as sultana and gordo and wineproducing grapes. In that area many vineyards still in existence owe their establishment to land settlement in World War I and immediately thereafter. As will therefore be quite plain to the House, those grapes and those apples in Tasmania to which I have referred have long passed their optimum production stage, which is one reason why the Opposition ponders why the Government, in terming this Bill the States Grants (Fruit-growing Reconstruction) Bill, has not paid more attention to reconstruction as such rather than to a policy of eradication. Recon.struction as a means of refashioning planting patterns is another reason why this principle should be applied. To cope with modern technological advances, including advances made in automatic picking plants and other procedures, a different pattern of planting can be necessary. This is well demonstrated in the citrus orchards in Riverland in my electorate where closely planted trees can form a hedge with enough distance between the rows to allow automatic picking plant to operate. Likewise, in Tasmania there has been, for instance, a revival in the demand for black currant production for juice, with emphasis on its high vitamin C component. The House might do well to think back to the legislation of a little while ago relating to Meals on Wheels and the need to supply vitamins to elderly people as part of their diet requirements. In the case of the black currants the crop is planted in double rows which are harvested alternately once a year. This again points up the need to look at reconstruction in horticultural areas, quite apart from the aspect I have already dealt with, which is the need to plant better varieties.

Similarly, when I was in Tasmania recently I found that the firm of Bulmer’s is currently pioneering a form of apple tree picking device which works as a shaker in the case of apple production for juicing. Whether this plant, which is fashioned on one in the United Kingdom, will be too severe for Australian apple trees, which traditionally have the main tap root severed before final planting, is a matter that obviously can be resolved in the future. But it points again in the case of juice requirements to the new demands which are occurring that positively need reconstruction finance and not eradication of orchards, with all the consequent loss of skill involved.

I would like therefore to remind the Government that it has not yet at this point of time spelled out its general philosophy towards these areas. I think it is important to think back two and a half years, to recognise the problems that applied at that time to which I have referred, and to think back to the other statement I made, that this legislation appears to be becoming semipermanent. Is it the right procedure from this point of time onwards to continue this decimation of orchards, when 20 per cent loss of production in apples has already occurred in the State of Tasmania? After 2 years I think it is time that this philosophy. was dealt with rather than continuing what in our time was an urgent reason to deal with the short term problem. Presumably the original philosophy behind the tree pull scheme was one of cutting down production to achieve a higher return to the remaining producers, and honourable members of this House will remember the voluble ex-member for Riverina trying, amongst the words, to sell the impression that the Labor Party’s policy in rural matters would be to trim production down to no needs. Many of us on this side of the House tried to explain to him that this was not an easy concept to equate, but that was the stated policy of the Labor Party at that time, prior to at least 2 elections.

I wish to pose to the House tonight that this is fundamentally a false assumption. Tasmanian orchards could never exist on their own home market requirements, no matter how severe the tree pull implications. Orchardists in that State must always be geared largely to export, whether it be export overseas or just to the mainland States. It is shortsighted in the extreme not to give intelligent reconstuction aid to enable those growers to become more competitive in both those 2 export markets for Tasmania. Not only must further emphasis be placed on, for instance, the availability of ships to carry efficiently delicate cargoes such as these to the market, but new methods of lowering freight rates in real terms are vital to the marketing of these crops. Every time tree pull takes a case of apples, for instance, off the world market it is replaced by a case from one of our international competitors, frequently with heavily subsidised alternative products. By that I do not mean anything different from apples, but I do mean apples from other areas which are competitive with the State of Tasmania.

The industry- in fact any industry- can never progress if investment shies away and conditions of gloom pertain, with no confidence in the future. The need to innovate, the need to change production methods under new economic circumstances can be destroyed. There is a new demand that affects horticultural industriesmight I add, particularly those in Tasmania- and I refer to demand today from the world scene for the supply of bulk apple juice. There have been several very real and big demands along these lines over the last 12 months through the Australian apple industry. There is a demand for various berry fruits, and a while ago I quoted black currants as being one case in point. Yet the scheme is never aimed at telling people what they should aim to grow if they seek assistance by way of loans and agree to take out their particular orchard within the terms of the legislation. Maybe there is even an increasing demand for cider. I think that there are 2 varieties of cider- one that is and one that is not- but I do believe that there is the possibility for potential extra marketing of the apple crop by virtue of that particular outlet.

In Tasmania where, as I said a moment ago, orchards are rapidly becoming decimated, the need for restructuring old orchards into new plantings and new spacings is paramount to the future of that State. This Bill is called a fruitgrowing reconstruction Bill, it is not termed an orchard eradication Bill. Yet when I look at the Bill itself I ponder whether the Government’s thinking has gone far enough in this particular way. In my view, the Government has missed a golden opportunity to inject finance and confidence into the horticultural industries by a proper plan of replenishment. Talking of confidence, we saw today the finish, I believe, of all rural support of and confidence in this Government. We were treated this morning to the spectacle of the Labor Party voting to disallow a vote to be taken on a motion to continue the superphosphate bounty until 1977.

Mr Fisher:

– They showed their real form.

Mr GILES:

– It showed where their real sympathies did or did not lie. This morning the honourable members for Braddon (Mr Davies), Bass (Mr Barnard), Wilmot (Mr Duthie) and Franklin (Mr Sherry) voted to disallow a continuation of the subsidy on superphosphate. It is a measure of their lack of concern for rural areas. The farming community of Tasmania in particular should note this fact as it will have already noted the statement made by the Minister for Transport (Mr Charles Jones) that Newcastle is numerically more important than Tasmania. The price of superphosphate is vital to any small State that needs to export most of its rural production. More effective and efficient freight service to the mainland and overseas remains the most important single factor penalising the v ellbeing of the fruit industry and other industries in island States such as Tasmania. An industry leader from Tasmania told me last weekend that on several occasions this Government had been requested to allow replanting of orchards for varietal reconstruction as a vital ingredient in any restructuring. These requests have not been heeded.

The wholesale destruction of orchards has continued apace for short-term reasons. These farmers are now left with acres of land incapable under current economic circumstances of supporting alternative rural production. Social upheaval has, I believe, already resulted and main street traders in country towns are experiencing difficulty as accounts are not paid. Growing inflation is tearing the heart out of both economic areas. Unless prompt action is taken to reconstruct these areas, skills acquired over many years and many hours of hard work will be lost and the future of Tasmania in particular as a rural State will indeed be bleak. I seek the immediate reassessment of this Bill and its philosophy. The Opposition supports the Bill but sounds the warning that a measure of this nature is only a palliative, purely a short-term answer to a long-term problem. I do not believe that the Government, as far as we are aware of its thinking, has attempted to overcome this problem.

I am leading tonight for the Opposition as the Secretary of its Rural Committee. I do so with a great deal of pleasure. Having spent a day and a half in Tasmania recently I do not pretend for one minute to know all the answers of the difficulties of those areas. I am quite sure of one thing, that is, that the difficulties that are apparent in Tasmania are to a major degree the difficulties of small farmers in this country. However, these difficulties are greater, for instance, than the difficulties being faced in this respect in my own area. I must thank the people of Tasmania for their generosity and traditional hospitality in trying to acquaint me with those facts as rapidly as possible. Although the Opposition supports this Bill I point out that it is purely a continuation of the legislation introduced by the previous Government. Therefore, why should we not support the Bill? I have pointed out that it is 2Vi years since the introduction of the tree pull scheme. I believe that the Government should have struck some philosophic attitude and determined when the scheme, which enjoyed initial success and was responsible for cutting out so many orchards in Victoria, and more particularly in Tasmania, should cease and when emphasis should be put on proper reconstruction. I note that the Government has the nerve to give this Bill that title.

Mr SHERRY:
Franklin

-The one portion of the speech of the honourable member for Angas (Mr Giles) with which I am in total accord is his observation that the people of Tasmania always welcome visitors to that State. Even the ubiquitous, complex and conflicting honourable member for Angas is always welcome in our State; that is a measure of our generosity. I am fascinated to hear some of the comments that were made by the honourable member. He said- I think I quote him correctlythat after 2 years the Labor Government’s philosophy ought to emerge. Might I reply to that by saying that we were waiting for 23 years for the policy of his Party on this issue to emerge. I do not mean to be personal almost on Christmas Eve at the end of a session. But I must take the honourable member up on his facts.

I welcome this short Bill introduced by the Government as being a very real and tangible expression of its desire to assist in combating what I would prefer to call the ravages that are affecting the fruit industry at the moment, particularly in my own State of Tasmania. Certainly, as the House would be aware, my electorate has made and is still making a great contribution to the economy of the State and also to Australia as a whole. This industry in Tasmania has faced extraordinary problems and difficulties over a great number of years. A survey carried out recently in the Huon Valley area of my electorate, which I might say produces a great amount of fruit and- if I may be so bold as to say- the best quality fruit, clearly shows that the years from 1967 to 1972 were in fact the crucial years for this industry as far as incomes for orchardists were concerned. These were the years of the Liberal-Country Party administration in this Parliament. It is all too easy and it is all too easily forgotten by critics of this Government that the significant years- the dramatic years or the traumatic years if you like- of the downturn in the fruit industry in my own State were the years 1967 to 1972.

Mr Giles:

– When we introduced the Bill.

Mr SHERRY:

– I remind the honourable member for Angas that on one occasion then I attempted in this Parliament to move certain amendments on this legislation at about 4.20 a.m. and was cut off from even speaking. The Minister for Agriculture (Senator Wriedt) who is a Tasmanian colleague of mine has clearly shown and still shows a great desire to assist in a tangible way the fruit growing industry in Tasmania. I now wish to refer to the fruit growing reconstruction scheme as it applies to my own State. To 3 1 October this year some 4,977 acres of apples and 272 acres of pears have been approved to be pulled in Tasmania. The total approved payments to growers to 3 1 October this year for the removal of apple and pear trees under the scheme in Tasmania amounted to $1,229,814.

Mr Giles:

– That was our Bill and not yours.

Mr SHERRY:

– Exactly, I am not questioning that. I am merely pointing out to the honourable member in a quite deliberate fashion the amount of money this Government has provided under this scheme. I might mention the post revaluation adjustment to the industry in my State. The assistance announced in November 1973 provided for a grant of up to $1,500 per grower, depending on the volume of fruit and a supplementary grant of $1,000 for those in extreme financial difficulty who applied for clear fell under the fruit growing reconstruction scheme by 30 June 1972. To date payments amounting to $946,000 have been made under the scheme to fruit growers in Tasmania.

There can be no doubt that the Tasmanian industry has been very hard hit by a great number of factors, not the least of course being the British decision to enter the European Economic Community. Rising freight rates certainly have been a key element in the cost factor. Uncertainty and instability in shipping arrangements have also exacerbated this problem. But it is becoming quite clear that there has to be a radical and far reaching change in the industry. This Bill recognises the need for that change. Apart from the complete measures announced in the Bill, a key clause provides an opportunity to remove a restriction imposed on growers who applied for assistance before 1 July 1973 and who withdrew their applications after the first extension of the scheme was announced. Such growers will now be eligible to apply again under this scheme. I think that has to be commended.

These measures are very welcome. Because of the very great regard I have for the producers in my own electorate I am quite certain that what has been done by this Government in the last couple of years has been welcomed by them. The producers have had a most difficult and trying period, but they certainly have responded in a way that demonstrates their real desire and their ability to recognise that circumstances of changing conditions, market needs and indeed the world demand, have altered the whole approach of the fruit industry. I welcome this measure as yet another example of the Government’s determination to assist in a practical and tangible fashion an industry that still has a very great contribution to make to the economy not only of Tasmania but of Australia as a whole. I support the measure.

Mr LLOYD:
Murray

-Mr Speaker-

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

Third Reading

Motion (by Mr Daly)- by leave- proposed:

That the Bill be now read a third time.

Mr LLOYD:
Murrary

-Mr Speaker, I wish to put several questons to the Minister for Northern Development (Dr Patterson) concerning sugar -

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

page 4713

CUSTOMS TARIFF VALIDATION BILL

(No. 3) 1974

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 4 December on motion byDrJ.F. Cairns:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Dr EDWARDS:
Berowra

-The tariff proposals before the House shed light, firstly, on what the Government’s tariff policy is or is supposed to be- so far as it has one independently of its own creation and until recently its master, the Industries Assistance Commission; and secondly, what its tariff policy is not, or rather the tatters into which its policy has or is falling. What the policy set out to be- under the single minded espousal by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) of so-called tariff reform that is, when he was a strong Rattigan man- was this: That as quickly as possible as many tariff rates as possible should be brought to one level of the order of 25 per cent or thereabouts. As practical industrialists would put it, ‘what cannot survive at 25 per cent is dispensable’. Thus we find when we look at the proposals being validated by this Bill that in the case of fibre board containers, paper and textile bags, the tariff is to be 25 per cent, and for photographic and cinematographic apparatus it is to be 20 per cent. But that 20 per cent was reduced. Perhaps nothing could better illustrate some of the doctrinaire stupidity or folly of what has been done than the fact that the rate was reduced from 20 per cent- recommended by the tariff board after a long and protracted inquiry- to 15 per cent simply because that report was brought in just a little before the 25 per cent tariff cut last year- and despite the fact that at that time a significant revaluation of currency had also been effected, the rate was set at that level.

If we look at the other rates we see the same pattern emerging. But as I have said on a number of occasions, that approach to tariff and industry policy is not a valid nor, in the long run, a feasible approach. That the Government has changed its own view is clear from the last of the proposals which I wish to mention- the proposal of 13 November 1974 which had the effect of increasing the motor vehicle rate by 10 percentage points to 45 per cent. That contrasts with this pattern of rates that we have seen, together with the proposed rates for the electrical industry, the domestic appliances industry and indeed initially for the motor car industry, all were at the rate of 25 per cent. So I repeat that the proposals before the House, taken together with those rates, indicate what the policy was or was supposed to be. The divergent proposal in relation to the motor industry- which I might inform the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) I entirely support- is an indication of the state of confusion into which the policy has fallen.

I conclude on this note: All this is not to suggest, and the Opposition would not suggest, that changes in tariffs and some restructuring of industry should not be made. I stress as I have done on other occasions that the previous Government did not rest content with the level of tariffs. It was the previous Government which instituted the systematic review of the tariff and enlarged the resources of the Tariff Board to do so. The burden of the criticism in my remarks is that, what changes would result in an improvement in the use of the nation’s resources in accordance with our national objectives is a very complex issue and not one to be determined by reference to a theoretical uniform standard rate of the order of 25 per cent. In particular Australians are committed, and the Government is learning this, to a big Australia, a diversified Australia with a broadly based and dynamic manufacturing sector. I say as categorically as I can that the Liberal and Country Parties in this Parliament are unequivocally so committed, to adequate and consistent protection to industries that warrant it. The alternative to which I suspect the Industries Assistance Commission would direct us is an Australia with perhaps a somewhat higher income per head but less industrialised, more heavily dependent on its rural and mining export industries and on imports for much of its manufactures. I repeat that is not the sort of Australia that Australians have traditionally opted for and not what the majority of Australians want today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Mr Daly) read a third time. PARLIAMENT BILL 1974 In Committee

Consideration of Senate’s amendments.

Senate’s amendments-

  1. Leave out clause 3, insert the following clause: ‘3. In this Act “Parliamentary zone” means the area of land bounded by the lines commencing at a point where Commonwealth Avenue intersects State Circle marked A, and thence in a northerly direction along Commonwealth Avenue to Lake Burley Griffin at a point marked B, and thence extending in an easterly direction along the shore of Lake Burley Griffin to a point where Kings Avenue intersects with the said Lake shore marked C, and thence in a southwesterly direction along Kings Avenue to State Circle at a point marked D, and thence in a westerly direction along State Circle to the point of commencement excepting therefrom the Parliamentary grounds. ‘.
  2. Leave out clause 4, insert the following clauses: ‘4. The new and permanent Parliament House proposed to be constructed after the commencement of this Act shall be constructed upon the site on Capital Hill marked “Site of Parliament House ‘ ‘ on the plan set out in the Schedule. ‘5. Except in accordance with a resolution of both Houses . of the Parliament, no building or other work shall be erected within the Parliamentary grounds or within the Parliamentary zone.’.
  3. Leave out the Schedule, insert the following Schedule:
Mr UREN:
Minister for Urban and Regional Development · Reid · ALP

– I move:

The Committee will recall that this Bill was introduced by my colleague, the honourable member for Burke (Mr Keith Johnson) and was amended by this chamber. Subsequently, the Senate accepted further amendments from Senator Withers which largely implemented the ideas of Senator Wright who has been overseas. The Senate amendments have been considered by several members and senators representative of both Houses and all parties. It has been agreed between these representatives, one of whom was Senator Withers, that there should be further amendments to make the Bill more workable.

Mr SINCLAIR:
New England

-The Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) has expressed quite adequately the consensus that was reached within the Senate. Although the matter emerges in this Committee as one of personal decision, the Opposition Parties are in accord with the general consensus reached in the Senate. Therefore, we offer no objection to the proposals offered by the Minister.

Amendment to the amendment agreed to.

Senate amendment No. 1, as amended, agreed to.

Motion (by Mr Uren) proposed:

That Senate Amendment No. 2 be amended by omitting clause5 and substituting the following clause: 5 ( 1 ) No building or other work is to be erected on land within the Parliamentary zone unless the Minister has caused a proposal for the erection of the building or work to be laid before each House of the Parliament and the proposal has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

Sub-section (1) does not prevent the carrying out of work by way of maintenance or repair of buildings or works situated on land within the Parliamentary zone, or by way of internal alterations to those buildings or works.

Sub-section ( 1 ) does not apply to buildings and works which have reached the documentation stage by1 December 1974.’

Mr GILES:
Angas

– I wish to ask a question on this amendment. I understand that, as the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) has just said, any building within the triangle should remain in the jurisdiction of the Parliament. I understand also that the administration of the triangle, as the

Minister said, should be in the jurisdiction of Parliament. What I am not quite clear about is whether it is envisaged in his form of words, which I could not hear perhaps as clearly as I wished, that the East Block and the West Block within the parliamentary triangle are necessarily to be abolished or whether, if they remain, they will be entirely under the jurisdiction and the administration of the Parliament or whether Treasury blocks of that nature are, as part of a department, ipso facto, under this amendment, already under the control of the Parliament. Could the Minister clear up that point?

Mr UREN:
Minister for Urban and Regional Development · Reid · ALP

– I think that the concept sought by the amendment which I moved originally did not take in the Treasury buildings or the administration block which is called East Block. It was just a small block. Might I say with respect to the amendment which has been moved by the Senate and which this Committee has now accepted- this discussion should have been raised on the first amendment and not on this amendment- that the amendment does in fact take this aspect into account. I understand from the National Capital Development Commission that there would be no administrative difficulties that could not be overcome in respect of the amendments that I have moved.

Mr DRURY:
Ryan

– I am thinking of the area between Capital Hill and Camp Hill. I feel that it is most desirable that steps should be taken if necessary to ensure that no building be erected in any way on that zone; in other words, that the whole area between Capital Hill and Camp Hill and Parkes Place be pan of the protected parliamentary zone under the control of Parliament itself.

Mr UREN:
Minister for Urban and Regional Development · Reid · ALP

– I know that the honourable member for Ryan (Mr Drury) has taken a great interest in the discussion as to the location of the New and Permanent Parliament House. This amendment does take the point raised by the honourable member into account. Nothing can be done without the permission of Parliament in relation to that area. The amendment is clear in that respect.

Amendment to the amendment agreed to.

Senate amendment No. 2, as amended, agreed to.

Motion (by Mr Uren) agreed to:

That Senate amendment No. 3 be agreed to.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

page 4717

ADVANCE TO THE TREASURER 1973-74

In Committee

Statement- by leave- taken as a whole.

Mr CREAN:
Treasurer · Melbourne Ports · ALP

– I wish to say a few words about this matter as there seems to be some misunderstanding as to what the measure is. If honourable members study the document, they will see that it refers to the financial year ended June 1974. This is a formal statement that comes every year. I think honourable members are aware of what is called the Advance to the Treasurer. One propounds a budget which shows the amount which one is reasonably certain will be required but there is always what is called the contingencies or the Treasurer’s Advance. In fact, there are 2 Treasurer’s Advances. There is a Treasurer’s Advance in respect of the ordinary annual service and there is a Treasurer’s Advance in respect of capital works. In my very young days in this Parliament I think the Treasurer’s Advance on each account was as low as about £ 10m or $20m. Progressively this amount has risen. If honourable senators consult the Budget for 1974-75 they will find that in each case this amount has risen to $75m. One needs only to think of things like the wool situation where suddenly the Government has to find a sum like $25m pending the passage oflegislation

This amount is carried in the Treasurer’s Advance. It is an abstract of the amounts spent during the year 1973-74 which subsequent have been transferred out of Treasurer’s Advance and into the appropriate departments. Really, this is a catalogue. It is more a matter of record than anything else. The usual thing in the past has been for the Treasurer’s Advance to be adopted. But like anything else it has to come to Parliament for sanctification or ratification, whichever way one might choose to look at it. I do not think there is anything else I need add. Oddly enough, I think the document was circulated months ago. It is usually left until the end of the session. If honourable members want to talk about any particular items they are welcome to do so, but it is history rather than anything else.

Mr SINCLAIR:
New England

– I want to say 3 things. The first thing I want to say is by way of sorrow rather than anger. All of us in this chamber realise that Mr Crean, the man who has just spoken to the Parliament, is making his statement for the last time as Treasurer. I guess that all of us who have been in this chamber for some time have known him in that role, be it in Opposition when he was spokesman for the Australian Labor Party on matters pertaining to the economy or since the election of the Labor Party when he has been the Treasurer. I think few men in the House have been as well qualified academically to occupy the position which he has occupied. The record of his achievement, unfortunately, has not necessarily been the way tha’ he would have had it. In other words, I do not believe that the present turmoil in the Australian economy is so much the result of the present Treasurer’s intervention as the product of other decisions which he had little power to arrest.

As spokesman for the Opposition I pay him a compliment as a man. I extend to him the profound regrets that the machinations of his Party see this as the last occasion on which he will speak to us as Treasurer. The second thing I say is, I think, of importance to this Parliament. We all recognise the degree to which the Advance to the Treasurer can be as a cloak to cover all sorts of allocations of money. Some of us on this side of the House sometimes wonder, in looking at the way in which money has been spent in 1973-74, whether it should have been spent in that way. We believe that the Advance to the Treasurer is essential and accordingly we do not oppose the measure. But the Advance to the Treasurer is an area within which a government must exercise fundamental responsibility. There should be only a limited number of areas in which the Advance to the Treasurer should cover the expenditure of money. Normally the advance to the Treasurer should be used peculiarly for expenditure items which cannot reasonably be covered by legislation submitted to Parliament. Tragically, I do not believe that in the last 2 years that has always been so. In fact, a number of significant items have been taken out of the Advance to the Treasurer and therefore have not come before the Parliament in the manner or at the time they should have.

Time is short and I am conscious of an automatic adjournment. The third thing I want to say is that I wonder whether the Advance to the Treasurer, being in retrospect as it is, is a valid way for this record to be presented to Parliament. Of course it is valid in normal parliamentary procedures. Considering the concern of all of us on this side of the House at the way in which Treasury funds are expended, I see reason for this type of legislation to come in a little more at a time when the money is being spent. I do not know whether it can come in advance of the money or by way of an interim accounting to Parliament, but I believe it is necessary that the Treasury look at ways by which there can be a greater accountability to the Parliament if there is to be such a considerable range of expenditure authorised within this account. The Opposition accepts the measure which is proposed. We query the extent of its use and the degree to which, it having been so extended, the account should be rendered so late.

Mr CREAN:
Treasurer · Melbourne Ports · ALP

– I thank the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair) for his observations. I hope they are not regarded as condolences.

Mr Sinclair:

– That was not intended.

Mr CREAN:

– I thank the honourable member. I think it ought to be acknowledged that the Treasurer’s Advance cannot be used for anything one likes. Ultimately it has to be accounted for. If honourable members read the words which are used when the Budget is presented they will see that there is no difference in my time to the words which were always used. It always reminds me of the famous period of the South Sea Bubble where somebody floated a company for a purpose which was yet to be decided. I have much the same reservations about the words used in relation to the Treasurer’s Advance. It is used for purposes which, subsequently, will have to be presented to Parliament. No matter what happens no dollar of expenditure can be incurred without ultimate sanction.

The expenditure in the Budget this year is over $16 billion. The total of the 2 Treasurer’s Advances is of a magnitude of $ 150m. That is less than 1 per cent. Because of the margins of change rather than the margins of error I agree with the honourable member that the Treasurer’s Advance ought to be debated in that sort of dead period between the Budget Speech and when Parliament decides to advance the money. The document comes in at about that time. There would be some occasion which could be used as a preliminary joust, if honourable members like to put it that way. The way the matter is dealt with now is largely as a result of recommendations made a number of years ago by the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts. I agree that it is a pity, in a way, that we cannot debate the matter. But unfortunately, what we are doing tonight, is giving sanction to the appropriation of every dollar which has come out of the Treasurer’s Advance. Whether we have long enough to debate it is a difficult question. I am not too sure that debates about the past are quite so important as debates about the future.

Statment agreed to.

Motion ( by Mr Crean ) agreed to:

That the following resolution be reported to the House: The Committee agrees with the statement for the year 1973-74 of heads of expenditure and the amounts charged thereto pursuant to section 36a of the Audit Act 1 90 1- 1 969.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

page 4718

ADJOURNMENT

Mr SPEAKER:

-Order! It being 10.30 p.m., and in accordance with the order of the House of 1 1 July, I propose the question:

That the House do now adjourn.

Mr Daly:

- Mr Speaker, I require that the question be put forthwith without debate.

Question resolved in the negative.

page 4718

WOOL INDUSTRY BILL (No. 2) 1974

Bill returned from the Senate with amendments.

Motion (by Dr Patterson) agreed to:

That the amendments be taken into consideration in Committee of the Whole House forthwith.

In Committee

Consideration of Senate’s amendments.

Senate’s amendment No. 1-

Leave out clause 5.

Senate ‘s amendment No. 2-

Leave out clause 8. Clause 9.

After section 20 of the Principal Act the following section is inserted: ‘20a. (1) Before taking any action that could reasonably be expected to affect the conditions of employment, or the demand for labour, in the wool industry, the Corporation shall consult with, and have regard to the views of, the appropriate trade union organizations. ‘(2) The Minister may give to the Corporation such directions in writing as he thinks necessary in connexion with the performance of the duty of the Corporation under subsection (1).’.

Senate’s amendment No. 3-

At end of proposed sub-section 20a ( 1 ), add ‘and appropriate employer groups’.

Senate’s amendment No. 4-

Leave out proposed sub-section 20a (2).

Clause 12.

After section 39 of the Principal Act the following section is inserted: ‘39a. Without limiting the functions of the Corporation under section 38, the functions of the Corporation include, to such extent as the Minister approves, trading in wool and wool products, acquiring and supplying wool for the purposes of programs of aid by Australia to other countries, and manufacturing, or arranging for the manufacture, of wool products.’.

Senate ‘s amendment No. 5-

Leave out ‘acquiring and ‘.

Senate’s amendment No. 6-

Leave out ‘and manufacturing, ‘.

Clause 13.

Section 40 of the Principal Act is amended-

Senate ‘s amendment No. 7-

In paragraph (c) of proposed section 40, line 38, leave out ‘process, or’.

Senate’s amendment No. 8-

Leave out clause 18.

Dr PATTERSON:
Minister for Northern Development and Minister for the Northern Territory · Dawson · ALP

– I move:

That the amendments be disagreed to.

The reason for the motion is that this Bill is designed as a complementary set of arrangements for the wool industry. By varying some aspects of this Bill other aspects are affected and weakened. The Government believes that the Bill should stand as printed. When this Bill was last being considered in this place certain amendments were moved by the Opposition. Some of them apparently have been agreed to in another place. The amendments that were moved here were fully debated and votes were taken. The Government has considered the amendments made in the other place and, for the reasons given, does not accept them. I repeat that the whole Bill is designed as a complementary set of arrangements for the industry and in the Government’s opinion it would be weakened if any of these amendments were inserted in the original amending Bill.

Mr SINCLAIR:
New England

– While I have a great respect for the capabilities of the Minister for Northern Development (Dr Patterson) I am afraid that the reasons he has just given do not strike at the root of the reasons for the changes that the Opposition moved. For that reason the Opposition does not accept that the amendments that have been made in another place should be rejected by the Committee. I do not want to canvass the amendments again. As the Minister has said, we had an adequate debate on them on another occasion. I do not believe that they in any way weaken the clauses of the Bill. The whole purport of this type of legislation is not to embark on negotiations with a gun at the forehead, which would seem to be the attitude of the Minister for Agriculture (Senator Wriedt) towards primary industry. Rather there should be a sense of sweet reason.

We have accepted that in a number of areas there are significant reasons for a variation of the role of the Australian Wool Corporation. This attitude comes from discussion with the industry, producers and processors- those handling the wool from when it is taken from the sheep ‘s back till it arrives at the ship’s side. The legislation is intended to.preserve the opportunity for profitable production, profitable processing and profitable sale of wool in the future. We believe that the amendments that we have proposed in fact strengthen the legislation and do not weaken it. For that reason the Opposition intends to persist with the amendments and does not accept the proposition now advanced to this chamber by the Minister.

I would like to say a number of words on three of the amendments we are dealing with in toto. They are the Senate amendments nos 5, 6 and 7. They were not discussed in this place. I am concerned with 2 aspects. The first is that there should be within the Australian Wool Corporation an adequacy of powers to ensure that the ability of the Corporation to penetrate the United States of America market, for example, is not prejudiced by any changes we make to the powers the Corporation is to be given. The Corporation presently has no ablility to manufacture or process wool. For that reason we can understand the other place having made amendments to the legislation suggesting that at the moment those powers are redundant.

With respect to the deletion of the words ‘acquiring and’ from clause 12 we see that the supplying of wool for the purposes of programs of aid by Australia means that in some way the wool has to be acquired, and we believe that the word ‘supply’ embraces in a generic sense the Australian Wool Corporation’s being empowered in some way to acquire the wool so that it might supply it. It would seem necessary that it be so interpreted.

With respect to the manufacturing and processing, however, for the time being we accept that these powers are not essential for the Australian Wool Corporation. The Opposition, however, would be prepared to accept any amendment to the legislation which the Minister might subsequently feel inclined to press if the Wool Corporation found itself unable to function as it is suggested it should. For that reason we go along with the amendments that have been made by the Senate. We express the belief that at some future stage these powers may need to be given to the Corporation, but we suggest that for the time being it is adequate that the Bill as amended by the Senate be carried. If at any stage the Corporation finds itself inhibited we request the Minister to refer the legislation back to the Parliament. He will find the Opposition only too prepared to be co-operative to ensure that the Corporation is in no way inhibited in the exercise of its functions.

Dr PATTERSON:
Minister for Northern Development and Minister for the Northern Territory · Dawson · ALP

– I shall comment briefly on what the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair) said. As I said before, the Government believes that the powers of the Corporation would be weakened if the amendments were accepted. One of the most important aspects of this Bill is that it provides for wider trading powers. The powers provided for in this Bill include the power to manufacture and to process wool if necessary. In other words, there is no hampering of the Wool Corporation. It is all right for members of the Opposition to talk about private enterprise and to go through all the rigmarole and emotionalism connected with this, but the Government wants to give to the Australian Wool Corporation powers which will not hamper it in any way so that it is able to carry out its job in the best interests of the wool industry. It is clearly in the best interests of the wool industry and the growers to ensure that wool is disposed of and promoted to the best advantage.

The Bill provides for one more person with special qualifications to be appointed to the Board. This is because wider expertise is demanded by the wider trading powers of the Corporation. As I pointed out when this Bill was last before us the provision to submit a panel of names to the Minister is the same as a provision in the legislation relating to the Australian Meat Board. The Australian Meat Board does not cavil at it; in fact, it is a democratic idea which is, I believe, welcomed by the Meat Board because it allows a larger number of people to have various types of expertise to be put forward and selected. The same thing happened here. The argument that the Minister would reject them and reject them again is so much nonsense and humbug. The Minister wants to obtain the best possible men for this position on the Corporation and that is what he is attempting to do. I repeat that the whole Bill is designed as a complementary package and that by taking out bits and pieces as the Senate has done simply weakens the whole Bill. The Government will have no part of it.

Amendments disagreed to.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

Motion (by Dr Patterson) agreed to:

That Mr Daly, Mr Whan and the mover be appointed a committee to draw up reasons for the House of Representatives disagreeing to the amendment of the Senate.

Dr PATTERSON:
Minister for Northern Development and Minister for the Northern Territory · Dawson · ALP

-On behalf of the committee appointed to draw up reasons for the House disagreeing to the amendments of the Senate, I bring up such reasons. (Thereupon the Clerk read the reasons as follows)-

Because the Bill was a complementary set of arrangements for the industry.

By varying some aspects others are affected and weakened.

The Government believes that the Bill should stand as printed.

Motion (by Dr Patterson) agreed to:

That the committee ‘s reasons be adopted.

page 4720

WOOL MARKETING (LOAN) BILL (No. 2) 1974

Bill returned from the Senate without amendment.

page 4720

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Motion ( by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to every member of the House of Representatives from the determination of this sitting of the House to the next date of sitting.

page 4720

SPECIAL ADJOURNMENT

Motion ( by Mr Daly ) agreed to:

That the House, at its rising, adjourn until a date and hour to be fixed by Mr Speaker, which time of meeting shall be notified by Mr Speaker to each member by telegram or letter.

page 4720

ADJOURNMENT

Valedictory

Motion ( by Mr Daly )- by leave- agreed to:

That the sessional order in relation to the adjournment of the House be suspended to enable the debate on the adjournment to continue beyond 1 1 p.m.

Mr DALY:
Minister for Services and Property · Grayndler · ALP

– I move:

In the unavoidable absence of the Prime Mininister (Mr Whitlam) who is on an official engagement -

Dr Forbes:

– Why is he not here?

Mr SPEAKER:
Dr Forbes:

– I am entitled to ask.

Mr DALY:

– For the same reason as the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) is not here- he is busy. Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister has delegated me to say a few words in what is the festive season, which seems to have started off in a totally different fashion. I point out to the honourable member for Barker so that it will penetrate that my counterpart on the other side will speak for the Leader of the Opposition who is not here for the same reason as the Prime Minister is not here- because no doubt they are busily engaged on official business. I hope that this has penetrated, that it brings the honourable member up to date and that it puts him in the proper mood to receive the words of wisdom that I am about to give to this Parliament. The problem with speaking on this particular adjournment is to know where to start. I was glancing through Hansard which, in spite of what the honourable member for Gippsland (Mr Nixon) indicated earlier this week, I do frequently read. When I came across this debate for the last day of the sittings in 1973, 1 noted with interest that the honourable member for Flinders (Mr Lynch) indicated that in the year 1974 he was looking to me for a real sense of statesmanship. With all the honesty that I can muster, I hope I fulfilled his best ambitions.

But I must say to him and to his successor as leader of the House for the Opposition, the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair), that I appreciate his assistance and cooperation. They well know that the position of the Leader of the House, on either side, is an onerous one and that this Parliament can function effectively only if there is a measure of cooperation. Both the honourable member for Flinders and the honourable member for New England have been assisted in their duties by their private secretaries, Andrew Hay and Adrian Lynch, who take an active part in the negotiations on the programming of the House behind the scenes. I express my appreciation for their efforts. In this regard I desire to pay tribute also to the Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Mr Arthur Dyster, of the Prime Minister’s Department for his efficient and courteous attention to the detail and work involved with those honourable gentlemen I mentioned a moment ago, in the responsible task of organising the Parliament’s program. I am also not forgetful of the loyalty and work of my own personal staff in this regard.

The list of thank-yous from the Leader of the House is a very long one. I should not wish people to think that by selecting a few persons for mention that I do not appreciate the many courtesies that have been tendered to me during 1974. 1 should like to single out the Clerk of the House, Mr Norm Parkes, and his capable officers who ensure that while we get about the business of politics, the correct forms of the House are carried out. They do this with such a marked degree of impartiality that no one can call into question their dedication to this House. To these persons I extend, on behalf of all honourable members, our sincere thanks for their work in 1 974.

I also wish to place on record my appreciationand that of the Australian Governmentfor the work carried out by the First Parliamentary Counsel, Mr Charles Comans, and his dedicated draftsmen who perform their mammoth task with speed and diligence. The product of their work is seen every day in this House and the quality of the input is clearly demonstrated. I extend also my thanks and appreciation to the Principal Parliamentary Reporter and his staff; to the Parliamentary Librarian and the Library Staff for their assistance in researching many issues that are of interest to members; to the Government Printer and his staff; to the Manager of the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms and his capable staff; to the Transport Officer, Mr Gordon Pike; and also to the attendants and many people around Parliament House without whose efforts we would not be able to carry out our work. Many of these people and the work that they do is unknown to us. But if they were not present, the business of the Parliament would be clearly impeded. To you, Mr Speaker, and the Chairman of Committees, I express my appreciation for your tolerance and understanding in the difficult management of Parliament.

I would also, at this stage, like to read to members some interesting statistics on the work of the House in 1974. This year there have been 62 sitting days; we have sat for approcimately 680 hours; 224 Bills have been introduced; 213 Bills have been passed by this House; there have been 53 adjournment debates; there have been 5 general business days; there have been 5 grievance days; and there have been 5 sittings, I think, after 1 1 p.m.

I should like to extend to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) this message: May the sun once again shine in the Valley of Death; may the coals glow even brighter; may the weak be made strong; may the unbelievers be returned to the fold; and above all else may he enjoy his forthcoming visit to the United States. To the

Australian Country Party I express my best wishes for Christmas and hope that the New Year will realise their worst fears in regard to electoral redistribution. To the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony), who has been seeking a good marriage with the Liberals, I say: May all his hopes come true; may his political bride be liberal, radiant, affectionate, meek and true until knives do us part. I also say to the honourable member for Chisholm (Mr Staley): May he make certain next time that the gun is loaded. To the reluctant challenger from Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser), in the Chisholm compaign for emergence as leader, I say may his breeding and unerring aim take him to the top.

Finally, I wish to express to the Prime Minister of this country our appreciation for the inspiring leadership that he has given to the nation- not only to the Government departments but also to the Parliament. Physically and mentally he walks tall in this country. I extend to him the congratulations not only of Government supporters but also of the people throughout this nation. To him and his family I extend our best wishes for a continued term in the highest position in Australia. Finally, in a really goodwill message that comes to me, may I, even to members of the Country Party, to members of the Liberal Party and their families, to the staff and their families and to all concerned with the workings of this Parliament and democracy in Australia, express on behalf of the Government best wishes for the festive season.

Mr McLEAY:
Boothby

– I am sorry that I am not going to be able to respond in such a happy, friendly way to the Leader of the House (Mr Daly) for what he said a few moments ago which, I think, he said with his tongue in his cheek. Earlier today I was involved in a debate on the Australian Capital Territory and certain things that have happened with respect to the allocation of flats in the A.C.T. During this afternoon I have received some information which I think is of the utmost importance to the nation and which I should like to see incorporated at least in the official Hansard record of what takes place in this House.

Mr Daly:

– If the honourable member continues on that line I will move that the question be put.

Mr Sinclair:

– This has happened on every adjournment.

Mr Daly:

– I will move that the question be put.

Mr McLEAY:

– What I have to put is of far more significance than what you had to say.

Motion (by Mr Daly) proposed:

That the question be now put.

Mr McLeay:

– I raise a point of order.

Mr SPEAKER:

-There is no point of order.

Mr McLeay:

– There had to be provision for smart alecs.

Mr SPEAKER:

-There is no point of order and there can be no debate. The question is: That the question be now put. Those of that opinion say aye, to the contrary no. I think the ayes have it.

Opposition members- The noes have it.

Mr SPEAKER:

-Is a division required?

Opposition members- Yes. (The bells having been rung).

Mr SPEAKER:

-The question is that the question be now put. The ayes will pass to the right of the Chair, the noes to the left. I appoint the honourable members for Burke and Hunter tellers for ayes and the honourable members for Griffith and Calare tellers for the noes.

The question is carried. There are no tellers for the noes.

Question put:

That the House do now adjourn.

The House divided. (Mr Speaker- Hon. J. F. Cope)

AYES: 53

NOES: 42

Majority……. 11

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 11.03 p.m.

page 4725

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS UPON NOTICE

The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated:

Employment and Unemployment (Question No. 1324)

Mr Snedden:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) Do the Budget papers forecast that average actual employment will rise by only 2 per cent during 1974-75, compared to 4.5 per cent growth in 1 973-74.
  2. What is the estimated growth in the work force over the same period.
  3. What is the average level of unemployment implied by these figures.
Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the right honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. Statement No. 2 attached to the Budget Speech indicated that, at that time, employment was forecast to increase by about 2 per cent in 1 974-75, compared with an increase of about 4.7 per cent in 1973-74. The increase in 1974-75 now appears likely to be lower than was forecast at Budget time but remains subject to considerable uncertainty.
  2. The average size of the workforce in 1973-74 was about 2Vi per cent greater than in 1972-73. Growth in 1974-75 will depend on a number of factors- such as population growth, including migration, and participation rateswhich cannot be estimated at all precisely. It is likely, however, that the growth will be somewhat less than in 1 973-74.
  3. It follows that if estimates of the growth in employment and the workforce are open to margins of error, it would be wrong to say that a particular average level of unemployment is implied by such estimates. Plainly, however, average unemployment in 1974-75 will be well above 1973-74 levels.

Treasury Note Yields (Question No. 1355)

Mr Lynch:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

Did he authorise the lowering of Treasury Note yields on 4 October 1974; if not, who did?

Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

A reduction in Treasury Note yields on 4 October 1974 was announced in a Press Release issued on 3 October 1974 by Mr Hayden while I was overseas at that time. I was fully informed of, and fully supported, this action. Had I been physically present in Australia at the time, I would have acted similarly.

Average Personal Disposable Incomes (Question No. 1360)

Mr Lynch:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

Will he provide statistics to show the estimated movement in average personal disposable income between 1972-73 and 1973-74.

Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The estimated movement between 1 972-73 and 1 973-74 in average personal disposable income (now called ‘household disposable income’ is shown in the following table:

Treasury: Foreign Take-overs Branch (Question No. 1361)

Mr Lynch:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What are the national interest criteria which have been adopted by the Foreign Take-overs Branch of his Department in the administration of the Companies ( Foreign Takeovers) Act.

Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The Government has continued to apply the criteria indicated by the former Prime Minister in the course of the statement he made to the House on 26 September 1972 on overseas investment in Australia. The statement defined those criteria as follows: ‘The first criterion to be applied in judging whether a proposed foreign takeover would be against the national interest will be: Whether, against the background of existing circumstances in the industry concerned, the takeover would lead, either directly or indirectly, to net economic benefits in relation to such matters as production, prices, quality and range of products and services, and efficiency and technological change which would be sufficient to justify the increased degree of foreign control of the particular industry that would result from the takeover.

If the proposed takeover is judged to be not against the national interest on this basis, the following additional criteria will also be taken into account: Whether, after the takeover, the firm concerned could be expected to follow practices consistent with Australia’s interest in matters such as exports, imports, local processing materials produced, research and development and industrial relations, including employee protection; and whether the takeover would have adverse consequences in terms of the Government’s objective for defence, environmental protection or regional development.

In making judgments as to whether particular foreign takeovers would be against the national interest on any of the foregoing grounds, due weight will be given to: The extent of Australian participation in ownership and management that would remain after the takeover; and the interests of shareholders of the company subject to the takeover and the attitudes of its board of directors. ‘

Real Earnings (Question No. 1362)

Mr Lynch:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

Will he provide statistics to show the estimated decrease in real earnings during 1974-75, i.e. after adjustment for inflation and taxation, of a person on average weekly earnings claiming average deductions for a wife and two children.

Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

It is expected that there will be an increase in the real after-tax incomes of most wage and salary earners in 1 974-75, but it would be engaging in spurious precision to make a specific arithmetic forecast at this stage of the year.

Australian Capital Territory: Single People (Question No. 1397)

Mr Street:

asked the Special Minister of State, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) How many single people are there in the A.C.T.
  2. What are their ages.
Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP

– The Acting Commonwealth Statistician has provided information in the following table in reply to the honourable member’s question. The information was extracted from the 1 97 1 Census on Population:

Company Taxation (Question No. 1473)

Mr Berinson:
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) As private company tax rates are now equal to public company rates, and as the proposed capital gams and property income taxes will remove most tax minimisation benefits of private company structures, has consideration been given to also equating the treatment of private and public companies in respect of their ability to retain profits for company investment and development.
  2. If so, what conclusion has been reached.
  3. If not, will he undertake such a study and advise the House of its results.
Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The purpose of the retention allowances and undistributed profits tax applicable to private companies is to ensure that an appropriate quantum of the profits of such companies is distributed as dividends to shareholders in whose hands the dividends will bear tax at progressive personal rates. Without these provisions, it would be possible for private company shareholders on high marginal rates to avoid personal tax by retaining profits within the company. Since the proposed surcharge on property income applies to dividends, there will be an added incentive to private company shareholders to seek to shelter profits against liabilities to personal tax. This incentive will be further enhanced by the fact that the proposed capital gains tax will not apply until realisation to increases in share values attributable to ploughed back profits. Thus, so far from the Budget proposals which have been referred to by the honourable member weakening the case for special taxation treatment of private companies, they reinforce it.
  2. and (3) See answer to ( I ).

Murray: Australian Assistance Plan Applications (Question No. 1504)

Mr Lloyd:

asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

  1. What applications have been received by his Department from regional groups or organisations in the Electoral Division of Murray in relation to the Australian Assistance Plan.
  2. What projects have been approved, and what funds are to be provided to which groups and projects.
Mr Hayden:
Minister for Social Security · OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. 1 ) The Electoral Division of Murray includes parts of the Loddon-Campaspe, Goulburn, and North Eastern Regions. An application was received by my Department from the Loddon-Campaspe Region for Australian Assistance Plan funds to establish a Regional Council for Social Development.
  2. Approval was given for an administration grant for salary and administrative costs to the Loddon-Campaspe Regional Council for Social Development (Interim Committee). $2,000 was granted in 1973-74, and up to $40,000 has been approved for both 1974-75 and 1975-76.

Television Licence Fees (Question No. 1519)

Mr Bourchier:

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) With reference to the abolition of television licences in the 1974-75 Budget, is it a fact that motels paid an individual licence fee for each set that they provide as a service to their customers.
  2. If so, did many motel proprietors pay their bulk licensing fee, amounting to many hundreds of dollars, just prior to the date set for the abolition of the licence fee.
  3. If the position is as stated, does the Government agree that these motel operators should be given special consideration and granted a proportionate rebate of their licence fees.
Mr Crean:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. and (2) The Postmaster-General, who is responsible for administering the Broadcasting and Television Act, has advised me that, under the Act, receivers located in individual motel rooms occupied or available for occupation by lodgers were licensed separately. The licences were issued for the normal period of twelve months from date of purchase and, as was the case with other set-owners, were being renewed at various times throughout the year.
  2. No reason is seen why motel operators should be put in a preferred position to other television set owners in this respect. 1 am sure, however, that motel operators, like all other television set owners, would have welcomed the decision to abolish the fees.

Indian Ocean: Presence of Russian Ships (Question No. 1524)

Dr Forbes:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) Can he provide detailed information on the number of ships of the Russian Navy which visited the Indian Ocean during the period August 1973 to date.
  2. If so, how many ship days did these vessels spend in the Indian Ocean.
  3. To what facilities in the area do ships of the Russian Navy have access.
  4. Has any effort been made by the U.S.S.R. to obtain access to additional facilities in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.
  5. Can he provide any details of the number of port visits made by the Russian Navy to countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.
Mr Barnard:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. The detailed information on the number of Soviet naval vessels which visited the Indian Ocean during the period August 1973 to November 1974, to the extent that such information is publicly available is:

The following table represents this presence on a monthly basis:

  1. The total number of ship-days spent by Soviet naval vessels in the Indian Ocean throughout the period was:

The following table gives the number of ship days on a monthly basis:

  1. 3 ) Soviet Navy vessels, in the period August 1 973 to date, had access to facilities in the ports listed in the answer to part 5 of the question below. The range of facilities would have varied from port to port. Further relevant information is contained in my answer to an earlier and similar question. I refer to the answer to question 905 in the Hansard for 22 October 1973.
  2. I do not know what approaches- additional to those reflected by the activities referred to in ( 5 ) below- the Soviet Union may have made which either were unsuccessful or have yet to result in a port visit and the use of port facilities.
  3. During the period August 1973 to November 1974 Soviet naval vessels are known to have conducted port visits in Indian Ocean littoral countries as follows:

Soviet naval vessels visited other ports in the northwestern Indian Ocean, including Iraq, Somalia and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yeman, and Egyptian Red Sea ports, but details of those visits are not available.

Livestock Supplies to Developing Countries (Question No. 1525)

Mr Hyde:
MOORE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) Does the Government have plans to supply livestock for breeding purposes to developing countries.
  2. If so, (a) to what countries is it intended to supply livestock, (b) what are the numbers of each breed and sex that will be required and (c) what procedures will be adopted to purchase the animals within Australia.
Mr Whitlam:
ALP

– The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. Yes.
  2. (a) India, Bhutan, Burma and Korea.

    1. To India: 97 Jersey heifers, 86 Friesian heifers, 7 Jersey bulls, 950 Corriedale ewes and 50 Corriedale rams. To Bhutan: 25 Jersey heifers and 7 Jersey bulls. To Burma: 50 Corriedale rams. To Korea: 350 Polwarth ewes
    2. Public tenders were invited for the cattle while purchases of the sheep have been and are being negotiated with members of the Corriedale and Polwarth Breeding Societies.

Milk Products (Question No. 1527)

Mr James:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) What quantity of milk was imported into New South Wales from Victoria in each of the last 5 years.
  2. What quantity of (a) cheese, (b) powdered milk and (c) curded milk was imported from New Zealand into (i) New South Wales and (ii) Australia in each of the last 5 years.
  3. What milk products were brought into (a) New South Wales and (b) Australia in each of the last 5 years.
Dr Patterson:
ALP

– The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. My Department has been informed that statistics of interstate milk movement are not maintained by the relevant authority in either State. I am sorry therefore that I cannot provide the information sought.
  2. Imports from New Zealand in each of the last five years have been as follows:

Note: The Australian Statistician does not record curded milk imports separately from cheese imports.

  1. Imports of dairy products from all countries into New South Wales and Australia during the past five years have been as follows:

Invalid Pensions: Chronic Alcoholism (Question No. 1536)

Mr Snedden:

asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

How many people suffering from chronic alcoholism are in receipt of an invalid pension.

Mr Hayden:
ALP

– The answer to the right honourable member’s question is as follows:

The information sought by the right honourable member is not available.

Invalid Pensions (Question No. 1538)

Mr Snedden:

asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

  1. What are the categories for the granting of invalid pensions.
  2. How many people, men and women, are in each category.
  3. ) What is the age structure of recipients in each category.
Mr Hayden:
ALP

– The answer to the right honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. 1 ) An invalid pension may be granted to a person who: is residing in, and is physically present in, Australia; is not less than 1 6 years of age; is permanently incapacitated for work to the extent of 85 per cent or permanently blind and became so incapacitated in Australia, and satisfies the means test.

A claimant who became permanently incapacitated for work or permanently blind while outside Australia may be deemed to have become permanently incapacitated for work in Australia if he has lived in the country continuously for 10 years at any time.

In certain special circumstances invalid pensions may be granted to people outside Australia.

  1. and (3) Table 1 shows the number of invalid pensioners as at 30 June 1 974 classified by sex and by age.

Any discrepancies between totals and sums of components are due to rounding.

The right honourable member may be interested to know that a morbidity survey of invalid pensioners in New South Wales and Victoria, aged 2 1 years and over, was conducted in respect of November 1970 from which data relating to major cause of disability was obtained. Table 2 has been prepared by applying the percentage distribution of Invalid Pensions by major cause of disability obtained from that survey to the number of Invalid Pensioners in Australia at November 1970.

Research Grants Advisory Committee (Question No. 1695)

Mr Snedden:

asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) What is the function and composition of the Research Grants Advisory Committee established by the Social Welfare Commission under section 1 7 of its Act.
  2. What progress has the committee made to date.
Mr Hayden:
ALP

– The answer to the right honourable members question is as follows:

The Research Advisory Committee assesses all research proposed under the aegis of the Social Welfare Commission. It then advises the Commission regarding methodological considerations and relative priorities with respect to particular research proposals, but does not itself determine priorities among areas of research to be conducted. The Committee acts as an Advisory body on research methodology generally and is not merely a Research Grants Committee.

The Research Advisory Committee is comprised of the following three members:

Professor Ray Drown, School of Social Sciences, Flinders University.

Professor John Lawrence, School of Social Work, University of New South Wales.

Dr Jean Martin, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.

The Research Advisory Committee has reviewed a number of proposals and is continuing to advise the Commission regarding its research objectives.

Merrett Rifle Range Relocation (Question No. 1712)

Mr Snedden:

asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) With reference to the answer to question No. 349 (Hansard, 23 August 1974, page 1 186) in which he indicated that it is established policy to re-locate the Merrett Rifle Range at Williamstown, Melbourne, what progress has been made in its re-location.
  2. How much of the 300 acres of the range has been released to date.
Mr Barnard:
ALP

– The answer to the right honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. 1 ) A Joint Committee, representative of the Australian and State Governments has been set up to examine and report to both governments on possible alternative areas. A number of sites have been listed for detailed examination on the ground and these examinations are proceeding.
  2. Approximately 120 acres (48.6 ha) by disposal, leasing and permissive occupance

Phosphate Rock: Price (Question No. 1783)

Mr Lloyd:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, upon notice:

What is the present f.o.b. price of rock phosphate from (a) Morocco, (b) Nauru, (c) Christmas Island and (d) Ocean Island.

Dr Patterson:
ALP

– The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

The most recent prices quoted for phosphate rock from Morocco range from US$70.88 to US$75.00 ($A54.02 to $A57. 16) per tonne f.o.b., depending upon the grade of rock. The price of phosphate from Morocco, the world’s leading exporter, influences the price of Florida rock and phosphate sold on the world market from other sources. The prices of Nauru and Ocean Island rock vary directly in relation to the. Florida price which is quoted at US$47.50 ($A36.20) per tonne f.o.b.

The f.o.b. prices for different grades of rock from Nauru and Ocean Island for use in Australia are negotiated by the British Phosphate Commissioners under fixed contracts and are treated as confidential by the parties involved.

Christmas Island phosphate rock is not traded on the world market but rather mined by the Christmas Island Phosphate Commission for use in Australia and New Zealand. The current f.o.b. contract price for high grade Christmas Island phosphate, based on production costs, is $A7.00 per tonne.

Dried Milk: Contamination (Question No. 1812)

Mr Garland:

asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) Did he and other Ministers sign a statement indicating that Australian dried milk was not contaminated with radioactive material.
  2. If so, who signed the statement, on what date, and to whom was it addressed.
  3. Why was it necessary to send such a statement, and what were all the circumstances.
Dr Cass:
ALP

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows:

  1. No, but on 18 October, the Minister for Agriculture, the Minister for Health and I jointly issued a Press statement that allegations being made in Taiwan that southern hemisphere milk powders contained possibly high levels of radioiodine were quite unfounded.
  2. See reply to Part (1).
  3. The need for such a statement as issued (see Part 1 above) was to counter the allegations which were apparently being made to cause fear in the minds of consumers of Australian dairy products on the island of Taiwan. Unfounded reports of this nature might also have had repercussions in other markets of importance to Australia in that region.

Rural Producers: Gross Income (Question No. 1830)

Dr Klugman:

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, upon notice:

  1. 1 ) Has the Minister’s attention been drawn to an article by Mr E.J. Donath, Lecturer in Economic Geography, in the ‘Age’ of 18November 1974.
  2. If so, does Mr Donath claim that wheatgrowers’ income is likely to be $l,000m in 1974-75; i.e., 170 per cent more than in 1972-73.
  3. If so, is this estimate correct; if not, what is the real position.
  4. Does Mr Donath also claim that the gross value of all crops grown in Australia in 1 974-75 is estimated at $2, 850m; i.e., 80 per cent more than in 1 972-73.
  5. ) If so, is this estimate correct, if not, what is the real position.
  6. Does he also claim that potato growers will more than double their 1972-73 income.
  7. If so, is this estimate correct; if not, what is the real position.
Dr Patterson:
ALP

– The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. The Minister’s attention was drawn to the article by Mr E. J. Donath in the ‘Age ‘ of 1 8 November 1 974.
  2. Yes.
  3. In September 1974, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimated the gross value of the 1974-75 wheat crop at $851m compared with $357m for 1972-73. A revised estimate, which will take into account the possible effects of the September devaluation and revised estimates of production from this season’s wheat crop will be published in midDecember 1974. These figures however, are not the same as gross income. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics does not publish figures of wheatgrowers’ gross income in a particular year due to problems arising from the timing of pool payments and the income earned from other farm enterprises by a wheatgrower.
  4. Yes.
  5. In September 1974 the Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimated the gross value of rural production of all crops in 1974-75, at $2,605m compared with 51,591m for 1972-73. A revised estimate which, amongst other things, will take account of the effects of the September devaluation and revisions to estimates of production from this season’s harvests will be published by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in mid -December 1974.
  6. Yes.
  7. In September 1974, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimated the gross value of potato production in 1974-75 at $109m compared with $49m in 1972-73. These estimates are for the gross value of production and do not incorporate changes in the prices or volume of inputs used by farmers in producing potatoes.

Textile Imports: Restrictions (Question No. 1875)

Mr Kerin:
MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES

asked the Minister for Overseas Trade, upon notice:

Can he say what will be the effect of the recently announced voluntary restrictions on textile imports on the exports of textiles from the following developing countries: (a) China, (b) India, (c) Pakistan and (d) The Philippines.

Dr J F Cairns:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The effect of the bilateral textiles arrangements entered into in August and September 1974 between the Australian Government and the governments of the People’s Republic of China and of India respectively, will be to restrain exports in the twelve month period ending 30 June 1975 from the latter countries to Australia of certain textiles items detailed in those arrangements to levels which it is considered, having regard to the findings of the Textiles Authority, will not disrupt the Australian market.

Exports of textiles to Australia from Pakistan and the Philippines and imports of textiles into Australia from those countries are not subject to quantitative restrictions.

Australian Government Employees: Overseas Posts (Question No. 662)

Mr Garland:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

  1. How many persons were employed by Australian Government departments and instrumentalities in London as at 30 June 1 974, or a convenient recent date.
  2. Which departments or instrumentalities employed these persons, and how many unfilled positions are there in each case.
  3. What was the cost of salaries, wages, and other expenditure for 1973-74.
  4. What is the similar information for Embassies at (a) Washington and (b) Tokyo, and the New York Consulate.
Mr Whitlam:
ALP

– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

  1. 1) In May 1973 the Government decided that Mr J. E. Collings, Special Adviser to the Public Service Board, should undertake a comprehensive review of the Australian High Commission in London. The review covers the whole of the functions, organisation and staffing of the High Commission.

The Board has informed me that Mr Collings has submitted progressive initital reports on the Australia-based staffing of all Branches in the High Commission except for the Migration area, which the Board is discussing with the relevant Permanent Heads.

I am advised however, that as at 30 June 1974, a total of 1,307 people were employed by Australian Government departments and instrumentalities in London. Of these 1,021 people were attached to the Australian High Commission. The remainder were independent of the High Commission.

  1. The names of the departments and instrumentalities which employed these people and the number of unfilled positions are set out in the following table:
  1. I am informed that the information on the cost of salaries, wages and other expenditure for 1973-74 sought by the honourable member is not readily available. To extract this information would involve considerable time and effort that I am reluctant to authorise. Some expenditure figures on the cost of overseas representation are available, however, for the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Labor and Immigration and Overseas Trade. These figures are shown at pages 53 to 62 of the document ‘Estimates of Receipts and Summary of Estimated Expenditure ‘ ( 1 974-75 Budget Paper No. 4). Further information showing a breakdown of administrative costs incurred by these Departments is in the document ‘Appropriation Bill (No. 1 ) 1 974-75 ‘. ( 1 974-75 Budget Paper No. 2 )
  2. (a) Australian Embassy, Washington

    1. As at 30 June 1974 a total of 343 people were employed by Australian Government departments and instrumentalities on the staff of the Embassy in Washington.
    2. The number of filled and unfilled positions and the names of departments and instrumentalities which employed these people are set out in the following table:
In addition I understand the following statutory body had staff assigned to Washington who were not attached to the Embassy. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Australian Embassy, Tokyo {: type="i" start="i"} 0. As at 30 June 1974 a total of 137 people were employed by Australian Government departments and instrumentalities on the staff of the Embassy in Tokyo. 1. The number of filled and unfilled positions and the names of departments and instrumentalities which employed these people are set out in the following table: In addition I understand the following statutory bodies and instrumentalities had staff assigned to Tokyo who were not attached to the Embassy. {: type="a" start="c"} 0. Australian Consulate-General, New York {: type="i" start="i"} 0. As at 30 June 1 974 a total of 1 54 people were employed by Australian Government departments on the staff of the Consulate-General in New York. 1. The number of filled and unfilled positions and the names of departments and instrumentalities which employed these people are set out in the following table: In addition I understand the following statutory bodies and instrumentalities had staff assigned to New York who were not attached to the Consulate-General. {:#subdebate-79-21} #### Ministerial Responsibility for Control of Food Standards (Question No. 739) {: #subdebate-79-21-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Which Minister is responsible for control of food standards. 1. 2 ) Will that Minister maintain responsibility for this function. {: #subdebate-79-21-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) and (2) A number of Ministers have an interest in this matter. The Report of the Interim Commission for Consumer Standards, tabled in the Parliament on 3 1 July 1 974, recommended that the arrangements for formulating food standards and the allocation of responsibility in this area should be reviewed. This review is in progress. Western Australia: Ex Gratia Payments to {:#subdebate-79-22} #### Municipal and Shire Councils (Question No. 945) {: #subdebate-79-22-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice: >What recurring ex gratia payments, either in lieu of rates or otherwise, are made to municipal and shire councils in Western Australia. {: #subdebate-79-22-s1 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the honourable member to the answer given to the Right Honourable the Leader of the Opposition to Question No. 569 (Hansard, 15 October 1974, page 2371 ). > >As pointed out in that answer, ex gratia payments are made in lieu of rates and services in certain cases only. Due to their very nature, they are not considered to be 'recurrent ex gratia payments ' as each case is, upon receipt of the claim, considered as an individual assessment and determined on its merits. > >To ascertain the annual total of ex gratia payments to municipal and shire councils in Western Australia would involve a detailed check of individual payments made by all departments. The considerable effort entailed would not appear to be justified. {:#subdebate-79-23} #### Parliamentary Departments: Staff (Question No. 1061) {: #subdebate-79-23-s0 .speaker-JUS} ##### Mr McVeigh: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he ascertain from the Presiding Officers how many staff were employed in each of the 5 Parliamentary Departments in (a) the second division, (b) each class of the third division and (c) each grade of the fourth division in each year since 1 July 1962. 1. How many staff in each of the Departments in (a) the second division, (b) each class of the third division and (c) each grade of the fourth division were recruited on (i) promotion or (ii) transfer from executive departments administered under the Public Service Act in each of the same years. 2. How many staff in each of the Departments in (a) the second division, (b) each class of the third division and (c) each grade of the fourth division left the Parliamentary Service by way of (i) promotion or (ii) transfer to executive departments administered under the Public Service Act in each of the same years. {: #subdebate-79-23-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) to (3) I am informed that all of the readily available information which the five Parliamentary Departments could provide is contained in the following tables. In some cases the number of staff which were employed in particular departments is not known because this information is not normally retained. Accordingly, the number of positions has been provided instead (the tables are appropriately annotated). {:#subdebate-79-24} #### Department of Science: Civil Defence Exercises (Question No. 1157) {: #subdebate-79-24-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) With reference to the answer to Question No. 548 (Hansard 19 September 1974, page 1621) in which the Prime Minister indicated that the form and frequency of exercises in Government Departments in civil defence preparedness are as determined by individual Departments, on what dates in the last 1 8 months have exercises of this nature been conducted in his Department. 1. Which officers and employees took part. 2. How many officers and employees took part. 3. What was the purpose of each of the exercises. 4. Does he accept that this is an area where the Australian Government can give a lead to other employers. {: #subdebate-79-24-s1 .speaker-009DB} ##### Mr Morrison:
Minister for Science · ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. to (4) The attached schedule shows the form and (5) I refer the right honourable member to part (3) of the Science. °f ^ Department °f Prime Minister's answer to Question on Notice No. 548. {:#subdebate-79-25} #### Commonwealth-owned Land: Municipal Rates (Question No. 1326) {: #subdebate-79-25-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice: >What is the equivalent of municipal rates the Australian Government calculated and agreed to pay to local government on housing erected or purchased for domestic purposes during 1972-73 and 1973-74. {: #subdebate-79-25-s1 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >As was pointed out in answer to Question No. 569 (Hansard 15 October 1974 p. 2371), this information is not readily available and cannot be obtained except after consultation with all Australian Government Departments and detailed examination of all the ex gratia payments made. > >Thus to obtain a precise figure such as that sought by the right honourable member would be a major task involving much time and effort and this does not seem to be warranted. In the absence of sufficient justification to do so, I am not prepared to divert resources for such a task. {:#subdebate-79-26} #### Ministerial Press Releases (Question No. 1637) {: #subdebate-79-26-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How are copies of Ministerial press releases circulated. 1. ) To whom are they circulated. 2. ) How many copies are circulated in total. 3. What is the total annual cost, including salary and administration charges, in producing and distributing Ministerial press releases. 4. How many public servants in his Department are involved with the distribution of press releases. {: #subdebate-79-26-s1 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Copies of Ministerial press releases issued by me are distributed as follows: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. by hand to the Press Gallery; 1. by post in accordance with a Departmental mailing list; 2. by publication in the Australian Government Digest. 1. In addition to the Press Gallery, press releases are distributed to all Senators and Members, and to a list of people who have written requesting that they receive a copy of all statements which I release. This list is constantly changing. 2. The number of copies circulated is approximately 400. 3. The costs attributable to Ministerial press releases have not been separately identified and it is therefore not possible to give a precise answer to this part of the right honourable member's question. 4. One, on a part-time basis only. {:#subdebate-79-27} #### Fuel Tax Finance (Question No. 1682) {: #subdebate-79-27-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has his attention been drawn to an article published in the Australian Financial Review on 16 May 1973, reporting discussions he had with representatives of the Australian Automobile Association, which said that **Mr Whitlam** did not believe a Labor Government would further decrease the percentage of fuel tax finance now allocated to roads. 1. Did the publication Royal Auto (RACV) of June 1972 confirm this statement by the Australian Financial Review. 2. Did these articles correctly record the discussions he had with representatives of the Australian Automobile Association in April 1972. 3. If not, what action did he take to refute them. {: #subdebate-79-27-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) to (4) See my answer on 2 August 1974 (Hansard, p. 1 106). It would be quite impracticable for me to check the accuracy of all reports in the media with a view to refuting any of them which were incorrect. AIDC Advertising Account (Question No. 1796) {: #subdebate-79-27-s2 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr Garland: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Did he receive a letter from the Australian-owned Advertising Agencies Council drawing attention to the awarding of the advertising account of the Australian Industries Development Corporation to a foreign-owned agency. 1. Does the Government consider that the advertising agencies used by Government departments and instrumentalities should be Australian-owned; if not, why not. 2. Does he propose to take any action in respect of this matter; if not, why not. {: #subdebate-79-27-s3 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >See my answer on 3 December 1974 to a similar question asked some weeks earlier in the Senate (Senate Hansard, p. 3080). Ministerial Councils: Contact with States (Question No. 57) {: #subdebate-79-27-s4 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation and Compensation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will the Minister provide a list of all formal committees, councils, etc., that have been established which enable him or officers of his Department to maintain contact with State Government Ministers or State Government officers. 1. When was each body established and by whom. 2. What is the (a) composition and (b) function of each body. 3. On what occasions has each body met in the last 2 years and for what purpose. {: #subdebate-79-27-s5 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP -- The Minister for Repatriation and Compensation has provided the following answer to the right honourable member's question: ( 1 ), (2), (3) and (4). I refer the right honourable member to the Prime Minister's answer to question No. 41 (Han- sard-3 October 1974, pages 2233-2239) in which he provided details of Councils upon which both Australian Government and State Ministers are represented. {:#subdebate-79-28} #### Department of Labor and Immigration: Employment of Women (Question No. 110) {: #subdebate-79-28-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many women have been appointed to senior positions in his Department since 2 December 1972. 1. Who are they. 2. To what position has each been appointed, and what is the function of the position. {: #subdebate-79-28-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1) On the assumption that the right honourable member is referring to women who have been appointed or promoted to senior positions in my Department since 2 December 1972, 1 am advised that six women, including two who have been promoted to more senior positions that time, have been involved. 1. They are: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. **Dr D** Yerbury 1. Miss A Stephen 2. **Mrs P** Swanton 3. Miss M Hickey 4. Miss G Mathieson 5. **Mrs M** Harrison These are in addition to three other women who were already in senior positions prior to 2 December 1972, but who have not been promoted in the meantime. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. (a) **Dr D** Yerbury-First Assistant Secretary, Level 3. Continuously review the operations of industrial relations legislation; formulate policies on national industrial relations issues; develop measures to improve and maintain stable industrial relations. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Miss A Stephen- Assistant Secretary, Level I. Formulate and implement policies concerning the scope, range and nature of the services and facilities of the Commonwealth Employment Service. (Miss Stephen was promoted from a Principal Executive Officer, Class 10, in June 1974.) 1. **Mrs P** Swanton- Principal Executive Officer, Class 10. Advise on the implementation of the national policy to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity in employment and occupation. 2. Miss M Hickey- Principal Executive Officer, Class 10. Review industrial relations legislation, draft new Bills and Regulations, and prepare submissions to Cabinet. (Miss Hickey was promoted from a Industrial Relations Officer, Class 8, in May 1974). 3. Miss G Mathieson- Executive Officer, Class 8. Organise and undertake major establishment and organization reviews within the Department. (0 **Mrs M** Harrison- Executive Officer, Class 8. Plan and conduct research and investigatory studies into Aboriginal employment, and devise measures to stimulate employment opportunities for Aboriginals. National Highways: Committee on Planned Development (Question No. 251) {: #subdebate-79-28-s2 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the membership of the committee of Commonwealth and State officials that has been established to report on the planned development of national highways. 1. What are the terms of reference of the committee and when is it expected that the committee will finalise its studies. 2. Will the committee be preparing a report for the Government. 3. If so, when is it expected that this report will be received, and will it be tabled. 4. What is the membership of the special study team that has carried out research for this report. 5. What was the nature of the research undertaken by the study team. 6. Has the study team submitted a report to the Government. 7. If so, will he table the report for the information of Members without undue delay. {: #subdebate-79-28-s3 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The committee consisted of representatives from the Australian Government Department of Transport (Convenor and Chairman), the then Departments of Interior and Works, the Bureaux of Roads and Transport Economics, State Highway Departments and the National Association of State Road Authorities. 1. The committee's terms of reference were to join in a co-operative study with a view to providing a sound basis on which to determine: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Which system of roads should be chosen for a National Highway system taking into account the NAASRA Inter-Regional Group of National Routes. 1. b ) Standards for the development of these routes. 2. Costs. 3. A program timetable. The Committee has finalised its studies. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The committee has prepared its report for the heads of the Australian and State Government Authorities which established the committee (see list in answer to ( 1 ) above). The report has been accepted by the heads of these authorities. 1. The heads of the authorities involved have agreed to the release of the report. It has now been printed and I will table the document at the earliest opportunity. 2. The special study team comprised representatives of the Australian Government Departments of Transport and Works, the Bureaux of Roads and Transport Economics, the New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australian Departments of Main Roads and Ian Oliver and Associates Pty Ltd of Brisbane. 3. The study team's research involved investigating alternative routes with a view to costing their developments; assessing their safety; preparing traffic forecasts; preparing interim planning and design standards and then preparing possible programs of development. 4. The study team has submitted the results of its study to the committee which used these as a basis for its report. 5. The results of the study team's investigations is a very large technical document and as such it would not be appropriate for tabling. However, I am considering making a copy available to the Parliamentary Library when the committee 's report is tabled. {:#subdebate-79-29} #### Department of Immigration: Interdepartmental Committees (Question No. 294) {: #subdebate-79-29-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Did the Department of Immigration maintain a record of interdepartmental committees in which it participated. 1. If not, then how was the Minister for Immigration aware of all the interdepartmental consultations in which his Department was involved through interdepartmental committees. {: #subdebate-79-29-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. 2 ) See answer to ( 1 ) above. {:#subdebate-79-30} #### Department of Labor and Immigration: Interdepartmental Committees (Question No. 295) {: #subdebate-79-30-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Does his Department maintain a record of interdepartmental committees in which it participates. 1. If not, then how is he aware of all the interdepartmental consultations in which his Department is involved through interdepartmental committees. 2. Will he ensure that such a list is in future available to him. {: #subdebate-79-30-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. and (3) See answer to ( 1 ) above. Department of Defence: Training in Financial and Auditing Procedures (Question No. 350) {: #subdebate-79-30-s2 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many officers in his Department have been given some form of formal training in financial or auditing procedures used in Commonwealth departments in the last 12 months. 1. What is the division and classification of these officers. 2. How many of these officers were in operational, as distinct from financial or accounting, positions in the Service. {: #subdebate-79-30-s3 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 103. 1. -- (3)46. Department of Urban and Regional {:#subdebate-79-31} #### Development: Information Service (Question No. 567) {: #subdebate-79-31-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the present staff and establishment of the comprehensive information service being set up in his Department. 1. What are its projected arrangements. 2. What is the function of each position created or proposed. 3. Has the information service compiled a list of various groups involved in urban and regional development including (a) resident action groups, (b) progress associations, (c) local government associations, (d) academics and (e) developers. 4. 5 ) If so, will he incorporate a copy of the list in Hansard. 5. If not, when will this list be complied, and will he make a copy available. {: #subdebate-79-31-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The establishment of my Department's Information Service has been settled at 17 positions. Eight of these positions have been staffed and recruitment to the balance is well advanced. 1. There are no plans to increase the establishment in the forseeable future. 2. 3 ) The functions of the various positions are: {: type="1" start="4"} 0. Yes, including (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) 1. The list which is computerised contains several thousand addresses and it therefore would be inappropriate to include it in Hansard. 2. My Department is currently examining the possibility of publishing a directory of organisations based on the information. {:#subdebate-79-32} #### Australian Ships: Overseas Trade (Question No. 681) {: #subdebate-79-32-s0 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr Garland: asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What proportion of Australia's overseas trade does he propose should be carried in Australian ships. 1. To what extent has this already been achieved. {: #subdebate-79-32-s1 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The Government's objective is that an equitable share of Australia's trade should be carried in Australian ships. Increased shares will be achieved progressively over a number of years. 1. Australian flag participation in overseas liner trades is as follows: West Coast North America Allunga ', a 20,300 dwt vehicle deck ship, partially owned and operated by the Australian National Line in the Pacific Australia Direct Service. East Coast North America Australian Endeavour', a 26,400 dwt container ship, owned and operated by ANL in the Associated Container Transportation Australia/Australian National Line joint service. In addition, a larger container ship of 29,000 dwt is an order for delivery to ANL in 1 977. Japan Australian Enterprise', a 14,000 dwt vehicle deck ship, owned and operated by ANL in the Eastern Sea road Service (ESS). Matthew Flinders', a 14,000 dwt vehicle deck ship, owned and operated by the Flinders Shipping Company in the ESS. These two vessels are to be replaced in the ESS by the following vessels: Australian Emblem' (ANL), a 24,000 dwt vehicle deck container ship, to be introduced January 1975 and a sister vessel owned by the Flinders Shipping Company to be introduced July 1975. Increased Australian flag participation in the Japan trade was negotiated commercially in November 1973. Australia's share in the Northbound wool trade was increased from 23.3 per cent to 28.3 per cent from 1974 and the share of the Southbound trade from 17.2 per cent to 30.0 per cent by 1979. East Asia With the introduction of the second new vessel in the Japan trade in 1975, the 'Matthew Flinders' is to be purchased by ANL and operated in conjunction with the 'Australian Enterprise' in a new service, ANLINE, to the Philippines, Hong Kong and Korea. New Zealand Subject to availability of space, the ANL vessels 'Australian Endeavour' and 'Australian Exporter' carry cargo to New Zealand en route to Europe and North America respectively. Bulk There are no Australian flag vessels currently engaged in the bulk mineral export trades on a regular basis. The ANL has on order four large modern bulk carriers of 121,000 to 138,000 dwt for delivery in 1976-77 for use in Australian overseas trades. It is estimated that these vessels would enable ANL to carry approximately 4 per cent of the main mineral exports on current export levels. {:#subdebate-79-33} #### Australian Ships: Overseas Trade (Question No. 682) {: #subdebate-79-33-s0 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr Garland: asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has he taken any action arising from the resolution of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development calling on each country to carry at least 40 per cent of its overseas trade in its own ships. 1. Does the current oil shortage in the world affect the position; if so, how. 2. Does he consider the present wages and conditions of Australian seamen would create difficulties in manning Australian ships economically. {: #subdebate-79-33-s1 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Australian authorities are at present undertaking the necessary examination of the policy, administrative and legal implications of the UN Convention on a Code of Conduct for Liner Conference prior to decisions to ratify and implement. Implementation in Australia would require legislation of the Australian Parliament. The Article of the Convention relating to participation in the trade sets out principles to be observed by conferences. It includes provisions whereby national lines at each end of the trade have equal rights to participate in the trade carried by the conference and third shipping lines have the right to acquire a significant part of that trade such as 20 per cent. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. An oil shortage would not affect the implementation of these provisions as they set out rights and not obligations to carry conference trade, and conference members can mutually agree on any arrangements for participation in the trade. 1. It is the Government's policy that Australian flag vessels must operate efficiently and the results of the overseas operations of the Australian National Line reflect this situation. {:#subdebate-79-34} #### District Nursing Services (Question No. 777) {: #subdebate-79-34-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >What are the names of all the district nursing services within Australia, what are the annual costs of these services, how many people are served by these services, and what contributions does the Government make to their capital and recurrent expenditure. {: #subdebate-79-34-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >Home nursing services are provided in most areas of Australia. In 1972-73, the latest year for which figures are available, home nursing organisations made over 3 million visits to treat patients in their homes. As at 31 March 1974, there were in excess of 28,000 patients registered with home nursing organisations. > >The Government meets all costs associated with the services provided in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. In the Northern Territory, nurses of the Rural Health Division provide home nursing care from a mobile service based in Darwin and from a number of health centres and sub-centres. In 1973-74 these nurses made 155,000 visits to patients in their homes and travelled over 140,000 miles. The total cost of the service was $22 1 , 274. > >In the Australian Capital Territory in the same period, nurses attached to the District Nursing Service and to health centres made approximately 38,000 home visits. The total cost of $202,374 includes services provided by these nurses within health centres. > >The Government also provides a subsidy to District Nursing Services in the States under the Home Nursing Subsidy Act 1956-1973. The following is a list of approved district nursing organisations and, where applicable, the amount of subsidy paid to each organisation during the financial year 1973-74. Total subsidy paid under the Home Nursing Subsidy Act in this period was $3,390, 1 46. Subsidies paid to the States are not directed specifically towards capital or recurrent expenditure; they are based on the number of nurses employed on home nursing dudes by each organisation. From studies carried out in my Department, it is known that recurrent costs in the form of nurses' salaries are by far the major item of cost in the operation of home nursing services, exceeding 80 per cent in most cases. The total costs of district nursing services in the States are not, however, readily available to the Australian Government. In 1972-73, organisations eligible for subsidy under the Home Nursing Subsidy Act employed an average of 1091 nurses. Australian Government subsidies were paid in respect of 88 1 nurses. In recent years the number of nurses employed has increased at a rate of about 10 per cent per annum. Some subsidies are given to home nursing organisations in the States under the Australian Government's Community Health Program. These subsidies are mostly for education and training of the nurses, or for re-organisation of existing services so that they are better integrated into the general community health services in a region. Some of the new community health services being subsidised under the Community Health Program include a domiciliary nursing service as part of the general health services available from a health centre. Funds have also been provided for broadly based domiciliary care services of which domiciliary nursing is one component. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs, through State programs, funds the salaries of community health nurses, public health nurses, health workers and hygiene assistants, who provide a range of home care services, including domiciliary nursing care, to aborigines. {:#subdebate-79-35} #### Mineral Exporting Countries: Co-ordination (Question No. 829) {: #subdebate-79-35-s0 .speaker-KDT} ##### Mr Fairbairn:
FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the Minister for Minerals and Energy, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Did the Prime Minister state in Mexico that mineral exporting countries should take joint action to co-ordinate prices and quantities. 1. What other actions are encompassed in the Phrase resources diplomacy as used by the Government. 2. Does he take as a serious threat the recent statement by **Mr Tanabe,** of Nippon Steel, to the effect that Japan would turn to Brazil, South Africa and West Africa for iron ore and to Canada and Siberia for coal. 3. How many new contracts for the purchase by Japan from Australia of (a) iron ore, (b) coking coal, (c) bauxite and (d) alumina have been signed since 2 December 1972. 4. 5 ) What is their total value. {: #subdebate-79-35-s1 .speaker-K0O} ##### Mr Connor:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) and (2) The Prime Minister drew attention in Mexico last year to the advantages for countries which depend to a large extent on mineral exports in consulting with each other and exchanging information on those exports. The Prime Minister has also said that Australia must have appropriate national policies about the development and exploitation of our resources and that internal and international questions relating to those resources are inextricably linked. The Government's resources policy rests on five considerationsAustralia's future energy and industrial requirements must be met; full account must be taken of the effect of mining on the rights of our Aboriginal people; opportunities should be enlarged for Australians to share in the ownership and development of Australian mineral resources; encouragement should be given for greater processing of minerals in Australia; and efforts must be made to ensure that our resources command a fair price in world markets. The Government will take such action as is appropriate to advance its policy aims in this area. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Japan's purchases of Australian coal and iron ore to meet the raw material requirements of the Japanese steel industry are at record levels. In addition, new developments in the demand for steaming coal for power generation, following the oil crisis, indicate that Japan will be importing 10 million tonnes p.a. by the end of the decade, most of which will come from Australia. In recognition of the great importance of this trade, which is, of course, mutually advantageous to both countries, I have developed close working relations with the Japanese Government and the Japanese steel mills and, in particular, with **Mr Tanabe** 's company, Nippon Steel Corporation, which acts as the co-ordinator for the purchase of Australia iron ore and coal. As I indicated in the Parliament recently, the most senior deputation of its kind, including **Mr Tanabe,** is coming from Japan to Australia this month to discuss how Australia can meet the increased Japanese demands for our resources. There is no doubt that not only will Japan continue to depend on Australia as the major supplier of iron ore and coal to the Japanese market, but this dependence will increase. 1. (a) Nil- the Japanese steel mills are, however, currently reviewing their long-term iron ore requirements and, in this respect, sent a technical survey mission to Australia in August 1974 to examine existing and proposed iron ore mines in Western Australia. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. 24. 1. 10. 2. 2. 2. $A1800m. Commonwealth-owned Land: Municipal Rates (Question No. 946) {: #subdebate-79-35-s2 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice: >What applications for ex gratia payments by municipal and shire councils in Western Australia have been approved, refused or deferred since 30 June 1 972. {: #subdebate-79-35-s3 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the honourable member to the answer given to the right honourable the Leader of the Opposition to Question No. 569(Hansard 15 October 1974 p. 2371). > >Without prolonged investigations involving all departments it is not possible to provide accurate details of the information required. {:#subdebate-79-36} #### National Estate Program (Question No. 956) {: #subdebate-79-36-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What bodies in Western Australia had received assistance under the National Estate program as at 30 June 1 974. 1. What was the nature, amount and purpose of the assistance. {: #subdebate-79-36-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member 's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. In 1973-74 the Government provided a total allocation of $325,000 to the Western Australian Government and to a number of voluntary organisations for assistance with the acquisition and restoration of land and buildings and for the conduct of studies associated with the National Estate. In addition, a sum of $40,000 was granted to three voluntary bodies; the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia), ($20,000); the Conservation Council of Western Australia ($15,000); and Environment 2000, ($5,000) for assistance with administrative expenses. 1. In all cases the assistance was in the nature of interest free, non-repayable grants. Details of the $325,000 grant are as follows: Project 1: Allocation to the Western Australian Government for assistance with acquisition of land in the South West Coast area near Cape Naturaliste for the purpose of developing a coastal park. Details of acquisitions to be provided to the Minister for Urban and Regional Development. GRANT: $1 10,000 (One hundred and ten thousand dollars) Project 2: Allocation to the York Council for planning and landscape studies subject to the appointment of consultants approved by the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) and the Minister for Urban and Regional Development. A copy of the report to be provided to the Minister for Urban and Regional Development on completion of the study. GRANT: $ 10,000 (Ten thousand dollars) Project 3: Allocation to the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) for acquisition of land required for landscaped park, incorporating car parking and tourist reception areas. The land acquired to be transferred to the York Shire Council at the appropriate stage of development of the project subject to the Council entering into a Covenant with the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) with regard to future use and management. GRANT: $10,000 (Ten thousand dollars) Project 4: Allocation to the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) for acquisition of land and buildings including part of Balladong Farm. The latter is to be later transferred to York Shire Council or the Western Australian Museum subject to the transferee entering into a Covenant with the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) with regard to future use and management. GRANT: $25,000 (Twenty-five thousand dollars) Project 5: Cossack- Allocation to the Western Australian Government to secure a historic building complex against damage by vandalism and for urgent restoration work essential to arrest dilapidation; the works to be carried out in consultation with the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia). GRANT: $25,000 (Twenty-five thousand dollars) Project 6: Allocation to the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) for urgent initial restoration work on its freehold property ' Blytheswood ' at Pinjarra. GRANT: $20,000 (Twenty thousand dollars) Project 7: Allocation to National Trust of Australia ( Western Australia) for urgent work on a portion *of its* freehold property 'Blechynden' at Bridgetown to secure it against damage by vandalism. GRANT: $5,000 (Five thousand dollars) Project 8: Allocation to Greenough Shire Council for planning, architectural, landscaping studies and other consultancy work subject to the appointment of consultants being approved by the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) and the Minister for Urban and Regional Development. GRANT: $5,000 (Five thousand dollars) Project 9: Allocation to the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) for acquisition of land and buildings and urgent restoration work to selected buildings in Greenough in consultation with Greenough Shire Council. GRANT: $25,000 (Twenty-five thousand dollars) Project 10: Allocation to the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) for urgent restoration work, including weatherproofing, of three freehold properties: Mangowine Inn and the Old Gaol at Nungarin and the Wyening Winery at Calingiri owned by the National Trust of Australia ( Western Australia). GRANT: $7,000 (Seven thousand dollars) Project 1 1: Allocation to the Esperance Bay Historical Society to restore iron roofing and walls of a former railway goods shed with unique architectural features for establishment of a local historical museum. It is required that the work be carried out in consultation with the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia). GRANT: $3,000 (Three thousand dollars) Project 12: Allocation to Toodyay Shire Council for urgent restoration of buildings to arrest dilapidation; the buildings to be selected and work carried out in consultation with the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia). It is required that property owners enter into a covenant with the National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) with regard to future use and management. GRANT: $5,000 (Five thousand dollars) Project 13: Grant to the City of Fremantle for assistance with further studies of the historic buildings and future development in the city centre with a view to preparing a suitable town development plan and drawing up recommendations on appropriate legislative amendments and criteria. It is required that such studies be carried out in consultation with the Cities Commission. A copy of the report on such studies to be provided to the Minister for Urban and Regional Development. GRANT: $30,000 (Thirty thousand dollars) Project 14: Allocation to the Western Australian Government for assistance with the clearing of estuarine weed growth from Peel Inlet and the conduct of studies of the eutrophication of Peel Inlet and other estuarine areas. GRANT: $40,000 (Forty thousand dollars) Project 15: Allocation to the Western Australian Government for assistance with terracing, the provision of pathways and general measures for the protection and preservation of the historic site ' Cliff Head ' on Garden Island. GRANT: $5,000 (Five thousand dollars) Of the total amount granted under this program a sum of $47,087.83 had been spent by 30 June 1974. {:#subdebate-79-37} #### Prime Minister's Visit to Indonesia (Question No. 986) {: #subdebate-79-37-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What places did the Prime Minister and his party visit in Indonesia. 1. ) Did the Prime Minister visit farming areas. 2. At what airports did the Prime Minister's personal plane land. 3. Did the Prime Minister or any member of his party go near any locality in which foot and mouth disease was present. 4. What quarantine restrictions were applied to the Prime Minister and his party on their return to Australia. {: #subdebate-79-37-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Yogyakarta Wonosobo, Denpasar. 1. No. 2. Mt Isa, Darwin, Yoygakarta, Denpasar, Alice Springs, Sydney, Canberra. 3. Foot and Mouth Disease is known to exist on the islands of Bali and Java. 4. On landing in Alice Springs the aircraft was sprayed and an officer of the Department of Health asked each member of the party if they had visited any farming areas or meat works or saleyards. He was told by each member of the party that they had not. Baggage clearance was carried out in Canberra where artefacts were inspected and other quarantinable material detained for fumigation. {:#subdebate-79-38} #### Mandurah Emergency Water Rescue Organisation (Question No. 1022) {: #subdebate-79-38-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has a decision been made on assistance for the purchase of equipment for the Mandurah Emergency Water Rescue Organisation submitted by the Manudurah Community Committee to the Southern Region Social Development Board under the Australian Assistance Plan, and subsequently referred by the Social Welfare Commission to his Department. 1. ) If so, what is the decision. 2. If not, when will a decision be made. {: #subdebate-79-38-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The Mandurah Emergency Water Rescue Organisation's request for assistance to purchase equipment was referred to my Department by the Department of Social Security as one of a group of proposals which it was thought might qualify under the Area Improvement Program currently proposed for the South Penh Region (Region 12) of which Mandurah is a pan. > >The project is not appropriate for funding under an Area Improvement Program. {:#subdebate-79-39} #### Kojonup: Park Improvements (Question No. 1023) {: #subdebate-79-39-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has a decision been made on assistance for park improvements at Kojonup submitted by the Kojonup Community Committee to the Southern Region Social Development Board under the Australian Assistance Plan, and subsequently referred by the Social Welfare Commission to his Department 1. ) If so, what is the decision. 2. If not, when will a decision be made. {: #subdebate-79-39-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The Department of Social Security has referred a request for assistance from the Kojonup Apex Club for $2,000 to improve and upgrade the local park. At present, my Department has no program of assistance under which this request might be considered. {:#subdebate-79-40} #### Dumbleyung Community Committee (Question No. 1024) {: #subdebate-79-40-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has a decision been made on assistance for the purchase of a mobile van for use by service groups catering for shows and sporting, civil defence and other functions submitted by the Dumbleyung Community Committee to the Southern Region Social Development Board under the Australian Assistance Plan, and subsequently referred by the Social Welfare Commission to his Department 1. If so, what is the decision. 2. If not, when will a decision be made. {: #subdebate-79-40-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >At present my Department has no program of assistance under which the Dumbleyung Community Committee project might be considered. {:#subdebate-79-41} #### Defence Reserve (Question No. 1059) {: #subdebate-79-41-s0 .speaker-JRD} ##### Mr Bourchier: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Is it a fact that former members of the Armed Forces, now on the Retired List, have been included in the Defence Reserve. 1. If so, does this mean that persons beyond the age limit for service can and will be called on for service. 2. Can he say whether a recent request to a member of the Reserve for duty was directed to a 92 year old veteran of the Retired List. 3. What was the numerical strength of the Reserve before and after the inclusion of the Retired List. 4. How many persons under 23 years of age were rejected for service on the basis of failing the medical examination during each of the last 3 years. {: #subdebate-79-41-s1 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. No. 1. Not applicable. 2. The Services have no knowledge of any request for duty being directed to a person on the Retired List. 3. Strengths of Defence Reserves at September 1974 are set out below: Reserves comprise Emergency Reserves of each Service and Citizen Forces. As indicated in ( 1 ) above, persons on Retired Lists are not included. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. Statistics of medical rejections by age of applicant are not currently kept for management purposes and would involve a massive manual search of records which I do not feel would be justified. Total medical rejections covering all categories of entry to the Services were: {:#subdebate-79-42} #### Free Milk Scheme (Question No. 1087) {: #subdebate-79-42-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >How many requests has he received for the restoration of the free milk scheme from (a) school and pre-school bodies and (b) State Ministers of Health, Education or Agriculture. {: #subdebate-79-42-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Between 1 1 December 1973 (the date State Education Ministers were advised of the Government's decision that no funds would be made available for the 1974 School Year), and 31 October 1974, my Department received 243 requests for the restoration of school milk from school and pre-school bodies, one from a State Minister for Health, one from a State Minister for Education and two from State Ministers for Agriculture. {:#subdebate-79-43} #### Contraceptives (Question No. 1100) {: #subdebate-79-43-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has the Government acceded to the requests of organisations, such as the Family Planning Associations and the Nursing Mother's Association of Australia, for the provision of a progesterone only oral contraceptive; if not, why not. 1. Do the presently available contraceptives frequently decrease the amount of maternal milk for breast feeding mothers and thus discourage this desirable practice. {: #subdebate-79-43-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The evaluation of progestogen only oral contraceptives containing low doses of norethisterone or d-norgestrel has been proceeding in my Department for some time and the results of the evaluations were recently considered by the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee. Following upon a recommendation from this Committee, approval has been granted for the marketing of low dosage progestogen only oral contraceptive formulations containing norethisterone. No recommendation for marketing has yet been received from the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee concerning formulations containing only d-norgestrel. I understand that further scientific data have been requested on low dosage formulations of d-norgestrel. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. I am advised that the oral contraceptives currently available on the Australian market may decrease the amount of maternal milk for breast feeding mothers. However, evidence so far presented to my Department has been insufficient to support a claim that low dosage progestogen only oral contraceptives are free of this side-effect. {:#subdebate-79-44} #### Area Improvement Program (Question No. 1119) {: #subdebate-79-44-s0 .speaker-9W4} ##### Mr Hyde: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What grants will Western Australia receive under the *Government's* Area Improvement Program. 1. Will these grants be made to country areas as well as metropolitan areas. {: #subdebate-79-44-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >In the 1974-73 Budget a sum of $750,000 has been set aside for a proposed Area Improvement Program in the South Perth Region (Region 12) comprising the following local government areas: Mandurah, Kwinana, Rockingham, Fremantle, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, South Perth, Belmont and Canning. The proposed Area Improvement Program is the subject of negotiation with the Western Australian Government. > >Of the ten local government areas comprising the South Perth Region, Mandurah probably would be regarded as predominantly rural. It is also proposed, subject to States' agreements, to implement Area Improvement Programs in the Fitzroy Region of Queensland, the Hunter, Illawarra and South East Regions of New South Wales and the Northern Spencer Gulf Region of South Australia. Each of these regions is a country region or has a substantial rural component. {:#subdebate-79-45} #### Fire Fighting Procedures (Question No. 1144) {: #subdebate-79-45-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. With reference to the answer to question No. 548 (Hansard, 19 September 1974, page 1621) in which the Prime Minister indicated that the form and frequency of exercises of Government Departments in civil defence preparedness are as determined by individual Departments, on what dates in the last 18 months have exercises of this nature been conducted in his Department. 1. Which officers and employees took part. 2. How many officers and employees took part. 3. What was the purpose of each of the exercises. 4. Does he accept that this is an area where the Australian Government can give a lead to other employers. {: #subdebate-79-45-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. (5)1 refer the right honourable member to the answer to pan 3 of question 548 (Hansard 19 September 1974, page 1621) in which the Prime Minister idicated the Australian Government's leading role in preparedness for civil emergencies. {:#subdebate-79-46} #### Seamen: Indemnity Payments (Question No. 1170) {: #subdebate-79-46-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser: asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Are the papers, which he made available to me this week, the only papers which his Department has made available to the Royal Commission into Indemnity Payments. 1. What is his interpretation of sections 288 and 289 of the Navigation Act. 2. Why does he not enforce provisions which require seamen in overseas ships engaged in any port of the coasting trade to be paid Australian rates of pay. 3. What is his definition of indemnity payments. 4. Does the purpose for which the money is collected determine whether it is an indemnity payment or not. 5. Is it an indemnity payment if it goes into union funds, but not if it goes to the seamen concerned. 6. Is it an indemnity payment if it goes to an overseas organisation and not to the seamen concerned. 7. Will he give an assurance that henceforth he will maintain the provisions of sections 288 and 289 of the Act. 8. If he is not prepared to administer these provisions absolutely, what is the reason. {: #subdebate-79-46-s1 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member 's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 presume that the honourable member means to refer to the Royal Commission into Alleged Payments to Maritime Unions. On 20 September I passed to the honourable member all those papers that had to that time been tendered to the Royal Commission. Additional papers were subsequently tendered to the Royal Commission on September 24. These documents with the exception of those already incorporated in Hansard on 19 September were made available to the honourable member on 27 September. The honourable member can be assured that I will continue to honour my undertaking of 1 9 December to pass to him documents tendered by Department of Transport officials to the Royal Commission. Further documents were tendered to the Royal Commission on 1 and 2 October and copies of these are being forwarded to the honourable member. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. My interpretation of the provisions of Section 288 and 289is as *follows-* The coasting trade, as defined in Section 7 of the Act, is reserved to vessels which are licensed in accordance with Section 288. It is a condition of each licence that the crew of the licensed vessel are to be paid wages at the current rates ruling in Australia for seamen employed in that pan of the coasting trade in which the licensed vessel is operating and for the period during which the licensed vessel is engaged in the coasting trade. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Pursuant to sub-section 2 of Section 286 of the Navigation Act, ships carrying passengers or cargo between ports under permit issued under Section 286 are not deemed to be engaged in the coasting trade and thus the requirements of Section 289 do not apply to such ships. 1. , (5), (6) and (7) I think it is inappropriate to answer questions of this kind while the Royal Commission is conducting its inquiry. 2. and (9) The provisions of sections 288 and 289 of the Navigation Act have been and will continue to be enforced having regard to the other Section or Sections of the Act which affect the application of Sections 288 and 289. {:#subdebate-79-47} #### Minister for Overseas Trade: Visit to New Zealand (Question No. 1182) {: #subdebate-79-47-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser: asked the Special Minister of State, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many staff or assistants did the Minister for Overseas Trade take with him on his recent overseas visit. 1. What was the total cost of the visit. 2. What was the position of each person taken with him on this visit. {: #subdebate-79-47-s1 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) and (3) This question was placed on the Notice Paper on 2 October 1 974 and the overseas visit made by the Minister for Overseas Trade immediately preceding the Question was to New Zealand in March 1974 to attend a series of meetings in connection with the New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement. **Dr Cairns** was accompanied by his wife and Miss K. Stegmar, an Assistant Private Secretary on his staff. Four officers of the Minister's Department and three officers of the Department of Manufacturing Indutry also attended the meetings. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. ) The total cost of the visit by **Dr Cairns, Mrs Cairns** and Miss Stegmar was $ 1 ,44 1 . 1 1 . {:#subdebate-79-48} #### Aborigines: Infant Mortality (Question No. 1204) {: #subdebate-79-48-s0 .speaker-GH4} ##### Mr Hunt:
GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What was the level of infant mortality among Aborigines in the Northern Territory during 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973. 1. Is the current level of infant mortality causing the Government concern. 2. What actions are being taken to reduce the level of infant mortality among Aborigines. {: #subdebate-79-48-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The infant mortality rate for Aboriginals (deaths in the first year of life per 1,000 live births) in the Northern Territory was- {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Yes, in the sense that though there has been a considerable decrease in these rates since 1971 they are still much higher than for non-Aboriginals. 1. Action is being taken in the development of a comprehensive rural health service integrated with improved hospital, medical, and community health services and training of Aboriginal health workers. In addition, special emphasis is being given to preventive medicine in relation to health care delivery, nutrition, hygiene and health education to groups at risk, particularly women of child bearing age and their children. Training and utilisation of Aboriginal health workers is proceeding with success; it must be realised however that change cannot be achieved rapidly or dramatically. {:#subdebate-79-49} #### Albury-Wodonga Growth Centre (Question No. 1208) {: #subdebate-79-49-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >Has his Department been allocated any role in the development of Albury/Wodonga and other growth centres. {: #subdebate-79-49-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >My Department has no specific role in the development of Albury/Wodonga and other growth centres. However, the Department and the Hospitals and Health Services Commission are approached for advice in relation to health matters by authorities undertaking investigations of potential and possible growth centres. In the case of Albury/Wodonga, the Department of Health and the Hospitals and Health Services Commission are funding and participating in a health planning team which was established early this year to prepare guidelines for the planning of health services for the Albury/Wodonga Growth Centre. Murray River: De-snagging Operations (Question No. 1211) {: #subdebate-79-49-s2 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) When will de-snagging operations begin on the section of the Murray River between Wodonga and the Ovens River which was agreed to by the River Murray Commission several years ago. 1. Which State authority was instructed to carry out this work, and what is the reason for the work not proceeding. {: #subdebate-79-49-s3 .speaker-JNG} ##### Dr Cass:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question, as advised by the River Murray Commission, is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) De-snagging operations on an initial 1 5 mile section of the Murray River upstream of Howlong will begin as soon as possible, after river levels return to normal and investigations of the environmental impact of the removal of snags on fish and wildlife have been completed. 1. The work will be carried out jointly by the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission of New South Wales operating from the northern bank and the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission on the southern bank. The commencement of the work has, as indicated in the reply to question ( I ) been delayed because of the need to examine environmental aspects, but in any event would not have been possible over the past twenty months because of continuous high river levels and wet conditions. {:#subdebate-79-50} #### Murray River: Capacity (Question No. 1212) {: #subdebate-79-50-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice: >Has the River Murray Commission carried out any planning on enlarging the capacity of the Murray River, in the area known as the Barmah Choke, in readiness for the increased river flow after the construction of the Dartmouth Dam; if not, why not. {: #subdebate-79-50-s1 .speaker-JNG} ##### Dr Cass:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question, as advised by the River Murray Commission, is as follows: >The River Murray Commission has instructed its Technical Committee to initially assemble and review all available information on this section of the river with a view to reporting back to the Commission on a need for additional studies. At the same time, the Committee has been asked to determine the effect of the Barmah Choke on regulated flows, operational losses and available supplies. The investigation should also consider what operational procedures may be necessary to achieve the maximum benefits from the existing situation and the extent of any theoretical loss of resources arising from present limitations of channel capacity through the Barmah- Millewa Forest. These investigations are proceeding but until they are completed, the extent of any works, if necessary, to enlarge the capacity of the Murray River in this area will not be known. {:#subdebate-79-51} #### Public Service: Coombs Report (Question No. 1686) {: #subdebate-79-51-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) When did the Government receive the report from the Public Service Board which resulted from the inquiry the Board conducted into action being taken by departments to ensure that man-power savings were achieved in the implementation of recommendations of the Coombs Report and that staff involved were transferred to priority areas of administration. 1. ) When was the report considered by the Government. 2. 3 ) What was the outcome of that consideration. 3. Does the Government intend to make the report public; if so, why has there been a delay in making the report public; if not, why not. {: #subdebate-79-51-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) and (2) There is nothing I wish to add to my previous answers on 13 December 1973 and 19 September 1974 (Hansard page 482 1 and page 1632 respectively). 1. and (4) The substance of the Public Service Board's report and the consideration given to it are outlined in the Board 's 1 974 Annual Report, pages 45-47. {:#subdebate-79-52} #### Commissions and Task Forces of Inquiry (Question No 1688) {: #subdebate-79-52-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What is the salary of each person who has been appointed to a Commission of Inquiry or Task Force established by the Government since 2 December 1972. 1. What was the previous position held by each person, and for those who were public servants what was their previous salary. 2. For those who were not public servants what is the accepted salary range of the position previously held by them. {: #subdebate-79-52-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) There is no precise usage of the terms Commission of Inquiry and Task Force. To keep the answer within reasonable bounds, the table below provides information in connection with Royal Commissions, bodies described as Commissions in the tabulation in Hansard of 2 August 1974, pp. 1053-1054 and bodies in the same tabulation called Task Forces which have a full time Chairman. 1. This is a matter between the person concerned and his employer and I do not propose to inquire into it. {: .page-start } page 4762 {:#debate-80} ### COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY {: .page-start } page 4762 {:#debate-81} ### TASK FORCES The only Task Force which falls within the terms of the answer is the Task Force on Modern Housing Techniques. The details are: Members **Mr R.** Burkitt (Chairman), Commissioner, Victorian Housing Commission Prof. G. E. Roberts (Deputy Chairman), Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, University of New South Wales. **Mr P.** Clancy, Federal Secretary, Building Workers' Industrial Union. **Mr L.** Howroyd, Architect, Perth **Mr V.** E. Jennings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jennings Industries Limited. **Mr S.** King, Managing Director, Home Units Pty Ltd N.S.W. **Dr R.** Mendelsohn, First Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing and Construction Remuneration Re-imbursement of salary for period of secondment $10,181.25 Standard daily sitting fees ($35 a day ) Nil {:#subdebate-81-0} #### Public Service Promotions Appeal Committee (Question No. 1689) {: #subdebate-81-0-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >How many (a) women and (b) men have sat on selection panels, tribunals and other appeal boards established under the Public Service Act in the last 1 2 months. {: #subdebate-81-0-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >The Public Service Board has advised me that information on the number of women and men who have sat on selection panels, tribunals and other appeal boards established under the Public Service Act in the last 1 2 months is not available. > >As outlined in my previous answer (Hansard, 17 October 1 974, p.2582), surveys are being conducted on the representation of men and women on Promotions Appeal Committees in New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. > >The Public Service Board has advised that preliminary results of the survey of the A.C.T. Promotions Appeal Committees covering the eight-week period 1 March 1974 to 30 April 1974, reveal that, apart from the Chairman, the total membership consisted of (a) 1 1 women and (b) 208 men. {:#subdebate-81-1} #### Immigration Inquiries (Question No. 1715) {: #subdebate-81-1-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="A" start="I"} 0. Will he provide a list of all Inquiries relating to immigration since 2 December 1972. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Which Inquiries have resulted in reports to the Government. 1. 3 ) When were they received by the Government. 2. When were they tabled. 3. What was the purpose of each Inquiry. 4. What action has been taken on each of the recommendations of each of the Inquiries. {: #subdebate-81-1-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: ( 1 ), (2), (3), (4), (5 ) and (6) It has not proved possible for my Department to prepare an answer in detail to the right honourable member's question prior to the rising of the House. Work on assembling the material is proceeding and I will provide the information to the right honourable member by letter as soon as possible. {:#subdebate-81-2} #### Canberra Community Development Officers (Question No. 1750) {: #subdebate-81-2-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the function of the community development officer who has been appointed for the new city of Tuggeranong. 1. How many community development officers have been appointed in the A.C.T. 2. To which suburbs have they been appointed. 3. Who are they. 4. Does the Government intend to appoint additional community development officers. 5. If so, how many and when, and in which suburbs or cities. {: #subdebate-81-2-s1 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The function of the community development officer is to facilitate the development of cultural, recreational, welfare and social groups in Tuggeranong. He was appointed by the Australian Council of Social Services of the A.C.T. and is paid by them using subventions from the Department of the Capital Territory. 1. One. 2. ) The one officer appointed is focused on the developing Tuggeranong area, the first suburb of which is Kambah. 3. **Mr fan** Howard Black. 4. and (6) Funding of further appointments is not contemplated by the Department as yet. The experiment is being watched with great interest. Publication 'Secrecy- Political Censorship in Australia' (Question No. 1779) {: #subdebate-81-2-s2 .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr Ruddock: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to the publication 'Secrecy- Political Censorship in Australia', by **Mr J.** J. Spigelman, in particular, pages 177 to 180, 'An Inside Dopesters Index of 100 Examples of Secrecy '. 1. If so, does the publication specify that these one hundred items of information were not publicly disclosed up until 1972. 2. How many of these items have been made publicly available since he first took office. 3. If all of them are not now readily available, what is the reason for the continuing secrecy in each case. 4. Of those available, when and in what manner were the public disclosures made. 5. By whom were these public disclosures made. {: #subdebate-81-2-s3 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="A" start="1"} 0. I ) to (6) I am, of course, aware of the book to which the honourable member refers. The author is now my Principal Private Secretary and I did most of the research for the book. With respect to the items listed in this index and the many other examples of secrecy of which my Government became aware on assuming office, the honourable member would be aware that most are of historical interest only. On 2 April 1973, I wrote to all Ministers suggesting that they exercise their discretion on items of current interest and in cases of doubt should await the criteria for release of documents in the proposed Freedom 'of Information Act. I believe a number of documents were released in 1973. If the honourable member is interested in any of the particular documents, I suggest he ask the Minister responsible. I refer the honourable member to the Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Proposed Freedom of Information Legislation which was tabled today in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Government intends to enact legislation of this kind next year after the public debate arising from the release of this report. {:#subdebate-81-3} #### Torres Strait Marine Park (Question No. 1780) {: #subdebate-81-3-s0 .speaker-0K4} ##### Mr Wilson: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did he state in a letter, dated 26 June 1974, to the Premier of Queensland that his Government's view is that the inhabited islands should remain with Australia and the Islanders should retain their present status as Australian citizens. 1. Did he also state in that letter that discussions would take place with Queensland which could embrace consideration of the area as a 'marine park' or 'protected area'. 2. Did the proposal for the Torres Strait area to be made an international marine park originate in a resolution of the Queensland Parliament of 3 April 1974. 3. Was this resolution communicated to him. 4. Does the Government accept the concepts of an international marine park and common subsistence fishing for the inhabitants of the Torres Strait Islands and Papua in the whole of the area. 5. Is it the Government's intention to proceed with the promised discussions. 6. Has the Torres Strait Islanders Advisory Council informed the Government that the Islanders wish to remain within Queensland. 7. Has it been decided that Australia will not cede the Torres Strait Islands to Papua New Guinea against the wishes of the inhabitants and their right to selfdetermination. {: #subdebate-81-3-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) On 26 June 1974 I wrote to the Premier of Queensland as follows: "My dear Premier, Thank you for your letter of 29 April 1974 regarding the Torres Strait Islands. There is now much common ground between us. My Government's view is that the inhabited islands should remain with Australia and the Islanders should retain their present status as Australian citizens. Nevertheless, there is clearly scope for devising a special regime for the unique Torres Strait area. It is pleasing to note that your Government is thinking along similar lines to our own in this regard to ensure that the environment of the area and the way of life of the Islanders are protected. I note that your Parliament envisages, as I do, that a treaty between Australia and an independent Papua New Guinea will govern relations between the two countries in the matter of the Torres Strait. The actual conclusion of such an agreement with an independent Papua New Guinea is, of course, under the Constitution, a matter for the Australian Government and the independent Government of Papua New Guinea. Australian officials have been authorised to enter, without commitment, into discussions with interested parties with a view to developing the outline of a possible solution and 1 am anxious to have my Government's officials discuss the whole matter with your officials. Such discussions could embrace consideration of the area of a 'Marine Park' or 'Protected Area 'as we have been calling it, and the kind of management of the area which should be provided for in the contemplated agreement. I am hopeful that these discussions will provide the basis for us to talk together. I recognise the interests of Queensland in this whole matter and this is why I am now proposing these early discussions. If you agree, the Secretary of my Department will be in touch with your Under Secretary regarding the arrangements. Yours sincerely, E.G. WHITLAM' {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The Australian Government has since 1973 been developing the concept of an environmentally protected area in the Strait. A Resolution agreed to by the Parliament of Queensland on 3 April 1974 proposed, inter alia, . . . That an area of sea between Cape York and Papua, whose size and co-ordinates are to be agreed upon, but within the area bounded by the coast of Papua in the north to the parallel of 9 degrees South latitude and to the south by the parallel of latitude 10 degrees 30 South and the parallels of longitude 141 degrees 50 East and 145 degrees East, be designated an international marine park'. I suggested to the Premier on 7 April that the concept of an environmentally protected area could contribute to a satisfactory settlement. 1. Yes. 2. See(l)and(2). 3. A first meeting of officials was held on 13 November 1974. 4. and (8) Discussions with Island representatives were held in Canberra on 12-14 June 1973, in Brisbane on 5 December 1973 and again in Canberra on 6 December 1 973. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and I attended sessions of the Canberra meetings. Meetings were also held with Islanders and others concerned on Yam Island on 19 and 20 September 1973 and on Daru Island on 29 and 30 May 1974. The Islanders have expressed their opposition to a change in their status and indicated that their concern was largely to preserve the Strait as a distinctive environment on which their way of life depended. The Australian Government accept these concerns of the Islanders and aims to develop a solution acceptable to them and to the other interested parties. {:#subdebate-81-4} #### Effects of Refusal of Supply (Question No. 1890) {: #subdebate-81-4-s0 .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >Is he able to estimate the number of people likely to be directly disadvantaged by a refusal of supply by the Senate leaving the Government unable to meet its obligations. {: #subdebate-81-4-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >It is not possible to estimate with any degree of precision the number of people who would be directly disadvantaged by a refusal of supply by the Senate, but I can say that such refusal would have far reaching and seriously adverse consequences either directly or indirectly for many people and organisations throughout the nation including workers, local councils and States, aboriginals, students. > >Some indication of the large number of persons who would be affected can be gauged from the wide range of Government activities which are funded by the Appropriation Acts. These Acts normally provide for payments to State governments and statutory authorities; to Australian Government wage and salary earners; to people and firms with Australian Government contracts; to students and scholarship holders, together with grants to schools, colleges and universities; for postal services; air, sea and surface transport services; overseas aid programs; for aboriginal aid projects; and for many other payments including those to workers in receipt of compensation, for legal aid, and for hospital and municipal services in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. {:#subdebate-81-5} #### Personnel: Statutory Authorities (Question No. 314) {: #subdebate-81-5-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) For which statutory authorities does the Government (a) have authority and (b) not have authority to set a limit on growth of personnel. 1. For which of those authorities for which the Government does possess power to set a growth limit has the Government set a limit or target. 2. What was the total employment in all statutory authorities as at 2 December 1972. 3. What is the current employment. 4. What is the percentage increase in total employment since 2 December 1972. {: #subdebate-81-5-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The Government's ability to limit personnel growth in Statutory Authorities depends upon the nature of the Statutory Authority and the provisions of the legislation under which a Statutory Authority is established. For the purpose of this question, 'statutory authority' is used to describe various bodies, including those established by regulations and ordinances, although most references are to authorities established by Acts. {: type="a" start="a"} 0. The Government can either directly or indirectly limit the personnel growth of the following Statutory Authorities- Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation Anglo-Australian Telescope Board Auditor-General 's Office Australian Atomic Energy Commission Australian Broadcasting Commission Australian Broadcasting Control Board Australian Capital Territory Electricity Authority Australian Capital Territory Fire Brigade Australian Capital Territory Police Force Australian Commission on Advanced Education Australian Electoral Office Australian Film Development Corporation Australian Industrial Research and Development Grants Board Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Australian Institute of Criminology Australian Institute of Marine Science Australian National University Australian Schools Commission Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority (Clerical and administrative staff only) Australian Taxation Office Australian Tourist Commission Australian Trade Commissioner Service Australian War Memorial Canberra College of Advanced Education Canberra Hospitals Management Board Canberra Public Cemetery Trust Canberra Theatre Trust Christmas Island Administration Cities Commission Commonwealth Bureau of Roads Commonwealth Police Force Commonwealth Railways Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Commission Commonwealth Teaching Service Commonwealth War Graves CommissionANZAC Agency Darwin Community College Film and Television School Grants Commission Health Insurance Commission Hospitals and Health Services Commission Industries Assistance Commission Insurance Commissioner Joint Coal Board Law Reform Commission Legislative Drafting Institute Metric Conversion Board National Capital Development Commission National Library of Australia National Standards Commission Northern Territory, Department of the Administrator Northern Territory, Department of the Legislative Council Northern Territory, East Point Reserves Board Northern Territory Housing Commission Northern Territory Museums and Art Galleries Board Northern Territory Port Authority Northern Territory Reserves Board Northern Territory Tourist Bureau Norfolk Island Administration Office of the Parliamentary Counsel Prices Justification Tribunal Public Service Arbitrator Public Service Board Remuneration Tribunal River Murray Commission Social Welfare Commission Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority Superannuation Board Trade Practices Commission Universities Commission {: type="a" start="1"} 0. b ) The Government does not ha ve the authority to limit the personnel growth of the following Statutory Authorities- Australian Apple and Pear Corporation Australian Canned Fruits Board Australian Capital Territory Totalizator Agency Board Australian Coastal Shipping Commission Australian Dairy Produce Board Australian Dried Fruits Control Board Australian Egg Board Australian Honey Board Australian Industry Development Corporation Australian Meat Board Australian National Airlines Commission Australian Services Canteens Organisation Australian Tobacco Board Australian Wheat Board Australian Wine Board Australian Wool Corporation Commonwealth Banking Corporation {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Commonwealth Development Bank 1. b ) Commonwealth Savings Bank 2. Commonwealth Trading Bank Export Payments Insurance Corporation Housing Loans Insurance Corporation Overseas Telecommunications Commission Petroleum and Minerals Authority Pipeline Authority Reserve Bank of Australia Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The 2.6 per cent ceiling for 1974-75 applies to all Public Service Act employment whether departmental or statutory authority. Furthermore, those authorities whose employees are outside the Public Service Act but which are dependent on the Budget for funds are also subject to a 2.6 per cent aggregate growth ceiling in 1974-75. 1. to (5) The Acting Commonwealth Statistician has informed me that he does not collect separate employment figures from all statutory authorities. The staff of many of these authorities are already employed by other bodies and enterprises, and are included only with those bodies and enterprises in employment statistics to avoid double counting. For example, the Metric Conversion Board is staffed by officers of the Department of Science. For those statutory authorities listed in answer to part ( 1 ) of the question and from which he obtains separate details, the Acting Statistician has prepared estimates of employment *(i)at the end of* December 1972 (ii) at the end of June 1974 and has expressed the increase in employment between those two dates as a percentage. The estimates are 82,758 persons, 93,684 persons, and 13.2 per cent respectively. {:#subdebate-81-6} #### Overseas Travel: Permanent Heads (Question No. 534) {: #subdebate-81-6-s0 .speaker-QF4} ##### Mr Connolly: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. ) Did he approve of all overseas visits by permanent departmental heads between 2 December 1972 and 18 May 1974. 1. Will he provide a complete list of these visits which differentiates between those whose travel was paid for by (a) the Australian Government or ( b) other organisations. 2. In the case of the latter, will he provide the names of those permanent heads and the organisations which paid the whole or pan of the fares for their overseas travel. {: #subdebate-81-6-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) I am advised that all proposals for official overseas visits (other than visits to Australian Territories and Protectorates or New Zealand, which do not require my authority) were put forward for either my approval, or, in my absence, the Acting Prime Minister's approval. 1. and (3) The information sought is given in the following table. {:#subdebate-81-7} #### Public Service: Employment (Question No. 901) {: #subdebate-81-7-s0 .speaker-KVM} ##### Mr Street: asked the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What action has he initiated to take account of the Government decision to put a ceiling of 2.6 per cent on the growth of the Public Service and Government authorities. 1. What is the estimated decrease in demand for housing resulting from the above decision. 2. What is the estimated saving in Government expenditure on services and facilities resulting from the above decision. {: #subdebate-81-7-s1 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Public Service Board has acted to contain the growth of the Public Service to 2.6 per cent by imposing a staff ceiling on each Department. At 30 June 1974 the Department of the Capital Territory had 3,056 staff. Under the staff restraint imposed by the Prime Minister the Department obtained a ceiling increase of 160. To operate within this modest increase, cuts were made in most areas of potential or present activity. The reduced allocation of staff means that the Department will be recruiting fewer professional and technical staff, parking inspectors, gardeners and other industrial employees than it could otherwise use. Comparison of ceiling increases allowed in recent years is: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The growth in the Public Service is only one factor in the growth rate of Canberra. A reduction in growth would reduce the demand for housing but the effect on the overall demand for housing would be very difficult to estimate with any accuracy. Given the backlog built up over many years, reduction of growth rates would not ease the pressures of demand for some time to come. 1. The overall saving in Government expenditure on services and facilities is a question for the Treasurer. {:#subdebate-81-8} #### Aboriginal Land Trust (Question No. 961) {: #subdebate-81-8-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice: >What are the areas, locations and costs of land acquired in Western Australia by the Aboriginal Land Trust since 30 June 1972. {: #subdebate-81-8-s1 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant:
ALP -- The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following reply to the honourable member's question: >The Western Australian Aboriginal Lands Trust has provided me with the following list of the location and area of the land acquired by it since 30 June 1972. It has informed me that the only costs involved were $17,148 for the acquisition of Lots M982 and M983, Medina. {:#subdebate-81-9} #### Hospitals: Hobart and Launceston (Question No. 1209) {: #subdebate-81-9-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What progress has been made with the Prime Minister's 1974 Policy Speech offer to build a new general hospital in Launceston and a new women's hospital in Hobart. 1. Will these hospitals be built and operated by the Australian or the Tasmanian Government. {: #subdebate-81-9-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) Australian Government assistance for the redevelopment of Launceston General Hospital and for the construction of a new women's hospital in Hobart have been the subject of correspondence between the Tasmanian Minister for Health, Social Welfare and Road Safety and myself. Further consideration of assistance for these two projects will take place when the Hospitals Development Program is discussed with the Tasmanian Authorities. {:#subdebate-81-10} #### Immigrants (Question No. 1332) {: #subdebate-81-10-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: >With reference to the answer to question No. 368, in which he advised me that statistics of immigrants arriving in Australia in 1973 who had relatives already resident in Australia were not available, does he intend to record this type of information in the future, or is it something in which he is not interested. {: #subdebate-81-10-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >Feasibility studies, allied with the recent introduction of computer facilities, have indicated that statistics of immigrants arriving in Australia who had relatives already resident here can be efficiently collected. Thus, for the first time, these and other new statistics showing the pattern of relationships involved in nomination schemes should become available during the coming year. {:#subdebate-81-11} #### Quarantine (Question No. I486) {: #subdebate-81-11-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr Bungey: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: >What is the classification, age, experience and length of service in quarantine, of each officer and employee employed on quarantine duties in his Department in Western Australia. {: #subdebate-81-11-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >As at 28 October 1974, the following officers and employees were engaged on quarantine duties in my Department in Western Australia: > > **Dr J.** B. Mathieson, Director (W.A. Division) age 62, service 36 years. 1 938-48 Medical Officer and Quarantine Officer, Sydney, Perth and Canberra; 195 1 Acting Deputy Director, Queensland; 1953 N.T.; 1957-64 Director, W.A.; 1968 First Assistant Director-General, Laboratory Services and Quarantine Division; 1968-74 Director, W.A. > > **Dr W.** J. Wilmot, Assistant Director (Medical) age 52, service this Division 1 year 7 months. 1964-68 Quarantine Officer, Northern Territory; 1960-64 part-time Quarantine Officer Broome, W.A. > > **Dr L.** M. Mogyorosy, Medical Officer Class 1 age 56, service 8V6 years as Quarantine Officer Fremantle and Perth Airport. > > **Dr A.** Brazowski, Medical Officer Class 1 age 56, service 4 years 2 months as Quarantine Officer Fremantle and Perth Airport. > > **Dr F.** S. Cozens, Medical Officer Class 1 age 50, service 2 years 10 months as Quarantine Officer Fremantle and Perth Airport. 1970 part-time Quarantine Officer Yampi Sound. > > **Dr M.** C. Thong, Medical Officer Class 1 age 42, service 12 months as Quarantine Officer Fremantle and Perth Airport. > > **Dr C.** R. B. Bamford, Medical Officer Class 1 age 44, service 1 year 8 months as Quarantine Officer Fremantle and Perth Airport. > > **Mr W.** F. Toomer, Quarantine Inspector age 39, service 6 years. 1968-72 Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 Geelong, Victoria; 1972-73 Quarantine Inspector Fremantle; 1973-74 Senior Quarantine Inspector Perth Office. > > **Mr N.** M. Brogan, Quarantine Inspector age 25, service 1 year 1 1 months as Quarantine Inspector Port Hedland. > > **Mr D.** Caunt, Quarantine Inspector age 41, service 1 year 4 months as Quarantine Inspector South-West Ports and Fremantle. > > **Mr W.** F. Robson, Quarantine Assistant Grade 4 age 55, service *12'A* years as Quarantine Assistant Grades 1,3, and 4 Fremantle. > > **Mr J.** C. J. Poore, Quarantine Assistant Grade 4 age 48, service 1414 years as Quarantine Assistant Grades 1,2 and 4 Fremantle. > > **Mr G.** A. D. Marsh, Quarantine Assistant Grade 4 age 54, service *23'A* years. 1951-59 Quarantine Assistant Grades 1 and 2 Woodman Point General Quarantine Station; 1959-63 Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 Animal Quarantine Station Bicton; 1963-74 Foreman Assistant and Quarantine Assistant Grade 4 Woodman Point General Quarantine Station. > > **Mr R.** N. Taylor, Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 age 46, service 22 W years. 1 952-63 Quarantine Assistant Grades 1 and 2 Woodman Point General Quarantine Station; 1963-74 Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 Animal Quarantine Station Bicton. > > **Mr A.** M. M. Kessels, Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 age 49, service *2'A* years as Quarantine Assistant Grades 1 and 3 Fremantle. > > **Mr R.** H. Dine, Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 age 50, service 2 years 2 months as Quarantine Assistant Grades 1 and 3 Fremantle; 1958-61 prior service Fremantle as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1. > > **Mr G.** Cornish, Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 age 30, service 3 years 9 months. 1971-73 Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Animal Quarantine Station, Bicton; 1973-74 Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 Fremantle. > > **Mr P.** H. Burrowes, Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 age 45, service 8 years as Quarantine Assistant Grades 1, 2 and 3 Fremantle. > > **Mr P.** H. Watson, Quarantine Assistant Grade 3 age 27, service 8 years 4 months. 1966-73 Quarantine Assistant Grade I Portsea General Quarantine Station; 1973-74 Quarantine Assistant Grades 2 and 3 Fremantle. > > **Mr H.** W. Harrison, Quarantine Assistant Grade 2 age 63, service II years 3 months as Quarantine Assistant Grade 2 General Quarantine Station Woodman Point. > > **Mr J.** Scully, Quarantine Assistant Grade 2 age 43, service 1 year 9 months as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 (Temporary) Woodman Point General Quarantine Station and 5 months Quarantine Assistant Grades 1 and 2 Fremantle. > > **Mr W.** L. J. Pascoe, Quarantine Assistant Grade 2 age 26, service 1 year 4 months as Quarantine Assistant Grades 1 and 2 Fremantle. > > **Mr W.** J. Trezise, Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 age 54, service 8 years 9 months. 1966-68 Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Bicton Animal Quarantine Station; 1969-73 Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Fremantle; 1973-74 Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Quarantine Station Woodman Point. > > **Mr W.** A. McLaren, Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 age 57, service 7 years 4 months as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 General Quarantine Station Woodman Point. > > **Mr J.** A. Smith, Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 age 56, service 6 years as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 General Quarantine Station Woodman Point. > > **Mr T.** G. Clucas, Quarantine Assistant Grade I age 52, service 5 years 9 months as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Animal Quarantine Station Bicton. > > **Mr J.** B. Trezise, Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 age 23, service 1 year 2 months as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Animal Quarantine Station Bicton. > > **Mr A.** Morley, Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 age 22, service 1 year 2 months as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Fremantle and relief at Animal Quarantine Station Bicton for short periods. > > **Mr G.** G. Osborne, Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 age 31, service 1 year 1 month as Quarantine Assistant Grade 1 Fremantle. {:#subdebate-81-12} #### Mount Royal Hospital (Question No. 1494) {: #subdebate-81-12-s0 .speaker-22251} ##### Mr McKenzie:
Diamond Valley · ALP asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Were 4 new nursing care wards opened at Mount Royal Hospital in October-November 1 973. 1. If so, was any Australian Government finance made available for the building of these new wards under any federal legislation; if so, what legislation. 2. Was there any specific provision under this legislation requiring that these facilities were to be provided for aged persons without means. 3. If so, how many beds in these new wards have been {: type="a" start="a"} 0. allocated to and (b) used for aged persons without means since they were opened until now. 4. How many beds in these new wards have been allocated as (a) public, (b) intermediate and (c) private. 5. How many beds are currently being used as (a) public, {: type="a" start="b"} 0. intermediate and (c) private. 6. Who has the authority to determine this proportion. 7. How many beds have there been in each of these new wards available for patients since they were opened. {: #subdebate-81-12-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 understand that four new nursing care wards were opened at the Mount Royal Hospital in 1 973. 1. and (3) No finance was provided for the construction of these wards under the legislation administered by my Department. (4 to 8) This information is not available in my Department. {:#subdebate-81-13} #### Fluoridation (Question No. 1506) {: #subdebate-81-13-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What research is being conducted by his Department into the advantages of the addition of fluoride to town water supplies. 1. What assistance is being provided to State Health Departments on technical or educational matters to promote the fluoridation of water supplies. 2. What cities and towns in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have fluoridation. {: #subdebate-81-13-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. (a) My Department and the National Health and Medical Research Council keep all aspects of fluoridation under review. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. The fluoridation of Canberra's water supply was commenced in September 1964, and the dental health of children who have lived in Canberra since fluoridation commenced is assessed annually. The Table below shows the progressive improvement in the dental condition of children aged six to twelve years. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The only avenue of assistance to the States on matters relating to the fluoridation of water supplies is through the expert Committees of the National Health and Medical Research Council, in particular, the Dental Health, Environmental Health and Public Health Advisory Committees. 1. In the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, fluoridation is in operation in Canberra (1964), Darwin (1972) and Alice Springs ( 197 1 ). {:#subdebate-81-14} #### Ministerial Press Releases (Question No. 1651) {: #subdebate-81-14-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How are copies of ministerial press releases circulated. 1. To whom are they circulated. 2. How many copies are circulated in total. 3. What is the total annual cost, including salary and administration charges, in producing and distributing ministerial press releases. 4. How many public servants in his Department are involved in the distribution of press releases. {: #subdebate-81-14-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Copies of press releases issued by the Minister for Health are distributed from the Public Relations Section of the Department of Health by hand to the Press Gallery, by mail to individuals and organisations throughout Australia, and by publication in the Australian Government Digest. 1. There is a list of people who regularly receive copies of the Minister for Health 's press statements, and this list is frequently changed. Other copies of press statements are distributed in response to people requesting them on a casual basis, or in answer to specific queries. Broadly, however, statements are issued to all Members and Senators, media organisations, Government Departments, Embassies, political party organisations, business organisations, specialist medical organisations, libraries and individuals from whom requests are received. 2. Approximately 650 copies of statements are regularly circulated. 3. The cost of producing and distributing press releases for the Minister for Health is included in costs relating to salaries and administration of the Department of Health. The costs attributable to ministerial press releases have not been separately identified and it is therefore not possible to give a precise answer to this part of the right honourable member's question. 4. Two, who are responsible for departmental press statements, media liaison and other publicity functions. Australian Public Service: Recruitment Wastage Rates (Question No. 1667) **Mr Snedden** asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What has been the wastage rate for graduates recruited to base grade positions in the third division of the Public Service in each of the last 10 years. 1. What has been the comparative wastage rate of nongraduate recruits to the third division in each of the last 10 years 2. Can he say how these wastage rates compared with similar recruitments in private industry. {: #subdebate-81-14-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The Public Service Board has supplied the following answer to the right honourable member's question: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Table 1 shows the cumulative wastage rates* by year for officers appointed under Section 35 (c) of the Public Service Act (i.e. graduates) to clerical/administrative class 1 designations in the years 1964-73. Of officers appointed in each of the last ten years, the percentage separated by the end of that year was as follows: {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Table 2 shows the cumulative wastage rates* by year for officers appointed under Section 35 (b) of the Public Service Act (i.e. non-graduates) to clerical/administrative class 1 designations in the years 1964-1973. Of officers appointed in each of the last 10 years, the percentage separated by the end of that year was as follows: {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The Public Service Board informs me that accurate information relating to wastage rates of similar recruits in private industry is not available. * For a group of officers appointed in a particular year, the cumulative wastage rate at a given time is defined as the percentage of the group that have separated from the Australian Public Service (e.g. by resignation, retirement, etc. ) up to that time. {:#subdebate-81-15} #### Australian Public Service: Mobility (Question No. 1673) {: #subdebate-81-15-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has mobility within the Australian Public Service, between the Australian Public Service and private industry and between the Australian Public Service and State Public Services increased since 2 December 1 972. 1. How is any increased mobility measured. 2. ) Will he incorporate a table showing this increase. {: #subdebate-81-15-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The Public Service Board has provided the following answer to the right honourable member's question: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) No central record of the destination of persons leaving the Service is maintained nor is a central record kept of the last place of employment of recruits to the Service. It is therefore not possible to measure mobility between the Australian Public Service and the State Public Services or private industry. There are different ways of defining mobility. In the context of the right honourable member's question, it is assumed that by mobility within the Service it is meant movement of staff between departments and between States. Tables showing promotions involving movement inter-State and interdepartment were included in the Board 's Annual Reports for 1973 and 1974 in the item 'Statistics of Interdepartmental Promotions'. These tables would indicate there was an increase between 1972 and 1973 in interdepartmental promotions and in inter-State promotions. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. See(l). 1. Summary statistics for interdepartmental and interState promotions for the years 1972 and 1973 were as follows: Australian Government Employees: 35-hour Week (Question No. 1678) **Mr Snedden** asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >Is it still the intention of the Government to reduce the working week of Commonwealth employees by 1% hours to 35 hours. {: #subdebate-81-15-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I should point out that the standard 40 hour week determined by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission is observed by a large number of Australian Government employees. The 36% hour week is observed by office workers of the Australian Government, but these only comprise a little over half the total number of Australian Government employees. > >As regards any reduction in the standard weekly hours, the Government continues to take the attitude that a working week of 35 hours is a reasonable aspiration for Australian Government employees as long as a reduction in weekly working hours does not involve an increase in the amount of overtime being paid, a reduction in productivity or an increase in staff. {:#subdebate-81-16} #### Australian Public Service: Positions Abolished (Question No. 1681) {: #subdebate-81-16-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. With reference to the answer to Question No. 1201 (Hansard, 12 December 1973, page 4667) in which he provided me with details of positions abolished in each Department in 1972-73, who initiates the process of reviewing possible redundant positions in departments. 1. Does the Permanent Head of each department have a part to play in this process. 2. If so, how does he undertake this role. 3. How many of the 2,765 positions abolished in 1972-73 were substituted by the creation of another position. {: #subdebate-81-16-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The primary responsibility for reviewing possible redundant positions rests with Permanent Heads of departments and those Statutory Officers with powers of Permanent Head. In pursuance of its statutory duties under the Public Service Act, the Public Service Board from time to time takes the initiative by asking a department to review a certain area of work where there may be the possibility of redundant positions. 1. See (I). 2. Permanent Heads are free to decide their own approaches to the way in which they will carry out their responsibilities under the Public Service Act and Regulations to report to the Public Service Board on the need to abolish an office. By way of illustration, the Board has informed me that the means adopted include: {: type="i" start="i"} 0. Specific reviews of the staffing need in areas where work programs have been finalised, workloads are reducing or where changing government or departmental priorities and procedures have potential effects on staffing. 1. Broader based cyclical review programs which subject various areas of the Department to scrutiny in turn. 2. Annual review by officers in charge of departmental branches and sections in conjunction with annual departmental estimating procedures. 3. Investigatory projects relating to systems, methods and work procedures, office mechanisation and the like. 4. Joint departmental and Public Service Board studies of various types. 3. I am informed that the establishment records maintained by the Public Service Board, whilst indicating which positions have been formally abolished and which positions have been formally created, do not readily indicate cases in which the abolition of a position is matched by the creation of another one for similar work. To extract that information would require manual search and analysis of the circumstances disclosed by a total of something like 3000 files and I am unwilling to authorise the required expenditure to extract that information from the separate file records relating to each individual case. {:#subdebate-81-17} #### River Murray Inquiry Working Party (Question No. 1213) {: #subdebate-81-17-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Who are the members of the Farm Irrigation Practices Sub-committee of the River Murray Inquiry Working Party. 1. How often has this committee met. 2. Have any personal or written submissions been considered by this sub-committee; if so, from whom. 3. When can any recommendations be expected from this sub-committee. 4. Is Government finance available, either in grants or loans, to encourage the adoption of any improved practices recommended by the sub-committee. {: #subdebate-81-17-s1 .speaker-JNG} ##### Dr Cass:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >(1)- **Mrs C.** Settle (Chairman) Department of the Environment and Conservation, Canberra. **Mr J.** A. Ligertwood, Engineering and Water Supply Department, South Australia. **Mr M.** R. Till, Department of Agriculture, South Australia. **Mr P.** B. Allen, Department of Agriculture, Canberra. **Mr P.** A. Witschi, Department of Agriculture, New South Wales. **Mr S.** Pels, Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission, New South Wales. **Mr E.** P. Robinson, State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, Victoria. **Mr K.** R. Garland, Department of Agriculture, Victoria. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Twice. The Committee met on 29 July 1974 and on 2 1 October 1974. 1. Yes. Submissions that have been considered by the Committee to date have been those received from: State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, Victoria. Department of Agriculture, Victoria. Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission, New South Wales. Department of Agriculture, New South Wales. Department of Agriculture, South Australia. The Committee will also be considering submissions received from the following: Victorian Irrigation Research and Promotion Organisation. Torrumbarry System Irrigators Association. Victorian Irrigators Central Council. Australian Dried Fruits Association. Loddon Regional Committee. Murray Research and Extension Committee. Kerang Agricultural Research Farm. Swan Hill Irrigators Research Farm. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. The Committee aims to submit a report to the River Murray Working Party by the end of January. 1. 5 ) Australian Government financial assistance to encourage the adoption of improved practices recommended by the Committee, may be available through the Australian Extension Services Grants to the States. {:#subdebate-81-18} #### Unemployed: Assistance (Question No. 1274) {: #subdebate-81-18-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: >In his monthly reports of unemployed will he include all those who are receiving- > >employment under the Regional Employment Development Scheme; > >training under the National Employment and Training System; and > >special benefits as a result of tariff-caused redundancy. {: #subdebate-81-18-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (a), (b) and (c) The honourable member will be aware that I did include in my press statement of 8 November 1 974 on the provisional Commonwealth Employment Service statistics for October the numbers employed on projects funded by the Regional Employment Development Scheme who had been recruited from the registered unemployed. It is intended that these statistics, together with the number of persons in receipt of special re-adjustment assistance, will be regularly published in my Department's Monthly Review of the Employment Situation. I also recognise the desirability of regular publication of a comprehensive range of statistics relating to the National Employment and Training System. Some of them could provide an added insight into the labor market and therefore warrant inclusion in the monthly publication. However, most of the information may not have the same direct relevance though valuable for other purposes, nor justify this frequency of publication. My Department is giving detailed consideration to the most suitable ways in which various NEAT statistics and related information might be regularly available. {:#subdebate-81-19} #### Unemployment: Income Maintenance (Question No. 1275) {: #subdebate-81-19-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: >When may I expect an answer to question No. 984 of 18 September 1974 relating to the number of people who have been unemployed due to tariff cuts. {: #subdebate-81-19-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The answer to question No. 984 appeared in Hansard on 26 November 1974. {:#subdebate-81-20} #### Department of Agriculture: Management Consultant Firms (Question No. 1331) {: #subdebate-81-20-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, upon notice: >With reference to the answer to question No. 799 (Hansard, 3 October 1974, page 2267), in which the Minister informed me that the Department of Agriculture spent $56,769 in having McKinsey and Company Inc., London, review the management structure and organisation of the International Wool Secretariat, what was the outcome of this review. {: #subdebate-81-20-s1 .speaker-KXV} ##### Dr Patterson:
ALP -- The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the right honourable member's question: >On 5 July 1974, the Minister for Agriculture issued a press statement on the outcome of the McKinsey and Co. review together with a one-page summary of the report. The Chairman of the International Wool Secretariat, **Mr A.** C. B. Maiden, also issued a press statement concerning the review on 13 June 1974. > >The principal recommendations of the report were: > >A more structured approach to planning be adopted, with increased attention being given to global strategies. Administrative and staff structure changes in support of this approach were suggested. > >The role and composition of the IWS Board should be more directed to developing and reviewing overall strategy, leaving detailed aspects of operations to a Board Committee. The IWS Board, at a meeting in June 1974, decided to implement, with very few modifications, the principal recommendations concerning staff structure. The resultant organisational restructuring became effective on 1 August 1974. So far as the suggested changes to the IWS Board are concerned, the Chairman of the IWS advised me recently that the Board has accepted the recommendations in the report concerning its role and functions and has also moved to strengthen the role of the Board Committee. {:#subdebate-81-21} #### Maternity Leave (Question No. 1368) {: #subdebate-81-21-s0 .speaker-KIM} ##### Mr Lynch: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What action has he taken pursuant to the Government's commitment to extend maternity leave to the private sector. 1. Has the matter been examined by a committee of inquiry. 2. If so, will he table the findings of the inquiry. {: #subdebate-81-21-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. I assume the honourable member has in mind the extension to the private sector of maternity leave in accordance with the requirements of the ILO Convention (No. 103) concerning Maternity Protection. This was the basis on which the benefit was granted to female officers and employees of the Australian Government by the Maternity Leave (Australian Government Employees) Act 1973. The honourable member will recall that during my second reading speech on that legislation I said that if a flow-on of the provisions of the Act to private employers were sought by way of award variation in the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, which would place the obligation on individual employers, the Government would be prepared to intervene and officially oppose it. This is because of the ILO Convention requirement that 'in no case, shall the employer be individually liable for the cost of such benefits due to women employed by him.' It is clear that extension to the private sector requires very detailed examination particularly as to costing; up to the present the whole matter has received only very preliminary consideration. I would also refer the honourable member to my answer to his recent question (No. 1374) on ILO Convention No. 103. 1. No. 2. See answer to (2). {:#subdebate-81-22} #### Local Government: Financial Assistance (Question No. 1381) {: #subdebate-81-22-s0 .speaker-KIM} ##### Mr Lynch: asked the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, upon notice: >Will he provide a list outlining the financial assistance payable to local government bodies in each Federal electoral division during 1974-75. {: #subdebate-81-22-s1 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member 's question is as follows: >The information requested is not available at this stage. The funding for programs administered by my Department and involving financial assistance to local authorities is made by way of payments to or for the States. Details of programs and projects are decided only after joint discussions have been held between the Australian Government and the State > >Government concerned. Discussions concerning 1974-75 programs are continuing but have not been finalised. > >Australian Government assistance to local government bodies is also provided through the Grants Commission. This program of assistance is administered by my colleague the Special Minister of State. The Grants Commission's First Report (1974) on Financial Assistance for Local Government, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on 23 August 1974, contains a breakdown of assistance to be made in 1974-75 to individual local government bodies and the basis on which the level of assistance was determined. It is not possible to determine accurately the level of such assistance on an electorate basis as in many cases local government and electorate boundaries do not coincide. > >I refer the honourable member to the Grants Commission Report. {:#subdebate-81-23} #### South Australia: Colour Television (Question No. 1394) {: #subdebate-81-23-s0 .speaker-KWZ} ##### Mr Wallis:
GREY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice: >When is it anticipated that transmission of colour television will commence on the ABC regional television transmitters in South Australia. {: #subdebate-81-23-s1 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP -- The Postmaster-General has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: >The program of testing and modification of transmitting equipment at national television stations has proceeded to the stage where all national television transmitters in South Australia are now transmitting colour test programs, with the exception of the Ceduna transmitter. Colour test transmissions are expected to commence from Ceduna before the end of December 1974. > >Following the completion of these tests, an announcement will be made indicating when each ABC station will commence its regular colour service. {:#subdebate-81-24} #### A.C.T.: Suicide Rate (Question No. 1404) {: #subdebate-81-24-s0 .speaker-KVM} ##### Mr Street: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the suicide rate in the Australian Capital Territory. 1. How does it compare with the suicide rate in other capital cities in Australia. {: #subdebate-81-24-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The number of deaths in the Australian Capital Territory resulting from suicide in the most recent Causes of Death publications of the Australian Bureau of Statistics is 6.2 per 100,000 persons in 1971 and 5.1 per 100,000 persons in 1972. 1. The statistics of deaths by cause of death are not available for capital cities but are available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on a State basis, and for comparison purposes the deaths in 1971 and 1972 recorded as suicide are shown. {:#subdebate-81-25} #### Voluntary Organisations: Federal Headquarters (Question No. 1437) {: #subdebate-81-25-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What voluntary organisations have requested financial assistance from his Department for the establishment or maintenance of a federal headquarters. 1. ) What has been the response to the requests. {: #subdebate-81-25-s1 .speaker-JO8} ##### Mr Barnard:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) and (2) There are no records within the Department of Defence of any requests from voluntary organisations for financial assistance to establish or maintain a federal headquarters. {:#subdebate-81-26} #### Voluntary Organisations: Federal Headquarters (Question No. 1441) {: #subdebate-81-26-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What voluntary organisations have requested financial assistance from his Department for the establishment or maintenance of a federal headquarters. 1. ) What has been the response to the requests. {: #subdebate-81-26-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Since the present Government came into office the only voluntary organisation which has made a request of this nature to my Department is the Safety Engineering Society of Australasia. 1. This request of financial assistance was not approved. {:#subdebate-81-27} #### Voluntary Organisations: Federal Headquarters (Question No. 1448) {: #subdebate-81-27-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What voluntary organisations have requested financial assistance from his Department for the establishment or maintenance of a federal headquarters. 1. ) What has been the response to the requests. {: #subdebate-81-27-s1 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Charles Jones:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia $22,000 per annum. The General Aviation Association $8,000 per annum. The Gliding Federation of Australia $19,000 per annum (including payment in recognition of a number of responsibilities delegated to the Federation). 1. The Australian Government has provided financial assistance to the flying training movement in Australia since 1 926. The Assistance Scheme was last reviewed in 1 973 and as a result of this review it was decided to continue providing assistance to gliding and flying training by payment towards their secretariat expenses- the majority of which goes towards the maintenance of federal headquarters. {:#subdebate-81-28} #### British Leyland Motor Corporation (Question No. 1458) {: #subdebate-81-28-s0 .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr McLeay: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) When did the Leyland Company inform him of its approaching employment crisis. 1. Did the company seek advice or assistance from the Government. 2. If so, what was his response. {: #subdebate-81-28-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) (2) and (3) I became aware of Leyland 's employment crises in early October and immediately arranged for my Department to confer with the company. The Director of my Department in New South Wales had several meetings with representatives of the company and established arrangements for the Commonwealth Employment Service to assist the workers concerned. A temporary office was set up by the Commonwealth Employment Service at the Leyland plant so that those retrenched could be offered advice and placement assistance. I should point out that the company has been most co-operative in assisting the Commonwealth Employment Service in its important task. {:#subdebate-81-29} #### Caffeine (Question No. 1511) {: #subdebate-81-29-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the average number of milligrams of caffeine per tablet in the various types of compound analgesics available over the counter. 1. What is the average number of milligrams of caffeine in a cup of (a) tea, (b) coffee and (c) some brands of cola. 2. Are there any reasons why it is more deleterious to consume caffeine in analgesics than in beverages. {: #subdebate-81-29-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) 30 milligrams, the average dose of 2 tablets providing 60 milligrams. 1. (a) 75 milligrams. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. 100 milligrams in percolated coffee, 75 milligrams in instant coffee. 1. 22 milligrams are permitted in 1 50 millilitres, the volume of an average size cup. 2. Yes. Motivations to consume caffeine include physical tolerance or dependence and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms acquired by habituation to tea, coffee and analgesics compounded with caffeine. This dependence is undesirable because of the high incidence of kidney failure, peptic ulcer and other complications of excessive consumption of over-the-counter analgesics. Such risks are minimal or absent in the cases of the three beverages referred to. {:#subdebate-81-30} #### Public Telephones Services (Question No. 1534) {: #subdebate-81-30-s0 .speaker-QF4} ##### Mr Connolly: asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many technicians are involved in maintaining and repairing public telephone facilities throughout Australia. 1. What is the total cost in salaries and allowances involved in this service. 2. How many public telephones are in service throughout Australia. 3. With reference to the take-over of the red telephone service by the Department, how many telephones were in this service, and how many technicians were previously involved by the company in maintaining the red telephones. {: #subdebate-81-30-s1 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP -- The Postmaster-General has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) In most areas of Australia public telephones are maintained by staff who also maintain subscribers' telephone services. However, the man hours and labour costs involved in maintaining public telephones are recorded separately and during the 1973-74 financial year the total manhours expended on this work was the equivalent of 237 full time technicians. 1. The wages and allowances equivalent of the manhours referred to in (1), including an allowance for overtime, leave, and furlough, is $ 1 ,680,000. 2. ) 3 1 ,628 at the end of June 1 974. 3. The Department has not yet taken over the red telephone service but expects to do so on 20 December this year. It is known that the company currently employs about 19 men on maintaining the existing red telephones. It should be explained, however, that under the current agreement between the Department and the company the rectification of minor faults on red telephones including the replacement of minor external components is carried out by departmental technicians. It should also be mentioned that red telephones are generally in locations under constant supervision by the lessees and are not subject to the high incidence of faults and damage due to vandalism experienced with departmental public telephones many of which are in isolated locations. In metropolitan areas the number of maintenance visits necessary to public telephones is about *25* times greater than to red telephones. {:#subdebate-81-31} #### Department of Services and Property: Grants (Question No. 1551) {: #subdebate-81-31-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Services and Property, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What programs does his Department or statutory authorities under his control administer which enable individual groups or people in the community to apply for grants from the Australian Government for a specific purpose. 1. What is the name of each program. 2. What is the purpose of each program. 3. What are the conditions surrounding eligibility for a grant under each program. 4. 5 ) When did each program commence 5. What is the legal authority for the existence of each program. 6. How is the community informed of the existence of each program, and its entitlement to apply for a grant. 7. How many applications for grants under each program have been received in each of the last 3 years or for the period of operation of the program if it has been in operation less than 3 years. 8. Who decides which applications for grants should be accepted. 9. What percentage of applications for grants under each program has been successful in each of the last 3 years or in each of the years in which the program has been operating if it has been in operation for less than 3 years. 10. What proportion of total funds allocated under each program in each of the last 3 years, or in each year the program has been operating where it has been in operation for less than 3 years, has been allocated to individuals as against groups. 11. Are any attempts made to assess the extent to which the widest cross-section of the community is aware of the existence of the program, and the means by which applications can be submitted; if so, what attempts. 12. What checks are made once applications are received for each program to determine if the attempts to widen access to the funds have been successful. 13. 14) Is he confident that the widest cross-section of the community is aware of the existence of the programs, and is aware of the application process. 14. What procedures exist to assess the use to which the grants are being put, and to attempt some accountability for the money granted. 15. What is the total amount that has been paid out under each program in each of the last 3 years or in each year of the operation of the program if it has been operating for less than 3 years. 16. 17) What is the total amount of money paid out for all such programs administered by his Department or authorities under his control. 17. What attempts are made to ensure that the same individual organisations or persons do not receive several grants under different programs which he or other Ministers are responsible for and which, when added together, may be unwarranted. {: #subdebate-81-31-s1 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Neither my Department nor the Australian Electoral Office administers any programs which enable individual groups or people in the community to apply for grants from the Australian Government for a specific purpose. 1. to (18)See (1)above {:#subdebate-81-32} #### Department of Northern Development: Grants (Question No. 1555) {: #subdebate-81-32-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Northern Development, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What programs does his Department or statutory authorities under his control administer which enable individual groups or people in the community to apply for grants from the Australian Government for a specific purpose. 1. What is the name of each program. 2. What is the purpose of each program. 3. What are the conditions surrounding eligibility for a grant under each program. 4. 5 ) When did each program commence. 5. What is the legal authority for the existence of each program. 6. How is the community informed of the existence of each program, and its entitlement to apply for a grant. 7. How many applications for grants under each program have been received in each of the last 3 years or for the period of operation of the program if it has been in operation less than 3 years. 8. Who decides which applications for grants should be accepted. 9. What percentage of applications for grants under each program have been successful in each of the last 3 years or in each of the years in which the program has been operating if it has been in operation for less than 3 years. 10. What proportion of total funds allocated under each program in each of the last 3 years, or in each year the program has been operating where it has been in operation for less than 3 years, have been allocated to individuals as' against groups. 11. Are any attempts made to assess the extent to which the widest cross-section of the community is aware of the existence of the program, and the means by which applications can be submitted; if so what attempts. 12. What checks are made once applications are received for each program to determine if the attempts to widen access to the funds have been successful. 13. Is he confident that the widest cross-section of the community is aware of the existence of the programs, and is aware of the application process. 14. What procedures exist to assess the use to which the grants are being put, and to attempt some accountability for the money granted. 15. What is the total amount that has been paid out under each program in each of the last 3 years or in each year of the operation of the program if it has been operating for less than 3 years. 16. 17) What is the total amount of money paid out for all such programs administered by his Department or authorities under his control. 17. What attempts are made to ensure that the same individual organisations or persons do not receive several grants under different programs which he or other Ministers are responsible for and which, when added together, may be unwarranted. , {: #subdebate-81-32-s1 .speaker-KXV} ##### Dr Patterson:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. to (18) The Department of Northern Development does not administer any programs, of the kind referred to; there are no statutory authorities under my control as Minister for Northern Development. Department of Agriculture: Ministerial Press Releases (Question No. 1640) **Mr Snedden** asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How are copies of Ministerial press releases circulated. 1. To whom are they circulated. 2. How many copies are circulated in total. 3. What is the total annual cost, including salary and administration charges, in producing and distributing Ministerial press releases. 4. How many public servants in the Department of Agriculture are involved with the distribution of press releases. {: #subdebate-81-32-s2 .speaker-KXV} ##### Dr Patterson:
ALP -- The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the right honourable member's question: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Copies of press releases issued by the Minister for Agriculture are distributed by hand to the press gallery from the Minister's press office, by distribution from the Ministerial Document Reproduction Unit and by publication in the Australian Government Digest. 1. There is a list of people who regularly receive copies of the Minister's press statements and this list is constantly changed. In addition, a number of copies of press statements are distributed in response to people calling in, or writing in, on a casual basis. Broadly, however, statements are issued to all Members and Senators, media organisations, Government departments, embassies, political party organisations, business organisations, libraries and individuals from whom requests are received. 2. The number of copies circulated depends to an extent upon the particular subject matter of the statement, but in general statements are sent regularly to about 72S addresses including Members of Parliament and Government departments. 3. Part of the cost of producing and distributing press releases for the Minister is included in costs relating to salaries and administration of the office of the Minister for Agriculture. Other costs are borne by the Ministerial Document Reproduction Unit, which is part of the Department of the Media. The costs attributable to ministerial press releases have not been separately identified and it is therefore not possible to give a precise answer to this part of the right honourable member's question. 4. None. {:#subdebate-81-33} #### Department of Labor and Immigration: Ministerial Press Releases (Question No. 1643) {: #subdebate-81-33-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How are copies of Ministerial press releases circulated. 1. To whom are they circulated. 2. ) How many copies are circulated in total. 3. What is the total annual cost, including salary and administration charges, in producing and distributing Ministerial press releases. 4. How many public servants in his Department are involved with the distribution of press releases. {: #subdebate-81-33-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Copies of press releases issued by the Minister for Labor and Immigration are distributed by hand to the Canberra Press Gallery and to media representatives in Melbourne, by bulk postage to other addresses and by publication in the Australian Government Digest. 1. Press releases are distributed to media organisations, Government Departments, Embassies, political party organisations and to individuals and organisations from whom requests are received. The list of names of the latter changes constantly. 2. The number of copies circulated depends on the particular content matter but generally copies of press releases distributed on Labor matters approach 3,000, and on Immigration matters 1,900. 3. and (S) The costs of producing and distributing Ministerial press releases and numbers of staff involved are not readily available as reproduction units are engaged continuously on producing a variety of printed material. The costs attributable to the press releases have not been separately maintained. Australian Public Service: Part-time Employees (Question No. 1662) **Mr Snedden** asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >Does the Government support the recommendation by the committee of inquiry into labour market training (the Cochrane Committee) which reported in May 1974 that the Australian Government should take the lead in extending opportunities for part-time employment by granting permanent status to its pan-time employees; if so, when will this be introduced; if not, why not. {: #subdebate-81-33-s2 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The Public Service Board which is responsible for the terms and conditions of employment within the Australian Public Service, has supplied the following information for answer to the right honourable member's question: >Development in the field of pan-time employment in the Australian Public Service, including a study of the concept of permanent pan-time employment, are outlined in the Board's 1974 Annual Report tabled on 17 September 1974 (pp. 95-6). > >See also my answer to the right honourable member's earlier Question No. 316 (Hansard, 23 October 1974, pp. 2784-5). {:#subdebate-81-34} #### Bureau of Industrial Information (Question No. 1713) {: #subdebate-81-34-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) With reference to the answer to question No 2 1 1 (Hansard, 30 July 1974, page 832) concerning the establishment of a bureau within the Department of Labor and Immigration as discussed at the Industrial Peace Conference, what progress has been made in the considerations of the Government. 1. When is it expected that the bureau will be operating. 2. Does the delay in establishing the bureau indicate that the Government has afforded it low priority. 3. If not, why has there been such a long delay in establishing the bureau. {: #subdebate-81-34-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) to (4) As the Prime Minister indicated in his answer to which the right honourable member refers, the establishment of an office of economic and social research, incorporating a bureau of industrial information within my Department, is under consideration by the Government. Other more immediate matters have resulted in the proposal not proceeding as speedily as I would have wished. {:#subdebate-81-35} #### National Archives (Question No. 1726) {: #subdebate-81-35-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Special Minister of State, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the mean time for and standard deviation from the mean for a person wishing to access the National Archives being granted permission. 1. What is the mean time and standard deviation from the mean following permission being granted that the person actually sees these archives. {: #subdebate-81-35-s1 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) A significant amount of material in the Australian Archives is immediately available for use by any holder of a Search Ticket which is issued within a short time of application. For a person requesting to see material not already cleared, the present mean time for examination and clearance of material is from 2 to 3 weeks in Canberra, and 3 days in Melbourne. Longer delays are usually in respect of the relatively small number of cases where papers have to be referred for decision to agencies outside the Australian Archives. Standard deviations cannot be calculated accurately without tracing the progress of several thousand items over a period, but it would be fair to say that standard deviations would be of the order of 6 weeks on one hand and one day on the other. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Archives cleared for access may be consulted by the holder of a Search Ticket at any time at the convenience of the searcher. The average time for issue of an item in the Search Room is ten minutes. Searchers are asked to report any case where there is a delay of 15 minutes in production of an item. No record is kept of cases where the length of time taken to produce an item is in excess of 15 minutes. These do occur from time to time, and are usually due to the fact that the item is in a security storage area or another repository. It is estimated that standard deviations would be of the order of 30 minutes on the one hand and 5 minutes on the other. {:#subdebate-81-36} #### National Archives (Question No. 1727) {: #subdebate-81-36-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Special Minister of State, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many refusals in respect of access to archives have there been since 2 December 1 972. 1. Who was refused access and for what reason, and who refused access in each case. {: #subdebate-81-36-s1 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="A" start="I"} 0. and (2) The Australian Archives has no record of persons having been refused access to archives on a personal basis. Any restrictions of archives from release are based on the nature of the records concerned or the period of their creation, and apply to all searchers equally. In some cases a person may be granted special conditional access to archives not available to the general public. The reason for restriction of public access to archives would be either that they were created after 3 1 December 1 945 and hence came within the closed access period, or that they were in the following categories of records not normally released for public access: {: type="a" start="i"} 0. exceptionally sensitive papers, the disclosure of which would be contrary to the public interest, whether on security or other grounds (including the need to safeguard the revenue). {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. documents containing information supplied in confidence, the disclosure of which would or might constitute a breach of good faith; and 1. documents containing information about individuals, the disclosure of which would cause distress or embarrassment to living persons or their immediate descendants. Decisions to withhold records are based on examination carried out by the staff of the Australian Archives with the advice of appropriate departments where necessary. Decisions are open to review. {:#subdebate-81-37} #### Retrenchment Payments (Question No. 1777) {: #subdebate-81-37-s0 .speaker-KET} ##### Mr King: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Under what criteria does an industry qualify to have its dismissed personnel paid on retrenchment basis. 1. What industries have been accepted as those who qualify for special retrenchment payments. 2. 3 ) Have any industries applied for and been rejected for retrenchment payments; if so which ones. {: #subdebate-81-37-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) For a dismissed employee to qualify as eligible to receive income maintenance his retrenchment must have resulted directly from a structural change for which the Government had decided its structural adjustment assistance programme should apply and his former employer must provide him or her with a Statutory Declaration as to the reason for retrenchment. 1. The programme of structural adjustment assistance, including income maintenance, is at present available to firms adversely affected by and to individuals who lose their employment directly as a result of : 2. 1 ) the 25 per cent tariff cut of July 1 973; 3. the reduction in tariffs on consumer electronic equipment and components, November 1973; 4. the reduction in tariffs on domestic appliances, January 1974; 5. the lining of tariff quotas on woven shirts and knitted outerwear, February 1974; 6. reduction in assistance to shipbuilding, December 1973; 7. dairying industry reconstruction; 8. the new plans for the passenger motor vehicle industry recently announced. 9. There is no provision in the structural adjustment assistance programme for industries to qualify for retrenchments payments. Firms adversely affected by any of the Government decisions mentioned above may qualify for adjustment assistance. Criteria of eligibility for firms are different to those governing eligibility of individuals. The programme of assistance to firms is at present administered by the Department of Manufacturing Industry. Information provided by that department indicates that as at 20 November 1974, 128 applications had been received from firms in the following industries: Of those 128 applications, so far 7 have subsequently been withdrawn and 1 1 found to be ineligible. {:#subdebate-81-38} #### Farm Machinery: Safety (Question No. 1784) {: #subdebate-81-38-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What research is his Department undertaking or sponsoring into tractor and other farm machinery safety. 1. What safety education programmes are being conducted or planned. 2. What co-ordination is there with State authorities in respect of research, education or safety legislation. {: #subdebate-81-38-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >I am informed that ( 1 ) my Department is sponsoring a research project conducted by the University of Queensland, covering the safe design and operation of tractors used for agricultural purposes, and also an investigation and analysis of other rural industry accidents. This project had its origins in a recommendation by the Departments of Labour Advisory Committee (DOLAC) which comprises the Permanent Heads of the Australian and State Departments of Labour. The current programme of tractor research is expected to be completed during this financial year. An Officer of my Department is also contributing to work in this field, as a member of the Standards Association of Australia Committee AG/4 (Safety of Agricultural Machinery). > >Safety educational and promotional activities have traditionally been the province of the State Departments of Labour but my Department has cooperated with State Departments in the production of a series of booklets relating to rural industry safety. The National Safety Council of Australia, which is financially supported by Australian Government annual grants, is also active in this field. Further, my Department and the Productivity Promotion Council of Australia have been approached by a number of interested bodies with a view to staging a series of safety educational seminars and this is under consideration. > >Concerning research, education and safety legislation, my Department works closely with State Government representatives. Co-ordination of activity in these areas is maintained principally through DOLAC (mentioned previously) and meetings of the Committee of Chief Inspectors of State Departments of Labour. By arrangement with the State Ministers for Labour, officers of my Department attend the meetings of the latter Committee which for the past 2 years has been framing uniform model safety regulations and physical working standards based on the best practices in all States. Concerning the Rural Industry (Machine Safety) Regulations drafted by this body, to date New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have adopted the uniform Regulations and Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania are currently considering their introduction. Arising out of the Report of the National Committee of Inquiry into Compensation and Rehabilitation in Australia, issued July 1974, the Government is considering a number of recommendations relating to the research, education and safety areas. {:#subdebate-81-39} #### Dr Sandford D. Clark (Question No. 1787) {: #subdebate-81-39-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Who has commissioned and financed the research of **Dr Sandford** D. Clark of the Melbourne University. 1. What has he been asked to report on, and to whom. 2. What reports on what subjects have been received to date, and by whom. 3. Will these reports be made available to Members of Parliament. {: #subdebate-81-39-s1 .speaker-JNG} ##### Dr Cass:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question insofar as it relates to water research projects in which my Department has had a direct interest is as follows: ( 1 ), (2) As pan of the research program of the Australian Water Resources Council, administered by my Department and financed by the Australian Government, **Dr Clark** has carried out the following research projects: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Legal, institutional and administrative aspects of groundwater management in Australia. 1. b ) The Law of Allocation of water for private use. The Department of National Development under the previous Liberal-Country Party Government commissioned a study by **Dr Clark** on the administration of interstate rivers. Finance was provided by the Australian Government. As a consultant to ECAFE **Dr Clark** compiled a comparative study of water legislation and administration techniques in the ECAFE countries. This project was managed by the Department of National Development on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and financed by the Australian Government. This project was financed under the Multilateral Aid-Regional Projects for Economic Co-operation in Asia section of the Australian External Aid Program (RPECA) {: type="1" start="3"} 0. (a) The Law of Allocation of water for private use. Vol. 1 Legislation and Private Rights; Vol. 2 Specific Problems; Vol. 3 Australian Case Notes; Vol. 4 Interstate Rivers. These reports were received by the Department of National Development. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Project on Administration of Interstate RiversDraft Working Paper on the Administration of Interstate Rivers. This report is an incomplete draft of what was proposed as a background paper to form the basis of discussions with interested parties as to the various ways in which existing requirements for the management of Australian interstate rivers might be revised. The report was received by the Department of the Environment and Conservation. 1. Guidelines for the Drafting of Water Legislation. This report was transmitted to ECAFE {: type="1" start="4"} 0. 3(a) A copy has been placed in the Parliamentary Library. 3(b) A copy has been placed in the Parliamentary Library. 3(c) A copy will be placed in the Parliamentary Library as soon as one becomes availaWe {:#subdebate-81-40} #### Trade Union Training (Question No. 1820) {: #subdebate-81-40-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What has happened to his proposal to establish facilities for trade union training. 1. ) Has the proposal progressed. 2. Are the published reports, that he is already advertising for staff for such a facility, correct. 3. If so, what staff is he seeking. 4. Does he propose that courses be in a separate institute or that appropriate courses be introduced in existing educational institutes. 5. What proposals are currently under consideration for the National Council for Trade Union Training. {: #subdebate-81-40-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The Interim Committee of the Australian Council for Trade Union Training was established in November 1973. State Advisory Committees have also been formed in each State. The Committees have been meeting regularly and have developed programmes of trade union training at the national and State levels. Some 5 courses of an advanced nature have already been conducted at national level and some 62 courses conducted in the States. 1. ) See answer to Question ( 1 ). 2. Yes. 3. Three staff are being sought to organise and conduct training programmes at the national level and 6 staff are being sought to conduct programmes in each of the States. 4. Trade union training centres are to be established at the national and State levels. However, it is likely that, as at present, some training courses will continue to be conducted within existing educational and training facilities. 5. An Australian Council for Union Training is to be established under the Trade Union Training Authority Bill which it is anticipated will be introduced into the Parliament early in 1975. {:#subdebate-81-41} #### Geelong: Employment and Unemployment (Question No. 1826) {: #subdebate-81-41-s0 .speaker-KVM} ##### Mr Street: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many people in the Geelong employment district are (a) registered as unemployed, (b) receiving unemployment benefits, (c) engaged in full-time employment under the Regional Employment Development Scheme, (d) receiving special benefits as a result of retrenchments, in industries affected by Government tariff decisions and (e) being retrained under the National Employment and Training System and receiving benefits and costs of full or pan time education. 1. What is the weekly cost to the taxpayer in respect of paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) of pan ( 1 ). {: #subdebate-81-41-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) At end-October 1 974 there were: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. 3,450 persons registered for employment in the Geelong Employment Office area; 1. 1,765 persons in receipt of Unemployment Benefit; 2. 56 persons engaged in employment under the Regional Employment Development Scheme (REDS); 3. 439 persons in receipt of Special Adjustment Assistance; and 4. 120 persons currently in training under the National Employment and Training System (NEAT). 1. Average weekly costs per person for each of the categories in (1 ) above are not compiled for individual employment office areas. Using the Australian-wide averages the estimated weekly costs for the Geelong area are about: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. $60,000 in the case of Unemployment Benefit payments; 1. b ) $ 1 0,000 for employment under REDS; 2. $43,000 for Special Adjustment Assistance; and 3. $5,500 for training under NEAT. {:#subdebate-81-42} #### Notice Paper (Question No. 1876) {: #subdebate-81-42-s0 .speaker-QH4} ##### Mr Kerin: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1) By how many pages would the present Notice Paper be reduced if the practice of inflating the tally of questions on notice by the device of directing the same question individually to each of the 27 Ministers were to cease. 1. Will the Prime Minister state the saving to the taxpayer, in terms of paper and printing savings, which would result if the practice was to ask these questions only once, incorporating a preamble which indicated that the information was sought from each of the 27 Ministers. {: #subdebate-81-42-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) The Acting Government Printer has calculated that in issue No. 34 of the Notice Paper, which contained 43 pages of repetitive questions placed on notice on 13 November, the number of pages of such questions would have been reduced to 3 *Vi* by the adoption of a changed format along the lines suggested by the honourable member in part (2 ) of the question. The Acting Government Printer has also estimated that, while the average production cost per issue of Notice Papers printed in 1974 is $884, the average cost per issue between 17 September and 13 November is in excess of $1000. The adoption of revised procedures could have resulted in savings of approximately $842 per issue in respect of issues 1 4 to 34 and $658 per issue based on the average issue during 1974. It is also estimated that 12 tonnes of paper could have been saved. **Mr Speaker** recently proposed to the Government and Opposition Parties the adoption of certain procedural changes in the production of the Notice Paper (including a change along the lines suggested by the honourable member). Although the Government readily agreed to these measures the Opposition Parties did not- although I understand that in 1970 the then Prime Minister did concur in proposals designed to overcome production difficulties similar to those now being experienced. It seems curious that at a time when the Leader of the Opposition is publicly advocating indiscriminate reductions in Government expenditure he is not prepared to give his assistance in this area. Apart from the lightening of the load on the officers of the Parliament and the Government Printing Office, the cost saving would be considerable. I understand that the leaders of the Opposition Parties have suggested that the size of the Notice Paper could be reduced if questions were answered more promptly by the Government. As the following table shows, questions on notice in the House of Representatives addressed to me have been answered more promptly during my period of office than those addressed to the Prime Minister during the last two years of the Liberal-Country Party Government. {:#subdebate-81-43} #### Unemployed Persons: Suitable Employment (Question No. 1881) {: #subdebate-81-43-s0 .speaker-0K4} ##### Mr Wilson: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Does the Commonwealth Employment Service inform the Department of Social Security of persons registered for unemployment who refuse an offer of suitable employment. 1. If so, does the Commonwealth Employment Service keep statistics of these reports. 2. If statistics are kept, how many persons have been reported in each of the States in each of the months since 1 July 1973. {: #subdebate-81-43-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The Commonwealth Employment Service informs the Department of Social Security when a claimant for or recipient of Unemployment Benefit refuses an offer of suitable employment. Suitable employment is denned as work in the claimant's usual occupation or work of a type or nature in which the person usually engages and in which the person's experience, qualifications and training would be used. 1. No. 2. See (2) above. {:#subdebate-81-44} #### All Risks Crop Insurance Scheme: Feasibility (Question No. 1888) {: #subdebate-81-44-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What investigations have been made into the feasibility of an all risks crop insurance scheme. 1. ) Who is responsible for these investigations. 2. Does the Minister intend (a) to introduce a Government supported scheme, (b) to encourage private insurance companies to introduce a scheme or (c) to do neither. 3. If a scheme is to be introduced, when will this occur. {: #subdebate-81-44-s1 .speaker-KXV} ##### Dr Patterson:
ALP -- The Minister for Agriculture has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question. {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) An examination is being made of questions relating to insurance of crops and livestock against natural disasters. 1. ) An inter-departmental committee is expected to report on the matter to the Treasurer in the near future. 2. and (4) Decisions on these matters will be made when the enquiry is finalised and the findings have been considered by the Government. I understand that an all-risk wheat insurance scheme has already been introduced in Western Australia on a limited basis by an insurance company. {:#subdebate-81-45} #### Commonwealth Employment Service Offices (Question No. 1889) {: #subdebate-81-45-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What non-metropolitan cities and towns have a full Commonwealth Employment Service Office, rather than an agency arrangement. 1. Where have offices been established, in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan locations, since December 1972. {: #subdebate-81-45-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {:#subdebate-81-46} #### Notice Papers (Question No. 1909) {: #subdebate-81-46-s0 .speaker-QH4} ##### Mr Kerin: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: >Further to my question No. 1876 of 25 November 1974, if the Notice Paper was published in full only on the first sitting day of each week, with subsequent issues for the week omitting all questions on notice except for those which appear for the first time during that week, what would be the savings in (a) labour and (b) production costs for a typical sitting week, e.g. the week ended 2 1 November 1 974. {: #subdebate-81-46-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >This is in fact one of the proposals recently put by **Mr Speaker** to the leaders of the parties in the House of Representatives. As I indicated in my answer to question No. 1 876 (supra) the savings which could be achieved by such an arrangement are substantial. The Acting Government Printer has estimated that, based on the average issue during 1 974, $658 per issue of Notice Papers from 1 7 September to 13 November could have been saved by adopting the new arrangements proposed by **Mr Speaker.** There could have been a significant reduction in man-hours, which in 1974 were 77 per issue compared with 37 per issue in 1 973. {:#subdebate-81-47} #### Economy: Planning Machinery (Question No. 1704) {: #subdebate-81-47-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Treasurer upon notice: >What economic planning machinery has the Government established since 2 December 1 972. {: #subdebate-81-47-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >The following advisory and executive bodies have been established, or have been substantially strengthened or refurbished, since 2 December 1972: Australian Development Assistance Agency Australian Industry Development Corporation Cities Commission Department of Environment and Conservation Department of Labor and Immigration Department of Manufacturing Industry Department of Minerals and Energy Department of Transport Department of Urban and Regional Development Hospital and Health Services Commission Industries Assistance Commission Petroleum and Minerals Authority Prices Justification Tribunal Priorities Review Staff Schools Commission Social Welfare Commission Trade Practices Commission In addition IS industry panels have been established to advise the Minister for Manufacturing Industry. The Government has also commissioned a variety of reports in order to provide a rational flow of considered assessments on important planning issues. These have included the reports of the Industries Assistance Commission, the Green Paper on Rural Policy in Australia, the report currently being prepared on policies for Manufacturing Industry, and the report of the Coombs Task Force which reviewed the continuing expenditure policies of the previous Government. A detailed list of committees, commissions of inquiry and task forces reporting to the Government was presented by the Prime Minister on 2 August 1974 (Hansard pp. 1053-1059). Many of these are of direct relevance to the Government's planning to achieve its economic and related social objectives. {:#subdebate-81-48} #### Australia: Applications for Entry (Question No. 1716) {: #subdebate-81-48-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many applications have been accepted since June 1974 for nominations involving (a) spouses, (b) dependent children, (c) dependent parents and (d ) fiances. 1. How many applications have been received since June 1 974 but not yet accepted. 2. How many applications are expected to be received by June 1975. 3. How many of these applications are expected to be accepted by the end of June 1975. {: #subdebate-81-48-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that answers to the right honourable member's questions are not available in the exact form asked. Nominations in favour of the relatives mentioned, which comprise nomination Category A, are lodged in Australia and, if found to be in order, are transmitted to the appropriate post overseas for the necessary examination and approval action. While details are available of the numbers by relationship involved in the nominations so sent overseas, the overseas post records do not differentiate between the various relationships within Category A or between nominations received for action before or after end-June 1974. Having regard to these factors, I am informed that the answers to the right honourable member's questions are as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. In the period July to September 1974 nominations within Category A dispatched to overseas posts for action included: 848 spouses; 1,327 dependent children; 775 dependent parents and their children; 719 fiances, fiancees and their children. 1. (a) In the same period, with the exception of the United Kingdom, 2,564 nominees within Category A were approved for entry to Australia at overseas posts. In respect of the United Kingdom approvals by category are only available from September 1974, and in that month 138 nominees were approved within Category A; (b) As at 30 September 1974, a total of 6,050 nominees within Category A were under consideration at overseas posts. 2. Based on the trends evident to date, it is estimated that in the period July 1974 to June 1975 nominees within Category A included in nominations dispatched overseas are likely to total: 3,392 spouses; 5,308 dependent children; 3,100 dependent parents and their children; 2,876 nances, fiancees and their children. Note: These figures do not include an unknown number of nominees of British citizenship, mainly from the United Kingdom, who will only be subject to the grant of a visa after 1 January 1975. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. It is estimated that in 1974-75 in excess of 12,000 nominees within Category A will be approved and will arrive in Australia. {:#subdebate-81-49} #### Migrant Women: Tutor Scheme (Question No. 1719) {: #subdebate-81-49-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. With reference to the answer to question No. 765 (Hansard, 17 October 1974, page 2573) how were the 472 migrant women selected to receive assistance under the home tutor training program. 1. How many migrant women have sought assistance under this program since its inception. 2. What procedures are adopted to evaluate the success of the program. 3. Is any Government assistance given to women who volunteer to undertake home tutoring. 4. ) How many migrant women are in need of this type of training and assistance. {: #subdebate-81-49-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I an informed that the answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) and (2) The Home Tutor Scheme is based on voluntary participation both by the tutors and the migrant pupils. A co-ordinating committee has been established in each State under the Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Immigration and involving representatives of the voluntary organisations concerned, the Good Neighbour Council and the adult migrant education sections of the State Department of Education. Tutors and prospective pupils are listed following personal enquiry, through contacts notified by members of the Good Neighbour Movement and the voluntary organizations and through departmental resources (such as welfare officers working in the community). An important facet of the scheme is the matching of tutor with pupil taking into account, amongst other things, compatibility and physical location. At 21 November 1382 migrant women had been enrolled in the scheme and these should all have been matched with tutors by the end of this calendar year. 1. Re-training and recall sessions held regularly for the tutors provide the basis on which the effectiveness of the scheme can be evaluated. The primary objective of the scheme is to secure language improvement in the informal situation of the migrant women's home. Equally important however is the extent to which the scheme will encourage the integration of migrant women through the development of personal relationships between tutors and pupils and the assistance given generally to migrant women m adapting to life in a new community. The extent to which personal relationships are developed in this way would be regarded as clear evidence of the success of the scheme. 2. Tutors are provided with a copy of the Home Tutor Kit and are given training in its use. Regular recall sessions are arranged for further training and to allow tutors to exchange information on their experiences. The tutors work on a voluntary basis and do not receive any financial remuneration. 3. ) The number of migrant women in need of home tutoring cannot readily be assessed. They would comprise all migrant women who would prefer to have tutoring in the informal situation of their home as a first step to receiving instruction in the formal situation of classes established in the community. {:#subdebate-81-50} #### Education: Research Projects (Question No. 1722) {: #subdebate-81-50-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Education, upon notice: >Will he provide more detailed information to me concerning the nature of the following research projects that will be undertaken in 1975 with Government grants following the recommendations of the Australian Advisory Committee on Research and Development in Education: (a) to develop a screening test that will differentiate children with motor development problems that could be alleviated by a special physical education program (Miss J. Calder), (b) a program to develop the cognitive skills of visually handicapped children **(Mr P. J. Doherty ), (c)** development of language problems based on the developing oral language structures used by *2Vi, y/i,* 4VS, *5Vi* and 614 year old children **(Dr N. W. M. Hart)** and (d) information technology and the education system (Professor D. M. Lamberton). {: #subdebate-81-50-s1 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Miss Calder's project aims to develop a measure, suitable for use by teachers, for the identification and assessment of the degree of handicap in relation to the young child 's perceptual motor development. The test is intended not only for use as a diagnostic device but also to assist in the selection of appropriate remedial programs for the individual child. 1. **Mr Doherty** has conducted prior research which suggests that the phenomenon of the late development of certain of the cognitive skills in the visually handicapped child is associated with the child's inability to interact with the environment i.e. a time lag exists in the formation of intellectual structures. The current research proposes to develop broad based, structured programs of cognitive experiences which will assist the visually handicapped to overcome the intellectual lags. 2. By tabulating the most frequent oral language sequences used by children of the *2<A,* 3VS, *4Yi, 5'A* and 6!? year old age groups, **Dr Hart** plans to produce a series of readers. The readers will employ these commonly used sequences in such a way that they convey to the child the same meanings that exist in their oral form. The programs will therefore provide a graded introduction to written English for children in their early school years which is based upon their oral language structures. It should be noted that **Dr Hart's** project concerns 'development of language programs . . .'not 'development of language problems . . .'. 3. Professor Lamberton will examine the economics of information, in the context of the Australian education system, in terms of the varying policy changes which may result from the introduction of new educational technologies, viz. videotape, computers, etc.. and modifications in the disposition of old ones. {:#subdebate-81-51} #### Australian Capital Territory: Emergency Housing Committee (Question No. 1739) {: #subdebate-81-51-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for the Capital Territory, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What is the emergency housing committee? 1. What hash done? {: #subdebate-81-51-s1 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The Emergency Housing Committee was established by the former Minister for the Capital Territory, **Mr Kep** Enderby, on 1 May 1973 to examine applications for emergency housing, to make recommendations to the Commissioner for Housing concerning priority allocations and to collate evidence of poverty and hardship in the A.C.T. The Committee comprises five members- The Assistant Director of Welfare Branch, a representative of Women's Electoral Lobby, National Council of Women and A.C.T. Council of Social Services. The Chairman of the committee is an elected member of the Legislative Assembly. 1. Since its inception the Committee has met on thirty eight occasions and has considered 535 applications, 20 1 of which have been approved for priority housing. {:#subdebate-81-52} #### Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Question No. 1765) {: #subdebate-81-52-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Who makes the decision on the allocation of funds that are provided to the CSIRO to undertake scientific research. 1. What pan does he play in this process. {: #subdebate-81-52-s1 .speaker-009DB} ##### Mr Morrison:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >At the commencement of each financial year the CSIRO Executive recommends to the Minister financial allocations for the various research programs which it proposes to carry out during the new year. These proposed allocations may be amended, rejected or approved by the Minister. The approved allocations for 1974-75 are shown in Table 14 of the budget document titled 'Estimates of Receipts and Summary of Estimated Expenditure. ' {:#subdebate-81-53} #### Taxation: Members of Parliament (Question No. 1782) {: #subdebate-81-53-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: >Will a political party levy deducted from a politician 's salary, such as the one recommended at the recent Queensland Labor Party Convention, be tax deductible. {: #subdebate-81-53-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >As in the case of any other taxpayer, a Member of Parliament is entitled to deduct from his assessable income all outgoings (other than outgoings of a capital, private or domestic nature) which are incurred in the course of gaining or producing his assessable income. > >The Commissioner of Taxation has advised that, under longstanding administrative arrangements, a Member may furnish full details of all expenses incurred in the performance of his parliamentary functions and, if this is done, affiliation fees and levies paid to a political party are accepted as outgoings which qualify as allowable deductions. Alternatively, if a Member is unable to furnish full details of his actual expenditure, he may claim a deduction equal to the electorate allowance received. In this situation, the deduction allowed is regarded as embracing all outgoings incurred in the discharge of his official duties, including affiliation fees and levies paid to a political party {:#subdebate-81-54} #### Forrest Plaza, Perth (Question No. 1794) {: #subdebate-81-54-s0 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr Garland: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did he make a speech in Forrest Place, Perth, in November 1972, during which he undertook, if elected in the then forthcoming elections, to have the Governmentowned Padbury Buildings demolished so that the Forrest Place area could be enhanced and made a central open city area for Perth. 1. 2 ) If so, what exactly was the promise made. 2. How does he propose to give effect to that promise. 3. Did he make any reference in his promise to building a Post Office administration building across the north end of Forrest Place. 4. Did he mention any quid pro quo for the demolition of the Padbury Buildings which implied a great increase in the open area. {: #subdebate-81-54-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. to (5) In my speech in Forrest Place, Perth on 17 November 1972, I expressed the view that the Australian Government should be involved in providing the people of Perth with an adequate, proper and beautiful square in the centre of the City, and indicated that demolition of the Padbury Building should be part of such a project. The speech to which the honourable member's question refers was not made from a prepared text and it is not possible, therefore, to verify points of detail such as he has sought. He will be aware, however, that on 20 February 1 974, the former Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable John Tonkin, the Lord Mayor of Perth, **Mr Lee-Steer** and I issued a joint press statement regarding new planning proposals for part of the central area of Perth including Forrest Place. The Postmaster-General has recently informed me that his Department's accommodation requirements in Perth, including Forrest Place, are being reviewed following the Government's decision to accept the recommendation of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Post Office for the establishment of separate Postal and Telecommunications Commissions. {:#subdebate-81-55} #### Child Care Institutions (Question No. 1800) {: #subdebate-81-55-s0 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr Garland: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has he received complaints indicating that the allowance of fees to child care institutions as a concessional deduction is not uniform in the various states. 1. What are the criteria involved. 2. Will he take up the matter with the Commissioner of Taxation with a view to ensuring consistency and fairness. {: #subdebate-81-55-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. There is no provision in the income tax law under which deductions may be allowed for fees paid to institutions which merely provide child care facilities. Representations have been received from various quarters requesting that the income tax concessional deductions be extended to include payments made by working mothers for child minding. I assume, however, that the Honourable Member is seeking information concerning the concessional deductions allowable under the heading of education expenses where a young child attends an institution which provides a form of education appropriate to the child's age in addition to care and supervision while the parent is at work. 1. and (3) The term 'education expenses' is defined in the income tax law as meaning expenses necessarily incurred in connection with full time education at a school. Even though most child care institutions are not 'schools' as that term is ordinarily understood, the Commissioner of Taxation has been able to accept that part of the fees paid qualify as education expenses where certain conditions are satisfied. The basic question is whether the institution can be accepted as a school in the sense that it provides an educational program which is geared to the capacity of children under primary school age. Factors to be taken into account include the type of educational program and facilities provided, the qualifications of teachers engaged in educational activities, the amount of time set aside for educational instruction and whether the institution itself complies with all relevant State laws. If the relevant tests are satisfied, and provided the child has reached the age of three years, a deduction is allowed in respect of that part of the fees which could reasonably be regarded as attributable to the child's full time education. No deduction is allowed where the child is under three years as this age is the minimum age at which a child is considered capable of absorbing formal instruction. As the extent to which full time education is provided by an institution which also engages in the care and supervision of young children can be determined only in the light of the facts of each particular case, the Commissioner is unable to lay down arbitrary rules for general application. {:#subdebate-81-56} #### Queensland Roads: Government Grants (Question No. 1821) {: #subdebate-81-56-s0 .speaker-KEI} ##### Mr Keogh: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to recent reports in Queensland that work on rural roads has stopped as a result of a delay in receipt of Australian Government grants due to be paid last April. 1. Can he say whether the cessation of work on roads on S trad broke Island in the Electoral Division of Bowman has been attributed to this delay. 2. Has there been any delay in these payments; if not, can he say why certain local authorities in Queensland have had their rural road funds stopped or curtailed. {: #subdebate-81-56-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Under the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1969, which expired on 30 June 1974, and currently under the Roads Grants Act 1974, Australian Government financial assistance has been made available for rural roads. During the period between the expiry of the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1969 and the enactment of the Roads Grants Act 1974, interim financial arrangements were made so that States would have access to funds for road works. Funds have been provided regularly on a monthly basis to the Queensland Government without delay. 1. Against this background any cessation of work on roads on Stradbroke Island in the Electoral Division of Bowman would need to be attributed to other causes. 2. The level of Australian Government financial assistance to a State for roads is based on an assessment of the State's total requirements including for local roads. However, the distribution between local authorities of finance for rural roads this current financial year is a matter for the State Government. {:#subdebate-81-57} #### Education: Tax Deductions (Question No. 1822) {: #subdebate-81-57-s0 .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr James: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: >What percentage of Australian parents claimed the full allowable tax deduction for education of children attending primary and secondary public schools during 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1972-73. {: #subdebate-81-57-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >No statistics are available of the number of taxpayers who claimed the maximum deduction allowable for education expenses in respect of any of their children. The only related statistics are those of the number of children in respect of whom the maximum education deductions were allowed. The statistics for the 1967-68 income year, the latest for which this information has been compiled shows that the number of children in respect of whom the maximum deduction (then $300) was allowed was 124,046. This number is estimated to represent about S per cent of the total number of children in respect of whom deductions for education expenses were allowed in that year. {:#subdebate-81-58} #### Taxation: Deductible Donations (Question No. 1827) {: #subdebate-81-58-s0 .speaker-QF4} ##### Mr Connolly: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Is it the intention of the Government not to change the existing provisions for tax deductibility of donations to bona fide charitable institutions. 1. ) If so, will he advise the R.S.P.C.A. and other charitable organisations of the Government's decision. 2. If not, will he advise what new criteria will be applied to all previously tax deductible donations. {: #subdebate-81-58-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The Government has not made any decision to the effect that it intends to change the gift provisions of the income tax law so as to withdraw the deductibility of gifts to bona fide charitable institutions. 1. As no decision to amend the provisions has been made, there is nothing to advise. I mention, however, that gifts to the RSPCA as such have never been allowable as income tax deductions. 2. See answer to (1). {:#subdebate-81-59} #### Cancer Research (Question No. 1878) {: #subdebate-81-59-s0 .speaker-K5A} ##### Mr O'Keefe: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Has the Government's contribution to cancer research been reduced for 1974-75. 1. If so, is this causing great concern to medical men conducting research. 2. Does this dreaded disease claim 17 per cent of deaths taking place in Australia. 3. If the position is as stated, will he immediately investigate this situation and make every effort to secure additional funds for the increased research so necessary in this field. {: #subdebate-81-59-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The major portion of Australian Government funds for medical research is made through the Medical Research Endowment Fund on the advice of the National Health and Medical Research Council. The amount of funds provided through the Medical Research Endowment Fund for cancer research has been increased, viz.- {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Not applicable. 1. The latest figures, i.e. 1972, show 17 per cent of deaths were caused by malignant neoplasms. 2. Not applicable- see ( 1 ). {:#subdebate-81-60} #### Australian Capital Territory: Compensation to Lessees of Rural Land (Question No. 1530) {: #subdebate-81-60-s0 .speaker-KVM} ##### Mr Street: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: >When does he expect to be able to advise his colleague, the Minister for the Capital Territory, on the results of the consultations referred to in my question No. 1184 of 2 October 1974. {: #subdebate-81-60-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Advice regarding this matter has now been given to my colleague the Minster for the Capital Territory. {:#subdebate-81-61} #### Taxation Boards of Review (Question No. 1879) {: #subdebate-81-61-s0 .speaker-KCQ} ##### Mr Graham: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many Taxation Boards of Review are in operation at present. 1. Who are the members of each Board, and when were they appointed. 2. What emoluments do the members receive and what are the terms of their appointments, e.g. duration, specific terms of reference for chairman and members, etc. 3. Are appeals to these Boards limited in any way, i.e. do any restrictions exist in relation to State taxation. 4. What is the degree of delay in the hearing of appeals by the Boards. {: #subdebate-81-61-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) There are three Taxation Boards of Review. 1. Membership of the Boards and dates of appointment are: {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The annual remuneration of Board Chairman is $20,810; that of other members is $19,148: Appointment is for a period not exceeding seven years and members are eligible for re-appointment. The statutory provisions concerning the constitution of Boards of Review are set out in sections 178 to 184 of the Income Tax Assessment Act. 1. References to Taxation Boards of Review are restricted to matters arising under the various taxation laws administered by the Australian Commissioner of Taxation, viz.: Income Tax Assessment Act Sales Tax Assessment Acts Estate Duty Assessment Act Gift Duty Assessment Act Pay-roll Tax Assessment Act Pay-roll Tax (Territories) Assessment Act Export Incentives Grants Act Australian Capital Territories Taxation (Administration) Act Wool Tax (Administration) Act {: type="1" start="5"} 0. The average delay in hearing cases is approximately 9 months. However, the Boards give prompt consideration to applications for urgent hearings in suitable cases. {:#subdebate-81-62} #### Pharmacists (Question No. 1607) {: #subdebate-81-62-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many pharmacists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for pharmacists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a pharmacist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a pharmacist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for pharmacists in each State and Territory in 1980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of pharmacists in 1 980. 9. 1 0) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of pharmacists in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-62-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question no. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-63} #### Nucleographers (Question No. 1608) {: #subdebate-81-63-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many nucleographers are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for nucleographers 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a nucleographer in each State and Territory. 5. 6 ) What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a nucleographer. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for nucleographers in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of nucleographers in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of nucleographers in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-63-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question no. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-64} #### Radiographers (Question No. 1609) {: #subdebate-81-64-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many radiographers are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. ) What training courses are available for radiographers. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a radiographer in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a radiographer. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for radiographers in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of radiographers in 1980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of radiographers in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-64-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question no. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-65} #### Chiropodists (Question No. 1610) {: #subdebate-81-65-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many chiropodists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. 3 ) What training courses are available for chiropodists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a chiropodist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a chiropodist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for chiropodists in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of chiropodists in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of chiropodists in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-65-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-66} #### Electrocardiographic Technicians (Question No. 1611) {: #subdebate-81-66-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many electrocardiographic technicians are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for electrocardiographic technicians. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as an electrocardiographic technician in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for an electrocardiographic technician. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for electrocardiographic technicians in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of electrocardiographic technicians in 1980. 9. 1 0) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of electrocardiographic technicians in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-66-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-67} #### Dieticians (Question No. 1612) {: #subdebate-81-67-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many dieticians are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. ) What training courses are available for dieticians. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a dietician in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a dietician. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for dieticians in each State and Territory in 1980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of dieticians in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of dieticians in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-67-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-68} #### Electroencephaletic Technicians (Question No. 1613) {: #subdebate-81-68-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many electroencephaletic technicians are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for electroencephaletic technicians. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. ) What is the training program required to qualify as an electroencephaletic technician in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for an electroencephaletic technician. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for electroencephaletic technicians in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of electroencephaletic technicians in 1 980. 9. 1 0) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of electroencephaletic technicians in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-68-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-69} #### Social Workers (Question No. 1614) {: #subdebate-81-69-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many social workers are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. 3 ) What training courses are available for social workers. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a social worker in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a social worker. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for social workers in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of social workers in 1980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of social workers in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-69-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to questions No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-70} #### Bacteriologists (Question No. 1615) {: #subdebate-81-70-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many bacteriologists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. 3 ) What training courses are available for bacteriologists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a bacteriologist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a bacteriologist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for bacteriologists in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of bacteriologists in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of bacteriologists in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-70-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-71} #### Remedial Gymnasts (Question No. 1616) {: #subdebate-81-71-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many remedial gymnasts are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for remedial gymnasts. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a remedial gymnast in each State and Territory. 5. 6 ) What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a remedial gymnast. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for remedial gymnasts in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of remedial gymnasts in 1980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of remedial gymnasts in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-71-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. Specialists in Work Assessment and Rehabilitation (Question No. 1617) {: #subdebate-81-71-s2 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many specialists in work assessment or rehabilitation are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for specialists in work assessment or rehabilitation. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a specialist in work assessment or rehabilitation in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a specialist in work assessment or rehabilitation. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for specialists in work assessment or rehabilitation in each State and Territory in 1980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of specialists in work assessment or rehabilitation in 1 980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of specialists in work assessment or rehabilitation in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-71-s3 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-72} #### Haematologists (Question No. 1618) {: #subdebate-81-72-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many non-medically qualified haematologists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for non-medically qualified haematologists 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a non-medically qualified haematologist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a non-medically qualified haematologist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for non-medically qualified haematologists in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of non-medically qualified haematologists in 1 980. ° 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of nonmedically qualified haematologists in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-72-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-73} #### Psychologists (Question No. 1619) {: #subdebate-81-73-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many psychologists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. ) What training courses are available for psychologists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a psychologist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a psychologist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. ) What is the estimated requirement for psychologists in each State or Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of psychologists in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of psychologists in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-73-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-74} #### Biochemists (Question No. 1620) {: #subdebate-81-74-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many biochemists are there in each State and Territory. 1. ) Where are they employed and, in particular how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. ) What training courses are available for biochemists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a biochemist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a biochemist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for biochemists in each State and Territory in 1980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of biochemists in 1980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of biochemists in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-74-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-75} #### Dentists (Question No. 1621) {: #subdebate-81-75-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many dentists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. ) What training courses are available for dentists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a dentist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a dentist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for dentists in each State and Territory in 1980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of dentists in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of dentists in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-75-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-76} #### Dental Nurses (Question No. 1622) {: #subdebate-81-76-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many dental nurses are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for dental nurses. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a dental nurse in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a dental nurse. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for dental nurses in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of dental nurses in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of dental nurses in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-76-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-77} #### Dental Technicians (Question No. 1623) {: #subdebate-81-77-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many dental technicians are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for dental technicians. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a dental technician in each State and Territory. 5. 6 ) What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a dental technician. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for dental technicians in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of dental technicians in 1980. 9. 1 0 ) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of dental technicians in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-77-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-78} #### Orthodontists (Question No. 1624) {: #subdebate-81-78-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many orthodontists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for orthodontists. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as an orthodontist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for an orthodontist. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. 8 ) What is the estimated requirement for orthodontists in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of orthodontists in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of orthodontists in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-78-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-79} #### Endo Dontists (Question No. 1625) {: #subdebate-81-79-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many endo dontists are there in each State and Territory. 1. Were are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabitilation hospitals, and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for endo dontists 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as an endo dontist in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for an endo dontist 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for endo dontist in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of endo dontists in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of endo dontists in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-79-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-80} #### Mothercraft Nurses (Question No. 1626) {: #subdebate-81-80-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many mothercraft nurses are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for mothercraft nurses. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a mothercraft nurse in each State and Terrirory 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for mothercraft nurse. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for mothercraft nurses in each State and Territory in 1980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of mothercraft nurses in 1980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of mothercraft nurses in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-80-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-81} #### Respiratory Technicians (Question No.1627) {: #subdebate-81-81-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many respiratory technicians are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for respiratory technicians. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a respiratory technician in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a respiratory technican 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for respiratory technicians in each State and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of respiratory technicians in 1980. 9. If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of respiratory technicians in 1980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-81-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: 1 refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-82} #### Respiratory Medicine (Question No. 1628) {: #subdebate-81-82-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many non-medically qualified graduates trained in respiratory medicine are there in each State and Territory. 1. Where are they employed and, in particular, how many work in (a) general hospitals, (b) rehabilitation hospitals and (c) private hospitals. 2. What training courses are available for non-medically qualified graduates trained in respiratory medicine. 3. Where are the courses given. 4. What is the training program required to qualify as a non-medically qualified graduate trained in respiratory medicine in each State and Territory. 5. What is the salary structure in each State and Territory for a non-medically qualified graduate trained in respiratory medicine. 6. How many people are training at each institute in which courses are available. 7. What is the estimated requirement for non-medically qualified graduates trained in respiratory medicine in each tate and Territory in 1 980. 8. Under current trends what will be the actual supply of non-medically qualified graduates trained in respiratory medicine in 1980. 9. 10) If there is an estimated shortfall in the supply of nonmedically qualified graduates trained in respiratory medicine in 1 980, what action is proposed to overcome it. {: #subdebate-81-82-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: >I refer the right honourable member to my answer to question No. 1601. {:#subdebate-81-83} #### Treasury: Press Releases (Question No. 1636) {: #subdebate-81-83-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How are copies of Ministerial press releases circulated. 1. To whom are they circulated. 2. How many copies are circulated in total. 3. What is the total annual cost, including salary and administration charges, in producing and distributing Ministerial press releases. 4. How many public servants in his Department are involved with the distribution of press releases. {: #subdebate-81-83-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The normal procedure is for press releases issued by the Treasurer to be delivered by hand to the Press Gallery in Parliament House and for copies distributed otherwise to be sent by mail. 1. Copies of the Treasurer's press statements are also distributed in accordance with a mailing list which is subject to constant review. The list includes those major media outlets throughout Australia which embrace both nationwide and local newspapers, Tass Correspondent, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, and British Broadcasting Commission (Sydney rep.). In addition copies are distributed in response to inquiries by people and organisations, Members and Senators, government departments embassies, political party organisations, business firms and organisations, libraries and individuals. 2. The number of copies circulated depends to an extent upon the particular subject matter of the statement, but in general copies are sent to about 1,300 addressees. 3. The cost of producing and distributing press releases by the Treasurer is included in the salaries and other administrative costs of the Treasury and is not separately identifiable. It would, however, constitute only a minute proportion of those costs. 4. Five officers on an as and when required basis are involved in the distribution of press releases. {:#subdebate-81-84} #### Literature Board Grants (Question No. 1666) {: #subdebate-81-84-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Were literary grants from the Australian Council for the Arts initially intended for announcement in July. 1. If so, what are the reasons- for the delay that occurred in the announcement of the grants. 2. When is it expected that those writers selected to receive grants will receive the money due to them. 3. Is it intended that literary grants should be received so late in the year. 4. If not, what steps does he intend to take to ensure that the grants will be available earlier in future. {: #subdebate-81-84-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Early this year, the Board expected that the first list of successful applicants could be announced in July. 1. ) The Literature Board 's timetable was adjusted when it was found that the number of applications was so large that the applications could not be adequately processed by July. Moreover five changes in Board membership occurred on 1 July and all of the decisions in this area were left to the newly constituted Board. 2. Writers selected for fellowships will receive their first monthly payment early in January 1975, if they choose to take up their awards in that month. Lump sum payments of grants for special purposes will also be made by that time. Earlier payments can be arranged in urgent cases. 3. The Board's intention is to give writers as much flexibility in these arrangements as possible, provided that the necessary funds are available at a particular time. 4. The Literature Board is reviewing its procedures in the light of the experience it has gained and in view of the unexpectedly high degree of public interest shown in its programs of assistance for Australian writers. {:#subdebate-81-85} #### Interdepartmental Committees: Reports (Question No. 1668) {: #subdebate-81-85-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Which reports of interdepartmental committees have been made public by the Government since 2 December 1972. 1. ) How and when were they made public. 2. How does the Government decide whether interdepartmental committee reports will be made public 3. How many interdepartmental reports have been prepared since 2 December 1972. 4. What percentage of them have been made public. {: #subdebate-81-85-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) to (5) I am informed that the following reports have been made public in the manner indicated: Housing control in the A.C.T.- forwarded to the A.C.T. Advisory Council early in 1 973 Survey of educational buildings in aboriginal communitiespress statement issued August 1973 and report made available to press and public Land and housing in the A.C.T.- published September 1973 and made available to press and libraries Closure of Woomera Flying Service Unit- published in Aeronautical Information circular 1 4 December 1973 Review of Australian anti-dumping legislation and the G.A.T.T. Anti-dumping code- press statement issued November 1973 and report made available to press and public Defence disciplinary code- tabled in Parliament on 2 April 1974(Hansard,p.815) Review of Public Works Committee Act- tabled in Parliament on 16 July 1974 (Hansard, p. 197) Production of educational publications- tabled in Parliament on 2 October 1 974 (Senate Hansard, p. 1 58 1 ) Boxing and other contact sports- tabled in Parliament 3 October 1974(Hansard,p.2140) Proposed Freedom of Information Legislation- tabled in Parliament on 5 December 1974. It should not be inferred that in all other instances there have been specific decisions not to make reports public, nor should it be assumed that where Government decisions have been taken as a result of recommendations of interdepartmental committees the public has not been made aware of the considerations upon which such decisions have been based. Indeed, I believe the reverse to be the case. {:#subdebate-81-86} #### Income Tax Deductions (Question No. 229) {: #subdebate-81-86-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What would be the estimated cost to the Commonwealth in 1 973-74 of extending the $ 1 ,200 deduction for life insurance premiums and superannuation payments to all taxpayers, regardless of their expenditure on these items. 1. What would be the required across-the-board increase in personal income tax rates to offset the cost of extending the $ 1 ,200 deduction to all taxpayers. {: #subdebate-81-86-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Based on statistics for the 1972-73 income year of income tax assessments issued in 1973-74, it is estimated that the cost to income tax revenue that would have resulted from allowing a deduction of $1,200 in respect of life insurance premiums and superannuation payments to all taxpayers, regardless of the amount of their expenditure, if any, on these items, is estimated at about $ 1 , 1 80m. 1. The across-the-board increase in personal income tax rates for the 1972-73 financial year that would have been required to offset the cost of extending the $1,200 deduction to all taxpayers is estimated at about 42 per cent. {:#subdebate-81-87} #### Migrants (Question No. 763) {: #subdebate-81-87-s0 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr Snedden: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What consideration has the Government given as promised to the establishment of machinery to maintain an integrated and co-ordinated approach to matters affecting migrants. 1. What type of machinery is envisaged. 2. When will it come into effect. {: #subdebate-81-87-s1 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am informed that the answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows: (1), (2) and (3) The Government has accepted the recommendation of the Working Party established to examine the question of the distribution of certain functions previously carried out by the former Department of Immigration that a Standing Interdepartmental Committee should be established to ensure a continued, co-ordinated and integrated approach to all matters relating to immigration and the welfare of migrants. The Committee is to comprise senior representatives of the Departments of Labor and Immigration, Social Security, Foreign Affairs, Education, Customs and Excise, Media, Housing and Construction and Prime Minister and Cabinet and will be chaired by the Department of Labor and Immigration. It is expected that the Inter-departmental Committee will be set up as soon as the transfer of functions already in train is completed. In the meantime liaison has been established where necessary with other Departments to ensure that the interests of migrants will continue to be properly served. Mercury Levels in Fish (Question No. 1215) {: #subdebate-81-87-s2 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Science, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Were the recent mercury level tests on fish sold in Melbourne, conducted by the Analytical Laboratories, made in co-operation with the Victorian Department of Health or was that Department unaware of them. 1. Have similar tests been made in the other capital cities; if so, what are the results; if not, why not. 2. Was there any communication between his Department and State Departments of Health, before the tests were made, to ascertain if these Departments were monitoring mercury levels. 3. Was any attempt made by the officers conducting the tests to ascertain where the sharks were caught; if not, why not. {: #subdebate-81-87-s3 .speaker-009DB} ##### Mr Morrison:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Laboratories of the Australian Government Analyst conduct analyses and microbiological examinations on an Australia wide basis and in response to requests from various sources. In accordance with this role, the Laboratories have undertaken surveys of particular foodstuffs from time to time. 1. Similar surveys were initiated in other State captials but the results are not yet to hand. However, some 1,500 samples from a range of sources and for various clients have been analysed in the last three years and some of these have contained high levels of mercury. 2. The tests were undertaken at my direction without prior advice to the Victorian Department of Health. Results were communicated immediately to that Department 3. The samples were fish fillets of undisclosed variety purchased at representative retail outlets; hence, it was not possible to determine their origin. 35-Hour Week (Question No. 1377) {: #subdebate-81-87-s4 .speaker-KIM} ##### Mr Lynch: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: >Which industries have a sufficient capacity to absorb the cost increases associated with the introduction of a 35-hour week. {: #subdebate-81-87-s5 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The policy of the Australian Government is to support a 35-hour week only in those industries which have sufficient capacity to absorb it. The Government's attitude to claims for shorter working hours is determined on each occasion by the circumstances of a particular industry, including the history of the industry, the degree of automation and mechanisation and other relevant factors. Where these factors apply the Government has intervened and will in the future intervene before the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to give its full support to a union claim subject to appropriate provisos. In the recent application for a 35-hour week in the electricity supply industry, these provisos were: > >that the unions give their full co-operation in carrying into effect any reorganisation, re-rostering, retraining or recruitment of new labor that is called for in the transitional period to the shortened work week; > >that the unions give undertakings that there will be, in the transitional period and otherwise, no threat of industrial action and no resort to industrial action in respect of any industrial disputes that arise over reorganisation, re-rostering, retraining or recruitment of new labor due to the award of the shortened work week; > >that the Commission is satisfied that a shortened working week coupled with such reorganisation, rerostering and recruitment of new labor will not be attended by the working of additional overtime at penalty rates over and above what is now worked, other than during the transitional period; and > >that the Commission is given unequivocal and credible assurances by the unions that overtime will not be sought by employees over and above the levels of regular overtime now worked and that, if it is so required by the employer respondents, a reduction of present levels of overtime, if any, will be suffered and tolerated. > >It will then rest with the Commission to determine whether and, if so, when, a shorter working week would operate in a particular industry. The ultimate aim is to secure a 35-hour working week in circumstances which will ensure fair treatment of all sections of the community. {:#subdebate-81-88} #### A.C.T.: Commonwealth Hostels (Question No. 1396) {: #subdebate-81-88-s0 .speaker-KVM} ##### Mr Street: asked the *Minister* for the Capital Territory, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many hostels are there in the A.C.T. 1. 2 ) What is the size of each hostel. 2. How many of the residents are unmarried. 3. What is the age structure of the residents. 4. 5 ) What is the average length of stay at hostels. 5. What percentage of single people in the A.C.T. live in Commonwealth hostels. 6. What percentage of single people in the A.C.T. are public servants. 7. What accommodation provisions are made for single people other than public servants in the A.C.T. {: #subdebate-81-88-s1 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Commonealth Hostels operates eight guest houses on behalf of the Australian Government in the A.C.T. Details of other hostels and guest houses in the A.C.T. run by organisations or private individuals are not recorded. 1. The size of each guest house operated by Commonwealth Hostels Limited is: {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Not known. 1. Not known. 2. In Commonwealth Hostels approximately nine months. 3. Not known. 4. Not known. 5. Accommodation for single people other than public servants is made available in various forms, e.g. student halls of residence at the Australian National University and the Canberra College of Advanced Education, Government bachelor flats, and the Ainslie Guest House. There are various types of hostels and guest houses which are administered by other organisations or private bodies some of which restrict accommodation to their own employees. {:#subdebate-81-89} #### Defence Service Homes Act: Applications for Loans (Question No. 1418) {: #subdebate-81-89-s0 .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr McLeay: asked the Minister for Housing and Construction, upon notice: >Will he arrange for statistics to be extracted which will reveal the reasons for the high withdrawal rate of applications for loans under the Defence Service Homes Act. {: #subdebate-81-89-s1 .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr Les Johnson:
HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >I have recently provided the honourable member with statistics on a State by State basis as to the total numbers of applications withdrawn or refused during the period 1 January 1973 to 30 June 1974. The statistics provided indicated that 26.83 per cent of the total number of applications received during that period were withdrawn or refused. During the preceding period from the inception of the Act in 1919upto31 December 1972 40.78 per cent of applications received were withdrawn or refused. No statistics are kept showing the reasons why applications for loans under the Defence Service Homes Act are withdrawn and the compilation of the details requested by the honourable member would require an examination of several thousand individual case files. This would involve a considerable expenditure of administrative time which I do not feel is justified in the present circumstances. {:#subdebate-81-90} #### Voluntary Organisations: Federal Headquarters (Question No. 1434) {: #subdebate-81-90-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Treasurer, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What voluntary organisations have requested financial assistance from his Department for the establishment or maintenance of a federal headquarters. 1. What has been the response to the requests. {: #subdebate-81-90-s1 .speaker-JAG} ##### Mr Crean:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. None. 1. ) See answer to (1). {:#subdebate-81-91} #### Australian National University: Proposed Medical School (Question No. 1512) {: #subdebate-81-91-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Is the standard of those he has appointed as salaried medical specialists at Canberra hospitals adequate for the requirements of the medical school to be established at the Australian National University. 1. When is it anticipated that this medical school will be established. {: #subdebate-81-91-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) No decision has yet been made to establish a medical school at the Australian National University, but the medical specialists who have been offered salaried appointment, are of the high standard required to meet the requirements of a medical faculty. The Australian National University was closely involved with the Canberra Hospitals Board in the selection process. 1. A feasibility study is presently being undertaken by the Australian National University concerning the establishment of a medical school. A date for the establishment of a medical school cannot be forecast at this stage. {:#subdebate-81-92} #### Canberra Hospitals: Appointment of Specialists (Question No. 1513) {: #subdebate-81-92-s0 .speaker-2E4} ##### Mr Lloyd: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Who was responsible for the appointment of **Dr Mann** as a salaried specialist to the Canberra hospitals immediately prior to the well advertised meeting of Canberra doctors on 2 October 1974 at which it was believed these doctors would accept a revised sessional contract. 1. How many specialists have been appointed as a result of the pre-October advertisement, and from which countries did these specialists come. {: #subdebate-81-92-s1 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
ALP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Canberra Hospitals Management Board. 1. As at 5 December 1974, eighteen specialists have been offered appointment, of whom eleven are Australians living in Australia, three are Australians presently in positions overseas, three are British and one is a New Zealander currently living in Britain. These figures do not include specialists currently employed by A.C.T. Health Services and the Canberra and Woden Valley Hospitals. {:#subdebate-81-93} #### Textile Industry: Unemployment (Question No. 1520) {: #subdebate-81-93-s0 .speaker-JRD} ##### Mr Bourchier: asked the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) With reference to the 6 months special unemployment relief payment to textile industry employees made redundant as a result of tariff and import quot