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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 205


Mr JOHN BROWN (Minister for Tourism, Recreation and Sport)(10.28) —Madam Speaker--


Mr White —I request some clarification. As I understand it, I might be called upon to speak during the adjournment debate, and I query whether the Minister's right of reply might be affected.


Madam SPEAKER —The adjournment debate will continue until 11 o'clock.


Mr JOHN BROWN —I thank the honourable member for McPherson (Mr White) for notifying me of his intention to say something about my portfolio in this debate and I rise in sorrow rather than in anger to answer him.


Mr White —You are always saying that.


Mr JOHN BROWN —I think it is well to point out that the honourable member for McPherson is carrying the Joh line tonight. It is well known that he is a member of the white-shoe brigade on the Gold Coast. One of the leading protagonists of the Joh line has told me that he is part of the conspiracy to overthrow his leader, so I am not surprised to see him running the Joh line.


Mr White —I raise a point of order. I take umbrage at that statement that I am a member of the white-shoe brigade and I ask that the Minister withdraw that.


Madam SPEAKER —It is for the Chair to judge whether it is unparliamentary. I do not presume to judge it as unparliamentary.


Mr JOHN BROWN —Well, the dirty white-shoe brigade. I am not surprised to find the honourable member for McPherson in here running the Joh line tonight because he is saying that the Commonwealth Government is not supporting the Brisbane Expo '88, which is a blatant lie.


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The Minister will not use such terminology.


Mr JOHN BROWN —Well, it is a blatant distortion of the truth. My apologies, Madam Speaker. The Commonwealth's proportion of the Budget for the Expo in Brisbane is quite generous; it is $18m. I notice that Llew Edwards, a former distinguished leader of the honourable member's own party in Queensland, has been at pains over many months to defend the Commonwealth Government against unbridled, stupid, mischievous attacks by the senile Premier in Queensland who constantly runs the line that the Commonwealth Government has denied any support for Expo. This Government, to use the words of Dr Edwards, has been magnificent in its support for his Brisbane Exposition and South Bank Redevelopment Authority Committee, in doing all it can to attract overseas countries here and in providing financial and spiritual support for Llew Edwards in his attempt to run the World Expo in Brisbane in 1988.

I take great exception to the line that the honourable member runs that the Commonwealth is not doing its share. He is the same stupid person who comes in here complaining about government expenditure, saying that we should have smaller government, smaller expenditure, and who then runs around supporting some stupid line that the Queensland Press runs saying that more money is needed. Llew Edwards is saying that they need $30m from the Queensland Government to support Expo. I deny that the Commonwealth Government has been in any way delinquent in its support for the Brisbane Exposition.

A line has been run in the Press. It was not in the written Press but certainly on the Schildberger show in Melbourne and on the ridiculously inaccurate 7.30 Report on Australian Broadcasting Corporation television. The other night its opening line was that this time nearly all of the $15m being spent on the Expo is being spent through American contractors, that an American company is building the pavilion and that an American animation expert is being asked to compile a theme about the Aboriginal dream time for $8m.

First of all, that is a total fabrication. The person who was the research officer for the 7.30 Report-Basher, Dasher, Dancer or Vixen, or whatever her name is-ought to go back to school. The facts are that the Australian budget for Expo is $18m. The Australian pavilion will be built by an Australian company, designed by an Australian architect under the supervision of the Australian Department of Housing and Construction. The audio-visual contract for use in that pavilion has been let to an Australian company, AAV.


Mr White —No, it has not.


Madam SPEAKER —Order!


Mr JOHN BROWN —The honourable member is exhibiting his extreme ignorance about this subject. If he shuts his silly mouth I will tell him about it.


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The Minister will be seated for a moment. The honourable member for McPherson had his say. He will have time to reply if there is time in the adjournment debate. He must not interrupt while the Minister is speaking. I call the Minister.


Mr JOHN BROWN —The contract to which the honourable member for McPherson would like to refer, if he could only get his mind into gear, is the contract for the theatre. I might tell him that the Australian companies to which he referred, and which he says were not given a chance, were given every chance. Five Australian companies were commissioned to supply a tender for the provision of this theatre. The honourable member can shake his head all he likes. He is asking me for information and I am giving it to him sincerely and honestly. The companies were given every opportunity to put in their submissions. They were supposed to have been given half an hour but they were in fact given an hour with a full committee. I have to tell the honourable member with some sorrow that the propositions they put forward were nowhere up to the mark. They were nothing of the style or the quality that we as a government require for the Australian pavilion at Expo 88. It is after all a showcase for Australia.


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The Minister's time has expired. The honourable member for McPherson may speak now. The Minister has another five minutes up his sleeve, as it were.