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Monday, 11 May 1987
Page: 2958


Mr CLEELAND(10.20) —I must say that I was not sure whether I was listening to a show known as The Dingo Principle then. Surely the act, the speech or whatever it was would have gone done very well on colour television, and I am sure that an audience would have appreciated it. I am not sure, though, that it would have made much sense.

I want to talk about something a bit different tonight. I read in my Hansard last week a speech by the honourable member for Forrest (Mr Drummond) when he was talking about the wine industry. Very early in his speech he suggested that there was not one member on this side of the House who knew anything about the growing of grapes or the making of wine. In fact he said that he did not believe that there was anyone on this side of the House who represented any wine growing districts at all. He had the audacity to suggest that the only thing honourable members on this side of the House knew about wine, was the fact that they pulled the corks out of the bottle and consumed the contents. Well it is certainly true to say that honourable members on this side of the House do have very highly developed palates. We do have a fine appreciation of Australian wines and indeed we do consume with great joy and happiness the very fine products of the Australian producers.

I might add that it is a great pity that honourable members on the other side of the House do not also appreciate Australian wines and do not buy and encourage the production and sale of Australian wines. It was very sad to see on television last Friday night the honourable member for Bennelong (Mr Howard) and the honourable member for Menzies (Mr N.A. Brown), representing the Liberal Party at a function in Melbourne, proudly consuming foreign wine. Here we have the honourable member for Forrest on the one hand saying that we on this side of the House do not even represent wine growers and that we have not even got them in our electorates, yet on the other hand I find on television the honourable member for Bennelong and the honourable member for Menzies who are too cowardly to back and support their Australian wine producers, who undoubtedly produce the best wines in the world. I will say this: The best wines in Australia come from the electorate of McEwen, because unknown to the honourable member for Forrest, those on this side of the House represent more wine growing districts than anyone on the other side of the House-the Hunter Valley, South Australian and McEwen. I can name the Delatite vineyard, Chateau Tabilk, Mitchleton, Seymour; and Tisdall Wines grows its very fine Chardonnay grape in the Strathbogie Ranges in my electorate. There are vineyards popping up all over the place.

I invite the honourable member for Forrest, if he wants to talk about wine, to go down to Victoria and get a copy of the study of the wine industry in Victoria prepared by a Labor government, the Victorian Government. It is without question the most far reaching and detailed study on the wine industry ever prepared, something which we never saw from the Opposition. The members of the Opposition bleat around here like a lot of little baa lambs in a paddock about what should be done, but whenever they are in government, what do they do? Not a thing. They have a fine record of nothingness, an absolutely brilliant record of achieving nothing, but they love to bleat when they are in Opposition. They act, as I said, like a paddock full of lambs and they are about as useful. They come in here and go crook. I just want the honourable member for Forrest to know that in the Hunter Valley, South Australia and Victoria there are more Government members properly and fair dinkumly representing their wine growers. I have great rapport with my wine growers. I do not ignore them. I buy local wines and I do not drink foreign wines. I am proud to support my local growers, and I hope that when the honourable member for Bennelong and the honourable member for Menzies come back into this House they will apologise to the Australian growers, for being seen publicly drinking foreign wines and not supporting our local growers.