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Thursday, 25 June 1998
Page: 5484


Mr CAMPBELL (9:52 AM) —When the Chinese invaded Tiananmen Square and killed students who were holding court there, they were condemned by the United States government, by Australia and, I guess, by the Western world. The truth, of course, was that Western capital flooded into China. What Western capital was looking for was signs of stability. It is an absolute nonsense for anyone to suggest that the election of One Nation candidates to the parliament is going to destabilise Australia and lead to a reduction in foreign investment. It is simply not true. It is simply unwarranted scare tactics.

What I object to very much are the actions of some Americans and American institutions in threatening this country. What we do in this country in terms of elections is entirely the prerogative of the people of Australia. It is a matter of national sovereignty and we do not want, and we certainly do not thank, the Americans, or the Indonesians for that matter, making comments on our electoral process.

The reality is that, unless Australia gets back to a manufacturing industry, there will be no jobs. Constructing railways in the sky—as the government is now proposing to do—is not the answer. We have to redevelop an internal economy. It must be realised that an import replacement dollar has absolutely the same effects on the economy as an export dollar but it has other beneficial effects in that it stimulates employment. Until we realise this fact—a fact ignored by the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and, sadly, the National Party, which today is an appendage of the Liberal Party—we are not going to be able to address the problems that are facing Australia.

There is so much we could do in Australia. Unlike what One Nation says, it is not simply a matter of erecting tariff barriers. There are many other things you can do. The most important single thing is how a government feels about its people. If we were to look at government purchasing policy, we could do a lot to re-establish that manufacturing industry. I believe it is time for the people of Australia to recognise that governments have failed them and to take things into their own hands. They must start questioning in the supermarkets. They must start asking Woolworths and Coles why they are selling imported pork.

In my own state we have developed a grader which is far superior to any imported grader and it costs half the price. If local government bodies around Australia were to buy this grader they would save on their capital investment and get enhanced performance. They would be contributing also to a reduction in our current account deficit and be putting Australia on the road to national sovereignty, a national sovereignty which we cannot fully exercise unless we are in the position of not having foreign debt. It is foreign debt that has to be gotten rid of, but under this present government, despite its loud trumpeting, foreign debt is actually growing and will continue to grow. (Time expired)