House of Representatives
23 February 1978

31st Parliament · 1st Session

Mr SPEAKER (Rt Hon. Sir Billy Snedden) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

page 99


The Clerk:

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

Pensioners: Home Maintenance Loans

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 it is necessary for the Commonwealth Government to renew for a further term of at least 3 years the States Grants (Dwellings for Pensioners) Act 1974-77, renewed for one year expiring on 30 June 1978.

The demand for dwellings has not slackened as the waiting list (all States) of 12,060 single and 4,120 couples as at 30 June 1977, showeth.

Your petitioners respectfully draw the attention of the Commonwealth Government to the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Aged Persons’ Housing 1975 under the Chairmanship of the Rev. K. Seaman (now Governor of South Australia) which recommended additional funds to State housing authorities to meet the demand for low-rental accommodation in the proportion of $4 for $ 1 with a proviso that the States do not reduce their existing expenditure and

That the Act include married pensioners eligible for supplementary assistance and migrants as specified by the Seaman Report and that particular consideration be paid to the special needs and requirements of the prospective tenants in the location and design of such dwellings.

Furthermore, your petitioners desire to draw the Government’s attention to the hardship of many pensioner home owners caused by the high cost of maintenance.

The Social Security Annual Report 1976-77 shows that 24.6 per cent, or 283,000 home owning pensioners, have a weekly income in excess of the pension of less than $6 per week.

Your petitioners strongly urge the Commonwealth Government to establish a fund whereby loans can be made to means tested pensioners for the purpose of effecting necessary maintenance to their homes. Such a loan to be at minimal interest rates sufficient to cover administrative costs and to be repaid by the estate upon the death of a single pensioner before probate or upon the death of the surviving spouse in the case of married pensioners or where two pensioners jointly own the dwelling. Administration to be carried out by local government bodies.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Lionel Bowen, Mr Les Johnson and Mr Les McMahon.

Petitions received.

Citizen Band Radio

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

That the 32 kilometre range limit for citizens band radio is impracticable and restrictive and we request that this section of the Citizens Band Service Regulations be changed so that the service can operate throughout Australia.

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

Petition received.


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

That the Charter of the United Nations clearly precludes it from interference in the domestic affairs of a country or from obstructing the free transmission of news and information between individuals and between nations. That the United Nations, in apparent illegality, has imposed many restrictions and sanctions upon Rhodesia which has been remarkably free from the bloodshed and turmoil of Northern and Central African lands, even to the extent now of actively encouraging armed conflict against the legally elected Government of Rhodesia. Lord Graham as Minister of External Affairs and Defence has said: ‘International Communism is our enemy, all this talk of political advancement and majority rule is no more than a smokescreen in the early skirmishes of an assualt upon the whole of Africa . . . It is even difficult to see this enemy because it is not merely attacking us, but on a broad front is attacking the whole world order, its standards, its law and order, its moralities, its churches, its patriotisms, its philosophies and even much of its learning .

That Communist Chinese infiltration in much of Africa over many years and Cuban Communist troops reported to number 25,000 are dominating nearby Angola, and possess modern missiles etc. It is urgent that Mozambique, now under Communist domination and which has a common border with Rhodesia, does not receive any further aid from the Commonwealth Government of Australia, which has benefited mainly, the terrorist guerilla movements that are responsible for the deaths of many Rhodesian people. It is urgent for the Australian people to determine for themselves the actual facts of the Rhodesian struggles. It is urgent that the Senate and the House of Representatives in the Parliament assembled, will observe natural justice and proper humanity by inviting only authorised representatives of the present Rhodesian Parliament to Australia, to do what they have been deprived of doing previously, present their case fully and publicly so that this can be examined and tested, without interference, and so that the eventual impact on Australia’s own security and defence alliances can be gauged with better accuracy. Your Petitioners request urgent action to be taken immediately.

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

Petition received.


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

  1. That the undersigned do not support the Federal Government’s decision to go ahead with extensive mining and export of Australian uranium.
  2. That the undersigned call on the Federal government to reverse its decision immediately.
  3. That the undersigned call on the Federal government to fund a twelve month full-scale programme of public education and debate representing all points of view on the numerous and complex questions associated with the mining of Australian uranium. This programme should be commenced as soon as practicable.
  4. That the undersigned call on the Federal government to allow the final decision on the mining of Australian uranium to be made through a voluntary referendum by the people of Australia at the end of the twelve month full-scale programme of public education and debate.

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

Petition received.

Railway Rolling Stock Industry

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the citizens of Whyalla (electors of the Division of Grey) hereby respectfully showeth:

That we, the citizens of the City of Whyalla and representatives of all sections of the community, appeal to the Australian Government to exercise its necessary influence as a matter of urgency for the good of the City of Whyalla and its people in consequence of the considerable unemployment resulting from the closure of the Whyalla shipyard. This has undermined the confidence and expectations of the working force, their families, and the Community in general. Most have a committed investment in the city and its future.

Massive investment has been made in Whyalla by government, industry, private enterprise and the citizens themeselves. This requires that urgent action be taken to provide alternative employment, and industrial opportunities for the hundreds of people already unemployed. It is urgent that we arrest the erosion of the accumulated skills and expertise resident in the city.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that: The good offices of the Federal Government be employed to expedite and facilitate the necessary contractual agreements for the establishment of a replacement railway rolling stock industry at Whyalla, together with such other projects as are submitted and recommended by the Premier’s Working Party, to reduce the impact of unemployment and to give the impetus needed to enable the city to continue to be a significant contributor to the economy of both the State and the nation. The attention and support of all Members of Parliament is sought for this urgent situation in Whyalla.

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

Petition received.

Public Libraries

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

That the public library services of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory are inadequate both in quality and quantity and that the burden of provision is placed too heavily upon local government.

That the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Public Libraries recommended a programme of assistance for public libraries of approximately $20 million a year (at June 1975 prices) over a period of ten years, and the establishment at a national level of a Public Libraries and Information Council to formulate, to implement and evaluate assistance programmes.

Your petitioners most humbly pray that the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled, should: as a matter of urgency implement the recommendations of the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Public Libraries.

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

Petition received.

page 100



page 100




-Can the Minister for Trade and Resources indicate whether any action has been taken recently to obtain a reduction in or the abolition of the tariff imposed on raw wool imports into the United States of America? If so, can he detail those actions?

Deputy Prime Minister · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · NCP/NP

-Trying to get the United States to reduce the duty that it has imposed on the importation of raw wool from Australia has been a continuing saga. We have always considered that this duty was unwarranted and unreasonable. However, it is highly likely- I do not want to refer to specific commodities- that this matter will come up for discussion in the course of the multilateral trade negotiations which are being lined up for about the middle of this year. Countries are requested to make a submission on offers in respect of which they will be prepared to negotiate. Of course, one of the issues that we have with the United States is the question of the entry of wool without duty. So, it is certainly hoped that we will be able to get into discussions with the Americans on this. Recently Ambassador Wolff was in Australia and during the course of discussions with him I did mention to him that we would be looking to some action being taken on the question of the duty on wool.

page 100




– I ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs a question. Was the Minister asked by the Prime Minister for his views on the appointment of Sir John Kerr as Ambassador to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisaton? If so, was this opinion sought before or after last year’s Federal elections? Did the Minister oppose the appointment, as reported on the front page of the Melbourne Age of 1 1 February?

Minister for Foreign Affairs · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

-This was a decision by Cabinet this year and naturally I have nothing to add to the Cabinet decision.

Opposition members- Oh!


-The only addition I would make, to clarify any implication, is that I nominated Sir John Kerr on the Executive Council minute and attended the Executive Council meeting where the matter was determined.

page 101




– My question is directed to the Minister for Health. He will be aware of the considerable Press comment in Queensland regarding the invitation by the Queensland Premier to the Cook Islands alleged cancer curer, Dr Brych. Bearing in mind his statements to the House last year regarding Dr Brych ‘s activities, have the Minister’s views changed? Is Dr Brych now welcome in Australia and would a visa be automatically granted despite his criminal background? Would any treatment undertaken by him in Queensland be claimable on Medibank, as it apparently is now according to Press reports?

Minister for Health · GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES · NCP/NP

– My views on Mr Brych have not changed. I am advised that he has no medical qualifications whatsoever and I certainly would not wish to initiate moves for him to come to Australia. There have been a number of speeches made in this Parliament, in the other House, which have been taken from evidence that was made available from New Zealand authorities, particularly the New Zealand Medical Council. Under the Health Insurance Act as it stands, benefits are payable under Medibank for services that he performs in the Cook Islands because he is authorised to practise medicine there under local law. The circumstances of his registration in the Cook Islands were quite extraordinary. Before his appeal against his deregistration in New Zealand was heard by the Supreme Court he fled to the Cook Islands and sought registration from the Medical Registration Board of the Cook Islands. It refused to register him and the Minister for Health in the Cook Islands amended an Act of Parliament to enable Mr Brych to be registered for the purposes of administering medical services. Benefit entitlements, however, would not extend to services provided by him in countries where he is not authorised to practise.

I know that there is great interest in the matter in Queenland particularly because of the interest of the Premier of Queensland in Mr Brych and his alleged cancer cures. The Premier of Queensland needs to be reminded that the whole issue is one that assumes national importance, not just regional importance or State importance. Last year I issued two media statements warning the public that Mr Brych was struck off the medical register in New Zealand after he was unable to substantiate his claims that he had gained medical qualifications in Czechoslovakia; but, leaving that issue aside, one wonders why Mr Brych is unwilling to divulge to the world at large what he says are new methods for the treatment of cancer? Why have there been no detailed scientific evaluations of his claims and the results of the treatment he renders? Why has Mr Brych been unwilling to allow an adequate evaluation of his treatment? More importantly, why does Mr Brych restrict his services only to people who can afford to pay very expensively for his services? Surely anybody with any sense of humanity who has a cure for cancer would allow that cure and the services to be evaluated thoroughly, properly, and scientifically. So one can only confirm that the decision that was taken by the New Zealand Medical Council was right and proper.

page 101




– I direct a question to the Prime Minister which concerns his reported statement at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting criticising calls for more expansionary policies to be adopted by developed countries as a means of overcoming the international recession. Is he aware that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund have both recently called for more expansionary policies to be adopted and that his reported statements therefore place his Government in conflict with these authoritative bodies? Does he not realise that an intensified world recession which would flow from the unlikely acceptance by other countries of his gratuitous advice would also intensify recession and unemployment in Australia? Will he explain also to the House by what logic he advocates policies of slower growth in the world economy yet simultaneously deplores the increasing protectionism which is being spawned by the world recession?

Prime Minister · WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– I think that the honourable gentleman would do better to note exactly what was said. I cannot really blame him for being misled because some of the reports in relation to my remarks at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting did not depict their true thrust. I think that what I said had general support at the Conference. Certainly, no argument was offered against it and other countries had put a view which was not dissimilar to the view I had put. The point I was seeking to make was this: Of the major industrialised countries we know there are those that have stronger economies with lower rates of inflation and generally lower levels of unemployment than some of the rest. Germany, Japan and the United States of America have been regarded as having the stronger economies- the motor economies.

I was seeking to make the point that if the weaker countries with higher levels of unemployment and with higher levels of inflation were merely looking to the stronger economies reflating to get them out of their problems, they were looking for something that could not occur. Certainly, additional activity in the stronger economies can lead to more world trade if it can be encompassed without unduly aggravating inflation within their own countries. But if at the same time the stimulus that might come from greater activity on the part of Germany and Japan were to flow over into more demand in the weaker countries which do not have very effective anti-inflationary policies and that thereby led to more inflation in the weaker economies in Europe, there would be no lasting benefit to the trading world, to employment or to activity anywhere.

In these circumstances, it is very plain that greater activity by the stronger economies is no substitute for appropriate economic settings in the weaker economies. If countries intend to look to activity by somebody in another land to get themselves out of difficulties and problems they should be tackling on their own account, quite plainly the world will be in a very serious situation indeed.

page 102




– The Minister for Primary Industry will be aware that sugar cane producers and millers in northern New South Wales and Queensland are concerned at the delay in the granting of an increase in the domestic price of sugar. The delay denies the industry an estimated $lm a week. Can the Minister advise when an announcement will be made in regard to the increase in price?

Minister for Primary Industry · NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · NCP/NP

– Let me assure the honourable gentleman that there has been no delay in the Government’s consideration of this matter. Indeed, at this stage we are awaiting facts on the cost escalations as they affect the three principal sectors in the industry. Until they are received, of course, the Government cannot give adequate consideration to the request for an increase in the domestic sugar price. Unfortunately there are very real problems for two sectors of the sugar industry. There is no doubt that the cane growers and the millers have received very little benefit from the increase granted by the Government last year and the year before. As cost increases have certainly affected the industry, particularly since the days of 1967 when the last significant price increase was accorded to the industry, it is important that we try to identify the degree to which there has been an opportunity for cane growers and millers to overcome some of their cost problems. We are hoping that the industry will be able to provide those figures as soon as possible, and of course it will then be possible to give adequate consideration to its request.

In addition, I have submitted to a number of major consumer groups a summary of the industry’s request and have asked for their comments so that adequate consideration can be given to the industry’s position. Let me add that this application does have one particular attribute, one with which I have very real sympathy, and that is that the structure of pricing for sugar established under the International Sugar Arrangement now establishes a floor price for sugar on world markets. At this stage that floor price is somewhat higher than the price regime operating in Australia. The Government is aware of that difference and it is aware of the anxiety of cane growers facing rising costs and trying to meet a price structure which might help them to continue to operate profitably. I can assure the honourable gentleman that urgent consideration will be given to the industry’s request as soon as the outstanding statistics are received.

page 102



Mr Les McMahon:

– My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Is the report which appeared in this morning’s Age correct, that Sir Samuel Burstan, a member of the Reserve Bank board and a close associate of the Prime Minister, has written to the Treasurer seeking devaluation of the Australian dollar by at least 10 per cent? Has Sir Samuel also criticised the Government’s proposal to continue heavy overseas borrowings? If the report is correct, how can the Government claim, in the GovernorGeneral’s Speech, ‘the more flexible regime for managing the exchange rate has already proved its worth’?


– I think that Sir Samuel Burstan is advocating the interests of the organisations which he represents. It is my understanding that he was certainly not speaking as a member of the Reserve Bank board but as a leading proponent of the interests of Australia’s great rural industries. He is a vigorous advocate for their cause. That does not mean that on all occasions the Government needs to agree with him.

page 103




-Is the Prime Minister aware of plans by the United States of America to strengthen its forces in Asia and in the Pacific area?


-There has been some notable Press comment this morning about United States naval activities. I am advised that these are fairly routine deployments which occur from time to time as a consequence of the United States’ global responsibilities. It would seem that there is an impression that the present activities of the United States are a reaction to the growing strength of the Soviet Union. There would also seem to be the impression in some places that the Government is not aware of the concerns that are aroused as a result of the growing strength of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union’s offensive forces. I am pleased to see that the editorial in this morning ‘s Age notes:

The realities, or one of them, are that Soviet global strategies have not rewarded the hope that a major and enduring stand-down would become practical. To the contrary, Soviet military might has grown, and by no means merely in the Pacific: The Warsaw bloc’s massive expansion in men and arms has become the source of daily palpitations within the NATO command. The rapid growth of Soviet nuclear capabilities is a matter of awe . . . Russia’s continual fossicking around for new footholds in the Pacific, the lack of progress in the Soviet-US talks on demilitarising the Indian Ocean and the growing Soviet-Cuban involvement in Africa, especially the Horn, all offer genuine cause for concern.

I welcome those expressions of concern in a great Australian journal. If there is any suggestion that the Government has not been aware of activities of this kind over a considerable period, I would like to refer honourable gentlemen to the speech on foreign and defence policies which was made in this Parliament on 1 June 1976- some considerable time ago. It was then regarded that -

Mr Hayden:

– I rise on a point of order. Yesterday only seven questions were available to the Opposition because Ministers and especially the Prime Minister took too long in answering questions. The same thing is happening today. I suggest that if the Prime Minister wants to make statements on matters he ought to make statements according to the proper procedures of this House and not abuse the limited opportunities available to the Opposition.


-Order! There is no substance in the point of order. The Prime Minister receives indulgence from the Chair far greater than other Ministers. Likewise, the Leader of the Opposition receives indulgence greater than other members of the Opposition.


– I welcome the view of the Melbourne Age and other commentaries that have been directed to this same end. I point out gently to the House that those views reflect almost exactly the views which were expressed on behalf of the Government in June 1976 in a statement which, unfortunately at the time, was regarded by some people as being extreme in its language. I would like to quote some part of the language of that statement because one would almost think that the Melbourne Age -

Dr Everingham:

– Table it.


– I would be happy to table the total statement and ask that it be incorporated in Hansard. Nevertheless, for the benefit of honourable members it is my intention to read the part of it which states:

Reasonable people can however reasonably conclude that the Soviet Union still seeks to expand its influence throughout the world in order to achieve Soviet primacy. Its actions all too often appear inconsistent with the aim of reducing world tension. … In the last decade, the Soviet Union has expanded its armed forces by 1 million men. The Soviet navy has grown substantially while the size of the United States naval forces has declined.

The Warsaw Pact countries have a major advantage in conventional forces over North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. . . The build-up of the Warsaw Pact far exceeds the objective requirement of defending Eastern Europe. The Warsaw powers possess the conventional capacity to move into Western Europe with such rapidity -

Mr Hayden:

– I take a point of order. We are happy for the Prime Minister’s speech to go into the Hansard once again. This is a real abuse.


-Order! There is no valid point of order. The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. I call the Prime Minister.


-Thank you, Mr Speaker. I continue:

The Warsaw powers possess the conventional capacity to move into Western Europe with such rapidity and penetration that the use of even tactical nuclear weapons against them is now questioned by some authorities.

That statement accurately reflected the facts of world power at the time and as they have developed since. I am glad to see that there is a growing Australian awareness of the concerns then expressed by the Government on behalf of the Australian people. I seek to have this statement incorporated in Hansard.


-I understood from the Prime Minister that he was quoting from Hansard.


– I was quoting from a copy of the statement.

Mr Hayden:

– Sit down and stop behaving–


-Order! The Leader of the Opposition will remain silent.


-Mr Speaker, there were suggestions from the front bench of the Opposition that the statement should be either tabled or incorporated in Hansard. I would have thought that there would be some considerable advantage if that were done.


-Is leave granted?

Mr Hayden:

– No.


-Leave is not granted.

page 104



Mr Clyde Cameron:

-Will the Prime Minister give an assurance that in future the Executive arm of government will seek the view of Mr Speaker on the estimates for the House of Representatives before submitting them to the Parliament for approval and, in the event of there being any difference between the estimates submitted and those sought by Mr Speaker, will he report those differences to the Parliament for resolution?


-The question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Before calling him to answer the question if he chooses to do so, I should point out that there is discussion between the Government and the Speaker concerning the estimates. In the second part of his question the honourable gentleman asked whether, if there is disagreement, it will be reported to the House. As to that, I take the view that all requests should go directly from the Speaker to the Treasurer or the Minister for Finance, whoever is to receive them, on the basis that discussion between the Executive and the legislature should be between the Head of Government and the Presiding Officers. For this purpose, of course, the Prime Minister would need to designate the Minister who has responsibility in the matter to act on the Prime Minister’s behalf as it is not a matter for which the Prime Minister has personal control. However, I believe that those discussions should be conducted on the historical basis, that is, between the Head of Government and the Presiding Officer.


-Mr Speaker, there is not very much that I would like to add to what you have already said. Obviously there need to be discussions. I would only emphasise that in my understanding of the matter the estimates are in the first instance prepared in your office by your people and then they are discussed with the Government. Quite obviously the Speaker, for the House of Representatives, and the President, for the Senate, have a very material interest in these matters in protecting the rights of the Parliament. The rights of the Parliament have been protected very effectively by Mr Speaker and the President over the last two years.

page 104




– My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. He will be aware of a growing concern in western Victoria about an issue that affects both his electorate of Wannon and my electorate of Mallee. I refer to the announced closure of the Balmoral railway line connecting the wheatlands of north-western Victoria to the deep sea port of Portland. Has the Prime Minister seen a recent statement by the Chairman of the Victorian Grain Elevators Board to the effect that the Chairman favours the upgrading of this line and that the Commonwealth be asked to participate?


-Order! The honourable gentleman is out of order because the Prime Minister has no responsibility whatsoever for a statement made by the Chairman of the Grain Elevators Board. If the honourable gentleman likes to attempt to bring his question into order I will permit him to proceed.


-Yes, Mr Speaker. Has the Prime Minister received any requests from the State Government to assist in the retention of this vital rail link?


– I have received many representations on behalf of people in my electorate. I do not use that railway line but in fact it passes not far from my home. This is a matter of concern to many people in western Victoria but it is particularly a matter within the responsibility of the Victorian Government. I would not expect to receive special requests concerning a matter of this kind from the State Government because that Government would know that it comes within the State’s responsibility and it is one with which the State ought to deal. As the honourable member for Wannon I could say many things about the matter but, Mr Speaker, I suspect that I ought not.


-I think that would be advisable.

page 105




– My question, which is directed to the Prime Minister, concerns his reported statements at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting supporting the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore in their assessment that there will be no quick recovery in the world economy. If that is still the Prime Minister’s belief, will he also concede that the prospects of substantial expansion of our exports in the near future are grim? Will he further agree that a sluggish export performance has grave implications for the growth prospects of the Australian economy? In view of these prospects will the Prime Minister reassess his Government’s economic domestic policies to ensure that the Australian economy is not plunged into further recession with disastrous effects for the whole community?


-The world trends to which the honourable gentleman draws attention in his question are ones that have been and are taken into account in the development of the Government’s economic policies. I do not believe that anyone has indicated that there will be a rapid recovery in world trade and general world economic activity. The question before all nations is how best that recovery can be assisted, promoted and enhanced. There are differing views as to how that can best be achieved. Because we know that we face a difficult world trading position the activities of my colleague the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Resources have been greatly strengthened through the new departmental arrangements and, in addition, with the Minister for Special Trade Representations Australia now has more effective arrangements for conducting its affairs in international forums on trade matters and for arguing its case with the major trading blocs in a way in which it has not been done before.

I only wish that the kind of arrangements that we have developed now for pursuing Australia ‘s interests had in fact been in operation at the times when we were losing our markets in the European Economic Community as a result of Britain’s entry into that Community. It might then have been possible to do more to protect Australia’s interests. I must say that sometimes not enough was done to do so. We recognise the difficulties of world trade; we recognise that countries need to co-operate; and in particular we recognise that Australia must promote its own international interests more vigorously than ever before. The arrangements that have been made on a ministerial and departmental level under the guidance of the Deputy Prime Minister are designed to achieve just that.

page 105




– My question, which is directed to the Minister for Defence, concerns the future of the Army Survey Regiment located in Bendigo. Can the Minister dispel the constant rumours that the Fortuna Regiment is to be moved from Bendigo?

Minister for Defence · MORETON, QUEENSLAND · LP

– I know the honourable gentlemen’s concern for the future of the Army Survey Regiment. To the best of my knowledge, there is no proposal at all to move the Survey Regiment. The work done by it at Bendigo is of a very high quality. I know the continuing interest the honourable gentleman takes in it. That is the simple position. I hope that the honourable gentleman will seek to give such reassurances as are appropriate to the citizens of Bendigo.

Mr Speaker, while I am on my feet may I have your indulgence to wish the right honourable member for Lowe a very happy birthday. Today is his 70th birthday. I think he is a splendid illustration of the old maxim: ‘There may be snow on the roof but a fire burns brightly down below ‘.

Mr Cohen:

- Mr Speaker, may we sing Happy Birthday?


-The honourable member may lead the singing if he cares to. He has a tenor voice that I constantly hear by way of interjection. I am sure that the House will join with me and associate itself with the good wishes extended by the Minister for Defence to the right honourable member for Lowe.

Honourable members Hear, hear!

page 105




-Can the Minister for the Capital Territory confirm a news report on Radio 2CA yesterday morning that there would be a review of the National Capital Development Commission’s role? If so, will the review be merely another exercise in procrastination, with yet another endless government inquiry, or will it report in a reasonable time, which may overcome many of the criticisms, especially of planning and bureaucratic bungling, presently being levelled at the Commission? Will the review investigate transferring at least part of the Commission’s responsibilities to the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly?

Minister for Home Affairs · WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– As the Minister responsible for this most important pan of Australia, may I say that, as honourable members will be aware, last September my predecessor published some proposals relating to the transfer of powers to a legislative body in the Territory. Those proposals have been the subject of debate and consideration by the local community and by the Legislative Assembly. I expect that by April I will be in a position to formulate some proposals to put to the Government as to the future transfer of powers to an Assembly in the Territory. In the process of doing that it may be necessary to review the role of the National Capital Development Commission. That would involve seeing what its future relationship will be with such a legislative body, should one be established, and also determining what function it will perform within the context of the national capital.

I do not accept the broad criticism implicit in the question about the role that the National Capital Development Commission has played in the past. Since its establishment in 1958 1 believe it has done a tremendous job in the development of our national capital. It has had its critics. It has had a difficult task to perform, but the national capital is now a city of which all Australians can be proud. I hope that members of this Parliament will cease seeing it as a place to be denigrated and will start to develop a little pride in their national capital.

page 106




– May I put a question to you, Mr Speaker?


-You certainly may. You are entitled to do so under the Standing Orders.


– You may have noticed, Mr Speaker, that when any person approaches this honourable House he usually arrives by way of the main doors to the chamber. The Deputy of the Governor-General sends a message to the main doors of the chamber with the command from the Governor-General, and historically one notices that the Black Rod can be admitted to the chamber only after having knocked. May I inquire whether there is a specific reason why you do not use the main doors of this House? I have discussed this matter with the honourable member for Banks and other honourable members. Is there any reason why you do not choose to use the main doors to the chamber? You will appreciate that the general public are never able to see your procession. I feel that perhaps you might like to consider the matter.


-Perhaps I should have ruled the question out of order. That would have made it easier for me. What the honourable gentleman says is certainly correct, namely, that admission to this House, other than for members of it, is by the front doors. Of course, in the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster, with which the honourable gentleman is quite familiar, there is a Speaker’s procession which has centuries of tradition behind it. That practice has been adopted also by the Canadian Parliament which has a Speaker’s procession. My colleagues, the Speakers of those two Houses, inform me that it forms a significant part of the traditions of their Houses. If I were to follow a similar practice I would be required to proceed through the Opposition lobby or the Government lobby into Kings Hall and through the front doors.

I will consider the matter and consult with members of the House to ascertain whether they would like me to enter the chamber through the front doors. I can only say that the practice of coming in the back door bears no relationship to any modesty on the part of my predecessors but is related only to the matter of convenience in that the Speaker’s suite is so close to the back door. I shall certainly give consideration to the matter and consult with members of the House. Then I shall adopt what I think would be the course acceptable to members of the House.

page 106




– I ask the Prime Minister a question which follows on the answer he gave to a question asked of him by the honourable member for Gellibrand. He will recall in his reply to the honourable member for Gellibrand indicating that in his view greater activity by the strong international economies will lead to increased international demand and therefore increased inflation and weaker economies. Does he mean that he does not look forward to increased demand from Japan for increased Australian output? Does he recognise that he is expressing opposition to increased Australian exports? If he is indicating that this is his view, how does he propose to strengthen the balance of payments in the face of a continuing deterioration in the balance of trade?


-The honourable gentleman has misplaced one word. He used the word ‘will’ when I think he should have used the word ‘if. I sought to indicate to the House that if increased stimulus in the stronger so-called motor economies of the world is to flow over into more demand in other countries, resulting in more inflationary pressures in those other countries, that will not advantage the total world economic scene. That is not a necessary connection. It will happen if there are not correct policy settings in the so-called weaker world economies.

The point I was trying to make, and seek to make again, is that the so-called weaker countries should not look to greater activity on the pan of the stronger countries to do for them the things that they ought to be doing for themselves. No matter what Germany, Japan and the United States of America may do, that is no substitute for correct and appropriate economic policies on the pan of other countries of the world. Quite plainly, because Australia does have the correct and appropriate settings in its domestic policies to combat inflation, if there is increased demand for our products from other countries, that will not lead to more inflation for Australia. It will lead to a healthier situation. That is because our policies in Australia have appropriate settings to combat inflation.

page 107




– Is the Minister for Primary Industry aware that canning fruit growers are not being paid back-funds owed to them in the aftermath of the Federal Government’s action in deferring loan repayments on the part of the States? Does he take the view that State governments control such institutions as State banks and could well give an instruction for the benefit of those canning fruit growers?


– The canning fruit industry has gone through very considerable traumas over the last couple of years. There have been moves, both in the private and State government sectors, to rationalise canneries. For some, that is the canned fruit growers themselves, the problems have been very serious because of the surplus of canned fruit and inadequacy of markets. They have not, in fact, been paid for fruit delivered over a period of years. I would agree that in the present instance in the honourable gentleman’s State, there having been a deferral of loans that were made by the Commonwealth through the State government to the canneries in that State, the responsibility now to ensure that cash is made available to canned fruit growers for past fruit deliveries rests with the State.

The Government has very real sympathy and has tried to help canned fruit growers. In the negotiations surrounding the moves to rationalisation it has attempted to stand behind State governments to ensure that whatever moves are taken will help to secure the long term future of the industry. I believe that the industry is now settling down a little after some adjustments that have been made in the Goulburn Valley. I hope that as a result the future for canned fruit growers will be seen as perhaps a little brighter than it seemed some months ago. Nonetheless, the problem is quite acute and I hope that each of the State governments will face up to their responsibilities in view of the fact that the Federal Government has agreed to defer yet further the loans that it made to try to assist the canneries to bridge their short term cash flow problems.

page 107



-Mr Speaker, you will be pleased to know that I have already congratulated the right honourable member for Lowe on his birthday. I think I wrote him a letter.

Sir William McMahon:

– I did not get it.


-Will the Prime Minister confirm that the new Ambassador to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation will be paid an ambassadorial salary of $30,000 per year, a living allowance of $1 1,600 tax free per year, and an entertainment allowance of $6,000 tax free per year, be provided with a luxury apartment in Australia’s new Embassy in Paris and be provided also with a new Mercedes Benz and chauffeur? Will these payments be made on top of the pension of $33,000 per year he already receives? Finally, does the Prime Minister consider this amount of $80,000 enough?


-Under legislation that was introduced by a former Prime Minister and under legislation that was introduced during the period of the previous Labor Administration, arrangements were made whereby Ministers and other people, including Governor-Generals, would maintain any pension even though they might gain additional Commonwealth employment at some later point. I could indicate that Mr Justice Murphy is one such person who receives, as I understand it, a full High Court salary and a parliamentary pension. Mr Barnard, as Ambassador receives his salary as an Ambassadora post which he is filling with distinctionand at the same time keeps his parliamentary pension. Sir Gordon Freeth -

Opposition members interjecting-


-Order! The right honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The honourable member for Port Adelaide has asked his question and the Prime Minister is entitled to answer the question without that barrage of interjections. I ask the people on my left to maintain silence. I call the Prime Minister.


-These arrangements were made by the previous Administration because apparently at that time it thought it proper that a person who had gained a pension out of earlier Commonwealth employment should not lose that pension if he were subsequently employed by the Commonwealth. It applies in the other instances that I have mentioned. I am not aware that any of the honourable gentlemen opposed this in relation to Mr Justice Murphy or in relation to the other people whom I have mentioned.

Mr Scholes:

-Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. The Prime Minister has misled the House in respect of the relevant measures and has thereby cast aspersions on former members of this House and another House. The GovernorGeneral’s pension is non-contributory and he has a non-taxable salary. Former members of this House who receive pensions all contributed to that pension. I think it unfair that they be -


– There is no point of order.


-Mr Speaker, I would be delighted to add to the answer, if I may, because it might help the honourable gentleman who sought to raise that point of order which, I am sure he knew, was not a point of order. With that consideration in mind, the honourable gentleman might ask his own former Leader why he introduced the legislation in the form in which he did.

page 108




– Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs aware of reports of statements made in another place that the Government’s decision to extend de facto recognition to the Indonesian takeover of East Timor was in consideration of arrangements for oil exploration rights? Is there any substance in such statements? What were the reasons for the Government’s decision?


– I have noticed the remarks reported this morning. No, there is no truth in the allegation made by the Opposition senator. As I have indicated publicly, we recognise the fact that East Timor is part of Indonesia, but not the means by which this was brought about. My statement on 20 January gave the reasons. I rely on memory as to the content of that statement but succinctly the reasons were: Firstly, that Indonesian control is effective and covers all major administrative centres; secondly, that it is necessary to press on expeditiously with the question of family reunion; thirdly, that it is necessary to do the same with the rehabilitation of Timor; and fourthly, that to carry out the last two matters in particular we need to have more extensive direct dealings with the Indonesian Government as the authority in effective control. It was therefore a reality with which we had to come to terms. Any other matters to be negotiated are not, were not, and have never been salient considerations at all. The Opposition senator’s statement is as misconstrued as the Opposition’s policy towards Timor has always been.

page 108


Minister for Transport · Gippsland · LP

– For the information of honourable members I present the report by the Bureau of Transport Economics entitled ‘A Study of EastWest Rail Passenger Services: The Indian Pacific and Trans-Australian ‘.

page 108


Minister for Post and Telecommunications · Chisholm · LP

– Pursuant to section 33 of the Australian National University Act 1946, I present the report of the Council of the Australian National University for the calendar year 1976.

page 108


Minister for Post and Telecommunications · Chisholm · LP

– Pursuant to section 67 of the States Grants (Schools) Act 1976, I present the report on financial assistance granted to each State under the provisions of that Act.

page 108


Minister for Post and Telecommunications · Chisholm · LP

– Pursuant to section 10 of the States Grants (Schools) Act 1972, I present the report on financial assistance granted to each State under the provisions of that Act during the financial year 1976-77.

page 108


Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

– For the information of honourable members I present the interim report of the Industries Assistance Commission on bench or pedestal drilling machines belt driven pulley operated (non-power fed).

page 108


Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

– Pursuant to section 29 (2) of the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973, I present the report of the Temporary Assistance Authority on luggage.

page 108


Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

– Pursuant to section 30 (2) of the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973,

I present the report of the Temporary Assistance Authority on fixed resistors.

page 109


Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

– For the information of honourable members I present the report of the Temporary Assistance Authority on spectacle frames, non-adjustable spanners and fork lift trucks, et cetera, not battery operated.

page 109



-I have received messages from the Senate acquainting the House of the appointment of senators to committees as follows:

Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings- Senator Sir Magnus Cormack and Senator Douglas McClelland.

Joint Committee of Public Accounts- Senators Colston, Lajovic and Messner

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works- Senators Kilgariff, Melzer and Young.

page 109



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


-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


– Yes. During an interchange at Question Time the Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser) indicated that I and other members of the Opposition had voted in this place to give pensions to persons who went out of this Parliament and subsequently took employment. Members of this place, including members of the present Opposition, in fact voted to take away a discrimination against persons who worked in government employment. The scheme, as long as I have been a member of this place and I think as long as it has been in existence, has always allowed full pension rights to be paid to persons who take private employment but half pension rights to persons who take government employment. In changing that, members took away a discrimination against persons who took employment possibly in their former fields. Let me instance one member: The former member for Barton, Mr Reynolds, was a school teacher and he took employment in the New South Wales Government service at the cost of half his established pension rights. Had he taken employment, say, in the Prime Minister’s former school, Melbourne Grammar, he would have received his full pension rights. That was a discrimination which I and I think all other members would consider was unsupportable, but in each case the member contributed fully to obtain his pension rights.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

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


-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr Clyde Cameron:

-Yes. I refer to today’s issue of the Sydney Morning Herald which gives an account of what I said yesterday. Mr Ian Frykberg has written again in the Sydney Morning Herald, saying that he checked with some members of the Executive before he wrote his story of which I originally complained and that they said that I had been criticised together with other people. He goes on to say:

One source said that it was felt that Mr Clyde Cameron’s public statements critical of Mr Whitlam had not helped Labor’s credibility in the election.

After Mr Cameron’s statement yesterday I checked again with this source,- source ‘ in the singular; one person- who confirmed my original story.

The original story was that I had been criticised by members of the Federal Executive of the Australian Labor Party for my criticism of Mr Whitlam. The article continues:

He did say-

This is the source with whom Mr Frykberg checked yesterday- that Mr Cameron was not singled out for a special discussion but was mentioned during general discussions.

Since yesterday I have checked with other members of the Federal Executive. I can say now that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lionel Bowen) denies also that I was criticised by any member of the Executive for anything. Mr Howard O’Neill, the secretary of the South Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party who was present, also supports the statements given to me by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Hayden) and the national secretary of the Party, Mr Combe, to the effect that I was not criticised for anything by anybody. The honourable member for Port Adelaide (Mr Young) who has been a member of the Executive for a long time and whom I am pleased to say has been a lifelong friend of mine -

Mr Young:

– The longest time.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

-He has long been a friend of mine. He told me last night that he had spoken to Mr Frykberg. I presume that Mr Frykberg telephoned him and he confirmed this morning that he had not confirmed to Frykberg that the statement Frykberg published was a fact. I accept the assurance of the honourable member for Port Adelaide. I accept also the statement made to me a few minutes ago by the honourable member for Port Adelaide that there is probably no doubt at all that there is one person who was at that meeting who is telling, and did tell in the first instance, Mr Frykberg the lying statement that was published and who has since, according to Mr Frykberg ‘s article published this morning, confirmed it. I can say only this: Mr Frykberg’s source, whatever it might be or whoever it might be, is a cowardly liar who will deliberately defame a colleague in return for a free meal and a gutful of grog. If Mr Frykberg is wise he will break off his association with his source or if that cannot be done, he will discount his leaks as nothing more than the meanderings of a person with a diseased mind who wants to use the Press to do the dirty work that he is too cowardly to do himself.


-Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation on another matter.


-The honourable member is asking for my indulgence. He has indicated to me that he really has not been misrepresented but requests permission to make a personal explanation on a matter which is clouded.


-The honourable gentleman has my indulgence.


-During Question Time the Prime Minister, (Mr Malcolm Fraser), in answering a question asked by the honourable member for Port Adelaide (Mr Young), invited the honourable member to ask me about the origin of the Governor-General Act 1 974. 1 take this early opportunity, with your indulgence Mr Speaker, to give the explanation. For at least 30 years successive Federal governments have paid non-contributory pensions to Federal judges on their retirement. This has been done to preserve the independence and immunity of the judiciary. While judges are serving they are unable to receive any emoluments other than those paid to them as judges. Their judicial emoluments are large so that they can afford to be independentso that they are seen to be independent. They know that when they retire they will, under Federal legislation be given substantial noncontributory pensions so that then too they may be independent and be seen to be independent. This practice has obtained for at least 60 years in most States where for a long time there has been a compulsory retiring age forjudges.

Federal legislation for judges’ pensions has been brought in by successive governments, from both sides of politics- I believe it was a Labor government which brought in the first Bill. Such Bills have always been supported by the Opposition of the day. They have been supported in both Houses.

My Government introduced the GovernorGeneral Act in 1974- the then Opposition supported it in both Houses- so that the GovernorGeneral, like a judge, could have the same immunity and independence, so that he should be seen to have the same immunity and independence, after he ceased to hold office, as he enjoyed while he was in office. The pension is large, it is properly large, so that he can be seen to be independent and can continue to be independent. The basis of the pension is that, however long or short a time the Governor may have held his office, on retirement he has the same pension as the Chief Justice of Australia has on retirement. That is why the legislation was introduced. The reasons were sound. They were compelling reasons. It was for that reason that the legislation was supported by the Opposition in this House and in the Senate.

page 110


Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations · Corangamite · LP

– For the information of honourable members I present the report of the Australian delegation to the 62nd (Maritime) Session of the International Labour Conference held in Geneva in October 1976. I seek leave to make a short statement relating to this report.

Leave granted.

Ministerial Statement


– I thank the House. Appended to the report are the texts of the following instruments adopted by the 62nd session of the Conference:

Recommendation No. 1 53- Protection of Young Seafarers 1976;

Convention No. 1 45- Continuity of Employment (Seafarers) 1976;

Recommendation No. 1 54- Continuity of Employment (Seafarers) 1976;

Convention No. 146- Seafarers’ Annual Leave with Pay 1976;

Convention No. 147- Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) 1976; and

Recommendation No. 155- Merchant Shipping (Improvement of Standards) 1976.

The six instruments have been referred to the appropriate Commonwealth and State authorities for examination and comment. This preliminary examination indicates that, whilst there is substantial compliance with the requirements of the instruments, Australian law and practice do not comply in all respects. In the light of this, immediate ratification of the three conventions does not appear to be practicable. However, in accordance with the normal practice, the position regarding compliance with Conventions Nos 145, 146 and 147 will be kept under examination with a view to possible ratification in due course. The position regarding compliance with the provisions of Recommendations Nos 153, 154 and 155 will be kept under continuing review also.

page 111


Motion (by Mr Sinclair)- by leave- agreed to:

That in accordance with the provisions of the Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Act 1948 the Minister for Special Trade Representations be discharged as a trustee serving on the Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Trust and that the honourable members for Bendigo and Hindmarsh be appointed trustees to serve on that Trust.

page 111


Discussion of Matter of Public Importance


-I have received a letter from the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman) proposing that a definite matter of public importance be submitted to the House for discussion, namely:

The Government’s failure to deal with the rising costs of health care.

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-


-Mr Speaker, as my letter to you indicates, the Opposition is concerned about the Government’s failure to deal with the rising costs of health care. My speech certainly will not be highly political in the sense of being completely critical of the Government, because I can see difficulties for the Government and I can see great pressures on the Government. But I think it is important that the Government should stop blaming Medibank and should stop looking for easy book-keeping methods such as just transferring costs. It should be introducing real methods of reducing total costs. Health care costs in Australia increased by 36.4 per cent in 1974-75 and by 26.8 per cent in 1975-76. No wonder most of the instant experts writing feature articles for the Press or pontificating on television and radio blamed Medibank, especially as their so called ‘in depth’ investigations were often based on handouts from the Voluntary Health Insurance Council and the Government. There is only one catch: Medibank Medical started on 1 July 1975 and Hospital Medibank even later. Therefore the huge increase in health care costs preceded Medibank. It is true that there was a transfer of payments from individuals and States to the Commonwealth, but the rise in outlays after Medibank was introduced decelerated. The Minister for Health (Mr Hunt) accepted that in an article that he wrote for the Australian Medical Association gazette.

Having assumed that Medibank can be blamed for the increase, the ‘experts’ have looked for reasons. The commonest have been a rip-off by doctors, unnecessary over-use by patients and the cost of the Medibank bureaucracy. Let me deal with the last one first. Medibank Public administration costs, when 100 per cent of the population were covered in 1 975-76, were lower than a year later in 1 976-77 when only about 35 per cent were completely covered. No wonder, as checking the eligibility of claimants costs more than the now illegal payments for those covered privately and claiming wrongly would cost. To this must now be added the huge administrative costs of Medibank Private and the other 160 private hospital and medical funds. Also added must be the cost of the extra work in the Taxation Office of assessing which taxpayers have to pay the levy and calculating it. Sooner or later investigators will also have to be paid to check whether taxpayers wishing to avoid the levy are giving correct information regarding financial membership of private funds.

The claim that the increase in medical consultations and medical rip-offs is due to Medibank is also untrue. Medical claims paid by the private health funds during 1974-75, the last year before Medibank, increased by 5 1 per cent over the previous year. The only change to increase costs due to Medibank was making consultations in specialists’ rooms or at home available to pensioners and upgrading payments to general practitioners for services to pensioners. All the other refunds and payments were previously available from the funds.

If one looks at the figures published in today’s Australian- I think it is a report of a speech by Dr Deeble- one will notice that the number of medical services by general practitioners rendered to non-pensioners before Medibank was introduced was 3. 1 1 per year. This has increased, now including pensioners, to 3.50 after Medibank. If one remembers that the pensioner medical service paid for 8.2 services per year per pensioner one notes that the increase was less than would have been expected, remembering that there are over one million pensioners in Australia.

The reasons for the increased cost of health care are many. In Australia they certainly include a greater expectation on the part of consumers for the use of the latest technology, reinforced by doctors and others with a financial incentive to encourage it. There is also no doubt that most hospital staff- lay, nursing and medical- were until recent years grossly underpaid. This was corrected by strong union pressure and coincided with the introduction of equal pay. It was expensive for hospitals, employing about 75 per cent female staff. The funds and sections of the medical profession are now running campaigns urging the Government to do all kinds of things ‘for the sake of the public’ and, judging by the illinformed leader writers, they could be successful. Being a pluralist society, with the interests of different groups of doctors and funds not necessarily coinciding, the Government may be able to resist the most flagrant attempts at pressure from these groups to further their own interests.

At the same time one must not underestimate their political clout in the Liberal and National Country parties. They certainly helped to pay the piper. Mr John Mcleay, when he was Acting Minister for Health, said on an A.M. broadcast on 4 January in reply to an interviewer’s suggestion that contributors would leave the funds for the Medibank levy:

I personally don’t believe that is likely to happen. People go to the funds for special purposes, freedom of choice, etcetera, and they will stay with us, with the private funds.

So we can see that at least some members of the Government identify with the private funds. This Government lied during the recent election campaign and any remnants of the Prime Minister’s credibility have disappeared since then. I claimed during the election campaign that the health funds would increase their charges. The Prime Minister denied this. Let me quote from the transcript of the Australian Broadcasting Commission program P.M. of 28 November during the last election campaign. It reads:

HUW EVANS: The Opposition spokesman Dr Dick Klugman has claimed that the Government has been delaying any announcement on increases in health fund contributions until after the election and that the Government will raise the 2.5 per cent levy for standard Medibank. Dr Klugman will be with us in our Sydney studio shortly, but first to Mr Fraser’s Press conference in Hobart and his response to the statement that there would be increases in private health fund contributions.

Prime Minister · WANNON, VICTORIA · LP

– Well I have no information that would lead to that happening. Look, there has been no proposal put to the Government in relation to these particular matters and the position i”-. as I stated it.

Now for the truth. Soon after Christmas a case by the Hospitals Contribution Fund for a 30 per cent increase in contributions before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal confirmed my facts. The HCF lodged its application on 27 September with the Department of Health. The Department of Health supported the application on 27 October. Yet Mr Fraser, on 28 November, said: . . there has been no proposal put to the Government in relation to these particular matters -

No wonder the Australian Financial Review on 3 January reported:

The Fraser Government has emerged from the health insurance fee rise decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with a very tarnished image.

Throughout the months of a fee rise application by the Hospitals Contribution Fund of NSW, its rejection, the election campaign and the subsequent appeal the Government has been caught out in a series of evasions, half truths and severe compromises in accepted Liberal-NCP policies.

The newspaper concluded its editorial with these words:

By dicing its own policies and ideological commitments in such a cynical, political manner, the Fraser Government has set a lamentably low standard of government to open another three years on the Treasury benches.

This Government has failed to do anything to try to reduce the costs. All it is concerned about is blaming Medibank and shifting the increasing cost to individuals. The Age yesterday ran a headline that the Government would curb health costs, but the Government’s handout showed its complete lack of ideas. The Age quoted the Governor-General’s Speech which stated that the health scheme might be further improved to provide a prompt and effective health insurance scheme which restrains increases in the cost of health care. That sounds good. The Age article went on:

Cabinet will consider soon the report from a task force on options on . . .

The article continued:

Options for cutting government costs are to make patients bear directly a greater proportion of charges and to increase the Medibank levy.

This will not save the community any money whatsoever. It will only alter the proportion of an ever-increasing amount paid by different sections. We have to reduce the size of the whole cake. This Government even failed to provide Mr Justice Ludeke last year with figures freely available on increased doctors’ incomes to argue against increased medical charges. For example, the Victorian State Government paid visiting medical officers last year $24m for work previously done gratis in return for the use of hospital facilities and staff for their private patients. This was never put to Mr Justice Ludeke.

One of the debatable propositions being pushed at present is that the Medibank levy should be increased from the present 2.5 per cent because of increasing health care cost. But being a percentage of taxable income the levy is already indexed and should therefore not be increased. There may be a case of course for indexing the levy ceiling.

Another proposition that has been put is that the funds should be subsidised because levy payers are, the implication being that the funds are not being subsidised. However the funds already are heavily subsidised. The funds pay only $40 a day to public hospitals for their contributors, yet the average cost of a hospital bed is now about $ 140 a day. The State and Australian governments therefore subsidise each private fund contributor or dependant by about $ 1 00 for each day in a public hospital. In addition, the Australian Government contributes $50m annually for chronic patients covered by the funds.

The funds argue that access to specialists be limited. The alleged example given by one of the funds was the routine referral of all new born to a pediatrician. This was considered extremely wasteful. Knowing the great difficulty the average doctor faces in declaring a baby perfectly normal, I can see no objection to this idea provided the pediatrician performs a conscientious examination. This could be economically rational even at fee for service rates. However, it should probably be done by a salaried staff specialist in most of the large hospitals.

Some doctors are arguing for so-called catastrophic illness insurance only, implying that patients need cover only in those cases. I argue the opposite. The catastrophe in the case would be for some doctors only. Persons requiring major surgery, intensive care and so on do not need any insurance. They can always obtain beds in public hospitals and will be treated by specialists- staff specialists or visiting specialists. Hospitalisation and treatment will be free unless the patient chooses otherwise. So, there is no economic catastrophe involved so far as the patient is concerned. If more patients took advantage of this there could well be a financial catastrophe for the visiting specialist relying on private patients. The proposal limiting refunds to such major items would be a near or real catastrophe for many low income families requiring frequent medical attention for such ‘minor’ complaints as asthma, recurrent respiratory or urinary tract infections, allergies, episodes of depression and so on. The failure to obtain adequate treatment or advice for financial reasons would frequently lead to chronic ill-health, requiring social security payments, or even acute medical tragedies.

Some doctors and funds have argued for no claim bonuses as for car and home insurance. This would of course increase the cost to those unable to claim this bonus and would in many cases shift an extra burden on those least able to afford it. The argument on this is basically philosophical. Many of us accept that the community is responsible for health costs and these are shared broadly on the basis of ability to pay. Others would treat illness in the same way as theft or fire, with the additional burden of the police and firemen working on a fee for service basis.

Everyone should have access to good health care without fear of the cost and should not be discouraged from seeking advice for what may be early symptoms of a significant illness. We have the hypocritical advice from funds and doctors and, hopefully not but possibly from this Government, that the gap payable by the patient be increased because this would reduce costs. But at the same time all three recommend that people take out an additional insurance to cover this. We had hypocrisy from the Society of General Practitioners for a long time whilst we were in government. Nearly all doctors had signs in their surgeries and waiting rooms stressing that people should cover themselves for gap insurance. Yet the same people argue that unless the patient paid a significant amount of money there would be significant overuse.

This is not the place for me to provide pat solutions. Some points have to be remembered. Fifty per cent of costs are associated with hospitals and our aim must be preventive medicine. By that I mean preventing ill-health and preventing or avoiding institutionalisation as much as possible. I refer to hospitals, psychiatric institutions and nursing homes. I believe that financial incentives should be used with the health care dispensers. At present it is in the financial interests of the doctor to treat patients and of controllers of hospitals et cetera to fill them. The incentives must be reversed, but done so without hurting the consumer who, after all in most cases, is completely unable to assess the advice received from the so-called experts.

The Government should advise most people not to subscribe at private hospital rates. I often hear from families- I am sure other honourable members have the same experience- which have about $160 weekly income and are paying up to $13 a week in health insurance. This is completely unnecessary. The levy would be about $4 a week. It would cost another $2.60 a week if a doctor of choice was required. The people are paying exactly double. On that income they should not be doing that. They will never use or be able to use the services for which they pay because they are not available. Let us remember, finally, that before this Government changed Medibank everything was free for the patient at the point of service. The maximum cost for a patient was extra insurance to cover private hospitals.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar)Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.

Minister for Health · Gwydir · NCP/NP

– The Opposition has chosen to highlight two issues in the first week of this new parliamentary session- unemployment and health costs. These are two issues for which’ the Opposition can claim almost complete responsibility. Let it be clearly understood that unemployment was not a problem in Australia until the Whitlam Government was elected to office in 1972 and turned the Australian economy inside out during those three years. As a result we saw unemployment rise from a little more than 2 per cent to more than 5 per cent. Clearly the Australian public sheeted home the blame to the Labor Party in the elections of December 1975 and December 1977. The Labor Government brought untold suffering to hundreds of thousands of people through its irresponsible and disastrous economic management which caused a record rate of inflation and record unemployment. The Fraser Government has already achieved remarkable success in reducing the level of inflation.

Mr Cohen:

- Mr Deputy Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. The Minister seems to be confused. He is debating yesterday’s matter of public importance. The matter of public importance today is about health costs.


-The point of order is not applicable.


– I will come to the matter of health costs in due course. The Fraser Government has already achieved remarkable success in reducing the level of inflation and interest rates, knowing that this approach will improve the employment opportunities for Australians in the longer term.

Let us look at what happened to health costs under a Labor government. In the two years 1974-75 and 1975-76 while the Labor Government was in office health costs exploded and increased by 73 per cent which is an extraordinary leap in those costs. While the Labor Government was in office doctors’ fees increased by 58.9 per cent which was a record increase. So let us have not illusions about on whom the blame should rest for the great explosion in health costs. I cannot find any argument that would really absolve the Labor Government from the serious problem that confronts this country today in trying to keep health costs within manageable control.

Regardless of any favourable light that the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman) may wish to throw on health costs, the undoubted truth is that the explosion in those costs occurred during Labor’s three years in office. No amount of figure juggling by the honourable member can absolve the Labor Government from blame for the worst inflation in health costs that this country has ever known. In the year before Medibank became operative health costs increased by 36.6 per cent which was an incredible increase in one year. Of course the honourable member for Prospect has touched on the reasons for that increase- equal pay, huge increases in wages and salaries and a very large increase of 3 1 .9 per cent in doctors ‘ fees.

Mr Cohen:

– Whose fault was that?


– The Opposition can take a share of that blame because it was in government at that time. No matter how the honourable member for Prospect and his colleagues might like to juggle their figures, they cannot escape the fact that during the three years that they were in office we had a record increase. It is not a question of this Government blaming Medibank for the explosion, although universal health insurance in its open-ended fashion imposed on this country by the present Leader of the Opposition (Mr Hayden) undoubtedly exacerbated the situation. On several occasions the honourable member for Prospect has taken figures out of context to prove his fallacious premise that Medibank reduced health costs. That is not true. As I said earlier, the great explosion in health costs that occurred during 1 974-75 and 1 975-76 was due to a number of factors, but none more convincing than the Labor Party’s irresponsible economic policy that plunged this country into all sorts of turmoil. Far from accelerating the costs of health care, the present Government’s actions since October 1976 have produced a marked deceleration in the explosive growth which began when the previous Government was in office.

Let me quote some figures which have only recently become available to me and which prove clearly my contention. A preliminary estimate for 1976-77 which is currently being checked and rechecked shows that national expenditure on health in that year was $6,254m which compares with $5,224m in 1975-76 and $4,109m in 1 974- 75. Of course these figures illustrate graphically a continuing growth in expenditure, but the significant factor is the marked slowing in the rate of increase. The growth in 1976-77 over the previous year was 19.7 per cent compared with a 27.1 per cent increase in 1975-76 over the figure in 1974-75- a far cry from the 36.6 per cent increase in costs from 1973-74 to 1974-75. A comparison of the proportion of gross domestic product represented by the total health expenditure over the last four years further illustrates the point. In 1973-74 the percentage of gross domestic product spent on health in this country was 5.92 per cent; in 1974-75 it was 6.83 per cent; in 1975- 76 it was 7.38 per cent; and in 1976-77 it was 7.67 per cent.

Let me translate those figures into a more graphic illustration. The proportion of gross domestic product spent on health in 1974-75 increased by 15.4 per cent over the figure for the previous year. In 1975-76 the increase was 8.1 per cent while last year the increase dropped dramatically to 3.9 per cent. We are now debating a matter of public importance concerning the Government’s failure to deal with the rising costs of health care. What utter rubbish! The great explosion in health costs took place while the Labor Government was in charge of this country. The Fraser Government has taken measures that have decelerated the rate of growth in health costs. The biggest single increase in those costs occurred in 1974-75 and the next biggest in 1975-76 when the original Medibank was introduced. The significant slowing in the increase in 1976-77 was a direct result of this Government’s modifications to the health insurance system and other measures taken in association with it to try to control costs in this area.

I shall point to other significant figures. There has been a slowing not only in the rate of expenditure overall but also in the proportion provided by public funds. The Commonwealth Government’s contribution- therefore the taxpayers’ contribution- in 1975-76 was 52 per cent of the total contribution. In the last financial year that proportion was reduced to 44 per cent while funds provided by private sources rose from 22.6 per cent in 1 975-76 to 3 1 . 6 per cent last year. The proportion provided by State and local governments remained relatively constant. Therefore it is obvious that the Government’s policies are working, but I do not say this in any complacent or self-satisfied way because no one is more aware than I that more can and must be done to curb the continuing overall increase in costs of health care.

Let me briefly recount some of the major innovations this Government has already introduced with some success. We undertook a basic restructuring of Medibank which not only continued to provide a system of universal health care coverage but also gave all Australians a choice of insurance, a choice wholeheartedly approved by the electorate last December. Since then we have legislated to curb abuses of the system by both doctors and patients through the excessive or unnecessary use of services, particularly pathology services. We have ended the open-ended nature of the Commonwealth financial commitment to the States under the original hospital cost sharing arrangement. What an open-ended arrangement that was. We have restored the competitive position of private hospitals by ensuring that public hospital charges were raised to more realistic levels.

We have ensured that benefits are no longer paid to relieve governments, public authorities and employers of costs that would have been borne by them but for Medibank. We have legislated so that insurers accept their responsibility in workers compensation and third party insurance cases, saving the Australian taxpayers $30m. We have introduced major improvements to the nursing home benefits scheme to give financial security to all patients and we are sharing the financial load with the private health insurance funds. These and other innovations have been conceived and introduced within the framework of the Government’s broad objectives in health care, namely, to develop the most effective and efficient system of delivery and to ensure that every Australian has access- we completely agree with this approach- to high quality care while at the same time ensuring that the nation is receiving the best value in the allocation of its resources.

Let me emphasise again that the Government’s policies are working, but there is no resting on our laurels. We are continuing to seek refinements of the system. At present I am awaiting a comprehensive review of a wide range of matters which I am sure will point the way to further cost containment. One matter to which we are turning our attention is the utilisation of medical services. There have been suggestions of a massive rise in utilisation in recent times. Information which is available to me and which is based on the number of claims paid in each year indicates that on a national scale there was a substantial increase in medical services per person covered during 1975-76 but that the rate stabilised during 1976-77. I am sure that the Leader of the Opposition will be interested to hear the figures. In 1974-75 there were 5.4 services per person covered; in 1975-76, 5.9 services per person covered; and in 1976-77, 5.8 services per person covered. These figures point to the success of the Medibank modifications in curtailing increases in utilisation.

Other Government initiatives that are having a significant effect in constraining galloping costs include our wages and salaries policy, which is playing a big part in curbing the growth of unit costs of services in hospitals, and our policy on medical fees increases, which have been kept below the average inflation rate. I appeal to the doctors of Australia and to the medical profession at large to offer to the Australian people an eager hand in trying to help solve one of the very serious problems that confront the nation and the people, and that is the rising cost of services that they tender. I am sure that the medical profession will co-operate with any reasonable scheme that we offer to try to keep costs within reason.

It is important not to lose sight of factors other than Medibank which have had a bearing on health care growth not only in Australia but in all industrialised nations. The costs of manpower have increased enormously in the 1 970s. Changing patterns of disease have increased the incidence of chronic and degenerative illness in an aging population, bringing higher costs of care in their train. At the same time advances in science and technology have added to the range, intensity and sophistication of health services generally. People have come to expect more from health services and to demand higher standards of comfort and amenity. It is the realisation of the high costs of modern technology that has prompted the Government to inquire into this area. The major dilemma facing this Government and every other government throughout the Western world is how to strike a balance between the needs and expectations of the population and the need to contain expenditure at a manageable level. This Government will attempt to do so and will maintain its constant efforts to ensure that the dollars are spent wisely in the health care area.


-Order! The Minister’s time has expired.

Leader of the Opposition · Oxley

– The problem is not that the Minister for Health (Mr Hunt) is an unreasonable man but rather that he is unreasoned. Let me give some of the facts. In 1 974-75 the increase in health costs in this country over the previous year was 36.4 per cent. In 1975-76, the first full year of Medibank, it was 26.8 per cent. The significance is that in 1974-75, when the significant increase took place, as the Minister concedes, the health insurance system then applying was the one based on the old, expensive, highly inefficient and thoroughly unsatisfactory arrangement of private health insurance. It goes much further than that. If we recognise the fact that included in the total health costs in 1975-76 was a sum of $ 1 66m for medical costs incurred in the previous year but paid in that year- a once only experience with the advent of Medibank- we then recognise that in fact the rate of increase in 1 975-76 was considerably less; it was closer to 20 per cent. Equally, we recognise that the real rate of increase properly imputed to 1 974- 75 was closer to 40 per cent.

Let me take another figure which the Minister threw away casually in congratulating himself on the way, he asserted, the rate of increase in health costs had wound back in 1976-77. He said that the total cost was $6,254m. That is 7.7 per cent of gross domestic product. The rate of increase is still accelerating. It was 5.9 per cent in 1973-74, 6.8 per cent in 1974-75, 7.1 per cent in 1975- 76 and near enough to 7.7 per cent in 1976- 77. Those figures show very clearly that in fact the proportionate rate of increase in total expenditure on health services slowed down considerably in 1975-76, compared with the previous year. But for years previous to that and for this year the rate of increase was significantly larger.

I do not want to make too much of this point. I think that a lot of nonsense is being brought forward as part of the debate about escalating health costs. In fact, there would be something surprising if this country were not affected by a very high order of costs for health services and if the rate of increase were not substantial. Every advanced industrial country in the world has the same experience today. We are spending about 7.1 per cent of the gross domestic product on health, the United States of America about 7.7 per cent, Canada about 6.9 per cent, and the United Kingdom about 5.5 per cent. The United Kingdom is the country whose experience is distorted from the general pattern I have presented of health expenditure measured as a proportion of gross domestic product. So one asks the question: What is the difference between the United Kingdom and the other countries, and what is similar about the other countries? The similarity is not so much the matter of health insurance but the way in which health services are paid for, especially the way in which medical services are paid for.

The problem of the system is the way in which payment is made and the ineffectiveness of monitoring and controls covering the provision of health services. Haranguing Medibank will not solve this problem. It is merely tapping a toothpick at a great challenge before the country. What the Government is proposing to do, in presenting this sort of harangue against Medibank as the ogre responsible for all problems, is to camouflage its real intention, which is merely to shift costs from the public sector to individuals. Let us be clear. With Medibank mark 2, as some are wont to call it, all that happened was that people paid more for services they were receiving before. No effective measures were taken to review the system of payments or to establish effective monitoring and control systems. The people are now paying something like $900m more for health services which they previously received. They are not better off in terms of the quantity or quality of health services; they are merely paying more.

Let us look quickly at some of the solutions which are thrown about by ‘informed sources’ which seem to find their way to the Press from time to time but which obviously are Government sources. They are flying kites. One proposal is rationing by means of some sort of cost to be borne by users of health services. That is discrimination. It discriminates against low income earners compared with higher income earners. It disadvantages large families compared with small families or married couples with no children or single people. Admittedly attempts have been made to plug up those sorts of inequitable defects with various forms of subsidies, but all those do is add to the complexity of the system and increase administrative costs without in any way controlling the cost problem.

Apparently the Government is considering catastrophic’ health insurance, an arrangement whereby the first denominated amounts of health costs at a given period will be met by the user of health services; say, the first $100 or $200. By adopting that system we are moving in a direction away from that in which America is trying to move, because Americans have found such an arrangement to be totally unsatisfactory.

Also it bears too heavily and inequitably on the lower income earners.

The Government also proposes the payment of bonuses for the non-use of health services. That means rewards for people neglecting their health needs. That is undesirable too. I believe this morning’s Australian exploded the myth that over-utilisation has occurred in a sort of explosive way as a result of the introduction of Medibank. Dr Deeble ‘s analysis has made that clear. To the extent that there has been any increase, it has been marginal. It has been very largely explicable and was predicted by me, amongst other people, when we were introducing Medibank. The increase could be explained by the fact that pensioners previously not entitled to use specialist medical services would do so under the new arrangements and by the fact that people not previously covered by private health insurance arrangements would be covered by Medibank. Instead of less than 80 per cent of the public being covered, 100 per cent of the community would be covered under Medibank.

Let us analyse the increased use per capita of medical services and see from what sections of the community the increase has come. In my analysis I use the longer term spread between 1962-63 and 1975-76 because it is a spurious exercise to look at 1975-76 and to say that that is Medibank and that that is where all the problems are to be found. I have already indicated that the statistics do not support that assertion. However, I do not want to waste my time on totally unproductive, stupid political arguments when we have before us such an important issue which is also before every industrialised country in the world.

How can we contain the increase in health costs and at the same time maintain the quality and the accessibility of high standard health services? Let us look at what is happening. The rate of increase per capita in use of medical services in that period was as follows: General practitioners, 20 per cent; specialists, 110 per cent; operations and anaesthetists, 8 1 per cent; pathology, 370 per cent; radiology, 100 per cent; the overall increase for those sorts of procedural services being 47 per cent. That is not a small amount. The increase could be explained in terms of pensioners having access to those services with the advent of Medibank but being denied them previously. But that does not explain all of these rapid increases. It is a long term trend. What is significant is that the rate of increase per capita in utilisation of general practitioner services is less than half the overall rate of increase; that is, doctor initiated services is the area in which the most substantial increase has occurred.

We are making an international comparison of all operations- a procedural thing- for which people have to be referred by a doctor. They cannot decide for themselves. They are going to plonk themselves in a hospital bed and have a leg taken off or an appendix removed. In England and Wales the number of operations performed was 3,653; in the United States of America 6,106; and in Western Australia 7,579 per 100,000. The rate in Western Australia was more than 100 per cent greater than that in England and Wales because of this arrangement of fee for service which is a great inducement for over-billing.

Let me outline some of the things I believe should be done. Bulk billing should have eliminated the opportunity for doctors to apply excess charges. It is an incentive for excessive charging. Bulk billing should be maintained but the private health insurance funds should require proper statistics to be made available promptly so that a utilisation profile can be built up in the central computer records of the Health Insurance Commission. In that way abuse could be established very quickly. There ought to be effective monitoring systems overviewing the practices of public and private hospitals. It is clear that some private hospitals and some public hospitals in less populated areas have been abusing this system, as they have been abusing other systems. Also there should be a rationalisation of the provision of hospital beds. Tissue audits and peer group reviews should be established. In that sort of way and by proper refocussing on the nature of the problem we could respond to the situation, but we cannot do so with empty rhetoric which is designed to divide the community and camouflage the Government’s intentions.


-Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.


– In entering this debate I must say at the outset that I appreciate the tenor of the comments made by the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman). Indeed, I believe he was being helpful. But does he suffer from a guilt complex? I believe that he does when it is considered that the health costs of this nation have escalated to the extent outlined by the Minister for Health (Mr Hunt) under the Government of which he was a member. I just wonder how much influence he had with the Labor Government. It appears to me that he now intends to close the gate after the horse has bolted.

Let us look at the deficits we had during the three years of Labor Government. During two of those years we had a deficit which totalled $6 billion. In 1974-75 the deficit was $2.5 billion and 1975-76 it was $3.5 billion. I strongly refute the statements that were made by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Hayden) when he referred to the unsatisfactory arrangements for medical services that were provided by the private health insurance funds prior to the establishment of Medibank. I remind the Leader of the Opposition that 92 per cent of Australians were covered by health insurance. They voluntarily covered themselves in that period. Only 8 per cent of Australians were not covered, for whatever reasons. I believe that some of those people who comprised that 8 per cent did not have themselves covered because they could not afford it; they were low income earners. But a considerable number of those who comprise that 8 per cent elected, for other reasons, not to cover themselves with health insurance.

The Leader of the Opposition said much about the increase in health costs as a percentage of gross domestic product. Indeed, that percentage did increase. Health costs as a percentage of gross domestic product increased, but proportionately they have been decreasing. In 1974-75 health costs increased by 15.4 per cent; in 1975-76 the increase was 8.1 per cent; last year the rate of increase dropped dramatically to 3.9 per cent.

I think we ought to look at the record of the Labor Government, recognising of course that the problem of rising costs is with us. Let us look at the facts of the Labor Government’s record. In 1973-74- these figures were extracted from the Budget papers- $947m was outlaid under the heading of health. In 1 974-75 the outlay for that item rocketed to $ 1,283m, which represented an increase of $336m or 35 per cent. In 1975-76, $2, 953m was spent by the Commonwealth Government on health matters. That represented an increase of $ 1 ,670m or 1 30 per cent.

Dr Klugman:

– That is only a transfer from the States to the Commonwealth.


– Maybe some of it is a transfer, but the fact remains that the Liberal Government was able in 1 976-77 to curtail that cost, because it was reduced by 14 per cent or $4 10m to $2, 543m. It is true that an increase of some 10 per cent is predicted for this financial year. To put on today’s Notice Paper a matter of public importance expressing concern at the Government’s failure to deal with rising health costs is really a laugh and a lot of humbug.

Dr Klugman:

– All you talk about is bookkeeping.


– Maybe it is bookkeeping, but the fact of the matter is that someone has to pay and the escalation in costs is basically directly attributable to the Labor Government during its three disastrous years in office. It was responsible for rocketing inflation and a wages explosion. Wages in this country increased with the backing of the Labor Government of the day. Now we are paying the penalty for it. Labor was the big spending government. We saw the explosion in the size of the Public Service. One could go on and mention many measures that have contributed to the economic mess and to rising health costs. So I suggest to the honourable member for Prospect that he should not waste the time of this House in future by putting senseless matters of public importance on the Notice Paper.

This Government has expressed concern repeatedly at the escalating costs of health care and has acted. I intend to outline some of the measures that have been instituted by this Government and taken by the Minister for Health. He has established a number of committees of inquiry aimed at containment of costs. The 1977 medical fees inquiry is just one example. There have been amendments to legislation to curtail the activities of pathologists who were over-utilising pathology services. There have been increased penalties for breaches of the law. This is a deterrent to the medical profession. No leniency has been paid to doctors who abuse the system. Many medicos have been successfully prosecuted. The Minister’s co-operation with honourable members from both sides of the House- particularly myself in the case of the prosecution of one particular doctor who, from bulk billing alone, earned $330,000 in one financial year and almost $200,000 in another financial year- about abuses of the system has left nothing to be desired. I want to express my concern at such practices and I believe that that concern is felt also by the hierarchy of the Australian Medical Association.

Pharmaceutical services expenses were reduced in 1976-77 by $47m. It is true that, according to the estimates, we are to see a slight increase for this financial year. The measures outlined are a clear indication of the Government’s concern over the rising health costs.

Dr Klugman:

– All that has happened is that you have increased the charge to the patient.


-Positive measures have . . .

Dr Klugman:

-It is $2 instead of $ 1.50.


– . . . helped to contain these escalating costs.


-Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. The honourable member for Prospect has made his speech. He has been interjecting consistently in the speech of the honourable member for Petrie. I cannot hear the argument if he continues like that. I ask him to retain his dignity and maintain peace and quiet. I call the honourable member for Petrie.


-Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I would like to take a few moments to outline some other measures and actions that I believe could be taken. I refer firstly to the Australian Medical Association peer review that has been the subject of discussion between the Minister and that body. I believe that the AMA has been too tardy in the establishment of a peer review group. A period of two years or three years has been mentioned as the time it would take to establish such a group. I cannot understand why that peer review group cannot be operating at an earlier date. There are many doctors in our community today who were violently opposed to the introduction of Medibank but who are now exploiting the scheme. In my view the initiation of this peer review group is overdue. Doctors in our community are in a position of trust that is, I believe, afforded to very few others. As the Leader of the Opposition mentioned, doctor initiated services are to be watched very closely. It is my view that the peer review system should be operating because in my estimation it is one of the best methods of curtailing the activities of the profession.

I disagree with the Opposition in relation to the patient contribution. I am of the opinion that the service is provided without a real identifiable cost. In the case of New South Wales the standard in-hour consultation fee is $8.90 and the medical benefits payback is $7.60, meaning a cost to the patient of $1.30. Where else can one obtain $9 worth of service for $ 1 ? I would like to buy a $9,000 motor car for $ 1 ,000 because basically that is what it amounts to. Members of the public can go along as often as they wish for about a dollar a time. This means that we are not really identifying the cost. We must be able to identify the cost of health care. I disagree with the Opposition with regard to catastrophic insurance. I think it is an area that wants close examination. People pay the first $200 or $300 of their expenses or pay all of their ordinary consultation fees to the medical profession. Only when they have a major operation or accident would the catastrophic insurance come into play. I believe this is an area that wants close examination and if seen to be of benefit this should be introduced. I think the arguments put forward by Opposition speakers are spurious. The Government has clearly demonstrated two things. Firstly, it is concerned with the rising health costs and, secondly, it has taken positive measures to curtail those costs. I know that the Minister -


-Order! The honourable gentleman’s time has expired. The discussion is concluded.

page 120


Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

-On behalf of the Leader of the House (Mr Sinclair), I move:

This motion is purely procedural and no immediate introduction of sales tax legislation is contemplated. Alteration of sales tax rates usually involves the introduction of nine sales tax Bills. Over a period of many years the House has found it convenient for the Bills to be taken together. Standing Order 291 permits these Bills to be introduced without notice but it is necessary to suspend Standing Orders to enable the Bills to be presented and dealt with together. When passed the motion will remain effective for this session. By moving the motion at this time we will avoid the speculation which could result if a motion were introduced later in the year.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 120


Bill presented by Mr Eric Robinson, and read a first time.

Second Reading

Mr Eric Robinson:

– I move:

This Bill is to overcome technical problems affecting statutory authorities established by Territory ordinances. In 1973, it became apparent that provisions for the payment of Budget appropriations may be beyond the power of a Territory ordinance. The Territory Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act 1973 was therefore enacted as complementary legislation to overcome this deficiency.

Since then, it has become apparent that certain other provisions concerning loans and taxation may also be beyond the powers of an ordinance. Clause 6 of the Bill will re-enact the substantive provisions of the 1973 Act while the remaining clauses concern loans and taxation. These clauses are in terms similar to provisions in Acts constituting Commonwealth Authorities.

Thus clause 7 will provide on the usual lines for the Minister for Finance to determine the terms and conditions of Commonwealth loans to Territory authorities, and will enable the Treasurer to give Commonwealth guarantees on other borrowings. Clause 8 of the Bill provides that certain non-commercial Territory authorities specified in Part 1 of the Schedule to the Act are exempt from Commonwealth and State taxation, unless regulations under the Act make a particular authority subject to a specified tax. Clause 9 provides that certain commercial Territory authorities specified in Part II of the Schedule are subject to taxation under the laws of the Commonwealth, but not subject to taxation under any law of a State unless the regulations make a particular authority liable to a specified State tax.

The authorities set out in the Schedule are limited to those established since 1973, when legal doubts about the powers of an ordinance arose. Ordinances creating new Territory authorities since 1973 have been prepared on the basis that certain financial provisions were probably beyond their power and would be provided for in complementary legislation. No problems have come under notice concerning the financial arrangements for Territory authorities established earlier.

Specific provision is made in clause 9 for the Canberra Commercial Development Authority to be liable to income tax and sales tax, in order to comply with the intention when the Authority was established in 1974 that it should be liable to all taxes and charges normally applicable to private commercial enterprises. The Chairman of the Authority was advised in 1974 and subsequently, that it was intended that the Authority should be so liable.

The Authority is to be made subject to income tax retrospectively from the date of its establishment so that it may benefit by offsetting any trading losses incurred in its early years against future taxable income, in the same way as a private developer. Because of administrative difficulties that would be involved in attempting to impose sales tax on past transactions, the Authority will be subject to sales tax from the date of commencement of this Act. In view of the advance toward self-government in the Territories there will be appropriate consultation before any authority is prescribed under this Act or before any amendment to the Schedule is proposed to the Parliament. I commend the Bill to honourable members.

Debate (on motion by Dr Klugman) adjourned.

page 121


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

Second Reading

Mr McLeay:
Minister for Construction and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence · BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– I move:

The basic purpose of the Control of Naval Waters Act is to regulate the movement of vessels and other activities in the vicinity of naval establishments and naval moorings so that naval operations and activities are not hindered or endangered. Over the years, various difficulties in the operation of the existing Act have come to light making necessary a general revision and clarification of the existing provisions of the Act.

While the primary purpose of the Act remains the control of vessels in naval waters, there is a need to control also the activities of persons. An example is the need to control the activities of skindivers, both to protect naval property and to protect individuals from any danger associated with naval activities such as sound waves from underwater equipment. At present, there is doubt whether regulations could be made under the Act with respect to the activities of persons, as distinct from vessels, within naval waters or on the foreshore of naval waters. The proposed amendments will remove this doubt. The Act will also be amended to ensure that the activities of aircraft over naval waters and vehicles on the foreshore of naval waters can be regulated.

There are two serious deficiencies in the existing Act. Firstly, the definition of ‘naval waters’ does not extend to areas of open sea and there is accordingly no capacity to exercise control under the Act in respect of, for example, activities in waters off the seaward side of Garden Island, Western Australia, where the Naval Support Facility is nearing completion. Secondly, there is doubt whether the Act applies in relation to installations which, while used for defence or naval purposes, are not Commonwealth-owned property, such as piers leased from harbour authorities.

The Bill rectifies these deficiencies and provides that the Governor-General may declare as naval waters, waters of the sea, including waters within the ebb and flow of the tide, that are within two nautical miles of defence land or five nautical miles of a defence installation. ‘Defence land’ is defined as meaning land used by the Commonwealth for defence purposes. A ‘defence installation’ is defined as including a naval establishment or any fixed structure, apparatus or equipment used by the Commonwealth for purposes related to the naval defence of the Commonwealth.

The Bill applies the operation of the Act to Territories but specifically excludes the Australian Antarctic Territory. Under the Antarctic Treaty, the Antarctic is to be used for peaceful purposes only and, although the use of military personnel or equipment for peaceful purposes is permitted, the extension of this Act to the Antarctic could produce misunderstanding having regard to Australia ‘s Treaty obligations.

The existing Act vests various powers in the Senior Naval Officer’ which is defined as including ‘the senior naval officer doing duty at any naval waters’. This definition has produced considerable uncertainty and it is proposed to provide instead for the appointment of a superintendent in respect of each area of defined naval waters.

The Bill covers various other matters which will enable naval waters to be more effectively administered. For example, it will be an offence for a master of a vessel to fail to comply with the lawful directions of a superintendent relating to the movement of the vessel within naval waters. The Bill also clarifies the definition of ‘vessel’ to ensure that it covers such modern developments as hovercraft and oil rigs.

In general this Bill is designed to improve in various ways a rather outdated Act while at the same time ensuring greater protection of naval waters and for people who might be inclined to engage in unregulated activities in those waters. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Scholes) adjourned.

page 122


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

Second Reading

Minister for National Development · Bass · LP

– I move:

The main purpose of this Bill is to provide the legislative framework within which the Commonwealth will be enabled to make agreements with the States on financial assistance for water resource projects. Projects selected under the Government’s $200m national water resources program will be authorised by such agreements.

It has been the practice for assistance to the States to be authorised by specific purpose Acts. However, the Government is of the view that standing legislation of this nature is more appropriate to the requirements of a long-term program. Moreover, it will reduce the legislative load in the Parliament without in any way restricting the flow of information or reducing the opportunities for debate. A copy of every agreement with a State must be tabled in the Parliament. In addition, the Parliament will need to consider separately the appropriation of funds for the purpose of the agreements.

Turning to the provisions of the Bill, section 3 defines the range of projects for which assistance will be available to the States. It encompasses all aspects of water resources management for which Commonwealth assistance would be appropriate- conservation and distribution works, water quality management, desalinisation of agricultural land, flood mitigation and floodplain management, and studies or investigations relating to all aspects of the assessment and utilisation of Australia’s water resources.

Section 7 includes an appropriation in this financial year out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of $2. 5m to meet existing commitments to the States for water resource development projects; $lm to New South Wales for flood mitigation works on the coastal rivers, and $1.5m to Queensland to enable completion of the Gin Gin channel in the Bundaberg irrigation project.

I should point out that the Commonwealth has provided $ 1 7m since 1 964-65 in grant funds to New South Wales for flood mitigation works on its coastal rivers, generally on a 2:2: 1 funding basis- Commonwealth, State and local government authorities respectively. The Commonwealth has always accepted a contingent commitment in respect of flooding disasters, and this particular program has without any doubt considerably reduced the destructive effects of these recurrent natural hazards. It has also contributed significantly to the security of life in floodprone areas.

The Commonwealth first became involved with Queensland in the Bundaberg irrigation project in 1970 with the provision of a grant of $ 12.8m for Monduran Dam, Gin Gin channel and the main pumping station linking the dam through Gin Gin channel to the Burnett River. A further grant of $4.4m was provided in 1974 to cover cost increases for these works. The current grant, on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the State, will enable the works with which the Commonwealth has been associated to be completed in this financial year and will enable the water now stored in Monduran Dam to be utilised more effectively.

The administrative arrangements for implementing the national water resources program have been established and the States have been invited to submit their priorities for Commonwealth assistance under the program. The Bill before the House is a step in this process, and the continuing nature of the proposed Act lends itself eminently to sustained initiatives by the Commonwealth to ensure the most effective development and utilisation of Australia’s water resources. It was very heartening to hear in the course of a debate in the House towards the end of last year of widespread interest in the Commonwealth’s role in the development of the nation’s water resources. Without doubt, the essence of the debate was general support for a more active Commonwealth role. I must say that this has encouraged me a great deal in taking over the responsibilities for the Commonwealth’s interests in water resources, especially today as I introduce into the House my first measure on these important matters. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Keating) adjourned.

page 122


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

Second Reading

Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

– I move:

The pressure of business towards the end of the last Budget sittings precluded the Industries Assistance Commission Amendment Bill which I introduced on 1 9 October 1 977 being considered by the Parliament before the dissolution of the House. The Bill I now bring forward gives effect to decisions concerning the role of the Industries Assistance Commission announced on 14 September last. The Bill also amends the temporary assistance provisions of the Industries Assistance Commission Act as foreshadowed earlier last year.

One of the purposes of the Bill is to ensure that recommendations of the Commission are made in the light of Government policy and that the Commission’s reports contain all relevant information to enable fully informed decisions to be made by the Government. I emphasise that the changes will not compromise the independence of the Commission, or its role in advising the Government on the nature and levels of assistance which should be afforded particular industries. The public inquiry and report procedures will continue as important features of the Commission’s operation. The Bill provides that the Commission, in the performance of its functions, will have regard to the Government’s desire to achieve sustained growth through balanced development of industries with a view to providing increased opportunities for employment and investment. The Bill also expresses the Government’s objective that any measures to achieve changes in the structure of industry are taken only after due regard has been given to the capacity of the economy to sustain those changes and to absorb members of the work force displaced by those changes.

The Minister will have the power to bring additional matters to the attention of the Commission and to direct the Commission as to the priority it should observe in having regard to its policy guidelines in the performance of its functions. Provision is also made for the Commission in reporting on matters relating to the giving, continuance or withdrawal of assistance to report on the level of assistance required to ensure that activity and employment in an industry is sustained. Where the IAC recommends a lower level of assistance than this, it will be required to state the reasons for doing so. The Commission will be required to report whether the structure of an industry can be improved and, if so, the measures by which this can be done and the consequences of such improvement. It will also report on the probable consequences of implementing its recommendations for the giving, continuance or withdrawal of assistance to an industry or group of industries.

The Bill clarifies the role of the Temporary Assistance Authority- TAA- as the principal body dealing with temporary assistance matters. The Bill states that the principal purpose of a TAA inquiry is to enable the Authority to report on the level of assistance necessary to maintain the existing level or a previously existing level of activity and employment in an industry. The TAA will, as in the case of the Commission, be able to recommend to the Government any form of assistance which it considers appropriate. The Government will have the same flexibility in dealing with recommendations of the TAA as applies in respect of recommendations by the Commission. This change will mean that upon receipt of a report from the TAA the Government may not only accept, reject or partially adopt the Authority’s recommendations but also take any other action it thinks fit in the circumstances. Not all temporary assistance matters will necessarily go to the TAA. From time to time there will be circumstances where short term problems are of such a nature and of such basic importance that they are immediately critical to the long term future of the industry. The option of referring such cases .to the Industries Assistance Commission rather than the TAA should this be warranted by the circumstances is, therefore, retained. Consistent with the Government’s policy that inquiries by the advisory bodies should be held in public, the Bill requires the TAA to hold its inquiries in public. Inquiries by the TAA will also be bound by Part V of the Industries Assistance Commission Act which governs the manner in which Commission inquiries are held.

The Bill also extends to 45 days from the present 30 days the time limit for the TAA to report on matters referred to it. This will facilitate proper inquiry procedures by that body and provide witnesses with better opportunities to prepare and present submissions. The present requirement for an automatic reference of an industry to the Commission following a decision to provide temporary assistance based upon a TAA report is unnecessarily restrictive and, in many cases, unwarranted. The Bill provides that temporary assistance granted following a TAA report will not continue for a period of more than 12 months without review by either the TAA or the Commission. Temporary assistance will not be provided beyond a second year unless a report on the industry concerned has been received from the IAC. Where an industry which obtains temporary assistance has received such assistance for two years or for a total of 2 years within the previous four years, it will be referred to the IAC for inquiry and report.

The Bill provides that temporary assistance by way of import restraints or temporary duties will, in certain cases, not continue beyond three months after the receipt of an IAC report. These cases are where an industry seeks continuation of temporary assistance beyond two years or where, having received such assistance for a period of two years in the previous four years, it obtains further temporary assistance. The provision maintains restraints on the continuation of temporary assistance similar to those in the present Industries Assistance Commission Act. A consequential amendment is, however, required to the Customs Tariff Act, and a Bill for this purpose is being introduced with this amending legislation. As the TAA is concerned with industries which face actual and potential difficulties arising from import competition, the Bill provides as a guideline for the TAA the essence of the emergency action provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in relation to the withdrawal or suspension of obligations. These provisions allow for the withdrawal, suspension or modification of concessions by a contracting party, where it is necessary to take urgent action to provide assistance to an industry where any product is being imported in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to cause or threaten serious injury to domestic producers of like or directly competitive goods.

Although the short-term problems of an industry warrant particular treatment, the Government is none the less conscious of the link between short-term and long-term assistance issues. For this reason the Bill specifically provides for the general criteria contained in section 22 ( 1 ) of the Industries Assistance Commission Act to continue to apply to enquiries conducted by the Temporary Assistance Authority. The Bill also provides for changes in the structure of the TAA itself. The TAA will comprise one full-time member and there is provision for the Minister to appoint associate members for specific inquiries, thus allowing for the appointment of persons having expertise in a particular area as the need arises.

It has been a matter of concern to the Government that the present Act does not provide for references, or parts of references to either the Commission or the TAA to be withdrawn. This can lead to a situation where, during the course of an inquiry, it becomes apparent that there is no need for the inquiry or part of the inquiry to continue and consequently industry and other interested parties can face unnecessary costs. Provision is now made in the Bill for references to the Commission or the TAA to be withdrawn or amended. When sending a reference to the Commission, the Government will require the Commission in appropriate circumstances to report within a specific period of time.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the changes to the Industries Assistance Commission Act contained in this Bill demonstrate the Government’s concern that the Commission should be able to respond fully to the Government’s policy with respect to industry and that efficient emergency procedures to safeguard industries should exist. The Government fully recognises the interdependence of short and long-term assistance. Temporary assistance will not, therefore, be provided in such a way that it effectively removes the need for industries to adapt to changing circumstances; rather it will be provided so as to allow industries to take appropriate action to adapt to such changes. These amendments will ensure that an appropriate balance is struck between long-term and short-term assistance. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hurford) adjourned.

page 124


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

Second Reading

Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs · Farrer · LP

– I move:

Mr Deputy Speaker, this Bill deals with amendments necessary to the Customs Tariff Act 1 966 consequent upon the proposed changes to temporary assistance measures foreshadowed in my second reading speech on the Industries Assistance Commission Act Amendment Bill 1978. The amendments provide that temporary assistance by way of temporary duties will, in certain cases, not continue beyond three months after receipt of a report from the Industries Assistance Commission. As explained in my speech on the Industries Assistance Commission Act Amendment Bill 1978, these cases are where an industry seeks continuation of temporary assistance beyond two years or where, having received such assistance for a period of two years in the previous four years, it obtains further temporary assistance. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hurford) adjourned.

page 125




Debate resumed from 22 February, on motion by Mr Carlton:

That the following Address-in-Reply to the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General be agreed to:

May it please Your Excellency:

We, the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to Our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament


– I have only a few minutes remaining in which to speak. But I think that it should be enough time for me to dispose of some of the catalogue of calamities espoused by Government supporters this morning. I want to take a few moments to raise one question which is before the community consistently and to examine it in perhaps a different way. I refer to the relative level of profits and wages in the community and the relative rights of industry to the measure of profit which should be returned to it. On what basis should we calculate profits? They can be calculated on the basis of paid-up capital. They can be calculated on the basis of shareholders ‘ funds or assets. I suppose that a retailing business would try to calculate profits on the basis of turnover. This can make profit look smaller and smaller because ordinarily turnover is such a relatively larger figure.

I want to present to the House some arithmetic I have done on the basis of profit per employee, something which the arbitral authorities do not seem to have considered in any way. I will give five examples- two involving capital intensive companies and three involving labour intensive companies. I will start with our friend, the charitable organisation known as Utah Mining Australia Ltd. Its profit before tax amounted to $365.2m. The company employs 2,851 employees. Therefore it makes a profit of $128,146 per annum per employee. That is a profit of $2,464 a week or $62 an hour per employee. This is the company that is trying to chisel the seamen out of their wages.

Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd made a profit of $ 182.9m. It employs 16,600 employees. Therefore it makes a profit of $11,023 per annum, $2 12 per week or $5.12 an hour per employee. I will now deal with the labour intensive industries. The State Savings Bank of Victoria- it is a great time for money lenders- made a profit of $27. 7m. It employs 6,134 employees. Therefore, it made a profit of $4,5 1 7 per annum per employee. That represents a profit of $87 a week or $2.70 per hour per employee. The Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd made a profit of $79.9m, and employs 21,179 employees. That represents a profit of $3,588 per annum, $69 a week or $1.75 an hour per employee. Myer Ltd, one of the largest employers of labour, made a profit of $78.4m. The company employs 29,498 people. It made a profit of $2,662 per annum, $5 1 a week or $ 1 .2 1 an hour per employee. Yet these companies have the hide to appear before the arbitration commission to try to chisel their employees out of another $2, $3 or $4 a week in increased wages. I think that one of the issues before us is the consistent reduction in the living standards of the people of Australia who do the work and make the profits. I have presented a simple and fundamental piece of arithmetic which never seems to be placed before members of the public, the arbitration commissions or this Parliament. I place it before honourable members today for their serious consideration so that they can see the injustices which are being perpetrated upon the people who are responsible for the productivity and progress of the country.

Sitting suspended from 12.59 to 2.15 p.m.

St George

-Mr Deputy Speaker, the Thirty-first Parliament has assembled and firstly I would like to ask you to convey my congratulations to Mr Speaker. I have congratulated you previously on your appointment.

The Speech of the Governor-General dealt with many matters which are important for the Parliament to consider during this session. I noticed in a newspaper this morning that some member of the Press had written that the Parliament was of no real effect. Obviously he is one of the brand of super-cynics who does not believe that the institutions of our society are as valuable as they really are. Such persons should understand that this Parliament is the fundamental institution and one of the most important traditions of our democratic community in Australia. It plays a real, continuing, vital and central role in our society. Of course, it depends very much upon its members and what they put into it. I agree with the remarks that have been made from time to time in relation to the importance of the Parliament having a greater degree of independence from the Executive in some areas. But that does not mean to say that we should denigrate the Parliament. It is an institution that must be supported and maintained. In Australia it will be maintained as the important institution that it is.

I thank all the supporters of the Government in the last election and the people of St George for returning me to this place. I thank the people of St George for the very great amount of assistance and advice that I have received from them over the past two years on a non-party basis. As well as thanking my own supporters, I acknowledge the efforts of people who, in their own way, worked for other parties, although it was my party’s aim to defeat them. When a person in some way helps or joins a political party he is helping the democratic process in this country. Nowadays our greatest enemy is apathy. It is good for people to want to join a political party of their choice and, through the democratic process, to try to give the public a choice of parties. Of course, from my own point of view, I wanted to see and did see the return of the LiberalNational Country Party Government.

That Government has now embarked upon the continuation of its very successful program of the past two years. It is absolutely vital that we ensure that the basic economic program of the Government is continued. There is no doubt whatsoever that the plan to defeat inflation is sound and correct. I hope that we can soon reach the stage where inflation will have been reduced to about 6 per cent or 7 per cent, which will enable the Government to institute programs of selective stimulation of the economy, to add to its programs of national development, to ensure real growth in the economy and to ensure that through these programs unemployment will be reduced. I am confident that this will occur. I am confident that the Government, by continuing to take the harsh but necessary measures that it is taking, will achieve that position.

Let me canvass briefly the speech made yesterday by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Hayden). He chose to attack the Speaker in a manner which I regard as demeaning to himself and to the House. It was a snivelling, snarling, snide speech and it bodes ill-will for the Opposition that it has chosen as its leader a person who would deliver such a speech at the outset of the parliamentary session. Fortunately it bodes very well for the Government parties because obviously a party led by such a person will receive very little public support. One of the difficulties facing the Australian Labor Party is that, having such a paucity of talent, it ends up with a leader who would make such a speech.

Obviously the remainder of its ranks is threadbare. I believe that all honourable members on this side of the House would support what I have said in view of the scurrilous statements that were made by the Leader of the Opposition about the Speaker. I am informed by older members that he is the finest Speaker that they can remember.

Let me move oh to one or two issues, and particularly to Australia’s foreign policy and defence posture. At the outset it should be noted that in recent times the Government has recognised the incorporation of East Timor into Indonesia. I do not like that decision but I accept it as having been necessary and justified in the circumstances. My attitude on this matter, which is on record, is well known. The trouble, as far as Australia was concerned, arose some years ago when the former Prime Minister, the honourable member for Werriwa (Mr E. G. Whitlam), tacitly supported the actions of the Indonesians in taking over East Timor. The Government which came to office in 1 975 was faced with an extremely difficult situation. The Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Peacock) is on record on many occasions as condemning the use of force and the means by which that takeover was achieved. Unfortunately there was nothing that the Australian Government at the time could really do about the matter. If the previous Labor Government had taken a principled and proper stand in relation to the diplomatic discussions that were held with Indonesia this may have- I do not know whether it would have- resulted in a different course of action by the Indonesians.

At this stage it appears that Indonesia is in control. I am pleased that it has been emphasised by the Government that there was a de facto recognition and that we do not recognise it de jure. We do not accept the means of the takeover. We do not accept that what occurred was done properly. It is now vitally important that the utmost humanitarian assistance be given to the Timorese people, to whom Australia owes a great debt. There are still large numbers of families who are not united. There are many people in Australia from Timor who have left their families behind. Family reunion must proceed as soon as possible. As soon as possible a reasonable and sensible measure of aid should be given to the Timorese people. More and more the Australian Government is adopting the policy of ensuring that aid goes directly to the people. We must make sure that aid is not siphoned off and directed to bureaucrats or other groups, thus lessening the value of the aid to the Timorese people.

The matter in the Governor-General’s Speech that concerns me somewhat is the very small proportion of the Speech, which was otherwise excellent, that was devoted to the defence of Australia. I have noticed from the White Paper on Defence and from previous Government statements that the Government has always maintained that its first responsibility is to provide the nation with security from armed attack and from the constraints on independent national decisions imposed by the threat of such attack. This may be only a matter of semantics but perhaps it is important to emphasise that, in the Governor-General’s Speech, the Government’s priorities are set out in seven paragraphs which are not numbered. The Speech says that the seven priorities are clear. The seventh is: ‘To secure the defence of our nation and act as a positive force for world peace’. I do not believe that that priority should have appeared in the Speech in that position. I believe that, in accordance with the policy of this Government, it should have appeared as the first priority. Whilst I recognise the other priorities as being of vital importance, I believe that that priority should be firmly maintained, as was stated in the White Paper and as has been stated in other documents and statements by the Government, as the first priority.

At present we have an increase in public concern, at the localised level at least, about matters relating to defence. There has been concern about entry into our north by drug runners and perhaps by other types of smugglers. There has been concern at terrorist incidents. The most disgraceful and regrettable act of the last week or so in Sydney has brought home to us that these things can happen in Australia.

I know that honourable members on both sides of the House await with great expectation the statement on security matters to be made today by the Prime Minister. I hope that the statement is backed up by two areas of action. One is in regard to the legal impedimenta to the use of various forces, both police forces and armed forces, in this country to ensure that there are proper streamlined legal processes to enable appropriate forces to be used properly in appropriate circumstances while maintaining at all times the proper basic civil liberties that our people are entitled to expect. A balance has to be obtained. The legislation that presently governs the position starts with the Constitution and works down through the various regulations. It is difficult properly to define the powers. A morass of legislation and other provisions and arrangements have to be gone through before various forces can be used. Commonwealth-State relations have to be involved. These need to be tidied up. I do not think that we can allow ourselves to expect that next time some difficult problem arises it can be solved without some changes to the present legal requirements.

Honourable members on the Government side will recall that recently the Government Parties Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee produced a report on the use of the Army reserve in limited circumstances particularly natural disasters and, one would envisage, terrorist situations. Considerable difficulties were involved in the use of the reserve. An amendment was proposed in that regard, and I know that the Minister for Defence (Mr Killen) is considering it. I hope that legislation can be introduced in this area. Obviously there might be occasions when reserve units would be required in circumstances such as a natural disaster. One would hope that the reserve could properly be used.

The other thing is to ensure that we have the highest possible training and the most skilled groups available- military, para-military or police- to handle the serious circumstances that might arise. I have some concern- I do not know- as to whether we have a group in Australia that could, for example, remove hostages from an aircraft within one or two minutes or could get open doors within three or four seconds by the use of measures that we have seen adopted overseas by German, Dutch and Israeli forces. I am absolutely certain that the Australian forces would be capable of such activity. We have some of the finest forces in the world. It is simply a matter of checking to ensure that the training is up-to-date and is backed by the right equipment.

Some decisions will now have to be made by the Government in relation to defence to build on the good work of the past two years. There have been noticeable improvements in Australia’s defence preparedness. These improvements include increases in the state of morale of the forces and valuable developments of professional knowledge and skills. The Government brought down a White Paper and followed it up with a statement allocating $ 12,000m over 5 years. It is now important that we clear the decks and understand clearly what strategic interests Australia is concerned with and what plans are to be made to meet the contingencies that might arise. There is a need for further government initiatives. Clear guidelines and further decisions will have to be taken and, consistent with security arrangements, these ought to be published. There is too great a degree still of secrecy amongst some of our decision making processes. I believe that the Australian public will respond if clear guidelines are laid out.

Various criticisms are made sometimes of the Defence Department. It is said that the Department does not produce plans and that it is not operating as efficiently as it could. I do not necessarily accept those criticisms. I think we should look at them and review how the new structure of the Defence Department is working. On the other hand, we get criticisms of the Government. It is said that insufficiently clear strategic guidelines have been given to the forces to enable them to plan. In the centre of this is the Minister. I believe that the Minister needs the utmost support that this House and the nation can give him. He has one of the most difficult jobs of any Minister. His Department comprises the best part of five former departments. How he can cope with the work load at times I cannot imagine. He has a massive work load. He is charged with what I believe is the most important responsibility. It would seem that he requires further assistance, as he was saying in the House yesterday, particularly on the monetary side of things.

The Government has to face facts. The Minister needs support and he obviously needs more money. The nation has to face that simple fact. It is absolutely no use our saying that we will postpone this decision until tomorrow or next week. We now know what can happen to us. It can happen here. There is a need for Cabinet to support the Minister further in his endeavours to obtain additional finance for the whole area of the defence budget. There is some suspicion that the $ 12,000m program will be eroded unless the strength of the resolve of the Cabinet is maintained.

I do not want to go into all the various scenarios of threats which could be directed towards Australia. I do not believe that is profitable. I think it could only lead to chasing different scenarios and trying to provide a solution for every single one we can think up. Under the Guam doctrine, Australia will have to take additional steps in its own defence. A reasonable assessment might conclude that Australia must aim to have its own self defence forces capable of carrying out continental defence roles and regional interest roles as defined by the Government. There must be a definition of those regional interests. It is obvious that our major interest is in the archipelago from Indonesia across to New Britain, together with the surrounding seas of

Australia, the off-shore oil fields and other resource areas and Australian residents at work on or engaged in projects in the region. The White Paper set out the force structure characteristics but did not of itself set out the force structure necessary to carry out that role as I would define it of continental defence with appropriate regional responsibilities as well. It is important that the force structure be settled. When that is done, a large number of other decisions particularly in relation to equipment procurement will clearly follow in a logical way.

The second area to which the Government must give attention is the Budget. We have a problem of uncontrollable and controllable expenditure. Day by day the area of uncontrollable expenditure increases. We have commendably indexed pensions. We have a number of other areas of the Budget that are locked in. Every day pressure groups seek to have their desires locked in to the Budget. Continually there is less room to move and continually the defence budget is squeezed further and further into the small and shrinking controllable area of the Budget. It will be very difficult to set out the areas and re-define the areas of controllability as against uncontrollability. I believe that the area of actual controllability by the Government has to be extended. Defence would have its proper claims in proper perspective if this were the case. I believe this can be done without any disregard for the proper and very high level of social benefits that people are entitled to receive from the Government in this day and age.

There is a plethora of various handouts, subsidies and all sorts of things in the Budget that need careful scrutiny. A thorough review of the real cost of defence should be undertaken. It is ridiculous to view defence simply in regard to the outgoing side of the Budget. The real cost has to be looked at in resources and in what is taken from the civilian community and also in what is expended in the defence budget that contributes to the production and the civilian community itself. A simple example is the fact that the defence budget provides much for housing and other resources that would otherwise have to be provided by the civilian budget. The massive increase in manpower costs has to be looked at very carefully. We must have an appropriate response. Manpower is taking a massive slice. Therefore, in my view, we must look at possible ways of reducing senior civilian costs.

We must recoup costs for services that the Defence Department provides to other departments and to State governments. Most surveillance nowadays is for fisheries departments of State governments and for other governments. To my knowledge the expense is not recouped. It should be recouped. The reserve forces should be upgraded. Obviously they are cheaper. We can get more value for the dollar out of a reserve force. We must look more carefully at the maintenance of equipment. As much as possible we should be buying equipment in Australia that has long life cycles. So more and more we can see that we are getting value for our money. Economists might differ as to many of the ways in which we should go about these things but in the whole question of the defence budget, the assessment and review of it, a farsighted approach is necessary. It is difficult for me to go into the detail at this time, Mr Acting Speaker, but it is absolutely vital that these matters be considered in the national interest.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar)Order! The honourable member for St George is required to address the Chair as Mr Deputy Speaker. The only occasions on which the Deputy Speaker is referred to as Acting Speaker are on those occasions when the Speaker is formally absent from the Parliament and the Deputy Speaker has been formally appointed to act as Speaker.


-I apologise, Mr Deputy Speaker.


-Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.


-I wish to address the House on the same subject as was dealt with by the honourable member for St George (Mr Neil). Before doing so, I congratulate you, Mr Deputy Speaker, on your election to the position of Chairman of Committees and Deputy Speaker and hope that your term in office will be a successful one. At this stage I do not intend to make solid statements about defence or defence capacity. It is my intention, however, to draw attention to some of those matters relating to defence which I think it proper that this Parliament should consider and discuss and about which the Minister for Defence (Mr Killen) should make clear the position of the defence forces and the Government. In 20 minutes one can most likely touch only the surface but this is one of the few opportunities which exist to raise this type of matter. The honourable member for St George has already mentioned the rating that defence has in the Government’s order of priorities, but I draw the attention of the House to another part of the Governor-General’s Speech in which the only significant mention of defence really occurs. It states:

The Government will continue its policy of increasing the proportion of defence spending allocated to capital investment and new equipment purchases.

The statement in itself is most likely a logical one and in line with the best advice which the Government obtains on defence needs. However, given that the defence budget is not altering, given that the cost of the existing manpower is increasing and given that the Government has indicated an increase in that manpower, I find it difficult to understand how that statement can be given any force at all. If the cost of the human resources in the defence area is to increase- those human resources are to be increased- and the total funds are not to be increased- that is the import, I would give the statement made by the Minister for Defence (Mr Killen) in an interview on Four Corners last Saturday night- then how are the ratios changed in the manner indicated in the Governor-General’s Speech? I draw attention to that matter because I think it is a starting point from which we ought to examine the whole area.

In November 1976 the Government presented a White Paper on defence. It is a considerable document. I suggest that it makes a considerable number of assertions. It does not argue the validity of those assertions, and I think that in itself is also important because in any situation there are alternatives and in any major decision of the nature of a White Paper on defence or a strategic review there will be differing opinions among the experts and the advisers to the Government. Those people who finally make the decision have to make a value judgment as to what is correct. In an area such as defence I think it is important especially for the Parliament to be given at least some information concerning the alternative points of view because they might well be correct. For instance, it is said that in the British Parliament the minority point of view presented prior to the Second World War was in fact the correct point of view. I would most likely argue with that, but certainly with the benefit of hindsight the general advocacy, say of Winston Churchill, is now believed to have been the correct advocacy.

There is in the White Paper no discussion of alternatives and no discussion or reasoning as to why certain decisions have been made. I think that is an important starting point if the correct decisions are to be made. The wisdom of the Cabinet, no matter which party is in Government, might be all prevailing but very often, given the benefit of hindsight, it is proven to be incorrect. Sometimes the incorrectness might be overcome by debate in the Parliament if the information were made readily available to it. I am concerned about a number of matters within the area of defence and I raise those matters today without making specific statements on where I stand with regard to them because I believe that they are matters in which one is entitled to give the serious consideration which cannot be given in five minutes. As I raise these matters I hope that the Minister will take note of them and that the Government may choose to provide the necessary information about them.

I think the most important single area of activity confronting us at the moment is the question of surveillance and who will carry out that duty. The White Paper makes fairly clear that surveillance is the accepted responsibility of the defence forces. It also makes fairly clear that it is accepted that the major defensive area for Australia is the maritime one. I think subsequent discussions about that area indicate that that is a relatively correct judgment. Unfortunately, about two years after the event discussion is taking place. Given that, purchases of equipment have to be related to that judgment. If our defensive position is to make it extremely expensive in equipment, lives and effort for anyone to seek to invade part of Australia or to engage in activities such as harassment of the continent, then our defence equipment has to be able to perform the tasks of making the cost unacceptable. It is extremely doubtful whether the decisions in the White Paper about equipment meet that criterion, which also is stated in the White Paper. I believe that one other factor that should be taken into consideration in this sort of situation is the cost of equipment and the appropriateness of that equipment. One thing that we could say quite safely is that Australian servicemen have always performed in a manner of which Australians have been proud. Another is that, irrespective of which party is in office, the government of the day and those people who advocate defence as a major issue will not in peacetime, especially without an obvious threat, obtain sufficient funds to meet what are seen to be the defence requirements of the country. Sometimes a judgment must be made not as to what is desirable but as to what will come within the available funding. The major equipment purchases currently under discussion- I leave aside the third frigate which I fancy is committed, right or wrong- are fighter aircraft. The questions that ought to be raised are: What role do we see aircraft playing in the defence positions that we are developing, and what type of aircraft can meet that role best? There is no question that the senior officers of the Royal Australian Air Force will want the best possible aircraft as they see it. There is no question that the senior officers of the Army will want the best possible equipment as they see it. Similarly with the Royal Australian Navy. The problem is that the Treasurer cannot provide that. That is a realistic political statement.

At the moment it appears that the Air Force wants to purchase the F15 aircraft. Apparently it is an extremely good aircraft. It is also extremely dear. I understand that purchase of the aircraft and other recommendations are under active consideration at the moment. Most likely Australia could buy a small number of aircraft which basically are suited to hard top airfields and which have an air superiority capability plus a strike role. One alternative- there are a number of alternatives- would be to revamp the Mirages. I understand that the air frame of the Mirage has approximately 10 years of life left. The Mirage can be updated to give a fighter capacity adequate to the likely needs of Australia during that period. It would not have a capacity as a strike aircraft. We could then examine what aircraft are available to meet the remaining requirementsmainly a strike capacity. Aircraft of this type are available at considerably lower cost and therefore can be obtained in a greater quantity for a given expenditure of funds. I emphasise that they could provide for Australia a better defence capacity, given the circumstances in which we are likely to use that capacity. Certainly we would have difficulty in meeting the defence forces of the United States of America or the Soviet Union in open combat, but we are hardly likely to expect to do that. That is a consideration that has to be looked at.

Another very serious consideration is that the aircraft we purchase must be able to operate over a broader area and not be confined to hard top airfields. We have very few such airfields in Australia, and most likely it would be more expensive to construct the airfields needed than it would be to purchase the aircraft. I raise that point mainly because I think it is the sort of argument that this Parliament ought to be considering. We are not buying a Rolls Royce to drive around to give us prestige. We are buying something which will give us the maximum service which is desirable, which is necessary and which fits the funds that will be made available. I should like to deal at length with the allocation of funds, but time will not permit.

Another matter that ought to be discussed by this Parliament, not a permanent heads committee, is who will accept responsibility for coastal and naval surveillance of Australian waters. I think the Minister’s statements yesterday were quite misleading in context. I am fairly certain that the defence forces are now seeking to opt out of the surveillance role. They will suffer a loss if they do, because governments will not finance adequately two separate services, one military and one civilian, to carry out surveillance roles. The nation will lose out because a second rate civilian service and a poorly manned, equipped and financed military service will not give any real defensive capacity in what we would see as our major defence requirement and certainly will not give the protection that our fisheries officials and other people such as narcotics agents will expect and are entitled to expect. The armed Services have the organisational capacity. In fulfilling a surveillance role they would be seen to be performing a very useful role in peacetime which would help to justify their claims on the Budget.

I am certain that those responsible for planning in this area are making a mistake in trying to get rid of this role. It is one that the Services alone can carry out adequately. It is one that can add usefully to the defence structure, not detract from it. To do the job properly there has to be an air and maritime command operating in the northern section of Australia to carry out surveillance. It is the type of thing we ought to be debating in this Parliament, and it ought to be the subject of public debate. It is not a black and white situation, as the Minister would have us believe. The areas of grey are far wider. I suggest that a surveillance force would provide us with an opportunity to utilise Autralian manufactured equipment. My understanding is that the Government Aircraft Factories Nomad Searchmaster is most likely the most cost effective aircraft to carry out this type of low intensity surveillance. Work would also be provided for the GAF if the upgrading of the Mirages were an accepted fact. Our aircraft industry needs that sort of support if its technical expertise is to be maintained. Without technical expertise any expenditure on defence is a waste.

I want to raise one or two specific matters relating to defence expenditure. We hear a great deal about defence and the importance the Government places on defence. A few moments ago we heard about the importance of the Army Reserve. My understanding is that at the moment the Army Reserve is in severe financial problems. I have been informed that in Victoria parades are being cancelled because funds are not available. I am informed that recently in Western Australia the Army Reserve water transport group was addressed by Major Menner and asked whether the unit was prepared to carry on normal parades on a voluntary basis for six months, the alternative being that the group would have to be wound up because funds were no longer available to maintain it. My understanding is that in this instance the funds had been expended in providing services to United States ships that visited Western Australia as pan of their training exercises. A similar visit is due in the future. My understanding is that the requests for additional funds to cover the responsibilities which the group was given have been refused and therefore the group has no funds with which to carry on its activities.

I raise this matter because there is a contradiction. An advertisement appeared in the Press in Victoria last week- I presume that a national advertising campaign was taking place- seeking recruits for the Army Reserve. In my electorate the Army has a permanent recruiting office which is manned one day a week. Last week within 150 yards of it was an Army information caravan especially taken to Geelong for the purpose of publicising the Army. If the recruiting office is viable on a permanent basis, I ask what the justification is for the expenditure on the information caravan. The Air Force will be in Geelong in a couple of weeks doing exactly the same duties. Why advertise for recruits for the Army Reserve if there is not enough money to pay them? I am reliably informed that the situation in Western Australia is as I have stated. I hope that the Minister is able to refute that. Nevertheless that is the information I have. I am reliably informed by members of the Army Reserve who have made direct complaints that in Victoria parades are being cancelled because funds are not available for the number of parades listed. Obviously other activities would be suffering. In the last months we have been through a series of events which have not been good for the image of the Defence Force. The recent issue of faulty ammunition had nothing to do with the Defence Force but was concerned solely with the manufacturers. A number of other cost cutting activities have taken place.

I come back to the point with which I started. The White Paper, which on my reading suggests that its contents are no longer in line with what the Government is in fact doing or seeking to do, ought to be supported by argument. At least the opportunity should be provided in the Parliament for contrary points of view to be put. I have given notice of a motion to establish in this House a committee to carry out that sort of duty. I am fully aware that the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence does carry out those sorts of functions. I believe that the motion of which I have given notice is designed to establish a separate committee of this House whose function will be to allocate the funds. If its only purpose is to draw attention to the inadequacy of those funds or the lack of discussion on the claims for funds or the methods by which they are spent, then it will be a worthwhile exercise.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr MillarOrder! The honourable member’s time has expired.


– It is my pleasure to participate in the Address-in-Reply debate following the Speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General on the occasion of the opening of the Thirty-First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. The motion of acceptance of the AddressinReply was moved ably by the new honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton) and seconded by his colleague from Western Australia, the honourable member for Tangney (Mr Shack). I take this opportunity also to congratulate His Excellency on the appointment that was conferred on him by Her Majesty the Queen. I believe it to be a popular appointment. I believe further that Sir Zelman will fulfil that appointment with dignity and will give us the benefit of his vast experience and qualifications.

Furthermore, in his absence from the chamber today, I congratulate the Speaker on his reelection to that office. I congratulate you also, Mr Deputy Speaker, on your election to the office of Chairman of Committees, which I believe you will serve with distinction and ability. Contrary to some of the claims made by some members of the Opposition I think you have already demonstrated on the first day of your holding that office that you are not biased and that you certainly have the capacity to fulfil that position. Exactly two years ago to this day I gave my maiden speech in this place.

Mr Baillieu:

– I remember it.


– It was a good one too, if I remember correctly. At that time I referred to my electorate of Calare, as is expected of a new member of Parliament. I extolled the virtues of that electorate, referring to both its economic and aesthetic virtues. I gave a somewhat erudite geographical description of the towns and cities located in that electorate. I referred to the fact that some of it was located between the fertile river valleys of the Macquarie and the Lachlan rivers. I referred to its impressive potential for growth because of its mixed rural and provincial town economy. However, following the recent redistribution I lost well over half of that area and acquired in its place 35,000 new constituents to whom I am a maiden speech maker at this moment. I feel pressed to say at this stage that I believe I am making a semi-maiden speech as a semi-new member. That means that I am entitled to be interrupted by only half the number of interjections that are usually made.

The new area that I have acquired includes the industrial and mining complex at Lithgow, Portland and Wallerawang. It includes the administrative, educational and growing industrial centre of Bathurst. It includes Oberon which is well renowned for the quality of its rural produce and its forestry products. It includes also Blayney which is another town showing significant growth potential. It is one which is very closely associated with the meat industry. In addition, of course, I have retained some of those areas that comprised my electorate previously, namely, Orange, Parkes, Wellington and the areas in between. I now have within my new electorate of Calare the Bathurst-Orange growth centre in its entirety rather than just one part of that growth centre which was the case previously. Furthermore I have some areas which I believe show a natural growth potential. One such area is Lithgow with its tremendous reserves of steaming coal which are currently being developed in the western coalfields. There are other centres which have tremendous potential for growth. I refer to a town such as Parkes with its geographical advantage of being located on major transport routes.

The electorate of Calare has changed not only geographically but it has changed significantly from the point of view of its employment prospects and its employment framework. It has changed significantly in its political outlook. I must say that despite the predictions of pundits of the immediate decline of the member for Calare as it was, that has not eventuated. I must say that it is rather interesting to ponder on the situation pertaining to some of the electorate. For 40 years that part of the Macquarie electorate which I have now acquired was represented by Labor members. I refer in particular to a former Prime Minister, Mr Ben Chifley. For 25 years it was represented by another well-known member of this House, Mr Tony Luchetti.

Mr McVeigh:

– Real Labor men, not left wing radicals.


– I think the reason why they represented the area has just been suggested by the honourable member for Darling Downs. In 1975 my colleague and friend, Mr Reg

Gillard, won that electorate for the Liberal Party quite decisively. Although he was being described as one of the oncers who would definitely lose his seat in 1977, we saw that he was returned as the member representing the altered electorate of Macquarie. I suggest that the traditional Labor supporters were not prepared to back the Whitlam brand of socialism to which they had been subjected for a number of years.

I indicate my appreciation and support also for the old area in my electorate which gave me such strong support. I must say that I am pleased to be representing the new area in my electorate in that it does represent a microcosm of the whole of non-metropolitan Australia. It has a tremendous diversity of industry which I mentioned in part a few moments ago. It has coalfields, food production and fibre processing. It has the largest manufacturing plant in country New South Wales. I refer to the Email white goods plant in Orange. Its rural industry is extremely diverse, ranging from orchards and vegetable growing areas to renowned fat lamb and beef cattle areas, fine wool areas, forestry areas, and in the western area there is a very significant dependence on cropping. Rual industry still remains the major base of the electoral division, in spite of the fact that the population is some two-thirds concentrated in three major cities.

As honourable members would know the Bathurst-Orange area was selected as a growth centre by the New South Wales Government some years ago. The Commonwealth Government became involved in the funding arrangements for that growth centre. I am assured that the Commonwealth Government will continue to be involved in the funding of that growth centre. Let us look at some of the reasons why it is important for the Commonwealth Government to be involved in growth centres and in decentralisation initiatives generally. We have to realise that we have a very serious imbalance of population and productivity in Australia. For example, more than 60 per cent of the population of New South Wales is located in Sydney and something of the order of 80 per cent of its population is located in the three major metropolitan coastal centres. Furthermore, almost 95 per cent of the increase in population in New South Wales occurs in those three major metropolitan centres. It is this imbalance of population, wealth and productivity to which I wish to refer.

In His Excellency’s Speech he referred to a number of issues that affect non-metropolitan Australia where, as I have pointed out, almost 20 per cent of the population resides and where the vast majority of our productive assets in Australia are located. His Excellency referred to rural industry and made some comment about the disabilities being experienced by farmers through drought, prices and costs. He referred to the emergency assistance being provided to some sectors of the industry, especially the beef cattle industry, and mentioned the rural bank. However, I think further reference could have been made to some of the very real disabilities being encountered by rural industry, the most significant of which, is the need to compete on world markets and to acquire world markets where a viable return can be provided for Australia’s rural producers. They desperately need to be able to minimise the cost problems of rural industry and to minimise the delays and disruptions that have occurred to rural industry as a result of industrial action. Farming has become a depressed occupation as far as income is concerned.

Another point I believe very important is the need to take constructive measures to ensure that young people see a future in primary industry. I think that needs to be brought forward not necessarily only in relation to a specific young farmers’ establishment scheme but also in relation to a special lending category within the Australian rural bank. There has been one tremendous benefit for young people in agriculture and that is the Government’s undertaking to abolish Federal estate duty and gift duties, both between spouses and between parents and children and, in due course, altogether. This will create a tremendous incentive for young people in Australia to see a future in agriculture. As I said, further measures need to be taken and I trust that the rural bank will be able to accommodate those young people by providing a more flexible system of assessment and lending than might be expected from other banks.

Another measure that was mentioned was fuel equalisation and the subsidisation of the freight differential so that people in country areas will be paying not much more than their city colleagues. I well recall that this matter was written up in a major metropolitan daily as a handout to farmers. Unfortunately, I think that is indicative of the attitude of many of the city-based media. It is indicative of much of the distortion that occurs. Fuel equalisation is certainly not only a benefit to farmers. It is, in fact, a benefit to all people who live in country areas, particularly isolated country areas. It has a tremendous influence, for example, on the tourism industry and has general effects right across our transport system. It is high time that some of our city colleagues and cousins in the media realised that measures such as the fuel equalisation scheme have a very broad impact for the benefit of the whole of Australia, not solely for farmers.

Reference was made also to the support being provided for local government by the Commonwealth Government. This is a most welcome move. I am delighted to see that finally an undertaking has been made to increase the proportion of income tax revenue going directly to local government in the form of untied grants. The proportion is to be 2 per cent. I trust that this might go further. This is of very significant benefit for people in non-metropolitan Australia, particularly those who are paying such a high proportion of the rates of local government on the spurious basis that the assessed valuation of their property is indicative of the property’s income earning capacity. As many honourable members know, that is not the case.

Other major difficulties with which people in non-metropolitan areas have to contend are roads. It would have been worth while mentioning in the Governor-General’s Speech that there has been a substantial increase in the Commonwealth’s allocation of road funds to the States, not only in main road categories but also in local road categories. At the same time, however, I suggest that we need to consider very carefully further assistance for road funding. There have been tremendous increases in the costs of road construction and maintenance and consequent delays in upgrading roads. Country shires can see no more than one or two kilometres of new road being constructed each year. At the present rate of construction their first priorities would be completed in 10 years time. While we have heavier and heavier transports utilising our roads, probably as a result of the inefficiency and unreliability of the railway system, we will have to pay special cognisance to the need for road funding.

In the time left to me I want to mention some more specific aspects of decentralisation. I support the concept of growth centres but I do not support the concept of growth centres being the sole form of decentralisation with which this Government should be involved. Whilst the support by the Commonwealth for growth centres such as Bathurst-Orange and Albury-Wodonga had to be reduced in order to restrain inflation and public expenditure, I believe that the time is now appropriate for some stimulatory expenditure to be applied to growth centres. I do not necessarily mean that that should be solely through growth centre funding. I am particularly pleased that the Minister for National Development (Mr Newman) still has within his portfolio the development of growth centres and that other measures are being considered. However, I believe that we could look at some measures which to my knowledge have not yet been considered. I refer to a subject in which I take a particular interest, that is, the cost of telecommunications.

I believe that telecommunication charges are the single greatest disincentive to decentralisation in Australia. How often do we hear of a relocated or expanding industry in a country area saying that in spite of cheap land and a stable work force, the operating costs of transport and communications are killing it. This week we saw Telecom Australia announce a profit of $99m for the half year ending December 1977. That amounts to nearly $550,000 per day. It has no commitment to taxation and no competition from private enterprise. I do not decry Telecom’s profit providing it performs a service and compensates people who are in a disadvantaged situation. I for one cannot tolerate the situation where a person, having had a manual telephone service, finds that his service will be upgraded through the installation of an automatic exchange, and is told that he has to pay anything from $300 to $20,000. That person has virtually no option. That subscriber is told that unless he pays he will not be provided with a service. He does not have the option of remaining on a manual exchange.

I am sure many of my colleagues will recall the number of representations they have received on telecommunications matters. It is ridiculous to see that this profit is being used substantially for what I regard in many cases as lower priority gimmicks such as push-button telephones, telephones in cars, televideo conference facilities and support for professional golf tournaments. This is happening when people in this country with the greatest need for telecommunications services are being denied them or only being offered them at such exorbitant costs that it is not practicable for them to take them up. Not only people in isolated areas are affected. I have mentioned already the situation in areas where there is an opportunity for industry to decentralise. In addition, many pensioners and aged persons are charged full connection fees for a service which in many cases consists only of applying a new handset to an outlet that is already installed.

How ridiculous it is to find that Telecom still has the policy that where a new service is to be connected to a manual exchange, the free installation limit is 8 kilometres, whereas if it were to be applied to an automatic exchange, the free installation limit is 16 kilometres. Does this mean that the person with the poorest service on a manual exchange, often on a shared party line, often with very poor facilities and very poor technical quality of his telephone service, is the person who has to pay the most? Where does this user pays’ principle apply in those circumstances?

Whilst I have closed my remarks by referring to telecommunications, I raised the matter mainly in the decentralisation context- in the context that some initiatives in the telecommunications area would have a very substantial effect on the viability of industry, particularly rural industry and all people living in nonmetropolitan areas. I believe that there was a need to highlight some of these aspects in the opening Speech given by the Governor-General. These are issues that very significantly affect nonmetropolitan Australia. They are issues that my colleagues on this side of the House and I will look forward to raising again during this parliamentary session.


-First of all, I wish to convey my congratulations to the Speaker and to the Chairman of Committees on being elected to their high offices. I hope, Mr Deputy Speaker, as I am sure you do, that under their chairmanship this Parliament will achieve a greater respect in the Australian community than it now enjoys or, should I say, suffers. At the beginning of this new Parliament, perhaps I should state that I hope to play some part in improving that respect.

We must continuously seek ways to reform this institution. But with all its faults, I believe the Westminster system which we seek to operate is probably better than any of its alternatives. However, it needs to be better understood by the people it serves. Personally, I am watching with great interest the experiments in the British House of Commons relating to selective televising of its proceedings. Of course we have many warts. All of us in this place have them. In theory, we are supposed to be a cross-section of the community. People outside in the wider community do not suggest that they do not have warts. They should not be surprised, therefore, every time they learn that we, their representatives, have our faults. But their closer interest and observation of us, perhaps at closer quarters, should help enormously to reduce the number of faults and warts that we have. Perhaps a selective televising of our proceedings such as is being experimented with in the House of Commons might help to bring about that improved standard.

One of the things that needs to be learnt by people outside this institution is that this Westminister system we practise is essentially a competitive one. It is built on the principle that competition brings the best results, even if in doing so it does not bring out the best in people. There is a government and there is an opposition. They are competitors for power; for the people’s favours. The very shape of the chamber lends itself to that competition. In these circumstances, it is ridiculous to support the Westminister system on the one hand and then to criticise the competition that takes place in the system. Furthermore it has to be realised that the Parliament is a safety valve. People are different. They lead different kinds of lives. Their experiences are different. Yet from the varying premises from which they come, we must seek harmony. No wonder there is tension while we strive for that harmony. If this institution is fulfilling its purpose, this place is where the tensions should work themselves out. No wonder there is disruption every now and then when the safety valve blows off. I believe this should be more widely understood in the community outside this place.

Yet we do not help ourselves to keep calm and to keep away from those disruptions with the hours we keep and the poor facilities we allow ourselves. I have not done any deep research into this, but from intuition I believe that most of the disruptions occur on a Thursday in the third week of a three-week cycle, when so many honourable members are utterly exhausted after working through to midnight or later night after night. It is no wonder, with all the travelling that is entailed in this sort of occupation, that it is at the end of a period here that the relationships break down.

In spite of all this, there is probably more on which we all agree than disagree. That is reflected in so much of what happens in this Parliament. Particularly is this so in our committee work. But our agreements do not make news; it is our disagreements which sell the newspapers and command people’s attention on their radios and their television sets. I wish this were better known also by the people we represent. I wish also that we would get on with the job of reforming this Parliament and ensuring that more and more is done in committees where informed advice is at hand and where consensus is much more likely to be achieved. I and my colleagues in the parliamentary Labor Party will facilitate in every way possible the instituting of such reforms based on the report of the Joint Committee on the Parliamentary Committee System.

It is in this context that I assess the GovernorGeneral ‘s Speech in this debate on the AddressinReply. Where I can agree with statements made in the Speech and where I have time to do so, I will do so. For instance, on this side of the chamber we do not quibble with the aim of giving the people of Australia a greater measure of choice, power and freedom. We support this aim. Our quarrel with the Government is in its interpretation of this aim. The Government’s policies seem to us to give to people of material resources, of some substance- the richer people of the community- these choices, these powers and these freedoms. But do they give the vast mass of people these opportunities? Invariably they do not.

We in the Labor Opposition do not quibble with the Government’s placing ‘a high priority on employment and training schemes, particularly those which increase young people’s skills and enable them to take job opportunities as they arise’. We have been advocating just this and more for two years. We did something about it when in government only to see, when in Opposition, what we had done dismantled. We doubt whether the Government, with its restraint on government spending, will do enough in this area. So I could go on drawing out the odd government aim here and there which we in the Opposition will support wholeheartedly.

But we cannot support the overall theme of the Speech read by the Governor-General. At a later stage we shall be moving an amendment to highlight our concern with this indication of the Government’s program, or lack of it. Firstly I must make a comment on the overall theme of the Speech. I believe it is a complacent, gloating statement built mainly on false assumptions. I believe it is hypocritical for the Government, through its Leader on election night and again in this Speech from the throne, to talk about all Australians ‘uniting in common purpose in making Australia a great nation’ and ‘increasing the sense of national identity’. They were the words on election night. Since then the Government has re-dedicated itself ‘to govern for all Australians and to work in partnership with all groups’. They are the high sounding words in the Speech. I believe it is hypocritical to make these claims and then to use the gloating words and false assumptions and to promote the false policies that are so evident elsewhere in the Speech. Let me quote from another part of the Speech to make my point:

After two years of hard work and substantial achievement, Australians now look to the future with new found confidence.

That is just arrant nonsense! What are the achievements of the last two years? Where is the confidence? The inflation rate has fallen, that we can see. But that fall was on the way when this Government came into power. The rate of inflation was reducing at that time. Further achievements have been made in spite of the Government and in spite of the ways in which it has pursued its policies at such enormous cost. Is there anyone who would deny that the devaluation of November 1976 did not add to costs. That was just one grave Fraser Government error. Is there anyone who would deny that the Government’s deferment of company quarterly tax payments for some months did not lead to inflation worse than it otherwise would have been? ls there anyone who will deny that the meddling with Medibank added to the costs of the Australian community- 3.2 per cent in one quarter? Is there anyone who will deny that the relative cut in funds to the States has led to increased State charges? To top it all off, there has been a reduction in the powers of the Prices Justification Tribunal and the Trade Practices Commission. Both bodies are working for improvements in efficiency and thus lower prices; yet they are denied adequate staff to achieve their purposes and they have their charter changed so as to deny them the opportunity to do more in restraining prices.

Inflation was falling when the Labor Government was defeated. Adequate pruning of government spending was tackled in the last Labor Budget. So much that has happened since has caused a postponement of achievement in the light against inflation and so much more could have been done to bring down the rate of inflation if those items of policy which I have listed had not been pursued. I repeat: At what cost have these policies been pursued, for example, in terms of the registered unemployed. Ignoring the enormous problem of the hidden unemployed referred to by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Hayden) yesterday- those wives at home who would like to get out into the work force but who realise it is useless for them to register for a nonexistent job when no unemployment benefits are available- the number of registered unemployed has risen from 343,939 in January 1976, which was bad enough, to 445,300 in January 1978, which is the last known figure. That is a rise of 101,361 during the two years of this Fraser Government or from 5.6 per cent of the work force, which was bad enough, to 7.2 per cent.

But it is not only for the unemployed that we must grieve. There has been in the two years of the Fraser Government a severe reduction in the standard of living for thousands upon thousands of Australian wage and salary earners. Average weekly earnings have not risen at the same rate as the cost of living has risen. This is only one indication of the assertion that I make about that decline in the standard of living. I quote:

After two years of hard work and substantial achievement, Australians now look to the future with new found confidence.

I am repeating the words from a paragraph in the Governor-General’s Speech, or the speech that he was obliged to read, to show what hypocrisy there is, what rubbish there is. How can a government achieve that ‘uniting in common purpose’, that ‘national identity’, that ‘working in partnership with all groups’ and all those other high sounding purposes which have been given publicity recently- they strike a responsive chord and we all would like to achieve themwhen it makes unsubstantiated and indeed untrue claims such as the ones that I have already listed, and there are many more in the Speech?

It is one thing for a politically partisan government to make these claims, inconsistent though they are with achieving consensus, but it is quite another thing to put them into the mouth of a Governor-General in the way this was done- a Governor-General who must be put above politics. If these things must be said, then for goodness sake let the speech writers put the words in a different way, such as ‘my advisers are of the view’ or ‘are of the opinion that this is so’ instead of ‘It is the Governor-General’s own opinion’, at a time when we are trying to get some sort of consensus in this country and respect for its institutions.

The second point I want to make about this Speech in criticism of it- I hope it is valid criticismrelates to the false assumptions. The greatest of all is that a government cannot fight unemployment at the same time as fighting inflation. This is the assumption on which the Fraser Government is building its policies. The two can be fought simultaneously, we on this side assert, and they must be fought simultaneously. Our economy cries out for a stimulus from government. Our industry and commerce are in desperate need of it, provided it is given in a modest, sensible way. We need more public works using known available resourcesunemployed resources. We need local government improvement programs, again using available resources and not leading to any competition which will bid up prices. We need more of those training and retraining schemes which I have mentioned already. It is a scandal that we are short of many skills at a time when there is so much underemployment of men, women and resources. We need this modest, stimulatory government spending which we on this side have been advocating for so long, because the level of economic activity in this day and age is determined by a partnership between government and business. The Australian Labor Party is determined to improve this partnership.

I break off here to state that I am glad that the Government’s actions do not always follow its words. Part of my front bench shadow ministerial responsibilities on behalf of the Labor Opposition relate to the Department of Productivity, in addition to the Department of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs. I anticipate that over the years that I am in this job there will be little, if any, criticism from me in respect of what is being tackled by the Department of Productivity. There are some valuable government enterprises seeking always greater efficiency. There is a projected improvement in the patent services relating to inventions, designs and trade marks, and these services can be of very valuable assistance to the private sector and to Australian enterprises generally. In the Department of Productivity there are the new productivity projects bringing together people working in the same field so that they can interact with each other, stimulate each other and work towards that greater efficiency which is so essential if we are to achieve greater competitiveness and that greater productivity which is vital to the achievement of a higher standard of living. Here we have the Government creating that neutral ground by bringing people together. I am delighted to learn how many in business in the private sector are responding with enthusiasm to the opportunities being provided by government.

We in the Labor Party welcome these innovations. They are so much a part of our philosophy of achieving a closer relationship between the public and private sectors to attain our common purpose of a more fulfilling life for the people we represent. But what is being done does conflict with that stated principle of the Liberal and National Country parties which is repeated in the Governor-General ‘s speech as follows:

Rigorous restraint of Government expenditure so as to provide for longer term expansion in the private sector.

In the modern world so often we need the government spending in order to stimulate the longer term expansion in all sectors of the community, public and private, which we want so badly for an increased level of activity and full employment. Let me state here, because I forgot to say it earlier, that, if we can by government spending provide stimulus in the ways I have mentioned and in other ways achieve that expansion in production which we all want, then this not only will reduce unemployment but also will be another achievement in the fight against inflation. More production means more economies of scale, less cost per unit of output. In other words, it means lower prices. That is what we mean when we say that the Government can tackle unemployment as well as inflation.

I mentioned earlier that my leader has given me the task of being the shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce- for business generally. It would be foolhardly for me to lay down a policy in these early weeks. I, and my Labor colleagues outside and inside this Parliament, will be consulting widely during this year in particular and then testing our policies in the succeeding period leading up to the next election. However, I have no quarrel with the opening paragraph under the heading ‘Growth and Development’ in the Governor-General’s Speech, which is the subject of this debate. It reads:

Essential to my Government’s economic program is the growth of Australian industry, the development of our resources, and a renewed emphasis on growth in exports. These hold the key to greater prosperity and the creation of more jobs.

This is the aim of my party too. We must create those extra jobs if we are to tackle Labor’s primary aim in this economic field- full employment in conditions of price stability. If our educated people are to have jobs which are satisfying, then we must have a variety of jobs to offer the community. We cannot be just a quarry for the rest of the world and/or people who just take in each other’s washing in the tertiary sector. We must have a manufacturing industry to provide that variety of job opportunities, to provide sufficient opportunities to employ everbody. But, to get these economies of scale which make it not only efficient but also competitive, in many spheres our manufacturing industry must be built on exports. We shall be investigating and assessing the Government’s policy in this export market development area with great interest and energy during the life of this Parliament and we shall be providing our own alternative program in the export area if we are not satisfied with the Government’s program. What our industries want more than anything else is stable markets at home. They want customers. That is why our Labor program of economic stimulus is so important. Yes, it was rejected at the last election. We are bloodied by that experience but we are unbowed by it.

We were in office- never in power, only in office- at a time when an international economic crisis overtook the world. We are blamed for it by the people, although the same phenomenon was happening everywhere else on this globe. Two years was too short a period for the people to change their minds about the causes of that economic downturn which occurred when we were in office. But they will come to realise that our policies are right. We shall continue to advocate this stimulus and this expansion which are so vitally needed. The whole community requires urgently a policy of general expansion, a stimulus from government to provide that demand which is so essential for greater production and development. There seems to me to be so little recognition of this in the Governor-General’s Speech. There is little recognition that our problems are structural. That is why I must pay a tribute to the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton) for drawing the attention of the House to this matter in his maiden speech. I hope I will not ruin his career by saying that he was repeating what we on this side of the House have been saying for so long. I will deal with these subjects on a future occasion because I notice that my time has expired.


-I call the honourable member for Fadden. I draw the attention of the House to the fact that this will be the first speech made by the honourable member for Fadden as the honourable member for Fadden. I think that the honourable gentleman claims it is a maiden speech. I do not think that honourable members will interrupt him while he speaks.

Mr Donald Cameron:

– Thank you, Mr Speaker. In return for the silence which will be accorded me during this maiden address as the honourable member for Fadden, I shall be non-provocative. Initially I wish to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your re-election to the position of Speaker. I make the observation that during the last two years you have brought more than a degree of dignity and competence to the position of Speaker of the House. I offer my congratulations to the new Chairman of Committees and hope that after some training he will display the same competence you have displayed. I wish also to congratulate the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Carlton) and the honourable member for Tangney (Mr Shack) on the quality of their maiden speeches. I hope that in the years to come they will develop to the stage at which they can continue to offer a lot more to our Parliament.

I take this opportunity in the AddressinReply debate to offer my congratulations to a former Queenslander, Sir Zelman Cowen, who has now taken up the position of Australia’s Governor-General.

Mr Baillieu:

– He is a Victorian.

Mr DONALD CAMERON He was a Victorian initially. Please do not interject in a maiden speech. Like so many people in the south, he migrated to Queensland. I say on a very serious note that Sir Zelman Cowen has a greater burden on his shoulders than perhaps any previous Governor-General of this country. I say that in the light of recent history. The previous Governor-General followed what I believe was the right course in dismissing the Whitlam Government. His actions created controversy. They created a national division. That is now history. I believe that history will judge his actions as having been correct. Nevertheless, any thinking Australian would be bound to recognise that the division which followed was sad.

It was pleasing on Tuesday to see members of the Australian Labor Party for the first time in some years presenting themselves to the Governor-General in the Parliamentary Library. That indicated that a new bridge has been built, that members of the Opposition can accept Sir Zelman Cowen and that they themselves are not so much against the position as against a man. Whether their views are wrongly based is a subject which I will not canvass here today, but I believe that their actions on Tuesday underline what I said at the beginning when I referred to the heavy burden that Sir Zelman Cowen carries in restoring acceptance in our Westminster system and the system which goes back so far- right to the beginning of this nation and for many centuries in the mother country.

I also wish to congratulate the new member for Griffith, Mr Humphreys, who is in the House today. I say to him simply that his career in this place has just begun. But the people who put him here- they are known to me- are very fine people and deserve his closest attention. I trust that he will respond to their demands as he should respond to them. As a Cameron, I wish to point out that we now have a third Cameron in this House. We have the honourable member for Hindmarsh (Mr Clyde Cameron)- the well known the Honourable Clyde- the lesser known Donald from Queensland and now we have a Ewen Cameron. This Parliament, since Federation, has had its share of Camerons. Ewen

Cameron from Indi is the thirteenth Cameron in the Federal Parliament and he becomes the ninth in this chamber. There have been four Camerons in the Senate. Six of the 13 Camerons have been Donalds. The Federal seats of Brisbane, Lilley, Griffith, Oxley and Fadden in Queensland all have been fortunate enough at some stage during their existence to be represented by a Donald Cameron. Mr Speaker, knowing your ancestral links I can see the stunned look on your face as history is recalled for the benefit of all. I simply welcome to this chamber the latest member of the clan. May his stay here be long.

As you said at the beginning of my speech, Mr Speaker, I am now the member for Fadden. The electorate that I represent is named after a former Prime Minister, another great Queenslander. Let me recall his history for those who are unaware of it. He was born in Ingham in Queensland on 13 April 1895. He was the son of a police officer. He was married in Mackay in 1916. He attended the Walkerston State school at Mackay and later qualified in accountancy. He turned to work at an early age to support his family after the death of his parents. He became a weighbridge clerk at a mill office. He became the assistant Town Clerk and later the Town Clerk of the Mackay City Council. He established his own business as a chartered accountant in Brisbane and Townsville which later became one of the largest firms in Queensland. He was an alderman of the Townsville City Council. He represented Australia at meetings of the International Bank, the International Monetary Fund and numerous Commonwealth and international conferences. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1 95 1 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1 958.

He was the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Kennedy in the Queensland State Parliament between 1932 and 1935, when he was defeated. He later became a member of the House of Representatives, in 1936, where he remained until his retirement in 1958. He was Minister Assisting the Treasurer and Minister for Supply and Development in 1940, Minister for Air and Civil Aviation in 1 940, and Treasurer from 1 940 to 1 94 1 and from 1949 to 1958. He was the Prime Minister from 29 August until 7 October 1941. He was Leader of the Country Party from 1941 to 1958, Opposition Leader from 1941 to 1943 and Deputy Prime Minister from 1949 to 1958. He passed away on 2 1 April 1 973. A finer man, a man more gifted with humour, could hardly be found. Let me relate some of the humour of the late Sir Arthur Fadden. I have here an extract from Forty Days and Forty Nights: Memoir of a War-Time Prime Minister. He wrote:

My actual Prime Ministership . . . lasted from 29 August to 7 October 1941, a period of forty days and forty nights, and it reminded me of old Noah and his Ark. I have since harboured great respect and sympathy for Noah, for I had to steer a leaky and unreliable Ark- and Narksthrough turbulent waters! While I sent out a couple of doves, I was wrecked by two vultures.

He went on to say that he served as Acting Prime Minister for an aggregate of 692 days which, with the addition of 40 days as Prime Minister, made 732 days, which is a longer term than that served by, as he described them, ‘a number of fully-fledged Australian Prime Ministers’. He said further:

Consequently, as background, I mention that I was a member of the Queensland Parliament for three years, 1 932 to 193S, and after having been redistributed ‘out’ of my electorate -

I know how that feels- and politically assassinated out of another seat by means and in circumstances which need not now be related- Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Booth and I was politically disposed of State-wise by polling booth -

That was Sir Arthur Fadden ‘s humour, and great humour it was.

That is enough reference to history. Let me turn to the future. Probably a greater mixture of Ministers visited the electorate of Fadden during the election campaign than visited any other seat. We saw the presence of the Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser), the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Anthony), the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair), Senator Withers, the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr MacKellar), the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Peacock), Mr Speaker, and even the Premier of Western Australia and a number of others. That is good. I can speak in this Parliament of the division of Fadden and, although it is a new seat, so many people in this chamber have been there. Their reasons for being there were mixed but they were reasons of support. They have been there and people will know what I am speaking about. I sought permission earlier from an Opposition front bencher to have incorporated in Hansard some figures relating to the results of the election. I seek leave to incorporate those figures.

Leave granted.

The tables read as follows-

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CANDIDATES IN FADDEN, AND PARTY AFFILIATION BARBER, Janice Ann- Australian Democrat BOND, Melody- Independent CAMERON, Donald Milner-Liberal Party GAUTREY, Peter Alexander-Progress Party JONES, Clem- Australian Labor Party SHAPCOTT, James Douglas-National Party {: .speaker-9F4} ##### Mr Donald Cameron:
FADDEN, QUEENSLAND · LP -- The composition of my new electorate is totally different from that of my old electorate. With the assistance of the figures provided by the agricultural census taken on 3 1 March 1 977I have learned that in the rural part of Fadden, in the Beaudesert area there are 420 beef holdings on which some 74,000 cattle graze and there are 244 dairy farms with a total of 35,000 dairy cattle. In the Boonah district there are 325 beef holdings containing 43,000 cattle, and 152 dairy farms with 12,000 dairy cattle. In the Albert area there are 225 beef properties with 17,365 head of cattle and 100 dairy farms with 14,000 dairy cattle. Not all of that Albert area is in the Federal seat of Fadden but if I apportion that which belongs to Fadden I find that I represent 860 grazing properties with 136,000 cattle and 450 dairy farms with 53,000 dairy cattle. In the Albert area there are also 652 sheep on 6 holdings, and in the Beaudesert area 500 sheep on 11 holdings. In this vastly rural area potatoes and fodder crops are cultivated by many people who work very hard. The message is that no longer in this House will the rural people be represented totally by the National-Country Party. They now have a strong and firm voice on the Liberal side. Whilst I cannot at this early stage of association with this area lay claim to having grasped all the knowledge which is there to be grasped, I believe that I am on my way. I believe that as the months pass honourable members in this House will see the rise of a new champion for the cause of the rural dweller. Let me turn to the results of the election. In the town of Kerry in my electorate- the Labor Party will need to go right back to square one when it hears what its standing is- a town of some 141 voters, the Australian Labor Party gained five votes, which represents 3 per cent of the vote. That is what people think about the Labor Party out in some parts of my electorate. I am quite sure that after another three years that vote out there will be typical of all areas of Fadden as the Labor Party's stocks plunge lower and lower. The newspapers which service the electorate are mainly the *Albert News,* the *Logan-Albert Times* and the *Fassifern Guardian.* I have already spoken to the Parliamentary Library officials to see whether these newspapers, like other rural newspapers, can be made available for all honourable members. One of them dates back to 1904 and the other day one celebrated its 100th year of circulation. That is more than can be said of many of the major daily newspapers. The electorate of Fadden is not comprised totally of rural areas. There is a large urban sector. Regrettably, much of that urban area is infested with real problems, problems that have arisen as a result of fast growth in a district where insufficient requirements were made of the developers, whether private or state, to introduce the facilities which so many people in city areas take for granted so as to ensure that these people were given some semblance of real quality of life. Thousands upon thousands of housing commission homes were built in certain areas. I do not believe that any society can simply say that those who are poor should be bundled together and pushed out or placed here or there. I believe that there is considerable virtue to be gained in the makeup of someone's personality and outlook on life if he is given an opportunity to share his life as a neighbour in a district which is not what could be loosely described as deprived. The problems of the rural areas of my new electorate are great and have been spoken of already today by the honourable member for Calare **(Mr MacKenzie).** The problems which worry him, worry me. The problems in some of the urban parts of Fadden frighten me insomuch as they are almost insurmountable without the injection of millions and millions of dollars. This comes about at a time when we are forced, by virtue of the errors that were cast upon this nation by the previous Government, to curtail expenditure. As the new member for Fadden, I hope that I will be seen to represent not just the rural element of the electorate but also what could be loosely described as a fast developing area which has had more than its share of problems because of its association with what has been the fastest growth centre in Australia. It is my intention in the years ahead, as the member for Fadden, to turn my mind to working for the improvement of the lot of the rural and the urban dweller in the new electorate. {: #subdebate-38-0-s8 .speaker-ZE4} ##### Mr LIONEL BOWEN:
Smith · Kingsford -- I congratulate all newly elected members who have already made their maiden speeches and those who have yet to make theirs. I congratulate you, **Mr Speaker,** on your reelection and congratulate your new Deputy. We look forward to a keen three-year period at the end of which the Opposition hopes to regain the Government ranks. At present it appears that we are at the foot of Mount Everest. Nevertheless the issues will be judged in this coming threeyear period. We will see whether the Government follows the policies it espoused and whether those policies will lead to the remedies foreshadowed in His Excellency's Speech. Let me take issue with what has been said on behalf of the Government. The Speech contains a record of what is deemed to be substantial achievement and confidence. I find that hard to substantiate when we look at the electorate that we all represent. I am well aware of a report on employment prospects that was made to the Government only six months ago. Significantly, that report was not tabled. I will refer to some of the remarks contained in it. It refers to employment for Australians and Australian industry. The report states that the rate of decline in employment prospects in the manufacturing industry is worsening and employment levels are 3 per cent below those of a year ago. This fall is expected to continue. The rate of growth in the textile industry began to decline in the second quarter of 1976 and has continued to do so. Employment levels are now below those of early 1975 and are expected to decline further. It is expected that overall employment in the clothing industry will decline in all States. The number of retrenchments in the furniture trade in New South Wales in the past 12 months has been the highest since the retrenchments of the early 1960s. The report states that employment levels in the motor vehicle sector are expected to continue their decline throughout 1977-78. On a national basis, because of restraints on federal and State expenditure, railway construction is not expected to improve in the next 12 months. With regard to shipbuilding at Whyalla, the report states that it is unlikely that further orders will be obtained. A complete wind down of activities is expected. Overall, shipbuilding and repair is a declining industry and employment levels are expected to continue to fall in the next 12 months. The report forecasts continuing depressed employment levels in the building and construction industry for the next 12 months. There will not be a significant improvement in employment numbers in the private housing sector. It is unlikely that there will be any employment growth in the flats and home units sector during the period. It is not expected there will be any overall expansion of employment in the industrial commercial construction sector. What a tragic record it is. It sets out the facts of what is happening in our electorates at this time. It should not be placed on record that everything will be well and that there will be substantial growth. The previous speaker, the honourable member for Fadden **(Mr Donald Cameron),** made a passing reference to the fact that the Labor Party was now perhaps reconciled to its dismissal by **Sir John** Kerr in November 1975. Let me place on record that we will never be reconciled to that fact. It was a dismissal without precedent. It has caused much division in the ranks of Australians. We welcome the fact that there is now a new Governor-General. We are disappointed to think that this House has never been given the reason why we had an early election last December. Reference is made in the Speech of His Excellency to an issue to which I want to devote the major portion of my speech. I refer to civil rights. I will look at how the Government is handling the situation and how well it will do from the point of view of implementing legislation. I want to make it very clear that the Government has a tragic record in enhancing and protecting the rights of Australians and their civil liberties. We have only to look at the Government's record over the past two years. How did the Government protect and enhance the rights of Aborigines in Queensland suffering from trachoma when it co-operated meekly in depriving them of urgently needed treatment to feed the paranoia of the Queensland Premier? How did the Government protect and enhance the rights of Aborigines in Western Australia to vote without being subjected to degrading public tests of their literacy? How has it protected and enhanced the right of every Australian to work and in particular the right of young Australians to face the future with confidence, with dignity and with self-respect when unemployment levels are running at approximately 450,000- the worst since the Great Depression? In what way has the Government protected and enhanced the rights of migrants to equal opportunity, equal education and equal access to social justice? What has the Government done to clearly define and give effect to the rights of all Australians to provide a Bill of Rights? Let us look at the last election speech of the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser).** In the context of talking about human rights and basic civil liberties he referred to incentives for the arts, assistance to the film industry, the protection of the whale and of helping the world wildlife fund. They are all meritorious aims, but they hardly fall within any recognised definition of human rights. We are used to this high sounding lip service. It becomes hypocrisy when the conservatives talk of concern for the rights of the individual. But there is no action. When a conservative is most stridently moral and verbally most concerned to uphold a principle nothing is done. Then we know that that principle is under threat. One of the most blatant acts of hypocrisy and expediency by the Fraser Government has been its expressed commitment to human rights through the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The Government says that it has joined the Human Rights Commission. On the other hand we note its weak, expedient cave-in to Indonesia over East Timor on that very issue. Last September the Minister for Foreign Affairs **(Mr Peacock)** struck a high moral stance on human rights to the United Nations General Assembly when he said: >Australia takes its human rights seriously. Our election to the Human Rights Commission in May of this year gives us an additional reason Tor doing so. The question of human rights is too important a matter to be dealt with in terms of rhetoric and gesture, too important to be subordinated to political manoeuvre or made a matter of public relations. It is related in the most direct way to questions of human suffering, human dignity and freedom. If we cannot take it seriously we would do better to stop talking about it at all. I suggest the Foreign Minister should do that. In a Press statement on 17 January this year the Minister reiterated these sentiments and stated that Australia would seek through the Commission the promotion of universally recognised human rights in practical, effective terms. Three days later the noble commitment of the Minister and the Government went out the window to appease Indonesia when the Foreign Minister acknowledged de facto recognition of Indonesian control over East Timor. Having postured before the United Nations in September, the Minister turned his back on the United Nations General Assembly's resolution calling on all countries to respect the inalienable right of the Timorese people to self-determination. So much for the Government's concern for the human suffering, human dignity and the freedom of the Timorese people. What else has the Fraser Government done in concrete, demonstrable terms to back up its words on human rights? The Government's record of inaction during the last year showed that while it was anxious to strut on the international forum in espousing the cause of human rights it was doing nothing to advance that cause in Australia. It introduced into this Parliament a Bill called the Human Rights Commission Bill. That Bill gave no effective protection and it was not even proceeded with in this Parliament. Even that proposal has been watered down because of the complaint after the Premiers Conference that the Premiers want to determine what sort of rights ought to be available to the Australian people. The real objection to the Human Rights legislation on a federal level is that the Premier of Queensland said that he would not have a bar of it. He does not want a Human Rights Commission on a federal level to look at Queensland's laws. The Australian Government has constitutional power to enact a Bill of Rights to give the Australian citizens judicial protection. I see that as only a first step. What we need is constitutional reform to enact a Bill of Rights in the Constitution itself. An enactment of a Bill of Rights is merely a first step. We need that guarantee that it should be written into the Constitution that no government can repudiate it. The Government promised in the Speech of the Governor-General that freedom of information legislation would be introduced to give members of the public right of access to Government documents where these can be made public without any harm to overriding public interest. That is another fine sentiment, but the record is tragic because we must look at what is meant by 'overriding public interest'. I am reminded that the editorial in the *Age* on 22 February 1978 stated that a draft of the freedom of information legislation had been sighted, that it left the curtain of bureaucratic secrecy pulled as tightly as ever and that it gave Ministers almost unlimited discretion to withold Government documents from public scrutiny. In other words, the legislation would not be effective. The *Age* is fortunate to have sighted the draft Bill because we in the Opposition have not. However we have a copy of another Bill in its draft stage- the Archives Bill. I received a copy before Parliament was dissolved last year. The Archives Bill involved a large number of extremely wide exemptions from access. The certificate of a Minister was final and could not be appealed against. I have no doubt that the proposed freedom of information legislation will in fact be simply a legal validation for the suppression of information. A question which has very wide ramifications for civil liberties is that of security. This question has been raised recently in two quite separate contexts and it is important that they should not be confused. It is necessary to realise that apart from questions of espionage, the security services ought to be concerned only with political activities which do not follow normal democratic processes. In practical terms this means that the activities must involve violence either immediately or ultimately. The past activities of our security services are objectionable and disturbing on two scores. Firstly, by defining subversion as any activity judged to be on the left of the political spectrum and determined by unsound and irrational criteria the security services have been guilty of objectionable interference with the civil liberties of people who are not a threat to security. 1 point to the report of **Mr Acting** Justice White in South Australia. He states: >I found a mass of material having no connection whatsoever with genuine security risks. **His** Honour **Mr Justice** White- or, as those who seek to denigrate him refer to him, **Mr Acting** Justice White- states about those records that about half of the judges of the Supreme Court were included; all Australian Labor Party parliamentarians were included; very few Liberal Party or National Country Party parliamentarians were on record; no heads of government departments were on record. Let me make it clear what I am talking about in relation to security. I am talking about all Australian who are likely to have a violent outlet for their motivation to overthrow a constitutional government. Nobody approves of that but people are included in the records of security agents because they are, say, Australian Labor Party parliamentarians or judges of the Supreme Court. Is not that ridiculous when it is said in the same breath that no heads of government departments are on record? I cannot follow that sort of reasoning, nor could His Honour **Mr Justice** White. He made it very clear that the principles of privacy and secrecy were to be maintained and the matter should not be left to subjective judgments as to what individuals think of each other. I understand that it is on record that because some member of the Legislative Council in South Australia went into a communist bookshop that incident was put on file. That is the sort of nonsense with which we have to deal. If one looks at the Hope report's summary of the situation made by the British, particularly by Lord Denning, one sees that it raises a question of security being the fourth arm of defence. That is what it ought to be all about; not prying into the activities of individuals as to their moral code or some other objectionable aspect that could be noted on a file by police officers or others who have no training whatsoever. It is for those reasons that we are very critical of the suggestion that security will be maintained because of the activities that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has been able to encourage through special branches. Of course we need an adequate security service. But it must be conducted on a highly professional basis and it must not cut across civil liberties. Therefore it is essential that the activities of ASIO should be subject to continuous scrutiny through periodic judicial review. In the wake of the tragic bomb explosion at the Sydney Hilton Hotel far too many people have rushed eagerly in to use that unfortunate mishap as justification for the past activities of ASIO and the State special branches. I venture to say that perhaps nobody on the files in the special branches is in any way connected with that outrage. On the contrary, if our security services had concerned themselves more with matters of real security in the past this incident might have been avoided. The security advice that cleared the Hilton Hotel as being suitable for such a high risk conference is certainly questionable. The Prime Minister's motivation in holding the conference is even more questionable. He is the Minister who objected to another Prime Minister's calling out the troops. I remind the Parliament that in 1971 when he destroyed his own leader he said: >I do not believe he is fit to hold the great office of Prime Minister. The reason for that statement was that a former Prime Minister had placed troops on call-out in respect of the situation in New Guinea. The present Prime Minister then said: >I made it plain I would not sign such an order. He was referring to an order to call out troops. Let there be no mistake. What the present Prime Minister set in train was a form of martial law. It involved Chinook helicopters, tanks along the roadway, armoured cars and troops with guns who lined the streets of Bowral and the highway to it. It was not the suggestion of the Premier of New South Wales that that be done. If one looks at the Executive Council minute one sees that it was not on the basis of a request by the State of New South Wales. Far from it. That Executive Council minute was made on the basis of section 6 1 of the Constitution that the Prime Minister himself determined by Executive Council meeting that such steps were to be taken. Honourable members will recall that even the Minister for Defence **(Mr Killen)** was not involved in the Cabinet meeting that made that particular recommendation. An article in the *Financial Review* on 4 October 1977 was pretty accurate when it judged this Prime Minister. It stated: > **His** personal history reveals a disturbing capacity for creating drama and tension around him. . . Malcolm Fraser is Prime Minister because he leads the Liberal Party. It has deferred to him in a quite unprecedented fashion. It is about time that the Party realised the danger inherent in such a situation. It is about rime that the checks and balances were reactivated. Surely by now there can be no doubt that the Prime Minister is really concerned with power. He wants to add the idea of the martial uniform to this Parliament and the cartoonists are already depicting him as El Supremo. On the opening of this Parliament the House was surrounded by troops with walkie-talkies, guard dogs and the rest. We would not have been surprised if the Prime Minister had in fact walked- into the.House in a uniform. The *Financial Review* is right about this issue. This man is determined to create drama, melodrama and tension and is concerned with division and polarisation. State police forces for years have been able to look after Heads of State who have come here. We wonder what would have happened if **Mr Desai** had wanted to travel to Melbourne at the same time as **Mr Lee** Kwan Yew wanted to travel to Orange. We would not have had sufficient members of the Defence Force to police the two directions. How silly can it be? There is no doubt that the day will come when the Prime Minister will endeavour to manipulate a situation so that he can call out the troops again. It is not the first time Malcolm will call out the troops. He will call them out again. Perhaps next time it will be to break a strike. Whatever the occasion, he will attempt to get away with it because it diverts the people into this question of law and order. The Prime Minister has tried to disguise his full responsibility for the use of troops by inviting the New South Wales Premier to share the stage with him. I can assure you, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** as a result of a conversation I have had with the Premier's office, that the Premier had no alternative but to agree to the troops maintaining some sort of oversight of the road to Bowral; but it was against his own motivation that it was done. The issue had been created, and he is not at all sure that in the future this sort of conference should be held in an area where no proper security can be provided. It is a Federal responsibility, not a State responsibility. The simple facts are that this conference should not have been held in the central district of Sydney, in a licensed hotel available to everybody. The destructive weapon was placed in a garbage bin and the unfortunate council employees were destroyed by it. Of course, security did not exist. The wording of the Order-in-Council clearly shows that the Government panicked and ran in and called out the troops. This action did nothing for peace and good order. It did nothing to maintain the law and order of the Constitution we so earnestly espouse. But it did a lot for the ego of Malcolm Fraser-this one man, this marshal, who can now say: 'I will be able to overcome any problems. I will merely call out the troops'. He has broken the ice, and he is not to get away with it. It is a chilling precedent and it holds enormous ramifications for this country. The responsibility does not lie just with the Opposition and the media to question the Prime Minister's action. It is the responsibility of every member on the Government side to question and to curb the excesses of a dangerous type of action before Australia is committed to a path of confrontation, division, polarisation and. militarism which will rob Australians of the very freedoms, the very civil liberties which the Governor-General 's Speech misleadingly espouses. {: #subdebate-38-0-s9 .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK:
Dundas -It gives me great pleasure today as the first member for Dundas to participate in this debate on the Address-in-Reply to the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General. Honourable members would know that in the previous Parliament I had the privilege of representing the electorate of Parramatta. I am pleased to be able to look across the chamber today and to see my successor, whom I regard in a very friendly way. I hope that in our terms, although we are on different sides of this House, we will continue to have the pleasant relationship we have had as near neighbours and as friendly rivals on a number of occasions in the past. The electorate of Parramatta has been represented by many distinguished personages, and I deem it a great privilege to have been able to serve as one of its members during the last three Parliaments. From 1901 to 1921 one of our early Prime Ministers, **Sir Joseph** Cook, served as the member for Parramatta. Other personages who have represented Parramatta are Herbert Edward Pratten, Eric Bowden, Albert Rowethe one other Labor member for Parramatta- **Sir Frederick** Stewart, **Sir Howard** Beale, **Sir Garfield** Barwick and **Sir Nigel** Bowen. They served as members for that electorate previous to me and my successor. The electorates of Dundas and Parramatta are closely related. I want the House to know of their close proximity and of my abiding interest not only in my own electorate but also in the general region of that electorate. The city of Parramatta is a dominating force in that region. It serves not only the electorate of Parramatta but also the electorates of Mitchell, Dundas, Prospect and Reid, each of them being significant within the boundaries of the city of Parramatta. For that reason, as the honourable members for Prospect **(Dr Klugman)** Reid **(Mr Uren)** and Mitchell **(Mr Cadman)** have done before me, I will continue to take an interest in the city and its problems and the problems of the Parramatta City Council. I mention these matters because Dundas and Parramatta are so close. **Sir Frederick** Stewart, as he served the electorate of Parramatta, lived within the boundaries of what is now Dundas. **Sir Howard** Beale, as he served as the member for Parramatta, lived within the boundaries of what is now Dundas. **Sir Garfield** Barwick, as he served the electorate of Parramatta, lived within what is now Dundas. As I served Parramatta, I lived in Dundas. Dundas was part of the electorate of Parramatta. Of course it is so close to Parramatta that my successor also lives in Dundas. It is a very closely knit area and one that has many problems. The electorate of Dundas is a novel one and will be a novel one to members of this House. I take the opportunity to acquaint honourable members with its derivation. Even I had some problems, although I live in the suburb, in finding out what the derivation is. I suppose that the electorate of Dundas was named after the suburb and a former municipality that later was absorbed into the city of Parramatta. The suburb was named after Henry Dundas, the first Viscount Melville, who was born on 28 April 1742, educated at Edinburgh High School and the University of Edinburgh and admitted as a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1763- a member of the Bar. In 1774 he was elected to Parliament and the next year he was appointed Lord Advocate of Scotland. In September 1 784 he was made a member of the new board of control constituted under the East India Act. In 1791 he became Home Secretary and among other duties had charge of affairs in New South Wales. In 1794 he became Secretary for War and the Colonies. In 1 80 1 he resigned his office. The next year he was created Viscount Melville, and in May 1804 became First Lord of the Admiralty. In June 1805 the House of Commons voted that he be impeached for frauds in the Naval Department, but I am pleased to be able to say that in 1806 when tried before the House of Lords he was acquitted. {: .speaker-KSF} ##### Mr Les McMahon:
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- He had the numbers. {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -I do not know anything about that. It may be something with which honourable members opposite are more familiar. The electorate of Dundas is close to the city of Parramatta. The principal centres within its boundaries are Ryde, West Ryde, Denistone, Eastwood, Epping and Rydalmere. These are north-western suburbs of Sydney with which honourable members may be familiar. In the areas that I previously served I have lost some 30 per cent of my former constitutents; I have retained some 70 per cent of them, and 1 have the privilege to represent them in this Parliament. Not only did I lose from within the boundaries of the electorate I served the city of Parramatta itself, but also I lost the Macquarie University. That disappoints me, although some honourable members might regard the challenge of a university as being somewhat awe-inspiring. I have enjoyed the occasions when I have associated with that centre of learning. I now have new industries in Plessey Australia Pty Ltd, Hoover (Australia) Pty Ltd, and Automatic Totalisators Ltd in the area I represent. I continue to represent a large segment of the pharmaceutical industries of this country, and of course I will have a continuing interest in the problems with which those industries are confronted. I have within my electorate significant institutions and homes that deal with the problems of handicapped and subnormal children. I will maintain the interest in those organisations that I have had in the past. On this occasion, the first occasion on which I speak as the member for Dundas, I would like members of the House to know a little of the nature of the electorate and of its problems. I hope that the short rundown I have given has been of some assistance to them in understanding the nature of the electorate which I represent in this Parliament. In his Address the Governor-General said once more on behalf of the Government: >My Government rededicates itself to govern for all Australians and to work in partnership with all groups to build an Australia in which its people can have security, the knowledge that they can plan ahead with assurance, and that their efforts will be rewarded. The words of the Governor-General very largely were taken from a statement made by our Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** immediately after the recent election. I think it is timely that we remind ourselves of the character of this man who leads us, because he is not, as is put by some honourable members opposite, a divisive character. His is not, as has been put by some honourable members opposite, the character of a man who has at heart the interests of only one group of the community. It is the character of a man who is dedicated, as all of us are, to govern in the interests of all Australia and to govern in the interests of all our constituents. {: .speaker-FF4} ##### Mr Chapman: -- All of us on this side of the House. {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -I thought I said all of us on this side of the Parliament. I stand corrected if I did not. I think that is the responsibility of members of Parliament. I thought that the speech made a little earlier by the honourable member for Adelaide **(Mr Hurford)** in which he pointed out the areas of unity, the areas in which honourable members are able to come together and to work on committees, the areas in which the Opposition supports the Bills of the Government, which occurs quite frequently, was a sensible speech. It was a speech of some stature. As one who has advocated in the past the virtues of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith **(Mr Lionel Bowen),** compared with those of the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Hayden),** I was disappointed in the speech made by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. It was very divisive and it was one which spoke about the important problems with which we are faced in relation to our own security, not as members of parliament but as a country. It was quite unlike him to make such a speech and it was not a speech I would have expected from him in the light of the sort of co-operation that the Prime Minster had offered. It was not a speech which honourable members opposite ought to be offering. I challenge all honourable members opposite to read once again the remarks made by the Prime Minister immediately after the recent elections, because they represented an olive branch held out clearly inviting honourable members opposite to participate with us in working for the benefit of all Australians and in working for our nation's future. In the light of those comments, I am disappointed therefore that people in some parts of Australia are seeking to frustrate some aspects of the Government's policy. I speak particularly of those people who undertook recently to disrupt the efforts of the Government in dealing with the important problem of unemployment. That is a subject on which honourable members do speak- I trust they do not do so piouslyfrequently in this House. I become very distressed when I learn that people who have a responsibility in what we call the Public Service of this country have set about to frustrate the clearly important task of reforming and of enhancing the ability of the Commonwealth Employment Service to fulfil its functions. Honourable members opposite will recall the words of the Speech of the Governor-General. He said: >As a priority, the Commonwealth Employment Service will be made a more effective national manpower organisation, better able to help the unemployed. Of course those words reiterate the Government's firm resolve to initiate the recommendations of the Review of the Commonwealth Employment Service in the report commonly known as the Norgard report. Honourable members opposite will know that that important report covers a number of matters. The Review sets out to revise the objectives and the functions of the CES, the administration of the unemployment benefit, the placement role of the CES, the counselling and occupational services needed in the CES, the needs of special client groups such as young people, the handicapped, Aboriginals, migrants and so on, the delivery of manpower programs, the collection of labour market information, computerisation in the CES, the role of commercial employment agencies, and the management of the CES as an organisation, its staffing, office procedures, location of offices and so on. It is a report which is well worth reading because we all have dealings with that organisation. I invite honourable members opposite to look at the recommendations, particularly those to be found in paragraphs 11.20 and 11.21 on pages 180 and 181 of the report. I shall read to the House paragraph 1 1 .20 because it sets out with the utmost clarity the problem with which we are faced at the moment in relation to the Public Service. The report clearly states: >The present recruitment arrangements, particularly for employment officers, mean that most staff have little practical personal experience in industry. Whilst the Review would not wish to suggest that industrial experience should be a pre-requisite to appointment as an employment officer, it nevertheless strongly believes that the efficiency of the CES would be noticeably improved by the recruitment of a proportion of people from outside the Public Service who had spent some time in industry or commerce, either in an operative or managerial capacity. As one submission quite rightly pointed out, 'the knowledge of industry and occupations is essential to an employment officer. Trying to graft this knowledge on to young people without any previous work experience is very difficult '. The report recommended further that 'a percentage of employment officer positions, perhaps 10 per cent, are placed in the Fourth Division and reserved for persons who, although not of Third Division educational standard, have the industrial knowledge, skills and personal qualities needed by the CES. Some of these positions should be open to persons outside the Public Service'. There is a need to change the CES and to give it a wider role, to give it people who are capable of assisting young people in getting those jobs which are very often available but to which very often the CES is not capable of linking them. This important reform is being frustrated at the moment by those people who have a responsibility to tend to the needs of those who are out of work. I regard it as being absolutely atrocious that people can use- that is all it is- to their own personal advantage the needs of the unemployed. That is what is going on in this country at the moment. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- What is your Government doing? {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -- It is an absolute disgrace that they would put their personal advantagethe security that they have in a job right here and now, an income that they have for their families- before the needs of that organisation to be able to place properly those people who are out of work. {: .speaker-00ATA} ##### Mr Hodges: -- Urged on by the Labor Party. {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -- I would imagine that that is so, although I would except the honourable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr Clyde Cameron)** who had the moral fortitude in this debate to say last night that those people in the Administrative and Clerical Officers Association were wrong. I hope that instead of interjecting as the honourable member for Reid did, honourable members opposite will have the courage to stand up one after the other and to repeat, as did the honourable member for Hindmarsh, with the utmost clarity their disapproval of the action of that trade union in relation to our young unemployed people, the people whom we all have to represent in this place in one way or another. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- What about the unemployment you created in Parramatta? {: .speaker-0J4} ##### Mr RUDDOCK: -I am concerned about those young people, as the honourable member would know. I am certainly concerned at the way in which the reforms necessary in the CES are being frustrated. I want now to mention some other important proposals that were spelt out in the Speech of the Governor-General. I was particularly pleased that this Speech mentioned the promise that was given by the Government during the election as a commitment for this Parliament in relation to handicapped persons. I am particularly pleased with that section of the Speech where he deals with the programs to bring genuine assistance to those in need. He said: >In furtherance of this program, legislation will be brought forward to expand eligibility for the domiciliary nursing care benefit. Funding programs for the housing of the handicapped and aged will be extended a further year. Voluntary welfare agencies will be assisted in their emergency relief programs. In my electorate there is the school Karonga at West Epping, a very worthwhile school built by parents to tend to the needs of sub-normal children. There is the Crowle Home which has been advanced primarily through the efforts of volunteers. I am particularly pleased that these organisations, particularly Karonga, will be eligible to apply for assistance for the hostel that I know Karonga plans in the likelihood that money will be available for that particular project and for other important projects to tend the handicapped people in our community. I am particularly pleased with the additional promise made by the Government. In the GovernorGeneral 's Speech it was stated: >The Government will introduce measures to ensure that parents of handicapped children pay no more for their education than parents of other children, and to provide further assistance for the education of children in isolated areas. I wish to commend briefly three other intentions of the Government. I refer to the proposal to insure building society deposits; the program of reform spelt out in relation to narcotics and the promise to institute reforms in relation to alcohol as it affects Aboriginals. {: #subdebate-38-0-s10 .speaker-KCT} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drummond:
FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA Order! The honourable member's time has expired. **Mr FitzPATRICK** (Riverina) (4.37)-The honourable member for Dundas **(Mr Ruddock)** reminded the House that the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** has held out an olive branch and has asked us to co-operate with him to make this a better country, or words to that effect. That is all right for those people who have most other things as well as the olive branch but honourable members on this side of the House represent a group of people who are looking for much more than an olive branch. I refer to the 400,000-odd unemployed, the homeless pensioners and many other people. What measures have been taken to assist the unemployed? A mine in Cobar, which was discussed here before the House rose at Christmas, asked for assistance to keep a few hundred people employed. It did not receive assistance but a multinational company like the Utah organisation obtained the removal of a coal levy and repatriated $ 1 50m out of Australia. It is hard to believe that we should forget everything and just accept the olive branch. It is up to the Government and honourable members on the other side of the House to show a bit of sincerity, to show that they really care for people. Opposition supporters are not interested in the multinationals when people around us are ragged and hungry and pensioners are homeless. Let the Prime Minister show some sincerity and then let him hand out the olive branch. Then he might find that we would be more ready to accept it. I must not forget to offer my congratulations, along with those of other speakers in this Address-in-Reply debate, to the Speaker on receipt of his knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen. I think it was well deserved. I wish also to offer my congratulations to the honourable member for Wide Bay **(Mr Millar)** on his appointment as Chairman of Committees. I feel he has some abilities and he should be able to carry out that position with some distinction. At the same time, I would like to add a word of praise for the previous Chairman of Committees, the honourable member for Lyne **(Mr Lucock),** who carried out his position with some distinction. However, I do not wish to take away anything from the honourable member for Wide Bay on that account. None of us should think that these appointments are permanent, whether it be as a member of parliament or in some high position. I think that everyone has the right to stand for election to any position and that every credit is due to the elected person. However, I do think that the abolition of my old seat of Darling by the Distribution Commissioners in the recent redistribution before the last election was a little rough. The seat was split in two. As a result I had to go into another area to contest the seat which I now hold. Even so, I had the right to stand for that seat as did anyone else. Perhaps that is all we can expect. No one here should believe that he has a right to be a permanent member of this place and that no one has that right to stand against him. In that regard I believe the honourable member for Wide Bay is fully entitled to credit for winning the important position he now holds. It is with some sadness that I speak in the Address-in-Reply debate in which we are discussing the Speech delivered by the GovernorGeneral when he opened the Thirty-First Parliament. I speak not out of any disrespect for the Governor-General or the high position which he holds. Like most Australians I believe that we should respect such high offices in the same way as we look up to the position of Her Majesty the Queen. However, I cannot understand how any thinking Australian could listen to the GovernorGeneral 's Speech without feeling some regret, some disappointment and perhaps some shame at the way in which the high office of GovernorGeneral had been degraded by the actions of the previous Governor-General. When one considers all the needy people of this great nation- I have already mentioned the unemployed and the homeless aged- our shocking road system and so on, one cannot understand how anyone on the Government benches would not feel some shame that his Government should set aside $250,000 a year to compensate or reward **Sir John** Kerr for what most Australians would view as the most disgraceful period in the history of the occupancy of that high office. I do not want to spend too much time on this matter but I would like everyone in my electorate to know where I stand. I believe that **Sir John** should be condemned for the violence that he has done to our parliamentary system. I also believe that the Fraser Government should be condemned for the way in which it has rewarded **Sir John.** I believe that the present Governor-General was expressing our aspirations and our hopes when he said: >My Government rededicates itself to govern for all Australians and to work in partnership with all groups to build an Australia in which its people can have security, the knowledge that they can plan ahead with assurance, and that their efforts will be rewarded. I am happy to say that the Governor-General appeared to be very sincere when he said this. But the present Government will certainly have to make a big turnabout if it is to fulfil this promise. Let us hope that the Government can do so and that in the eyes of the people this Parliament can be returned to its previous position of prestige and power, a position which the people of this nation have a right to expect it to hold. I hope that this Parliament can blot out the memory of the shameful events of November 1975 that the unwarranted appointment of **Sir John** Kerr to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation brought back to our memories. Let us hope we can all do this. I return to the Governor-General's Speech. The Governor-General said that all groups of people could now build an Australia in which they could be secure in the knowledge that they could plan ahead with assurance that their efforts would be rewarded. A lot of people in my electorate cannot look forward with confidence that their efforts will be rewarded. I refer in particular to the people in the Wakool/Tullakool irrigation area. In the early 1930s that area was able to carry only one sheep to every 10 acres. But with the advent of irrigation and the cutting up of the holdings, it has developed to a stage where it now supports 400 families. They can rely on it for their livelihood. Production for 1969 amounted to $8m. This is the oldest irrigation area in New South Wales. Unfortunately it is now faced with a reclamation scheme which, if not implemented, will mean that the land will revert back to its original carrying capacity. I consider that this would be a tragedy as the area has proved consistently to be one of the most productive in terms of water usage and end result in New South Wales. Also it is vitally important to the town of Deniliquin which has a development scheme controlled by the Deniliquin Development Corporation. Of course the expansion of this scheme will largely depend on the viability of the Wakool irrigation system. I shall give the House some idea of the history of this salinity problem. In 1 953 the landholders made an effort to get adequate drainage and to try to control the water tables. A group of farmers from the Tulla Soldiers Settlers Association approached the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission regarding the possible need for a drainage system. Unfortunately, at the time they were given the assurance that there was no need for such a system. But in 1956, heavy rains and flooding resulted in a large area in the Tullakool locality and some isolated patches in the Wakool district becoming salt affected. I have made a personal inspection of the area and can assure the House that the water table has risen. Everything has just dried off and nothing is growing, yet alongside there are lush fields of corn and other crops. In 1 96 1 representation was made to the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission by the Wakool Landholders Association concerning these rising water tables and the need for increased drainage. In 1 964 a sub-committee of the Wakool Landholders Association was formed to press for the construction of the No. 1 surface drainage scheme. They were unsuccessful in getting any support for this scheme. One landholder put down a tube well at his own expense. The water is trapped deep in the ground and it is pumped up to where it is not affected by salinity. I believe permission has been given to allow this water to flow back into the river in periods of high rainfall. I can assure the House that the farmer who sunk the tube well is a very successful farmer and that the crops on his land are unaffected by the high water table or by salinity. In 1964 there was repeated agitation from the Wakool Landholders Association and individual farmers who expressed concern and fear at the increased rate of deterioration of the soil through rising water tables and lack of drainage. At that stage some of the trees in the area started to die out. In January 1 977 the salinity sub-committee was advised that the State Government, although recognising the need, was unable to finance fully the implementation of the scheme. I have been asked by the committee to make several points. If the tube wells were put down the committee is sure that the water table could be lowered and the salinity problem solved to some degree. The resultant saline water would not be a pollution hazard but would be contained in the district and would be of some benefit. Salt water would be prevented from reentering the river system and the harvesting of the salt would become a decentralised industry. I believe that a number of people are prepared to offer a contract to purchase the salt. Expenditure is planned over a three-year period for completion of the first section. The people in the area wish to make the point that it is very important that there be no delay in the implementation of the scheme. The country out there is fast going to pieces and the people are gradually losing their livelihood. I want to impress that point upon the House in relation to not only the top of the water system but also the bottom of the system in the Sunrasia district, particularly in the Dareton and Buronga area, where the water salinity level is getting so high that citrus trees can be watered only in the evening. The trees cannot be watered in the sun because the high salinity level of the water is burning off all the crops. I ask the Government to give urgent consideration to the problem. The people of the area have had several conferences and the Deputy Prime Minister **(Mr Anthony)** has looked at the scheme. The people have told me that the records show that discussions have been going on since 1953. They would like to see the scheme implemented and they believe that there is no need for any further investigations. Another matter about which people in the area are concerned is that they do not have equal access to the facilities of this Parliament. I refer to the closing down of the office of the previous member for Riverina in the township of Narrandera. During the election campaign the then member for Riverina intimated that a second office would be opened at Broken Hill if he were successful in the election. Following a statement made by my opponent, I made the statement that a second office would be maintained at Narrandera. I had an assurance to that effect from Fred Daly when he was the responsible Minister and I took it that the then member for Riverina had also received the same assurance. Unfortunately, the Minister has now told me that he is unable to give me the second office, I believe on the ground that everybody else with a large electorate would want one. I remind the House that there is a big concentration of about 30,000 people in the Broken Hill district and about 55,000 people in the Narrandera district. The distance between the two places is 740 kilometres of sparsely populated country. It would appear that a lot of city members of Parliament do not understand the relationship between a country member and his constituents. In a large country electorate the constituents become accustomed to dealing with the staff of the member whereas in the city electorates they deal more directly with the member. But, in a country electorate, because the member cannot get around it as often, his constituents are more inclined to deal with his staff, although of course they always want to see their member. The people in country electorates feel that they are treated as second class citizens because they do not have ready access to their members of parliament. I am not putting in a plug for myself, because I cannot see how the job becomes easier if one has more work to do. A member who has a second office certainly gets more work to do. Now that the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** is present in the House, I ask him to give some consideration to this matter. The people in country electorates do not have the same access to their representatives as people in city electorates have to their representatives. I trust that this matter will be considered and that the facilities which are available to city electorate representatives will be made available to country electorate representatives. Debate (on motion by **Mr Sainsbury)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 152 {:#debate-39} ### PROTECTIVE SECURITY AND COUNTER-TERRORISM {:#subdebate-39-0} #### Ministerial Statement {: #subdebate-39-0-s0 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
Prime Minister · Wannon · LP -- by leave- **Mr Speaker,** all members of the Parliament will be aware of the tragic event which occurred on the morning of 13 February outside the Sydney Hilton Hotel, where 12 Heads of Government assembled for the Commonwealth Regional Meeting. It was an event which brought home to every Australian that acts of terrorism can occur in this normally peaceable country. The senseless murder of three innocent Australians- the third, a police constable, died in hospital yesterday- demonstrated the indiscriminate nature of terrorist violence. Terrorist acts are a violent assault upon the freedom of each and every Australian. The Australian people have a right to be protected against the actions of terrorists. Terrorism will not be tolerated in this country. That is the Government's position, and I am sure that it is also the position of every member of this House. For some time, the Government has been concerned at the growing international trend to violence for political ends. In the past five years, according to evidence recently given to a United States Senate committee, there have been 1,800 major acts of terrorism around the world, involving 512 deaths, 551 injuries and 363 kidnappings. Following on the events of last week, I now report to the Parliament and through the Parliament to the people of Australia on the actions the Government has taken and will take to guard against this evil. On coming to office we were advised that in changing world circumstances it was necessary to review the arrangements then existing to protect overseas visitors, members of the Diplomatic Corps and the Australian public against acts of violence. We have acted over the past two years to increase the effectiveness of these arrangements. {: type="a" start="i"} 0. In 1976 the Government acted to improve the effectiveness of liaison and coordination between the various Commonwealth and State agencies and police authorities. To this end, the Protective Services Coordination Centre was established in the Department of Administrative Services. Its role is to plan, co-ordinate and initiate protective security arrangements for people holding high office visiting or present in Australia, and to co-ordinate counter-terrorist measures. The Protective Services Co-ordination Centre is advised by a special interdepartmental committee on protection against violence. It maintains close liaison with appropriate Commonwealth and State authorities and agencies. Contingency plans have been developed over a number of years to deal with any international terrorist incident which might occur either in Australia or in another country affecting Australian lives and interests. These plans are being regularly updated. Simulated antiterrorist exercises have been held with the States to test the effectiveness of existing arrangements, and adjustments have been made in the light of lessons learnt from these exercises. {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. The Government has increased the protection afforded to diplomatic representatives in Australia, particularly in the light of the incidents in recent times involving members of the Indian High Commission. 1. The Government has considered and accepted the basic conclusions of the report by **Mr Justice** Hope on intelligence and security and is acting to ensure his conclusions are put into effect. Following the tragedy in Sydney on 13 February the Commonwealth Heads of Government agreed to establish a working group, to be convened by Singapore, to explore ways in which collaboration can be enlarged, both regionally and internationally, in combating terrorism. In addition, my Government has undertaken a further review of the totality of security arrangements against acts of terrorism. None of the old assumptions can be uncritically taken for granted. Each must be challenged and reevaluated. The Sydney tragedy underlines the importance of even more intensive development of cooperation between Commonwealth and State civil and police authorities. Immediately after the tragedy occurred, the Premier of New South Wales and I agreed that a complete review of security arrangements for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting was required, and security was further tightened. Given the additional strain on New South Wales police, the Premier and I agreed that members of the Australian Defence Force would be used to supplement police resources, and the extent of the use of Service personnel was determined in close consultation between the Commonwealth and the New South Wales authorities. I would like to pay a tribute to the cooperation which the Commonwealth has had from the New South Wales Government. The New South Wales Premier, **Mr Wran,** put the security and safety of the people of New South Wales and of visiting delegations as his first priority after the bomb explosion in Sydney. He joined with me in a co-operative effort. I would like to repeat and endorse the comments he made to the New South Wales Parliament the day after the explosion. He said: >It is now the task of the Government, the Parliament, and the community to do everything possible to ensure that yesterday's scar does not permanently damage the fabric of our society. This will need vigilance, co-operation, unity, goodwill, and above all, a realisation that our young but great country is now part of a world in which international and internal violence and terrorism has become almost commonplace. It is in recognition of these facts that we must build further on the past pattern of Commonwealth and State co-operation. As a result of the review which the Government has undertaken, it has been decided that further steps must be taken to fulfil its responsibility to safeguard our society while protecting the individual rights and liberties of all Australians. The steps the Government proposes fall into two categories. Immediate action will be taken in those areas where the experience of the last few weeks has made apparent the need for improvement. Additional measures which, by their nature, require further detailed examination will be taken on the advice of a review which the Government is establishing. Clearly the co-operation of the States is indispensable and I shall be writing to the State Premiers on these issues. Indeed, the letters have already been dispatched. The immediate measures that we propose are these: We shall be proposing to the States the establishment of a Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth State Co-operation for Protection against Violence. The Committee, which I expect to be composed of the most senior civilian and police officials, will be charged with the task of achieving the highest degree of efficient operation and co-operation on a nation-wide basis. While selected Commonwealth and State police are currently trained in counter-terrorist techniques, the Government believes that training in counter-terrorist strategy and tactics should be greatly intensified. To achieve this, experienced instructors will be obtained to provide appropriate training courses for police and relevant civil authorities. They will be drawn from the United Kingdom and other nations with first-hand counter-terrorist experience. I believe this training is necessary for Commonwealth police forces, and that such a program would also assist the States. In addition, funds will be made available to enable more State, Territorial and Commonwealth police to be sent overseas to gain experience in the most modern methods of preventing and dealing with all forms of terrorism. I am also proposing to the Premiers a total review of the adequacy and mutual compatibility of police equipment. The review should examine police communications systems and determine the need for a common and secure nation-wide police communication network. The Commonwealth will discuss with the States the provision of financial assistance to make sure that essential equipment is made available. All honourable members will agree with me that the protection of our society- and all the people who live and work in it- is of the utmost importance. I am convinced all Premiers share this view. The prospects of effective co-operation are real. I also inform the House that **Sir Robert** Mark, who has recently retired as Commissioner of London Metropolitan Police- New Scotland Yard- has, at the Government's request, made himself immediately available to advise on the organisation of police resources in the Commonwealth area and measures for protective security and counter-terrorism. In addition to these immediate measures, the Government believes it of the utmost importance that a review be undertaken of the whole area of protective security in Australia by a person who has an appreciation of intelligence and security operations, and a concern for the liberties of individual men and women of Australia. I am happy to be able to advise the House that the Premier of New South Wales has agreed to make **Mr Justice** Hope available to carry out this review, and I thank him for his prompt cooperation. I think that honourable gentlemen will all know of the work that **Mr Justice** Hope has done previously on behalf of the Commonwealth. His reports on intelligence and security were certainly very well presented and have enabled the Government to adopt far-reaching reforms in ways that not only protect the civil liberties of all Australians but also at the same time make sure that we have much more effective security mechanisms available to us. Against the background of that past experience, I believe that he is the most able person available in Australia to conduct this review. His past experience will help him enormously in this present task which he has undertaken so willingly. I have received from the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Hayden)** a thoughtful and constructive letter which manifests a clear concern both for security and civil liberties. The Government, however, concluded that a review conducted by **Mr Justice** Hope would be the most effective and appropriate way to proceed, and that the terms of the review embrace the very proper concerns of the Leader of the Opposition. **Mr Justice** Hope will be empowered to undertake a fully comprehensive review. The matters he will consider will include: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Relationships between State, Territorial and Commonwealth Police, and be- be tween law enforcement agencies, intelligence and other relevant civilian authorities. This would include the particular case of relationships between Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Special Branches of State police forces on which I have already been in communication with the Premiers. 1. Arrangements to achieve co-operation of assessments of security risks and the communication of these assessments to relevant agencies and authorities. 2. Clarification and provision of guidelines on the division of responsibilities between police forces, and between them and other agencies. 3. Advice on further measures for coordination. For instance, whether it is desirable or possible in law, to provide for a single police commander in given situations. For example, if an incident occurs in New South Wales, should a senior New South Wales officer be in charge, not only of New South Wales police but also of available Commonwealth forces and instrumentalities. 4. The possibility of establishing in each State a standing combined operational and intelligence advisory body to underpin and facilitate the work of State and Commonwealth agencies, particularly to assist co-ordination by commanders where more than one police force is involved. 5. The relationship between the Defence Force and civilian authorities in the matter of civilian security. 6. Security and protective arrangements in force in all Commonwealth departments and authorities, and the capacity of departments and authorities to provide support to the general protective security effort in various situations. 7. Examining the need for Commonwealth and State promulgation of guidelines, public announcements, the passage of legislation or other measures which may be necessary to secure a co-ordinated and effective basis for protection against violence. 8. The overall balancing of the interests of security and the rights of private citizens. 9. Recommending the invitation of such overseas experts to advise and report on the foregoing matters as he may judge desirable. These are the broad areas which **Mr Justice** Hope will examine. The Commonwealth will be discussing them with the States and stands ready to amend them if necessary in the light of such discussions with Premiers. The introduction of any legislation as a result of **Mr Justice** Hope's review will present the opportunity for parliamentary examination of the relevant issues as, of course, will the debate on this statement. I should add also that Ministers and their departments have been asked to ensure that their protective security arrangements are fully adequate and that within their areas of responsibility they do everything they can to achieve even better arrangements than they have had in the past. That will be a preliminary step by departments and by Ministers because **Mr Justice** Hope will be reviewing whatever measures departments entertain at the present time. The review to be undertaken by **Mr Justice** Hope does not detract in any way from the responsibility of Ministers, permanent heads and their departments. **Mr** **Speaker,** I believe this Parliament and the parliaments of the States recognise their overriding obligation to take all necessary steps to protect Australians from acts of terrorism, while protecting individual personal liberties. I recall in this context the statement in the Rockefeller reports on the Central Intelligence Agency quoted by **Mr Justice** Hope in his Fourth Report on Intelligence and Security: {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . in the final analysis public safety and individual liberty sustain one another. The measures which have been announced today strike the balance between the need to respond decisively to the threat of terrorism and the imperative of preserving Australia's character as an open society and the democratic freedoms we all hold paramount. Terrorism is a crime against every Australian. It will not be tolerated, either by the people of Australia or by their parliamentary representatives. I present the following paper: >Protective Security and Counter-terrorism- Ministerial Statement, 23 February 1978. Motion (by **Mr Sinclair)** proposed: >That the House take note of the paper. {: #subdebate-39-0-s1 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN:
Leader of the Opposition · Oxley -- On behalf of the Opposition I join with the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** and all honourable members in expressing concern about the unfortunate incident which occurred at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney last week. We extend our sympathy and concern to members of the families of the bereaved and to those who were injured. It was a most unfortunate incident. It was an outrage. It will not be tolerated in Australian society. It is alien to the conduct which we are used to in our society and we trust that the perpetrators will be brought to account according to the proper processes of law quickly. Having said that and before I comment on some aspects of the Prime Minister's statement, I should like to make some points of principle which I believe should be guiding us in any discussion on a matter such as this. First of all, I believe we should accept as a very firm principle that in a situation such as that which occurred last week civilian resources will be used for civilian purposes. The exception to that, when military resources are called upon, only arises and should only arise when it is clear beyond any doubt that available civilian resources are unable to fulfil a task. Furthermore, it is an important principle that the authority to call out the military in such circumstances should be limited, that that authority should be subjected to prompt approval by Parliament, and furthermore that Parliament should continue to review that authority regularly while that authority exists. It is an essential principle that the persons declaring such a state of emergency should be different persons from those vested with the power which is established by that sort of authority. Finally and most importantly, whatever is done in these respects there must be a fundamental concern for civil liberties guiding the decision making. I want to come back to those points a little later. I want now to discuss some of the observations which were made in the Prime Minister's statement. I am a little nonplussed as to why he should make this statement, in which he announced the proposal to establish a standing advisory committee on Commonwealth-State cooperation for protection against violence involving the States, unless he has already communicated with the States and received from them some sort of response indicating their views. I should have thought that in such a sensitive area and, indeed, in such an important area, a great deal more progress would have been achieved before a statement as important as this statement should be was made to the Parliament. Furthermore, I should have expected that as a matter of propriety in parliamentary procedures, we would have had the benefit of a much fuller explanation of the reaction of the States to such a proposal. It may well be that there has been contact with the States, but if there has been we have no indication of it in the statement which the Prime Minister has presented. The Prime Minister indicated that people will be sent overseas to gain experience in the most modern methods of preventing and dealing with all forms of terrorism. On the face of it that would seem to be a relatively unexceptional proposition, but I should be gravely concerned if it should happen that people were sent to places such as Northern Ireland, where a virtual civil war exists, to gain that experience. I expect that it would be regarded by most Australians to be most improper if people from this country were sent abroad to gain experience for civilian purposes and became embroiled, even peripherally, in such an unfortunate scene as exists in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, if that were to happen, polarising influences could be injected into the Australian community. The Prime Minister stated that he proposes a total review of police equipment, especially communications systems. I wish that much more detail had been included in the statement so that we would know exactly what he had in mind. My understanding is that there is a great deal of compatibility already, that there is an interstate network of radio communications between various State police forces. I believe that one of the strengths in our society's sustaining its democratic nature is by the way in which power and authority are dispersed in smaller areas within the overall structure of our system. I am worried that this tendency towards centralisation may well have long term unpleasant consequences. It has happened in other parts of the world that, in the long term, unfortunate consequences have developed because of the tendencies which at an early stage seemed relatively innocuous. Whilst I have reasonable confidence that authority will be used generally circumspectly in contemporary society, I am worried about some future government using authority available to it perhaps too enthusiastically or less than scrupulously. What disturbs me is the absence of effective safeguards in the measures which were taken by this Government last week. In one part of the statement the Prime Minister referred to **Mr Justice** Hope and to an inquiry which he will set up. I find myself thoroughly disturbed because earlier in the statement he enumerated a number of things which the Government has positively in train, yet later he outlined a number of things into which **Mr Justice** Hope will inquire. They almost parallel the things he outlined to which the Government has already committed itself. For instance, the matters which **Mr Justice** Hope will consider will include relationships between State, Territorial and Commonwealth police, and between law enforcement agencies, intelligence and other relevant civilian authorities. Prior to that the Prime Minister said: >The Committee- that is, the Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth State Co-operation for Protection Against Violence- which I expect to be comprised of the most senior civilian and police officials, will be charged with the task of achieving the highest degree of efficient operation and co-operation on a nation-wide basis. He was not talking about something that is to be considered by **Mr Justice** Hope; he was talking about a commitment that he has already made. So the two strands which I have mentioned come together- the fact that he has made this decision, presumably without consulting the States, and the fact that he has gone on to appoint a commission of inquiry headed by **Mr Justice** Hope with terms of reference which are completely undermined by the firm conviction that he has already arrived at and the course of action upon which he has already set. I think that this is a very unhappy set of circumstances. It is replicated elsewhere. There is the section from which I have just quoted, and similar proposals appear later in the statement. One of the matters which **Mr Justice** Hope will be considering will be: >Examining the need for Commonwealth and State promulgation of guidelines, public announcements, the passage of legislation or other measures which may be necessary to secure a co-ordinated and effective basis for protection against violence. Yet he has already set up the Commonwealth State Co-operation for Protection Against Violence Committee. I cannot understand why he then wants to set up an inquiry under **Mr Justice** Hope into matters which he obviously expects to have under way and well advanced long before **Mr Justice** Hope will be able to report. Early in the statement he said that experienced instructors will be obtained from overseas to provide training and that funds will be made available to send State, Territorial and Commonwealth police overseas to gain experience in the most modern methods of preventing and dealing with all forms of terrorism. One of the later requirements of **Mr Justice** Hope is: >Recommending the invitation of such overseas experts to advise and report on the foregoing matters as he may judge desirable. That is to inquire into something he intends to initiate regardless of the inquiry. I cannot understand why a statement as important as this one would be brought into the Parliament when clearly two sections of it are in fundamental conflict. On the one hand the Prime Minister is making it quite clear that he has firmly decided upon certain courses of action and, on the other hand, he is proposing that **Mr Justice** Hope should be charged with the responsibility of whitewashing what the Prime Minister has already decided to set in train. I suggest that if the Government wants **Mr Justice** Hope to hold any inquiry then it should set up an inquiry headed by him to find out just what did happen at the Hilton Hotel on Monday morning of last week, how it happened and who was responsible for the obvious failures in the general nature of security at that hotel. I am convinced, the more I consider the Prime Minister's statement and look at the way in which this matter has been handled subsequently, that the Prime Minister has sought, one way or another, to create a diversionary tactic to take public interest away from the serious shortcomings in the security arrangements of the Government at the Hilton Hotel last week. It may be thought that I am putting the situation too strongly, that perhaps I am a little biased in what I put. Well, the *Australian* newspaper is not notably unfriendly to the Government and on Wednesday, 15 February, its editorial stated: >Leaving aside such interesting speculation as what would a tank or artillery piece do to a terrorist if one were sighted, it can be mildly stated that the authorities concerned, including the Prime Minister, seem to have over-reacted. We looked a bit silly before, now we are beginning to look ridiculous. On the same day **Major Peter** Young, the defence correspondent for that newspaper, stated: >But Army PR has gone as far as describing it as elements from infantry, armour and artillery and engineers with, it is presumed, supporting services such as communications, medical and logistic units which would be required for the deployment of even a stripped down task force. Even allowing for a conservative force level of 2 companies of infantry, one armoured personnel carrier squadron and possibly one battery of field guns, this would give a minimum force of around 1200 to 1500 men and a minimum of something like 70 or so APCs - That is armoured personnel carriers- if only the minimum of one squadron had been deployed. Unless there is evidence of an intelligence warning of an IRA or large scale guerilla style threat, then the deployment of the military on this scale can be described only as an over reaction. That is a comment in a newspaper which is not notably unfriendly to the Prime Minister and to the Government. Quite clearly, Bowral was over blitzed in the course of last week. This is disturbing not so much because the military was called out- I think there probably is an arguable case in relation to that- but because of the way in which the military was presented in public places to handle what was effectively a civilian situation. It is even more disturbing to discover the way in which the Prime Minister according to public reports moved in promptly to assume the authority of a form of chief of staff of military operations. Putting to one side the probable illegality of what he did, the situation raises a serious question about a man with authority which he assumed from a decision of the Executive Council. I presume he attended that Council meeting. If he did not attend, it was convened as a result of a Cabinet decision. He chaired that Cabinet meeting I presume and, very largely, would have determined the decision taken. I think it is rather curious that a man in the situation of extending the authority should have assumed the authority. When we talk about this authority there are a number of questions which deserve attention. The tendency of the Prime Minister in the way in which he presents statements on this matter is to strongly infer that Premier Wran of New South Wales sought the military assistance which was called out by the Government. The implication is that the Government acted under section 1 1 9 of the Constitution. Under that section, for the Commonwealth to assume that sort of responsibility it is necessary for the Premier of a State to make a specific request for Commonwealth assistance. Premier Wran made no such request and was circumspect in all statements and in all dealings relating to this matter on the day and on the night following the explosion at the Hilton Hotel. What we in my office found rather disconcerting was that when we contacted the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Attorney-General's Department in an effort to establish the legal authority, we were shuffled from one department to another, back to the first department and then back to the other department without the matter being satisfactorily concluded. What happened last week tends to suggest that the Government can mobilise forces under section 6 1 of the Constitution, the general executive power of the Commonwealth. That, in its turn, presents disturbing considerations about the future. It places enormous power in the hands of a government and in the hands of one man if he is a powerful, influential and domineering man in that government. *(Extension of time granted).* Furthermore, it is disturbing to know that it is uncertain as to the extent to which the events in the course of last week initiated and maintained by the Government in the call out of military services are reviewable in the courts. In sum, that adds up to this: There seem to be grave defects in the protective apparatus of fundamental civil liberties in this country. Very largely we believed until 1975 that conventions could be relied upon. We discovered then that they could be shattered beyond repair at the instance of one man. We found last week that the most extreme forms of action could be undertaken by a government. Disturbingly, there is widespread doubt as to the extent of the legal authority of the government for doing these things. Even more disturbing is the capacity of the courts to review these sorts of matters. All of these things need to be clarified, but in clarifying them we should be guided by a basic concern about democratic rights and about civil liberties in our community. In short I am saying that the Prime Minister's statement is welcome, but it is also worrying. It is welcome in that efforts will be made to provide efficient and satisfactory security arrangements to meet future civilian requirements. It is worrying that while the Prime Minister concludes his statement by proposing an inquiry by Justice Hope, he commences the same statement by making it abundantly clear that the key elements of Justice Hope's inquiry have in fact already been determined by him. It is welcome that efforts will be made to co-ordinate civilian resources to handle civilian security matters in the future. It is worrying that there is no firm undertaking that the resort to military resources is to be only a last measure. Frankly, I feel uneasy about the way in which the Prime Minister shows a preoccupation with security matters; more than that, an anxiousness to become personally involved in such matters. His assumption of total authority for the security operations following the unfortunate incident at the Hilton Hotel last week while probably not legal, I repeat, appeared to give an insight into what can only be described as a worrying strain in his make-up. I cannot accept that our senior experienced military people, our senior experienced security advisers, our senior experienced Australia and State police officers would be less experienced, less alert, less intuitively responsive than the Prime Minister in handling this difficult operation. For my part, I strongly suspect that there is more than enough legislative authority to provide adequate security protection from civilian resources for civilian purposes in the future in the event of a similar need to that which occurred last week in Sydney arising. Suitable training and co-ordination of resources is largely what is required. What is required more than anything else is a fundamental concern about civilian liberties guiding one's action when these things are being done. There may be a case for promoting the enactment of specific Commonwealth legislation in this area, not so much in order to confer sweeping new powers but rather to circumscribe, confine and define their exercise, and to remove some of the extraordinary uncertainties which now prevail. Uncertainty and legitimate fears of executive overkill have certainly escalated rapidly since the Sydney bombing and its aftermath. Such legislation would detail with some precision the circumstances in which a state of domestic emergency, localised or otherwise, could be declared, and would provide for such matters as the following: {: type="a" start="a"} 0. that the persons declaring the emergency are not those in whom the power vests; 1. that the declaration is immediately reviewed by Parliament which, if not sitting, should be called together for the purpose; 2. that a strict upper limit on its duration be set; 3. that the decision of authorities vested with emergency power be subjected to independent review; 4. that there be certain rights, for example not to be subject to retrospective criminal offences, or the deprivation of basic procedural rights- which must remain inviolate whatever the character of the emergency. The subject before us is of the greatest importance, as are many others. It is to be hoped that those others will not be submerged under a welter of emotion, perhaps, about this matter which is so liable to drama. It is to be sincerely trusted that the Prime Minister does not preoccupy himself, and seek to pre-occupy and distract the community, with this topic at the expense of other important matters. Perhaps the best summary of that point was made by the *Australian Financial Review* in its editorial of Monday 20 February- >While security measures should be reviewed in the light of last week's bombing, the issue must be kept in perspective. > >The major issue confronting Australia now is not the lives of our politicians but the health of the economy, which, by many standards, is decidedly weak. This is merely a plea to keep things in focus, to maintain one's balance, maintain our sense of priorities, while we handle these important matters. **Mr MALCOLM** FRASER (Wannon-Prime Minister)- Could I have the indulgence of the Chair for a moment? In the light of the honourable gentleman's statement, there is some information which I think I ought to give to the House and I would welcome the opportunity of doing so. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: -- Yes. {: #subdebate-39-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I will grant the indulgence. {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER: **-Mr Speaker,** in the division of security responsibility the lower floors of the hotel and the grounds outside were the responsibility of the New South Wales police. Some of the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition could have been construed as a criticism of the New South Wales Police Force because it was a criticism of the security arrangements. Let me only say that in the light of Australia's previous experience, up to the time that bomb went off, I believe the arrangements that had been made would in any circumstances have been regarded as adequate and thorough. I would not like this Parliament to be left with any impression that any criticism should be attributed to the New South Wales police, or anyone else involved in the security arrangements, because I believe, in the light of the experience they had had to that point, people were acting with a sense of integrity and a sense of purpose. We all recognise that, as a result of that incident, past preconceptions and principles need to be examined to make sure that we have even more effective measures of security for the future. I have only praise for the people who were involved in these matters. In addition, I do need again to make it perfectly plain to the House that the statement announcing the call-out read as follows- >The Prime Minister and the Premier of New South Wales agreed today that there had to be a complete review of security arrangements relating to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting. This was required because of the bomb outrage outside the hotel in Sydney where the conference is being held and the Heads of Government are staying. > >Having regard to the discussions among the Heads of Government which are to be held at Bowral, additional security precautions have been decided upon. These will impose additional strain on NSW Police resources and, with the agreement of the Prime Minister and the Premier of NSW, members of the Australian Defence Force would be used to supplement Police resources. Indeed, the mechanism for the legal approach to the call-out was discussed with the Premier in two terms: In terms of a strict request from the State, and therefore in terms of aid to the civil power; or, secondly, in terms of the use of the Commonwealth's own authority and responsibility to protect people against possible acts of terrorism. For various reasons, as I explained to the House I think yesterday, the second course was chosen, but the Premier had made it perfectly plain to me that if it was thought best to pursue it through the first mechanism, the Premier would certainly act in full co-operation. I do not wish to do it again, but I shall refer the House back to the quotations I made from Premier Wran 's speech in the New South Wales Parliament on the co-operation between the State and the Commonwealth in these matters, talking of the consultation between himself and myself and the common purposes that we sought to pursue. I believe that spirit of co-operation will be pursued through the investigations and inquiries that will be conducted by **Mr Justice** Hope. When I spoke to **Mr Wran** in relation to that he readily agreed with the sentiments that I have expressed in this House: That nobody could conduct that inquiry better or more effectively, with proper purposes in mind, than could **Mr Justice** Hope himself. I wish to make one other point in this House because myths are sometimes mentioned and they live on if they are not contradicted. 1 would not like this myth to live on. As a result of a Cabinet meeting an Executive Council meeting was held, as a result of which a requisition was made and troops were called out. I think my colleague the Minister for Foreign Affairs **(Mr Peacock)** signed the requisition and later the cancellation of that requisition. Certainly I discussed matters with those people responsible for security arrangements on the night of the bombing and very shortly after, and with Premier Wran. We both discussed the matter with State and Commonwealth police officials at the time, but any suggestion that either the Premier or myself assumed charge of the police forces and issued orders to the police forces or the defence forces used for the purpose of securing the 100 miles or so of road from Sydney to Bowral is an absurdity in the extreme. As Prime Minister of Australia, I had an obligation not only to all Australians, especially those Australians in the vicinity of the Hilton Hotel, but also I had a very particular obligation to 1 1 other Heads of Government and to all the visiting delegations to satisfy myself that those people responsible for security were doing everything possible to make sure that no other bomb would be exploded. Obviously Premier Wran and I had discussions with those responsible for security to achieve that purpose. I think **Mr Wran** was as concerned as I was; otherwise he would not have come around to the hotel very late on the night of the bombing and again by 8 o'clock the following morning so that we could both be satisfied with our respective political responsibilities and that the respective agencies were doing everything they could and should do for the protection of our guests and for the protection of Australians. **Mr Speaker,** that was my involvement. I regard it as a very proper one and I would have regarded it as thoroughly reprehensible not to have fulfilled it. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr Hayden: **- Mr Speaker,** I seek leave to make a short statement. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I shall extend to the Leader of the Opposition the same indulgence as I did to the Prime Minister. **Mr HAYDEN** (Oxley-Leader of the Opposition) It is a shame that the Prime Minister could not extend the same courtesy to me as I extended by listening to him. He has rather haughtily walked out of the House. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable gentleman will make his point. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -- As I understand the arrangements for the overall security of the Hilton Hotel, the Protective Services Co-ordination Centre was responsible. The head of that Centre is in the House, sitting in the boxes behind the ministerial bench. While it is true that the New South Wales Police Force had a function to discharge as part of that exercise, the overall orchestration of security was very largely drawn up by the Protective Services Co-ordination Centre. I would regard it as a remarkably remiss situation if there were two totally different sets of security arrangements in operation, completely unrelated except by chance, yet that is the implication of what the Prime Minister has proposed to us. No one has criticised members of the New South Wales Police Force or of the Army. They all did what they were told. The criticism is directed towards those who may have been responsible for arranging the situation and allowing what were clearly glaring shortcomings to develop in those arrangements. Furthermore, the criticism is of the over-reaction, which was pointed out in an article in the *Australian* and not an unfriendly-- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order! The honourable gentleman is returning to the debate. He has already made his contribution to the debate. The indulgence I gave to the Prime Minister was to put a point that he believed was a contradiction of fact. I ask the Leader of the Opposition to confine himself to those matters. {: .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN: -- With respect, I understood that the Prime Minister sought leave to make a statement. If he did not, I will not argue. But I put it to you that he did canvass issues. For instance, he canvassed the issue of the way in which the military was deployed. I do not quibble about the use of the military except to make the point in passing that if there had been proper prearrangements civilian resources could have handled that situation. There were not adequate pre-arrangements. By that I mean calling in support resources of other States as well as those of New South Wales, lt is desirable to maximise civilian resources for civilian purposes. What I am critical of is the very thing of which the daily newspapers have been critical, that is, the appearance of soldiers in military formation, some armed and some unarmed. Of those armed, some had ammunition and some did not. None of them knew for certain what sort of authority they had. I understand that the Press officer of the Prime Minister, **Mr Barnett,** suggested that they had the authority of police to arrest people. That is hotly disputed by every legal authority with whom I have been in contact. I suggest that the Prime Minister is drawing the bow a little long and trying to extract as much emotionalism as he can out of this issue. I am as concerned as anyone else about the unfortunate tragedies which occurred as a result of the bombing. The Prime Minister and the Government do not have a monopoly on sympathy and common compassion. I am also concerned about the way in which the Prime Minister behaved. According to the newspapers, he took charge of the services of the Army and the police in the early hours of the morning as though he were the supreme commander of a military operation. Finally, in relation to his comments about **Mr Wran,** I repeat that section 119 of the Constitution was not invoked. That is my firm understanding from contact by my office with **Mr Wran's** office. It has been confirmed by contact by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Lionel Bowen)** himself with **Mr Wran's** office that section 1 1 9 would not have been invoked as far as **Mr Wran** was concerned. I do not wish to get distracted on the emotionalism of this situation. I leave that to the Government. It is on shaky ground in so many ways. I am concerned about the enormity of the power at the disposal of the Government, as displayed last week, and the fact that it is highly doubtful whether these matters can be brought to account in the courts. When I concluded my statement I enumerated a series of points of principle which ought to be adopted to protect the rights of these people. To put it in its finest terms, I feel uneasy about the general assumption of authority by the Prime Minister in this instance and the way in which he generally deports himself as an authority figure. That is why I have a strong feeling that now is the time for us in this Parliament to establish beyond any doubt that there is a complete bipartisan commitment to the endorsement of those principles. Debate (on motion by **Mr Bourchier)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 161 {:#debate-40} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-40-0} #### GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S SPEECH Address-in-Reply Debate resumed. {: #subdebate-40-0-s0 .speaker-L0J} ##### Mr SAINSBURY:
Monaro · Eden -- There is some sort of discontinuity after the interesting latter half of the debate on security. I was thinking of touching on security and defence matters in relation to the GovernorGeneral 's Speech. Now, I do not think I will do so. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr Hayden)** appears to be out of his depth. I think the people who were listening to the previous debate about a very serious matter will have well and truly got that message. First of all, as most other members have done, I congratulate you, **Mr Speaker,** on again being elected to the Chair. In the last two years you have been very helpful to the people who were described as oncers in 1975. We have learned a great deal from you. It is fair to say that we all think it is very nice to have you back in that position. I also congratulate the newly elected Chairman of Committees. If he proceeds in his new job with the same strength as he displayed in regard to his problems with Fraser Island he certainly will be a very strong Chairman of Committees. Despite the fact that one of the national newspapers described the Governor-General's Speech as dull, in my view it was a very positive speech which covered an extremely wide area of Australian policy for the future and touched on many areas in which we will be in a position to move soon. The past two years since the return of the coalition Government to the treasury bench has seen an adjustment of the variables in Australia. This was necessary before we could begin a strong, forward movement. As we remember and as has been repeated so often in this House- it has been well known in the voting electorate- a number of variables were right out of kilter at the end of 1975. Of course, one of the main reasons for that was the government under which we had to live in this country for three years prior to that date. Creeping into our economy were many new factors with which we really had not had to cope before. Inflation and interest rates were at levels we had never seen before. Government deficits, which meant that the government was spending much more than it was raising from the people in taxation, were at levels we had never seen before. We found a lack of confidence amongst the Australian people in the government of the day, and that was reflected in successive elections. A lacklustre attitude appeared in industry in Australia. People were saying: 'If this progresses much further we will sell up and leave the country'. We found creeping into our country lacklustre attitudes amongst our younger generation. I am afraid that we have not got rid of those attitudes yet. The government of the day encouraged a parasite syndrome. Even now many groups in our community still think that money grows on trees and that the Government can continue to spend more and more on their causes without apparently having to raise more in taxes out of possibly the same pockets. I noticed last night that the very tone of the speech of the honourable member for Maribyrnong **(Dr Cass),** which in most areas I thought was very interesting, gave even more evidence of this parasite syndrome that the Australian Labor Party would like to encourage when he started to talk about what the Government had not done in ethnic radio and what it would not do in ethnic television. Ethnic radio and ethnic television are very important to the ethnic communities of our country but they are not half as important to them as are the right and the ability of people in our society to be able to make a profit and get on in life. These peripheral issues, whilst being important, depend on raising money from taxpayers. In the context of the difficulties through which we have had to go following the Labor Party's regime, I think it is pretty fair to say that we cannot afford all these things. We certainly cannot afford them tomorrow. In the last two years there have been some remarkable achievements. There have been some very solid movements forward in so many of the parameters that I have mentioned. Already interest rates are beginning to come down. I could spend quite some time talking about the economy, but I am afraid I do not have that time. One of the most important changes in this country is that at last we are looking at a reasonable increase, in real terms, in the gross national product, and that is important. However, in the long run one cannot have more than one makes in real terms. Countries can borrow overseas and can import more than they export, but in the long term the general level of real production in those countries will determine their level of affluence. That is something that the coalition parties have always known. They have always seen that good business, good housekeeping, is ultimately the only way we so face the challenges of the future. As was so clearly set out in the Governor-General's Speech, we are now facing the challenges of the future with some hope of meeting them. In the brief time available, I should like to discuss four aspects which affect me as a member for a country electorate and which affect the country in general. I regret that I will not have time to speak about the general aspect of defence. As has been remarked in some of the newspapers, it is probably a shame that we cannot spend more time during general debates in the House and in debating the GovernorGeneral's Speech discussing this most important aspect of defence. Nevertheless, I will discuss four aspects that seem very important. In terms of economic growth, I am very pleased to see at last in the Australian community some realisation that we are looking now to the possibility of a proper restructuring of some of our industry. That has been a cry from the Opposition over the past six or nine months but the way the Opposition goes about these things it is liable to put thousands of people out of work as its acrosstheboard tariff reduction did in 1973. Anybody who is a free-trader or is looking towards a restructuring so that many of the damaging aspects of protection in this country can be done away with should remember that these things must be done in the proper context and at the proper time. I am very pleased about some of the things which were mentioned in the White Paper on manufacturing industry last year. I do not want to appear to quote anything out of context, and I do not think I will, when I quote this passage from the White Paper: >Tariff reductions to induce changes in industry structure and encourage greater specialisation in industry therefore have a role to play in the process of encouraging a more efficient manufacturing industry in Australia. I am afraid that many politicians, including many on this side of the House, fail to see that we do need a restructuring of industry and tariffs. This is very important in my electorate of EdenMonaro which is substantially involved in export industries. While still in this context of restructuring, I would like to say that the amendments at present before the House relating to the Industries Assistance Commission and the obligation that it will have to report on the employment consequences of its reports are very good amendments. I believe we will find that the IAC will be saying on many occasions that the employment consequences of the reduction of tariffs will be good. In other words, it will be saying that the reduction of tariffs in some areas will be seen to increase employment because of the good effects of those tariff reductions on industries other than perhaps the one in question. Last week 1 came across one of the many anomalies in our protection policy when I was again brought face to face with the fact that our fishing industry, and I do have a lot of fishermen in my electorate, is supporting the shipyard industry. The people in the fishing industry who want to buy bigger boats in this presently challenging industry are finding that they are having to pay extra money for overseas boats because of our tariff policies. This money while finding its way into creating jobs in the shipyards is perhaps being taken away from our fishermen and will in the future be given to the Japanese fishermen or others who will be able to afford to bring big boats into our area. Too often protection has inhibited enterprise and competitive innovation in this country and has provided only an umbrella under which sweetheart wages deals can be safely consummated These changes we should all be looking forward to. I personally will be looking forward to **Sir John** Crawford's study group report into Australian industry. The second of the four topics that were raised in the Governor-General's Speech I would briefly like to mention is the question that has been pressing in on us concerning the 200-mile fishing zone. I have only just mentioned the fishing industry which is now bigger than many of the others which for years were the heavyweights in primary industry, and I am referring to such industries as the egg industry, the poultry industry, the pig industry, orchardry, and the apple and pear industries. All these industries which have taken up debating time in this House are now smaller than our fishing industry and as time goes on, in terms of the value of the local product, our fishing industry, certainly if it continues in the direction it is heading now with the potential that it is showing, will become an industry probably about the size of the sugar industry, a $400m industry in this country. One of the things we must remember to do in relation to the 200-mile fishing zone is to hasten slowly. We are under certain obligations according to the convention of the law of the sea to provide to overseas countries access to our resources within the 200-mile limit to the extent that we cannot take them up ourselves. I hope that in the coming months when these negotiations are going on, and there are plenty of joint venture and overseas venture deals on the desks of the Department of Primary Industry at present, we do hasten slowly to ensure that our fishermen get the best end of the deal as a first principle. I know that the officers of the Department of Primary Industry and the Minister for Primary Industry **(Mr Sinclair)** have that very much in mind. I just hope that that point also can be very much reinforced. I am looking forward to a great expansion in the Australian industry. I am looking forward to the port of Eden in my electorate being made a very important part of the southern fisheries of Australia. The third of the four points I mention from the Governor-General's Speech is the general question of migration. I reiterate that a lot of rubbish is talked about ethnic radio in Australia. I suspect that in many places in the past it has just been a tool of the socialists. Nevertheless- I am getting off the subject of ethnic radio now- I have said before in this House, and I think it needs to be said again quite often, that we need to expand the opportunities for migration into this country in the very near future. The honourable member for Mackellar **(Mr Carlton)** yesterday in his maiden speech, which we all thought was excellent, did venture his point of view that immigration may well be rapidly expanded in this country. I gathered from his speech that he could see that higher migration, rather than creating higher unemployment, might just create more jobs. That is a point of view which I hold. It is a point of view which until recently was not fashionable but which is becoming more fashionable. It is not a view held by the Labor Party. That was borne out by the fact that it so dramatically cut immigration into this country. As an aside I simply point out to all those people who rush along to listen to the Opposition speakers during election campaigns- I am speaking to the migrant people of this countrythat they should remember that one of the reasons why their brothers and sisters have not been allowed into this country yet is that those people who perhaps they are supporting do not really have their hearts in the job of migration. However, if the brothers and sisters, parents and older children of constituents in my area were to come to Australia they would certainly buy houses, refrigerators and motor cars and they would work very hard. I am certain that those people would create jobs rather than take jobs by virtue of the fact that they would create some sort of excess demand for our industry. As my fourth point I refer to the very brief mention in the Governor-General's Speech of rural industries in general. Perhaps he acknowledges that rural industries, under our type of government, have had a great deal done for them in the past two years. Perhaps he acknowledges that there are so many things in the pipeline at the present time that it demonstrates our concern for our great rural industries. I would add that in this country we should always remember, especially at a time- this is a medium term problem- when our balance of payments is of great concern, when our terms of trade have deteriorated so severely in the past few years following, as I said before, the Labor Government's regime, that our export industries, such as our rural industries, assume even greater importance than might be the case normally. I can see a great future for rural industries in this country. The beef industry has been going through a traumatic period in the past few years. Incomes have dropped to ridiculously low levels, especially when one considers the average income of people who do not have to work half as hard. The beef industry is one industry in which we are at last seeing a little optimism. Many people in my electorate are predicting quite confidently even higher increases in prices than they have experienced in the past few months. Nevertheless, in the coming months the Government has a great responsibility to ensure that the Ts are crossed and the Is dotted properly where the establishment of the Rural Bank is concerned. That is one of the government measures which my constituents are looking forward to seeing implemented, perhaps in part because it will offset some aspects of the protectionist policies which safeguard other people's jobs and which could be implemented on their behalf. There are many aspects of the GovernorGeneral's Speech about which we could keep talking. Many of them affect my electorate of Eden-Monaro. We have great national challenges to face. I regret that security and defence cannot be debated more strongly than they are at the present time. Our country has great international importance in this region. We have a role to play as an Asian region nation. Given that we can progress with our increase in our real gross national product, we will be able to afford more and more to help our neighbours under our type of government- under a coalition governmentwhich is getting back to helping people to create incentives in the community. We will be able to do that and to assist our nation as much as possible. Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m. *(Quorum formed).* **Mr** DEPUTY SPEAKER **(Mr Millar)Before** calling the honourable member for Lalor, I remind the House that the honourable member is about to make his maiden speech. I request honourable members to extend the normal courtesy to him that he may be heard without interruption. {: #subdebate-40-0-s1 .speaker-KH4} ##### Mr Barry Jones:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP -WhiIe complimenting the honourable member for Mackellar **(Mr Carlton)** and the honourable member for Tangney **(Mr Shack)** for the way in which they moved and seconded the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply to the Speech of the Governor-General, I think that the speech put into the Governor-General's hands by his Ministers was an insult to his intelligence and to our intelligence as well. It revealed a totally inadequate grasp of structural changes in the Australian economy. Australia is passing through an economic revolution. Its effects are profound although they are not fully recognised and they are certainly not understood. Many Liberal members have promoted the folk myth that Australia was an economic Eden until 1972, when Gough Whitlam appeared as the serpent in the garden and wilfully created unemployment as a bizarre punishment for Labor voters. It is clear that the Whitlam years coincided with a substantial contraction in employment in some industries, coupled with a major redistribution of income away from those who were actually producing goods and services towards non-producers. However, it should be stressed that according to the 1971 census only 17.6 per cent of Australia's population was engaged in farming, mining, manufacturing or construction- that is, in the direct production or processing of goods- while children, students, retired people and women outside the work force totally 58.74 per cent. By 1976 perhaps 15 per cent were involved in goods production and 60 per cent were not. This one to four ratio goes some way towards explaining high and continuing rates of inflation. We in the Australian Labor Party must be careful not to create an oversimplified economic demonology and suggest that the election of a Labor government will itself automatically and instantly restore full employment. Economic debates have had a primitive, not to say Neanderthal, quality about them, especially at election time. It is essential that we understand the changes we are going through if we as a Parliament are to take an active role in shaping our individual and collective futures. The economic revolution I have referred to is usually called 'the Post-Industrial Revolution' although, as I shall suggest later, it might be described more accurately as 'the Post-Service Revolution'. Two hundred years ago- six or seven generations backbefore Australia was taken from the Aborigines, our ancestors lived in a 'pre-industrial society ' in which 90 per cent of the work force were involved in agriculture. It was like perpetual life under the National Country Party. The 'Agricultural Revolution' led to more food being grown by fewer people, causing rapid urbanisation and the long expansion of manufacturing industry, loosely called 'the Industrial Revolution', in which goods production was the largest single employment sector. This era is coming to an end in the United States of America, Canada, and many nations of Western Europe (but not Japan or West Germany) and, I suggest, Australia. We are into the era of 'Post-Industrialism,' a term apparently coined by the Indian writer Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and later popularised by Daniel Bell and others. In this silent continent of ours Charles Birch, Dexter Dunphy, Fred Emery and Gordon Ford are among the few to have examined the concept. Post-industrialism involves a changing economic and social framework in which, due to technological changes, a contracting proportion of the work force is involved in the production of goods and direct economic services. The term includes many related factors: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. A break in the nexus between employment and productivity in manufacturing industry and some services. 1. A likely contraction of employment in some service areas- for example, banking, insurance and retailing. 2. A 'post-scarcity' society in which problems of distribution of goods are more significant than problems of production. 3. An economic shift from emphasis on goods/services to services/information. 4. The technological impact of automation and miniaturisation. 5. Computerisation leading to a quantum leap in the amount of readily available information 'the knowledge explosion'. I will not have time to develop that tonight. 6. The employment growth area is likely to be in information processing services. 7. Government is likely to be the greatest employment generator. 8. An increasing complexity in decision making, involving a likely shift of power away from elected parliaments/governments towards groups commanding various locations', or 'situses', in society- for example, technocrats, public servants, multinationals, banks, trades unions and universities. 9. The development of a 'leisure society' which may lead to a fundamental change in the relationship of man/woman and his/her work, and to a number of social problems such as boredom, alienation and anomie. In 1940 **Dr Colin** Clark proposed dividing the economy into three sectors: Primary (that is to say, farming, mining, forestry), Secondary (manufacturing) and Tertiary (services generally including education, transport, government, utilities, construction and retailing). In 1961 Jean Gottman proposed the division of the economy into four sectors by dividing the tertiary or services sector. He suggested that general economic services such as transport, construction and retailing should be described as tertiary while the new category- Quaternary or fourth- would comprise 'services for their own sake' including sport, entertainment, tourism, and many other government activities. I believe that the present classifications of the economy are far too broad to assist our understanding of how and where structural changes, particularly in employment, are taking place. The service or 'Tertiary' sector is so large, occupying as it does at the moment nearly 70 per cent of the work force, that it must be broken down. When the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** and other senior Ministers talk of economic growth and employment prospects they seem to be talking only of secondary industry- manufacturing but that sector has barely changed as a proportion of the total work force for a generation. Its proportion of the work force is now likely to contract and must do so while the Government persists in policies such as payroll tax and the generous depreciation allowance on equipment which encourage the replacement of manpower by machine power. In other words, it discourages labour intensity and encourages capital intensity. I suggest that we ought to divide the economy into five sectors. This five part division should help us to understand much more clearly the expansion and contraction of various areas in the economy. Many economists accept the idea of a four part division and I commend to honourable members a valuable new book, *Economics of the Australian Service Sector,* edited by K. A. Tucker and published by Croom Helm, London. I found, with a mixture of satisfaction and horror, that concepts I had been laboriously working out myself- like Pascal rediscovering the laws of Euclid- were already being used by some of the younger Australian economists. The fourth or Quarternary division is devoted to the 'Information Processing' sector which, whether we like it or not, is the largest growth area in the economy. Essentially, more and more people will be employed in pushing around pieces of paper and fewer and fewer will be employed in farming, manufacturing or providing general services. I suggest the following division: {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Primary Sector (Extractive): Production of raw materials, that is, farming, mining, fishing, forestry, quarrying. 1. Secondary Sector (Manufacturing and Construction): All industrial processes by which raw materials are converted to completed products- but including construction, which is sometimes defined as a service. 2. Tertiary Sector (General Economic Services): The essential element of this sector is that it involves the processing of matter and /or energy and includes the wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage, some community services, provision of public utilities, repair and maintenance, and some personal services. 3. Quaternary Sector (Information Processing): The essential element of this sector is that it involves the processing of symbols, such as words, images or figures, or symbolic objects which stand in the place of tangibles such as money, cheques, bank statements or title deeds and includes such categories as teachers, stenographers, typists, clerical workers, postal workers, radio, television and newspaper .personnel, telephone, telegraph and telecommunication workers, politicians, photographers and printers, lawyers, advertising agents, research workers, insurance and bank officials, the arts generally and the clergy. 4. Quinary Sector (Quasi-domestic): This is sometimes described as a residual category but it can be redefined to include the provision of quasi domestic services- that is, services which are provided within the home or are analagous to domestic services, for example, provision of food and shelter, care of children and the aged, cleaning and other home duties, voluntary work for charities. This would include hotels and restaurants, and some tourist activities. The proportion of the active population involved in the quinary sector is hard to measure precisely because home duties, the largest single work category, is not considered as an economic activity unless it is paid. It has been ignored by economists and statisticians. Women's groups point out, correctly, that these services are directly essential to society and they promote production indirectly- in fact they are essential to at least one form of domestic production- yet are disregarded in economic and social planning. There are some anomalous areas of employment which are hard to classify- printing, defence, police and health care. Printing is obviously an industrial activity and yet it is an important part of the information industry. This Parliament is dependent on printing processes for its effective operation- so far as it could be said to operate effectively. Defence personnel perform a variety of roles which should be classified under secondary, tertiary, quaternary or quinary as appropriate. Police are in a similar position. When a doctor is giving advice he is in the information sector; when he is pulling out stitches, he is in the tertiary sector. To illustrate the relative sizes of these economic sectors, I seek leave of the House to incorporate in *Hansard* a table and a note entitled 'The Structure of the Australian Workforce 1911-1971' and a table entitled 'Size of Work Force in Industry Sectors '. Leave granted. *The tables read as follows-* {: .speaker-KH4} ##### Mr Barry Jones:
LALOR, VICTORIA · ALP -1 regret that a graph illustrating those figures cannot be printed in *Hansard.* The graph indicates very clearly that the tertiary sector has stabilised and may well fall while the information sector is growing rapidly. As I indicated earlier, it might be more appropriate to call the next stage of Australia's development the Post-Service Society. However, the term 'Post-Industrialism' is now widely recognised and used and understood, if not in this House then elsewhere. When the Prime Minister and his Ministers utter the clarion cry 'Work harder!', they are essentially addressing themselves to the industrial work force in the trade union movement and to no other section. That cry is not directed to the service sector or to the information sector. There is a strongly elitist element in the cry to work harder because they are essentially directing themselves to industrial workers. I say to the Government that it has been elected to lead and if it wants to go ahead, do it, but it should show the House and the people of Australia that it understands economically what is happening around us. There are likely to be further changes in the division of the labour force between the economic sectors. Forecasting change, as Bell, Kahn and others have pointed out, is a very dangerous business. Clearly, however, the likely changes involve a further reduction in the size of the primary and secondary sectors as productivity rises, an increasing range of personal information services, an increasing specialisation in the professional-technical occupations. Those changes will bring with them problems which government must face. One of the problems is this: As we move into an increasingly complex and increasingly sophisticated technical age the role of a parliament comprised largely of generalists is likely to contract. More and more decisions will be made by the experts or the technocrats in various areas and they will come to the Parliament and invite it to rubber stamp what they are doing. After a time they will not even invite us to wield the rubber stamp. Many of the decisions that are being made in immensely complex areas, and the decisions about uranium mining is as good an example as I can think, involve matters of great scientific complexity which many members do not fully understand. The result is that when we endorse a decision we endorse a decision that we do not understand and that the people who send us here do not altogether understand. What I fear is the possibility of rule by technocrats, or a situation that has been described by some of the sociologists overseas as 'techno-urban fascism' or 'friendly fascism'. That is something about which we ought to be very careful. Post-industrialism has two major aspects. It can be regarded with fear or it can be regarded as something to welcome. It is the same with unemployment. Unemployment and leisure are opposite sides of the same coin. If somebody is given additional leisure and he knows what to do with it and he enjoys it then it can be life enhancing; but if he is deprived of the opportunity to work and is categorised as unemployed, suddenly life is shrouded with dark clouds. What is essential, I think, is that we try to grasp the direction in which society is moving. Awesome though the problems to be faced in the Post-Industrial Society are, the problems which result from pretending that society is not changing will be even greater. Though the first efforts to understand and deal with change may be small ones, they must be made. Before I conclude I should say that one of the economic problems is that the increasing size of the services sector, and the information sector too, will increase the problems of dealing with wage rises. Whilst labour costs in the manufacturing sector are perhaps 30 per cent, in the services sector, putting categories 3, 4 and 5 together as services, they are 70 per cent or more. Wage rises in the services sector thus have a much greater effect on cost-push inflation. It may become necessary to offer workers in the services sector alternative incentives such as shorter working hours. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** I am very proud to have the opportunity to be the third Labor member for Lalor and, before I resume my seat, I would like to pay a brief tribute to my two Labor predecessors in that seat. The Honourable Reg Pollard was elected in 1949 and held the seat until 1966. He was a distinguished Minister for Commerce in the Chifley Government and a fiery debater. He is now living in retirement- unnoticed by Who's Who- in Woodend. **Dr Jim** Cairns was elected for Lalor in 1 969 after the Yarra seat was eliminated. He served Australia as a crusader for great causes- against the Vietnam war and for a more loving, compassionate and co-operative society. His career, which seems to many to be ultimately a failure, illustrates the difficulty in trying to reconcile the pursuit of love and the pursuit of power- a dilemma which faces or ought to face us all. If we devote ourselves to the pursuit of power we ultimately destroy ourselves, as I believe the Prime Minister will find one day when it is too late. On the other hand, if we pursue love we may opt out of the struggle for power. In this way we abandon the struggle to those who are willing to use the bludgeon or the boot without compassion. Jim Cairns rose to be Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister, but I think he would rather be remembered as a teacher and a prophet of the alternative lifestyle. I am glad to be able to serve in this Parliament with the honourable member for Werriwa **(Mr E. G. Whitlam),** a man who will be remembered as one of the greatest Australians. In a land of political pygmies, Gough Whitlam was our Gulliver. Future historians will pay to Gough Whitlam the tributes which have been denied him by the present electorate. In conclusion I say that I look forward with optimism to a new era in Labor politics under the leadership of Bill Hayden and Lionel Bowen. {: #subdebate-40-0-s2 .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON:
Leichhardt **-Mr Deputy Speaker** I would like you to pass on my congratulations to **Mr Speaker** on his re-election and I would like personally to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of Committees. {: #subdebate-40-0-s3 .speaker-CI4} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar:
WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND Order! Would honourable members refrain from congesting the corridors and reserve their congratulations on a well delivered speech until a later stage of the evening. I call the honourable member for Leichhardt. {: .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON: -Thank you, **Mr Deputy Speaker.** I am sure that you will be an ornament to that office. I strongly support the GovernorGeneral's Speech. The policies contained in that Speech are designed to restore the economy, to reduce inflation and to reduce unemployment. They will require on the part of the Government firmness and a steady hand, which I am sure will be forthcoming. I would like to thank the electors of Leichhardt for returning me to this place for a second term. It is the first time since Federation that a member of the Government parties has been returned in the seat of Leichhardt for a second term. In fact, between Federation and 1975 the Government parties held the seat for only 18 months, lt is a very large, complex and difficult electorate. It encompasses an area measuring about 1,200 kilometers from north to south and 1,200 kilometers from east to west. It is made more complex by the fact that it contains over 20 inhabited islands, including the islands of the Torres Strait. I was interested to hear the honourable member for Riverina **(Mr Fitzpatrick)** speak today of the problems of representing a very large electorate. He said that the people in large electorates do not get equal representation. {: .speaker-EG4} ##### Mr Fisher: -- He should have voted for it. {: .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON: -He should have. He said they do not get equal representation, and I believe they are unfairly disadvantaged in many ways. A large electorate like mine has exactly the same number of staff and the same facilities as a small city or suburban electorate. I think this is a disgrace and I look forward to the Government doing something about it. I have to rely on a number of very loyal and willing volunteers to help man my office and carry the work load. A large electorate such as Leichhardt suffers from the tyranny of distance and, because of that, from very poor communications. In the last year there has been a number of Government initiatives which have helped to reduce that tyranny of distance. I shall refer to them very briefly. They include the provision of television translators- not enough, but certainly we have some. The provision of some translators has been delayed through, I believe, neglect or the giving of a low priority in the Telecommunications Commission. Approval was given for an Australian Broadcasting Commission transmitter on Thursday Island at the beginning of last year. It was supposed to be in operation by December this year and construction has not yet been started. This is due largely to technical difficulties which have now been solved. They took a very long time to be solved. There now seems to be an argument- an unseemly argument- between departments over the provision of funds. I hope that this problem will be solved within the next few days. A major initiative is the promise by the Government to provide television facilities for eight centres in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York Peninsula areas. The people who live in these areas, who have very few of the benefits of civilisation, within the next few years will have television facilities. The major advance is the promise to introduce petrol prices equalisation. In October last year I made a speech calling for petrol prices equalisation to within lc of city prices. That has been agreed to by the Government. The Government has said that in this session it will introduce legislation to put that into effect. I hope that it does so very soon and I hope that the Queensland Parliament will introduce complementary legislation so that people in the remote areas will cease to be so disadvantaged in the provision of energy resources. A major problem in this area is related to Telecom. This was covered very well today by the honourable member for Calare **(Mr MacKenzie)** and I endorse all his remarks. There is no doubt that the country areas are neglected in the provision of Telecom facilities. We should cease spending money on luxuries for the cities until the country people have the bare essentials. In rural Australia there has been a number of very good initiatives. These were covered very largely by the honourable member for EdenMonaro **(Mr Sainsbury)** today. He also covered a subject in which I am very interested, namely, the effect of the very high tariff barriers on rural Australia. The Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** late last year said that compensation should be given to rural Australia for the costs caused by the very high tariffs. I think many of us will miss the honourable Bert Kelly, the former member for Wakefield who spoke so clearly on this subject. It is difficult in a short speech to cover very much, but I wish to cover one very important subject. It concerns the defence of the nation. Several speeches have been made today about defence. I was concerned that the GovernorGeneral 's Speech gave such cursory recognition to defence- one or two short paragraphs. I want to speak about one particular area, namely, that of surveillance. This subject was covered yesterday by the Minister for Defence **(Mr Killen).** Very briefly, he posed the problems and told us about the vast costs involved. I am particularly concerned about this problem because I represent an electorate with a very long coastline. I think it is ten times the length of the coastline of New South Wales. Surveillance is vital for this area. It is an isolated area and unless we improve surveillance we will experience many problems, not only defence problems but also problems of drugs and refugees coming into the area. We need an urgent investigation of what should be done in this area. I suggest four questions: We have to decide what is needed to provide adequate and economic surveillance. I am not going to go into detail on equipment. That is a job for the experts. Many suggestions have been made. The honourable member for Corio **(Mr Scholes)** made some sensible suggestions today. I think they should be followed up. The second question is: What can we afford? We must be able to afford what we need in this vital area. Thirdly, who should control the surveillance resources? There are two types of surveillance- defence surveillance and civilian surveillance. Defence surveillance is selfexplanatory. Civilian surveillance at the moment is covered by a number of government departments assisted whenever possible by the defence forces. I believe that the control of all the resources for surveillance should be placed under one command or one organisation. The obvious organisation to do this is the Department of Defence through the defence forces. The defence forces have the organisation, the communications and the training to do this work. The fourth factor is who should pay for the resources required to undertake civilian surveillance. I do not believe it is fair to ask that this expenditure come out of the defence vote. It is not to do with defence, although it may well be that the equipment required will be some sort of defence equipment. The equipment required should be decided upon so that it is simple and effective. Defence equipment must be chosen for performance rather than economy. The equipment we need for civilian surveillance should be economical as well as capable of adequate performance. I hope that we will have a debate upon such surveillance during this session of the Parliament. It is a subject in which many Australians are showing a great deal of interest. I propose in a speech I delivered about two years ago that we should improve the system of coast watching. There are all sorts of ways of doing that. I hope that the matter will be followed up. I would like to deal now with the situation of one or two industries in my electorate. The first is tourism. It is probably becoming the largest single industry in the electorate. The far north of Australia is an exciting and different place. {: .speaker-JUS} ##### Mr McVeigh: -- And beautiful, too. {: .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON: -It is very beautiful. I fully agree with the honourable member for Darling Downs. I thank him for that comment. We are suffering from two problems in the tourist industrythe cost of labour and the cost of air fares. I know that both problems are being studied at the moment. I hope they can be solved. I strongly support the effort of the Minister for Transport **(Mr Nixon)** to introduce cheaper air fares, particularly overseas air fares, although I think we should do something about the cost of air fares within Australia. It is cheaper at the moment to travel from Sydney to Fiji than from Sydney to Cairns. That is a ridiculous situation. I hope that the House of Representatives Select Committee on Tourism will be re-established and that it will come to grips with those problems. {: .speaker-KNA} ##### Mr Martyr: -Though with a different chairman. {: .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- I make no comment on that. The previous chairman has retired. I shall deal now with the sugar industry which, if it is not the largest industry, is equal to tourism as a major industry in my electorate. The domestic sugar industry has many problems. The International Sugar Agreement has solved the problems in respect of overseas markets for the next 10 years. But we have problems in respect of the domestic prices paid for sugar. The Minister for Primary Industry **(Mr Sinclair)** commented on this matter today when replying to a question. The recent price increases have not gone to the millers and growers. They are being greatly disadvantaged by rising costs. It should be noted that Australian domestic sugar prices are the third lowest in the world after those in South Africa and Mexico. I hope that the decision on domestic sugar prices will be made as soon as possible. As the Minister for Primary Industry stated this morning, he is waiting for information on the cost structure of the industry from the industry itself and until he gets that information no decision can be made. Once the information is received, I urge that the decision about an increase in the price for the sugar industry be made as soon as possible. Another very serious problem is the situation in the beef industry. The beef industry generally has suffered very greatly over the last three or four years, but in my area there is a particular problem. A type of bluetongue virus called CSIRO 19 has been discovered in Northern Australia. It was discovered in the Northern Territory initially and it has now been discovered in north Queensland. To protect the beef export market and the sheep flocks of Australia, the Commonwealth and the States have declared what they call a bluetongue line. It includes a good deal of the Northern Territory and all of the Cape York Peninsula, which is in my electorate. Cattle cannot be moved south of this line to market or for any other reason without undergoing a fairly complex system of testing, which I will not go into here. The problem will be realised when I point out that there are three quarters of a million cattle north of this bluetongue line. The restrictions which are imposed by the bluetongue line are costing the industry a very great deal and are having disastrous effects in the area. There is the cost of mustering, the cost of holding for testing and the loss of sales. In that area there are mostly store cattle, which are moved south for fattening. In the past month because of the line prices for store cattle have dropped from $100 to $60, a drop of $40. No industry can afford that sort of drop in a month. The prices a month ago were low enough anyway. {: .speaker-JUS} ##### Mr McVeigh: -- Are the farmers getting any compensation for this? {: .speaker-KVY} ##### Mr THOMSON: -No, they are not. I thank the honourable member for Darling Downs for that question because it raises the matter with which I want to deal next. The producers north of the bluetongue line are suffering in order to protect the beef markets and the sheep flocks. We need to speed up investigation of the disease to decide whether it is virulent. Not nearly enough is known about the disease. Not nearly enough has been discovered about it. While we are waiting for this investigation the producers will collapse. I call for a special compensation program for losses due to the imposition of the bluetongue line. I understand that the Queensland Government is to present proposals for compensation. I hope that when those proposals are sent to Canberra they will be dealt with very promptly and generous compensation will be paid to these producers north of the line so that they will survive until we can find out more about bluetongue. I should like to talk briefly about the tobacco industry. In my electorate 43 per cent of all the tobacco grown in Australia is produced. Two towns, Mareeba and Dimbulah, depend entirely upon tobacco. No alternative crop is possible because of problems of distribution of primary produce in that area. Negotiations for a new stabilisation plan for five years from 1979 are under way. I do hope that there will be speedy agreement because growers are suffering losses due to both the price and the amount they are allowed to sell under the present agreement. On the other hand, manufacturers are announcing huge profits. I believe that there must be a balance between the problems of the producers and the very large profits of the manufacturers. The growers must be given a fair go. I hope that the Government will do all it can to ensure that the growers, who are very efficient and produce very high quality tobacco, are given a fair go. In a controlled industry the Government has a lot of say. I should like to turn briefly to the fishing industry. On 31 March Australia will proclaim a 200-mile fishing zone around Australia. That was mentioned briefly yesterday by the Minister for Defence **(Mr Killen).** This zone is going to cause many problems in surveillance and defence. It is going to cause problems and challenges for the fishing industry also. More than half of the fish eaten in Australia is imported from overseas. That is ridiculous when we have very rich fishing grounds which we could exploit. As soon as this 200 nautical miles fishing zone is declared we should act to encourage the fishing industry to exploit the resources of the sea. The world needs protein very badly. We should be able to provide the world with protein with our fishing fleets. We should be very careful about how many fishermen from other nations are allowed into the 200 nautical miles zone. I hope that there will be a system of licensing and that the proceeds of the system will be used towards the cost of surveillance in the area. That would seem to be a very good trade-off. There are many other things one could say about a big electorate. As I said, a big electorate is a complex matter. I believe that one of the major problems is the increasing differential between people living in the cities and people living in rural areas. This has become much more marked in the past few years. The imbalance in facilities and services between rural areas and the cities is very great. The cities are really getting all the benefits from civilisation- of course, with some of the disadvantages- but the country areas particularly the more remote areas, are suffering very badly. Great efforts must be made to redress that imbalance. I hope that this Parliament and the honourable members who represent city electorates will take an understanding view of the problems. I invite city members to visit the Far North. Very few have done so. Some of them have accepted invitations in the last few years. The honourable member for Higgins **(Mr Shipton)** has been there twice, I think, in the last year or so. I would welcome visitors. If honourable members understand the problems they will certainly give a more sympathetic hearing to requests for measures to redress the imbalance of the services given to people in rural areas. {: #subdebate-40-0-s4 .speaker-JM9} ##### Mr ARMITAGE:
Chifley **-Although Mr Speaker** is not in the chair this evening I take this opportunity to congratulate him on his reelection as Speaker. Quite frankly, I am sorry that the honourable member for Lyne **(Mr Lucock)** is not the Chairman of Committees. As I said here the other day, I served with him and I think he did a very good job in that post. He had an excellent knowledge of the Standing Orders. For that reason I am indeed sorry that he is not in that position. I take this opportunity to pay respect to him for all the service he has given this Parliament over so many years. For a start I wish to read a few extracts from the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare entitled: Drug Problems in AustraliaAn Intoxicated Society? I make the point that this was a six-man committee comprising three people from our side of the House and three people from the Government side. I will read a few extracts and then seek leave to have the introduction incorporated in *Hansard.* I have already spoken about this to the Minister for Home Affairs **(Mr Ellicott)** who is at the table. I think that the report is very important in relation to the type of debate that is going on on this issue. I will give some very graphic examples of the damage that is being done to young people in this country. The opening paragraph says: >The drug use debate has brought forth extremist views. Arguments are often biased, many cannot be justified, nearly all are emotional. In supporting calls for particular actions - I emphasise the following words- some contributors to the debate have been quite ready to distort or misrepresent facts. Even research has not displayed desirable objectivity or aimed at an impartial search for knowledge. The report goes on in the third paragraph to say: >The poor standard of the debate itself has contributed to the level and nature of drug use. One doctor has called it 'the drug problem problem'. It is important that the community understands not only all the issues but also the need for more community responsibility and involvement in this debate. Unless the standard of debate improves appreciably, we shall not even begin properly to comprehend the problem, let alone move towards its alleviation. I make the point again that this was an all-party committee of six people- three from each side of the House. Whilst later in the report some dissenting views were put forward, I understand that there was no dissent whatsoever about the words I am using. I repeat the words in the first paragraph: {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . some contributors to the debate have been quite ready to distort or misrepresent facts. I seek leave to have the introduction of the report incorporated in *Hansard.* Leave granted. *The document read as follows-* {: .page-start } page 172 {:#debate-41} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-41-0} #### THE DRUG DEBATE The drug use debate has brought forth extremist views. Arguments are often biased, many cannot be justified, nearly all are emotional. In supporting calls for particular actions, some contributors to the debate have been quite ready to distort or misrepresent facts. Even research has not displayed desirable objectivity or aimed at an impartial search for knowledge. The extreme options being presented are heavy legal sanctions for breaking a strict prohibition on one hand, and total permission on the other. While we may reject these views, they have been taken into consideration when examining the evidence. A multiplicity of options can be found between these extremes. A re-orientation is needed, away from the protection of entrenched moral positions towards a constructive debate which has as its aim the diminution of the problems drugs present to our society. Attachment to this goal rather than emotional attachments to favoured solutions will aid the search for more reasonable and more efficacious strategies. The poor standard of the debate itself has contributed to the level and nature of drug use. One doctor has called it 'the drug problem problem'. It is important that the community understands not only all the issues but also the need for more community responsibility and involvement in this debate. Unless the standard of debate improves appreciably, we shall not even begin properly to comprehend the problem, let alone move toward its alleviation. Drug use arises within a society of which we all are part. All people use drugs, and blanket moral protestations of their evil are largely hypocritical. It is society itself that creates the conditions which lead to licit and illicit taking of drugs to excess, for drug use is derived from the basic mores of our society. The use of drugs is not just a problem of deviance. The Committee has endeavoured to state the problems of excessive drug use, to highlight the harmful effects caused by improper use and to set a standard and reference point for further debate. However, in compiling this report we have been faced with some significant problems in the collection of hard data. Opiates provide a good example. The quality of submissions on the use of opiates in Australia was poor. While any amount of soft and anecdotal evidence of their use has been available, there has been a great paucity of factual, hard data. Consequently, the Committee has not considered the opiate problem in depth. It receives attention in this report only so far as is necessary to put in perspective our discussion of the use of other drugs. Abuse of opiates and other narcotics is serious, but alcohol and tobacco are abused by a greater number of people and at greater total social and economic cost. The debate on opiate use should concentrate on the actual dangers of the particular drug rather than on the complicated folklore which surrounds drug use. At present, sound information on the dangers of opiate use is being rejected by potential users as being biased and clothed in hypocrisy. The Committee has resolved to return to the problems of drug use and specifically to consider opiate narcotics. Prescription drugs, while a necessary and valuable part of medicine, also give rise to numerous problems. However, the Committee has not received the necessary information to enable it to give adequate consideration to these problems. Further, while the use of hallucinogens appears to have decreased, once again we have not received the information necessary for a useful contribution on this issue. The Committee 's terms of reference permit renewed consideration of these matters also at any time. {: #subdebate-41-0-s0 .speaker-JM9} ##### Mr ARMITAGE: -- The reason I dealt with that issue is that some stories have appeared in the Press this week. The first article states: >Western Sydney 'drug capital' . . . and Blacktown is seen as its hub. This headline appeared last Monday, 20 February, in the *Sydney Morning Herald,* I regret to say. It started the whole debate. We have always understood the *Sydney Morning Herald* to be proud of the fact that it was a newspaper which had some considerable standards of what might be called responsibility. This article started a debate in the Press. I would expect such a headline from the *Daily Mirror,* but I would not expect it from the *Sydney Morning Herald.* I am not helping myself by making this statement because reporters can get very upset when they are criticised. Of course, this situation goes back to the establishment in Blacktown of a bureau of the *Sydney Morning Herald.* Reporters have been put out there to find stories. They are given plenty of good stories which will help and which build up the area. They are stories which will do something for those young people. In this area there are more young people per capita than anywhere else in this country. It is these young people who represent the future of this country. But young people are being rubbished today in a way which is a disgrace to the media. If reporters want a story which has a little bit of drama in it, which they know will sell a few extra newspapers, they print another story about Blacktown. This was the situation in relation to Green Valley and Bankstown. Now it is Blacktown and Mount Druitt. No consideration is given to the human issues involved or to the problems which are created for young people because the facts are distorted. Such things have been printed daily and weekly in recent times. As I say, I regret that that story started in a newspaper which had previously congratulated itself for what it styled its responsibility. That is only one of many such articles, not just on this issue but on many issues, which have been printed about that area in recent times. But if one gives a newspaper a good story it is ignored. For example, a joint statement was made by the Mayor of Blacktown and myself calling for assistance and for the subscription of funds for the restoration of St Bartholomew's Church at Prospect Hill which is one of the oldest churches in Australia. It is registered as part of the National Estate. It is in a disgraceful state. Public subscriptions are needed for what is, after all, a part of Australia 's history. A reporter telephoned me to get another story on kids. He did not get what he wanted. I said: Here is something which will help the district, why not print it?' Of course, that story did not get printed. I go on about these articles in the newspapers. The 'Mirrorview' editorial in the *Mirror* of Monday states: >Western Sydney has been named as the drug taking capital of N.S.W. and probably Australia. An area where dope is readily available and freely taken. That was last Monday. Also last Monday in the *Mirror* another article appears. As I say, I expect this from the *Mirror.* It has that reputation. The headlines are: >The 'disaster' suburbs. > >How to tell drug symptoms- wallchart in centre. > >Drugs tragedy in West. So the story goes on once again. I turn now to the *Mirror* of Tuesday, 2 1 February. It states: >Two sides of life in a town divided. The teenagers of Blacktown admit drugs are big in the area. Another article states: >Our kids are just like all the others. It goes further. But that situation does no get much publicity. It does not get the same headlines as the other articles to which I have referred. The bad parts get big, screaming headlines. The part which does not get the screaming headlines states: >The kids of Blacktown are not all bad, despite official figures which show it is the drug centre of Sydney. In a moment I shall show that that is not correct. The article continues: >Police today praised most of Blacktown 's teenage population as 'good, law-abiding citizens'. And this view was shared by local businessmen. The police agreed that a bad element existed. It exists everywhere. It exists on the North Shore, in the beach suburbs and in the Eastern Suburbs. Everywhere there is a bad element. The article continues: >They agreed a bad element existed, but said the figures gave a false picture of lifestyles in the area. > >This is a big, young area', a police spokesman said. 'The more teenagers you have, the more trouble they will get into.' I turn now to the *Sun* which acted as a responsible newspaper. In an article on Tuesday 21 February the newspaper carried a chart showing the actual convictions. It shows that Blacktown, per capita of population, is not the drug centre of New South Wales or of Australia. The editorial in that newspaper states: >Poor Blacktown, wrongly convicted once again of being roughly the civic equivalent of an anti-social drop-out. > >One of the advantages of staying in old Sydney is that anything new and nasty can safely be blamed on the western suburbs. > >Yesterday, Blacktown 's shame as the place with most drug offence convictions was being trumpeted around the City-oriented media. > >The simple fact is, as The Sun shows today, that Blacktown is high on convictions because it is high on people. > >A lot of people live there. > >On a per capita basis, the drug problem as defined by court convictions remains at its worst in the inner Sydney and Waverley areas. That last remark is probably wrong too. We in the Blackstown area are fed up with being rubbished by a lot of people who do not live in the area but who come in to chase a story so that they can get a few lines in the Press. These people have no understanding of the fact that the area has a younger population on a per capita basis than any other part of Australia. What is called Blacktown is a municipality covering areas from Seven Hills right through to Mount Druitt. The Blacktown municipality happens to be the largest in area and it is also the largest in terms of numbers. Blacktown may get 200 convictions for drug charges but that should be compared with a pocket municipality somewhere which may have only 50 convictions. In actual fact those 50 convictions, on a per capita basis, could represent a far worse situation than the figures for Blacktown. Representatives of the newspapers should come out and see what is being done by the people of Blacktown and Mount Druitt. There are mass Housing Commission areas. Some of the nicest Housing Commission homes and private homes in the country have been built there. Why do the newspapers not write about that? Why do they not write about the maginficent schools and of the tremendous effort being made by the teaching profession in looking after these young people? Some primary schools have 2,000 pupils. A magnificent job is being done by the teaching profession in looking after the young people. Why do the newspapers not write some stories about the area to give it a build-up instead of rubbishing it at every possible opportunity? If young people from the area are asked where they live and they say that they live at Blacktown or Mount Druitt they are immediately rubbished. People say to them: 'Why do you live there?' {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr Les Johnson:
HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- Stigmatised. {: .speaker-JM9} ##### Mr ARMITAGE: -- Stigmatised, as the honourable member says. That is quite correct. {: .speaker-0F4} ##### Mr Braithwaite: -- What does he mean? {: .speaker-JM9} ##### Mr ARMITAGE: -- If the honourable gentleman does not know he had better get a dictionary. The area now has a high unemployment rate amongst the young people. I will give the figures in a few minutes. One of the reasons for that high rate of unemployment is the Press campaign that has been waged against the area. As soon as employers know that prospective employees come from Blacktown or Mount Druitt they say that the area is too far away and that those people cannot be employed. They say that they need someone who lives nearer. This has come about because of the distortion which has appeared in the Press. This has been brought about by people who do not know the area, and have no desire to know it, by people who do not understand the area and have no desire to understand it. These people want to get a few flash phrases in a flash newspaper. I quote once again those words from the newspaper report: >Some contributors to the debate have Deen quite ready to distort or misrepresent the facts. Every one of these articles, with the exception of that editorial in the *Sun,* has distorted the facts. They just took the number of convictions and disregarded the population, the number of people living in the area. Under those circumstances, Blacktown is not the so-called drug capital of the State, or anywhere else. One of the most important things which the Government must face is the mass unemployment which exists in this country. Prior to the last election campaign, and during it, we estimated that by the end of February 1978 unemployment would be near the 450,000 mark. As of the end of January, it was 445,000. I have with me figures on just what the situation is in that area. In the Commonwealth Employment Offices of Blacktown and Mount Druitt a total of 8,256 persons are registered as unemployed. Of these, 4,306 are what are termed juveniles, young people. In other words, they represent more than 52 per cent of the total. In the last few months those figures have increased dramatically: The situation is reaching disaster proportions. If the Government is so lacking in morality, in human values, in understanding that man must have dignity, that the right to work is an inherent right of the individual, it is indeed a government which is both amoral and immoral. The Budget Estimates provided for nearly $800m to be spent on unemployment relief efforts. From what has been spent in the first six months of the financial year it appears as though the actual figure will be near the $ 1,000m mark. If, on the other hand, there were a regional unemployment relief scheme in areas of mass unemployment- and in some it is as high as 1 3 per cent of the work force- and award rates, let us be quite clear, were paid and people given a job to do, the Government could undertake the great amount of work which needs to be done, for example, the community facilities which have to be established, in the western suburbs of Sydney particularly. People rubbished the Regional Employment Development scheme, but it was one of the greatest unemployment relief schemes that ever existed. We got done in a few months work what it would have taken us at least 10 years to accomplish. We gave people work, but all the Government does is talk about dole bludgers. Under the RED scheme, if a man did not work, if he left the job, he did not receive his unemployment benefits. That finished it for him. It gave people a job to do, and it meant that the community got something for the money that it expended. Today we are seeing almost a thousand million dollars going straight down the drain and the community getting nothing in return. Is it any wonder that we say this is a government which does not understand basic human values, the dignity of work, the tremendous impact the ability to work has upon an individual. By contrast, a young person who spends three months looking for a job without success, going from place to place, begins to lose all incentive, lose all faith in himself, or in herself. Then of course because of that shame that young person does not want to go outside the door. Those are the issues which have been created by the economic policies of this Government- policies directed purely at inflation and not at the social effects of the unemployment that they are creating. I call upon the Government very firmly to introduce in areas of high unemployment a regional unemployment relief scheme. I call upon the Press of this country to adopt a more responsible attitude in regard to the young people who live in the western suburbs of Sydney and to stop rubbishing those suburbs. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Jarman)Order!** The honourable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-41-0-s1 .speaker-3F4} ##### Mr BURR:
Wilmot **-Mr Deputy Speaker,** I would like to extend my congratulations to the right honourable member for Bruce **(Sir Billy Snedden)** on his election once again as Speaker of this House and to the honourable member for Wide Bay **(Mr Millar)** on his election as Chairman of Committees. I am quite sure that those two gentlemen will perform their tasks in this House with dignity and impartiality and that it will add to the standard of debate. More importantly I wish to add my congratulations to the Government on its re-election and on the astuteness of the electors of Australia in returning this Government for a further period of three years. I think that during the previous two years the Government demonstrated to the people of Australia that it has the policies and the courage to put those policies into effect. The vote in December 1977 was an endorsement by the people of Australia of their confidence in the Fraser Government. They are confident that the policies that will be implemented in this period of government will restore economic prosperity to Australia. The Labor Party has made great play of the level of unemployment in Australia. It does that seemingly with two thoughts in mind: Firstly, that it has a mortgage on concern for unemployment and that honourable members on this side of the House are totally unconcerned about the level of unemployment; and, secondly, that it has the only formula for solving that problem. I remind honourable members opposite that those on this side of the House also represent electors. We are concerned about our constituents and we are concerned to have young people in gainful employment. We and the Government are looking at policies to advance the economic and industrial prosperity of Australia in order to create gainful jobs and not, as the honourable member for Chifley **(Mr Armitage)** just suggested, piecemeal jobs that create a false image of prosperity. It seems to me that the Labor Party in its concepts of economics is unable to identify the difference between economic prosperity and unemployment. It does not seem to couple the two together. On the other hand the Fraser Government quite rightly says: 'You cannot have full employment until you have economic prosperity'. To me that seems to be total common sense. Two years ago this Government took over one of the most disastrous economic situations that Australia had ever faced. It has worked religiously to correct the economic ills that it inherited from its predecessors. I believe that we are now in a period in which those economic policies are starting to take bite and that during the next three years we will see a recovery in the economy, a restoration of economic prosperity and a restoration of full employment in Australia. But we cannot have full employment until we have economic prosperity. The two go together. I believe that this period of government will be very challenging not only for this Government and the people who were elected to this Parliament but also for all Australia. We face a period in which economic prosperity is possible but it will be realised only by the hard work and dedication of every person in the community who earnestly desires prosperity. At present in Australia many projects that are ready to go ahead are on the drawing boards. Those industrial, rural and mining projects can contribute greatly to the economic prosperity of this country. On the other hand, there seems to be a counter-balancing force that is not particularly concerned about economic prosperity. Some people would rather flex their political muscle. I refer to disruptive elements within the trade union movement. The goal of economic prosperity will not be realised until the disruptive elements in the trade union movement are prepared to accept what the community demands and will work in a lawful society and abide by the self-discipline which the society demands. In the latter part of the last Parliament the Government brought in Bills to restructure the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. They were the most wide-ranging amendments to the Act since it was first introduced. They laid down a formula for industrial peace and harmony and for common sense to be returned to industrial negotiations, but that can work only if people on both sides of the industrial spectrum are prepared to discipline themselves to allow it to work. Whilst it is fair enough for people engaged in trade unions to represent their members and put forward proposals for increased wages and advanced working conditions, they must also realise that their members cannot have improved conditions unless there is prosperity in the industries in which they work. We recognise that fact but I earnestly believe that a number of the disruptive elements within the trade union movement are not concerned about the interests of their members, the Australian community or economic prosperity in this country. They are concerned only to exercise political strength. Those people, particularly the communist elements within the trade union movement, are concerned to bring down society rather than to advance it. This Government and the people of Australia will no longer tolerate these disruptive elements who are purposely advancing communism in their own way. The Government and the society must put an end to it once and for all. We should look closely at the system of industrial relations in America, in particular their contract employment agreements. It has much to recommend it. Employers and industries in that country can come to an agreement with the respective trade union movements for a period of two or three years. That contract of agreement becomes law and can be enforced in the courts. On that basis industry is in a much better position to make forward plans for improvements and developments. The Government and those involved in industry in Australia should be looking very closely at this system of industrial organisation. I commend it to the Government for further investigation. The basis of the American system is that if there is an agreement there is also a responsibility. The two go hand in glove. If one has an advantage one must also have a responsibility. In America those agreements can be enforced in the courts. If there is a breach of the agreement by either party penalties apply in the same way as in any other breach of the law. The Government should look very seriously at that system of industrial relations. As mentioned by both the honourable member for Leichhardt **(Mr Thomson)** and the honourable member for Eden-Monaro **(Mr Sainsbury),** one of the most exciting developments we will see in this period of Parliament is the extension of Australian waters to a 200-mile limit. This effectively will double the area of Australia's jurisdiction. In other words, the area of water for which we will be responsible will be roughly equal to the land mass of Australia. At this stage the resources both in the water and under the water within that 200-mile zone are very largely unknown. But, as mentioned by the honourable member for Leichhardt, the prospect of developing those resources both for the creation of job opportunities and for the food source that they contain for the underfed peoples of Asia is very exciting. I am aware that a number of proposals have been presented to the Government or have been negotiated between private interests to develop those resources under joint venture agreements with foreign countries. I strongly urge the Government to exercise caution in proceeding with those negotiations until such time as the resources have been analysed properly and to ensure that when we go into a joint venture agreement or any other agreement to exploit the resources of the 200-mile zone we do it in a very common-sense way that will manage the resources to the utmost, not over-exploit them. I was somewhat disturbed to read recent Press reports that would appear to indicate that the Tasmanian Government has gone ahead and allowed Japanese interests, in conjunction with Australian companies, to exploit some of the resources in the Tasmanian waters. I doubt very much that it would have the legal authority to do that. Certainly, in a moral sense, I think it has erred greatly. It would appear from documents about that agreement which I have read that the agreement does not allow the Australian interests to obtain the maximum benefit from the agreement with the Japanese in the form of port facilities, victualling, repairs and maintenance and the processing of the fish catch. None of that has been incorporated in the agreement. I would term what the Tasmanian Government has done in this case as nothing more than a sell-out of a very valuable Australian resource. I strongly urge the Minister for Primary Industry **(Mr Sinclair)** and the Australian Government to look very carefully at joint fishing ventures and not to race with too much haste into those proposals that might be on the Minister's desk at the moment. If we are to develop and manage in a proper manner the resources in the coastal waters of Australia and have the capability of surveillance, it is vital that the Government give urgent consideration to the establishment of a coastguard organisation. We have enormous resources in our waters. We have the longest coastline of any country in the world, but we have no effective policing force that can ensure that there is not over-exploitation or that the coastal waters of Australia are not abused in some form or other. At present surveillance around the total coastline of Australia is left jointly to the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force, but both of those forces are designed to defend Australia against a foreign aggressor. They are not effectively police forces. What we need to consider urgently in this country is establishing an organisation that is designed to police the waters of Australia. It would have a dual role of effectively policing fishing operators who might be exploiting the waters, and policing what is quite apparently a prolific trade in drugs coming into the northern areas of Australia and the immigrants who seem to be bobbing up in northern areas every now and again. The coastguard organisation could have a multiple role, but basically it would be designed to police the coastal areas of Australia. I believe that the Government needs to give very urgent consideration to establishing such a force. I believe also that the Government should consider establishing more authority for the Parliament itself. Criticism has been coming from the community about the control and power that are being exercised jointly by the Executive and the Public Service and I believe that there is some justification for this criticism. A power structure that could not be said to be in the best interests of the Australian community has been established in Canberra over an evolutionary period. What we urgently need in order to build up the stature and acceptance of the parliamentary institution in Australia is an acceptance by the community that this Parliament can offer itself as an institution to advance the well-being of the Australian people. But to do that we cannot operate in the remoteness of Canberra. The people who are elected to this Parliament must move out into the community and make themselves available to it both individually and collectively so that it can obtain information. They must be available for consultation and discussion with various community groups throughout Australia. Having had those discussions they can then feed that information back to the Government in Canberra with the firm conviction that the views that are being put by the community will be listened to in Canberra. The best way of doing this would be by the establishment of parliamentary committee groups. We should look seriously at that. I am aware that the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** has before him at the moment a report by the chairman of the Government members' committees which will go a long way towards what I am suggesting. But, above that, I think we should look seriously at expanding the parliamentary committee system to one perhaps along the lines of the Senate committee system. We could even go beyond that and look at the American style of congressional committees, which have a semijudicial authority. The Government would be very wise to look at establishing authoritative committees which have a purposeful and functional role to play in the parliamentary process and which can liaise actively with various community groups. In closing I congratulate my new parliamentary colleagues. I must admit, having spoken with those colleagues who have come into this place for the first time, that I am impressed with their ability. {: .speaker-9F4} ##### Mr Donald Cameron:
FADDEN, QUEENSLAND · LP -- Thank you. {: .speaker-3F4} ##### Mr BURR: -- I must not forget the honourable member for Fadden, who is representing a new electorate. I would hardly call him a new member, although sometimes he acts like one. I was most impressed with the maiden speeches made by the honourable member for Mackellar **(Mr Carlton)** and the honourable member for Tangney **(Mr Shack).** I am certain that other honourable members who have come into this place for the first time will bring a wealth of talent and experience to this House and add to the quality of debate in it. I congratulate them on their election and look forward to working closely with them. I am certain that if we continue to attract men of their calibre into the Parliament we can look forward to a very prosperous future under the guidance of Malcolm Fraser. {: #subdebate-41-0-s2 .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr JAMES:
Hunter -My opening remarks will follow a similar pattern to the opening remarks of the honourable member for Wilmot **(Mr Burr).** I congratulate you, **Mr Deputy Speaker** Jarman, on your re-appointment as a Deputy Speaker. I have always found you to be one of the fairest occupants of the chair. I congratulate also the honourable member for Lalor **(Mr Barry Jones)** on his maiden speech, which impressed me more than any maiden speech I have heard in the period of almost 18 years that I have been a member of the House. I hope that his career in the Parliament will be one of high achievements. As I have indicated to my electorate, this probably will be the last AddressinReply debate in which I will participate. I will make my contribution to it with a sincerity that I hope will be appreciated by a majority of honourable members if not by all honourable members. I sometimes get upset at unfair criticism being made of friendly nations. Yesterday in this House the honourable member for Holt **(Mr Yates),** for whom I have considerable respect, I thought was unfair in his criticism of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We have friendly relations with the Soviet Union. We have exchanged parliamentary delegations with that controversial country in recent years, and we have recognised it for some time. Because it follows a political philosophy which is different from that of Australians and that of the Western world, we are inclined to resort to unfair and bitter criticism of the Soviet Union. I remember having at my home one weekend a former young idealist from the Department of Foreign Affairs. He left the employ of that Department because of his conflicting opinions with his workmates. His name is Gregory Clark. He told me, not in confidence otherwise I would not betray the confidence, that he used to get upset when members of the Department of Foreign Affairs would hold discussions around the lunch table about whether the United States of America and Australia might recognise the People's Republic of China. Those members of the Department of Foreign Affairs would say: Who will we have to make the big bogyman then? I suppose we will have to make Russia the big bogyman again'. I think it is regrettable that in the latter part of the twentieth century the West has to have a bogyman nation to justify the vast expenditure on defence to which we in the West resort. That expenditure is often matched- we read recently it was exceeded- by the amount of money expended by the Soviet Union. On page 10 of the printed copy of his Speech the Governor-General refers to strengthening defence and security. He said: >My Government will continue to work for international stability and security, and to maintain an appropriate and substantial capacity to defend Australia. The honourable member for Holt, in what I referred to as unfair criticism of the Soviet Union in this chamber yesterday, said such things as: 'I hear no member of the Opposition protesting to the Soviet Embassy in connection with the Soviet nuclear powered satellite which came down in Canada'. I do not know whether the honourable member for Holt is implying that Russia should not be trying to match the American spy satellites. I cannot see anything unfair in doing that, if that is what it is doing- and I believe it is. Of course, the honourable member did not say that. He did not refer to an accusation which was made a few years ago by one of the Eastern European countries. I read about the incident in a magazine in the Parliamentary Library. It stated that the United States was polluting outer space with millions of copper needles in the hope that it would deter or jam peaceful radio communication in outer space and peaceful television broadcasting. Of course, not much emphasis was given to that article in the Australian Press, for obvious reasons. Perhaps a D-notice was served on the media of this country. I thought that D-notices had gone into oblivion after the Vietnam war, but apparently before Christman D-notices were served on the media by the Fraser Government requiring the media to refrain from publication of certain controversial matters which could have divided the Australian community to a greater extent than was already the case. I am pleased, and I believe that every honourable member of the House should be pleased that the Russian satellite that came down in Canada caused no harm by way of nuclear contamination. Russia foreshadowed that that would be the case when the satellite became uncontrollable. We heard no tribute- I have not heard a tribute paid by any member of this House- paid to the Soviet Union for its co-operation in recent times in making its facilities at its Antarctic base at Mirney available to members of the Australian Antarctic expedition. They readily flew an injured man a considerable distance so he could be returned, I think it was to Australia or New Zealand, for urgent medical treatment for a bleeding ulcer. Similarly, a few years ago they stopped trawling on one of their modern prawn trawlers in the Gulf of Carpentaria to go to the aid of a cargo boat that was wrecked in the Torres Strait and, in fact, rescued several survivors on a raft while many Craig Moyston fishing vessels, Australian owned and controlled, continued their profitmaking ventures with little regard for the safety of these wrecked seamen. Many honourable members seem to forget the fact that the Soviet Union fought as our ally against the barbaric Nazi war machine and lost over 20 million citizens in the last World War, over twice the then population of Australia. I ask: Are we fair in this unjustified criticism of the Soviet Union from time to time? We are sometimes inclined to forget the fact that the Soviet Union has been buying for a considerable number of years now over $80m worth of Australian goods each year and that in return Australia has been buying somewhere in the vicinity of $5m to $8m worth of its goods annually. Members of the National Country Party are always gratified to know when the Australian Meat Board or the government of the day has obtained another substantial meat sale to the Soviet Union. We seem to ignore the fact that a little over 50 years ago more than 80 per cent of the population of the Soviet Union were illiterate, yet it is now one of the major world powers and the Government of the USSR claims to have wiped out illiteracy completely. It is probably true that the Russian people do not enjoy the same sort of freedom as we do in Australia. I do not think that the Soviet citizens want our type of freedom when their type of discipline has enabled them to achieve so much in half a century. It is probably true that one cannot commit a murder in the USSR with the same freedom as exists here and one cannot defraud shareholders of thousands of dollars as one can do here. There would be police intervention of a vigorous nature if one tried to do that in the USSR. The opportunity does not exist because there is no H. G. Palmer of the type that existed here and defrauded shareholders. There is no Cambridge Credit which crashed as the Bartons did and as Patrick Partners did, one of whose directors is now a member of this House. I believe it is not possible in the USSR for a government Minister or a national treasurer to speculate in land. I do not think there is that freedom in the USSR. It is not possible for a Minister in the interests of his own family to exploit young married couples trying to buy their first block of land. I understand that freedom in the Soviet Union is too restricted for that sort of thing. I refer to the major political controversy that occurred over the former Treasurer, **Mr Lynch.** Let the facts speak for themselves. **Mr Lynch** made approximately $70,000 out of land speculation at a time when the Government of which he was a member was telling Australia that life was not meant to be easy. He used a family trust company to maximise profit by minimising tax, using the trust- a popular form of tax dodge, a form he himself condemned in the 1977 Budget Speech. {: .speaker-1V5} ##### Mr Katter: -- I take a point of order. Is it in order for a member of this Parliament to devote a speech entirely to praise of Soviet Russia and then as a postscript scurrilously to attack one of my colleagues and reflect on his character? I ask for your ruling. {: #subdebate-41-0-s3 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -There is no substance to the point of order. {: .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr JAMES: -- The Government appointed a **Mr G.** N. Crawford-Fish to two government agencies in 1976. One was the board of the Australian Industries Development Corporation and the other Commonwealth Hostels Limited. At the time of the appointments **Mr Crawford-Fish** was associated with **Mr Lynch** 's companies. I ask the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** whether these are the best traditions of the Westminster system. The Prime Minister has been citing highly inaccurate figures in relation to inflation. During the election campaign he consistently claimed that 'under Labor inflation reached 19 per cent whilst the Government has halved inflation to 9 per cent'. Economic advisers travelling with the Prime Minister acknowledged that the figures were not directly comparable in statistical terms. If all the comparable six-month figures had been used a different picture would have emerged. The actual rate in the second half of 1974 was 19.3 per cent. This dropped to 1 1 per cent in the second half of 1975- at the end of the Whitlam Government's period- and rose again to 13.6 per cent in 1976 under **Mr Fraser.** I was pleased to see these words in the Governor-General 's Speech: >My Government intends, in co-operation with the States, to introduce legislation for an effective scheme for the national regulation of companies and the securities industry. I thought that top priority would have been given to this problem which has been recognised since the Rae committee reported to the Parliament in 1974. I think it is ludicrous that a company registered on the stock exchange can have a director who is a member of the stock exchange and can indulge in insider trading at the expense of the poor, uninformed 'mug 'investor. In this connection I was amazed that **Sir John** Pagan had once again been elected to the Board of the New South Wales Permanent Building Society Ltd. *Almost* all of the Board of Directors of this society are top Liberals. **Sir John** was an office holder of the New South Wales Liberal Party. He achieved notoriety when he obtained from the building society of which he was a director a loan far in excess of the maximum which was available to ordinary investors in the society. **His** other claim to notoriety resulted from an incident when he was returning to Australia after a term as New South Wales Agent-General in London. He tried to enter the country with undeclared customs items. Is it any wonder, when pillars of our society who should be looked up to and respected are manipulating the system for their own selfish ends at the expense of the less fortunate, that our youth are disillusioned and bitter and turning to drugs and violence. The Government's attitude on Timor is an utter disgrace. This Government has completely ignored the United Nations resolution on East Timor which called for free elections to be held in that country and for the withdrawal of Indonesian forces. This Government is ignoring the barbarity of the Indonesian military which, it is claimed, has brought about the death of more than 200,000 native Timorese. What an aboutface from its attitude, when in Opposition, to the Whitlam Government's recognition of the Baltic states. How can any fair-minded person take seriously the Government's foreign policy when it holds the view that the Baltic states should be given independence from the Soviet Union while East Timor is accepted as being incorporated into Indonesia? After all, the Soviet Union did free the Baltic states from the barbaric Nazi occupations and lost millions of its troops in doing so. It seems to me that the Government's concern with the Baltic states was an exercise in cheap vote buying from the captive nations' representatives in this country, because its action in recognising the incorporation of East Timor was certainly not a matter of principle. I was shocked and dismayed, as I guess every Australian was, at the horrifying events that occurred at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney last week when three decent Australians lost their lives. I understand from one of the investigators that a leg of one of the victims of the bombing was found on the 7th floor of the Hilton Hotel. Despite the fact that crime had reached a high in this country before the bombing the Fraser Government last ye?r endeavoured to introduce a crimes amendment Bill allegedly to give the accused a greater degree of what some call fair play. That legislation, had it been passed by the House, would have compelled investigators to carry tape recorders around with them. The interrogation of even the toughest criminal would have had to be recorded. The criminal or evil doer generally lapses into truth the moment he is caught but after regaining his composure practices lying and deceit when interrogated. Fancy chasing the perpetrators of the Hilton Hotel bombing last week, down George Street into the Haymarket, on foot or by car, and when seizing them saying: 'Don't talk yet, I haven't got my tape recorder with me'. I was amazed and disgusted at the Government for introducing this type of legislation. There were other things in that Bill that practical crime investigators found impractical. They feel that their efforts to protect society are being nullified. I hope that the Government has abandoned the Bill for all time. One of the proudest periods in my 18 years in this Parliament was the time I served under the administration of Labor leader Whitlam. I say with the utmost sincerity I can muster that long after the Frasers of the world are forgotten and their disappearance celebrated, the Whitlam years will be remembered for their contribution to progress and humanity. In the period ahead, the Australian Labor Party must defend and develop the essence of the Whitlam years or it will fail the Australian people and the task of fulfilling the dream that began at Eureka. {: #subdebate-41-0-s4 .speaker-K9O} ##### Mr Peter Johnson:
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND · LP -- In the few moments available to me tonight I should like to reflect on some of the statements made by the honourable member for Hunter **(Mr James).** If the honourable member does not know the real facts about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I refer him to the *Gulag Archipelago* and the *First Circle* both written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. That wonderful nation which was so roundly praised tonight has managed to send over 10 million people to concentration camps and to destroy them. {: .speaker-9F4} ##### Mr Donald Cameron:
FADDEN, QUEENSLAND · LP -- That is what Bert James wants for us all. {: .speaker-K9O} ##### Mr Peter Johnson:
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND · LP -That is true. I agree with my friend, the honourable member for Fadden. A friend of mine who went through the concentration camps in Hitler Nazi Germany told me that if he had a choice between going back to the concentration camps of the Germans or going to the Siberian wastes under the Russians, he would choose the Germans because then at least he would have some chance of getting out. The honourable member for Hunter tried to smear the character of an honourable man, a Minister in both the Thirtieth Parliament and the Thirty-first Parliament. I refer to the man who did such a magnificent job as Treasurer of this country in 1976 and 1977 and who has now taken on the responsibility for the portfolio of Industry and Commerce. I can assure the honourable member that this Australia of ours will be a better country with that man in the ministry than the people he reflected on at the end of his speech. I should like to conclude my preliminary remarks by referring to East Timor. I say to the honourable member for Hunter that the person who gave the OK to the Indonesians was his Prime Minister. Unfortunately his Government was in office between the years 1 972 and 1 975. It will take this Government and future Liberal governments a long time to get rid of the socialism that unfortunately did so much harm to so many people in this country. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** may I, through you, offer to **Mr Speaker** my congratulations on being elected to that very important position. I also wish to congratulate a fellow Queenslander, the honourable member for Wide Bay **(Mr Millar)** on his appointment as Chairman of Committees and Deputy Speaker. I should also like to congratulate, through you and through **Mr Speaker,** the new Governor-General, **Sir Zelman** Cowen, a man I consider to be in part a Queenslander but above all an Australian. I know that he will do a magnificent job in the important position of Governor-General of this country. I also feel that I should say a very big and a very warm thank you to the people of the electorate of Brisbane for asking me to handle their problems in Canberra in the Thirty-first Parliament of Australia. I had a delightful result- a victory for which everybody who supported me, particularly my own Party, the Liberal Party, had worked very hard. The degree of responsibility shown by the Prime Minister of this country in 1976 and 1977 was wholeheartedly re-endorsed by the people of Australia. I am pleased to see present tonight the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs **(Mr MacKellar),** who spent so many days helping me and ensuring that I was returned. The Minister for Education **(Senator Carrick)** and the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** were two of the Ministers who came into my electorate to ensure that Brisbane remained where it should- in the hands of the Liberal Party. I should like also to say thank you to a really magnificent campaign team, to my parents and my wife, and to a number of my colleagues in Brisbane who worked so hard to ensure that a Liberal member was returned in the federal division of Brisbane. The Federal division of Brisbane has changed quite dramatically. Three of the nine subdivisions which existed in 1975 now rests in the hands of the new member for Griffith **(Mr Humphreys),** and I congratulate him on his election. One of the subdivisions has been redistributed into the Federal division of Ryan. The four new subdivisions, one of which came from Petrie and the other three from Ryan, have ensured that the number of constituents in the Brisbane electorate which had dropped dramatically to some 56,000 people has risen again. At the beginning of 1978 just over 68,000 people are eligible to vote within the electorate and some 105,000 people live within the electorate. I give a promise to this Parliament, to my colleagues and to the party I represent that I will use my best endeavours to ensure that those people are fairly represented, without fear or favour, without concern for their race, or religion. If people in my electorate have a problem it is my concern that they should know I can be reached 24 hours a day seven days a week, if not in my office then at my home. To that end, every single person who has moved into the electorate in the last few months will receive a letter, as has been my practice in the last two years, giving all the necessary and relevant information. I believe that in the year 1978 we are in a situation where we must reflect on the magnificent job that has been done in the last two years. We should turn our minds back to the difficult times of 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975 and reflect on the economic mess that the Government inherited in December 1975. We faced the highest rate of unemployment that Australia had ever seen and the highest rate of inflation that Australia had ever seen. The ravages of socialism were moving across the face of this nation, destroying the business confidence of investors, within the country and without, ensuring that Australia's friends and neighbours, who had been involved with us for some years, were no longer looking to Australia as a partner in their operations. They were determined that, if Australia remained in hands which were incompetent, there was no way in the world that they were going to be involved in investing in this great country of ours. The people in the rural areas had lost much. The people in the cities had also suffered through bad management in the form of decisions on wage rates. We were facing an extraordinarily difficult time. The last two years have not been easy. They have not been easy for members of the Government or the Ministry, but I am proud to say that the Australian people know what we are about. Our victory in 1977 I think deserves congratulations, but I believe that we have to look to the future. That approach has already been reflected in our first joint party meeting and in discussions that a number of my colleagues have had with the Ministry. It will ensure that Australia goes forward, so that we can guarantee a lower rate of inflation and a lower interest rate, so that people can purchase and live in their own homes instead of renting them, and so that our country can once again achieve the sort of prosperity which it should have and would have had but for a temporary aberration. Before I deal with some rather more important matters, I should like to thank also the various people who contested the Federal division of Brisbane for their parties. One man was a former member of this House for a number of years and represented the Australian Labor Party. There was also a candidate from the Progress Party and another candidate from the Australian Democrats. I believe that two very important problems face this country at present. Firstly, I will dwell on the area of protection for Australian industries. I have been very sad to read in a number of articles in the last few months reports that Australia does not have efficient manufacturing industries including the clothing, textile and footwear industries. I would like to refute this in the first few words that I am uttering in the Thirtyfirst Parliament. I was recently at a factory that manufactures a very well known brand of singlets for men, women and children. Fifteen years ago it took that factory 16 minutes to make a dozen men's singlets. Today, through efficient manufacturing, with the new plant and equipment which is now being utilised in this country, it takes 8V4 minutes to manufacture a dozen singlets. We produce a man's shirt in this country in half the time it takes to manufacture one in Hong Kong. We have very efficient industries. We are now in a position where with some of the plant and equipment which is being introduced into the Australian manufacturing sector- plant and equipment which has been imported from England and America which specialise in the manufacture of this machinery- we have extremely efficient textile, garment and footwear industries which need the degree of assistance in the form of quotas and tariffs which has been guaranteed to those industries by the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** on a number of occasions. Of course, had an Australian Labor Party government been elected to office those industries could have said goodbye to their futures and those many, many thousands of employees who have been actively involved in the manufacturing industry with their employers for a number of years would no longer be employed. The traumatic effect that unemployment has on many families throughout this country is seen only when one takes the time to go out and get involved with the unemployed. This is something that I started to do two years ago. I am now in the position where I challenge a number of people who claim to be unemployed to come to my office and tell me that they are genuinely unemployed. I will guarantee them a job, because I have on the one hand a number of employers who cannot get people to work in carpeted, airconditioned offices. I cannot get people to work in a workshop which is well equipped and well lit. The equipment is provided and training is available. I still cannot get people to come forward and work in those areas. I would like those people who are living within my electorate and who have sons and daughters who are unemployed or who know as a social friend anybody who is unemployed to telephone my office. I will make an appointment. They can come and see me and I will say to them that if they want a job, they will get a job. Further, I would like to say that there are not 445,000 people in this country unemployed; there are 445,000 people registered for employment. {: .speaker-JM9} ##### Mr Armitage: -- You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. {: .speaker-K9O} ##### Mr Peter Johnson:
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND · LP -The interjections coming from the Opposition side show that most honourable members opposite have never employed anybody and most of them have been flat out being employed. I can only say that 269,000 people in this country at present are receiving the unemployment benefit and 445,000 are registered for employment. They are not unemployed, because a number of them who have used the Commonwealth Employment Servicenot 'Unemployment Service', Employment Service- have done so in the full realisation that this organisation is there to assist people to get a job. I must commend the Commonwealth Employment Service officers in my electorate for the forthright way in which they have helped many people to obtain positions- and in a lot of cases, to better their positions- by registering their names in respect of companies with which at the time of their first registration they could not obtain a position. I instance one case of last year to show the kind of situation in respect of which the facts became twisted. A number of Australian Labor Party supporters should stop squealing about the so-called high rate of unemployment and realise that the statistics that are being used and bandied about by them are completely inaccurate. An assistant chef at the Royal Brisbane Hospital came to see me and asked whether he could obtain a similar type of job in a smaller hospital or in a motel. I phoned the employment service in Charlotte Street and asked the manager whether there were any positions available in a smaller hospital, of which there are only a few in Brisbane. He informed me that there were none available at the time but that he would place this individual's name on the employment list and would keep his eyes open in case a position became available. The individual concerned was registered for employment and, in the way that statistics are twisted around, became a so-called unemployed person from February 1977 until November 1977, although he still had a job. St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital on Wickham Terrace then found that it had a position vacant. A staff member phoned the local Commonwealth Employment Service office which notified this man who then resigned from the Royal Brisbane Hospital and applied for the position. He is now employed at St Andrew's. During that period from February until November he was a statistic on the unemployment list, but the only thing that he was trying to do was to better his position, and he did so. He now has a job which he prefers. It is in a smaller hospital and he is more actively involved. We have heard tonight the suggestion that there should be a return to the Regional Employment Development scheme which the Labor Party introduced in 1973. It found that the scheme was costing a few extra dollars, so it was discontinued. Labor Party supporters hark back to the RED scheme, saying that it was such a wonderful scheme we should become involved with it. The RED scheme was a complete and utter disaster. In know that the honourable member for Bowman **(Mr Jull)** who stood for election and was very narrowly defeated in 1 974 knew of some classic examples of that and he conveyed them to the Australian people at the time. Fortunately, people in the electorate of Bowman realised the errors of their ways and I am pleased to see that my colleague was returned in 1977 also. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** the Labor Party bleats about its concern for the unemployed but it fails to realise that in its term of office it created this problem. It is our job to try to solve it, and we are not doing so badly at the task. A number of very difficult areas are involved. The unemployment problem is not just one vast area but is composed of a number of different small areas. Some people- about 10 per cent of the number registered are unemployable. A number of people who live in rural areas should not have to leave those areas because of the local situation where they have built their home and have their social and family friends. I believe that those people should stay there. A number of people in the cities are not technically trained. The Government is helping them with the National Employment and Training scheme. A number of people are waiting for positions and we are being helped through the Community Youth Support scheme. We have implemented a number of different schemes, which time does not permit me to mention tonight, which are helping many of those unemployed people. I have heard senior members of the CES throughout Queensland tell a number of employers on occasions that they would not bother sending to them some of these longhaired lay-abouts who do not want a job because they would do harm. The classic example of all time occurred in the Fortitude Valley CES office last week. An individual walked in and said: 'I will never wear shoes in any job; I want a job where I do not have to wear shoes'. There is not one industrial award in this country and there is not one trade union in this country that would allow an individual to be employed if he did not wear shoes. That is the sort of person with whom we are dealing. I believe that the Government has been given a very serious responsibility for the next three years. I know that this new Ministry will not shirk from the difficult task of getting Australia further along the road to prosperity. The Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** has shown his honesty and has shown that he is completely prepared to take on the criticism that is levelled at him by mealymouthed critics who have no understanding of the responsibilities of high office. They are doing themselves a great deal of harm. Tonight we heard one honourable member involving himself in smear tactics. I suggest to some of the members of the Australian Labor Party that they stop being impressed by television and radio programs and some of the newspaper articles. The Australian people outside this House are not influenced one little bit by sections of the media which engage in smear tactics. I can only say that every time honourable members opposite smear members of the Government parties, particularly members of the Ministry and the Prime Minister himself, they are just doing a lot of good for the Government and helping us to win more votes. I am looking forward to being active in the role of a member of this House in the next three years and, by virtue of that involvement, making for a better Australia. {: #subdebate-41-0-s5 .speaker-DRW} ##### Dr JENKINS:
Scullin -In the traditional way, I have congratulated the Speaker on his election. I would like you, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** to pass on my congratulations to the honourable member for Wide Bay **(Mr Millar)** on his appointment as Chairman of Committees. I take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the former Chairman of Committees, **Mr Lucock.** I well recall that when I was Chairman of Committees in this House **Mr Lucock,** with his experience, was of great assistance to me. It pleased me during the last Parliament to be of some assistance to him. In conveying those congratulations, I also welcome you back, **Mr Deputy Speaker** Drummond, as one of the Deputy Chairmen of Committees. The Deputy Chairmen of Committees are the unsung work horses of the House. They are unrewarded, but by what they do in the chair they help with the efficient running of this Parliament despite the harassment they suffer from some of their colleagues, who have no idea of the responsibilities of the Chair. Having said that, I pass on to the new members who have made their maiden speeches. I congratulate them. All of us appreciate just how difficult it is to stand up for that first time to speak in this institution. We all are conscious of its importance and its history. They all have handled themselves with commendable ability. 1 pay a special tribute to my colleague, the honourable member for Lalor **(Mr Barry Jones),** who made his maiden speech this evening. He is one of those people who belong to a select band in this Parliament. Like myself, he has had the opportunity to make two maiden speeches in two different parliaments in Australia. I am sure that the honourable member for Lalor, in the traditions of his predecessors, Jim Cairns and Reg Pollard, will make a valuable contribution to this House. Many honourable members have commented on the changes in their electorates. One matter on which we should reflect is that the 1977 election was held very shortly after the introduction of redistributed boundaries. Many members of this House, like myself, were in a state of shock because of the changes that had occurred. In my case, the electorate of Scullin was changed from a compact 40 square kilometres to an area of 609 square kilometres. Happily the distribution commissioners left me with the area of Reservoir which I have now represented for the seventeenth year in State and Federal parliaments. The honourable member for Batman **(Mr Howe)** and the honourable member for Wills **(Mr Bryant)** were lucky enough to be given the other areas of the old Scullin electorate. I am sure that they will benefit from that association. I found myself with a much changed electorate. From the electorate of Diamond Valley I took over the more middle class suburbs of Bundoora and Watsonia, both developing residential areas. I received Whittlesea, the rural area of Diamond Valley. Then, from my colleague, the honourable member for Burke **(Mr Keith Johnson),** I inherited Thomastown, Lalor, Epping and Craigieburn. Happily those voters followed their voting pattern and supported me- and here I am. I look forward with interest to handling an decorate in which in the past I helped to run campaigns for Reg Pollard and spent a considerable time sticking needles into constituents, delivering their babies and so on. It is always difficult to address oneself to an Address-in-Reply debate after a general election. It is particularly difficult when one is in opposition because one has just been through the process of a general election, during which the parties have put their policies and arguments and the electors have made a decision. I am quite unrepentant. I believe that the arguments we put forward on behalf of the Labor Party were the right ones. I believe that the Government got away with rather misleading tactics. The statements that it got away with are reflected in the Government's priorities, which are stated in the address given by the Governor-General on opening the Parliament. The basic premise of those priorities is as follows: >To build on the progress we have made in the last two years, defeat inflation and unemployment, and restore full economic health to our country. I accept that the inflation rate is down. I am sorry but I cannot adopt the ostrich attitude of the honourable member for Brisbane **(Mr Peter Johnson).** The level of unemployment is disastrous and the economy is in a stagnant condition. Not all of that is due to the actions of the present Government. Much of it reflects a world situation through so many factors. Of course, one of the problems which the Labor Party faced when in government was the world situation at the time. I think it would be churlish of Government supporters not to admit that the Labor Party raised the aspirations of people in the community during its years in government. It did convince them that there was a possibility of equality of opportunity which would allow them to develop their individual potentials. To do so required massive public expenditure and that, at a time of difficult international conditions, caused problems in the Australian economy. But now this Government, having had two years in office, having carried out those measures which it felt would correct the economy and being faced with record unemployment, must start to go back on its position of saying, as it did when we were in government, that the international economy formed no part of the problem whatsoever. In excusing its failure this Government now has to say that international factors are affecting its prospects. In the Governor-General's Speech the Government's second priority is stated as: >To promote vigorously the development of Australia's resources and enlarge our external trade. I think that insufficient thought is being given to what is going on in this respect. Many years ago under a conservative government we lost our opportunity to trade with the European Economic Community. It was far too late during the previous Parliament to appoint a Minister to deal with trade negotiations with the European countries. It was like shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. It was far too late. I think there is a warning to be taken from that. Late last year I had the opportunity of talking with various people from the Association of South East Asian Nations who have been trying to co-ordinate the economic and other development of the group of countries in that region. Five years ago one would not have thought that the ASEAN countries could co-operate and produce any combined muscle, but the progress they have made in those years leads me to worry that unless the Australian Government takes constructive initiatives within a very short time we will find ourselves frozen out of that area as well as out of Europe. The Government is talking about external trade. It really ought to get up and go into some of these areas where there are good prospects for trade. Another of the Government 's priorities is: >To maintain the policies which have halted the excessive growth in government bureaucracy and expenditure, and to continue the pursuit of greater efficiency and responsiveness by the public sector. Further on in the Governor-General 's Speech we see that the Government's economic policies will continue to be based on rigorous restraint of government expenditure so as to provide for longer term expansion in the private sector. One does not object to the pursuit of greater efficiency and responsiveness by the public sector but the Government has been going about its restraint of government expenditure at the expense of the economic conditions in Australia and it has been failing the private sector itself. I will not expand on that issue. Last night I heard the honourable member for Burke **(Mr Keith Johnson)** mention that the Government did not seem to realise that efficiency and responsiveness in the use of public moneys form an economic tool that governments should use but that what the Government was doing was just straight insensate cutting of public expenditure. It was mentioned in the Governor-General's Speech that the Government will place high priority on employment and training schemes, particularly those which increase young people's skills, and enable them to take job opportunities as they arise. My experience of that is that many of these schemes are acting as subsidies for employers. They do not assist in providing continuing employment. They are just a cop for those employers and they are not efficiently thought out. One sees it with the National Employment and Training Scheme and one sees it with apprenticeships. I have spoken to people from private employment agencies who were disgusted that youngsters were being put out of their jobs because they could be replaced by someone attracting one of these government allowances. These schemes are not the massive answer to the problem that the Government says they are. They are not increasing employment opportunities for young people to the extent that they should be doing. Let me turn to consideration of health costs. I know that this matter has been mentioned today. The Governor-General 's Speech stated: >My Government is considering how the universal health insurance scheme might be further improved to provide a prompt and effective health insurance scheme which restrains increases in the cost of health care. The trouble with that is that the Government implies that the comprehensive health insurance scheme is the cause of rising health costs. That is absolute nonsense. The health insurance scheme which has been introduced by the present Government has degraded the Medibank scheme which was introduced and which benefited all in the community. But health costs themselves are rising. One of the problems with a fee for service basis and a referral method in medicine is the sort of increases one sees mentioned in today's *Australian.* The great cry, when we were introducing Medibank, was that medical practitioners would be flooded with patients. In today's *Australian* **Dr John** Deeble was able to say that only two per cent more people went to general practitioners after the introduction of Medibank. Honourable members on the Government side have been very quick to defend the medical profession. I think the medical profession ought to examine the statistics which show that during the same period that there was a two per cent increase in patients to general practitioners there was a 100 per cent increase in diagnostic investigations. I shall quote the article properly. It refers to: . . a dramatic increase in the number of doctors referring patients for diagnostic tests and to specialists. Why should that occur? It may be the responsibility of practitioners in the service. It reflects the problem which occurs with a fee-for-service scheme. I believe the article which accompanies this story deals with someone who obviously knows about the health maintenance schemes. These have existed for many years. I visited the Kaiser Health Foundation in 1968. It was one of the earliest examples where the salary basis was used. It was able to show a decrease in the unnecessary operations carried out. Professor Lou Opit, the head of the social medicine department at Monash University at the conference where these other statistics were given, stated: >Medical fees give doctors an overwhelming incitement to cheat . . . In 1976, for instance, there were 26,000 hysterectomies, but statistics showed that only one in every 200 of these women had the possibility of getting cancer of the womb. On the other hand, he said, each of the operations cost about $ 1 ,000, so it cost the nation $26m. The experience with schemes, such as the Kaiser scheme, shows that the same situation applies to appendicectomies, tonsillectomies and a whole series of other operations. So, for goodness sake, honourable members on the Government side should not think that they will get away with the suggestion that the type of health insurance alone that they are nurturing will restrain health costs. Time is passing all too quickly. I wanted to raise the matters of narcotics, civil rights, security and some of the things which happen at international conferences and which relate to the human rights of parliamentarians. But I shall simply refer to narcotics which my colleague, the honourable member for Chifley **(Mr Armitage)** mentioned. During the Whitlam years I was Chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Conservation. We opened an inquiry into trafficking in Australian fauna with other countries. That inquiry continued during the time of the last Parliament and a report was presented. During the course of that inquiry allegations were made that the smuggling of fauna to other countries, particularly to South East Asia, was the avenue by which finance was provided for drugs, such as heroin and so on, to be purchased and flown back to Australia. You, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** know of disused airstrips which exist in the outback areas of north Queensland. You know the conditions of coastal streams, where boats can get up the streams and cannot be spotted from the air. You know the vast area involved. In the north western part of Western Australia the same situation obtains. There are disused airstrips everywhere and reports of aircraft passing overhead when there are no scheduled flights in that area. There are four-wheel drive vehicles all over the place. In fact, in the past it has been the simplest thing in the world for this sort of narcotic trafficking to go on. If narcotic trafficking can continue in that way we must have some doubts about the ability of the defence forces in Australia to carry out adequate surveillance of such areas. The problems associated with illegal immigration and so on are also involved. We are faced with many problems. We are told that this Government will deal with the defence of Australia. The Government, by way of its economic restrictions, has cut down on the mid term and long term programs for defence. All the problems of narcotics, smuggling, illegal migrants and defence are tied up in those vast areas. The insensate cutting of public expenditure has reduced the possibility of responsible officers of Commonwealth departments being able to carry out the duties they know should be carried out. The glaring Press reports of these happenings are an indictment of the inefficiency of this Government in handling the situation which it knows exists. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar)During** the speech of the honourable member for Scullin **(Dr Jenkins),** the honourable member for Melbourne **(Mr Innes)** entered the House and on two occasions crossed between the honourable member who was speaking and the Chair. The Speaker this morning drew the attention of the House to this increasingly common breach of Standing Orders. I ask the honourable member for Melbourne to observe the appropriate Standing Order on future occasions. {: #subdebate-41-0-s6 .speaker-1V5} ##### Mr KATTER:
Kennedy -First of all, **Mr Deputy Speaker,** I would like you to convey my congratulations to **Sir Billy** Snedden. He is a Speaker who is almost impeccable in his control of this House. How well I know it. I think I was the only member suspended in the previous Parliament. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** I have a special pride in you. You are a fellow Queenslander. I offer to you my warm congratulations. I think the regard in which the previous Chairman of Committees, the honourable member for Lyne **(Mr Lucock),** was held and the appreciation of his character might be summed up by my relating a discussion I heard only a few days ago. A conversation was taking place about the people who were generally popular in this House and who had the affection of all parties and the admiration of everyone in the building. The people who were named were Arthur Calwell, **Senator Condon** Byrne and Phil Lucock. I think that was a great tribute to **Mr Lucock.** When one represents an electorate of 391,000 square miles which has within its bounds almost every industry- secondary, primary and even tertiary- it is extremely difficult to make a speech encompassing the requirements of an electorate of that nature. Extreme difficulties exist within the boundaries of the electorate. I would like to pinpoint a few of the problems. I have only about 1 1 minutes to do so before the adjournment debate commences. First of all I mention defence. I suppose that nothing is of very much significance if the security of our people is abandoned. It is interesting to hear members of this Parliament, particularly members of the Opposition, constantly shedding tears at what happened in East Timor. No one, least of all myself, would ever condone the sort of invasion that has been visualised and dramatised by the media. Apart from that, one must consider the security of this country. It is hogwash and humbug to suggest that the Fretilin forces were some sort of unaligned group which merely wanted to settle in East Timor and establish a nice and happy community. What damn rot! Fretilin was there in the interests of countries which are antagonistic to this nation. It is completely unacceptable that it should have been allowed to establish itself in East Timor or anywhere else. As far as I am concerned, we should accept the security of agreements and friendship with Indonesia. So much for defence and foreign policy. The only other thing I add is that in matters of surveillance no one is more aware of the dangers that can occur not only to the morality of this nation but also to the security of this nation by the constant bringing in of drugs and so on than we people who live in the frontier areas. When we cannot provide physical surveillance we must look to things such as the Jindalee radar system which is probably superior to anything else in the world. It is something of which we can be immensely proud. I would think that we would see this being used to a much greater extent than it is at the moment. I should like to say much more on the subject of defence, but time simply does not permit. I congratulate the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** and the Government on reviving the Department of National Development, which is of extreme importance to we who represent vast areas which have limited development but nevertheless require the specialised attention of a Minister whose sole duty it is to look to the development of the nation. Within his jurisdiction is the matter of water resources. We have already been advised by him that more than a significant role will be played by the Government in that regard. If I may become a little parochial, I would suggest to the Government that at this early stage it consider making a further grant for the development of the Julius Dam, because when we think of national development we must consider that project as being very much a significant part of this country's development. The waters of Lake Julius are required for the development of one of the largest mining complexes in not just Australia but the world. Mount Isa Mines is one of the most significant mining operations in the world, and in the near future additional supplies of water could be sadly needed there. A number of honourable members have mentioned that we look anxiously to the Government to reintroduce the petrol equalisation which was ruthlessly stripped from us by the Whitlam Government, and in quick time if I may say so. Before I leave the subject of the Department of National Development I would appeal to the Government to consider again reviving also the Department of Northern Development. It is said that Ministers, in their various capacities, have at heart the welfare and prosperity of the nation as a whole. That is understandable. I have been a Minister and know what these huge responsibilities incur, but where there exists such a massive example of underprivilege it requires the attention of a Minister who would look to the special needs of the northern area and present its case to the Ministry generally. I do appeal to the Government in that regard. When funds are more readily available, and the nation is even more assured that it is on the road to prosperity, I would hope that my request would be well and truly considered. I have already mentioned the huge size, 391,000 square miles, of my electorate. Within its borders are found just about every industry one could imagine- beef, wool, mining, dairying, sugar, grains, cotton, fruit and even peanuts. The newly-acquired South Burnett area which, as you well know **Mr Deputy Speaker,** was formerly a part of your electorate, is probably the most prolific peanut-producing area in Australia. One other interesting attribute of my electorate is its attractiveness for film production. Next Tuesday night I will have the great privilege of attending the world premiere of *The Irishman,* which was made in Charters Towers. At least part of *The Mango Tree* was made in Gayndah, and I think most of the remainder in your electorate, so we may take much pride from that, **Mr Deputy Speaker.** One of the matters that really bugs me, if I may use that term, and has constantly caused us almost to burst with frustration, is the matter of bringing television to isolated areas. I would not know how many times I have stood here and pleaded with the Government to consider the early installation of TV in areas which, in 24 years have not even seen a test pattern. It has been approved. The television service extension program approved by the Government about a month prior to the election was most encouraging. It covered most of the areas that at present require television services but many were not included. I can think of one or two in my own electorate; Isisford and Muttaburra come immediately to mind. I plead with the Government to give these people that amenity. After all- we say this time and again- the great wealth of this nation is produced in those areas. One other matter with which I wish to deal briefly is the mining industry. One sector of it that does not receive much airing in this Parliament or anywhere else is the coal mining industry. It seems that everyone regards coal miners generally as being a group of people who constantly strike and constantly cause trouble. That is not right. If justice is where it should be, it must be appreciated that with all the advances and technical improvements that have been made coal miners still have a hazardous existence. Those men who work underground take their lives in their hands every time they strike a blow to produce more coal. One of the most tragic incidents in this country in many years- regrettably it occurred in the Kennedy electorate- occurred at Kianga when 13 lives were lost in one split second. I do not think that in the production or the treatment of uranium there is anything that would be commensurate with or even approach that disaster. Let me say very emphatically so that there will be no doubts at all- I suppose I should declare myself in this matter because in my electorate I have the only mine that is operating and producing uranium in the whole of this nation; that is at Mary Kathleen- that I support the production of uranium at the earliest possible date. We have waited far too long for action to be taken for the Government to give the go-ahead at the earliest opportunity. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- What about the company's losses? {: .speaker-1V5} ##### Mr KATTER: -We have pandered to these humbugs some of whom are here now. We have pandered to ecologists, the extremists. It is about time we got down to the business of mining and exporting uranium. The sooner we do it the better. I want where I stand in this matter to be clearly understood. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- Why do you not subsidise workers instead of companies? {: .speaker-1V5} ##### Mr KATTER: -Another item in respect of which I believe honourable members opposite who were in the Labor Government maliciously ripped off we people in inland and rural areas was the rural unemployment scheme. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** I hope you will not have the occasion to suspend me from service in this House as I was suspended with my leader because we could not sit here and see honourable members opposite, then in government with the ultimate in hypocrisy, claiming that they had the interests of the workers at heart. Perhaps they had the interests of some little group of workers on whom they depended for their endorsements and so on, but when it came to the rural workers of this nation they could not give a damn. They never have. The so-called Labor Party or what is left of it has completely treated with contempt the workers of rural areas. They ripped us off and brought the rural unemployment scheme to a standstill. I appeal to the Government to look again at the possibilities of providing a specialised rural unemployment scheme and to restore what was taken away from us by the Labor Party. Much could be said about drugs. I had the interesting experience of being chairman of my Party's drug committee. The information we received was quite staggering, particularly in the far North. **Mr Deputy Speaker,** by arrangement I have agreed to terminate my address to the House at 10.29. 1 just wish to say that I hope that the matters I have mentioned here tonight receive the attention of the Government. Debate (on motion by **Mr Macphee)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 188 {:#debate-42} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-42-0} #### Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting- East Timor- Use of Private Consultants- Adult Migrant Education- Citizens Band Radio Motion (by **Mr Macphee)** proposed: >That the House do now adjourn. {: #subdebate-42-0-s0 .speaker-KJA} ##### Mr INNES:
Melbourne **-Mr Deputy Speaker,** I wish to raise a matter this evening that I suppose one could regard as probably the worst example of double standards that one could imagine. The Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** has continually belly-ached in this House about the necessity to cut back on public spending. The tighten-the-belt philosophy applies only to wage and salary earners in this community. The extravagance of members of the Government and people with whom they are closely associated is blatantly flaunted in the face of those who suffer as a result of the policy strategies of the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)-** those who are unemployed and those who live in fear of being the next ones to be thrown on the scrap heap. The example to which I refer occurred on the weekend commencing 1 1 February this year. **Mrs Fraser,** on behalf of a **Mr Don** Burrows, requested a Commonwealth driver to drive a Volvo, a private car, to Adelaide. The vehicle carried a number of musical instruments and proceeded to Adelaide after being fuelled at government expense. The driver was instructed to stay with the vehicle at all times because of the value, for God 's sake, of the musical instruments. The driver was, of course, entitled to be paid. He was paid double time for the two days taken to get to the city and travelling time during that period. The driver was flown back to Canberra on the Monday where he picked up a Commonwealth car and proceeded to drive, for Christ's sake, the Prime Minister's butler to Bowral to attend, I presume, to the tender needs of the Prime Minister. The whole issue is this: We are told that the real villans in the piece are those who earn their livelihood in wages or salaries when there is a tragic shortage of cars for bush nurses in the Northern Territory because there is a lack of funds and a lack of available transport. Women's refuges are being forced to close. Women's health centres and services are being reduced clearly and unequivocally. The indication is that there will be a 20 per cent cut in the services in the Australian Capital Territory itself for the purpose of giving effect to the philosophy of the Government benches. Individuals in this House such as the honourable member for EdenMonaro **(Mr Sainsbury)** talk about the parasite syndrome. All they can suggest is that reforms might be a burden on the taxpayer. What is more a burden on the taxpayer than this flagrant breach of the responsibility of a department? It is the responsibility of either the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet or the Depanment of Administrative Services to tell this House just who is **Mr Don** Burrows. Who gave **Mrs Fraser** the right to have a driver carry out the delivery of the car and musical instruments in those circumstances? Who authorised the petrol charges to be part of government expense? Why was the butler not transferred in a different way? It seems to me that there are double standards. The Prime Minister has now entered the chamber. I charge him with the allegations I have put to the House tonight. He has an obligation to do one of two things. He should stand up and refute the allegations or, if they are true, be prepared to carry out an investigation of the circumstances in which his Department or the Department of Administrative Services was able to carry out the procedures I have spelt out in the allegations I have made this evening. {: #subdebate-42-0-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr MALCOLM FRASER:
Prime Minister · Wannon · LP -- If the Opposition continues to behave in this way it will guarantee that it stays in Opposition for all time. At the time to which the honourable member for Melbourne **(Mr Innes)** referred significant overseas visitors were in Australia. It was the first occasion on which 1 1 heads of government had honoured Australia with their presence at one time. It is virtually universally recognised, certainly in the countries from which the leaders came, that the visit and the conference was an outstanding success. One of the reasons the visit and the conference were an outstanding success was simply that Australia showed some concern for the visitors while they were here. Australia showed concern not only for the visitors- that is often done- but also for the wives, who sometimes at international conferences get left aside without a program being arranged for them while their husbands are working in their countries' interests. On this occasion particular efforts were made to help both the Heads of State and their wives. We wanted to make sure that their time in Australia would be an enjoyable and memorable one. I certainly make no apology whatsoever for any of the arrangements that were made for the comfort and security of our guests. The arrangements involved, for example, special help at the Sydney Hilton Hotel where there was either a butler or a servant on duty for the Heads of State for the 24 hours of every day while they were in that hotel. I know that is a service additional to a normal hotel service, but I believe that Heads of State working busily at a conference in a foreign country were entitled to that additional attention. I also believe that they looked upon it as a mark of consideration that perhaps they had not expected, and therefore it was all the more welcome. That was done, of course, by getting additional people into the Hilton because the service was outside the normal facilities that the hotel was able to provide. Some of those who were at the hotel also went to Berida Manor. Normally Berida Manor is providing quite different services for a different kind of clientele who are certainly there for rest and relaxation but for a different purpose from the Heads of Government. So extra staff were taken to Berida Manor to provide the same service for the Heads of State while they were there. That made it more comfortable for them. It made it more personal in terms of the service that they were able to get. I am quite certain that they appreciated it and that it would have helped them to leave this country with a warm and friendly feeling. The butler from the Lodge was not going to Sydney or Berida Manor to look after my wife and myself. He was going to help supervise the additional attention that was being given to all the Heads of State. As far as I am concerned, he did it admirably and well. I thank him here and publicly for having done so, and make no apology whatsoever for doing it. He travelled to Bowral on a bus, not in a special car, together with other stewards. Don Burrows is a quite noted Australian artist and musician. Would it not be reasonable during dinner on the first night to provide some musical entertainment for our guests? Don Burrows and one or two other musicians were present, and they played admirably. The quality of the music was remarked upon and noted by our guests. It was very much appreciated and a number thanked Don Burrows for it after it was over. As I am advised, Don Burrows had significant commitments in Adelaide on the following day. I am also advised that he was taking up residence in Adelaide and that there were commitments that it would have been difficult for him to break. So to help him, because he was helping us in entertaining our guests, arrangments were made to help him get his car and some of his own equipment to Adelaide. As I understand it, the equipment was taken in his own Volvo and the driver who took the car to Adelaide flew back to Canberra. That was a charge on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting, as was the cost of the air tickets involved. I believe that it is churlish indeed for any member of this House to object to those arrangements being made to provide the best possible circumstances for our guests on this occasion. The honourable member for Melbourne ought to hang his head in shame. {: #subdebate-42-0-s2 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN:
Reid -- I want to express my deepest disgust at the Fraser Government's recognition of the military takeover of East Timor. I make this criticism at a time when the majority of nations in the United Nations are still opposed to the military takeover. What has happened in East Timor is a tragic affair in respect of which all Australians have guilt because of the barbaric things that we have allowed the Indonesian militarists to do to the East Timorese. I am not laying the blame only on the Government. The Whitlam Government was not without guilt and I certainly am not without guilt; so I am not trying to pass the buck. Knowing what we now know, certainly there was much that the Labor Government could have done, but at the time only certain Ministers knew what was going on. Now recognition of Indonesia's takeover of East Timor has been made official. We must recognise that the government in office at the time of the military invasion was the Fraser Government. We have to analyse the situation. We have to recognise the enormous oppression that has occurred in East Timor. I must say that when the Minister for Foreign Affairs **(Mr Peacock)** took over the portfolio I thought he was a Minister of goodwill and a man who was concerned about these tragic affairs. However, the sad situation is that just as there was under the Labor Government there is under this Government a section within the Department of Foreign Affairs which has had an enormous influence on foreign policy in connection with the relationship between Australia and Indonesia, and it is about time elected governments started to run their foreign policy instead of allowing the bureaucrats to have so much influence. Sad to say, the man who is all things to all men, Foreign Minister Peacock, has succumbed to the pressure from his own bureaucrats and now has agreed to recognise the Indonesian takeover of East Timor. This is a tragic affair. The Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke about human relations at the United Nations only last year when he said: >Australia takes its human rights seriously. Our election to the UN Human Rights Commission in May of this year gives us an additional reason for doing so. The question of human rights is too important a matter to be dealt with in terms of rhetoric and gesture; too important to be subordinated to political manoeuvre or made a matter of public relations. It is related in the most direct way to questions of human suffering, human dignity and freedom. If we cannot take it seriously, we would do better to stop talking about it at all. They are the words spoken by the Minister for Foreign Affairs at the United Nations last year. We know from the admissions of Indonesian representatives that between 80,000 and 100,000 people could have been butchered. The Australian Government recognises that position, notwithstanding that it spoke those words of hypocrisy at the United Nations. I again say to all in this Parliament that if the Labor Government made mistakes over East Timor- and it did- then we as a party have to recognise it, and we did so at our last National Conference. It is about time the back benchers opposite stood up to the Government or the Executive and made sure that it supports human rights. The East Timorese stood by us in the Second World War and we should now acknowledge their struggle in the defence of our servicemen at that time. Therefore I express my disgust and protest at this action of the Fraser Government. {: #subdebate-42-0-s3 .speaker-KEO} ##### Mr FALCONER:
Casey -Before speaking about the matter I particularly wanted to raise tonight, I wish to comment on something that was said by the honourable member for Melbourne **(Mr Innes)** in his remarks earlier in the adjournment debate. I believe that the Prime Minister **(Mr Malcolm Fraser)** dealt very effectively with the main burden of what the honourable member for Melbourne had to say and effectively demolished the allegations he made on that occasion. There was one other inaccuracy which I picked up in his speech and which I would like to draw to the attention of the House. It is typical of the sort of inaccurate, wild accusations that the honourable member for Melbourne makes repeatedly in this House. He said, for example, that women's refuges are being forced to close because of expenditure cuts by this Government. Nothing could be further from the truth. I recall that in the last Budget we allocated an amount of up to $ 1 ,7m to be expended on women's refuges, compared with the amount of $700,000 allocated in the previous Budget. So last year's allocation was more than double that of the previous year. It not only enabled the Maroondah Halfway House, which is located in my electorate, to continue operating in security but also enabled other women's refuges to be opened up around the country. I know that the Minister for Productivity **(Mr Macphee)** is very interested in this matter. I took him along to the Maroondah Halfway House late last year to let him see what was happening there and to allow him to speak to some of the women inhabiting that house at the time. What the honourable member for Melbourne said is typical of the wild accusations that he makes repeatedly in this House. I think we should be wary of trusting anything that he says in this chamber. I want now to draw to the attention of the House a matter which was brought to my attention by a constituent who expressed concern at the lack of engineering design work being done in Australia on many major construction projects. I share his concern, having in mind in particular future developments on the North West Shelf and in uranium rnining. He expressed concern that more needed to be done to overcome the dearth of expertise in many aspects of engineering design in Australia. Often companies advance the argument that the necessary skills are not available in this country and that contracts for the design work therefore have to be let outside Australia. I raised the point that if Australians are not given the opportunity to participate those skills will never be developed in Australia. I wrote to three Ministers on this subject- the Minister for Productivity, the Minister for National Development **(Mr Newman)** and the Minister for Construction **(Mr McLeay)-** thinking that each of them would have an interest in it. No doubt other Ministers in performing their responsibilities also have an interest in it. After I wrote to those Ministers I received a copy of the journal of the Association of Consulting Engineers, which is called the *Australian Consulting Engineer.* That journal raised precisely the same point. I shall read to the House what it had to say about the reaction in Australian industry or by Australian public authorities when faced with problems involving complex technology. The journal states: >A 'play safe' approach indicated that if you appointed overseas consultants or other specialists no one would criticise your decision. > >The overseas experts engaged on this basis would send a handful of people to Australia and recruit project staff from local organisations. At the end the imports would usually disappear and the local recruits would disperse. > >The 'play safe' attitude still exists in some companies and some arms of government but there is today a much greater realisation of the high standards of engineering and problem-solving available from Australian sources. In the mining field there are, of course, areas of highly specialised technology in which a few firms or individuals in the world have rare experience and know-how. > >But too often the need for the technology leads to an unthinking handover to foreign firms or companies of whole areas of activity which could just as easily be looked after by Australians, with much greater benefit to this country. I have raised this matter because I hope that in any future developments which take place on the North West Shelf and in uranium mining the government departments and authorities concerned will do their utmost to ensure that Australian consulting firms and Australian design engineers are employed to the maximum possible extent. {: #subdebate-42-0-s4 .speaker-XJ4} ##### Mr WEST:
Cunningham -- I wish the House to consider the current deficiency in Federal funding of adult migrant education programs, particularly those conducted in New South Wales, including my electorate of Cunningham. At present financial responsibility lies with the Federal Government for this service although it is administered by the States via their education departments. This ultimate federal financial responsibility must be accepted and discharged. Immigration has been a Federal matter since Federation, especially since the great post war government sponsored immigration programs. The Federal Government is responsible for the admission of migrants. There is no way that the Government and the Parliament can continue a miserly and half-baked attitude towards the needs of migrants. Adult nonEnglish speaking migrants should be afforded the opportunity speedily to acquire a working knowledge of the English language. The situation is that in Australia at present some 1 1 per cent of the people are non-English speaking migrants and that same percentage rules in New South Wales. In my electorate of Cunningham over 20 per cent of the population are non-English speaking migrants. In the biggest industrial complex in Cunningham, the Australian Iron and Steel steel making complex, over 60 per cent of the workers are non-English speaking migrants. Unfortunately, Australian Iron and Steel has followed a policy over the years of encouraging semi-literate migrants into the work force because they accept very low wages and take the most menial jobs. There is a great need for improvements in adult migrant education. I want to compare the need with the pitiful efforts made by the Government to date. In the last Budget only $ 10.4m was made available for this service. An amount of $3.25m was allocated to New South Wales. **Mr Bedford,** the New South Wales Minister for Education, estimated last August that at least $5m was required to provide an adequate service for 1977-78. A belated amount of $2.2m was put into this area last October but the New South Wales Teachers Federation now estimates that at least $9m is required in New South Wales alone. At present there are two categories in this service, the ordinary day and night classes and the classes conducted in industry within working time. During the time left to me tonight I intend to concentrate very briefly on the second category. Several weeks ago officers of the Federated Ironworkers Association, the Adult Migrant Education Service, Australian Iron and Steel and I inspected these facilities. I saw that there were four classes with about 180 pupils participating in 80 hours instruction time only. Educationalists say that at least 800 hours is required to acquire proficiency in a foreign language. The material conditions were very poor. In fact, the class consisted of nothing else but the pupils, the teacher, a blackboard and a piece of chalk. There were no books, not even exercise books, certainly not textbooks. The pupils, if I may call them pupilsmany of them were semi-literate migrants- were using pencils and scraps of paper. There was certainly no television, closed circuit television, or audio visual equipment that we have come to expect in schools since the advent of the Whitlam Government in 1972. The service has three very great needs about which I wish to inform the House following my inspection. We must extend the opportunity to more workers. We must lengthen the time of the courses and we must provide better teaching facilities to the pupils and the teachers. The Federal Government should meet its responsibilities in these matters. The migrants themselves demand this. The English-speaking people in our community support them. There must be an end to the situation when many migrant workers are forever condemned to the most menial jobs, where migrant women become virtual prisoners in their own homes as a direct result of their language difficulties. My experience in my electorate, with 20 per cent of its people from nonEnglish speaking countries, is that the majority of these people passionately wish to be truly part of our society while still remembering and retaining their own traditions. They not only want to have equal opportunities; they demand them. {: #subdebate-42-0-s5 .speaker-MH4} ##### Mr JULL:
Bowman -During an adjournment debate some four or five months ago I expressed concern at the direction in which the citizen band radio services of this country were heading. {: .speaker-JRU} ##### Mr Bradfield: -- I remember that speech. {: .speaker-MH4} ##### Mr JULL: -- It was a very good speech. But unfortunately many of the predictions I made during that speech have already come true. Once again I should like to appeal to the new Minister for Post and Telecommunications **(Mr Staley)** and to officers of his Department to act, and act swiftly, in saving what can be a very valuable form of communications in our community. Current estimates would indicate something like 900,000 citizen band radio sets are now in circulation in Australia. I would tend to think that a very small percentage have been officially licensed. When one listens to citizen band radio one realises that the regulations introduced by the Government last year are being openly and flagrantly abused, that there are no real checks on the material that is broadcast through the citizen band service and that in fact the whole system is one gigantic mess. There is a very high density of citizen band radio sets in my electorate. Already in recent weeks we have seen indications that violence is starting to flare up between different factions of the citizen band radio community. There have been a number of brawls between various clubs involved in citizen band radio. The language used on the air waves is quite frightening. The material that is being broadcast in many cases is disgusting. There has been open and flagrant abuse of equipment that is available for citizen band broadcasting. The Government must consider this aspect because there is no doubt that substandard equipment is openly on sale. Devices and additions that can be fitted to citizen band sets certainly do not fall within the guidelines related to the licensing of these sets. I refer in particular to such things as power microphones. This equipment is openly on sale in many of the radio shops and in some of the department stores scattered around the nation. I am amazed that there has been absolutely no control of what can be sold to some people. It is an established fact that from the 40-channel sets which are presently being imported from the United States of America the tuner can be removed and the sets adjusted to operate on 23 channels. Conversely a person can go to any one of many shops and buy such a tuner to plug into the set and convert it back into a 40-channel receiver. It is quite easy to break the circuitry system of the sets and to open up to 250 channels for a citizen band service. In fact I believe there are sets operating in Australia which give the users up to 900 different channels on which to broadcast. If one discounts the number of legal channels that are available in Australia at the moment one finds that something like 885 of those 900 channels are being used illegally. The consequences of this practice are quite frightening. I have already mentioned in the House that some citizen band radio sets are interfering with urgent communications such as police radio. In my electorate they cause problems for the local coast guard service. The Postal and Telecommunications Department is literally flooded daily with calls from people whose television reception is being interfered with as a result of substandard citizen band radio equipment. Obviously the Department does not have the staff to control the medium. Even if it had the staff this situation would be very difficult to control under the present regulations. As I said earlier, the formal requirements of this system are not being met. According to a brief survey I carried out it would seem that only 10 per cent of operators are using their recognised call sign. Perhaps if we are lucky another 30 per cent are using the call signs of their clubs in conjunction with their registered number. Therefore 60 per cent of people using sets are going under code names or giving virtually no identification at all. I suggest that honourable members should at some time go to the Postal and Telecommunications Department and ask to listen to some of the tapes of broadcasts that have been made of the citizen band service. Frankly, if they do they will be absolutely disgusted. In Brisbane there are some tapes that have been made of the activities of prostitutes on the Gold Coast. Broadcasts of this type have been made far and wide for everyone to hear. This is a frightening aspect when we consider that citizen band sets to a very great degree are being used by our young people. It is about time the whole system was brought into line and that officers of the Postal and Telecommunications Department in Canberra took a very serious look at the situation. **Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr** MillarOrder! It being 1 1 p.m., the debate is interrupted. The House stands adjourned until 2.15 p.m. on Tuesday next. {: .page-start } page 194 {:#debate-43} ### ANSWER TO QUESTION UPON NOTICE The following answer to a question upon notice was circulated: {:#subdebate-43-0} #### The Parliament: General Business (Question No. 194) {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1 ) Is it considered that the procedure for taking General Business notices is satisfactory. 1. Is it also considered that it assists the Parliament to deal with contemporary areas of policy and public debate for members to be required to list General Business items in February 1 978 for debate in 1980. 2. If not, will he consult with the Speaker and the Standing Orders Committee to see if a satisfactory system can be introduced. It is considered that the current standing orders provide a satisfactory balance between what might be termed private members' time on Thursday mornings (by way of grievance debate or General Business), and time for debate of Government legislation. As to the matter of parliamentary debate of contemporary areas of policy, I might mention that during the Thirtieth Parliament the Opposition made full use of the arrangements for discussion of matters of public importance under Standing Order 107. House adjourned at 11 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 February 1978, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.