House of Representatives
22 April 1980

31st Parliament · 1st Session

Mr SPEAKER (Rt Hon. Sir Billy Snedden) took the chair at 2. 15 p.m., and read prayers.

page 2059


The Clerk:

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


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

That there is an urgent need to ensure that the living standard of pensioners will not decline, as indeed the present level of cash benefits in real terms requires upward adjustment beyond indexation related to the movement of the Consumer Price Index. By this and other means your petitioners urge that action to be taken to:

  1. Adjust all pensions and benefits quarterly to the Consumer Price Index, including the “ fixed “ 70 ‘s rate.
  2. Raise all pensions and benefits to at least 30 per cent of the Average Weekly Earnings.
  3. Taxation relief for pensioners and others on low incomes by:

    1. The present static threshold of $75 per week for taxation purposes be increased to $ 100 per week.
    2. A substantial reduction in indirect taxation on consumer goods.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Dobie, Mr Fisher, Mr Charles Jones, Mr MacKenzie, Mr Leo McLeay, Mr Morris and Mr Street.

Petitions received.

Aboriginal Land Rights

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:

Whereas before Europeans settled in Australia the Aboriginal peoples of Australia had lived on their traditional lands from time immemorial and had in Aboriginal law and customs a clear title to those lands; and whereas Europeans and other non-Aboriginal people have occupied and used most of the traditional lands of the Aboriginal peoples against their will and without negotiation, compensation or treaty; and whereas it has been the practice of nations established in territories previously occupied by indigenous inhabitants to reach a negotiated settlement with those inhabitants; and whereas that occupation has seriously damaged the traditional way of life of Aboriginal Australians and has caused poverty and hardship to be the fate of the great majority of their surviving descendants; and whereas the surviving descendants of the Aboriginal peoples have expressed a wish to have their rights to land acknowledged, to preserve their link with their Aboriginal ancestors and to maintain their distinctive identity with its own cultural heritage; and whereas the people of Australia in 1967 voted overwhelmingly that the Commonwealth Parliament should have responsibility for laws relating to Aboriginal Australians; and whereas it is accepted internationally by the United Nations organisation that each country should work to establish the rights of indigenous peoples to selfdetermination, non-discrimination and the enjoyment of their own culture; and whereas the Woodward Commission in 1974 established principles by which Aboriginal rights to land should be acknowledged and realised; and whereas the Senate of the Commonwealth Parliament in February 1975 resolved that Aboriginal Australians should be compensated for the loss of their traditional lands and for the damage to their way of life; and whereas the National Aboriginal Conference unanimously resolved in April 1979 in Canberra to ask the Commonwealth to negotiate a Treaty with Aboriginal Australians.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Commonwealth Government should invite the Aboriginal people of Australia to negotiate a Treaty with the Commonwealth of Australia, and any Treaty should contain provisions relating to the following matters: (i) The protection of Aboriginal identity, languages, law and culture, (ii) The recognition and restoration of rights to land by applying, throughout Australia, the recommendations of the Woodward Commission, (iii) The conditions governing mining and exploitation of other natural resources on Aboriginal land, (iv) Compensation to Aboriginal Australians for the loss of traditional lands and for damage to those lands and to their traditional way of life, ( v) The right of Aboriginal Australians to control their own affairs and to establish their own associations for this purpose.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Holding, Mr James and Mr Kerin.

Petitions received.

Unemployment: Social Security Benefits

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

That as it is clear that unemployment is a long term problem in Australia, the Government should extend to the unemployed the same assistance as is given to any other disadvantaged member of the community. There is an urgent need to alleviate the financial hardship and emotional stress that the unemployed are suffering.

Your petitioners therefore pray:

  1. 1 ) That the Government adopt positive policies to reduce unemployment.
  2. That the basic Unemployment Benefit be raised to at least the level of the poverty line as calculated by Professor Henderson.
  3. In line with other Social Service additional income awards, and in order to encourage work creation schemes and the fostering of initiative and self respect, that the $6.00 per week additional income limit be raised to at least $20.00 per week.
  4. That the financial penalties above the earning of $20.00 per week, assessed on a monthly basis, be calculated at the same rate as other Social Security benefits.
  5. That the Commonwealth grant subsidies to state governments so that the unemployed can be granted transport concessions in order that they are not penalised in job seeking.
  6. That pharmaceutical and medical concessions be granted to the unemployed equivalent to those received by other Social Service beneficiaries.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr James and Mr Kerin.

Petitions received.

Use of Herbicides

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled.

The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia in the electorate of Richmond respectfully showeth:

That we the undersigned wish to protest against the use of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-Tas herbicides and ask the Council of Lismore to ban their use until the Australian Government releases its findings from its inquiry into these herbicides.

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

Petition received.


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 many Australians are concerned with the inadequacy of Overseas Aid, both Government and Private as well as with support for local charities. Such Aid is saving precious lives, giving undernourished and homeless people encouragement and help, bringing malnourished children to health, education and a better life, giving people friendship and a new hope.

We therefore respectfully request that the Commonwealth Government provide some incentive to encourage such Aid by making the same tax concessions to approved voluntary overseas aid organizations, as are already provided for charities working within Australia.

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

Petition received.

Use of Live Animals in Scientific Research

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 practice ofexperimenting upon living animals in the supposed interests of Mankind involves the infliction of much pain and distress upon defenceless creatures that it is no longer generally held that such inhumane experiments are an essential part of medical and other scientific research and that much progress has been made in the use of alternative methods which are generally cheaper and more accurate, safer and more reliable.

Wherefore your petitioners pray that your Honourable House will take all such measures as may be necessary to ensure the establishment of research within all existing Institutes to explore techniques which replace the use of living animals, to extend their adoption and to continue the development of other humane avenues of scientific investigation.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr John Brown.

Petition received.

National Women’s Advisory Council

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled.

The petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the National Women’s Advisory Council has not been democratically elected by the women of Australia;

That the National Women’s Advisory Council is not representative of the women of Australia;

That the National Women’s Advisory Council is a discriminatory and sexist imposition on Australian women as Australian men do not have a National Men’s Advisory Council imposed on them.

Your petitioners therefore pray:

That the National Women’s Advisory Council be abolished to ensure that Australian women have equal opportunity with Australian men of having issues of concern to them considered, debated and voted on by their Parliamentary representative without intervention and interference by an unrepresentative ‘Advisory Council ‘.

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

Petition received.

Australian Rum: Excise Duty

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 retail price of Australian rum is too high and should be reduced to enable the average Australian to buy it.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that steps be taken to reduce the excise duty on Australian rum.

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

Petition received.

Service Pensions

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:

Whereas the Government has recently extended the eligibility for Service Pensions to include members of Allied forces, eligibility for merchant seamen remains excessively restrictive.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that: the Government extend eligibility for Service Pensions to all merchant seamen whose service took them into a theatre of war and that the practice of relying exclusively on forms T124X and T124T to establish eligibility be abandoned.

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

Petition received.

North Queensland Air Services

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 Ansett Airlines of Australia have proposed to the Commonwealth Government that it be permitted to operate an airline service between Townsville and Singapore via Darwin.
  2. That the North Queensland Airports Development Council has brought down a report in favour of the designation of a North Queensland airport as an international airport.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that:

  1. The Government approve of the Ansett proposal to operate a service between Townsville and Singapore via Darwin.
  2. The Government approve any other reasonable applications for the use of a North Queensland airport for charter and regional services to and from international destinations.
  3. The Government proceed with the designation of a North Queensland airport as an international airport without unreasonable delay.

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

Petition received.

Construction of Cycle Path in the Australian Capital Territory

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

That for reasons of commuter safety and to improve the recreational use of Canberra ‘s bushland areas a cycle path be immediately constructed by the National Capital Development Commission from Alexander Street, Red Hill, to Deakin.

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

Petition received.


To the Honourable the Speaker and Honourable Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled.

The petition of the undersigned concerned citizens of Australia and members of the human family respectfully lays before your consciences and your regard for the honour of Australia and its present and future well-being, the following considerations:

  1. That grave and callous infringements of the basic human rights to life and liberty have forced multitudes of our fellow human beings to leave the countries of their birth, the Indo-China States;
  2. That in consequence of the brutal policies of the Tyrannical Totalitarian Government of Vietnam several hundred thousand refugee men, women and children have been victims through drowning of the political, ethnic and religious hatreds of their oppressors;
  3. That because of the failure of opulent nations to provide more than face-saving, token assistance, the resources of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore have been strained beyond limit:
  4. That Australia, a wealthy nation with vast areas like the Ord River region and vast undeveloped resources ideally suited for resettlement and development could: set up camps offirst refuge for the processing and temporary settling of 250,000 refugees annually therebyalsogiving useful employment to suitable presentlyunemployedAustralians ascurators and inspectors.

Recruit volunteers or use part of the armed services to seek out, rescue and convey to mainland Australia such refugees as have managed to leave the countries of Indo-China:

Accept the reiterated offer of some Church organisations to resettle thousands of such refugees.

  1. That the policy we advocate will not only rebound to Australia’s honour, but will stimulate the economy by stepping up demand in housing, clothing, agricultural accessories and so on.

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

Petition received.

Merchant Seaman: Repatriation Benefits

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

  1. Merchant seaman who were captured and held as prisoners of war during World War II are not treated us Members of the Forces’ (veterans) for the purpose of entitlements to Repatriation benefits. 2.’Member of the Forces’ is defined by Part III, Section 23 (c) of the Repatriation Act 1920-70 as ‘enlisted or appointed for service in connexion with naval or military preparations or operations’. ‘Served in a theatre of war’ means served at sea … at a time when danger from hostile forces of the enemy was incurred in that area . . .
  2. 114 Australian merchant seamen were repatriated after the war and it is estimated that only about 60 of these men survive today.

The Repatriation Acts Amendment Bill of 1974 made available free medical and hospital treatment to all veterans who were prisoners of war. The reason, stated by the Minister, was that abnormal hardships and privations, suffered by these veterans, could affect their general health and well-being as they get on in years, and are deserving of special consideration.

Your petitioners therefore pray that:

The Australian Government should amend the appropriate legislation so that merchant seamen prisoners-of-war are defined as ‘Members of the Forces ‘(or veterans) so that they are entitled to the appropriate Repatriation benefits.

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

Petition received.

Aboriginal Land Rights

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 Aboriginal land rights, religion, sacred sites, and culture are being threatened and denied by the West Australia Government which is denying the Noonkanbah community the right to consider and negotiate the Amax mining company’s proposals by bringing in police to intimidate Aboriginal people and by instructing the Western Australian Museum to allow drilling on sacred sites at Noonkanbah.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Commonwealth Government honours its responsibilities to Aboriginal peopleaccordingtothespiritofthe1967 Referendum votegivingtheCommonwealthGovernmentpowertointer- veneinStateaffairswhereAboriginalmattersareinvolved; that it takes action to ensure that the Noonkanbah community have the right to engage in full negotiations with the Western Australian Government and Amax Co. without intimidation and with sufficient time and information to consider the proposals and with a Commonwealth Government presence in order to ensure fair-dealing; and that, the Commonwealth Government ensure that the administration of the Aboriginal Heritage Act by the Western Australian Museum is not tampered with by the Western Australian Government for political expediency against the spirit of the Act and the wishes of the Aboriginal people who have entrusted their culture, their religious objects and law to the Museum. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Kerin.** Petition received. {:#subdebate-0-12} #### Aboriginal Health Care 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 there are Australian Aboriginal children living under conditions of inadequate nutrition in the background of poor housing, hygiene, and overcrowding that amounts to 'a Third World enclave in the midst of affluence' (see also the Report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, Aboriginal Health' 1979); that such a state of affairs is intolerable in our country; that only an effort on an unprecedented scale could create conditions that would give these children the rights set out in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Government will make generous funding available for the specific purposes of: making a real improvement in the health, housing, education, employment and welfare of the Aboriginal people, doing so with due regard for the needs, hopes and aspirations of the Aboriginal people themselves; providing increased help, encouragement and opportunity for Aboriginal people to train as nursing aides and in other paramedical roles, and as fully qualified nurses, doctors and social workers; providing increased health education for Aboriginal people in ways that are acceptable to them. by **Mr Les** McMahon. Petition received. {:#subdebate-0-13} #### Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport 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: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. We call upon the Commonwealth and State Governments to select a site for Sydney's second Airport now and to protect it by immediate development. 1. We do not agree to the expansion of Sydney ( Kingsford-Smith ) Airport. 2. We support the opposition of other Councils to the Airport extension. 3. We do not agree that nuisances from aircraft noises are diminishing. 4. We oppose any reduction of the existing curfew hours. Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that there be no extension ofKingsford-Smith Airport. Sydney. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Les** McMahon. Petition received. {:#subdebate-0-14} #### Olympic Games To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in the Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia submits: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. That the boycott of the Moscow Olympic games proposed by the present Government be withdrawn forthwith. 1. That the current planning for an alternative games be brought to an immediate halt. 2. That the government gives an undertaking to refrain from the politicization of sport, especially in regard to the Olympic Games. 3. That the government notify the Australian OlympicFederation and the International Olympic Committee of these steps without delay to allow preparation for the Moscow Olympic Games to continue unhindered. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Young.** Petition received. {:#subdebate-0-15} #### Olympic Games To the Right Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. This humble petition of the sportsmen and women and citizens of Australia respectfully showeth that: Valuing the Olympic movement as an historic expression of all that is worthwhile in human endeavour and conscious of the important role competitive sport plays in maintaining health and the spirit of achievement in everyday life. Honouring the high principles consistently pursued by the International Games Administration of keeping the movement free from religious, racial and political considerations. Realising that the Olympic movement owes its resilience and very existence to the citizens of the nations from whom spring the participants in the contests and that the survival of this movement is the cherished hope of all communities. We the undersigned sportsmen and women and citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia by this humble petition respectfully pray that the Australian government do all in its power to ensure the participation of a full Australian contingent in the XXII Olympic Games to be held in Moscow, USSR, from 1 9 July to 3 August, 1 980. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Dawkins, Mr Holding, Mr James** and **Mr Willis.** Petitions received. {:#subdebate-0-16} #### Olympic Games To the Right Honourable Speaker and Members of the Mouse of Representatives in Parliament assembled. We the undersigned sportsmen and women and citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia by this humble petition respectfully pray that the Australian Government ensure the participation of a full Australian contingent in the XXII Olympic Games to be held in Moscow, USSR, from 19 July to 3 August 1980. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Innes** and **Mr Kerin.** Petitions received. {:#subdebate-0-17} #### Export of Live Animals To the Honourable, the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled, the petition of certain citizens of Victoria respectfully showeth: That the Australian Government promotes carcass trade and that all future shipments of live animals overseas for slaughter be banned, and thereby stop a repetition of the shocking loss of life through burns or drowning as occurred with the incineration or drowning of 40,000 sheep on a ship to abattoirs in the Middle East, or the more recent cruelty to horses being exported for slaughter in Japan. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Roger** Johnston. Petition received. {:#subdebate-0-18} #### Education To the Honourable, the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives of the Australian Parliament assembled. The petition of certain citizens of N.S.W. respectfully showeth: Dismay at the reduction in the total expenditure on education proposed for 1 980 and in particular to Government Schools. Government Schools bear the burden of these cuts, 1 1.2 per cent while non-Government schools will receive an increase of 3.4 per cent. We call on Government to again examine the proposals as set out in the guidelines for Education expenditure 1 980 and to immediately restore and increase substantially in real terms the allocation of funds for education expenditure in 1980 to Government schools. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by **Mr Morris.** Petition received. {: .page-start } page 2063 {:#debate-1} ### PETROL PRICES {:#subdebate-1-0} #### Notice of Motion {: #subdebate-1-0-s0 .speaker-XD4} ##### Mr GOODLUCK:
Franklin -I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) That this House notes with concern: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. the variation which exists throughout Australia in the retail price of petrol and the serious disadvantage to certain country areas; 1. b) the ability of the oil companies to vary the wholesale price of petrol well below the maximum wholesale price fixed by the Prices Justification Tribunal, and 2. the increasing involvement of some oil companies in the retail market through the introduction of commission agents. 1. That this House, recognising the fundamental importance of petrol to the economic well-being of all Australians, urges the Government to take steps which would properly ensure a fair price of petrol to consumers throughout Australia, no matter where they live. {: .page-start } page 2063 {:#debate-2} ### AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL {:#subdebate-2-0} #### Notice of Motion {: #subdebate-2-0-s0 .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr BAILLIEU:
La Trobe -I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move: >That this House, noting that section 6 of the Australian War Memorial Act 1962 requires that the Australian War Memorial shall be a National Memorial to Australians who have died on or as a result of active service, or as a result of war or warlike operations in which Australians have been on active service; that the names of Australians known to have died while serving with the merchant services are not so recorded; and that the names of Australians known to have died while serving in the Boer War, with the Royal Flying Corps, and with the RAF, are not so recorded, is of the opinion that the Act should be complied with and the names of Australians who lost their lives in such circumstances included in the Australian War Memorial without delay. {: .page-start } page 2063 {:#debate-3} ### SOVIET UNION INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN {:#subdebate-3-0} #### Notice of Motion {: #subdebate-3-0-s0 .speaker-BV4} ##### Mr HODGMAN:
Denison -I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move: >That this House condemns the official organ of the Victorian State ALP, *The Labor Star,* for advocating rejoice over and support of the brutal Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and condemns the Federal Leader of the Opposition for not publicly dissociating himself from this disgraceful example of pro-Soviet propaganda mongering. {: .page-start } page 2063 {:#debate-4} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-4-0} #### QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE {: .page-start } page 2063 {:#debate-5} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-5-0} #### INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE OPERATIONS {: #subdebate-5-0-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND -- I ask a question of the Minister for Transport. I refer to 'disinterested' reports- of course the word 'disinterested' is in inverted commas for obvious reasons- coming from the Murdoch newspapers confidently predicting that Ansett Transport Industries Ltd will be given approval by the Government to enter into overseas airline operations. I ask the Minister whether any such approval for Ansett would also involve fair and equal treatment for Trans-Australia Airlines by allowing it to operate internationally too. Is it a simple economic fact that this sort of sudden growth in domestic based international airline operations will increase the seating capacity at a much more rapid rate than growth in available passenger traffic? Would this result in quite large and costly diseconomies for Qantas Airways Ltd which ultimately would have to be borne by the community? Would the result of such a development be the substitution of the present small domestic international operator by two or three minute and unviable international operators with clear cost disadvantages, again ultimately borne by the community? Finally, to remove any suspicion that **Mr** Murdoch is seeking to apply the same Svengalilike influence on the Australian Government he has brought to bear on President Carter, will he provide the Parliament with a comprehensive analysis of the economics of additional overseas airline operations being approved for Ansett? {: #subdebate-5-0-s1 .speaker-GH4} ##### Mr HUNT:
Minister for Transport · GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES · NCP/NP -The proposal by Ansett Transport Industries Ltd involves a lot of factors which will be taken into account before the Government finally takes a decision. Two proposals to improve the international access by air to Australia's Great Barrier Reef are currently receiving consideration. Firstly, Ansett Transport Industries has made an application for an international airline licence to operate services between Townsville and Singapore in its own right as an international carrier. Secondly, Qantas Airways Ltd has announced a change in its scheduled services through Darwin. Subsequently Trans-Australia Airways has applied to open a new route- TownsvilleCairnsDarwin to connect up with the revised Qantas schedule. This rearranged schedule would provide a Singapore-Townsville service. It is also open to Ansett to consider arrangements under which its services might make better connections with the services operated by the international airlines. The Government announced in October 1 978 that Qantas would continue at least until 1981 as the sole Australian airline authorised to operate overseas air services. I know that the Ansett proposal has attracted a great deal of support and a great deal of local public interest. Since the proposal involves government policy and the interests of other governments, it will be considered by the Government against that background in due course. For the information of the Leader of the Opposition and other honourable members, there are a number of important issues which would have to be considered by the Government. They include whether Qantas should remain Australia's sole international carrier; whether Townsville should be the only gateway port in North Queensland for an air link with South East Asia; what supporting facilities and services would be needed, and what priority these should be given relative to similar demands at other centres in Australia. There would also be a need to consult overseas governments which have an interest in the matter. There is also the consideration of Qantas being entitled to carry passengers over some domestic routes in Australia. Theyareimportant and complex issues that cannotbedealtwithquickly.TheGovernment will also need to consider the proposals for providing more effective co-ordination between domestic and international services at existing gateways. So, the Government has a great number of factors to take into account before it can deal finally with the application for this service. I understand that TAA has also expressed an interest in regional international routes, should its competitor on the domestic routes be given access to an international regional route. {: .page-start } page 2064 {:#debate-6} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-6-0} #### OMEGA NAVIGATION AID SITE: INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE {: #subdebate-6-0-s0 .speaker-CJ4} ##### Mr SHIPTON:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA -Is the Minister for Industrial Relations aware of an industrial dispute at the Omega navigation aid site in Victoria? Is it a demarcation dispute, that is, a fight between two or more unions? What action is the Government taking to help resolve this matter? {: #subdebate-6-0-s1 .speaker-KVM} ##### Mr STREET:
Minister for Industrial Relations · CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA · LP -- I am aware of a dispute which has arisen at the Omega site. The cause of the dispute is demands by the Australian Building Construction Employees and Builders Labourers Federation that its members do the work involved in erecting the transmission mast at the Omega station. This work is currently being done by members of the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia, and the BLF is now using industrial action to press its demands. As the honourable member has said, the dispute is a demarcation one involving who does the work on the mast and, as in all demarcation disputes, the trade union movement has an obligation to see that work on the site continues pending resolution of the dispute. I point out that in 1977 this Government passed legislation strengthening the powers of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to deal with disputes of this kind. These processes have not yet been exhausted. The Government is trying to ensure that the legislation which was passed then is used in the way in which it was intended to be used. We condemn the attempts by the BLF to win coverage through industrial action on this site, and we are keeping the position under review. {: .page-start } page 2064 {:#debate-7} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-7-0} #### PUBLIC DUTY AND PRIVATE INTEREST {: #subdebate-7-0-s0 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr LIONEL BOWEN:
KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES -I refer the Prime Minister to the following statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister in the Parliament on 22 November last in relation to what is known as the Bowen report on public duty and private interest: . . the Government will proceed with the implementationofproposalsmadeinthereportthataffectMinisters, publicservantsandotherofficials. I ask the Prime Minister: Have all the proposals been implemented? If not, what are the reasons, and when will the other recommendations in the report be acted upon? {: #subdebate-7-0-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
Prime Minister · WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- I thank the honourable gentleman for reminding me of these matters. Ministers have been asked to make declarations in terms of the widened criteria suggested in the Bowen report. The Public Service Board has in train measures which would apply the provisions of the report to public servants. As for members of this Parliament, since some important matters were involved it was the Government's view that they should be fully debated in the Parliament as well as in the respective party rooms. We will need to make sure that that process is put in train before the end of this session. {: .page-start } page 2065 {:#debate-8} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-8-0} #### GREAT BARRIER REEF MAKINE PARK {: #subdebate-8-0-s0 .speaker-CI4} ##### Mr MILLAR:
WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND -- I ask the Minister for Science and the Environment whether there has been a general endorsement by interested parties and persons of the Government's proclamation of the Capricornia section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in October 1979. What action does the Government propose taking to consolidate that significant event? {: #subdebate-8-0-s1 .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON:
Minister for Science and the Environment · LEICHHARDT, QUEENSLAND · NCP/NP -I thank the honourable member for his question, which concerns a matter of deep interest to all Queenslanders and Australians, because the Great Barrier Reef is part of our great national heritage. On 28 March the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council approved the declaration of the Capricornia section of the reef as a marine park. A zoning plan was agreed to and has gone out for public comment for a period of two months until 6 June. When that public comment has been considered, a formal zoning and management plan will be agreed to by the Ministerial Council, in June or July. The Ministerial Council has also agreed that the next section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to be declared should be that area which is off Cairns. Next month public comment on that proposal will be sought for a period of one month. When that public comment has been considered, a zoning plan for the Cairns section will be prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. These two sections are the most used portions of the Great Barrier Reef and they comprise about 25 per cent of the length of the reef, or some 500 kilometres out of the 2,000 kilometres of the reef, stretching from just north of Bundaberg to the tip of Cape York. In my view it is quite impractical to declare the whole of the Great Barrier Reef a marine park. Unlike a national park a marine park is meant for the use of people. {: .speaker-EV4} ##### Mr Young: -- That is a good point. {: .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- It must be used and, at the same time, protected. I invite the honourable member to visit the Great Barrier Reef and have a look at it. It is perhaps a coincidence that I am the Minister in this place who is responsible for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef, because I am a keen scuba diver, as are also the members of my family. I live within a few kilometres of the reef and I am very concerned about its protection. There have been comments about possible mining on the reef. On 14 June last year the Prime Minister, conjointly with the Premier of Queensland, made the statement: 'There will be no drilling on the Great Barrier Reef and no drilling will be allowed which will damage the reef. No mining exploration will be allowed until both short term and long term scientific reviews have been made'. I am confident that both this Government and the Queensland Government are doing all they can to protect the reef. That must be done in a sensible, rational and practical way. {: .page-start } page 2065 {:#debate-9} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-9-0} #### TRADE WITH THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY {: #subdebate-9-0-s0 .speaker-AV4} ##### Mr HURFORD:
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- I preface my question, which is directed to the Minister for Trade and Resources and Deputy Prime Minister, by noting the presence in Australia of **Mr Haferkamp,** a commissioner of the European Economic Community with responsibilities for trade. Indeed, I noted his presence in this House yesterday but, regrettably, **Mr Speaker,** I failed to catch your eye to ask my question, which is: Is the Government taking the opportunity of **Mr Haferkamp** 's visit to express Australia's grave concern about the restrictionist agricultural policies of the European Economic Community? If so, in what terms are our concerns being expressed? Are we to allow Australia's $1.5 billion trade deficit with EEC countries to be reduced by our being merely a quarry for Europe with few jobs resulting, or are we to undertake some hard bargaining to break down the Community's restrictionist policies? {: #subdebate-9-0-s1 .speaker-BU4} ##### Mr ANTHONY:
Deputy Prime Minister · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · NCP/NP -- I think the honourable member, when he reads tomorrow's Press reports of the statement I have already delivered to the Commission of the European Communities, will know the answer to all those questions that he has asked. In that statement I made the point concerning the imbalance of trade between Australia and the countries of the European Community and said that it was very much in favour of the Community. Whilst we are not gravely concerned about the imbalance because we consider ourselves multilateral traders, we are concerned when there is not equal opportunity for our trade to take place. Unless we can get reasonable access to and growth in a market, we are at a distinct disadvantage. For a country such as Australia, which is a major food exporter, there is a distinct disadvantage in the common agricultural policy- CAP- which is gravely limiting our access to European markets. These points have been made strongly to members of the Commission during their visit here. We are also making use of this opportunity to talk about our total relations- about our political relations and about areas of common interest and concern to us both. We are using it to encourage European investment in this country and to encourage European countries to utilise some of our forms of energy as an alternative to oil to help them with their energy problems. I see this visit as a very important one for strengthening relationships between Australia and the Community. In the course of the multilateral trade negotiations we made some progress in getting some access to European countries for agricultural commodities. We see that as a bridgehead for making further progress. The progress we have made in that regard should not be accepted as the end of the road. We will keep pushing to try to get greater access into the European market because we believe that ultimately the subventionist and subsidy policies of the Community will defeat themselves under their own weight. We believe that it is completely wrong to place an embargo on trade in foodstuffs when we in turn have placed no embargo on the Community's exports to Australia. {: .page-start } page 2066 {:#debate-10} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-10-0} #### ETHANOL PRODUCTION {: #subdebate-10-0-s0 .speaker-K6U} ##### Mr COTTER:
KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA -Is the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs aware of the enormous interest in the Federal Government's decision to allow farmers to produce ethanol for fuel? When will the Government be issuing experimenter licences for the production of ethanol? Can the Minister assure the House that farmers in the Kalgoorlie electorate will be amongst the first to receive licences? {: #subdebate-10-0-s1 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr GARLAND:
Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Commerce · CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP -The position is that legislation to provide experimenter licences is at present before the Senate. It provides for the issue of some 50 licences. Applications for licences were invited some time ago by circular and Press release. I have had two inquiries from applicants from the Kalgoorlie electorate; but overall only some 26 formal applications have been received at present, although there has been a great deal of interest. These are being progressively examined and assessed by my Department and by that of the Minister for National Development and Energy in anticipation of the legislation. Most of them appear to be based on genuine research projects and, as such, I would expect them to be approved. Certainly advice will be sent to all applicants very soon and I expect that all legislative requirements - {: .speaker-KRR} ##### Mr McLean: -- When? {: .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr GARLAND: -- As the assessment is completed, but the legislation is not yet in place. Then there will be a necessity for gazettal of regulations. I expect that all that process will be finished during the next month. {: .page-start } page 2066 {:#debate-11} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-11-0} #### CHIEF JUSTICE OF AUSTRALIA {: #subdebate-11-0-s0 .speaker-4I4} ##### Mr Leo McLeay:
GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I direct my question to the Acting Attorney-General. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to an article in the Sydney *Daily Telegraph* of today's date which indicates that the New South Wales Corporate Affairs Commission is moving to have a company struck from the register for failing to provide annual returns since 1973? Is he aware that this company owns the home of the Chief Justice of Australia in George Street, Careel Bay? Will the Minister indicate whether the Government may reconsider its decision not to provide the Chief Justice with palatial accommodation in Canberra if the home is sold up for the payment of fines? {: #subdebate-11-0-s1 .speaker-YF6} ##### Mr ELLICOTT:
Minister for Home Affairs · WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- The question is simply answered by saying that there is no proposal to provide the Chief Justice with accommodation by way of a home in the Australian Capital Territory. {: .page-start } page 2066 {:#debate-12} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-12-0} #### SOVIET INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN {: #subdebate-12-0-s0 .speaker-PD4} ##### Mr N A Brown:
DIAMOND VALLEY, VICTORIA · LP -I ask the Prime Minister: Has there been an almost universal condemnation of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a condemnation expressed by the United Nations, the Islamic Conference, including even the Palestine Liberation Organisation, all members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, most Asian and western European countries and even some European communist parties? {: .speaker-EV4} ##### Mr Young: -- Probably even Indonesia. {: .speaker-PD4} ##### Mr N A Brown:
DIAMOND VALLEY, VICTORIA · LP -- We will see where the Labor Party stands. In that case can the Prime Minister say whether there has been any expression of pleasure at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or any expression of the view that one should rejoice at that invasion? If so, from what quarters has that expression of opinion come and what would be the implications for Australia's national security if one- gave support within Australia to the expression of that view? {: .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr Klugman: -I take a point of order. **Mr Speaker,** this is not under the direction of the Prime Minister or any other Minister. An honourable member cannot ask whether there has been any expression of opinion anywhere on this issue. What is the proposition? {: #subdebate-12-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The question is seeking information from the head of the Government of the Commonwealth, I take it, in order that the information can be taken into account by the honourable member in forming his views about a matter of international importance. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- I take a point of order. I find your ruling fascinating, **Mr Speaker.** I would remind you that you ruled that the Prime Minister was not responsible for the behaviour of his Ministers when a series of questions were raised in relation to the business interests and conduct of the former Minister for Primary Industry. I merely raise this matter if you are determined to allow the Prime Minister to go ahead and answer this question. Incidentally, we repudiate the view which was expressed in the paper - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable gentleman will make his point of order. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: **- Mr Speaker,** I think in all the circumstances you ought to allow me to finish because our assessment of the impartiality or otherwise with which you administer the affairs of this Parliament will very much be weighed in the balance according to how you determine this matter. I remind you, **Mr Speaker,** of your very tough rulings in relation to a series of questions to Ministers- one series, of course, specifically related to the former Minister for Primary Industry- as to the probity of their conduct as Ministers and sometimes in relation to both the discharge of their duty as public office holders and conflict of interest arising from the probity of their behaviour in, for instance, personal business matters. I remind you that your initial ruling was to allow those questions but later you made a most restrictive ruling on these matters. If you are to rule today that, suddenly, because it appears that the circumstances have been directed towards this side of the House it is acceptable, well, of course, you are the Speaker and your ruling I suppose will prevail; but it will have devastating consequences on the confidence, if not the respect, that you expect to obtain from this side of the House, because of the inconsistency. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I ruled on that question. I gave my reasons. The Leader of the Opposition then put to me an earlier ruling I gave. My recollection of my earlier ruling is that I did permit questions of the Prime Minister concerning every Minister, but I did not permit questions of the Prime Minister in relation to Ministers on matters for which the Ministers were not answerable to this House. I did permit questions to be asked of the right honourable gentleman as to his confidence in Ministers. I see no relationship whatsoever between this question and the other series of questions. It is unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition should put his argument in a form that suggests that if I do not agree with him he will regard me as lacking impartiality. What must be borne in mind by every member of the House is that my impartiality will not be judged on whether I please a member, any number of members or any party. I will make my judgments as I feel to be proper and announce them. If the honourable gentleman disagrees with them he may challenge them within the forms of the House. {: #subdebate-12-0-s2 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
LP -- All members of this House will be aware of the widespread condemnation of the invasion of Afghanistan. There has been condemnation by 104 members of the United Nations. There has been a substantial condemnation from the Islamic Conference. Many other countries around the world individually have demonstrated their abhorrence by the actions that they have taken. This has now been underlined by the unfolding of an effective boycott of the Olympic Games. I think that Australians would be concerned to find that the principal Press officer of **Mr Wilkes,** the Leader of the Labor Party in Victoria, has written in the *Labor Star* that one should rejoice that for once the Soviets are not acting in an objectively counter-revolutionary role as the Chinese seem always to act in these days. He pointed out that the Labor Party should be supporting both the Afghan Government and the Soviet assistance to that Government. {: .speaker-NF4} ##### Mr Cohen: -- Well, we are not. {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER: -- I am just saying what **Mr Wilkes's** principal Press officer is saying. {: .speaker-NF4} ##### Mr Cohen: -- He is an idiot. {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER: -- I am glad of the honourable gentleman's confirmation that **Mr Wilkes** is employing an idiot. The letter goes on to indicate the great reforms that have been conducted in Afghanistan since 1978, obviously applauds the invasion and indicates that we should all be rejoicing in relation to it. That is a quite extraordinary document in the *Labor Star,* but it is not out of line with what **Senator Georges** said in the Senate on 6 March this year. He stated: >With all its limitations, there is more dignity and morality in the Soviet Union than there is in our own society - On 8 March 1979 the honourable member for Hunter said: >I do not apprehend any fear for Australia should Indonesia come under the influence of the Soviet Union. There is plainly a view within elements of the Australian Labor Party and particularly in the notorious socialist Left in Victoria - *Honourable members interjecting-* {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER: -- It is worth noting that **Mr Hartley** and the socialist Left in particular have supported the Leader of the Opposition since the Leader of the Opposition repudiated **Mr Hawke** over economic and wages policies at the Adelaide conference last year. **Mr Hawke** indicated that it was a gutless sell-out to the Left. Since then there have been moves that will result in the socialist Left gaining greater influence in the Labor Party in Queensland where there are now, in effect, two branches of the Labor Party. With the lurch to the left, the willing captive of the Left - *Opposition members interjecting-* {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER: -The Labor Party might think that this is a matter of humour. It may be a matter of humour to it, but it is also a matter of very deep concern to the wider Australian community. The fact that these matters are so evident within the Labor Party quite obviously explains the antics of the Leader of the Opposition in recent days. {: .page-start } page 2068 {:#debate-13} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-13-0} #### AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE {: #subdebate-13-0-s0 .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr KLUGMAN: -- My question is directed to the Minister for Administrative Services. In view of the debate to be held later today on the Australian Federal Police Amendment Bill 1980, I ask: How many officers carrying out law enforcement functions were there in the Federal Narcotics Bureau before its dissolution because of criticism by the royal commissioner into drugs, **Mr Justice** Williams? How many of these officers have applied to transfer to the Australian Federal Police? How many have been accepted by the Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police? How many have been rejected because of alleged corruption, inefficiency and/or incompetence? {: #subdebate-13-0-s1 .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr John McLeay:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP -- I thank the honourable gentleman for the question and I welcome him to the new front bench position to which he has been promoted. Two or three weeks ago I answered a similar question put to me by the Leader of the Opposition. I forget the exact figures, but I think the number of special constables who transferred from the Narcotics Bureau is 84 and I think the other figure that the honourable member is seeking is 20 or 30 officers. I will research the matter and supply the facts to him later today during the debate on the Australian Federal Police Amendment Bill. {: .page-start } page 2068 {:#debate-14} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-14-0} #### DEFENCE RESERVE PERSONNEL: COMPENSATION {: #subdebate-14-0-s0 .speaker-DJ4} ##### Mr SHORT:
BALLARAT, VICTORIA -- Is the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security aware of the widespread public welcome to the Government's recent decision to increase the size of the Defence Force reserves from 22,000 to 30,000? Is it a fact that under existing legislation Federal Government compensation to persons injured while serving in the reserves is limited to six months? Is it a fact that if a reservist wishes to be covered for compensation purposes beyond that period he is required to take out private insurance at his own cost? Does the Minister regard this situation as one discouraging young Australians from joining the reserves? If so, will he take urgent action to have this situation examined with a view to extending the period for which compensation will be paid? {: #subdebate-14-0-s1 .speaker-GH4} ##### Mr HUNT:
NCP/NP -- I am aware of the expansion of the reserve forces, but I am not aware of the circumstances to which the honourable gentleman has referred. The position, as I know it, is that members of the Defence Force Reserve have a compensation facility under the Compensation (Commonwealth Government Employees) Act while participating in Defence Force Reserve activities. As I understand it, if a member suffers an injury in the course of any military service, compensation is payable for an unlimited period in respect of incapacity for civil employment, where such incapacity is supported by appropriate medical certificates. I am quite certain that that is how the provisions of the Act apply to Reserve servicemen. For the first 26 weeks of incapacity, compensation is payable at the reservist 's normal civilian rate of pay. If a reservist is incapacitated beyond that period, weekly incapacity benefits are paid currently at $90 a week. He is also eligible for a spouse allowance of $23.60 a week and an allowance of $1 1.25 a week for each dependent child. Those rates of compensation are the same as are payable for all Commonwealth employees, including regular members of the Defence Force who sustain a work-connected injury. However, I will convey the honourable member's concern to the Minister and I have no doubt that she will get in touch with him direct about the matter. {: .page-start } page 2069 {:#debate-15} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-15-0} #### COUNTRY TELEPHONE EXCHANGES {: #subdebate-15-0-s0 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr STALEY:
Minister for Post and Telecommunications · CHISHOLM, VICTORIA · LP -Without any doubt I can give such a guarantee. Some little while ago the Government agreed to Telecom Australia's spending an extra $30m in the current year on the conversion to automatic operation of those sorts of telephones to which the honourable member is referring. This accelerated program of conversion to automatic of old manual telephones will mean that by the middle of the 1 980s nearly all Australians will have access to a modern, automatic telephone service. It is far from the case that satellite developments are holding up those moves. The Government is accelerating them at the same time. {: .page-start } page 2069 {:#debate-16} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-16-0} #### WOOL SALES TO THE SOVIET UNION {: #subdebate-16-0-s0 .speaker-K5A} ##### Mr O'KEEFE:
PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES -Is the Minister for Trade and Resources aware of an allegation that he recently sought from the Soviet Union guarantees or assurances that that country would continue to buy Australian wool? Is this allegation correct? {: #subdebate-16-0-s1 .speaker-BU4} ##### Mr ANTHONY:
NCP/NP -- There have been some allegations to this effect. In fact the honourable member for Corio made a number of statements in the House last night and on the Australian Broadcasting Commission radio program *AM* this morning which are factually incorrect. I reject those statements completely, both in substance and in the spirit of the Government's policy towards the Soviet Union. Firstly, the honourable member suggested that Australian trade officials were called in by the Soviet Government and informed that wool sales would be boycotted. As far as I am aware, Australian trade officials in Moscow have had discussions with the Soviet trade ministry officials on only one occasion since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was an informal meeting. The report of that meeting indicates that no threat, or indeed suggestion, was made that Australian wool sales would be boycotted. The honourable member for Corio suggested also that I had called in for discussions Soviet trade officials in Australia. Let me make it very clear that since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan I have not called in any Soviet trade officials. In fact, I have had no contact with any member of the Soviet Embassy. The honourable member stated also that it is fairly certain that the Australian Government sought undertakings or at least information from the Soviet Union as to its intention in relation to wool sales. On no occasion have I sought either undertakings or information regarding the Soviet Union's position on the purchase of Australian wool. These allegations are totally unfounded and I reject them without qualification. On the basis of these incorrect assertions the honourable member accused me of hypocrisy. I respond to that accusation simply by quoting two very short comments made by the Leader of the Opposition. On 19 February he said: >There is absolutely no point in empty gestures, or in counter-productive measures that damage Australia, or disadvantage our national interest, more than they do the Soviet Union. On the same date he said: >I have said from the beginning that an effective boycott, or the transfer of the Olympic Games away from Moscow, would have embarrassed the Soviet Union deeply, and could have been expected to drive home to many of her own people the point that the invasion of Afghanistan was repugnant to and rejected by most countries of the world. If there is any hypocrisy, I invite the House to made a judgment as to where that hypocrisy lies. {: .page-start } page 2069 {:#debate-17} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-17-0} #### ETHNIC PRESS {: #subdebate-17-0-s0 .speaker-JNG} ##### Dr CASS:
MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA -- Has the attention of the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs been drawn to a question directed to his predecessor on 2 June 1978, in reply to which the previous Minister promised to give consideration to the inclusion of Opposition news releases in the publication *For the Ethnic Media* which is produced by the Minister's Department? As no further word has been heard from the previous Minister, does this mean that after 18 months' consideration he was unable to make a decision? Was a decision made to ignore the question and the Minister's promise, or is the matter still under consideration? Why has departmental editorial comment appeared in the 8 April issue of *From the Ethnic Press,* a publication issued by the Department which purports to be a weekly selection of news and editorial opinion from Australia's foreign language Press? Does it mean that both publications, posing as a service to the ethnic communities, have now degenerated into vehicles for departmental propaganda? {: #subdebate-17-0-s1 .speaker-6I4} ##### Mr MACPHEE:
Minister Assisting the Treasurer · BALACLAVA, VICTORIA · LP -In respect of the first part of the honourable member's question, my attention has not previously been drawn to that matter. I will investigate it forthwith and speak to him later this afternoon. In respect of the second matter, my attention has been drawn to the editorial note. I believe that the action of the Deputy Secretary of the Department on this occasion was perfectly justified. I shall explain to the House the reasons for it. In fact, the journal *From the Ethnic Press* is not an avenue of propaganda in respect of the Department. It is a service. It provides summaries of what is published in all ethnic Press. It is taken as being an accurate summary. Sometimes the articles as summarised are themselves taken as being true and are therefore not questioned. On this occasion there was a reference in *La Fiamma* which was in error in several respects. It happened that the same edition quoted the honourable member for Maribyrnong. The decision facing the editor of *From the Ethnic Press* was: Should he omit the reference because it was in error and would be reproduced in other journals without question, or should he include it and quote the honourable member's contribution but include an editorial note making it clear that the report was in error in some respects? He chose to do the latter. It did not affect the contribution of the honourable member. I believe that the editorial note was in the interests of accuracy and was therefore in every way justified. {: .page-start } page 2070 {:#debate-18} ### TASMANIAN INDUSTRIES {: #debate-18-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I call the honourable member for Franklin. {: #debate-18-s1 .speaker-XD4} ##### Mr GOODLUCK: -Thank you, **Mr Speaker.** Sorry, fellows. I direct a question to the Prime Minister. It concerns all Tasmanians. *Opposition members interjecting-* {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member for Franklin will resume his seat. I indicate to the honourable gentleman that if he persists in making comments as a preface to his question I will rule him out of order. {: .speaker-XD4} ##### Mr GOODLUCK: -Thank you, **Mr Speaker.** What Government initiated the now famous Callaghan inquiry into industries in Tasmania? What benefits are now flowing to Tasmania as a result of the report of that inquiry? Have the claims of the Premier of Tasmania, **Mr Lowe,** during the previous State election now been proved to be completely without foundation? In fact, were they a con on the Tasmanian people? {: #debate-18-s2 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
LP -The answer to the last part of the honourable gentleman's question is a plain and short yes. I think all honourable gentlemen will know that the initiatives of this Government, as a result of the Callaghan report and as a result of other measures, have very materially assisted Tasmania and industries in Tasmania. As further evidence of this assistance, on 15 April of this year I announced the decision to establish a national marine science centre in Tasmania, costing about $25m over a period, including $9m for a research vessel. {: .speaker-EV4} ##### Mr Young: -- Did that come out of the Callaghan report? {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER: -Yes, it is very much as a result of matters that the Government has pursued following the Callaghan report which, of course, this Government initiated. This will mean the moving of the relevant division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from Cronulla in New South Wales to Tasmania. It will lead to an enhanced national effort and very greatly assist in the implementation of the Government's broad policies in relation to Tasmania. It needs to be noted that it follows the movement of the Antarctic Division of the Department of Science and the Environment and also the establishment of the Australian Maritime College at Launceston. These are but some of the initiatives that this Government has pursued in relation to the Callaghan report. I understand that **Mr Lowe,** speaking a short while ago on television in Tasmania, tried to take all of the credit for these particular matters himself, ignoring completely the efforts of the honourable gentleman who asked this question, the honourable member for Franklin, and ignoring in particular the efforts of the honourable member for Denison who has worked long and assiduously not only in relation to the Antarctic centre but also in relation to the movement of the division of the CSIRO. I am quite certain that all Tasmanians recognise the effect of the policies of this Government and the advantages that are accruing to all of the people of Tasmania as a result of the policies of this Government. **Mr Lowe** would have to be much better than he is to make people believe that he is responsible for these particular matters. {: .page-start } page 2070 {:#debate-19} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-19-0} #### INVESTMENT ALLOWANCE {: #subdebate-19-0-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -I refer the Acting Treasurer to a statement that was made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce when he was Treasurer, in January 1976, announcing details of the investment allowance, in which it was claimed that the allowance would be a strong encouragement for business to expand so as to become more efficient and more productive. Is it a fact that more than $ 1,100m of tax revenue has been forgone through the operation of the investment allowance in the last four years? Did the annual rate of productivity increase in the economy from 1976 to 1979 average only 1.7 per cent, half the average achieved during the Labor period of government? Why has the investment allowance failed so dismally to stimulate productivity? {: #subdebate-19-0-s1 .speaker-KZL} ##### Mr Eric Robinson:
MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND · LP -I do recall a statement made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce when he was Treasurer regarding the investment allowance. The view that he expressed, that the investment allowance made a very valuable contribution to Australia, is one that is shared by all members of the Government. Indeed, it was a decision made in order that we could get some development and growth throughout the industrial section of the Australian community. Considerable benefits have flowed from it in terms of reducing costs, increasing exports and increasing our capacity to compete. I remind the Leader of the Opposition that, when this Government was returned to office, the nation's ability to compete had been vastly eroded due to the fiscal policies which the previous Administration had pursued. On return, this Government took steps in a number of ways- reducing Government expenditure, controlling the money supply and introducing the investment allowance- to get this nation competitive again. That, of course, is what has occurred. There have been some tremendous benefits. Had there been greater restraint in a number of other areas, particularly in the wages area, and a greater degree of responsibility from the Labor Opposition with regard to industrial relations and had the Labor Opposition discharged a national responsibility in asking the members of its trade unions to act more in the national interest, we would have had greater productivity in this country. The investment allowance has played a very valuable role in increasing productivity and great credit is upon the Government for its implementation. {: .page-start } page 2071 {:#debate-20} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-20-0} #### ANTARCTIC TREATY HEADQUARTERS {: #subdebate-20-0-s0 .speaker-BV4} ##### Mr HODGMAN: -Does the Prime Minister recall representations that I made to him and to the Minister for Foreign Affairs over two years ago in support of my proposal that the international headquarters of the Antarctic Treaty nations should be based at Kingston, Tasmania, in close proximity to the new Australian Antarctic Division headquarters? Does the Government's decision last week to establish the $2 5m national marine science centre in Hobart considerably strengthen the case for the basing of the international headquarters in Australia and, more particularly, at Kingston, Tasmania? {: #subdebate-20-0-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
LP -- I certainly believe that the range of research facilities that we will have in Tasmania will strengthen Australia's case in the international community for gaining the international headquarters to which the honourable gentleman has referred. We are pressing the Australian case, but there are others who hope that the headquarters will be in their country. If the headquarters comes to Australia, Tasmania is the logical place for it to be. If that is the case it will owe much to the honourable gentleman's advocacy and the way in which the Minister for Foreign Affairs has presented the Austraiian case. {: .page-start } page 2071 {:#debate-21} ### NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES (FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE) ACT {: #debate-21-s0 .speaker-BU4} ##### Mr ANTHONY:
Minister for Trade and Resources · Richmond · NCP/NP -- Pursuant to section 6 of the National Water Resources (Financial Assistance) Act 1978 I present copies of an agreement with Victoria in respect of projects in connection with the development and management of water resources. {: .page-start } page 2071 {:#debate-22} ### HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION {: #debate-22-s0 .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK:
Minister for Foreign Affairs · Kooyong · LP -- For the information of honourable members I table the report of the Australian delegation of the 36th session of the Commission of Human Rights held in Geneva from 4 February to 1 4 March 1 980. {: .page-start } page 2071 {:#debate-23} ### ABORIGINAL LAND CLAIMS {: #debate-23-s0 .speaker-EE6} ##### Mr VINER:
Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs · Stirling · LP -- For the information of honourable members I present the Aboriginal Land Commissioner's report on the Yingawunarri (Old Top Springs) Mudbara land claim together with the text of the statement by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs **(Senator Chaney)** relating to the report. {: .page-start } page 2071 {:#debate-24} ### DEPORTATION OF PERSONS CONVICTED OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES {: #debate-24-s0 .speaker-6I4} ##### Mr MACPHEE:
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs · Balaclava · LP -- For the information of honourable members I present the text of a statement on Government policy relating to the deportation of persons convicted of criminal offences. {: .page-start } page 2072 {:#debate-25} ### PERSONAL EXPLANATION {: #debate-25-s0 .speaker-HI4} ##### Mr MORRIS:
Shortland **-Mr Speaker,** I claim to have been misrepresented. {: #debate-25-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Does the honourable gentleman wish to make a personal explanation? {: .speaker-HI4} ##### Mr MORRIS: -- Yes. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -He may proceed. {: .speaker-HI4} ##### Mr MORRIS: -In the *Australian* of 18 April 1980 under the byline of Gary O'Neill a statement appears referring to a speech which I made on the Appropriation Bill (No. 3) last Thursday. It reads: >He - Meaning myself- said last year the Minister for Finance, **Mr Robinson,** told a Liberal council meeting in Perth the Government was considering selling TAA. The report goes on: > **Mr Robinson** later denied having made the statement. The report is completely untrue. The Minister for Finance **(Mr Eric Robinson)** has refused to move away from his statement that the Government is considering the sale of Trans-Australia Airlines. The article inaccurately reports what I said, which is shown on page 1 9 1 8 *of Hansard.* I said: >The Minister then told the Federal Liberal Party Council meeting in Perth that the Government was considering the sale of TAA. > >The Treasurer **(Mr Howard)** when challenged at the time in Newcastle to refute what the Minister for Finance had said, refused to answer. He still stands in that position. So we have the two senior finance Ministers of the Government refusing to deny that the sale of TAA is being considered. {: .page-start } page 2072 {:#debate-26} ### AUSTRALIA'S RELATIONS WITH IRAN {:#subdebate-26-0} #### Ministerial Statement {: #subdebate-26-0-s0 .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK:
Minister for Foreign Affairs · Kooyong · LP -- by leave- My colleague the Minister for Trade and Resources **(Mr Anthony)** and I are jointly responsible for giving effect to the decisions that I am about to announce relating to the detention of the American hostages in Tehran and the decisions we have taken on relations with Iran. The Government has made a further review of trade in non-food items with Iran and has considered a range of options open to it. It has been decided to prohibit further exports of Disappearing Automatic Retaliatory Target- DART-equipment to Iran until the hostages are released. The DART equipment is the only item of military or quasi-military equipment now being exported to Iran from Australia. We have also decided to cease remaining official assistance to trade in non-food items with Iran. The assistance which is now to cease will include export insurance cover on new business and export incentive arrangements in respect of nonfood trade with Iran. I take this opportunity to draw the attention of Australian exporters to the increasingly unfavourable climate for trade with Iran. Our judgment is that the climate will continue to deteriorate unless and until the hostages are released. Their continued detention is not only an affront to a fundamental principle of relations between states, it is also a cruel and increasingly dangerous affront to the American people in human terms. Innocent American citizens have been detained for nearly half a year. Whatever their physical condition, there can be no doubt regarding the mental strains and anguish they are suffering. Neither can there be any doubt about the strength of feeling among their fellow countrymen concerning their condition and safety. In the circumstances the United States has shown remarkable forebearance. It has walked the path of negotiation with patience, in the face of considerable provocation and repeated disappointment. To assume that its forebearance is unlimited or to equate it with indifferent or weakness would be a grave mistake. A great democracy cannot be expected to wait indefinitely while revolutionary factions resolve their differences- with the lives of its citizens being used as pawns. In taking these further decisions that I have announced, the Government's objective is to register with the Iranian authorities, in the clearest possible terms, its repugnance at Iran 's behaviour in using hostages as a political device and its concern about the danger to peace which flows from that behaviour. Attempting to humiliate and test the limits of the patience of a great power is an extremely dangerous game. The Government's firm view is that only concerted action by the United States' friends and allies will bring home to the Iranian authorities that their handling of the hostages issue is totally unacceptable to the international community. The United States is moving in a deliberate and considered way to make clear to Iran the costs of persisting in detaining the hostages. The justice of its case; the common interest in maintaining the principle of diplomatic immunity; the responsibility of alliance; and, of overriding importance, the need to remove a danger to world peace- all these considerations justify firm support from America 's allies. The Government's concern has been reinforced by the consultations last week of the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** with Commonwealth and other leaders in Salisbury during the Zimbabwe independence celebrations. So long as there is no movement in the situation, other measures open to the Government will be kept under close and constant review. But the hope of the Government is that there will be movement, and that this irrational and callous behaviour will cease forthwith. {: #subdebate-26-0-s1 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN:
Leader of the Opposition · Oxley -- by leave- The statement of the Minister for Foreign Affairs **(Mr Peacock)** can be described as a low level response to an extremely difficult and potentially extremely dangerous situation- one that could imply great difficulties for the rest of the world. In fact, I think that one could fairly go beyond stating that it was a low level response and say that it was a rather limp reaction from a government that displayed so much fury so recently on another international situation not far removed geographically from Iran. What it boils down to is a fairly clear demonstration that once again, when it comes to competitive interests, on the one hand, on the part of farm exports and, on the other hand, international relations, the National Country Party wins hands down in every such situation. Let us look at the potential that Australia has to apply influence on Iran. Australia has developed a substantial trade with Iran, and a trade with a considerable growth rate. Our exports for the first six months of the current financial year amounted to $120m compared with $1 16m for the whole of 1978-79. So the rate of growth in exports this year is twice that which applied in 1978-79. More significantly, of that total amount of exports- that is, of the $ 120m- only about $9m was not accounted for by farm products. Meat and live sheep accounted for $50m and wheat for $44m. They were the dominant items. That is significant because the inspired leaks from unidentified but official sources which appeared prominently in the newspapers this morning left the community with the impression that this was a massive retribution by Australia against Iran in support of our ally. It is nothing of the sort. More than that, once again, the National Country Party has extracted as the price of its partnership in the coalition complete immunity for the products in which their constituency is directly involved. But let me go on. I want to make it clear that we sympathise with the United States and its leaders in this dilemma. For six months, 50 citizens of the United States who are entitled to the full protection of international law and practice covering diplomatic representation have been prisoners. For six months, the immunity of the official United States Embassy and its contents has been persistently and scornfully breached. The most shameful feature of the situation in Tehran is the studied refusal of any recognised authority to take responsibility for what has been going on. That is what President Carter is seeking to do now- to create a situation whereby responsibility has to be shouldered at official level so that at least there is a defined party for negotiation. The great fear must be that there is no level of authority both willing and able to accept the responsibility. There is strong ground now for the belief that nobody in Iran is able to exercise effective control. We see in that country a president elected by an impressive majority with the support of the religious parties, taking moderate positions and saying the right sorts of thingsindisputably an intelligent and able man, but unable to take effective action. We see as the religious head of state a tired and sick old man whose grasp of the day-to-day realities of international developments appears suspect and who is more inclined to react than to lead. We see a revolutionary council of a dozen or so other figures, mostly little known and understood less, who are given to making ringing declarations from a basis of dubious authority. Soon we will see an elected parliament whose outlook and real - authority are problematical at this stage. The students occupying the American Embassy and holding the hostages see themselves as both a political and a religious force. We now have contending student groups rampaging through the universities- one faction at least believing it does so with the blessing, or at the behest, of its religious leaders. A huge refugee problem continues to grow on the border with Iraq where military exchanges of varying significance have also been taking place. All of this contributes to a picture of instability and ineffective control and leadership on a frightening scale. Forces are at work which could rip Iran apart with a level of bloodshed we hesitate to contemplate. At the same time, our sympathy for the American position is tinged with considerable unease on several scores. The overriding one arises from the feeling that the situation has developed an inexorable momentum of its own and that the direction is towards a form of military action. The American people are angry and frustrated. They are demanding action. According to a *Washington Post* poll published yesterday as many as two-thirds of Americans support a military course of action- unspecified though it is. In the United States at present the most sensitive decision-making with the most profound implications for the whole world is proceeding in the worst possible environment. The process is taking place in the full heat of the primary polls leading up to the American presidential election at the end of this year. The one certainty in this is daunting in the extreme. It is that no President of the United States can seek re-election in just a few months time while 50 American diplomatic personnel remain hostage in Tehran. But the time fuse is even shorter than that. No American President can continue through the shoals and shallows of the primaries campaign for much longer without taking some decisive action in this situation. The dilemma is that the diplomatic initiatives are virtually exhausted already and that we are very close to the point where only military options are left. The potential consequences of military action are such that I believe we should avoid public speculation upon them at this stage. However, we cannot overlook the fact that the Soviet Union shares an uneasy border with Iran and maintains significant military forces in the area. In my assessment, Iran's oil does not even enter the immediate calculation of possible Russian action. But border instability, with its effect on Soviet Muslims in the region, could do so. Iran is poised to become a flashpoint comparable with that provided by the Balkans in earlier times. In Iran the spheres of interest of the two superpowers are dangerously close to overlapping. Almost 30 years ago a major misjudgment by the Central Intelligence Agency led to the overthrow of the elected Mossadegh government in Tehran and the installation of the Shah, with all the instruments of oppression and authoritarianism that are now so well documented. That memory in Iran reacts powerfully against the United States in that country today. We cannot afford another such misjudgment. The Shah's regime brought a significant measure of economic development to Iran. Of that there is no doubt, but it did so with vast inequities between the people, with the unconscionable use of torture and uncontrolled secret police activities, through Savak, against a background of corruption, coercion and gross violation of human rights. It is difficult to call that sort of development progress. It should emphasise to us at once and do so once again the need to look at the world realistically and to defend basic principles consistently- two measures that we have been constantly urging on the Government. We must not prop up dictators and despots uncritically simply because some of their attitudes suit us in realpolitik terms. We must not bend to the wishes, for example, of a friendly but unquestionably authoritarian and cruel government in Saudi Arabia, one which would prefer to maintain a more benign image with Australian television audiences. We should not condemn ruthless military repression and invasion in Afghanistan but ignore or excuse it in East Timor. We should recognise that one of the legitimate purposes of providing aid is to further the values and principles in which we believe. We should make the judgment of that purpose a constant factor in our aid programs, which should be expanded in scope and quality, not contracted consistently, as we have seen happen since 1 975. The Middle East has long been regarded as a potential powder keg and its likely flashpoint is much closer now than it has been for a long time. It is a rather unanticipated paradox that, contrary to the general assumption, that flashpoint is not necessarily contained in Arab-Israeli relations. It was assumed that an Arab-Israeli clash would drag the superpowers into confrontation. The likelihood of that clash taking place has been considerably eased in recent times. Now, however, the chaotic situation in Iran has created circumstances in which a series of events could be set off, leading to a point at which the superpowers will stumble into conflict through actions and reactions that they would prefer to avoid. Aside from that rather drastic scenario, the implications of a tough United States military response to the hostage situation are dramatic enough even at a more restricted regional level. That could be the action which turns loose the forces of Islamic fundamentalism, radicalism and restrictive reformism, which have been fermenting in many such countries throughout the region for some time- in some cases for generations. Some of these countries seem to demonstrate the fact that the West appears determined not to learn from the lessons of recent history. They are countries in which the governments are bound to fall in the end because of their tyranny, their ineptness and their inequity. The principal lesson is that we should not prop up such governments. We should support administrations that will survive because they deserve to, for what they achieve on behalf of their people. Equally, it is time that we took a realistic view of the successes and capabilities of the Soviet Union in international affairs. Of course the Russians will do everything that they can to exploit weakness within the Western sphere of influence wherever they find the opportunity. But we should abandon the Western propensity to exaggerate Soviet successes. The Russians do not walk on water and we ought not to presume they do, or convey the impression that we suspect that they do. In recent years they have been thrown out of countries such as Egypt and Somalia. They have not maintained their influence in places such as Angola. The communist monolith, comprising Russia and China, crumbled while Western observers were still forecasting its dire consequences. Let me refer quickly to some of the dimensions of the propensity available for military instability in the Middle East. Professor Amos Perimutter, in an article in the *Asian Wall Street Journal* of 20 March, stated: >According to the International Institute for Strategic studies' report 'The Military Balance, 1979-1980', there are today 66 divisions in this military and political theatre, a jump of 60 per cent from ten years ago. The number of tanks has risen to 1 5,850, a jump of 66 per cent and the number of planes of varying qualities and capabilities has risen to 3,066, an increase of 6 1 . 1 per cent. > >The seriousness and magnitude of this military arsenal can be quickly perceived by comparing it to NATO. According to the IISS report, NATO fields 75 divisions, only nine more than those present in the Middle East, has 16,025 tanks, only 175 more than now in the Middle East, and its air force consists of a combined strength of 2,450 planes, 616 fewer than now operating in the Middle East. Those statistics illustrate dramatically and disturbingly the enormous propensity, not just for instability but for massive conflict as a consequence of that instability. Furthermore, that sort of conflict, should it arise through inadroit measures at some stage of the very delicate and difficult situation which is being negotiated by the Americans, could have ramifications that would spread well beyond the Middle East and could, indeed, inject into the rest of the world challenges as to whether peace will be preserved or not. In all the circumstances, then, the response announced by the Foreign Minister is extremely limited. In the case of Afghanistan, the Government was prepared to expend enormous energy and prestige to achieve a result that it felt was warranted in regard to the Olympic Games. Both the rhetoric and the level of activity in that case stand in stark contrast to the response that has been announced today. In fact, the Opposition does see a need for caution and temperance in this situation, but it cannot allow the opportunity to pass - {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- What would you do? {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -- To draw attention rather wryly to the different standards of - {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- What would you do? {: #subdebate-26-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The Minister will refrain from interjecting. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -- Responses by the Government to the situation in Afghanistan and the problem in Iran. Curiously, the Government pointed out, in the statement of the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** to the House on 19 February, the dangers, in the case of Afghanistan, of painting an adversary into too tight a corner. That applies with equal force in this situation. Does the Minister for Foreign Affairs disagree? Not at all. Excessive pressure could merely harden positions. Nevertheless, it is regrettable that the Government's decision will be seen for what it principally is- a straight-out exertion of political muscle by the National Country Party side of the coalition. The withdrawal of Government export support in the case of Iran is a slight enough reaction; but it is not even extended to the farm products which are the real basis for argument by the National Country Party. The Iranian situation, with all that could flow from it in that vastly troubled region of the world, is a far greater danger to world peace in the current climate than is Afghanistan, about which this Government has made such extravagant claims, and the Minister knows that. Does he dispute it? His silence is resounding. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I indicate to the Leader of the Opposition that, when the Minister was interjecting previously, I asked the Minister to remain silent. If the Leader of the Opposition invites the Minister to interject, I will not be able to prevent the Minister doing so. I suggest that the Leader of the Opposition does not do that. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -- I have no objection to the Minister's responding to that question. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I ask the honourable gentleman to make his speech and not to invite interjections. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -Let me restate the proposition. The Iranian situation, with all that could flow from it in that vastly troubled region of the world, is a far greater danger to world peace in the current climate than the Afghanistan situation, about which this Government has made such extravagant claims. I do not mind at all if the Minister cares to respond to show whether he disputes that point. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- Thank you. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -The Prime Minister would be far closer to the objective truth to talk of the possibility of World War III in relation to Iran rather than in relation to Afghanistan. One would never judge that from the cursory statement presented by the Foreign Minister today. **Mr PEACOCK** (Kooyong-Minister for Foreign Affairs)- I seek leave to make a statement. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Is leave granted? {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK: -It has been granted. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Leave is granted. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK: -The statement that I made today was a measured statement. It followed the statement which was issued last week and which indicated that we would not replace our Ambassador, that we would withdraw our Trade Commissioner and that we were prepared to take additional measures. We have continued on that path. After constantly reviewing the situation and seeing no further movement, and following further measures that were announced by President Carter late last week, we have announced some further measures. Therefore, these have to be taken into consideration with our statement last week and the strong condemnation of what is transpiring in Iran. I have made it perfectly clear that we will be keeping the matter under consideration. Salient to that is that we are prepared, if there is no further movement on the question, to carry the matter further and in fact to do more. I listened very carefully to the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Hayden).** I have to say this: At not one stage was a program indicated, a policy proffered or a viewpoint indicated as to what the Labor Party in government would do. There were some selected readings- they could well have come from some of my speeches- warning of concerns in different parts of the world. Let me remind the House, therefore, what the Labor Party policy is, because this is of critical importance. Before I do, I will also remind honourable members of my answer yesterday in the House to a question without notice from the right honourable member for Lowe **(Sir William McMahon).** {: .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr James: -- Without notice? {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK: -Yes, without notice. The right honourable member for Lowe asked me about the dangerous conditions in the international scene, referred to the statement by Chancellor Schmidt and asked for my reaction, which was well reported. 1 indicated that a grievous situation was ahead of us and that it could well be advisable for the superpowers to be talking. So, in many ways much of what the Leader of the Opposition has said today complements the answer that I gave yesterday. But of critical and fundamental importance is that there was not one cubit of evidence given as to Labor Party policy on this issue. Therefore, I will give it as it has been enunciated by its duly appointed spokesman, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, **Senator Wriedt,** who speaks for the Australian Labor Party on foreign policy. The Australian Labor Party's policy on Iran is, firstly, that it would not have withdrawn the Ambassador. {: .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr James: -- No. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK: -- It would have replaced him. Does the honourable member agree with that? {: .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr James: -- I do. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK: -So does Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Council has said that it disagrees with any country which will withdraw its ambassador. The second point is that we withdrew our Trade Commissioner and have been condemned for doing so by the Australian Labor Party. Will you condemn it again today? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! I suggest that the Minister address his questions through the Chair and not directly to an honourable member opposite. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK: -On the second point, the Labor Party's attitude is the same as that of Iran. Then, interestingly enough, the Leader of the Opposition said that we had not moved on to the question of trade in food and has implied that perhaps he would take this significant measure, when we know from the statements of **Senator Wriedt,** which were put on the record on 9 April, that the Australian Labor Party is opposed to any diplomatic or economic sanctions against Iran. So, once again, the policy of the Australian Labor Party on the question of economic sanctions is the same as that advocated by Iran, namely, that no one should respond to the requests of the United States Government. So, whether it be on the question of the Ambassador, the question of the Trade Commissioner or the question of economic sanctions, the Labor Party's policy bluntly and succinctly mirrors the demands of the Iranian Revolutionary Council. That leaves it sitting there in abject disgrace. The final point of reckoning is that at the end of the statement by **Senator Wriedt** which set out the policy of the Australian Labor Party it was said that the determination of the question of the hostages ought to be made by the Iranian Parliament. The fact is that we do not even know when that Parliament will meet or what decision it will reach. That again is the policy of the Iranian Revolutionary Council. So, on each of these points, the policy enunciated- the only time a policy for the Labor Party in regard to the United States hostages has been enunciated- has been a mirror image reflection, if we like, of what has been proffered by the Iranian Revolutionary Council. I put that here in the House and it has not been denied in the statement by the Leader of the Opposition today. We do not run away from the fact that we are giving the United States strong support. We do not run away from the fact that we see the international climate as dangerous. I refer again to the answer I gave yesterday to the right honourable member for Lowe. Today's statement was made because I did not want simply to issue it yesterday outside the Parliament. It is to be read in conjunction with the other statements which have been made on this issue and which indicate that the Australian Government firmly supports the United States in its endeavours. We have yet to hear anything akin to that from the Labor Party. Indeed, we have heard the antithesis of it. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- I seek leave to make a short statement. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- Leave is not granted. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- Come off it! Aw, come off it! {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- You invited me to speak. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- Oh! What a cowardly scuttling from the front line. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- You invited me to speak. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- We watched him angrily twitching like a head waiter at Sorrentos who had not received the tip he expected. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- Where are the - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! The Minister will remain silent. The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: **- Mr Speaker,** with your indulgence - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition asked leave to make a statement. Leave was refused. The Standing Orders, therefore, do not permit him to speak. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: **- Mr Speaker,** can I speak with your indulgence? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I will not grant an indulgence when the House has denied leave. I call the Minister for Foreign Affairs. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- I have to complain about the unexpected - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I will not hear the Leader of the Opposition. He has no call. {: .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr Peacock: -- I was invited to speak by you. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- I challenged you to respond to an interjection. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- Let me put it in context, then I will sit down. I will be brief. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- No. Can I make this point? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The rules of the Parliament are quite clear. The Leader of the Opposition can ask leave to make a statement. If it is refused by any single voice, he does not have leave. I will not grant an indulgence to speak when the House has declined leave. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: **- Mr Speaker,** can I raise a point with you about the deception in this? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -No. The honourable gentleman has no call and has no right to speak. I ask him to resume his seat. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- I ask to make a point to you by indulgence so that the record is clear as to what has happened. It will take about three sentences. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I will permit three sentences and no more. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- The Minister asked leave to make a statement. He is scheduled to make two statements. I presumed he was making that statement. He was invited to respond to an interjection. The Minister may gesture. He can read and he is not completely stupid. He was invited in the course of what I was saying to respond by way of interjection. He did not, nor did he in the course of what he had to say. His behaviour is that of a posturing poltroon and this is not the first time we have seen it in the House. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has a paper to present. {: .page-start } page 2077 {:#debate-27} ### SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE {: #debate-27-s0 .speaker-MI4} ##### Mr PEACOCK:
Minister for Foreign Affairs · Kooyong · LP -- For the information of honourable members I table the Government responses to the recommendations of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence given in the report on Australian representation overseas. I seek leave to make a statement. Leave not granted. {: .page-start } page 2078 {:#debate-28} ### MANAGEMENT EDUCATION {: #debate-28-s0 .speaker-CG4} ##### Mr FIFE:
Minister for Education · Farrer · LP **-Mr Speaker,** I seek leave to make a short statement concerning management education. Leave not granted. {: .page-start } page 2078 {:#debate-29} ### JOINT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS {: #debate-29-s0 .speaker-JT9} ##### Mr BUNGEY:
Canning -In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1 969 I present reports relating to the following proposed works: >Holsworthy Army Development Stage 2, New South Wales; and > >The rehabilitation of Radio Australia facilities, Cox Peninsula, Northern Territory. Ordered that the reports be printed. {: .page-start } page 2078 {:#debate-30} ### PERSONAL EXPLANATION {: #debate-30-s0 .speaker-5J4} ##### Mr SCHOLES:
Corio **-Mr Speaker,** I seek your indulgence to make a personal explanation. {: #debate-30-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Does the honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-5J4} ##### Mr SCHOLES: -- Yes. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -He may proceed. {: .speaker-5J4} ##### Mr SCHOLES: **- Mr Speaker,** in answer to a question during Question Time the Minister for Trade and Resources **(Mr Anthony)** said, among other things, that 1 had used inaccurate information when I indicated that a threat had been made or was reported to the Government some time ago on a possible Russian boycott of Australian wool sales. An article which appeared in the *Australian Financial Review* of 5 February 1980 states: >The Federal Government has been told that the Soviet Union is considering retaliatory action against Australia and that a boycott of the wool auctions is one of the measures that has been proposed. > >A spokesman for the Acting Prime Minister, **Mr Anthony,** yesterday confirmed a report that an official in the Department of Trade and Resources had been told by Australian trading interests of a meeting of Soviet officials in Moscow last week to discuss retaliatory measures. Clearly that report indicates that not.only did the Deputy Prime Minister know that such threats had been made but also that his office had confirmed to the Press that such reports had been made. His statement was quite incorrect, as were other parts of his answer. {: .page-start } page 2078 {:#debate-31} ### LAW REFORM COMMISSION {: #debate-31-s0 .speaker-YF6} ##### Mr ELLICOTT:
Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for the Capital Territory and Acting Attorney-General · Wentworth · LP -- For the information of honourable members I present a report of the Law Reform Commission entitled Lands Acquisition and Compensation'. **Mr Speaker,** I seek leave to make a statement relating to the report. Leave not granted. {: .speaker-YF6} ##### Mr ELLICOTT: -I table the statement in relation to the report. {: .page-start } page 2078 {:#debate-32} ### ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS {:#subdebate-32-0} #### Discussion of Matter of Public Importance {: #subdebate-32-0-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I have received letters from the honourable members for Cunningham **(Mr West),** Diamond Valley **(Mr N. A. Brown)** and Denison **(Mr Hodgman)** proposing that definite matters of public importance be submitted to the House for discussion today. As required by Standing Order 107, I have selected the matter which in my opinion is the most urgent and important, that is that proposed by the honourable member for Cunningham, namely: >The urgent need for the use of Commonwealth powers to prevent deteriorating relations between the Kimberley Aborigines and mining companies and the Western Australian Government. I call upon those members who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places. *More than the number of members required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places-* {: #subdebate-32-0-s1 .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST:
Cunningham -In Western Australia over the last few months there has been a deterioration in relations between the 8,000 Kimberley Aborigines, the Western Australian State Government, Amax Petroleum Co. and other mining companies. There is a fundamental conflict between a 30,000-year old culture- the culture of Aborigines- and those who are interested in seeing the progress of the second great post-war mining development that is occurring in Western Australia. Similar development will possibly occur in the Northern Territory and Queensland in coal projects, aluminium projects and so on. There are those in conservative State governments, mining companies, the Federal Government and certainly the Department of National Development and Energy who are determined to call a halt to the gains made by Australia's original inhabitants, the Australian Aborigines, in the area of land rights and to reverse the gains that have been made by these people in the last few years. Perhaps the prime example of this is at a far away pastoral lease in Western Australia called Noonkanbah. This station covers 4,700 square kilometres and was acquired by the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission for the traditional local Aborigines in 1975. It is now home to 200 or 300 Aboriginal people who recently were fringe dwellers in the Fitzroy Crossing area. The honourable member for Fremantle **(Mr Dawkins)** and I have twice visited this area in the last three weeks -on 2 April and 1 9 April. I ask the House to note that despite the intransigence of the Court Government in Western Australia and the professed interest of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs **(Senator Chaney)** in the Senate, neither of those people have visited the area even once during this time of confrontation. Noonkanbah includes a large area of Aboriginal sacred sites within a wide radius of the Pea Hill area. Sacred sites in Western Australia are supposed to be protected under the Western Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act which was introduced by a State Labor government in 1972. Under the provisions of the Act the trustees of the Western Australian Museum have the power to investigate and declare Aboriginal sacred sites. The Minister for Cultural Affairs has the power to override the Museum definitions. In June 1979, after an extensive survey, the Western Australian Museum compiled a report on the Pea Hill sacred site leases which favoured the Aborigines. Amax Petroleum holds exploration leases over much of the Pea Hill area. In October 1978 the approximate location for a drilling site was shown to the Museum by Amax Petroleum. Subsequently the Museum's definition of the sacred sites was rejected by the State Minister for Cultural Affairs, who gave no reason whatsoever. The Minister accepted that it was time that Amax Petroleum drilled in that area. This decision was in accord with the decisions of the Western Australian Government not to grant pastoral leases at all to Aborigines. Indeed none have been transferred since 1977. Attempts by the Land Fund Commission to acquire further pastoral leases in Western Australia have met with a negative response from the Court Government. The Gordon Downs station was applied for. This station, which is in the east Kimberleys, is presently owned by Vesteys. The decision to transfer this lease was opposed by **Mr Wordsworth,** the Western Australian Lands Minister. He gave no reason except that he wanted to try to incorporate vacant Crown land in the area into a viable station. The real reason, of course, was simply that he did not want to see Aborigines acquire any further pastoral leases. The same situation arose when the Land Fund Commission attempted to acquire Laurel Downs pastoral lease for Aboriginal use. The Commission tendered $5,000 more than any other tenderer but it was knocked back and the State pastoral lease eventually went to United States interests. The Chairman of the Kimberley Lands Council, **Mr Jimmy** Bieundurry had this to say about no transfers of pastoral leases to Aborigines being allowed by the Western Australian Court Government since 1977: >It seems grossly inequitable that this small area of 'Free' land should be denied to a group in excess of 100 people with a traditional association and a recognised land need, in favour of the marginal economic benefits it may have to a foreign company with millions of acres in WA and the Northern Territory. I return to Noonkanbah. Prior to the Amax drillings the Western Australian Government received pleas from numerous sources, including the Western Australian Museum and the National Aboriginal Council, not to allow drilling on sacred sights at Noonkanbah. This was the way the report of the Aboriginal Sites Department of the Western Australian Museum put the matter: >Above all else a man . . . and his children were believed to have actually originated from the area of the local descent group. That is to say their spirit emanated from a particular site within the country and returned there after death. A man or woman is therefore believed to be a living part of the country, and to share a common spirituality with the land. If the land is damaged or in any way broken up then the spiritual component of a living person is also deemed to be at risk. Additionally the land is full of spiritual essence - The National Aboriginal Council passed these resolutions: >That this full National Conference of the NAC urgently request the Minister's immediate intervention to halt proceedings taken by West Australian State Government in allowing Amax Mining Company to conduct exploration on Noonkanbah. > >The National Aboriginal Conference request the Minister to urge the Federal Government to use the powers vested in the Government in the 1967 Referendum, draw up legislation and in doing so: > >Guarantee full protection of Aboriginal sacred sites and insuring that NO exploration or mining take place within an area recognised as such. The Professor of Anthropology at the University of Western Australia had this to say: >It would be a tragedy if unresolved, clumsily handled issues of this sort were to leave an indelible mark on the reputation and development of this State. > >That approach can lead only to further dissatisfaction and disilusionment, and to contempt and dismay on the part of all of us who are concerned with human welfare and justice. Instead of taking heed of those calls, what did we see the Court Government do? On 18 March under the umbrella of 35 police Amax moved in to drill, accompanied by officials of the West Australian Mines Department. The Aborigines were given five minutes to decide on one of two sites. An injunction was granted to prevent drilling for one week but water drilling subsequently commenced on the weekend of 28 and 29 March. I have here the words of the West Australian journalist, **Mr Paul** Murray, who wrote an article which appeared in the *West Australian.* He was present on that occasion. I ask the House to think about these words as they are very well put. The article states: >As the drills dug into the ground which the Noonkanbah people hold as sacred, I felt ashamed of my white skin. Many of these people left the degradation of alcohol excesses and social upheaval to return to the land at Noonkanbah. > >On Saturday - Because of the Court Government- they lost a little bit more of themselves. I was there with the honourable member for Fremantle **(Mr Dawkins)** on April 2, which was a watershed day in Aboriginal land rights history. Passive confrontation was successful when 130 Aborigines, in the presence of eight or nine police officers, requested Amax to leave without any violence. To everyone's great surprise Amax left. Why? I say to the House that it was simply because Amax realised that the alternative was to hold a police presence there for the whole duration of the drilling and that that was not possible. It was a moral victory for the Aboriginal people on that day which posed a huge dilemma to the Court Government in Western Australia. Let me trace some of the Premier's lies. His reaction to this withdrawal by Amax was one of complete fury. The next day in all of the media we were informed that Court said - {: .speaker-K6U} ##### Mr Cotter: **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** I rise on a point of order. I ask that the honourable member withdraw the reference to the Premier of Western Australia as having told lies. **Mr** DEPUTY SPEAKER **(Mr Millar)Whilst** the honourable member's remark was not directed to any member of this House, it does constitute unparliamentary language. I ask him to withdraw. {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST: -- In deference to you, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** I will withdraw. The Western Australian Premier offered misrepresentations to the people of Australia. He said that the Aborigines agreed to drilling. That was incorrect. He said they had threatened violence to Amax personnel. Police who were present would deny that. He says that the whole situation is due to white stirrers. In fact, it is the tribal elders, many of whom lived through horrors such as the Forrest River massacre in 1926, who are leading the Aboriginal movement at Noonkanbah. In case the House doubts what I am saying, let me trace some of the recent utterances of this bellicose, belligerent, intransigent, insensitive and inept Western Australian Premier on this issue. Before the drilling he said: >We believe that enough time has been spent on the matter. > >It has been the subject of discussion for a long time. After the withdrawal he went on to say that drilling would proceed- whether by Amax or someone else. Later on the following weekend **Sir Charles** Court said that in preparation for the company's return to the site the Government would co-operate in organising logistical and other support. What does he mean by 'logistical support?' He obviously means one thing- a massive police presence to protect the Amax drilling operation. All this has simply resulted in the hardening of the Aboriginal position to meet an intransigent State Government position. I was there again last Saturday at a bush meeting on the banks of the Fitzroy River where Aboriginal law men had gathered from 30 Kimberley communities. They carried resolutions calling for no mining on sacred sites and no mining at all on Noonkanbah on the complete lease for three years. They called for the Federal Minister's intervening, using his powers under section 5 1 of the Constitution, and they resolved that all communities in the Kimberleys would support the Noonkanbah Aborigines. What has the Federal Minister been doing while all this has been going on? That is the $64 question that I ask this House. I refer to a Press statement which states that before the confrontation on 2 April the Minister said that he was glad to see the rumour that the company would enter the property without notice and with police protection had been laid to rest by the Premier of Western Australia. How naive can one get? The Minister's prime action afterwards was to write a long letter to the *West Australian* which he ended by virtually begging for an absence of confrontation. The tragedy of this Government's handling of Aboriginal affairs is simply that its two Ministers responsible have come from Western Australia and they appear unable to handle the reactionary Court Government and the Western Australian Liberal Party. **Senator Chaney** has been seen in Western Australia as a weak, ineffectual Minister not willing to confront the Liberals in his home State. He was very lucky to receive a reprieve on 2 April, but he is now frittering away the chance to assert Federal power. Will he delay until Court forces Amax back in to a further confrontation with Aborigines at Noonkanbah? If he waits until Premier Court achieves that, it is virtually certain that a large police presence will be necessary, and then he will be forced to use Federal powers eventually whether he likes it or not. On Friday, 4 April, I talked personally with **Senator Chaney** in Western Australia. The honourable member for Fremantle and I proposed: Firstly, that a new investigation and mapping of sacred sites be undertaken on the leases; secondly, that Amax suspend its operations while this takes place; thirdly, that the Aboriginal community be asked to nominate a representative to the mapping team; fourthly, that a new mapping team be led by an independent authority such as Professor Rowley or perhaps, if acceptable to him, by **Dr H.** Coombs and; fifthly, that the Government and Amax commit themselves to accepting the findings of the study and avoiding drilling and other mining activities in the areas so designated. What has happened? The Federal Minister has not acted! On the contrary, the latest attitude of the Court Government is epitomised in a statement made by the Western Australian Minister for Cultural Affairs, Bill Grayden, who has responsibility for Aboriginal affairs. All he has done is to accuse the Aboriginal and union groups of using confrontation-style tactics to assert territorial claims. He told the Western Australian Cabinet that Noonkanbah had been chosen as a focal point for these claims and had become one of the spearheads of Aboriginal territory advancement. What nonsense! Noonkanbah obviously is a dry run for diamond mining in the north east Kimberleys where the Ashton joint venture is 57 per cent owned by Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd. It is a gearing up to put into effect a massive diamond mining operation near Kununurra. The Opposition is saying that the time has come for Federal intervention in an examination of the whole land rights question, to present model land rights legislation to the States, to allow Aborigines to run their own land developments commission and to effect Federal and State agreements to define sacred sites wherever they may be! **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar)** Order! The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-32-0-s2 .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK:
Dundas -I was disappointed at the way in which the honourable member for Cunningham **(Mr West)** dealt with this topic. I was disappointed, firstly, because he did not cover the issue which the Australian Labor Party put forward as a matter of public importance and, secondly- perhaps more importantly- at the snide references he made in relation to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs **(Senator Chaney).** I do not believe in this important area it is helpful for honourable members to be calling each other names and to be making the snide comments of the sort made by the honourable member for Cunningham. Those sorts of comments only invite retaliation. In this case, I do not think the honourable member for Cunningham is in a position to suggest that the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in any way lacks interest in Aboriginal people simply because he failed to make two visits, as the honourable member opposite suggest, in the last couple of weeks. If one were to look at the performance of the honourable member of Cunningham in relation to Aboriginal affairs during the time he has been in the Parliament one could be forgiven for asking whether he knew whether Aboriginals existed before he was appointed Opposition spokesman on Aboriginal affairs. I searched the *Hansard* record to find out the extent of his contributions to matters relating to Aboriginal affairs. I found that he had asked one question which was part of a run of questions on a particular issue. Obviously those questions were handed out to members of the Opposition. In a speech on the Human Rights Commission Bill he made a passing reference to Aboriginals in the context of the racial discrimination legislation. He seeks to compare his performance with the considerable interest of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs which has been well known for many years. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs is well known for his involvement in the Aboriginal legal rights movement in Western Australia and for his willingness to work for Aboriginal people. He is well known in this Parliament for his involvement in the Aboriginal affairs committees of the Government. He is well known for his distinguished service on the Joint Committee on the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act and for the very distinguished contribution he made to that legislation. I do not think it is fair or proper for the honourable member for Cunningham to make snide references to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs who has performed so well in this area both before he was appointed Minister and as Minister. The mere fact that the honourable member for Cunningham made two visits to a certain location after being appointed Opposition spokesman on Aboriginal affairs does not make him an expert. I think that can be no more carefully documented than by reading the speech made by the honourable member for Cunningham today. Although it was laced with quotes it showed that he still does not understand the issue which is involved. The matter of public importance is in these terms: >The urgent need for the use of Commonwealth powers to prevent deteriorating relations between the Kimberley Aborigines and mining companies and the Western Australian Government. What is he asking for? He is asking for 'the use of Commonwealth powers'. Did his address take up the matter of those powers? The only occasion on which he referred to Commonwealth powers was when he referred to a meeting of legal officers which had considered this question. He referred obliquely to section 51 of the Constitution. I ask the honourable member for Cunningham whether he knows what section 5 1 of the Constitution is about. It is a section of the Constitution which has many parts to it. It would be helpful to know what parts he was referring to. Was he endeavouring to suggest that the Commonwealth should exercise its power in relation to restrictions on the export of minerals? Is that what he was trying to do? Was he trying to suggest that the Commonwealth ought to use its powers to make laws for people of a specific race- that might include Aboriginals- as a basis for legislating in this area? Was he suggesting that the Commonwealth Government should use its power to acquire land for purposes of the Commonwealth? {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr West: -- Now, you 've got it. {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -If that is the basis of his argument it is rather fascinating because never before have I heard honourable members opposite try to look at this question objectively. The power to acquire land is the power to do so on just terms. What does that mean? The power to acquire land on just terms means that the Commonwealth, when approaching a particular State to acquire land, has to pay for that land not the value which is determined by the Government but the value which is evaluated independently. That matter ultimately can be disputed in the courts. The fact of the matter is that we canvassed this question in some detail when we looked at the most complex situation in Queensland. Honourable members ought to understand what the passage down that road means to the Commonwealth. They ought to realise the taxation consequences it would have for the people of Australia. Mark my words: If the Commonwealth Government buys land for the Aborigines in Western Australia, Queensland or any other State in order to protect the interests of Aborigines, it has to buy the mineral rights of that land. If there happens to be extensive aggregations of minerals in a particular area the Commonwealth Government in effect would have to buy those minerals from the State, if the State owned the land. I do not have the figures at my fingertips but if that is the path the Opposition wishes to tread the Commonwealth Government would need to expend hundreds, if not thousands, of millions of dollars. What would that do to Aboriginal programs throughout Australia? We know how much money is available in the Budget for programs for Aboriginal people. We would be lucky to buy minimal areas of land for Aborigines with money allocated in the Budget. We would have to forgo housing programs, health programs, education programs and Aboriginal legal aid services. Are honourable members opposite suggesting that this is the path we should follow? I do not believe it is. Let us examine the record of honourable members opposite when they were in government. When dealing with legislation in this area and when dealing with the report of **Mr Justice** Woodward in 1975, the Labor Government did not seek to extend the operation of that legislation beyond the Northern Territory. That ought to be made known. In 1 975 the then Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the honourable member for Hughes **(Mr Les Johnson),** introduced a Bill in relation to Aboriginal land rights. Ultimately that legislation was completed by this Government. In his second reading speech the then Minister stated: {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . that the Australian Parliament may only legislate in this direction in the Northern Territory is a matter of regret, but we have made it clear to the various State Governments that we support similar recognition of Aboriginal land title in the States. That is the position I have adopted in this House. I regard the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act as a model. I believe it is appropriate that the States should implement similar legislation in relation to Aboriginal land. I believe that if such legislation had been enacted in the States we would be in a far better position in relation to Western Australia than we are at the moment. There is no doubt about that. I believe also that the comment is pertinent to New South Wales-the State from which I come and from which the honourable member for Cunningham comes. It will be interesting to see the results which emerge from the committee of inquiry in New South Wales because we have seen no great enthusiasm to take up the Woodward committee report and to implement its terms holus-bolus; nor have we seen any great enthusiasm for the provisions of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act to be introduced holusbolus in New South Wales. {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr West: -- They are slightly more enthusiastic than Court. {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -- Are they slightly more enthusiastic? I would like to see action rather than words. Let us wait and see. The path is a tortuous one. If we examine the steps taken by various State governments of various political persuasions- I am referring to Labor and nonLabor State governments- we will find that to date they have been unwilling, although they have the powers to do so, to adopt legislation which enables these matters to be resolved in a framework in which legitimate Aboriginal interests and the interests of the community generally are taken into account. That is what is permitted by the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act. It has to be understood that in this area Aboriginal land rights and mining developments are not mutually exclusive. I was fascinated by the opening remarks of the honourable member for Cunningham. He appeared to suggest that in some way they were incompatible. Recently, I was at a land rights forum in New South Wales. We all know that honourable members opposite take an interest in uranium development. They have a somewhat adverse view to such development. At that meeting I heard an Aboriginal speaking after a rather rabid anti-uranium speaker. I am not suggesting that he was a member of the Labor Party. The Aboriginal stood up and said: 'What are you on about, mate? Are you here about uranium or Aboriginal land rights?' He was not interested in whether he was making an anti-uranium speech. All he wanted to know was that Aboriginal land rights would be protected. That was his real concern and his real interest. By the very nature of his interjection, I think he recognised that mining development and land rights are not incompatible. They can be the subject of negotiation between reasonable men who have an intention of overcoming what difficulties may arise between them and are prepared to take into account each other's interests. The honourable member for Cunningham made some mention of an article written by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs for the *West Australian.* Clearly, the Minister and members on this side of the House are very much aware of the interests of the Aboriginal people in their land and traditional sites. In that article the Minister spelt out in some detail the spiritual significance of land to Aboriginals. Of course, it has to be recognised that it is not significant to the same degree in relation to every location or to every site. Aboriginal interest does not follow the boundaries of a pastoral lease. Aboriginal interest is in very particular and precise locations. I was interested in the comments by the honourable member for Cunningham suggesting that his own approach to the Minister was to seek a new investigation and mapping of Aboriginal sites and the suspension of the Amax operations for the time being in an endeavour to settle upon new personalities that might be involved in such a mapping task, presumably after discussions with the Western Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government and the Aboriginal people. {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr West: -- What do you suggest?' {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -Quite frankly, I thought that that was a positive suggestion. It was not the suggestion that the honourable member for Cunningham made today. He said that the Commonwealth ought to use some imaginary powers that it has to enable it to march into the States tomorrow and to grant Aboriginal land rights on some other basis. The fact of the matter is that there can be no such approach. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, in all his statements on this topic, has said that there is an opportunity for reasonable men to sit down together and to work out an appropriate response; and he was pursuing these matters with the Western Australian Government. It might be helpful for me to quote from some of the speeches of the Minister in the other place. I quote from a speech made on this topic in the Senate chamber on 1 April. He said: >In all those circumstances, I do not believe it is an appropriate case where the Commonwealth ought to step in and pass its own legislation which in turn would have to make in some way the same distinctions as are now trying to be drawn. He was speaking about the difficulties experienced when discussions take place between Aboriginals, government and mining companies to resolve questions as to where mining might and might not be appropriate. He went on: >There is a situation in Western Australia' at the moment which is not totally satisfactory because of lack of clarity. I am pursuing with the Western Australian Government some better set of rules which could be more easily understood by all concerned. If honourable members look at the speech that he made on that same day and on the same topic they will see that he had this to say: >It is the consistent cry of the Opposition that we should use the powers given in the 1976 referendum to override the States and thereby advance Aboriginal welfare. I would see that as a last resort, bearing in mind that in so many key fields it is the States that deliver the services that are so essential to Aborigines, be they education, health, welfare, housing, police or the court system. To suggest that in some way Aboriginals can be plucked out of Australia's general political and administrative system and made subject ... to some system of Commonwealth law is, in my view, to fly in the face of reality, a reality which the Labor Party when in government had to face and which tempered its rhetoric. These are important questions. There is scope for further negotiations and discussions. In my view, not even the Labor Party realistically in the past or even now puts forward the proposition that there ought to be intervention by the Commonwealth. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr** Millar)Order! The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-32-0-s3 .speaker-9E4} ##### Mr DAWKINS:
Fremantle -The speech by the honourable member for Dundas **(Mr Ruddock)** was an appropriate speech. At least it was consistent with everything this Government has been saying in the field of Aboriginal Affairs since it came into office in 1975. The speech was full of lots of good intentions but nothing more. He quoted some earlier instances where the good intentions of Government had led to an allegedly appropriate result. He instanced the Aurukun and Mornington Island situation. I say to the honourable member for Dundas: If he thinks the solution at Aurukun and Mornington Island is an appropriate solution for the situaton in the Kimberleys, he will find that he is on a complete collision course with the Aboriginal people of the Kimberleys. The Aurukun and Mornington Island solution was a disaster. As a result of that the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs at that time, **Mr Viner,** was forced out of his portfolio. The Aurukun and Mornington Island dispute destroyed him. Just as surely as that happened, this dispute in the Kimberleys will destroy the current Minister for Aboriginal Affairs **(Senator Chaney)** unless he takes some positive action and talks about more than just his good intentions. These good intentions have come from the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** down. Perhaps I can just quote from a speech made by the Prime Minister in 1978 when he was opening the National Aboriginal Conference: He said: >It was never good enough for politicians or bureaucrats whether at the State or Federal level to impose on the Aboriginal people their conception of what was good for the Aboriginal people. Yet that is exactly what has been happening time and again. Vain and egotistical State Premiers have been trying to force their wishes on the Aboriginal people of this country. It is time that this sort of self-righteousness on the part of this Government gave way to a little positive action. Let me instance another example. In 1978 the then Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, **Mr Viner,** was at Docker River. I was present at that site where the title deeds to the Petermann Ranges were handed over to the people of that region in the Northern Territory. The ceremony took place in Western Australia, for the very good reason that Western Australian Aborigines had no land rights nor the prospect of any. The Minister took that opportunity to express his support for the land claims of the people of Western Australia. He indicated his hope that it would not be too long before they too had the same sort of tenure of land as that held by the people in the Northern Territory. Later he expressed the view that there ought to be a common approach to land rights in relation to that central area, parts of which are in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Nothing happened. As far as the Aboriginal people of that area were concerned it was just more good intentions and more disappointment. I come now to the current Minister. A reference has been made to his article in the *West Australian* of 1 1 April. I find very little in that article with which I can disagree. There are a couple of very substantive matters on which I am in severe disagreement with the Minister, but in terms of it being a fairly vacuous statement of his good intentions I cannot really disagree. What we need is something more than self-righteous, vacuous good intentions on the part of Ministers in this Government. The Minister said that he was in favour of the preservation of scared sites. He supports the idea that Aboriginals need to have land and access to more land. But all he is prepared to do is say that he will try to talk around to his point of view the Premier of Western Australia. The honourable member for Dundas said that the Minister believes that these are questions which can be sorted out by reasonable men. I ask: Is the Premier of Western Australia a reasonable man? Even if we concede that **Senator Chaney** is a reasonable man, is the Premier of Western Australia a reasonable man? Clearly, he is not. In my view, and as the honourable member for Cunningham **(Mr West)** has already outlined, the Premier and his Ministers are temperamentally unsuited to deal with this issue. All they have been prepared to do is score political points at the expense of the besieged people of Noonkanbah. They have misrepresented and distorted those people's views and actions on numerous occasions. As a consequence, they have totally lost any chance that they ever had of trying to solve this dispute. They have demonstrated that they are not reasonable men, nor are they interested in solving the underlying problems at Noonkanbah. They do not seem to understand the sorts of people with whom they are dealing. They do not seem to understand the sorts of lives that most of these old men at Noonkanbah have lived. They have lived through massacre; they have lived in circumstances of gross discrimination. If they had raised their heads in support of their claims a few years ago, they would have been brutally repressed, as the honourable member for Dundas knows. The Minister makes another point. He says that we must not threaten the good relations between black and white in this country. Of course, one has to agree with that point, but for how much longer will it be the Aboriginal people who have to bear the burden of good relations between black and white in this country? For how much longer will Aboriginals have to be the ones on whom the responsibility falls? Do they have to sit by and take what is meted out to them by an aggressive white community, particularly in the Kimberleys? What has the Minister had to say about **Mr Widdell,** who tried to intoxicate members of the Turkey Creek community so that they could not take part in the State election? What has the Minister had to say about the Police Commissioner who has rounded up Aborigines, put them in paddy wagons and then cross-examined them about their voting procedures or about the way in which they voted at the last State election? For how much longer will Aboriginal people have to put up with this sort of treatment in the interests of good relations between black and white? It seems to me that it is high time that the Aborigines were given a fair go. They have begun now- belatedly but with a great deal of passion- to stand up for their rights, particularly their land rights, and for their beliefs. It is time that the Minister stopped hiding behind the ideal of good relations between black and white simply to see the Aboriginals of this country trodden under foot by the State Government yet again. I wish briefly to refer to another matter which involves this situation very much. In February this year, just a couple of months ago, we saw a report prepared by the State Department of the United States of America for a committee of the House of Representatives and a committee of the Senate in that country. It is entitled: 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1979'. I have spoken to the Minister who was at the table earlierand he gave me permission to have this document incorporated in *Hansard.* I now seek leave to do so. Leave granted. *The document read as follows-* 96th Congress 2d Session Joint Committee Print COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES FOR 1979 REPORT submitted to the COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS US SENATE by the DEPARTMENT OF STATE In accordance with Sections 1 16 (d)and 502B (b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1 96 1 , as amended 4 FEBRUARY 1980 Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations of the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Australia Australia is committed to the principles of freedom and justice and full personal rights assured for all citizens. Australian society adheres firmly to the democratic traditions inherited from Great Britain. Political, economic and social rights are guaranteed under the Australian constitution, legislation and common law. The Federal Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits all forms of racial discrimination based on color, race, ethnic background or place of birth. Concurrently with the passage of this Act, Australia ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, thereby undertaking a commitment to combat racism both at home and abroad. The Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 notwithstanding, which overrides any existing laws that may operate with a discriminatory effect, the Queensland Government has been accused of administering certain laws relating to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in a way that has the effect of discriminating between the rights of white and black Australians. This fact is recognized by the Government of Australia which, through the Office of the Commissioner for Community Relations, is seeking to end such vestiges of discrimination. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Torture Torture is neither condoned nor practiced in Australia. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Australian law prohibits such punishment and is respected in practice. Writs of habeas corpus are available. Preventive detention is not practiced. {: type="a" start="c"} 0. Arbitrary Arrest or Imprisonment Australian law prohibits such action and is respected in practice. {: type="a" start="d"} 0. Denial of Fair Public Trial Australian law guarantees the right to a fair hearing, the right to a fair public trial and the unimpeded right of counsel; these guarantees are respected in practice. Defendants are informed in advance of charges and have pre-trial access to evidence against them. {: type="a" start="e"} 0. Invasion of the Home Effective legal safeguards exist to prevent arbitrary invasion of the home in Australia. No search may be conducted without a judicially issued warrant. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Governmental Policies Relating to the Fulfillment of Such Vital Needs as Food, Shelter, Health Care and Education: Australia has one of the most comprehensive social welfare systems among the Western democratic nations. Basic food, shelter, health care and social security benefits are guaranteed for the entire population, including recent immigrants. Social security and welfare accounts for the largest single part of the Australian Government's budget expenditures, amounting to some 28 per cent in the fiscal year ending 10 June 1979. Public education is universal and free and includes special facilities for the handicapped. There is a general right of ownership of private property which is protected by law. Aboriginal rights and development are of constant and active concern in Australia. Because of deep cultural differences between the Aboriginal and European populations, the Commonwealth Government experienced great difficulty in pursuing its former policy of assimilation through promoting social change among the Aboriginals so that they would become indistinguishable from other Australians in standards of living, occupation, and participation in community affairs. By late 197S, government policy had changed to one of commitment to the principle that Aboriginals should be as free as other Australians to determine their own varied futures. The policy of the Queensland Government, however, continues to promote the concept of full integration of all indigenous people. The Government acknowledges that in general the Aboriginal population is disadvantaged in such areas as education, housing, health and employment. Through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and other federal and state agencies, the Government has sought to secure for Aboriginals access to government service equal to that accorded other Australian citizens together with additional services appropriate to their disadvantaged state. Special programs have been undertaken to assist Aboriginals in becoming self-sufficient. These include encouragement of land ownership, expansion of employment opportunities, training programs, support for small business acquisition, home ownership and involvement in other development projects. These policies are directed toward helping the Aboriginals to become economically self-sufficient while preserving their distinctive culture. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Respect for Civil and Political Liberties, Including: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Assembly Australian law guarantees all of these basic rights and they are respected in practice. There is no government-owned Press and no Press censorship. Members of all religious sects are free to observe their practices without interference from the Government. In West Australia, 1976 amendments to the Police Act restrict a person from organizing or conducting a procession, meeting, or assembly in a public place without the permission of the Commissioner of Police. The Commissioner may not, however, withhold such permission unless he has reason to believe there will be a disturbance. A few trade unionists in West Australia have been arrested and fined for violations of this law. In Queensland, laws governing street marches have led to confrontation between the police and civil rights activists. {: type="a" start="b"} 0. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel and Emigration There are no restrictions on movement within or outside Australia, including the right of emigration. Race is barred as a criterion for approval or rejection of an application to immigrate to Australia and, on a per capita basis, Australia 's acceptance of Indochinese refugees is the highest of any country in the world. Since 1975 some 25,000 refugees from Indochina have been admitted for permanent residence in Australia. {: type="a" start="c"} 0. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process Commonwealth law guarantees this freedom, which is respected in practice. Complaints have been made that certain amendments to the electoral laws of West Australia have the effect of restricting the right of Aboriginals to vote. These provisions relate to enrollment and voting procedures and could be applied in a manner to discourage voting by Aboriginals and others not fluent in English. In at least one instance, illiterates were prevented from using ' how to vote ' cards and the outcome of the elections was overturned by the Australian courts. Women have enjoyed full political and civil rights in Australia since the turn of the century. In practice, however, they do not participate in the political and economic life of the country to the same extent as men. There are six women members of the Federal Senate, but no woman serves currently in the House of Representatives. The Australian trade union is strong, well-organized and active both in politics and in industrial relations. The rights to organize, strike, bargain collectively and lobby are guaranteed in law and exercised in practice. {: type="1" start="4"} 0. Government Attitude and Record Regarding International and Non-governmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights: The Department of State has no knowledge of any requests to investigate alleged violations of human rights in Australia by international or non-governmental organizations. {: .speaker-9E4} ##### Mr DAWKINS: -I thank the House. The important thing about this report is that it is an examination of human rights around the world. There is a section on Australia. Whilst in many respects Australia fares well, there are a number of areas in which this report levels some criticism. For instance, it criticises the Queensland Government in relation to its treatment of Aborigines. It also criticises the Queensland Government in relation to its laws of assembly. It is critical of the Government of Western Australia in relation to those parts of that State's electoral laws which discriminate against Aboriginal people. It also criticises the Western Australian Government in respect of its Police Act as it relates to the laws of assembly. This criticism should be a matter of acute embarrassment to this Federal Government. After all, the Australian Government has become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. It is, after all, the Australian Government which is responsible for the reputation of this country overseas. This Government has to act at national level in order to preserve our good name, if for no other reason- if it is not interested in protecting the rights of the Aboriginal people in this country. There is a separate international question also. That is that at Noonkanbah it is an American company which has been pushed by the State Government into desecrating sacred sites. I think Amax (Exploration) Australia Inc. is probably an unwilling partner in this exercise. I would not be at all surprised if Amax did not go back to that site at Pea Hill. It is an American company which is being pushed into this situation. That is something which would never happen in the United States. This is an international matter. This Government can ignore that fact no longer. The honourable member for Dundas seems to balk at the prospect of the Commonwealth Government taking any effective action on this matter. I would have thought- and I am sure that the honourable member for Cunningham would have thought- that the honourable member for Dundas would have read the Senate committee report of 1 978, which lucidly enunciates the ways in which the Commonwealth can intervene in this area. It can acquire land and such acquisition does not necessarily need to have the horrendous consequences to which the honourable member for Dundas was alluding. The whole point is that we will never have reasonable discussions on these question of mining on Aboriginal land or on sacred sites unless we improve the tenure of the Aboriginal people over their land. There is no point in proposing palsy-walsy discussions with the Aborigines if they have no rights to the land in question. They have no rights at all at the moment. Their tenure of the land has to be improved so that they can participate meaningfully in any negotiations which take place. We are not saying that there should be no mining anywhere on Aboriginal land. What we are saying is that the Aborigines, as a result of their prior ownership of this country, have a right to be reasonably consulted about the nature of the resource development and where it will take place. That is all that we are asking for. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr** Millar)Order! The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-32-0-s4 .speaker-K6U} ##### Mr COTTER:
Kalgoorlie -- I should like to deal with a few of the remarks made by the honourable member for Fremantle **(Mr Dawkins),** especially in relation to their inaccuracy in relation to the subject which is now under discussion. We are talking about the rights of Aboriginals, land rights and the various means of tenure of land in Australia, with particular reference to Western Australia. The land that is held at Noonkanbah, which is the subject of a great deal of discussion today, is a pastoral lease. Amongst many other pastoral leases in Western Australia, it does not carry particular rights in relation to minerals or timber but is a pastoral lease. It is not under any special sort of lease; it is not freehold ground. It is the same as very many other pastoral leases. It was purchased by the Aboriginal Land Trust as a pastoral lease and the agreement was signed on that basis. When we talk about the lack of satisfactory areas of land for Aboriginals in Western Australia we have to bear in mind that over 20 million hectares of land have been set aside as Aboriginal reserves in Western Australia. That figure does not include the pastoral leases and other tenures that have been set aside or purchased for Aboriginals in that State. It is significant, when the Opposition accuses this Government of having done nothing for the Aboriginals in the way of land acquisition, to remember that the Federal Government has spent $5m over the last five years in acquiring land for Aboriginals. We have gone about those acquisitions quite deliberately in an effort to upgrade the social fabric of the Aboriginal communities in isolated areas and to give them the opportunity of regaining their pride and of reestablishing their communities. In some instances they have surprised everybody by running their pastoral leases and other holdings on economic grounds. It is fairly significant that the Noonkanbah community has made great efforts in this regard. It has run its pastoral lease in a very commendable manner over recent years. It is also fairly significant that the trouble at Noonkanbah has been made much worse by such people as the honourable member for Cunningham **(Mr West)** and the honourable member for Fremantle who, in company with union representatives in Western Australia and other people of that category, have been in the Noonkanbah area stirring up the people, both white and Aboriginal, to the point where the central issues have been lost almost completely. {: .speaker-9E4} ##### Mr Dawkins: -- I raise a point of order, **Mr Deputy Speaker.** I call on the honourable member for Kalgoorlie to withdraw that imputation. {: #subdebate-32-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member for Fremantle has not been given the call; he is making a point of order. The honourable member may put his point of order. {: .speaker-9E4} ##### Mr Dawkins: -- I seek a withdrawal. The honourable member for Kalgoorlie said that the honourable member for Cunningham and I have been in the Noonkanbah area stirring up trouble. That remark is completely untrue. I find it very offensive. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -The honourable member finds the remark offensive. The honourable member for Kalgoorlie is required to withdraw. {: .speaker-K6U} ##### Mr COTTER: -I will withdraw the implication that the honourable member for Fremantle has been stirring up trouble. I know that he is probably incapable of that sort of stirring. I reiterate that, by the honourable member for Cunningham's own admission, he and the honourable member for Fremantle have been in the Noonkanbah area on two or three occasions. They have been in the company of **Mr Peter** Cook, the Trades and Labour Council leader in Western Australia, and other union representatives. That is a published fact. By their own admission they have been there. {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr West: -- I raise a point of order, **Mr Deputy Speaker.** I am very loth to take up the honourable member's time, but the point that has been made by the honourable member for Fremantle must be made again. The honourable member for Fremantle and I were invited there by the management council of the station. {: #subdebate-32-0-s6 .speaker-CI4} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar:
WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for Cunningham will resume his seat. {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr West: -- I was not there to stir up trouble but at the invitation of the station council. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. {: .speaker-K6U} ##### Mr COTTER: -This only demonstrates the inability of the honourable member for Cunningham to absorb even the English language. I withdrew the inference. I did not repeat that inference; I simply stated facts. It is quite clear that the situation at Noonkanbah has to be sorted out. The questions raised at Noonkanbah are far bigger than just Noonkanbah. The problems will embrace the whole of Western Australia and perhaps embrace the whole of Australia if they are not sorted out. It is quite clear that there is no real difference of opinion between the State Government and Commonwealth Government as to the responsibilities and the needs in that area. It is agreed that the sacred sites must be totally protected. That has been made quite clear on several occasions. It will be repeated again and again. Those sacred sites as delineated will not be alienated. There is some dispute on how large a sacred site is. There is also an agreement that the broad acres need not be protected. Even the responsible Aboriginals in that area are of the same opinion. It is fairly significant also that the areas of the sacred sites do not correspond with lease boundaries whether they are pastoral lease boundaries or mining lease boundaries. But they are sacred sites, and an unconditional guarantee has been given that they will be protected. In recent times the issue of whether in fact the whole of the Noonkanbah pastoral lease should be protected has been raised. It has been made quite clear by both the Commonwealth Government and the State Government that special rights do not apply to pastoral leases. There is no question at all that the protection of the sacred sites will be kept in mind at all times. It is also fairly significant that when meetings have taken place an Noonkanbah recently **Mr Don** McLeod, who has resided at Strelley station for some years, has been present. He is a wellknown man who by his own admission does not accept the authority of the Commonwealth Government of Australia. He says that he does not accept the authority of the Government of Western Australia. It is fairly significant that **Mr Don** McLeod has been at Noonkanbah during discussions. A resident in the area has been acting in some capacity with the Noonkanbah community. He has very strong links indeed with an endorsed candidate for a seat in this House. It is also well known when we start talking about the electoral malpractices and possibilities of convictions in that area that some of these people are, in fact, very close to the Australian Labor Party. I have made it quite clear before today that I deplore the actions of the person who took the fortified wine to Turkey Creek just as much as I deplore the actions of the persons very close to the Labor Party who have been accused of manipulating the vote in the last State election. It is quite clear that the Labor Party is not prepared to accept facts as they relate to those areas. This Government does not ignore the realities of the rights of Aboriginals. It has done more for the Aboriginal communities throughout Australia than any government before it. In the Kimberley area the Aboriginals are on record as saying that the present Minister for Aboriginal Affairs **(Senator Chaney)** is a 'proper good Minister, that one '. That is the sort of opinion they have of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. They treat him with a great deal of endearment and respect. They know the present Government hits done more for the Aboriginals than any government before it. It is very significant indeed that the Australian Labor Party, when in power, talked a lot and posed a lot but did nothing in the way of land rights for Aboriginals. It is significant also that it will be powerless to do anything in relation to land rights for Aboriginals if it ever comes to power again. Features of the approach of the LiberalNational Country Party Government to the Aboriginal land matters in the States are its recognition of State constitutional responsibility for land administration, its assistance to Aboriginals through Aboriginal Land Fund Commission purchases and its consultations and negotiations with State governments seeking their support for Aboriginal land rights. This Government will not run away from those responsibilities either now or in the future. As a prime objective we must seek a responsible settlement of the problem at Noonkanbah. An imposed settlement will not work. Unless it has the agreement of the people concerned and it is a settlement satisfactory to the people there, it will not be a lasting settlement. I say again that the questions raised at Noonkanbah are far bigger than Noonkanbah. I believe that the Western Australian Government and the Federal Government have a responsibility to ensure that a satisfactory settlement is reached. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr** Millar)Order! The honourable member's time has expired. The discussion is concluded. {: .page-start } page 2089 {:#debate-33} ### PERSONAL EXPLANATION {: #debate-33-s0 .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST:
Cunningham -- I wish to make a personal explanation. {: #debate-33-s1 .speaker-CI4} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar: -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST: -- Yes. The honourable member for Kalgoorlie **(Mr Cotter),** on a number of occasions during the speech he has just completed, alleged that the honourable member for Fremantle **(Mr Dawkins)** and I were present at Noonkanbah on 2 and 19 April to stir up trouble among members of the Aboriginal community. I want to make the point quite clear to the honourable member for Kalgoorlie - {: .speaker-K6U} ##### Mr Cotter: -- I raise a point of order, **Mr Deputy Speaker.** {: #debate-33-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- I think the matter has been satisfactorily resolved. Has the honourable member for Cunningham finished his personal explanation? {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST: -- No. I want to make it quite clear and place on record in *Hansard* that the honourable member for Fremantle and I were invited, on both occasions, by the Kimberley Land Council and the Noonkanbah station management council. The honourable member for Kalgoorlie sent a telegram which was read out to the bush meeting held last Saturday. It apologised for his inability to be present and suggested that he would like to talk to those present on a later occasion. I suggest to the House that his whole approach to this matter has been hypocritical in the extreme. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member for Cunningham in turn offends against the Standing Orders. I must ask the honourable member to withdraw the term that has been defined in this place previously as being offensive. {: .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST: -I withdraw. {: .page-start } page 2089 {:#debate-34} ### SUPPLY BILL (No. 1) 1980-81 Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation for proposed expenditure announced. Bill presented by **Mr Eric** Robinson, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-34-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-34-0-s0 .speaker-KZL} ##### Mr Eric Robinson:
MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND · LP -- I move: This Bill, together with the companion Bill, Supply Bill (No. 2) 1980-81, seeks interim appropriations for the services of the Government for the period 1 July 1980 to 30 November 1980, by which date it is expected that the Appropriation Bills (Nos 1 and 2), forming part of the 1980-81 Budget, will have been enacted. Supply Bill (No. 1) seeks appropriations totalling some $4,247m for the ordinary annual services of the Government. This is $185m, or 4.6 per cent greater than the amounts provided in the Supply Act (No. 1) 1979-80. The Bill includes $100m for the Advance to the Minister for Finance, which is the same amount as the provision in the Supply Act (No. 1 ) 1 979-80.I wish to emphasise that the supply Bills are not to be interpreted as in any way anticipating decisions yet to be taken in respect of the 1 980-81 Budget. I commend the Bill to honourable members. Debate (on motion by **Mr Hurford)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 2090 {:#debate-35} ### SUPPLY BILL (No. 2) 1980-81 Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation for proposed expenditure announced. Bill presented by **Mr Eric** Robinson, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-35-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-35-0-s0 .speaker-KZL} ##### Mr Eric Robinson:
MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND · LP -- I move: This Bill seeks interim appropriations, totalling $772m, for expenditure on certain capital works and services, payments to or for the States and certain other services for the period 1 July 1980 to 30 November 1980. This is $17m or 2.25 per cent greater than the amounts provided in the Supply Act (No. 2) 1979-80. The Bill includes $100m for the Advance to the Minister for Finance, the same amount as was provided in the Supply Act (No. 2) 1 979-80. As I emphasised when introducing Supply Bill (No. 1) 1980-81, the provisions in this Bill are not to be interpreted as in any way anticipating decisions yet to be taken in respect of the 1980-8 1 Budget. I commend the Bill to honourable members. Debate (on motion by **Mr Hurford)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 2090 {:#debate-36} ### SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS Motion (by **Mr Eric** Robinson) proposed: >1 ) That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the first order of the day, Government Business, on Wednesday, 23 April, being 'Grievance ' debate. > >That Standing Orders 101 and 106 be read as if Wednesday, 23 April, were an alternate sitting Thursday to which Standing Order 106 would normally apply. {: #debate-36-s0 .speaker-AV4} ##### Mr HURFORD:
Adelaide -The Opposition supports this motion for the suspension of Standing Orders. We are glad that the Government is not denying back benchers, and indeed some members of the front bench, the opportunity of speaking in the Grievance debate on Wednesday of this week instead of Thursday. Anzac Day has meant that the Parliament is sitting Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday instead of the normal Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is a delight for me that relationships have not broken down in relation to this matter as they did earlier in the day in relation to ministerial statements which were made in this Parliament. I take the opportunity, as Manager of Opposition Business in the House, to say that we will cooperate just as often as we can to facilitate the business of the House. When somebody as senior as the Minister for Foreign Affairs **(Mr Peacock)** seeks leave to make a statement, gets that leave, then seeks leave to make a further statement on the same matter and that leave is given to him on the understanding that he is making another statement which was scheduled to be made, we would trust that the Opposition spokesman would be given a second chance to speak as well. It is despicable that that leave to speak was not given to the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Hayden)** on that second occasion earlier this afternoon. The normal courtesies did not prevail. The Opposition believes and states that it is despicable. {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr Ruddock: -- I raise a point of order. I think that it is stretching the point of relevance to debate a matter of this sort when we are discussing the suspension of Standing Orders. {: #debate-36-s1 .speaker-CI4} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar: -The Chair upholds the point of order. The honourable member for Adelaide is rather extending the limits of the debate. {: .speaker-AV4} ##### Mr HURFORD: -- I do not intend to do that any longer. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** as you know, this matter relates to the business of the House. As I said in my introductory remarks, the Opposition will always facilitate that business when it is reasonable. Something happened earlier today which was not reasonable, and we all have occasion to say that that sort of thing should not happen again, certainly from a person as senior as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 2090 {:#debate-37} ### MIGRATION AMENDMENT BILL 1980 Bill presented by **Mr Macphee,** and read a first time. {:#subdebate-37-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-37-0-s0 .speaker-6I4} ##### Mr MACPHEE:
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs · Balaclava · LP -- I move: The purpose of the Bill is to provide for two minor machinery amendments to the Migration Act 1958. The first is contained in clause 3 and amends the definitions of 'proclaimed airport' and 'proclaimed port' in sub-section 5 ( 1 ) of the Migration Act. The amendment is necessary as a consequence of the provisions of clause 4 of the Customs Amendment Bill (No. 3) 1980 which replaces the concept of establishing ports and appointing airports by proclamation with a system of appointments by the Minister. Secondly, clause 4 of the Bill narrows one of the defences to an offence under sub-section 11C(1) of the Migration Act committed by a carrier which brings persons to Australia without visas or return endorsements. Under the Act as presently drafted a carrier has a defence if he can establish that he had reasonable grounds for believing that a person was not exempted from the need to obtain a visa or return endorsement. The amendment will limit the defence to establishing that he had reasonable grounds for believing that the person was exempt from the need to obtain a visa or return endorsement. I commend the Bill to the House. Debate (on motion by **Mr Hurford)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 2091 {:#debate-38} ### LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (GRANTS) BILL 1980 {:#subdebate-38-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 17 April, on motion by **Mr Garland:** >That the Bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-38-0-s0 .speaker-6I4} ##### Mr MACPHEE:
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs · Balaclava · LP **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** may I have your indulgence to suggest that the House have a general debate covering this Bill and the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) 1980 as they are associated measures. Separate questions will, of course, be put on each of the Bills at the conclusion of the debate. {: #subdebate-38-0-s1 .speaker-CI4} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar: -Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering the two measures? There being no objection, I will allow that course to be followed. {: #subdebate-38-0-s2 .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING:
Blaxland -This is a cognate debate covering two Bills. The purpose of the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) is to increase the price of oil and the purpose of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill is to decrease the price of liquefied petroleum gas. It is a curious combination of legislation aimed at putting the price of one fuel up and the price of another fuel down. It shows the disarray of the Government's energy policies and the complete lack of co-ordination and direction with which Government energy policy is now being directed. I think it is fair to say that the Government's energy policy is completely in tatters and in a state of utter confusion. The only basis of the Government's energy policy has essentially been higher petrol prices. Even this basis no longer exists. We have higher petrol prices but we are now to have lower prices for liquefied petroleum gas, not just for household users- the Opposition supports having lower prices for them- but for industry in general. The Government has said that liquefied petroleum gas is so valuable that it has to be rationed by price, but it is going to ration it by reducing the price. The price will be reduced by $50 to $ 100 a tonne less than it is at the moment. Quite obviously the whole rationale of the Government's pricing policy has disappeared. The Government has been stumping the country saying that Australia must have an opportunity cost energy pricing policy- a policy that must reflect the replacement cost of energy and the true world value of it. That is why we have a high oil price and that is why motorists have to pay through the nose at the petrol pumps. The Government says that its policy has been implemented to effect conservation and the use of substitute fuels. But as soon as that conservation and substitution take place, the Government immediately panics, drops its bundle and runs in with a subsidy to try to maintain its political support. The Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) increases the government excise on Australian oil from $18.66 a barrel to $24.77- an increase of over $6 a barrel. The Government has done this by increasing the excise from $16.25 a barrel to $22.27 a barrel. That increase was passed on to motorists in January this year. The Government lifted the price of petrol from 29'^c a litre to 34c a litre- a dramatic increase in price which amounted to about 23c a gallon. So, to fill the average tank of petrol one is talking about $3.50 extra. The Bill validates the increase which was passed on in January. But what we now realise, of course, is that there is another $2 in the system which the Government has not passed on yet. Saudi Arabia increased the price of its oil by $2 a barrel and because the price of Australian oil is linked by the Fraser Government to the Saudi Arabian price, the Fraser Government intends to collect that $2 at some appropriate time. As well, we now have the prospect of an embargo on trade with Iran and the likelihood that oil which would normally flow between Iran and Japan will be interrupted, in which case there will be pressure on prices from other suppliers of oil around the world. The likelihood is that the general level of oil prices will lift and from indications we have had from a number of commentators on oil pricing, including the Saudi Arabian and Iranian oil Ministers, there will be dramatic increases in the posted price of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries oil- Arab oil- towards the middle to the latter pan of this year. OPEC has a meeting in June and the Australian Government increases its oil prices on 1 July and I January each year. So, by 1 July this year, the likelihood is that the Australian Government will impose another major tax slug on every Australian motorist at the petrol bowser because it will pass on the Saudi Arabian increases and the $2 increase which is in the system. If it does not pass on the increase and takes a political approach, the whole rationale of its policy will fall to the ground. It cannot have it both ways. If it is going to have an import parity pricing policy, it has to have import parity prices. It cannot have the policy without the prices; and if it tries that, it will be exposed for the sham with which it is associated. Australians should well understand that 93 per cent of their petrol comes from oil produced in Australia, that 67 per cent of Australia's oil consumption is produced in Australia, that 93 per cent of that oil is produced in Bass Strait and that the cost of production of that oil is approximately $1 a barrel. So everything between $1 a barrel and $25 a barrel, which is the price the Government is charging Australian refineries and hence, Australian motorists, is fixed by the Fraser Government. Arabs can fix the price of Arabian oil; only the Fraser Government can fix the price of Australian oil. But the Fraser Government is determined to fix the price of Australian oil at the Arab price and to collect the tax difference for itself. This year, it will collect $2,500m more than it was collecting two years ago. For this full year- rather than the current financial year- it will collect $3,000m on current prices. Taking into account the $3, 000m crude oil levy plus the $956m the Government is already collecting via the refined excise, or the pump tax which existed before the crude oil levy, the total figure is $3, 956m. So we find that the Fraser Government's increases on oil and petrol amount to a 23 per cent increase in personal income tax receipts. This year the Commonwealth will collect more revenue from oil and petroleum products than the total company tax receipts of the Commonwealth. So, together with the tax on the oil companies, plus the excise on refined products, plus the pump tax- the crude oil levy- the total increase amounts to an equivalent of 30 per cent pay-as-you-earn personal income tax receipts. What we have is a sleight of hand tax policy. The Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** has established a branch of the Taxation Office at every petrol pump in the country. He is now slugging Australians, not only through their pay packets with taxation but at the petrol pump. He is also slugging them at the counters of the health insurance funds. Previously, under a Labor government, people were not billed separately for health care. So looking at petrol alone, the policies of the Government to price Australian oil at the OPEC price has cost the average motorist about $ 12 extra a week over the last two years. In two years, petrol prices in Australia have doubled and they will increase by much more this year. Certainly, if Australia finds itself in the unfortunate circumstance of having the Fraser Government elected for yet another term of government- God help us- the price of petrol in Australia will be so high as to be a usury tax on the public. By contrast, the Labor Party's policy is to break this foolish link with OPEC prices for old oil- that is, oil discovered in the early 1970s and which is being produced out of Bass Strait. By breaking this nexus- this automatic link- a Labor government would freeze the price of Australian oil for its first 12 months of office and then adjust the price moderately in line with increases in the consumer price index or import parity, whichever is the lesser. The effect would be that Australian prices would rise by only about 8 per cent or 9 per cent after a 12 months' freeze. Over the life of a parliament- about 3 years- petrol prices under a Labor government would be dramatically lower than they would be under the Fraser Government; so much so that the price of a gallon of petrol could be anything up to 40 per cent cheaper. The Fraser Government has developed what it thought to be a very smart sleight of hand tax. The Prime Minister thought that the public was so stupid that it would never wake up to the fact that it was not the Arabs who were putting up the oil price but that it was the Fraser Government itself putting up the price and using the Arabs as whipping boys for the policy which it had implemented. There is no reason why Australians should have the benefit of an oil field in their own backyard. This does not cut across any policy about exploration because exploration in Australia runs under a completely different policy altogether. My colleague in another place the Minister for National Development and Energy **(Senator Carrick)** makes the fallacious claim- the false claim- at every turn that under Labor petrol would dry up at the bowsers because exploration would stop. That is just so much nonsense. {: .speaker-AV4} ##### Mr Hurford: -- He is an opponent, not a colleague. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- He is a parliamentary colleague and a poor opponent. One might just say - {: .speaker-00ATA} ##### Mr Hodges: -- What happened - {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- Why don't you crawl back into your hole? {: .speaker-00ATA} ##### Mr Hodges: -- Tell us what happened between 1972 and 1975. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- I will tell the honourable member what happened between 1972 and 1975. During the three years of Labor total exploration expenditure in 1974-75 constant prices was $263m. During the first three years of Fraser Government it was $193m. So, in other words, there has been a dramatic decline in the dollars outlayed in exploration in the first three years of the Fraser Government. Let me give the interjector - {: .speaker-00ATA} ##### Mr Hodges: -- You know that that is not right. Don't quote false figures. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- They are not false. They are figures from the Australian Statistician. In the three years of Labor 146 wells were drilled; in the first three years of the Liberals 94 wells were drilled. Last year, total exploration expenditure was $ 190m, that is, $70m less than in the amount spent under the Labor Government. So, the honourable member should not raise that matter again. The issue is simply that both major parties support the payment to oil companies of the full world price for oil yet to be discovered. It comes under the new fields policy which was introduced by the Whitlam Government in September 1975 and has been continued by this Government. That is the policy under which exploration in Australia continues to operate. We promise to pay the world price, import parity, for oil yet to be discovered. But the debate about petrol prices in Australia at the moment is one not about new oil or exploration. Rather it is about old oil- oil discovered, under the technical definition, before 14 September 1975, Essentially that oil was discovered in 1968 in Bass Strait off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria. Production in those fields began in 1970 and has continued. I repeat that that oil is produced at a cost of about $ 1 a barrel. In the seven years 1970-77 the price of Bass Strait oil to Australian refineries was $2.33 a barrel until 1974, and then $4.33 a barrel until about 1977. All of a sudden it has become $25 a barrel. Thus, it has increased from $4.33 a barrel to $25 a barrel. One may well ask why that is so? The answer is that **Mr Fraser** has his greedy hand in the public till of Australia. He is reefing it from the motorist at every opportunity so that he can have some soft tax options in funding the public deficit, without resorting to other direct taxation measures for which he would be caned. 1 ask honourable members to imagine the reaction of the Australian public to a Prime Minister's seeking a 23 per cent increase in personal income tax. He would be thrown out of office at the first opportunity. But that is what the Fraser Government has done, lt has increased personal taxation by 23 per cent merely by increasing the tax on petrol at the pump. Every family with a motor car has been affected dramatically by these increases. But that policy does not touch exploration. The companies which are exploring for oil in Australia include Shell, BP Australia Ltd, Mt Isa Mines, Hudson Bay Oil and Gas, Canadian Superior, and the Australian Oil and Gas Corporation Ltd. None of these companies produces oil in Australia. Therefore, none of them can get one dollar under the oil policy. They are not producers. Therefore, the hollow claim of the Government that high oil prices are needed in order to keep exploration under way is absolutely arrant nonsense. No stimulus to exploration is provided from the old oil revenue, which virtually goes straight to the Government. The only companies to receive any of it are Esso and BHP, in relation to their fields in Bass Strait. The drilling that is proceeding from ships at the North West Shelf in Western Australia has been undertaken in the main by companies which currently are not producers of oil and gas in Australia. Therefore, they receive not one red cent from the proceeds of the old oil policy. That is just a furphy put out by the Government. It well knows that its promise- and that of the Australian Labor Party- to pay to oil companies the world price for oil as yet undiscovered is a very generous one. Not many countries offer to oil exploration companies the import parity price as the cost of production. The only difference between the Government's policy and that of Labor is that the Government offers that return subject to company tax only and the Opposition would offer it subject to both company tax and a resources rent tax. In that way, we could have the best of both worlds- the benefit of lower prices for oil discovered a decade ago and of maintaining the stimulus for exploration that is provided under the new oil policy. One may well ask why we should pay a high price for petrol when we do not pay it also for gas, coal or electricity. The price of gas into Melbourne is some $3 a barrel, oil equivalent, compared with $25 a barrel for oil. The price into Sydney is akin to that figure. Again, the prices of our electricity do not reflect the ruling steaming coal prices on world markets, which are higher. In other words, as a nation we have decided to give consumers the benefit of the resources of the country and to allow our industries to operate with the competitive advantage of having available indigenous fuel sources. The Government wants to break that policy in respect of petrol only and, as a result, we must pay the world price for it. The Government claims that this is good energy economics. The truth is that the Government introduced the crude oil pricing policy, which raises the price to the world level, so that it would have easy assess to a block of taxation that would not otherwise be available to it. One would think that, if the Government received $2,500m in energy taxation from petrol, it would devote some of it to the task of finding more energy, but not one dollar of the sum collected at the petrol pump goes back into the direct search for oil and gas. Under Labor, by way of the Australian Hydrocarbon Corporation, a government-owned oil company, some of that money would be channelled back into the direct search for oil and gas. People may say: 'You do not need this. The private exploration effort is sufficient to look after our energy independence'. I ask: What is the private exploration effort doing this year? It will consist of the drilling of 59 holes, compared with 3,000 in Canada. This year some $ 1 90m will be spent on exploration, a sum which equals 8 per cent of the revenue from the crude oil levy. Thus, if we spent on exploration just 8 per cent of the massive tax harvest that the Commonwealth reaps at the petrol pump we would duplicate the current expenditure on private exploration in Australia. If one includes the total Commonwealth revenue from petrol, oil and petroleum products, an expenditure on exploration of $ 190m this year would equal but 5 per cent of that sum. Thus, if we were to spend just 5 per cent of it, through a government corporation, upon exploration, either exclusively or jointly with private industry in the search for oil and gas we would duplicate the total exploration effort. What worries me is that, if the deep water program that is currently being undertaken off the coast of Western Australia fails to produce a major oil field within the next 12 or 15 months, the major drilling program that is now being mounted will be cancelled immediately and abandoned. About $90m of the $190m automatically will be withdrawn from the exploration budget for the following year. Therefore, Australia could be left in the parlous position, when its old oil reserves were running down, of having the big international companies pull out of the serious search for hydrocarbons in deep water and spend their exploration budgets off the coast of Vietnam, China or Indonesia. Australians cannot explore off the coast of China. We live here and therefore must find oil in Australia. What ideas has the Government for increasing the exploration effort? Indeed, what ideas has the industry for increasing exploration? Recently, I went to the Australian Petroleum Exploration Association conference. Papers were delivered about ethanol production and about methanol production. It was all very interesting but no one spoke about how we were to increase the national exploration effort. Certainly, no one in the Government has any ideas about it. The only organisation to present an idea was the Labor Party. I made the proposal that we ought to have a government corporation and spend some of the huge amount of energy revenue on energy exploration, not just have it go into the Fraser Government's coffers, from which it can be spread across the general appropriation or used to give the Government soft options on borrowings or the imposition of taxation. I suggested that some of it should be returned to the search for oil and gas in order to guarantee our energy independence. That has not happened and it is not likely to happen under the Fraser Government because of its ideological hangup that it does not want Government corporations doing anything. I would not want that either if private companies reacted appropriately to the generous offer of permitting the import parity price for new discoveries. But that is not happening. The exploration effort is far too small and we are now compelled to do what nearly every other major country has done. Britain with the British National Oil Corporation has established its own public corporation. Canada has Petrocanada, Norway has Statoil, Indonesia has Pertomina, Italy has Ente Nazionale Idrocarbure- and Australia will have the Australian Hydrocarbon Corporation. Woe betide the tories in this country if they try to block this proposal in the Senate. It will become the law of the land and will be, I think, a successful organisation. Let me just return to the issue of price. I have demonstrated that the old oil price, the price we pay for petrol at the pumps, has nothing to do with exploration. That is just a figment of **Senator Carrick** 's imagination. He knows as well as I know that it has nothing to do with exploration. He uses this technique only as a sort of Joseph Goebbels technique- tell a lie often enough and people will believe it- in the hope that the public will get the wrong impression by being led to understand that we need high petrol prices to keep exploration running. It is a nonsense proposal and does not stand up to any scrutiny. {: .speaker-AV4} ##### Mr Hurford: -- It is a smokescreen. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -Absolutely. It is a smokescreen. Why then do we need high petrol prices? The truth is that we do not. A Labor government would freeze the price for 12 months, break the nexus with import parity and adjust the price with movements in the consumer price index so that Australians will have the benefit of lower petrol prices than they would otherwise have under the Fraser Government. I turn now to liquefied petroleum gas because one Bill being debated in this cognate debate is the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill. When we talk of liquefied petroleum gas we are talking essentially about butane and propane. These two products are produced at refineries in Australia and are also naturally occurring products in the Bass Strait oil producing areas. We produce roughly two million tonnes of LPG a year and we consume about 400,000 tonnes. The rest is exported to Japan. The Government, in the last 12 months, has dramatically increased the price of liquefied petroleum gas. About a year ago the price of liquefied petroleum gas was about $88 a tonne. It has now gone up to $252 a tonne. One may ask how this has happened. Essentially it has happened in this way: After the Iranian revolution there was a cutback in Iranian oil production and the glut of oil which had been evident in the world for a couple of years before that time disappeared. A premium was being paid in the spot market for oil and other petroleum products. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries seized that opportunity to give liquefied petroleum gas the status of a full commodity and to price it appropriately on its British thermal unit heat equivalent, or its energy component. A result was that the price of liquefied petroleum gas has increased dramatically in the last 15 to 18 months. The Fraser Government decided to price liquefied petroleum gas at export parity. It decided to charge Australians the price for which Esso-BHP paid for the export of LPG from Australia. Because Esso-BHP was selling into the world market by selling to Japan, the price it was receiving started to rise as the world market price rose. The result was that our domestic price rose with those increases. {: .speaker-CV4} ##### Mr Jacobi: -- Nothing to do with production at all. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- Nothing to do with production costs at all, because essentially LPG from Bass Strait is produced for nothing. It is produced as a by-product and is exported. The refineries collect their profits and costs across all their other products. Liquefied petroleum gas was the sort of sawdust in the system and it was priced at whatever the oil companies could get for it. All of a sudden the price skyrocketed to $252 a tonne for propane and about $290 for butane. The result was that consumers, particularly country consumers hooked up to a liquefied petroleum gas reticulation system, found all of a sudden that their energy bills were skyrocketing because of this 350 per cent increase in the price in 12 months. Because the country towns with reticulated systems are in National Country Party electorates, Country Party members of course hit the panic button. They do not mind having opportunity cost pricing as long as it does not hurt them. They do not mind the rhetoric about rational energy pricing as long as it does not affect their votes. But when it starts to affect their votes they pull out all stops to save themselves at the next election. They pressured the Government to introduce a subsidy and to reduce the price. The Government introduced a subsidy of $80 a tonne. Because we on this side of the House believed the price should never have gone up in the first place, we supported the subsidy. But we do not support the subsequent policy of the Government, which was simply to pull the figure of $205 a tonne out of the air and to make that the price of LPG in Australia, without distinguishing between butane and propane. The price is $205 a tonne, whereas it was $252 for propane and $290 for butane. The Government has reduced those prices by between $50 and $90. People ask: How can the Government make water run uphill? How can it reduce the price in this way? It did a dirty deal with the oil companies. It said to the oil companies: 'You will receive only $205 a tonne. To cover any losses you may have as a result you can apply to the Prices Justification Tribunal for increases in the prices of other petroleum products such as petrol, kerosene, distillate and all the other things you sell. We will grant the increases. In other words, we will pretend that we are giving the public some benefit, but we will not really be doing so. We will just reduce the price of LPG and put up the price of petrol, distillate and kerosene'. The oil companies said: 'We do not like it. It is a bad policy, but at least we will not lose. All right, we will shut up about it and do that'. The Government then invited the companies to apply for increases in prices of petrol, kerosene, distillates, naphtha and other such products. The PJT granted the increases. But now the companies are in trouble because the New South Wales Government will not allow those increases to be passed on in New South Wales. Good on it. Why should it? Why should it facilitate the dirty dealings of the Fraser Government with the oil companies to increase the prices of kerosene, petrol, distillates, naphtha and other such products to disguise its policy on liquefied petroleum gas? A furphy is being put across by **Senator Carrick** to people in industry and in rural New South Wales and Victoria. He is saying that the Government has reduced the price of LPG. All it has done has made every other motorist and consumer of kerosene; petrol, distillates or naphtha pay for the increases. I do not think there is any honesty in that approach. By contrast, what is the approach of the Labor Party? What we have said is that when we are in government we will make the Prices Justification Tribunal price liquefied petroleum gas on the basis of the costed production price ruling before the export parity policy was adopted. All the subsequent increases in refinery costs will be added to that base price. Under that arrangement the price which would now prevail would be about $209 a tonne. In other words, we would have a price which was based upon production cost or cost of recovery, not on some imagined price which is plucked out of the atmosphere by the Government to suit its political convenience. The important distinction is that the price determined by the Government's LPG policy will rise with the price of oil. Because the Government is committed to import parity pricing for oil in Australia and because refineries in Australia - {: #subdebate-38-0-s3 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: **-(Hon.** Ian Robinson) - Order! The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-38-0-s4 .speaker-XD4} ##### Mr GOODLUCK:
Franklin -The two Bills before the House are of major significance and importance to this nation. The first is the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill and the second is the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3). The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs **(Mr Garland)** indicated in his second reading speech that liquefied petroleum gas will be a viable alternative to petrol. I intend this afternoon to confine most of my remarks to LPG and to how people can be encouraged to use LPG as an alternative fuel. I hope to explain to many concerned people in Australia how it can be used and how its use can be encouraged. The world is facing an energy crisis and, unless positive action is taken by the Government to encourage the rational use of our natural energy resources, Australia may experience shortages and hardships similar to those now being experienced by other countries. For this reason the Government has formulated a policy of encouraging the use of LPG as u means of reducing our dependence on imported oil, particularly in areas where LPG has premium value such as in automotive use. I believe LPG can be a successful alternative to petrol power driven motor vehicles. There will be a reduction in the price of propane and butane to a common maximum price of $205 per tonne other than for petrochemical and nontraditional industrial uses. This means that the price of propane will be reduced by about 20 per cent and the price of butane will be reduced by about 30 per cent. The new price will provide approximately a 50 per cent price differential between LPG and motor spirit in the Melbourne reference market and will provide a major incentive towards the use of LPG in motor vehicles, especially in the case of fleet owners. I remind the House that many taxi firms throughout Australia have heeded the warning and have already successfully converted most of their vehicles to LPG. Conversion to LPG is not something new. Many European countries have had LPG equipped vehicles for about 25 years. For example, Holland has on its roads 250,000 vehicles converted to run on LPG. Because of a dependence on imported crude products many of Japan's taxis and private vehicles are fitted for LPG use. Japan, incidentally, imports most of its LPG from Australia. This country has proven that LPG fuelled cars can be reliable, safe and successful. The Government must do several things to entice and encourage people in Australia to convert to LPG. First of all I believe we must direct a campaign not only at fleet owners but also at the ordinary car users of Australia telling them precisely the advantages and the disadvantages of LPG. Many people have an inherent fear of the use of LPG. This, of course, can be refuted by the success of its use in Japan and European countries. Of course, when a dog bites a man very few people take notice. But when a man bites a dog everybody sits up and takes notice. For that reason I believe we need to conduct a campaign to tell the people of Australia that LPG can be a successful, safe and very viable alternative. To me there seems to be a pessimistic attitude to LPG. We have read of an accident in New South Wales in which a car using LPG was involved in an explosion. We feel sorry for the people who were injured. But this is an isolated case. People should be informed of the success of LPG in other countries. I believe for that reason the Government has been very remiss. We indicated that we hoped many people in Australia would convert to LPG. But I am afraid we did not come up with a successful campaign to be directed at the car owners of Australia, the car users of Australia, to use LPG. It takes about nine hours to convert a normal motor vehicle to LPG. Most modern motor vehicles can be converted. Installers, of course, are becoming very efficient. The legitimate ones are now licensed. I believe that all installers in every State will have to be licensed in the near future. Of course, if we are to ask people to convert we need to make absolutely certain that they will be protected. Installers use mainly four basic components to set up their new system- a steel fuel tank made to specification and generally located in the boot, a fuel lock filter, a converter and a gas carburettor. It is a simple process and, of course, with experience and know-how it is being improved every day. Of course, many legitimate dealers are starting up all over Australia. I believe the thrust of the Government should be directed at encouraging and enticing people to convert their motor vehicles to LPG use. There are advantages and there are disadvantages in the use of LPG. I would like to outline some of the advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that there are no lead, carbon or sludge formations on the valves or on any combustion chamber. There is no oil dilution. The engine runs up to three times longer without requiring an overhaul. There is no oil contamination, no cylinder wash down and no crank case oil dilution. Oil stays clean and maintains its lubricating properties five or six times longer. Consequently there is a reduction in the number of oil changes and, as a result, there will be a reduction in the amount of oil used throughout Australia. In addition, a fuel pump is not needed because LPG generates its own pressure. Consequently there is a reduction in the amount of work required to be carried out, such as in the overhauling of fuel pumps and so on. Spark plugs last four or five times longer and perform at peak efficiency most of the time because with clean-burning LPG there are no deposits. There are savings also in relation to replacement of parts, maintenance and labour. Of course, carburettors do not get gummed up and for that reason the periodic replacement of parts is eliminated. If a car converted to LPG is tuned and adjusted correctly the engine will run quietly, smoothly and efficiently. The performance of the car is, of course, completely dependent on the person who carries out the conversion. If the work is done by a skilled person to specification the owner can rest assured there will be no problems. I shall now deal with some of the disadvantages of LPG use. A lot is said today about LPG. Many people who condemn its use do not know very much about it. {: .speaker-CJ4} ##### Mr Shipton: -- You can do mine. {: .speaker-XD4} ##### Mr GOODLUCK: -If I could do the honourable member's conversion, I would. The disadvantages can be confined to three or four in number. First, there is a reduction in power, particularly in top gear and, of course, this happens mostly out on the open road. The loss of power is predicted at around 10 per cent to 15 per cent. Secondly, there are problems with the number of filling stations and, of course, there are problems with filling the tank with LPG. However, I am hopeful that as LPG becomes a more accepted alternative more filling stations will supply this product and consequently filling a car with LPG will be easier and a far more efficient operation. Thirdly, there have been certain problems with valve seating, but I believe that is only the result of incomplete and incompetent adjustment when the original equipment is fitted. Of course, the fitting of the tank sometimes creates a few problems in terms of boot size but I believe that in the long term with the help of car manufacturers they also can be overcome. I believe that with a more vigorous marketing approach more cars could be converted to LPG. I believe the process can be simplified and the cost of conversion can be reduced. As a consequence I believe more people may be encouraged to convert to LPG. To me conversion to LPG is a sensible alternative. It could be very attractive because if there were a shortage of petrol one could switch to the use of LPG. I believe with a far greater and more vigorous approach we could increase the demand for LPG and encourage the building of a greater number of outlets. We could encourage people to convert to the dual system, meaning that they could with the flick of a lever run their cars on either petrol or LPG. Surely this is something that we should be encouraging car manufacturers to do. If they can offer options on gear boxes, differentials, upholstery, seating and so on we should be asking them to manufacture motor vehicles that can be converted quite easily to LPG. {: .speaker-CV4} ##### Mr Jacobi: -- Or to petrochemicals. {: .speaker-XD4} ##### Mr GOODLUCK: -Certainly. I have been a strong advocate of the proposition that car manufacturers should be able to manufacture a motor either to be driven by petrol or to be powered by LPG. I believe that they should offer this as an alternative. They should offer an LPG powered motor vehicle as an option. They can offer options on differentials, gear boxes and so on, so why should they not be able to produce a motor vehicle that can be run on either petrol or LPG? Government incentives should be offered to manufacturers to experiment on these very important alternatives. If that were done I believe in the near future the number of motor vehicles predicted to convert to LPG use- it is about 12 per cent or 14 per cent- would increase greatly. This would mean that the amount of petrol being burned in some of the larger and more inefficient motor vehicles in Australia today would be reduced. Some problems exist. I earnestly ask the Government to look at them very seriously. Sometimes, because of change, it is very easy to say that we will do this or we will do that, but we need stricter regulations on conversion techniques. At the moment there is a lack of uniformity among the States regarding registration and licensing of premises and operators. There is a lack of availability of tanks, conversion kits and ancillary fittings and a lack of Australian gearing or know-how to produce kits and associated fittings. Why should we import most of our kits? Surely companies such as Repco- I believe it is already interested- can produce those kits and subsequently reduce the cost to the normal motorist of Australia. At one stage in Victoria there was a waiting list of some 26,000 for conversion. I believe the catalyst for the conversions in Australia was the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria. I believe it has done an excellent job in encouraging people in Victoria to convert to LPG use. Sometimes there is a shortage of inner tanks and V8 conversion kits. If we ask people to convert, we must make absolutely certain that the people who do the job have every encouragement and have every opportunity to do it. I realise that there is a great concern to have licensing and inspection arrangements. Some States have just started to introduce stringent legislation, which we need. People at this moment are frightened because of some of the things that are being circulated within the community, to the extent that they will not convert. Safety is a prerequisite and we must make absolutely certain that the people who will do the conversions know how to do them and will do them according to the regulations. All conversion kits are presently imported. I mentioned that we need to encourage the manufacture of those kits in Australia. Why should we be dependent on other countries producing those kits? The firms involved make their normal profit. We should be producing those kits in Australia. I believe we could offer an alternative far cheaper than that being offered by some of the dealers throughout Australia today. Conversion cost has increased from $300 to $400, from $400 to $500 and I believe that it is now sometimes as much as $900 a car. If we ask people to convert we must make absolutely certain they get the best possible price- not necessarily the cheapest- and that they get a safe, reliable job. The Government should aim for that. It is also an objective of my Government to convert 14 per cent of all motor vehicles to LPG use. Assistance must be given to all people if they are to convert at our request. If we ask people to convert we need to make certain that they get every assistance. I hope that all members of the House will work toward that one achievement. If we ask that people accept our pricing policies we need to make certain that they get the best possible deal. I firmly believe that liquefied petroleum gas use is here to stay. I hope that most members of this House would support a high-powered campaign asking people to convert to LPG. This would not involve just issuing a Press statement saying that we hope that they will do this and we hope that they will do that. We need to tell the people of Australia the benefits and the disadvantages. I hope that with such encouragement we will be able to save our precious oil. Such a thrust would be of great advantage to the Australian motoring public. {: #subdebate-38-0-s5 .speaker-CV4} ##### Mr JACOBI:
Hawker -On the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill and the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) we have a wide-ranging debate. The heart of the issue is the energy policies of this Government. The Government does not have an energy policy; it is a mishmash. Its import parity pricing policy on both oil and gas is nothing more than a policy structured to satisfy the Treasury and to provide its revenue input. The Government will receive $3.5 billion because of its pricing policy. If this policy is at all constructive, why is it that this Government can allocate only $9.1m of that $3.5 billion for energy research? It is a shambles, hypocrisy and a disgrace. The Federal Treasury, in a recent submission to the Senate Standing Committee on National Resources, stated: . . for the sources of energy which are traded internationally- e.g. oil, natural gas, and coal- another condition is that the price be equivalent to world parity level. An import parity price consisting of the world price plus transport and other associated costs should be charged when some of Australian requirements are imported, and an export parity price less these costs when fuel is exported. Liquefied petroleum gas has recently been priced on this basis with the endorsement of the Prices Justification Tribunal, presumably on acceptance of the posted price for LPG at the Persian Gulf plus freight and ancillary charges to Australian ports. Is there any reason why refineries should get $252 a tonne when a cost-related price would be of the order of $100 a tonne? The PJT no longer has jurisdiction in pricing LPG on a cost-related basis. The price of LPG has been lowered by $47 a tonne, as a result of the recent decision of this Government, to be available for transport and domestic use at half the price of gasolene. This reduces the export price for Australian consumers from $252 a tonne to $205 a tonne. Oil refineries produce about 350,000 tonnes per annum, of the total Australian consumption of 450,000 tonnes. The remaining 100,000 tonnes comes from Esso-BHP in Bass Strait. The 350,000 tonnes per annum from refineries amounts to only about 2 per cent of total refinery products. This sector of refinery production was priced at $88 a tonne in January 1979 and later at $147 a tonne. In January this year it was priced at $252 a tonne to correspond with an f.o.b. price or a c.i.f. price in Japan of Australian naturally occurring LPG less freight and export charges. In other words it was priced at world export parity The arbitrary reduction of $47 a tonne has resulted in the gasolene price from refineries being increased by 18c a litre by the PJT. The price of LPG from refineries follows the Government directives; it is not the price determined by the PJT, although the latter has been obliged to approve the increases in gasolene prices as a result of the directives to reduce the price by $47 a tonne. For many years oil refineries supplied fuel oil to the Australian industry at only a fraction of the price of imported fuel oil, such reductions being made at the expense of higher prices for gasolene, turbine fuel and other products of the refineries. Fuel oil from refineries is no longer sold at lower prices than imports. Surely today there is scope for the price of LPG from refineries to be also a fraction of the price of imported LPG or its equivalent posted export price. It is important to have a fuel of this importance available cheaply. As LPG constitutes only 2 per cent of refinery products, the prices of all refinery products could absorb without substantial increases a conceded price of, say, $100 a tonne for LPG, against $252 a tonne for export- as fuel oil was sold at $20 a tonne against imported oil or parity fuel which was then $70 a tonne. The oil refineries are the ones to make this adjustment, not necessarily the producers of naturally occurring LPG whose receiving of export parity price gives the incentives for greater oil search and, we hope, greater oil production from Australian crudes. The Treasury submission abounds in statements such as: >The supply of energy is influenced by the rewards available to energy producers and the demand for energy is affected by its price. No commendation is to be given to this Treasury attitude which preaches perfect competition amidst ideal conditions. Energy pricing is too important to allow theoretical economic principles to be followed in certain sections of our community in isolation. This is clearly the situation that has applied in Western Australia in the pricing of North West Shelf gas. In the same breath the Treasury also states that the receipt by natural gas producers of 'artificially low prices acts to discourage the optimum level of recovery from existing sources and exploration for new sources of gas'. I suggest that this statement is incorrect. The so-called low prices were fixed on a commercial basis and explorers know very well that higher prices will be paid for any new finds. Revenues from existing wells will be spent where the highest rate of return is attainable, including exploration spending. The present pricing of liquefied petroleum gas to Australian consumers needs a full inquiry based on the scheduling of actual and long term costs of producing LPG gas from Australian sources and from refineries producing LPG from imported and indigenous crude. I should like to direct a series of questions to the Minister and to the Department. Does the Government regularly monitor the production of oil in the Middle East? Does the Government maintain any check on oil product cargoes from the Middle East to ensure that cargoes initially destined for this country are not diverted to other destinations in the event of a sudden shortage developing? Does the Government monitor the actual sale price of crude oil and LPG in the Middle East? Is the Government satisfied that the oil companies are acquiring oil at the most favourable price for Australian use? Has the Government made any estimates of the likely levels of oil production by Middle East producers in the next five to 10 years? Has the Government made any estimates of likely future oil prices? What efforts has the Government made to reduce the risk of supply interruptions by diversifying sources of supply of crude oil for Australian use? What are the prospects of successfully diversifying sources of supply such as Venezuela, China and Nigeria? What options are being canvassed? What is the level of oil trade on a government-to-government basis both generally and for the major exporters? Which of the major exporters are now engaged on this sort of trade? Do countries importing oil on this basis normally receive favourable treatment- for example, first priority in the event of supply interruptions, or better prices? What efforts has the Government made or is it making towards establishing government-to-government oil imports for Australia? What progress has been made? For the last three years this Government has maintained a stoney silence on what is becoming a very critical issue. What is the likelihood of Middle East oil producers wanting to increase the level of refined products exported at the expense of crude oil? What effect would this have on the Australian oil refining industry and on the cost of oil products in Australia? Is the Government taking any action to offset any disadvantages that this change may bring? I should like to make a few observations. At the moment Australia relies on its importation of crude oil, basically from the Middle East. Australia imports crude oil, from, in this order, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Bahrain. The Iranian revolution had such a dramatic impact on the oil business not only because it reduced the flow of crude oil to world markets but also because it disrupted traditional marketing patterns. Crude oil supplies were gradually being shifted from international oil companies to governments of exporting countries. This will have long term implications for this country. In 1978 an advisory body to Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry- MITIpublished a far-reaching report on the future direction of that country's oil policy. It made certain recommendations and I think we ought to note them. They were: {: type="i" start="i"} 0. to diversify the sources of crude imports away from the Middle East towards the Pacific region; 1. increase the proportion of imports contracted through deals with state oil companies and producer governments; 2. double the share of imports developed by Japanese companies and expand exploration in Japan and overseas; 3. broaden financial and technical co-operation with oil-exporting states; 4. enlarge the scope of the Japanese National Oil Corporation (JNOC); 5. .increase oil stockpiles; 6. vii) consolidate the local industry; and 7. viii) step up usage of natural gas. Fortunately for the Japanese, in the context of the critical situation in the Middle East, it had sufficient forethought at least to tackle these contingencies. We as a nation and the Government ought to examine the critical and radical situation which is developing in the Middle East. Amongst producers, Iraq has been the chief proponent of government-to-government deals for a number of years. In addition, sources within the Department of Foreign Affairs indicate clearly that Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are now all keen to enter government-to-government contracts. These are countries on which we rely for oil. Treasury sources further suggest that all 13 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries now have national oil companies. All the consuming countries now have national oil companies involved in importing oil, with the exception of two- Australia and the United States. With exporters exerting more control over their oil, consuming countries are forced to seek more private supply arrangements because the traditional oil companies can no longer meet their needs. Recently, delivery cutbacks by international companies have forced Japan, Italy, Sweden and Greece to seek oil directly from the Middle East countries rather than through the oil companies. Reinforcing this trend is the producers' view that sovereign states are not bound by commercial contract. We ought to take note of that contingency. OPEC countries obviously appear to have been chiefly concerned with alleged profiteering by oil companies. That is another aspect which we ought to examine. The Iraqi oil Minister said: in the long run we feel that the ideal situation is to have a direct relationship between the producers and consumers so that there will be no middlemen and no brokers . . . More recently Iraq's President Hussein explained his policy. He said that Iraq should: . . expand sales to national oil companies rather than middlemen who are seen as exploiting oil shortages to increase their own profits. In addition, oil producers seek contracts which involve a quid pro quo. Paul Lewis of the *New York Times* recently had this to say: >Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and even such radical Arab states as Libya and Iraq prefer to sell an increasing quantity of oil to consumer governments under package deals that involve reciprocal Western help for their industrial plans. Kuwait's oil minister has predicted that as OPEC countries develop their own oil-based industries, they will only sell crude oil to countries which also buy their plastics and petrochemicals. ENI - That is in Italy- has been especially aggressive in offering industrial aid as part of deals with Libya and Iraq. Even a Western oil *exporter,* Norway, is fishing for pledges of industrial investment in return for oil sales to Germany and France. As a result of increased government to government deals, large oil companies are in the process of completely phasing out crude oil trade between producers and consuming countries. Honourable members should note the report of the Economist Intelligence Unit to this effect: >This change in the structure of the international oil market in part stems from the preference of OPEC state companies for government-to-government deals. It was reported that South Korea, which used to import 33 per cent of its crude oil from Kuwait through the Gulf Oil Co., wants to switch to a government-to-government crude oil supply deal. What is the reason for that? Taiwan is said to be more fortunate than South Korea, having made early provisions to secure oil for 1980, and relying heavily on government-to-government deals with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Reflecting on these trends, the Director of the Middle East Centre at St Anthony's College in Oxford had this to say: >Many governments in the major consuming countries have long understood the strategic and economic significance of petroleum. Those countries which were not parents of the major oil companies (virtually everybody except the US and for a period the UK) felt at some time or another that the majors, precisely because they could operate in a multitude of places, could not be relied on to act always in the national interest of every individual nation. This is no criticism of the majors, just an illustration of the old adage that you cannot please everybody and his brothers. If petroleum is vital, then every major country must be able to rely on a national operator which could: (a) provide information and first-hand knowledge about petroleum to the government: (b) secure a nationally-owned base for supplies, refining, marketing; and (c) in some cases, compete with the majors in the international petroleum market and affirm in that area the presence of that particular state. There are a number of recent experiences which illustrate the advantages of State oil corporations. I will not list them at this stage but I will mention the Pertamina Corporation which affects us. Pertamina 's exports for 1980 will be squeezed by a decline in production and growing domestic requirements in Indonesia. As a result it will entirely eliminate some small volume customers. However, it has agreed to continue to honour its state to state deals with Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. Any surplus oil will be sold on the spot market. The same arrangement applies between Saudi Arabia and Italy, and between Spain and Iraq. This Government's policy has been totally bankrupt in this area over the last four years. It is disastrous that this country has no criteria or policy to meet that contingency. In the light of the critical Middle East situation, the confrontation between the United States and Iran, the role in part of the Soviet Union, and the critical dependence by many countries in the Western worldthis country included- on the need for continuity of access to Middle East crude oil, surely this Government has an obligation to co-ordinate, to assess and to evaluate its options in order to ensure that at least this nation has a long term access to, and continuity of, supplies of oil. That ought to be this Government's first priority. I ask the Minister for Administrative Services **(Mr John McLeay),** who is sitting at the table: What will happen if supplies of crude oil from the Middle East are cut off in the next few months? What policies have been enunciated or looked at? If we diversified and imported oil from the Venezuelan, Nigerian or the Chinese markets, what refining capacities would we have in this country to meet those imports? I suggest that the answer to that question is that at this time we have none. This is a disaster and a disgrace. Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m. {: #subdebate-38-0-s6 .speaker-KKT} ##### Mr MacKENZIE:
Calare -In speaking in this debate on the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill and the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3)1 take the opportunity to make some comments about liquefied petroleum gas and in particular the effect of gas prices on those people in Australia who live outside the major metropolitan centres of population. Before I make those comments I should like to refer to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill 1980. The essence of this Bill is to provide a subsidy for domestic gas consumers throughout Australia who are currently reliant on LPG as a fuel for heating, cooking and hot water. The Government has decided that to afford some relief to those people in country and regional areas of Australia it will provide a subsidy of some $80 a tonne. This will provide some relief from the burden of high gas bills. I, together with many other members of the Government parties, have received numerous representations, both verbal and in writing. Some of them highlight the desperate situation in which many older people in particular and large families find themselves as they are faced with rapidly rising gas bills, particularly in the colder areas of Australia. Needless to say, I represent many of those colder areas. I should like to quote one such letter from the many hundreds that I have received. It states: >I am writing to you to lodge my protest against the high and rising price of LP gas. I am a 70 year old pensioner with a gas stove and water heater. For heating I use oil so you can see my total misfortune and that of many of my elderly friends and also family with a lot of children who possibly will not be able to afford to cook a hot meal or to keep warm this winter. May I remind you sir, that the cold winter - The writer lives in the Bathurst area- >Has a severe toll on us old folks. The obituary column in any newspaper bears this sad testimony. I think that letter sums up the dilemma with which many of the older people in the community are faced because of enormous price rises for LPG. One really cannot blame them for that dilemma. It was not so long ago that the oil companies and other bodies were encouraging gas utilities to convert their coal generation gas plants to LPG. I do not believe that we can blame those gas utilities, many of which are operated by local government councils, for taking that advice. At the time it appeared to be sound advice. Consequently, many gas utilities have had to amortise losses on their out-of-date and outmoded coal gas plants to convert to LPG. Now they find themselves in a potential situation of not being able to continue using LPG. Some may even have to revert to coal-fired energy systems. The councils, in many cases, have borne the losses incurred over the years through crosssubsidy, amongst their other revenue producing operations. I believe that some relief should be afforded to those councils for the difficulties in which they have found themselves. In addition to the $80 subsidy which is applicable to domestic consumers and a wider range of users of LPG following the Government's recent decision, I am pleased to see that residential institutions of a non-profit nature, such as hospitals and schools, will also be eligible. Incidentally, I have been talking to boards of management of pre-schools in my area, which have found great difficulty in bearing the additional cost burden of their gas bills, particularly in country areas. This Bill provides some relief for other groups in the community who are totally dependent on LPG. The subsidy will be applicable as from 28 March. I presume that some type of rebate or refund will be paid through the States to the gas utilities concerned. I also note that payment of the subsidy to the registered distributors of gas will be conditional in all cases upon the full benefit of the subsidy being passed back to the consumers. I was not aware that this was a provision in the Bill. I am pleased that it is. At the same time, I am mindful of the difficulties that some gas utilities face. They have been operating at a loss for some time so, presumably, they have had to pass that burden on to the ratepayers. The subsidy will be applicable for three years and will cost some $60m. I have some reservations about the validity of a blanket subsidy of $80 a tonne. I hope that what we are doing is not simply deferring the day of reckoning and decision for many domestic gas consumers. Perhaps there will be some opportunity for a tapering of that subsidy or we might make it quite clear that at the end of that subsidy period of three years we would expect domestic consumers, as well as other consumers who are eligible for the subsidy, to be moving towards other energy sources. Indeed, it may be appropriate at that time to provide taxation incentives or some other type of incentive to consumers to convert to electricity or to another form of fuel appropriate to their particular circumstances. The subsidy will not apply to commercial and business undertakings. I find that a little difficult to understand. I have made representations on behalf of some users of gas who have no real alternative to gas as a fuel for their commercial operations. One such group are orchadists who use LPG in controlled atmosphere storage of their fruit. This matter is of considerable importance to orchardists in my area, where controlled atmosphere storage of fruit is a very widespread and lucrative operation for orchardists. As I understand it, LPG is essential to burn oxygen out of the atmosphere in which the fruit is stored. Oxygen has to be removed from the gases that are used in controlling storage atmosphere to prevent oxidation of the fruit and thereby to extend the fruit life very considerably. The additional measures announced by the Government are welcome. In addition to the $80 subsidy a new price agreement has been negotiated with the gas producers. Not only the current gas producers but also, it is expected, those producers which are operating in areas where new gas fields may come on stream, will abide by the Government's wishes that the domestic requirements should be realised as a priority for production. The result of these measures taken together will be a very considerable reduction in gas prices. The price of propane, for example, will drop from $252 a tonne ex-refinery to approximately $125 a tonne. That is at least a 50 per cent reduction. The price of butane, under the new price negotiations and agreements between the Government and the gas producers, will be reduced from some $290 a tonne exrefinery to $205 a tonne as from 9 April last. This will provide very substantial relief, particularly in regional and country areas, for those people who have little immediate alternative to LPG for their heating and cooking requirements. Furthermore I believe the new policy will have very substantial implications for the further use of LPG as an automotive fuel. This, indeed, is most essential because we must face up to the eventual reality that the use of LPG for cooking and heating purposes is a complete waste of a very scarce and valuable energy resource. We must encourage the substitution of petrol by gas as much as possible if we are to maintain and guarantee our liquid fuel requirements in the immediate short term before other new crude oil fields are found or other new sources of synthetic liquid fuel come into widespread use. The decisions taken by the Government have the effect of maintaining a differential between the price of LPG and that of petrol of some 50 per cent. The figures, as I understand them, are based on Melbourne prices. The price of LPG will be reduced to 16.5c per litre compared with the price of petrol in Melbourne of 33c per litre. Additionally the Government has announced an extension of tax incentives similar to those which now apply for oil fired uses to industries which convert from LPG to other sources of energy. There has been some discussion in country areas in particular that the subsidy has not been applied to business and commercial users of LPG. The new price negotiations, of course, do apply so that we must make it quite clear that even though existing business and commercial users of LPG will enjoy a 20 per cent cut in price for propane and 30 per cent cut in price for butane respectively, these businesses will not get the benefit of the additional subsidy of $80 a tonne. That does have some implications for decentralisation. Certainly it has some implications for industries that have been encouraged to move out of the major metropolitan complexes to country areas. In many cases they have been encouraged to do so with the prospect of natural gas becoming available. I think we need to discuss the future for those industries and for consumers of LPG and what the situation might be in a number of years. We cannot simply pat ourselves on the backs too easily saying that we have alleviated the problem for gas consumers without taking into account what might be the reality of the situation in the future. To this end I believe that we should be encouraging the much wider distribution of natural gas throughout Australia wherever feasible and wherever practicable. In order to do this, of course, gas consumers and the utilities supplying them must realise that the Commonwealth Government is not prepared to provide a network of feeder lines from the main natural gas pipelines at no charge. There has been an additional distribution of natural gas to Canberra, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra and so on through to Albury, connecting the Cooper Basin fields with those of Bass Strait. It must be fully realised that the taxpayer will not foot the bill for these lines. In other words, over a number of years, the consumers, through the utilities, will have to pay off the capital cost of providing those spur lines in the tariffs that they will pay. In my area there has been an undertaking to provide natural gas to the cities of Bathurst, Orange and Lithgow. These three cities are highly dependent on liquefied petroleum gas at the moment. Obviously the councils of those cities are concerned that the ratepayers will be footing a very substantial bill, both now and in the future, if they are to pay the full cost of constructing that pipeline, which will be in the vicinity of $36m to $40m. I can well understand that the councils might be sceptical about such a major long term debt commitment in view of the experiences that they have had in the past, particularly in regard to their conversion of coal gas plants to LPG plants. I cannot blame them for their scepticism. However, another company might be willing to distribute gas to those centres. In this case it is the Australian Gas Light Co. The councils should consider transferring their gas utilities to AGL. AGL is an organisation which does have some opportunity to cross-subsidise within its operations. It therefore has the opportunity to provide natural gas to many country centres at a reasonable price- a price that will be acceptable to consumers and a price that will encourage industries to decentralise and encourage those industries that have decentralised to stay in the location to which they have moved. Further, as I mentioned before, the Government needs to consider very carefully what will be the situation of domestic gas consumers in a number of years. There are many centres in Australia where gas is an important energy source and where the subsidy will ensure that gas is continued to be used for a number of years. Yet we must realise that in three or five years' time the use of LPG for those purposes will be a luxury. So in closing I suggest that the Government turns its attention to the longer term view and looks at the prospects and the opportunities for providing new incentives for domestic consumers to move away from LPG as an energy source and substitute their appliances with ones that are powered by electricity or, as may be the case, another form of energy. {: #subdebate-38-0-s7 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Les Johnson:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -The Bills which are now before the House have great importance for the Australian community because, I suppose, it is a fact of life that there is a great sense of uncertainty as to how our way of life which is substantially contributed to by the use of motor vehicles and air travel will be sustained in the future. The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill and the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) go to the very heart of this Government's energy policy. In talking on these Bills honourable members have a tendencyindeed, they are right to do so- to range over a great area of speculation and anticipation. One can go to the Parliamentary Library and read of all the enormous energy potential that is available to this country and to the world. We hear of plants that produce energy factors. We hear of the solar stack proposition whereby signals from great stations some 25 miles long can be projected into space on behalf of the nations of the world and whereby energy is transmitted back to earth for use in vehicles and for other energy consuming activities. When we look at things from that standpoint the matters being raised in the debate tonight seems to be of a fairly low calibre. Nevertheless, the legislation is not without significance, as the honourable member who preceded me in this debate, the honourable member for Calare **(Mr MacKenzie)** has pointed out. The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill provides, amongst other things, for grants to be made to the States to enable the States to pay to registered distributors of liquefied petroleum gas a subsidy of $80 a tonne on LPG sold to those consumers. I feel that this entire area has been characterised by a lack of government initiative. There is no doubt that if there is a sensitive election issue around- we are in an election yearthat issue is fuel prices, whether it be LPG or butane or the conventional fuel for vehicles. Nobody is satisfied that proper policies are being pursued. There has been virtually plucked out of the air a very dogmatic attitude that we have to have a world parity pricing philosophy, whether it is in respect of Arabian oil- such a policy could be justified- or whether it is in respect of what we call old oil. One wonders how we can logically account for this policy. I suppose, if one were seeking to bring logic to bear, one would be contending that an increase in the price of fuel would be effective in deterring people from using this finite quality which is going to run out at some time in the future. Although there probably has been a slight arresting of the upward trend of fuel consumption, nothing more can be said about it than that, except, of course, that the Government can wallow in the realisation that it has contrived in all this mystique a unique and surreptitious way of deriving income from the Australian community. It is a fortuitous set of circumstances in that, as the election period comes closer, the Government, represented by the Treasurer **(Mr** Howard), can dip into the income bag from fuel taxes and provide benefits in largess and handouts to the Australian community. Make no mistake, the Australian community does not want to play this game that the Government is engaging in. The use of motor cars is very much our way of life. Young people these days often get a car before they even think of getting a house. They want to get petrol on the best terms available. They are sick and tired of this sleight of hand, this thimble and pea trick, which is being perpetrated in this country at present. Let me talk for a moment about liquefied petroleum gas. The best part of a year ago the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** hailed LPG as the fuel of the future. With massive price rises in recent weeks it would take the average family motorist five years to recoup, from the saving on fuel bills, the cost of converting the family car to LPG. For some unaccountable reason the Government has brought to bear a world parity pricing policy in respect of LPG that has a greater impact than its policy in respect of conventional fuel. On 27 June last year the Prime Minister said that the Government would encourage car owners to use LPG in their cars. Then the Government dropped the retail tax to make the pump price 9.5c a litre. Just over six months later the price of LPG rose to 18.9c a litre. That was an increase of 100 per cent. The sequence of price increase began almost immediately when the Government dropped the retail tax. Within a month the 2.1c a litre cut achieved by the removal of the tax had been erased by a 2c a litre price rise. From then on the price rose steadily to reach 18.9c a litre. These price rises were blamed on the world parity pricing system. That is precisely where the blame should be placed. The annual fuel saving of $310 for a family sedan running on LPG six months ago has been cut by more than $70, according to a number of experts. There is an initial conversion outlay of $850, or thereabouts, that has to be recouped. I understand that the actual investment is more than $1,200 if one takes into account the interest that people have to pay on such a capital outlay. That is the very sorry story as it affects the motorist and the average citizen. Even from the Government's point of view in respect of money saving policies there is much to be desired. I recall very well the great contentions that LPG was the answer. Test drives were carried out from Canberra to Sydney. It was found that the total cost of the round trip for the petrol car was $25.41. For the LPG car it was $15.01. Obviously that test offered very great promise to the Austraiian community. If the Government is obsessed with the idea that LPG is the answer, the best way to demonstrate its enthusiasm is in respect of its own fleet. We have seen vacillation on that matter also. I notice in the Melbourne *Age* of 28 June 1979 mention of an announcement by the Minister for Administrative Services **(Mr John McLeay)** who announced the awarding of contracts to convert to LPG 100 departmental vehicles in Melbourne. That was a very sensational initiative on the part of the Government. Regrettably that represented less than one per cent of the Department's vehicles. One would have thought that a far greater effort might have been made even at that time. I know that that effort has been superseded. Another announcement was made along these lines on 13 November 1979 by the then Minister for National Development, **Mr Newman.** The Minister said that the Government was taking further initiatives to encourage the wider use of LPG, including the removal of the 2.125c a litre road tax and the 1 5 per cent sales tax previously applicable to kits used in vehicle conversion to LPG. We heard something about these kits earlier in the debate. The Minister went on that it had been decided that, in addition to the 100 Commonwealth vehicles already being converted in Melbourne, the Government intended to proceed with the conversion of a further 200 in Melbourne and 250 in Canberra. I have not had the time to dig out the extent of the fleet, but I have no doubt that there is still an infinitesimal proportion of our Commonwealth fleet being converted to LPG. A far better example could have been given. I am not sure what requirements have been imposed on the statutory authorities. In many ways we can require people under the influence of the Commonwealth to do the right thing in the interests of the nation. We do it in respect of environmental impact statements and the like. If we are making funds available to anybody using vehicles we could certainly require that as a condition of their receiving such funds. I might say that this includes the States under section 96 of the Constitution, which is the conditional grants section. We can have provisos to encourage this conversion rate. The honourable member for Franklin **(Mr Goodluck)** talked earlier "this evening about these matters. He gave the impression that everything was all tied up and ready to go for a massive conversion; there was little to be desired; and all that had to be done was to surge into this process of conversion. That is just not the case at all. One has only to go to the Library- as I did a short time ago- and one will receive a number of media releases which show that there are many problems, the solutions of which in many instances could have been accelerated if this Government had been prepared to be more active in this area. The *Sun News-Pictorial* of Melbourne on 5 December 1979 under the heading ' LPG: new safety guide ' stated: >New guidelines on the use of liquefied petroleum gas in motor vehicles were introduced yesterday by the Standards' Association of Australia. It is true that new guidelines were introduced, but what imprimatur do they have from the standpoint of governments? An article in the Melbourne *Herald on* 25 October 1979 under the heading ' 40 flaaws in LPG rules ' stated: >The Society of Automotive Engineers has found more than 40 flaws in the regulations governing installation of liquid petroleum gas in vehicles. According to the report, the Society sent a schedule of significant complaints to the Standards Association of Australia. There are many other newspaper clippings relating to the matter. For example, the Melbourne *Herald* of 8 November 1979 carries an article headed 'Leaking LPG- 5500 Recall'. The article goes on to expand on the problem. The Adelaide *Advertiser* of 2 November 1979 has an article entitled 'LPG cylinders potential bombs, says firefighter'. A *Canberra Times* article of 4 March 1980 is headed 'US expert tells of safety problems'. The *Sydney Morning Herald* of 9 February 1 980 carries an article entitled 'Engineer hopes for early tank safety rules'. The *Canberra Times* of 1 February 1980 has an article entitled 'Coroner's call on LPG conversion'. So the list goes on. It just seems to me that so much of this matter should have been pulled together and a far more substantial Federal initiative should be in evidence at this time. In less than 12 months, LPG prices have risen by nearly 300 per cent following the latest lift of $105 per tonne to $254 per tonne. Of course there are many fleet owners who regard this disincentive as coming from the failure of the Government to have firm views and attitudes. I note that in the Melbourne *Sun-News Pictorial* of 28 January 1980 mention is made of some of the concerned people. The article states: >One driver said: 'I was paying seven cents a litre a year ago. > >This latest move has made the idea of LPG as an alternative fuel a big laugh '. The article continues: > **Mr Neil** Smith, Gas and Fuel Corporation chairman, said that the price rise was 'nothing short of commercial rape '. > >I'm amazed at the hyopcrisy of the situation', he said. 'If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable'. I do not have to tell honourable members opposite about this debacle. They have been thrashing it out in their party meeting. There have been, of course, legitimate complaints by representatives of electorates, both city and country, because the fleet owners in the city have been disadvantaged just as rural people have by the variations in the Government's policies and attitudes. The fact is that the price of LPG has skyrocketed from $88 per tonne in January 1979 to the world parity price of $252 per tonne for propane and $294 for butane. Domestic demand for gas has been dropping because natural gas and electricity are priced more competitively for household users in rural areas. The conversion of cars from petrol to LPG has virtually stopped. In the overall situation, this Government will have to do a great deal to account for its policy in regard to oil pricing matters. The fact is that the Government is responsible for this situation. When the Fraser Government was first elected to office, the average family car- a Holden or a Falcon or a Valiant, say- could be filled with petrol for $1 1.10. It now costs $23.50 to fill that car. That would be all right if some patriotic or some inescapable factor were involved, but that is not the case. The average car owner is paying $10 a week to $12 a week extra for fuel. There is a bonanza for the Government in all this. Through the oil tax and petrol excise, 50c in every petrol dollar goes straight to the Fraser Government. As the honourable member for Blaxland **(Mr Keating)** has said repeatedly, it is the unfairest tax of all. It makes no distinction as to capacity to pay. The rich and the poor pay to the same extent. Only last Monday, in company with the honourable member for Cunningham **(Mr West),** I was addressing several hundred pensioners at Wollongong. They instanced the fact that it was no longer possible for many pensioners to put their cars on the road. This Government is totally indifferent to that particular problem. The pensioners, to the extent that they use motor cars, have to bear the burden of this tax to the same extent as the more privileged, the more affluent, people in the community. To the extent that this tax represents a source of revenue one could say that it involves an abandonment of the capacity to pay principle. It hits the lowest income earners very hard indeed. People in the country are also very seriously affected. Some spend 10 per cent of their incomes on petrol as against the 2 per cent spent by those on higher incomes. When the Government puts up the price of Australian crude oil by $ 1 it has to be realised that 83c of that $ 1 goes straight to the Government and that the taxes paid through the petrol pump now exceed the total of all company tax collected in Australia. In four years, government income from the oil tax alone has risen from $250m to $2,400m a year. I believe that that is a very sorry state of affairs and a very unnecessary state of affairs. I am glad to see that in this legislation there will be subsidies for some sections of the community which will be using LPG. But that is not really getting to the kernel of the problem. It will not be until the Labor Party is again in office that we will get cheaper petrol. {: #subdebate-38-0-s8 .speaker-KN9} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin:
BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES Order! The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-38-0-s9 .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME:
Macarthur -One would not know from listening to the honourable member for Hughes **(Mr Les Johnson)** what this debate was supposed to be about. It is, in fact, about the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill which, of course, is a Bill that provides a subsidy to liquefied petroleum gas users, particularly those in country towns, as a consequence of which there is to be a reduction in the price of LPG from the prices that the honourable member for Hughes appears to be fixated about. Perhaps he was behaving like a Rip Van Winkle and fell asleep some time last year. But I do wish he had woken up before he addressed the House tonight. The facts are that the prices he spoke of- the high prices resulting from a Prices Justification Tribunal inquiry- are now being cut drastically. They are being cut in half for domestic consumers of gas in country areas and, in fact, are being cut from the ex-refinery price of $252 about which he spoke all the time to $205- a cut of approximately $50 per tonne. So, the price he was talking about was in fact nonsensical, as were his remarks. Let us see what the Labor Party's policy is- if it has one- on LPG. The honourable member for Blaxland **(Mr Keating)** who, as I understand it, is supposed to be reponsible for this area- if one is responsible for it in Labor's policy- had this to say in May 1979 in his Green Paper on energy policy. This was, I think, the greening of the honourable member for Blaxland. He said: >Although the pricing of energy resources at well below opportunity cost will yield short-term benefits, it will also give rise to long term costs. That remark relates clearly to the price of all gases- natural and LP gas- that price being at a price lower than the price of oil. He went on to state: >The ideal yardstick for the determination of gas prices is found in oil prices. Domestic gas prices should bear a realistic relativity to domestic oil prices. Here we have the man who is alleged to be the Labor Party spokesman on this area saying that there should be a relativity between oil and gas and saying by the way at other times that the price of oil would certainly be maintained under a Labor government- not increased but maintained. At the same time other members of the Opposition are getting up and bemoaning the high price of LPG, complaining that this Government's disgraceful policies- so calledhave, in fact, changed the margin between LPG and petrol. The facts are that either the honourable member for Blaxland is wrong in stating Labor policy when he says that LPG and petrol should have a realistic relativity- that in fact, it is wrong to price gas below the opportunity cost- or his colleagues who have been talking in this debate tonight are wrong. I am inclined to the view that they are all wrong, because they have not realised the benefit of the Federal Government's specific policies, which are designed to assist those who unfortunately are oppressed as a consequence of the oil parity pricing policy as it relates to LPG. The Government has provided a benefit to such people while maintaining the basic, and I believe, inviolable, principle of oil parity pricing- one that, with one or two exceptions, is accepted among leading nations. Even those exceptions are steadily moving towards its acceptance. It would be appropriate to congratulate several honourable members who, when the consequences for country consumers of the impact of the oil parity pricing policy on the price of LPG became strikingly evident, brought significant pressure to bear on the Government to make special concessions, in country areas especially, and also in respect of the use of LPG in automobiles. One could mention the honourable member for Calare **(Mr MacKenzie),** who spoke earlier, the honourable member for Macquarie **(Mr Gillard),** the honourable member for EdenMonaro **(Mr Sainsbury)** and the honourable member for McMillan **(Mr Simon),** who were particularly enthusiastic, as indeed I was, in approaching the Minister for National Development and Energy **(Senator Carrick)** in an effort to resolve the serious problem which had arisen. {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- What about me? {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -- There were, of course, many honourable members, particularly those in the country, in whose electorates there was a problem in this respect, and La Trobe is one such area. I wish to emphasise the serious consequences of oil parity pricing on a country town which depends for its gas supply upon LPG rather than natural gas. In the cities it is easy to convert to another energy source. In a country town, the cost of doing so can be appalling. In the cities the gas is supplied as liquefied natural gas or LNG. Certainly that is true of Sydney and of most other Australian cities. It is a different commodity and is priced differently from LPG, the 'P ' in which relates to petroleum. It is liquefied petroleum gas. As a result of the import parity pricing policy an enormous increase occurred in country towns in the price of the feedstock from which town gas was derived. There was a significant increase also in the price of bottled gas. So there was clearly a need, because of the lack of alternatives and the high cost of conversion, for the Government to take a very sympathetic view of the impact on such country towns. I am glad to say that I was one of a group which managed to convince the Government that the rights of country gas consumers should be protected. It is wrong to waste a scarce and expensive resource such as liquefied petroleum gas, which can be sold at a premium price overseas and can be used domestically in premium applications. It is wrong to burn it under a saucepan or in a heater. There are other, cheaper fuels that can be used for such purposes. Electricity is one, and even wood is another. There is no doubt that although the basic principle- that it is wasteful to burn a scarce resource under a pot or pan holds true- those in country towns who for a long time had been involved in the consumption of LPG were placed in a very difficult position when suddenly its price rose. In many instances, they did not have available to them the alternatives that are readily available in the cities. The problem is aggravated by the fact that some country towns recently converted from gas supplies derived from coal. I would hope that many may seek a return to coal as a feedstock. I hope that other towns will be connected to the natural gas pipeline or will switch to the use of electricity. The problem has been alleviated by providing a significant subsidy which will permit a breathing space of three years, to enable alternative energy sources to be arranged. There has been no basic divergence from the principle of oil parity pricing inherent in the provision of temporary assistance. As some members of this House have found out, three years is a long temporary stay. However, it is a temporary situation designed to enable conversion to other energy sources to take place. There may well be no need to convert appliances. One may well be able to go back to gas made from coal. In my area detailed studies are proceeding into the use of surplus gas from coal mines. Following the Appin tragedy, in which only last year some miners were killed as a result of a gas explosion underground, the coal companies in particular have been considering very seriously trapping underground methane gas with a view to reticulating it or distributing it in bottled form. At least it is an alternative energy source. If we review what the subsidy has achieved it becomes very clear that it has been of major benefit to people in country towns. The average gas consumer uses about half a tonne of gas a year. The ex-refinery price of LPG has been cut from $252 a tonne to $125 a tonne, or by $127 a tonne. Thus, the price has been cut by more than half. If one uses half a tonne of gas a year simple mathematics would indicate that the average gas consumer will benefit by some $60 a year. That will chop some $15 a quarter from each quarterly bill. I am certain that the pensioners about whom the honourable member for Hughes expressed such concern- but for whom he was prepared to do nothing, of course- in my area will benefit significantly from such a cut in their gas bills. I must say that I am very grateful indeed to the Government for its having yielded to our strong pressure at this level. There has been immense disagreement within gas-using councils about what should be done. Many local councillors have claimed that since we are exporting three-quarters of current production LPG is not a scarce resource; that this indicates an enormous surplus; that LPG should not be the subject of a scarcity price. Unfortunately, perhaps many local councillors are prepared to let their judgment be clouded by their wish for re-election. LPG is scarce in the world and does enjoy a scarcity price. It is to be used for premium purposes. People are willing to pay large amounts of money to use it as an alternative to petrol, not as an alternative to wood, natural gas or electricity. It has a premium use as an alternative to petroleum. Therefore, let us hit right on the head the suggestion that Australia has a surplus of LPG. Some is being exported because a large amount of it is produced automatically in the course of the petroleum process, both ex-wells and, of course, ex-refineries. One has it whether one sets out to produce it or not. Certainly, at the moment three-quarters of LPG production is exported but, again, it is earning Australia foreign exchange which, in turn, is helping to meet the huge increases in the price of the oil that we import. On that simple basis it is directly substitutable for imported oil. We export LPG; we import oil. If that is not a sensible thing to do, I would be pleased if members of councils who are listening to tonight's debate could explain to me why it is not. Even more particularly, its internal substitutable role is increasing, firstly, in automotive use and, secondly, of course, as a feedstock for various petrochemical uses. There is no doubt at all that many sections of the petrochemical industry are violently opposed to the use of LPG as a car fuel because, they say, there will not be enough of it and because conversions are never really satisfactory. The editorial in the *Plastics Digest* of March of this year states: >Certainly LPG would be an excellent fuel for appropriately designed spark ignition engines and appropriately designed cars. Its use would also reduce the emission of pollutants. But LPG is best used as a feed stock and not as a car fuel. It goes on to explain in great detail why that is so. However, it concludes in this way: >Without a guarantee of LPG supply, the security of feed stock necessary for the huge expansions in petrochemical manufacturing capacity now under way in Australia will be lacking. That is a very serious problem. This industry desperately needs Australian LPG. To continue a policy which encouraged the wasteful use of LPG would be to the disadvantage of the whole of our nation. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: -- You have just reduced the price by $50 a tonne. What are you talking about? {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -- That is why this subsidy is of a temporary nature and is aimed specifically at providing councils and consumers with the opportunity to convert to alternative energy supplies without placing an unfair burden on consumers, particularly the pensioners. The interjection from the honourable member for Blaxland is interesting. Are we to take it from that interjection that he believes that the pensioner consumers of gas in country towns should be penalised? {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- That is what he is saying. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -- Certainly it is what he appears to be saying. I agree with the honourable member. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** I take a point of order. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -Or a point of argument? {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: -- I claim to have been misrepresented. I will refer to the misrepresentation at the end of the honourable member's speech. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -- I must say that I find these phoney points of order particularly displeasing and an abuse of the procedures of the Parliament. {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- He knows it too. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -He ought to know it. He has been here long enough; obviously too long. The serious problem we face is that there is real concern about the volume of LPG available in Australia. I seek leave to incorporate in *Hansard* a table, which I have displayed to honourable members opposite, on reserves of LPG and LNG in Australia. Leave granted. *The document read as follows-* NOTES TO ACCOMPANY TABLES 1 AND 2 Table1 indicates the initial and current reserves of those fields or groups of fields which have been declared commercial and combines both the Proved and Probable reserves together with secondary recovery projects where applicable. Table 1 also includes two additional gas fields, Euthalla and Mooga, in the Roma Area in the Bowen-Surat Basin. Table 2 indicates those theoretically recoverable reserves which are either: geologically proved but considered uneconomic under present conditions, or are awaiting further appraisal and, therefore, subject to major revisions. The estimates given in these tables reflect the updating by the State Department of Mines and Company of the recoverable reserves of West Tryal Rocks and Tidepole fields in the Carnarvon Basin and by BMR of the Mereenie and Palm Valley fields in the Amadeus Basin. In both tables the Ethane component is reported under sales gas with the exception of the Cooper Basin where it is included with LPG. Explanatory marks used in the tables include: (a) BMR estimate; (b) State Mines Department Estimate; (c) Company estimate; Neg.- negligible. Conversion to metric units was carried out using the following factors: 1 barrel = 0.1589875 m3; 1 cubic foot = 0.02831685 m3. To convert to exajoules multiply: LPG- m3 x 106 by 0.026366; Natural Gas-m3x 109 by 0.0392. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -- That table demonstrates very clearly that only one per cent of Australia's fossil fuel reserves are in fact in petroleum and that about one per cent are in LPG. So, there is no doubt that any incentive to waste this resource would be a foolish long term policy. There is no doubt that this Government is not setting off on such a policy. It is setting off on a very clear policy to provide specific assistance for a limited amount of time to consumers who would otherwise receive, I believe, a rough deal. There is no doubt that the high price of LPG, in particular in exports, is to the benefit of the whole of Australia. As a result, the people who receive the whole of that benefit- all Australians- are providing at small cost to them a subsidy to a small group of Australians who are being specifically disadvantaged. If all Australians are getting the benefit of this high LPG price, particularly in terms of exports, why should the burden fully hit one small group just because they live in country towns and just because the Labor Party, whose policies have been continually anti-country, hates people who live in the country? The objections of the honourable member for Blaxland to what we are doing now in providing this specific benefit is another example of the ways in which the honourable member for Blaxland and his colleagues find the country detestable because the people in the country have rejected them continually at elections. If we look at the state of representation in this House we will see how very few country members are on the Labor side. I am very glad indeed that this Government is not only alert to the problems of country people but also is prepared to do something positive, as has happened in this case, when a clear disadvantage is being suffered by country people. I concede that in some areas there have been slight errors. For example, to encourage the industrial use of LPG for fuel was an error. I am quite prepared to accept that the Government made a slight error in that area. That is why I am glad to see this policy now of diverting its use entirely as an industrial feed stock. I recognise that no subsidy is involved in that area, that the price is to come down to $205 a tonne. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: -- There is for industry. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr BAUME: -- The subsidy relates specifically to country gas consumers in households, the ordinary people of Australia, the pensioners of my electorate. They are the people to whom I am proud to say in this House: 'I have fought for your special subsidy to reduce the price of your gas'. I am interested to hear that interjections from the Opposition indicate that the Labor Party is opposed to what I have done and complains about my success. I commend this Bill to the House. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member's time has expired. **Mr KEATING** (Blaxland **)-Mr Deputy Speaker,** I claim to have been misrepresented by the honourable member for Macarthur **(Mr Baume).** {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -The honourable member may proceed. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- If the honourable member had been in the House before the suspension of the sitting for dinner he would have understood that the Labor Party is supporting the measure which provides for the $80 a tonne subsidy. I indicated then that the Labor Party believes that there should be a subsidy to people resident in the country areas. I also indicated that it was the Government which put up the price in the first place. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr Baume: -- Where have I misrepresented you? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- The honourable member misrepresented me by saying - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! If the honourable member for Macarthur wishes to take a point of order, he should stand and take it. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr Baume: -- I take a point of order. It is that one is not entitled to debate an issue when claiming that one has been misrepresented. One is supposed to state where the misrepresentation occurred. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -As I understand it, the honourable member for Blaxland, at this early stage in his personal explanation, is attempting to point out, I hope, the extent to which he has been personally misrepresented. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- I can do so at the third reading stage if honourable members opposite wish, but if I do it now it will probably take less time. {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- Don't debate it. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** if you could quieten the idiot child of the establishment opposite I might be able to finish. The honourable member for Macarthur alleged falsely that I was opposed to the $80 a tonne subsidy being paid to country people. That is untrue. In a few minutes we on this side of the House will support the measure, with the Government. We believe that there should be some relief from the harsh penalty the Government has inflicted upon these people by raising the price of LPG to country people by 350 per cent in 12 months. {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- He is debating it. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! It is normal for an honourable member who is seeking to take a point of order to stand and to do so. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- I was misrepresented further by the honourable member for Macarthur when he indicated that my claim that the Government had reduced the price to industry was untrue. This is not the case. In fact the Government has reduced the price of a fuel which he says is valuable and which should be rationed by $50 a tonne to industry, although it has charged the full price to the petrochemical industry. The petrochemical industry would be the worse for wear as a result of sales under subsidy to the rest of Australian industry. {: .speaker-LE4} ##### Mr Baume: -- I take a point of order. I understood that personal explanations had to relate to the facts. As I understand it, the alleged fact which the honourable member for Blaxland has put forward is untrue. I said that there was no Federal Government subsidy as against a subsidy to domestic consumers. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -The honourable member for Macarthur has made his point quite clearly. I would suggest that the honourable member for Blaxland confine himself to the extent to which he claims to have been misrepresented by the honourable member for Macarthur. If the honourable member for La Trobe does not desist while I am speaking I will be forced to deal with him. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** I will wind up on this point. The honourable member for Macarthur claimed that the Opposition opposed this measure. It does not. It supports the subsidy for country people. But the Government in the first place lifted the price by 350 per cent from $80 a tonne to $250 a tonne in 14 months. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member is now debating the issue. {: #subdebate-38-0-s10 .speaker-KWZ} ##### Mr WALLIS:
Grey -The honourable member for Macarthur **(Mr Baume)** mentioned the reduction that these Bills will achieve in the price of liquefied petroleum gas. {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- The idiot from Blaxland ought to go home and read up what his members are saying. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable member for La Trobe will restrain himself. {: .speaker-JNO} ##### Mr Baillieu: -- An idiot like that - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: {: .speaker-KWZ} ##### Mr WALLIS: -- Of course he did not say that the government through the Prices Justification Tribunal allowed the price of LPG to rise considerably. It then took some of the weight off.the country towns with the $80 a tonne subsidy. The honourable member for Macarthur made some rather scathing remarks about members on this side of the House. He referred to how we hate country people. As one who represents one of the large country electorates, I think I can deny his assertion. The people of Grey have continually returned me to this House despite the many predictions by Liberal Party pundits about how they would get me knocked off. But the country people still stick with me and return me to this place. I think I can fairly say that I represent country people. I represent a large country electorate and not a pocket borough such as the electorate of Macarthur. The honourable member for Macarthur also made mention of government policy. Government policy in the area of petrol, petroleum, LPG and energy generally has been a bit like the Government's Medibank policy. There have been so many changes that any resemblance to what it was 12 months ago is pure coincidence. I think it can be said that the Government has a complete lack of policy because of the changes that have taken place. The Government announced in the Budget the year before last a certain policy. Within a few months it changed that policy. The policy has since been changed again. I think we can all say that in many respects the Government's policy is a non-policy because the Government certainly does know in which way it is heading. It would appear that the Government's supposed policy is oriented towards balancing its Budget problems than to conserving a scarce resource and all of the other claims that the Government has made. Much has been said about how the Government's policy hits country people. I fully agree that the present energy policy does hit country people. A colleague in the Senate the other night said: >The most recent available survey of the Australian Bureau of Statistics on household expenditure shows that rural households in the lowest stratification of income spent nearly 10 per cent of their income on petrol, oil and lubricants. For all households the comparable figure is just less than 3 per cent. In other words this policy espoused by the National Country Party in particular penalises the lowest income country households three times as much as it penalises the community in general. I think that indicates what the Government's policy does. The Government's decision to offer a subsidy was brought about more by fear of a reaction in the forthcoming election than it was by genuine concern for country people. People on the Government side of the House are always saying how they represent country people. But the country people are beginning to learn that it is this very Government, the very people who are supposed to represent them, that is hitting them the hardest. This is certainly the case in respect of the Government's energy policy. Certainly the Government's action is governed by the fact that it is in a little bit of political trouble. The honourable member for Macarthur said that he had got a group together to go to the Government to try to get it to change its policy. Why? Government members realise that if the Government does not change its policy they will be in political trouble. One should look at the whole question of petrol pricing in the country areas generally. The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs **(Mr Garland)** answered a question that I put to him a week ago in respect of the freight subsidy. I realise that the Minister said that the Federal Government's freight subsidy applies only to the freight costs and that the Government will pick up the tab for any costs over 0.44c a litre. We would normally assume that the country person, irrespective of where he was in Australia, would pay only 0.44c a litre more for petrol than would his city counterpart. But, of course, that is far from the fact. I was in Adelaide at Easter and petrol in that city was selling for 3 1 ,2c a litre. But less than 200 miles away in Port Augusta- we should remember the promise of 0.44c a litrepetrol is selling for 37.7c a litre. So there is a difference of 6.5c a litre which in the old measurement is the equivalent of 30c a gallon. I do not know who is responsible. I do not know whether it is the PJT or the oil companies. I would possibly blame the oil companies mostly for this because our friend the honourable member for Franklin **(Mr Goodluck)** pointed out the way in which the oil companies have treated service station owners for quite some time. I think the oil companies can take part of the blame for this. This Government has in its hands the report of the Royal Commission on Petroleum. The fourth volume of that report deals with petroleum marketing. There is sufficient in that fourth report to give the Government guidelines as to what should be done to make sure that not only the public but also the service station owners are given a fair go. Figures show that possibly the highest number of businessmen who go through the bankruptcy court are the service station owners. This is mainly because the oil companies tie these people up in respect of leases. There are many other bad arrangements between the service station lessees and the oil companies. Not only do we have the Government taking us for a ride with its oil pricing policy but also the oil companies are taking us for a ride too. It is a fact that the price of petrol has increased by 150 per cent since this Government came to power. 70 per cent of that increase goes back to the Government in excise. If we look at the figures properly we will see that the actual cost of production of petrol is somewhere in the vicinity of $2 a barrel. The producer receives $6 a barrel and the Government takes, in all, about $ 1 9 a barrel. This Government has always claimed that it is a low tax government. But its petrol pricing policy makes it a very high tax government. The application of the Government's oil policy has added about 23 per cent to taxation generally. It is not fair taxation. The level of tax is not determined on a sliding scale. It is not like income tax under which people pay according to what they earn. If a pensioner pulls into one side of a petrol pump and a millionaire pulls into the other they both pay the same. So this is a very inequitable and unfair type of taxation. It is directed more towards balancing the Government's budgetary considerations than it is to carrying out the Government 's stated policy. I mentioned that the price of LPG went from $80 a tonne to $252 a tonne over a very short period. This legislation will reduce that amount to some consumers by $80 a tonne. Again I say that this decision was taken mainly to get some National Country Party and Liberal Party people in country electorates off the hook because they will certainly feel a political reaction when the election is held later this year. I understand that the value of the increased subsidy will be eroded if the oil companies make an application to the Prices Justification Tribunal to raise the price of petrol a little further. I would also like to make mention of one other matter in respect of the Government's petrol pricing policy. I have mentioned that I represent a large country electorate. Aircraft play an important role in such areas. Again, it is something which has a great effect on the country dweller. I refer to the great increase that has taken place in the price of avgas. In November 1975 when the Labor Government went out of office avgas was 15 cents a litre. In August 1978 the cost of avgas had risen to 2 1 cents a litre and last month it was 42 cents a litre. I worked out that the cost of keeping in the air a small twin-engined aircraft that I often use for charter purposes increased by $ 1 3 an hour. In these areas where the use of aircraft is very important country people have again been penalised by the fact that the price of commuter operations has gone up considerably- in most cases in the vicinity of 30 to 35 per centover the last six months. The cost of avgas has doubled in the last two years and it has trebled while this Government has been in power. Distillate is, of course, of great importance to our rural industries. Look how its price has moved while the Fraser Government has been in power. In November 1975 when the Labor Government went out of office it was 7.7 cents a litre, in August 1978 it was 1 1.7 cents a litre, and in April 1 980 it had increased to 24.8 cents a litre. One can imagine the effect that that has had on many of our rural industries. This affects not only our rural industries. In my electorate there are two centres, probably the largest opal mining centres in the world, Andamooka and Coober Pedy, where distillate is used by all the machinery. It is in great demand. The people there go through bad periods, and they are going through a bad period at present, but they have suddenly struck this great increase in the cost of their distillate. This means that their operations are very much more difficult. Distillate is one of the main fuels used by local government. Local governments have their problems at present. These problems have been worsened by the increase in costs of fuel. This effect flows on to ratepayers and means that less work can be done. It certainly has a great effect on people serving in local government and those officers who are responsible for administering local government. Again I say that the present government's policy is hitting hardest the country people- the people whom the honourable members on the other side of the House claim they represent. When the election is held later this year these things will be remembered. I am sure there will be a reaction, irrespective of the fact that the Government has just knocked $80 a tonne off LPG prices for certain users in country areas. Country people will make their voices well and truly heard. The honourable member for Blaxland **(Mr Keating)** stated earlier the Labor Party's fuel policy. He indicated that we would break the present nexus between our domestic prices and the price of Arabian light crude. The price of petrol would be frozen for a period of 12 months and then would be tied to movements in the price of LPG. Labor's policy would take off at least some of the strain that people are feeling today because of the petrol pricing policy and would help to make life a little easier for them. I am sure that when people examine this matter thoroughly they will realise that that policy does have something for them, and that they will return the Labor Government at the end of the year. Further to that policy, there is the plan to establish a hydrocarbon corporation to carry out an oversight of the search for further petroleum reserves. It would assist where possible and give a general line as to which way our search program should be going. At the moment the program is rather willynilly. We have a few big projects, but there seems to be no overall direction to Australia's policy. Much has been said about how, during the term of the Labor Government, the number of wells drilled dropped considerably. I am sure the figures that have been given in this House on a number of occasions by the honourable member for Blaxland and by other members indicate that that is definitely not true. In the three years that the Labor Government was in office more wells were drilled than in the first three years of office of the present Government. I understand that at present, of our two oil rigs, the *Ocean Endeavour* and the *Ocean Digger,* one has already gone overseas and one is ready to go overseas in the not too distant future. We are not opposing this legislation. We feel that the payment of the $80 subsidy will give at least some relief to country people. We hope that the Government will be a bit more sympathetic across the board than it is now and take some of the weight off the Australian people. {: #subdebate-38-0-s11 .speaker-SD4} ##### Mr CADMAN:
Mitchell -- I will not keep the House long. Some aspects of the use of liquefied petroleum gas are essential to fuel conservation and the effective and sensible use of fuels in Australia. No doubt the House is well aware that liquefied petroleum gas is sourced mainly from oil drilling facilities off-shore and it is also a by-product of the refining industry. It has many uses. It is a premium fuel because it burns cleanly, as does natural gas. It can be transported in liquid form. Before the energy crisis liquid petroleum fuels were abundant and cheap. Therefore, liquefied petroleum gas did not compete amongst them because of the higher transport and storage costs involved. Today, however, this situation has changed. Liquefied petroleum gas and oil fuels are extremely valuable and important to the nation's future. The Government's policy decision is vital if we are to conserve all petroleum products. Not only have we adopted a policy of world parity pricing for oil products produced in Australia, but we have also adopted a policy which locks in LP gas with the price of oil. There is no doubt that the Government's decision to reduce the common maximum price for propane and butane by $205 per tonne will bring significant changes in fuel uses in Australia and provide a more balanced approach to the conservation and use of fuel. Producers of liquefied petroleum gas will also be expected to supply first the domestic market with liquefied petroleum gas. For users in Australia this ensures that there will be an ongoing reliable supply priced at half the price of equivalent petrol products. The new prices will mean approximately a 50 per cent differential in relation to petrol for motorists in the Melbourne market, and a similar situation in Sydney. Also, the highest priority use for LP gas in the days to come must be for motor vehicles. The transport field offers the greatest benefit from, and the most sensible use of, liquefied petroleum gas. Future price increases in liquefied petroleum gas will be linked with percentage increases in indigenous crude oil prices, giving the capacity for motorists to purchase a fuel that is tied to a price differential of approximately 50 per cent of the price of petrol. Another by-product of the Government's decision is that there will be an encouragement for the wasteful use of LPG in industry to be stopped and for industrial users to start to consider use of alternative fuels. Therefore, it seems to me that in major areas of policy the Government has found a very sensible and commendable answer to the problems created by an unexpected price rise brought about by a decision of the Prices Justification Tribunal. The recent price rise in liquefied petroleum gas was brought about because the Prices Justification Tribunal chose to pick a price for it which it saw as a world parity price, which was in fact a spot export market price. This was an unfortunate decision because it was not consistent with the Government's policy on oil pricing. Therefore, the Government has moved to readjust the balance between these fuels and so gain a longer term use and a more sensible use of these products. The transport use of liquefied petroleum gas can be extended into many areas but mainly in today's world we are looking to large fleet owners and people who travel long distances to take advantage of liquefied petroleum gas. If it is possible as a nation to use our fuel correctly to enable the ledger to be balanced, we will extend the use of liquefied petroleum gas to 14 per cent of total transport fuel needs. In other terms, this will mean that for every six years use by motorists we will save, as a nation, one year of petrol and LPG. In current terms, the implementation of this policy alone will mean that by 1985 we will have a saving of one year's supply of petrol and LPG for use. There are other factors in regard to liquefied petroleum gas of which this Parliament and other parliaments in Australia need to be aware. The most efficient emission control system is achieved by the conversion of a motor car to LPG. At a conversion cost of $700 to $1,000 a car can be adapted to produce an emission which is so clean that there is no comparison between that emission and the emission produced by petrol fuels. The nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons and the carbon monoxide produced by LPG are significantly lower than those of petrol. Also LPG contains no lead. The lead content factor in petrol is causing concern in the community. Added to the advantage that LPG has in this respect, travelling costs are halved. The cost of LPG as presently pegged by the Government will halve the cost of trips by large fleet owners. They will be able over a period to write off the cost of conversion which can be recovered by most owners in 1 5,000 to 20,000 kilometres. What this nation needs to do, instead of adopting the crazy proposals of the New South Wales Government to move to the third stage of Australian Design Rule 27a, is to encourage large fleet owners to adopt the use of alternate fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas and diesolene. By doing this, the motorists of the nations would be saved significant costs which in the first place would be borne by manufacturers. Motor vehicles which use petrol more efficiently will be produced. They will be allowed to tack on emission control devices which increase the consumption of fuel. There would be two savings to the motorist if this nation did not adopt Australian Design Rule 27a. The advantage to the average motorist will be, firstly, that the price of cars will not increase because of the cost of emission control additions to the car and, secondly, travel each kilometre will be cheaper as fuel emission devices increase fuel use by up to 10 percent. The decision taken by the New South Wales Government appears to fly in the face of the advice given by the State Pollution Control Commission which indicates that the emission and level of pollution by motor vehicles in Sydney will remain constant until 1985. The increase in pollution in Sydney is caused by hydrocarbons emitted from other sources such as manufacturing sources. They will be responsible for an increase of 122 per cent in the level of hydrocarbons in the Sydney atmosphere. Therefore, I commend these proposals to the House because they provide the motorist with a cheaper source of fuel which is pollution-free. They will be seen by the community at large to be sensible in extending the use of oil products. I commend this legislation to the House. I commend the Government for its decisions because I think they are some of the most sensible decisions on fuel usage and fuel conservation. {: #subdebate-38-0-s12 .speaker-OD4} ##### Mr John Brown:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I wish to spend a few minutes talking about the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill 1980 and the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) 1980. The debate on the legislation has been wide ranging. I represent an outer western suburbs electorate in Sydney. In view of what other speakers have said in this debate I think it is reasonable for me to spend a few moments dealing with petrol pricing. I think that the taxpayers of Australia, particularly the people in my electorate, should bear in mind that for seven years Australians paid $2 a barrel for Bass Strait oil. Most of that oil was discovered in 1968 and certainly all of it was discovered before 1975. The Australian public is now paying in excess of $25 a barrel for the same indigenous Australian oil. The differential- that is, 83 per cent of the value of the oil- goes to the Australian Government by way of petrol tax. I hope that when Australians fill their petrol tanks- I might add that 90 per cent of petrol and motor distillate used in Australia comes from indigenous sources and 70 per cent of our oil reserves comes from indigenous sources- and pay the enormous price that they are paying for petrol at the moment they will realise that that price has been set by the Fraser Government, not as the Government wants people to believe by some cartel of mysterious Arabs who sit at different venues and decide what we will pay for petrol. The price for Australian petrol, to the great cost to the Australian people, is set by the Australian Government. I think it is time that the deception that has been promulgated, expounded and reinforced by this Government was unmasked. The Government has said that the high price of Australian petrol is due to an Arab decision. It is not. It is the result of a conscious decision by this Government to use petrol as a means of raising revenue. There is no doubt that this Government has an insatiable thirst for revenue. It has used that petrol tax derived revenue to reduce its domestic deficit to the level which it now tells us is a measure of its great efficiency as an economic manager. We on this side of the House know that this is not the case. I think that at this stage the Australian public knows that that is not the case. I wonder what would have happened to the Government's domestic deficit if the Arabs had not decided a couple of years ago to increase their oil prices to the current level. What a great windfall this has been for the Government. This is a Government of opportunistic buccaneers who are prepared to soak the working class- the people who have to put some petrol in their cars to get to work- in order to fuel the economy, in order to reduce the deficit to the level that the Government now trumpets as being a major reason for its claim that it is a great economic manager. When this Government talks about reducing the deficit, it is in fact running down a national asset to achieve income. By definition, that income will cease because it is a tax on pre- 1975 oil. When this oil runs out, as eventually it must in the mid 1 980s, what will the Government do to replace the revenue that it has gained in this windfall fashion from the increase that the Arabs made in prices of their oil? I wonder what will happen when the $3,000m windfall that this Government has been able to expropriate from the Australian public expires in the mid-1980s? What will the Government do then to meet the vacuum in government funding to which it has become accustomed? There is no way that this Government or any government which is in power in the mid-1980s will be able to slow down the express train nature of government spending. The Government has become accustomed to this $3,000m of excess revenue every year. There is no way in the world that the Government will find a way to replace that revenue when it expires. This Government's misguided pricing policy imposes a very heavy burden on the Australian public. The Government has added 3 per cent to the national inflation figure just by virtue of its petrol pricing policies. These days to fill up the petrol tank of an ordinary, average family car costs $25. Because of the lack of public transport and because of the urban spread which is Sydney, there is no way in the world that the average worker in my electorate in the western area of Sydney can get to work without driving his car. I know of many people in my electorate who have to fill up their petrol tanks twice a week just to get to work to earn the money that they need to feed their families. They are looking at $50 a week just to get to work- and they do not have an alternative. Furthermore there is no way in the world that those people can get any relief under the income tax laws as they exist. We all know that the middle class, the company executive and the selfemployed have a lurk to get out of paying the increased petrol prices. They are either leasing a car and claiming those charges as a taxation deduction or driving a company car, a perk provided by their corporation. The ordinary working man, the man earning $7,000, $8,000 or $10,000 a year is stuck with the fact that he is up for $50 a week for his petrol and he has no recourse to any reduction in his taxation. The problem is that this Government is getting over $3,000m a year from petrol taxes. Because of the lack of public transport in my area people are stuck with high petrol bills. I would have thought that if this were a moral government at least it would have done something about providing funds to the State governments to improve the standard of public transport in the large urban areas. What do we find when we examine the facts? The facts are that in the years of this Government's reign Commonwealth receipts have gone up by 45 per cent but payments to the States for all purposes have increased by only 32 per cent. It is very obvious that the States do not have the money to improve the public transport system. If this Government were sincere in claiming, as it does, that its petrol pricing policy is an energy conservation policy designed to reduce the consumption of Australian fuel, surely good commercial sense would indicate that the Government should be improving public transport with Commonwealth funds in order to get people out of their motor cars. That is not the case. This Government has made every petrol pump an agent for the Taxation Office. There is no way in the world that any honourable member opposite, including the honourable member for Franklin **(Mr Goodluck),** who used to be a service station proprietor, could deny that that is a fact. The Government tries to market its oil pricing policy as an energy policy but it is not an energy policy; it is a tax policy. Nobody can deny that. The Government argues that its pricing policy is needed to encourage oil exploration. That is not the case, as has been explained by the honourable member for Blaxland **(Mr Keating)** earlier in this debate. Since the Fraser Government came into power the amount of exploration in Australia has decreased. The statistics prove it. This year Canada is sinking something like 3,000 exploratory wells. In Australia it is a much smaller figure- about 100. Honourable members opposite should not try to tell us that the Government's oil pricing policy is designed to improve exploration in Australia. The figures show otherwise. Since this Government came into power the amount of exploration investment has decreased remarkably. So has its funding for public transport. That is very obvious. The Fraser Government promised lower taxation and smaller government, but it is the highest taxing government since Federation. The Government revenue from petrol in the present financial year is $3,400m. This represents 30 per cent of total personal income tax revenue for this Government and more than the total receipts from company tax. Total government revenue figures show that this is the highest taxing government in Australian history. Nobody should think otherwise. I will not go on for much longer, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** because I know that you want to wind up the debate. Just allow me to tell you that if this Government was really sincere about introducing its pricing policy to increase exploration it has failed dismally. On the other hand, if it tries to tell us and the Australian public, as it does that its policy is dedicated towards reducing the consumption of fuel in Australia, it has failed to a grand degree in that area also. Petrol consumption in Australia keeps going up. The Government has done nothing in the form of tax relief to improve the situation. For instance, it has not offered incentives to Australians to buy cars with less power as has been done in America. No inducement has been given to the motor companies to produce motors with a smaller capacity and a lower fuel consumption rate. There has been no improvement in funds for public transport. Certainly there has been no inducement for people to get out of their cars and to use public transport. This Government has failed dismally on all counts. The public of Australia must realise that no matter what reason this Government puts forward it is dedicated to its petrol pricing policy in order to increase government revenue. It has an insatiable appetite. Honourable members on the Opposition side of the House recognise this as being the case. Every week complaints stream into my office from people in my electorate who are forced to drive their motor cars to work and are forced to find $50 a week in order to get to work. The complaints are increasing. When honourable members opposite go to the ballot box in December- as I presume they will- this will show up in the results. Let there be no mistake. The Government's petrol pricing policy is a tax policy, not an energy policy. {: #subdebate-38-0-s13 .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr GARLAND:
Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Curtin · LP -- in reply- The attitudes expressed by the Australian Labor Party in this debate are very strange indeed. Listening to honourable members opposite one cannot help being struck by the way in which they have all differed from one another. With respect, the honourable member for Hughes **(Mr Les Johnson)** really spoke a lot of nonsense. Apparently he was unaware that what he was saying was in conflict to a very large degree with the remarks made by the honourable member for Blaxland **(Mr Keating),** who is the official Labor Party spokesman on energy matters in this chamber. The honourable member for Grey **(Mr Wallis)** put some emphasis on what he saw as the unfairness of the type of tax involved. I point out that it is the same type of tax- that is equal incidence- that applied when the Labor Party was in government. A whole lot of other taxes applied by State governments, including those of his own political persuasion- bus fares and all sorts of other charges- are equal to the quantity. It is no use honourable members expecting every tax that is raised to be progressive. That is unreal. The Government has an oil and oil products parity pricing policy. I think the reason for that policy bears repeating briefly. There is a scarcity of oil in the world, and that scarcity will not go away. Prices around the world are rising. We in Australia must take notice of that situation. Unless we discover more oil, and at present many companies are looking for it, the day will come in the next decade- I hope it does not- when our present oil supplies run out. We will then have to import all our oil. There should be no mistaking that then we will be paying full prices for it. Oil has a value and liquefied petroleum gas has a value. The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill and the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3) relate principally to liquefied petroleum gas. LPG has a value in the world. The Australian economy has to adjust to that value, as do other economies throughout the world. We must conserve all the oil we can and convert to other forms of energy. Fortunately Australia has many alternative energy sources. We must make sure that the effect is felt throughout the economy just as it is overseas. Of course, honourable members know that in this country we pay less by a margin for motor spirit, petrol and other oils than is paid in almost any other country. Nevertheless, we have seen tremendous price rises in Australia. They have occurred as a consequence of tremendous rises overseas. We have a present position of a shortage of oil and a future position of a shortage of liquefied petroleum gas. We had a very rapid rise in the price of liquefied petroleum gas as from December of last year- only a few months ago. Movements in the world price were as follows: It was $147 a tonne last December and it rose to $252 a tonne in January. The Government, recognising that that was too sharp a rise for any reasonable concern to adjust to, has come up with a package of proposals to allow for discounting for all consumers except the petrochemical industry, from which there is a very rapid rise in demand. Consumers will receive a reduction in price from this package of proposals. What we have put in place of the price structure following this sharp increase- it was announced by my colleague the Minister for National Development and Energy **(Senator Carrick)** about two weeks ago- is a three tier structure. Firstly, there will be a subsidy of $80 a tonne, principally for those consumers in country areas and those whose use of it is of a private nature. That subsidy will be retrospective to 28 March. That is provided for in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill. It is quite clear to anyone who knows what happens in the country areas of Australia that the many gas producing companies which supplied the reticulated system that applies in Victoria and elsewhere cannot take the sort of rapid rise that we saw take place between December and January last. Ordinary households and non-profit organisationshospitals, schools and others- will in effect pay $ 125 a tonne for LPG. Those industrial concerns and those who own motor vehicles which use LPG will pay $205 a tonne and the petrochemical industry will pay a negotiated figure based on the world parity export price of LPG. That is the three tier structure. It has been brought forward for several reasons. Firstly, as I have said, the commercial firms, households and non-profit organisations need time to adjust. In this debate we have heard many criticisms of this Government 's making a reduction in price in spite of the scarcity of liquid fuel. What the persons making those criticisms failed to say was that an enormous price rise- a larger one- took place in January of this year. The matter must be looked at in terms of the price in December last. I repeat that it rose from $147 a tonne to $252 a tonne. We have now reduced the price to commercial firms to $205 a tonne and ordinary household consumers, hospitals and the like will pay even less than that. They will pay $125 a tonne- that is to say, $80 a tonne less. I would have thought that that was a rational policy. It is a policy which envisages that there is a limit to the rise that can be stood by consumers in ordinary households and in commercial enterprises. Even if the world price rises very rapidly we cannot follow just as rapidly with huge rises. After all, we are still left with commercial enterprises being faced with a rise in price from $147 a tonne to $205 a tonne. So this package has been put in place. The honourable member for Blaxland **(Mr Keating)** made a speech last week. I was greatly intrigued by it. I was sitting at the table at the time. He was speaking in a debate on another Bill but his remarks concerned the same matter. He made some interesting comments to which I wish to refer briefly. He said: >What the Government has done now is to change completely the basis of its policy. There were two matters in question. The first relates to the narrowing gap between the price nf petrol and LPG. That gap . . . is about 13c - So he continued. He went on to say: the true import parity price for oil which we all know is about $30 a barrel. But at the moment we are charging our refineries $24.77 a barrel. He is recorded on the next page of *Hansardpage* 1 895- as having said: >There was a need for the Government to change its policy in respect of those people in the country who were hooked up to a Liquefied petroleum gas supply. Later he said: >But what the Government did then was to reduce completely and dramatically the whole pricing structure of LPG. Arbitrarily it picked on a price of $205 per tonne and reduced the per tonne price of butane from $252 to $205 and propane from $290 to $205. I make two points. I have just referred to the first one; namely, that this reduction is to take place a few weeks after an enormous increase was introduced. What we are effecting is a relative reduction to offset the enormous increase that has taken place so far. {: .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr Klugman: -- The Government's typical yo-yo policy. {: .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr GARLAND: -- Well, of course, the world price is a yo-yo. That is the way of the world in which we live. The second point, which I think is very important to us, is that the whole tenor of the honourable member's remarks was that the Government's prices were not high enough. {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: -- No. {: .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr GARLAND: -Yes, it was. The honourable member said that the real price of oil was $30 a barrel and that we were charging only $24.77 a barrel. He said that with LPG - {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr Keating: **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** I raise a point of order. I have just been misrepresented. {: #subdebate-38-0-s14 .speaker-KB8} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Giles:
WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -This is not the time to make a personal explanation. {: .speaker-K9L} ##### Mr GARLAND: -- The honourable member is always doing that. The arguments are there. In relation to LPG, he referred in this speech- I have not quoted this section of it- to opportunity costs. We know about that economic argument. What he was saying was that we have lost an opportunity cost and that the only logical extension of that could be that the price was not high enough. I was explaining earlier why the Government has not raised the price more fully. It has not done so because we need time to adjust to the situation. That is why this whole policy has been put in place. There are a number features in it to which I draw attention. Certain tax incentives have been provided in order to encourage people to stop using LPG and to start using electricity, mainly that generated by coal, which we have in abundance, or by the hydro-electric scheme. Certainly, we would like to see some motor vehicles consuming LPG rather than petrol. In ideal conditions we could have up to 10 per cent or 15 per cent of our motor vehicles burning LPG. That would certainly effect a saving in motor spirit. Those people who wish to convert to LPG- I would imagine that they would be mainly fleet owners- will be encouraged to do so because, under this policy, they will be able to buy their LPG more cheaply at $205 a tonne than they would pay if LPG were sold at the world price which is approximately $252 a tonne at present. The Government has achieved a gap between the price of LPG and the price of petrol. That gap means that if one does a reasonable mileage- I refer mainly to fleet owners- there will be a saving. As I understand it, vehicles manufactured for the use of LPG and not needing conversion will be manufactured in Australia next year. That will allow more and more people to use LPG and stop the use of oil in this country. Part of the policy will be to provide taxation deductions to discourage people from using oil and LPG and encourage them to use electricity and other fuels. That is the objective of these Bills. Part of the objective is to cushion the effect and part is to give the Government time. This country cannot wait any longer to convert into energies which we know we have in abundance and out of those which we know are scarce. In the case of LPG, that energy source will be scarce in the future. At this moment we are exporting most of our LPG. That is not going to last for more than a few years. We will be consuming all our production from the Bass Strait fields and before very long will be consuming the LPG from other fields as well. Of course, it is also basic to the parity pricing policy that we provide a price that encourages exploration. I tried to understand the reasoning of a gentleman opposite who earlier seemed to be indicating that that was not having an effect. I ask him to look at the drilling and exploration that is going on, not in the development of existing fields, but in explorations for new oil throughout the country. I ask him to talk to those who are engaged in these explorations and he will find that there is a big exploration program going on in this country. I for one am very optimistic that oil will be found. Certainly the economy and this country need it badly. The first Bill which we are debating in this cognate debate, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Grants) Bill, provides for a subsidy of $80 a tonne for household users, schools and hospitals mainly in country areas so that these areas can adjust to this rapid rise in the price of LPG in country regions. The second Bill, the Excise Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 3), provides for increased government excise so that the national economy can get some return from this windfall rise which oil companies have had in price. We believe that the national interest demands that we get some share of this windfall for revenue, for expenditure purposes and for the reduction of the deficit. I would like to say, in conclusion, that the Labor Party would really like to make this issue an election issue. God knows, it needs some issues to help it along its way. The fact of the matter is that the Labor Party has no striking alternative policy. It does not promise any reduction in the price of oil or LPG; it promises no reduction at all. I say to the honourable member for Blaxland that what it does is fuzz it, and very cleverly. I invite him to read the speech which he made last week and to look at the logic of it. I listened to it with interest, but it is even more interesting to read. The Labor Party is looking for something because it knows- the honourable member for Grey referred to this- that people are naturally unhappy about the rise in petrol and LPG prices. Nobody likes paying more for things. But more and more Australians understand the need for these policies. They do not want to pay more, but they know the resource is scarce. They know it will never be cheap or plentiful again. They know we must try to do something. These people know oil is scarce. They know we have to look for it in this country. They know LPG will be scarce. They know we should have policies. The Government does have these policies to try to encourage a greater use of coal and electricity. I am sure Australians are sensible about this. That is why they will not accept the Labor Party's non-policy. **Mr KEATING** (Blaxland)-I wish to make a personal explanation. {: .speaker-KB8} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Giles: -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- Yes. The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs **(Mr Garland)** tried to claim that in a speech I made last week in this House I had tried to put an argument for higher prices. This is not true. What I was arguing was that the gap between petrol and liquefied petroleum gas had shrunk because LPG had been priced at the world price but the Government was not pricing oil at the world price and therefore, the gap was closing. If the Government had stuck with its own policy of pricing oil at the world price through refineries, the gap between LPG and petrol would widen again. That was the point that I made. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Is that the point of your misrepresentation? {: .speaker-NH4} ##### Mr KEATING: -- I would like to say just one more sentence. The Government is preaching the virtue of opportunity costs. All I was saying was: Let it stick to its own policy'. We do not support that policy. Question resolved in the affimative. Bill read a second time. Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced. {:#subdebate-38-1} #### Third Reading Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith. Bill (on motion by **Mr Garland)** read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2119 {:#debate-39} ### EXCISE TARIFF AMENDMENT BILL (No. 3) 1980 {:#subdebate-39-0} #### Second Reading Consideration resumed from 17 April, on motion by **Mr Garland:** >That the Bill be now read a second time. Question put. . The House divided. (Mr Deputy Speaker-Mr G.O'H. Giles) AYES: 60 NOES: 31 Majority...... 29 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. {:#subdebate-39-1} #### Third Reading Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith. Bill (on motion by **Mr Garland)** read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2120 {:#debate-40} ### AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE AMENDMENT BILL 1980 {:#subdebate-40-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 16 April, on motion by **Mr John** McLeay: >That the bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-40-0-s0 .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr John McLeay:
Minister for Administrative Services · BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP **- Mr Speaker,** may I have your indulgence to suggest that the House have a general debate covering this Bill and the Australian Federal Police (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1980 as they are associated measures. Separate questions will, of course, be put on each of the Bills at the conclusion of the debate. {: #subdebate-40-0-s1 .speaker-KB8} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Giles: -Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering these two measures? There being no objection, I will allow that course to be followed. {: #subdebate-40-0-s2 .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr KLUGMAN:
Prospect -We are debating two Bills tonight. The more important is the Australian Federal Police Amendment Bill. I will explain very quickly to the House the reason for this legislation. The Australian Federal Police Act 1979 established the Australian Federal Police Force which was basically a combination of the former Australian Capital Territory Police Force and the Commonwealth Police Force. The Act gave to members of those two forces legal preferences for any appointment to the ranks in the Australian Federal Police Force ahead of any person joining from outside the Federal Police Force, particularly to the component of the Force which was performing general police functions. It is important to realise that basically the Federal Police Force consists of two components: A general duty component and a protective services component. After the establishment of the Australian Federal Police Force last year, on 6 November 1 979 the Deputy Prime Minister **(Mr Anthony)** announced that the Government had adopted a recommendation of the interim report of the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs. That recommendation was to disband the Federal Narcotics Bureau and to transfer the functions of the Bureau to the Australian Federal Police. The Government also announced that it would transfer those members of the Narcotics Bureau whom the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police considered to be suitable and qualified for appointment as police officers to the Australian Federal Police Force. That is the background of what happened. To appoint those people to the Federal Police Force, it is necessary to amend legal preferences which were established in the original Australian Federal Police Act. The Opposition opposes this legislation and I now formally move: >That all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: as the present arrangements for the policing of major drug trafficking legislation are unsatisfactory and proposed arrangements for the transfer to the Australian Federal Police of former officers of the Narcotics Bureau will produce anomalies and unfairness, the bill be withdrawn and re-drafted to provide for: > >1 ) the creation of a further major component of the Australian Federal Police to be responsible for the policing of Federal and State drug trafficking legislation, such component to be accountable to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, and through him to the Minister and the Parliament; > >the proposed component to comprise A.F.P. officers, together with a significant number of experienced officers seconded from State Police Forces, such State officers to continue to operate as far as possible in their home States, and not to be prejudiced in their career advancement by accepting such secondment, and > >an arrangement whereby former members of the Narcotics Bureau who seek transfer to the Australian > >Federal Police, and who are considered qualified in this respect by the Commissioner, may be appointed as officers or non-commissioned officers of the proposed new narcotics component '. There are a number of reasons for my moving that amendment. The first is that it seems unfair to us that within six months of establishing legal preference for the members of the Australian Federal Police, that legal preference is considerably watered down by the movement of 84 or 86 officers into the Australian Federal Police Force at different levels. The only evidence I have as to the levels at which they will be moved in is an article in the *Canberra Times* of 4 April 1980. The article refers to 86 former Bureau members. It states: >It is expected that 86 former bureau agents will be offered ranks in the force; 36 at constable level, 42 at sergeant and seven at inspector level. One former agent is expected to be given the rank of superintendent or chief superintendent. The proposal is that people who have previously been employed in the Federal Narcotics Bureau will be moved sideways- or laterally- into the Federal Police Force on the basis of their salary. In other words, a public servant of a particular grade receiving, for example, about $18,000 annually, the salary of an inspector in the Federal Police Force, would be transferred into the Federal Police Force at inspector level. I think all of us would agree that whilst that person may be qualified to be an inspector and to hold the position of inspector in regard to narcotics investigations, he does not necessarily have the training to be a general inspector in the Australian Federal Police. One can easily understand the complaint- and I would hope, agree with it- by present members of the Australian Federal Police that people from an outside bureau are being admitted laterally to the general duties component of the Australian Federal Police Force at a level for which they are not necessarly qualified. At present, a person serving in the protective services component of the Australian Federal Police Force can cross over to the general duties section only by way of examination, even though he may have had training in a State police force. But this examination will not be necessary for people from the Narcotics Bureau. As I understand it from members of the Australian Federal Police, they would like what is called a brevet rank for such people who will be engaged in narcotics work. I will be interested to hear the arguments of the Minister for Administrative Services **(Mr John McLeay)** or other Government members against establishing a third component for the Federal Police. One of the significant arguments -and I think it would be silly to ignore it when we are debating this legislation tonight- relates to the qualifications that people of the old Narcotics Bureau have. After all, the Federal Narcotics Bureau was not dissolved because it had done a fantastic job; it was dissolved because it was found to be inefficient and incompetent and, according to some people, because some members were corrupt. Honourable members will recall that it was disbanded very quickly following the interim report by **Mr Justice** Williams. That report made a number of allegations about members of the Narcotics Bureau which certainly suggest that some of them are not appropriate people to become senior members of a general Federal police force in Australia. I think it is appropriate- or may be it is inappropriate- that tonight on the news one of the major items was a report of a coroner's inquest in Victoria into the death of two people. If I remember correctly, it was into the deaths of **Mr and Mrs Wilson.** It is important to remember what the former Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, the present Minister for Education **(Mr Fife)** had to say about the deaths of **Mr and Mrs Wilson.** As reported at page 2905 of the *Hansard* of 5 June 1979, when talking about the investigation that was to take place into the allegations by the two persons since deceased, a **Mr and Mrs Wilson,** the Minister said: >They alleged that information contained on tapes made by the Queensland police was made available to the Narcotics Bureau. A member of the Narcotics Bureau was present, as I understand it, during the time that the Wilsons were being interrogated. During that interview allegations were made that information was being leaked from the Narcotics Bureau to people outside who were engaged in drug trafficking. The allegations, made last year in at least two newspapers- the *Sun-News-Pictorial* and the *Sydney Daily Telegraph-* were that the killing of **Mr and Mrs Wilson** was a result of those allegations made against the Narcotics Bureau. Obviously, I am unable to comment on the accuracy of those allegations but the Government certainly considered them important enough and to be of sufficient significance that a combined police task force under Assistant Commissioner Hall of the Victoria Police was appointed to investigate allegations of criminal behaviour by members of the Federal Narcotics Bureau which led to the killing of **Mr and Mrs Wilson.** I am not aware whether the task force has reported. If it has, to the best of my knowledge no statement has been made to this Parliament on whether any action has resulted from it. Surely we must all be disturbed- to put it mildly- that some people belonging to the old Narcotics Bureau, against which very grave allegations were made, are now being given preference in the Australian Federal Police. I obviously do not know which people in the old Narcotics Bureau, if any, were guilty of failures or criminal behaviour. It is interesting to note what the Deputy Prime Minister **(Mr Anthony),** said on 6 November in announcing the decision to disband the Bureau. **Mr Anthony** said: >In July 1979 following allegations of leakages of information from an unknown officer of the Sydney office of the Narcotics Bureau, the Government decided it was appropriate to consider general matters relating to the Narcotics Bureau, including organisation, recruitment, staffing and control, lines of responsibility to the Permanent Head and the Minister, and relationship with other arms of government. Accordingly, on 7 August, with the approval of His Excellency the Governor-General, the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** sought from the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs an interim report on those issues. The interim report was presented to the Governor-General on 1 8 September 1979. On the same day an amended version of the interim report was presented to the House because the Royal Commissioner did not want the full report to be publicised. It was recommended that the Narcotics Bureau be disbanded and the Government decided to follow that course. The Deputy Prime Minister said: >The Government has therefore decided not to accept the Royal Commission's recommendation that staff of the Narcotics Bureau be given the option of transferring to the Australian Federal Police or remaining with the Bureau of Customs. Instead, the Government has decided to follow the normal procedures for transfers of functions within the Government's service. It is important to emphasise that the Deputy Prime Minister said, as reported at page 2614 of *Hansard:* >The Royal Commission has come to the considered opinion that the Narcotics Bureau is not a highly efficient agency; that there is considerable and increasing distrust of the Narcotics Bureau among other law enforcement agencies; and that within the judicial system, generally speaking, the Narcotics Bureau's reputation for efficiency is lower than that of State police forces. That represents an extremely damning statement by a Royal Commissioner concerning a Government department. Yet we see now that former members of the Narcotics Bureau are to be given general police duties- some at a quite high level- in an established Australian Federal Police force. At page 2615 of *Hansard* we are reminded of the essential features of the report of **Mr Justice** Williams. The *Hansard* record reads: >He condemns the Bureau of Narcotics for being amateurish, for being incompetent, for effectively being dishonest, and for being obsessive about its own reputation instead of getting out and getting done the job it was charged to discharge. He suggested that perhaps it was corrupted on a significant scale. The interim report of the Royal Commissioner said in part: >There is considerable and increasing distrust of the Narcotics Bureau among other law enforcement bodies. For some years relationships between the Narcotics Bureau and COMPOL - That is, of course, the Commonwealth Police- especially at the top levels, have been bad, but now relationships between the Narcotics Bureau and State police are bad in many places. So **Mr Justice** Williams found that relationships were bad. Members of the law enforcement agencies did not trust the Bureau, yet now we are to move these gentlemen from the Bureau across into the Australian Federal Police force, which is made up in part of COMPOL, the old Commonwealth Police force. The report was highly critical of **Mr Harvey** Bates. We all recall when **Mr Harvey** Bates first resigned from the leadership of the Narcotics Bureau and then was asked by the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs **(Mr Fife)** to reconsider his resignation. Honourable members will recall that **Mr Bates** then withdrew it and that everyone on the Government side was terribly pleased that **Mr Bates** had done so. Within a very few weeks the whole situation exploded in the Government's face. Amongst other things, **Mr Justice** Williams said: >The Narcotics Bureau is not a highly efficient enforcement agency. > >Increases in arrests, prosecutions and seizures of drugs have often occurred with little or no Narcotics Bureau assistance. > >Some of the largest seizures in recent years attributed in the media to the Narcotics Bureau have in fact occurred without any real assistance from the Narcotics Bureau. The Royal Commissioner also criticised the training of officers of the Bureau, a matter that is surely relevant if such people are to be transferred at a high level to the Australian Federal Police force. He said also that the training of Narcotics Bureau officers leaves much to be desired. I repeat that the Royal Commissioner said that the training of Narcotics Bureau officers leaves much to be desired. Articles in the *Bulletin* in August and September of last year state that ex-Federal Narcotics Bureau officers referred to illegal phone tapping by the Bureau. Taken at its very lowest, the criticism of the whole set-up of the Bureau must surely leave us in some doubt as to whether a significant proportion of the officers of the Bureau are proper and fit persons to become very senior officers in the Australian Federal Police force, as is proposed under this legislation. My own view, and that of the Opposition generally, is that the Bill ought to be withdrawn; that the method of policing drug traffic legislation is at present unsatisfactory and that the proposed arrangements for the transference to the Australian Federal Police force of former officers of the Narcotics Bureau is unfair, unsatisfactory and will not help the investigation of drug trafficking. The Opposition believes that a special component should be established in the Australian Federal Police force to deal with drug trafficking. That seems to me to be a reasonable proposition and I hope that if the Minister will not accept our amendment he will give us some worthwhile reasons for not doing so. It is important to draw to his attention the fact that officers of the Australian Federal Police force who, of course, are under his basic control, are not happy about what has been proposed. They feel cheated in some ways and discriminated against, having negotiated five-year preferential treatment under the original Act and that Act being amended within a few months of the force's being established. Drug trafficking is likely to be with us for a considerable period. It is a major problem not only in this country but also in most others. I would like to recount quickly, because I consider it a relatively funny story, what happened to me when I was in East Berlin about 1 8 months ago. While attending a conference of the Interparliamentary Union in Bonn I went across to East Berlin for two or three days. I met a number of medical practitioners there. Obviously, I do not want to mention by name the person concerned, but one senior medical officer was a member of the East German Communist Party. He was very proud of his country but was not carried away by his country's success, when compared with that of West Germany or of such countries as Australia. Debate interrupted. {: .page-start } page 2123 {:#debate-41} ### ADJOURNMENT **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar)Order!** It being 10.30 p.m., I propose the question: >That the House do now adjourn. Question resolved in the negative. {: .page-start } page 2123 {:#debate-42} ### AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE AMENDMENT BILL 1980 {:#subdebate-42-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed. {: #subdebate-42-0-s0 .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr KLUGMAN:
Prospect -This chap was telling me about what was going on in East German medicine. He was emphasising its inferiority. I think honourable members will agree that I am not a great supporter of the sort of regime that exists in the German Democratic Republic, but I started to feel sorry for him. I said: 'You will probably have less of a problem with car accidents because you have fewer cars'. He said: 'People get drunk and go faster because there are fewer cars on the road. So we finish up with just as many accidents'. So I tried something else. I said to him: 'What about the drug problem? I suppose that you have fewer problems with drugs'. He said: 'That is true. Many of us believe that this is due to the new socioeconomic conditions in this country, but others have suggested that it is due to the fact that the traffickers will not accept our currency'. I think that is undoubtedly the reason that East Germany has less of a drug problem than many other countries. When one goes to a money exchange in West Berlin one can get 4.3 East German marks for every West German mark. The point I am emphasising is that the drug problem will continue for as long as there is money in it. There will be people prepared to take very high risks to make huge profits. I have previously made the point in this House, in relation to what we are talking about tonight, that in my view some of the propaganda and publicity associated with the arrests of drug traffickers are counterproductive. Again and again when news of such arrests is released to the media it is emphasised that $lm, $2m or similar huge amounts is involved. My view is that those figures are probably exaggerated in any case and that, even if they are not, it would be better if they were not emphasised. If people continue to be told that such huge amounts can be made out of drug trafficking, and if those amounts are often exaggerated because it gives the police officers some satisfaction to be able to say that they have caught somebody with $lm worth of heroin, or whatever it may be, there will be a temptation for people to take the risks associated with drug trafficking because they can see huge profits in it. Many of these people are very young. The word 'innocent' is probably the wrong one to use to describe them, but they start off innocent when they are travellers. Let us point out to these people the risks involved. Let us point out to them that they can finish up in gaol in Australia or in other countries where it is even less pleasant to be in gaol. Let us point out to them that the actual profit to them will be very much less than the millions of dollars which are talked about, that they will get relatively little out of it and that they take a tremendous risk, quite apart from the morality of making any sort of money out of spreading drug addiction in this country. This is my appeal to the Government. I hope that the Minister in his reply will point out to me why this third component of the Australian Federal Police Force should not be established and why it should not be possible to move suitable people from the Narcotics Bureau into that special component of the Federal Police Force. {: #subdebate-42-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -Is the amendment seconded? {: #subdebate-42-0-s2 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr LIONEL BOWEN:
Smith · Kingsford -- I second the amendment. I know that time is short and that there is to be another speaker in this debate, but I want to make a point because debate on this subject has been going on for some time now. Last year the then Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs introduced legislation to give powers to what was then called the Australian Narcotics Bureau. At the time he introduced that Bill he said that it was necessary to face the drug menace head on, armed with a law enforcement capacity equal to the threat that was posed. I make the point that that was last year and that that Bill went through the Senate on or about 28 August. It gave great powers to the Narcotics Bureau. We said that the legislation was dangerous. We suggested that there be more safeguards. We can now say in retrospect that it was dishonest legislation because, as you know **Mr Deputy Speaker,** the interim report of **Mr Justice** Williams was handed down on 18 September, only a few days after the Bill went through the Senate. That report recommended that the Narcotics Bureau be disbanded because it was inefficient and incompetent. In June of last year, as has been said, the Government appointed a special police team to investigate the murders of Douglas and Isabel Wilson. The suggestion was that the Narcotics Bureau had been infiltrated by a drug trafficking syndicate. We have not got that report, as the honourable member for Prospect **(Dr Klugman)** said. There have been more than those two murders. If we look at what the Attorney-General **(Senator Durack)** said on 28 August last year, we will realise that it is beyond belief to think that he was making such comments. He made this point: >Because of the encouragement that the Government has given to the Narcotics Bureau, stronger methods have been adopted to combat the situation and to improve the possibilities of detection. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics has been substantially upgraded. Within a matter of days **Mr Justice** Williams described it as inefficient, poorly trained, low in morale, indecisive and poorly led. Something has to be done about this. We do not believe this legislation is good enough from the point of view of the people of this country. Simply because of that background we have to look very closely at the information that has been fed to the Government. It has to be responsible enough to get the best possible people in this area. In answer to an amendment which was moved in the Senate the Attorney-General said: >The Opposition has moved an amendment which would have the effect really of negating the Bill. It wants the Bill withdrawn until the current police inquiry into the Narcotics Bureau has been completed. That inquiry is not one into the Narcotics Bureau as such. It is a police inquiry into a complaint or an allegation that has been made against one unnamed member of the Narcotics Bureau . . . this inquiry is not one into the Narcotics Bureau as a whole. It is nothing like that. It is an inquiry into allegations that have been made against one man in that Bureau. > >The other proposal put forward by the Opposition is that the Bill should not proceed until the Williams Royal Commission has completed its inquiry. My colleague, the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs in another place has indicated that **Mr Justice** Williams, the Royal Commissioner, has been made aware of the Government's intentions to proceed with this legislation. He has not expressed any opposition to that. How anyone could possibly suggest that at that stage **Mr Justice** Williams supported the Government, is beyond belief. That is the sort of argument that has been put up. If one wanted to look at **Mr Justice** Williams's other report, which one cannot do, one would see that this matter was not related to one man in the Narcotics Bureau. The real problem that we have in this country is that there appears to have been massive infiltration of the Narcotics Bureau. Allegations were made that in every case when information seemed to come to the notice of the Narcotics Bureau no action took place or criminals were alerted to the fact that perhaps action was to be taken against them. It is incredible to think that we will now say: 'Everything is all right. Only one or two people are involved. Everybody else is clean'. That is not so. We want to look at the issues which **Mr Justice** Williams raised with the Government. We raised the question of warrants for telephone tapping and the Government rejected those amendments. Honourable members can imagine what would happen if people who do not have the integrity they should have are able to use these sorts of devices to intrude into everybody else 's privacy. What sort of power are we unleashing in this area? We make it clear that the Williams report was an indictment of the Government. It highlighted its ineptitude and its dishonesty. There are many disquieting feature: of this legislation. We are particularly concerned at the wholesale transfer of the Narcotics Bureau to the Australian Federal Police. We asked questions about this matter on 26 March and again today. The whole thrust of those questions was about the serious charges that have been levelled at the Bureau. They just cannot be swept aside. But we have not had responsible answers. These are extremely serious matters. The two most serious are, first, that the Bureau was infiltrated by drug traffickers and, secondly, that it was generally inept, inefficient and poorly trained. Williams says that in his report. He makes an important point talking about the special police report into the murders. We do not have it and he obviously did not have it. He said: >It is unfortunate that the report of the four police officers is not available at the time of writing. The Commission believes the police officers' report will have a general significance of greater importance than that simply in relation to the Wilsons' allegations. This general significance is, of course, the security of systems of criminal intelligence against abuse and misuse by the persons entrusted with the information. We make the point that that report has not yet been made available to us. This is a most serious matter. Yet, once again, we have been asked to pass this legislation. Infiltration of the Narcotics Bureau could perhaps involve only a handful of officers. But we would like to know that they had all been cleared. However, the allegations of corruption have been made by people who have subsequently been murdered. One can understand the concern of officers of the Australian Federal Police that they may be forced to work with Narcotics Bureau officers and give them information concerning both informants and officers in deep cover. If we looked at the Williams report- but we cannot do that- we would see that that is a very serious matter of concern and there is evidence to support that sort of concern. **Mr Lewis,** the Queensland Police Commissioner, stated in Hobart at the National Conference of Australian Police Commissioners that the Queensland police would not co-operate with the Australian Federal Police while the Narcotics Bureau officers remained. He regards ' them as the same people merely wearing different hats. The Victorian Police also have made it clear that they have no time for the Narcotics Bureau. We have a situation where members of the Narcotics Bureau have been transferred en bloc in many cases with higher rights than long serving police officers. Such an action is simply not in accord with the findings of **Mr Justice** Williams. The Government will, of course, say: 'Oh, well, we have left it all to **Sir Colin** Woods'. But the actions must be seriously questioned as to whether they are now in the long term interests of members or, even more importantly, of law enforcement in relation to drug trafficking. Not only was there maladministration of the Narcotics Bureau by the Minister at the time; there were also many disquieting features of the Greek conspiracy case where there were questions of telephone tapping and the use of listening devices. It is not good enough for the Minister to say that he does not want to involve himself in questions of law. He has to administer this matter. In our view the policing of major drug trafficking law is unnecessarily splintered and potentially dangerous. The report of **Mr Justice** Williams recommends a division of functions and powers between the Australian Federal Police and the State police forces. The overwhelming proportion of narcotics in Australia is imported. But we cannot accept that it is desirable to have a multiplicity of police forces chasing imported drugs throughout Australia. We make the point that for a drug law enforcement agency we need the best possible people in Australia. This can only be done by the establishment of a single agency drawn from the best available police officers operating at a federal, State and territorial level. The powers in relation to telephone tapping, electronic surveillance, mail interception and the use of taxation records are not powers which can be given to an ordinary law enforcement agency. The recommendations in the Williams report relating to the National Criminal Drug Intelligence Centre and State criminal drug intelligence centres are to be welcomed. It is essential in the fight against drug trafficking that all information and intelligence should as far as possible be located in particular units. The co-operation between the national centre and the State centres is also welcomed. In its 1975 report on criminal investigation the Law Reform Commission pointed out some problems. Firstly, the circumstances in which police may disseminate data ought to be strictly controlled. There must be provision to expunge criminal records after an appropriate time lapse and there must be some mechanism by which individuals can have intelligence data concerning themselves corrected. Any police force that is dealing in law enforcement in the area of drug trafficking will be open to suggestions of corruption. It is important that the public is assured that all complaints against the police are properly investigated. The Government has two reports of the Law Reform Commission dealing with complaints against the police. We are continually promised action, but nothing eventuates. Any complaints against the police procedure must be based on reports of the Law Reform Commission, that is, not only should there be investigation by an internal unit but also must there be an independent element of oversight by the Ombudsman and access to an independent tribunal. Let me refer to some of the powers that are recommended for police forces or already apply under existing legislation. Firstly, we make the point that only a national narcotics drug unit should be given extraordinary powers. These powers should not be exercised by State police forces. As far as telephone tapping is concerned, we are to some extent satisfied with the existing provisions on the basis that it is only on judicial warrant. However, we would like to see further safeguards which we have spelt out in previous debates. The provisions relating to other forms of electronic surveillance recommended in the Williams report are quite deficient and in fact provide less safeguards than already exist in the Customs Act. In other words the police can give the authority. That is not good enough. We want judicial warrants. The Opposition particularly welcomes the recommendations in the report relating to the use of income tax records. As a method of detection, these records are far more important than telephone tapping and such devices. They also affect the privacy of far fewer people than do telephone taps in particular and other forms of electronic surveillance. Financial return is what motivates criminals. The use under very strict supervision of the financial returns of people who may be drug traffickers will be most valuable information. We are quite satisfied that there will be no revenue lost through this alteration to section 16 of the Income Tax Assessment Act. This measure was, in fact, proposed by the Opposition as far back as 1977. We must look at the question how we can look after people and also attack criminals. We must draw a distinction between users and traffickers. Users need help. They are sick and they have social problems. But these problems will not be solved by incarceration. Our amendment amounts to opposition because the legislation is unfair not only because it creates anomalies between members of the Australian Federal Police and former members of the Narcotics Bureau but also because it flies in the face of the major recommendations of the Williams report. The old Narcotics Bureau has just been given a new name. The tensions which existed between the Bureau and the Australian Federal Police as well as the State police will continue. We want to see the Australian Federal Police as a first class police force and the National Drug Unit as a drug law enforcement body equal to any in the world. It is for that reason that I support the amendment. {: #subdebate-42-0-s3 .speaker-JVS} ##### Mr NEIL:
St George -The management of the business of the House has broken down. There is hardly any time at all for full debate on this important Bill. That is a most regrettable state of affairs. In the extremely short time available, all I am able to do is to outline one or two important points. First, I strongly support the legislation which arises out of the recommendations of a royal commission. I am very surprised that the Opposition has declared that it opposes this legislation. The opposition appears to be based on trade union pressure which has arisen out of the problem of preferences. Members of the Opposition do not seem to be concerned about the principles involved. I congratulate **Mr Justice** Williams on the extremely comprehensive report which he produced. His findings on the Narcotics Bureau were clear-cut and straightforward. All too often royal commissioners or other persons who conduct inquiries produce vague recommendations and results. In this case, however, His Honour stated as the first recommendation of the interim report, which is repeated in the main report, that the Narcotics Bureau be disbanded. The Bureau has been disbanded and the Government has substantially complied with the recommendation of the commissioner. He recommended that officers be given the option of transferring to the Australian Federal Police or remaining within the Public Service. The Government has decided that the best interests of society are served by giving the Commissioner of Police the opportunity to assess those officers who are qualified to become police officers, and allowing them to become members of the new Australian police force. The rights of the remaining personnel, of course, will be protected. There is no substance in the point made by the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith **(Mr Lionel Bowen)** that there will be a fear on the part of the Australian police to work with the officers transferred providing the decision is made by the Commissioner. I am sure that we all have great confidence in **Sir Colin** Woods, who came to Australia with a very high reputation and who is renowned for his work, particularly in relation to terrorism and drugs. This Bill is absolutely necessary to enable the Commissioner to go about his duties. If we do not pass the Bill it will not be possible for this new scheme, the new National Crime Intelligence Bureau or the combined drug squad to come into operation. Planning is proceeding for both those organisations to become active in the very near future. The amendment proposed by the Opposition is spurious. It is based on pandering to trade union pressure. It refers to the creation of a further major component of the Australian Federal Police. This runs completely contrary to the intentions of **Mr Justice** Williams as stated in the report of the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs. On page B72 he stated: >It is desirable that criminal activities be investigated by police and not by public servants. Later His Honour said that it was important that persons obtain overall training in the police force in a wide range of matters, particularly in view of the interrelated aspects of crime in our society. Once they have received that wide range of training, then they are able to be detailed to certain tasks such as drug activities. I ask the Government to take all necessary measures, as I hope this Bill will provide, to enable the Commissioner to arrange for his officers to be seconded to State police forces to permit them to acquire additional expertise in drug law enforcement, particularly in view of the second of the recommendations on page B 180 of the report by **Mr Justice** Williams. I speak for all members of the House in congratulating the Government on taking these actions that are necessary to assist in the unceasing and determined war against drugs. I end this very short contribution with congratulations to the former Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, the honourable member for Farrer **(Mr Fife).** He came under disgraceful attack from the Opposition. What more could the Minister have done than to be a moving force in the establishment of a royal commission? What more could he have done than to ensure that, as far as he was able, the report of that royal commission was put into practice by the Government? For the Opposition to attack him I believe was most disgraceful. It knows that in these delicate matters he had to wait for the commissioner's report. It knew many of the matters were being dealt with in private and it knew that his hands were tied by the very proper action he had taken. Finally, because the Minister for Administrative Services **(Mr John McLeay)** must reply before 1 1 o'clock I make a passing comment. It is regrettable that the honourable member for Prospect **(Dr Klugman)** no longer has been given the opportunity to participate in debates on other matters in relation to health. Formerly his shadow portfolio was in this Meld. He made a fair effort in relation to what he was doing today. It is obvious that his heart is not in the amendment. I strongly oppose the amendment and support the Bill. All members of this House should strongly support this extremely important social legislation. {: #subdebate-42-0-s4 .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr John McLeay:
Minister for Administrative Services · BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP **- Mr Deputy Speaker,** because of the time factor all of us are under some disability in making contributions to this debate. I understand that arrangements have been made for us to suspend the 11 p.m. rule so that the Bill can be dealt with tonight. I will deal as briefly as possible with a couple of the points raised by the Opposition speakers. I think it is fair to say that both of them expressed considerable concern that there may be extensive corruption throughout that portion of the Narcotics Bureau which has been transferred. In that context both speakers referred to the so-called Wilson tapes. The honourable member for Prospect **(Dr Klugman)** was concerned that there had not been a report to this House on them. The investigation of this matter by the task force which has been set up is now complete. Several persons have been charged and, in fact, the matter is still part heard. It is, therefore, sub judice. It is being heard in the magistrates court in Sydney. Most of the time we are all free to go to listen to the case. In Question Time this morning the honourable member for Prospect queried the number of officers who had been transferred. I would like to confirm the figures that I gave him. I think I said that 84 investigative officers were transferred. In fact, 86 officers have been transferred and will become police officers and 29 officers remain as civil servants. I place on record that none of these officers are among those who have been charged. I trust that we have laid that matter to rest. Dealing with the amendment, I must say at the outset- my colleague has just confirmed this - that the Government does not accept it. I reject the suggestion that the proposed arrangements for the transfer to the Federal Police are 'unsatisfactory'. I submit that neither of the Opposition speakers have shown in any way where that transfer is unsatisfactory. In fact, the amendment refers to the production of anomalies and unfairness. It seems to me that any unfairness in the Bill is what this amendment is all about. {: .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr Klugman: -- Unfair to the present members of the AFP. {: .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr John McLeay:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP -- I refer the honourable member to the second reading speech. I know that he expressed some concern about unfairness to the present members of the AFP. Both Opposition speakers have implied or said straight out that in some way the present members have been disadvantaged. I draw the honourable member's attention to the second reading speech, which I believe deals with that. If he reads page 2 he will see that the purpose of the Bill is to enable the Government's decision to transfer the Narcotics Bureau to the police to be implemented by empowering the appointment as full members of the AFP of those former Narcotics Bureau staff who are selected by the Commissioner as qualified and suitable for appointment as police officers. In response to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, contrary to what he said, this was in fact a recommendation of **Mr Justice** Williams. It did not, as he said, fly in the face of the Williams report. It was, in fact, the recommendation of **Mr Justice** Williams. {: .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr Lionel Bowen: -- You know the secret report. {: .speaker-KSB} ##### Mr John McLeay:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP -I am referring to the statement the Deputy Leader of the Opposition made a few minutes ago. I am drawing his attention to the second reading speech, which implements the recommendations of **Mr Justice** Williams. I should like to elaborate on that point and deal with the alleged disadvantage. In my second reading speech, I stated: >Such amendments apply only to this small special group of entrants to police ranks. Thus the preference for the members from the former two Police Forces is preserved generally. That is a fact. I now deal with the first part of the amendment. It advocates that there should be a further major component of the Australian Federal Police. There are now two components in the AFP- the general duties component and the protective services component. The Opposition's amendment seeks to create a third component. I find that quite illogical. I admit that the honourable member for Prospect was not the Opposition spokesman on this matter at the time the Bill was originally introduced. I think that the thrust of the Australian Labor Party's opposition to the Bill, as expressed then by the honourable member for Melbourne **(Mr Innes),** was directed at the creation of a two-component force. Now within months, the Opposition wants to create a three-component force. It is completely illogical. The second pari of the Opposition's amendment stales: >The proposed component to comprise AFP officers, together with a significant number of experienced officers seconded from State Police Forces- It makes the suggestion that there should be a composition of State and Federal police in this third component. There is already good cooperation with the State police forces. The commissioners from all States and the Territories have met twice and have discussed provision of common services. They have agreed- obviously this is subject to government approval- on the transfer of the police college from Manly to Canberra. They have agreed on the development of a national police research and planning office. They have agreed on the establishment of an Australian bureau of criminal intelligence which will include members from all the State forces. The third part of the amendment states: an arrangement whereby former members- I take it that this is the third component- of the Narcotics Bureau who seek transfer to the Australian Federal Police, and who are considered qualified in this respect by the Commissioner, may be appointed as officers or non-commissioned officers of the proposed new narcotics component. That is precisely what we are doing. Furthermore, what can be described as a narcotics division has been established in the Australian Federal Police. It has been reorganised to include staff of the former Narcotics Bureau and Federal Police under the leadership of Assistant Commissioner John Reilly. It includes a great many experienced policemen, including members of the Australian Capital Territory Police drug squad, which squad is highly regarded by all police forces in the country. I have a great affection for the honourable member for Prospect, who has moved this amendment, but I think the three parts of his amendment are completely illogical and quite silly. The Government cannot accept them. Question put: >That the words proposed to be omitted **(Dr Klugman's** amendment) stand part of the question. The House divided. (Mr Deputy Speaker-Mr P. C. Millar) AYES: 62 NOES: 30 Majority...... 32 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Amendment negatived. Original question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. {:#subdebate-42-1} #### Third Reading Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith. Bill (on motion by **Mr John** McLeay) read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2129 {:#debate-43} ### SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS Motion (by **Mr John** McLeay)- by leaveagreed to: >That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent Order of the Day No. 4, Government Business, being called on. {: .page-start } page 2129 {:#debate-44} ### AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL 1980 {:#subdebate-44-0} #### Second Reading Consideration resumed from 16 April, on motion by **Mr John** McLeay: >That the Bill be now read a second time. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. {:#subdebate-44-1} #### Third Reading Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith. Bill (on motion by **Mr John** McLeay) read a third time. House adjourned at 1 1.14 p.m. {: .page-start } page 2129 {:#debate-45} ### NOTICES The following notices were given: **Mr Fraser** to present a Bill for an Act to extend the legislative powers of the States in and in relation to coastal waters. **Mr Ellicott** to present a Bill for an Act to extend the legislative powers of the Northern Territory in and in relation to coastal waters. **Mr Ellicott** to present a Bill for an Act to vest in each of the States proprietary rights and title in respect of certain land beneath the coastal waters adjacent to the State and within the sovereignty of the Commonwealth. **Mr Ellicott** to present a Bill for an Act to vest in the Northern Territory of Australia proprietary rights and title in respect of certain land beneath the coastal waters adjacent to the Territory and within the sovereignty of the Commonwealth. **Mr Anthony** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Seas and Submerged Lands Act 1973. **Mr Anthony** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967. **Mr Nixon** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Fisheries Act 1952. **Mr Hunt** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Navigation Act 1912, and for related purposes. **Mr Ellicott** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. **Mr Staley** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942, and for related purposes. **Mr Fife** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the States Grants (Schools Assistance) Act 1978 and the States Grants (Schools Assistance) Act 1979, and for related purposes. **Mr Fife** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the States Grants (Tertiary Education Assistance ) Act 1978, and for related purposes. **Mr Thomson** to present a Bill for an Act relating to the protection and conservation of the environment of the Antarctic. **Mr Thomson** to present a Bill for an Act to provide for the preservation, conservation and protection of whales and other cetacea. **Mr Thomson** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Fisheries Act 1952. **Mr Thomson** to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Continential Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Act 1968. {: .page-start } page 2130 {:#debate-46} ### PAPER The following paper was deemed to have been presented on 22 April 1980, pursuant to statute: >Defence Act- Determination- 1980- No. 16- Indonesia (Maluku) Allowance. {: .page-start } page 2131 {:#debate-47} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS The following answers to questions were circulated: {:#subdebate-47-0} #### Doctors' Fees (Question No. 4763) {: #subdebate-47-0-s0 .speaker-SH4} ##### Dr Klugman: asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 27 September 1979: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Are any statistics available concerning the number of (a) general practitioners and (b) medical specialists who frequently charge above-Schedule fees. 1. If so, what is the frequency per total services of aboveSchedule fee charges and for what services are they most pronounced as a percentage of (a) services and (b) Schedule fees. {: #subdebate-47-0-s1 .speaker-0I4} ##### Mr MacKellar:
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister · WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. and (2) The information sought by the honourable member of the number of general practitioners and medical specialists who frequently charge above Schedule fees is not available from the existing analyses of medical benefit claims. Consideration will be given to the possible inclusion of a development computer analysis, after my Department has been able to bring the more conventional analyses on line. Until the developmental analysis has been tried, it will not be known whether the exact type of information sought by the honourable member can be produced from the claims data. In respect of total and selected individual medical services and specialties, some overall statistics on the level of observance of Medical Benefits Schedule fees from conventional analyses were issued in my Press statements Nos 130/79 of 4 November and 149/79 of 2 December 1979. {:#subdebate-47-1} #### Mail Redirection Orders (Question No. 5290) {: #subdebate-47-1-s0 .speaker-KJA} ##### Mr Innes:
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 19 February 1980: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) How many redirection orders for mail are lodged with Australia Post each year. 1. ) For what period(s) of time do these orders operate. 2. How many orders are renewed (a) once, (b) twice, and (c) more than twice. 3. For what periods do renewals operate. 4. 5 ) What is the scale of charges for redirection orders and renewals, including any rebates, etc. {: #subdebate-47-1-s1 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr Staley:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) For the past two years, the annual figure has been approximately 800,000. 1. Although periods of redirection are recorded at individual post offices, details are not available in a consolidated form. 2. Details are not available. Renewals of redirection orders are treated as new orders. 3. See (2) and (3) above. Renewals operate for the length of time requested by the customer. ('Temporary' redirections are restricted to a maximum period of one year.) 4. The scale of charges for redirection orders is as follows: Business and Government- $6.70 per month. Pensioners (as specified by Commonwealth Department of Social Security)- No charge for first month of redirection then $2.00 per month thereafter. Other customers- $2.00 per month. Where applicants request that redirections be discontinued, they are eligible for a refund of the redirection service fee paid for each full month of the nominated period for which the service will not be provided. {:#subdebate-47-2} #### Document Transmission Equipment (Question No.5392) {: #subdebate-47-2-s0 .speaker-KJA} ##### Mr Innes: asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 20 February 1980: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Is terrestrial equipment which is necessary to enable complete newspaper pages to be electronically transmitted between Australian cities (a) currently installed, (b) planned, or (c) operational elsewhere. 1. Who (a) owns and operates the varying pans of the technology if terrestrial equipment is currently installed, or (b) will own or operate the varying parts of the technology if the equipment is planned for installation. 2. Is this equipment planned for (a) introduction, or (b) commercial use in Australia; if so, when. 3. What are the costs of installing equipment capable of these transmissions between capital cities. {: #subdebate-47-2-s1 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr Staley:
LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Terrestrial equipment used to enable complete newspaper pages to be electronically transmitted between cities is in operation in Australia. 1. Telecom Australia's involvement in these services is limited to providing suitable transmission facilities. Telecom acts solely as a common carrier in these instances. The transmission facilities comprise suitably prepared broadened transmission links which are extended to the customers premises. Equipment used for transmitting and receiving the newspaper pages is provided and owned by the customer and is connected to the Telecom network under permitted attachment arrangements. Arrangements for operation and maintenance of the privately owned facsimile equipment is left to the customer. 2. See(l)above. 3. The costs involved in providing the facsimile equipment are private to the customer. The transmission facilities for newspapers are provided on a part-time basis and at other times the same equipment is used for public communications purposes. The facilities are provided at a tariff which is appropriate to the bandwidth involved and to the hours of normal usage. {:#subdebate-47-3} #### Australia Post: Motor Vehicles (Question No. 5395) {: #subdebate-47-3-s0 .speaker-KJA} ##### Mr Innes: asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 20 February 1980: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Further to the answer to Question No. 4534 *(Hansard,* 22 November 1979, pages 3464-5), why does Australia Post operate 26 times as many V8 vehicles as does Telecom Australia, having as it does, 52 V8s in a total vehicle complement of 2,262, compared with Telecom's 14 V8s in a fleet of 16,014. 1. ) Why does Australia Post operate 2. 16 times as many 6 cylinder vehicles as does Telecom, having as it does, 1,527 6 cylinder vehicles in a total vehicle complement of 2,262, compared with Telecom 's 5,000 6 cylinder vehicles in a fleet of 16,014. 2. ) Why does Australia Post operate 0.44 times as many 4 cylinder vehicles as does Telecom. {: #subdebate-47-3-s1 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr Staley:
LP -The answer to the honourable member 's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) to (3) It is suggested that the honourable member may have misinterpreted my answer to his earlier Question No. 4534. It will be noted in part 1 (b) of the answer that in addition to the totals given, Telecom Australia operates 6,000 heavy trucks which have either V8 or 6 cylinder engines bringing Telecom's total vehicle complement to 22,014. When this is taken into account, and on the basis used in the question, Australia Post in fact operates only 1.4 times as many V8 and 6 cylinder vehicles as does Telecom Australia. Similarly, Australia Post operates 0.6 times as many four cylinder vehicles in its fleet in comparison with Telecom Australia. Australia Post and Telecom Australia, however, should be viewed as separate entities. Direct comparison between the Commissions' fleets is not considered appropriate because of the widely different nature of the services they offer. Most of Australia Post's larger engine vehicles were purchased before the current drive to conserve liquid fuel and will be progressively considered for replacement by vehicles with smaller engines at the appropriate time. {:#subdebate-47-4} #### Labour Force Statistics (Question No. 5399) {: #subdebate-47-4-s0 .speaker-KH4} ##### Mr Barry Jones:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP asked the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 20 February 1980: >What percentage of the total Australian labour force is employed in (a) the production of commodities for export (including food, minerals, wool and manufactured goods) and (b) the production of goods which are subject to direct import competition. {: #subdebate-47-4-s1 .speaker-EE6} ##### Mr Viner:
LP -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >Official statistics of actual employment in the activities referred to in the honourable member's question are not collected. > >The only available official statistics relating to employment are classified by broad industry groups. Within these groups, individual businesses may be involved in the production of goods for the domestic market only, for the export market only, or both. It is not therefore possible to provide the breakdown of the Australian labour force asked for. However, persons interested in making broad estimates of the proportion of the Australian labour force engaged in the activities mentioned could derive rough figures on the basis of available employment statistics in association with other official statistics on commodity production and overseas trade. Impact of Television on Children (Question No. 5432) {: #subdebate-47-4-s2 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Les Johnson:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 20 February 1980: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What funds has the Government allocated, or does it intend to allocate, to further research on the possible adverse neurophysiological effects of television on children, following the findings of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and the Arts in its report on the impact of Television on the Development and Learning Behaviour of Children. 1. What other measures has the Government taken, or does it intend to take, to ensure that the Australian public is made aware of the possible dangers involved. 2. Will the Government provide the funds necessary to test the Emerys' hypothesis concerning the neurophysiological effects of television as recommended by the Committee. 3. In each case, to whom have funds been allocated, or to whom will they be allocated. {: #subdebate-47-4-s3 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr Staley:
LP -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) The question relates to an area of responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and I am informed that provision is being made in the Tribunal's estimate for 1 980-8 1 for an exploratory study of the physiological correlates of television viewing. 1. As is its practice, the Tribunal will publish the results of the proposed research. 2. The proposed research will examine the Emery's hypothesis in detail. 3. 4 ) See answer to ( 1 ) above. {:#subdebate-47-5} #### Post and Telecommunications: Galbally Report (Question No. 5636) {: #subdebate-47-5-s0 .speaker-JNG} ##### Dr Cass: asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 6 March 1980: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) At what stage of (a) development and (b) implementation are the following recommendations made by the Galbally report: 5 1, 52, 53 and 54 for which his Department is responsible. 1. What sum has been spent specifically on each of the recommendations in part ( I ) in (a) each financial year since acceptance of the report and (b) the period 1 July to 31 December 1979. 2. How much of the funds recommended in the report for expenditure on each of the recommendations within his portfolio has been spent on (a) refugee settlement, (b) refugee programs, (c) refugee organisations, (d) other organisations supporting refugees and (e) employment of staff to help with refugee settlement in (i) each financial year since the report was accepted and (ii) the period 1 July to 31 December 1979. 3. What happens to funds allocated for the implementation of any recommendation, but not spent, in a specific financial year. 4. What (a) specific skills and (b) experiences are required of the persons employed on the implementation of the report in dealing with the specific needs of the ethnic communities. 5. What percentage of those employees are from the (a) Italian, (b) Greek, (c) Yugoslav and (d) Arabic ethnic groups and at what level are they employed. 6. What mechanisms of (a) consultation and (b) coordination exist between his Department and the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. 7. What (a) funds have been provided over and above the recommendations in the report and (b) new programs have been initiated by his Department in order to implement the spirit of the report. {: #subdebate-47-5-s1 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr Staley:
LP -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Recommendation 51- The transmitter for 3EA Melbourne began broadcasting on 5kW in January 1 980 and the upgrading of 2EA is expected to be completed by the end of April 1980. Wollongong and Newcastle have been linked to 2EA by way of translator stations which began broadcasting in August 1979. The Government has yet to consider a timetable and method for the extension of ethnic radio to the other centres mentioned in the Galbally report. In the meantime, the SBS subsidises ethnic radio on public broadcasting stations in these and other centres. Recommendation 52- A survey of Italian, SerboCroatian, Spanish and Arabic listeners to ethnic radio in Sydney and Melbourne was conducted in June 1978. It is expected that a further survey of other communities will be conducted before June 1980. Recommendation 53- The SBS has conducted two series of 13 week experiments in ethnic television, which are broadcast on the ABC each Sunday morning. Recommendation 54- Following a report from NEBAC that the Council was unable to conduct public consultations on the future role of ethnic television, the Government appointed the Ethnic Television Review Panel, chaired by **Mr Frank** Galbally, to undertake the consultations. The Ethnic Television Review Panel produced 3 reports for the Government, and as a result, the Independent and Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation will be established to operate a permanent ethnic television service in Sydney and Melbourne. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. -- 1. (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) Not applicable. 2. Funds allocated but not spent are returned to the Department of Finance. 3. The Special Broadcasting Service employs a significant proportion of people of ethnic background with an understanding of the needs of ethnic communities. A number of these have made, and continue to make, policy inputs in respect to Recommendation 51 to 54. Officers employed in the Policy Secretariat, for example, may have a background in both broadcasting policy and ethnic affairs. People employed in the Television Branch have experience in television production and/or ethnic affairs. 4. 6 ) At present the Policy Secretariat does not contain individuals of italian. Greek, Yugoslav or Arabic background, but the Television Branch employs 6 Italians, 5 Greeks, 3 Yugoslavs and 2 Arabic speakers either in a full or part-time capacity. 5. Consultation and co-ordination exists with the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs through NEBAC, SEBACs and the IMBC Implementation Committee. 6. None. {:#subdebate-47-6} #### Marine Radios (Question No. 5681) {: #subdebate-47-6-s0 .speaker-KDP} ##### Dr Everingham:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 19 March 1980: >When will single sideband transmission for the international distress frequency be available for marine radios in Australia as it is in the United States of America. {: #subdebate-47-6-s1 .speaker-GY5} ##### Mr Staley:
LP -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC) of the International Telecommunication Union which met at Geneva in late 1 979 considered the use of a single sideband (SSB) techniques for distress and safety purposes on the distress frequency 2182 kHz. Although the Conference recognised the inherent operational advantages of SSB to the currently employed double sideband (DSB) mode, it also identified that SSB equipment must be designed to work with closer frequency tolerance and higher technical standards than those necessary for DSB equipment. > >To this end, the WARC resolved that continuation of the study of the use of SSB for distress and safety purposes, now being undertaken by a technical committee of the Union, is required but added that a recommendation should be made sufficiently in advance of the next WARC competent to deal with the matter. > >In view of this Resolution of the 1979 WARC, it would seem unwise for Australia to deviate from the currently accepted world practice without full consideration being given to the matter. > >In the meantime, the Australian Administration in conforming with the International Radio Regulations has elected to continue authorising proven DSB techniques for the international distress frequency as a means of providing reliable distress and safety communications. {:#subdebate-47-7} #### Tradesmen Statistics (Question No. 5705) {: #subdebate-47-7-s0 .speaker-KSF} ##### Mr Les McMahon:
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP asked the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 26 March 1980: >What was the shortfall in the number of tradesmen required by industry for the year 1978-79 in (a) New South Wales, (b) Victoria, (c) Queensland, (d) Western Australia, (e) South Australia, (f) Tasmania, (g) the Northern Territory and (h) the Australian Capital Territory. {: #subdebate-47-7-s1 .speaker-EE6} ##### Mr Viner:
LP -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: >The information is not collected. However, a Survey conducted by the Metal Trades Industry Association in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia last year revealed that at 31 October 1979 the 743 firms which responded had a total of 1,321 vacancies for tradesmen. Further details of the results of the survey arc available from the Association. {:#subdebate-47-8} #### Computing Equipment: Offset Arrangements (Question No. 5852) {: #subdebate-47-8-s0 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren:
REID, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the Minister for Productivity, upon notice, on 2 April 1980: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) What offset under the scheme administered by his Department was provided by the computer supplier Facom Australia Limited when it first secured the tender for computing equipment for the CSIRO. 1. What offset has been provided for any subsequent supplies of computing equipment by Facom for use by the CSIRO. {: #subdebate-47-8-s1 .speaker-JVV} ##### Mr Newman:
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Federal Affairs · BASS, TASMANIA · LP -- The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. None, because the CSIRO has only purchased one small computer from Facom, and the amount involved was less than the threshold at which offsets are required. 1. None, because there have been no subsequent purchases of computing equipment from Facom for use by the CSIRO. However Facom has also provided the CSIRO with a large computer, free of capital cost, aimed at fulfilling offset obligations against other Government orders by fostering research and development in computer technology.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 22 April 1980, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.