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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Mr GILES (Angas) - Mr Deputy Speaker,I listened with a great deal of interest, I suppose, to the last 2 speeches. I think that it is apparent to everybody that the honourable member for Boothby (Mr McLeay) made certain allegations to the effect that every step that the Opposition takes is geared towards the encouragement of North Vietnam winning the war. This was the one thing that the honourable member for Grayndler (Mr Daly) did not answer, though he went all over the countryside in his speech, left, right and centre.

The honourable member for Grayndler has not answered that accusation because he knows that a strong element of truth is to be found in precisely what the honourable member for Boothby said.

While he was about it, the honourable member for Grayndler also accused the honourable member for Boothby and, I think, honourable members on this side of the House of being Fascists. I suppose that there is nobody within our Party who disagrees more than I do on some issues with the honourable member for Boothby. I think that it is open knowledge that, in our Party, we encourage a divergence of views. We are not dictated to on policy by a mob of people not elected by the Australian public. We have, I do maintain, a democratic notion within our Party of which the Opposition is jealous because it is dictated to.

Mr Daly - Mr Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order. The honourable member said that his Party encourages differences on that side of the Parliament. Mr St John thought differently.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock - Order! No point of order arises. The honourable member for Grayndler will resume his seat.

Mr GILES - All I must do, because I wish to get on to another issue, is to point out quite plainly, as I think it is apparent to everybody, that the honourable member for Grayndler did not attempt at any stage to answer the case put forward by the honourable member for Boothby. Instead of that, he adopted a policy of character assassination.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I suggest to the honourable member for Sturt and the honourable member for Mallee that if they wish to cany on a discussion they go outside the chamber to do so.

Mr Foster - I am not carrying on any discussion. I cannot hear the honourable member for Angas because of the honourable member for Mallee.


Mr Foster - He won't let up.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Sturt will resume his seat.

Mr GILES - I. think that this is quite typical of the element of buffoonery that the honourable member for Grayndler always succeeds in introducing and encouraging. I do not think that the honourable member for Sturt needs much encouragement. If I may return to the point that [ was making, we on this side of the House do encourage a divergence of views. We are an anti-Socialist party. We are a party that has some regard for small people and small countries -

Mr Bryant - And small minds.

Mr GILES - I have regard even for the mind of the honourable member for Wills. Thanks for the interjection. We are a party that takes its duties seriously and that does not wish to be flippant, to joke or to buffoon about them. I deeply deprecate the speech made by the honourable member for Grayndler and his attempts by sarcasm and by other means to try to downgrade the character of the honourable member for Boothby who is rather famous for his courage as indeed was his father who represented the same seat before him.

What I really wish to do today is to mention a matter that happened in the South Australian Parliament last week. The South Australian Government last week was defeated on the floor of the House of Assembly, not by the people but by 1 man - an Independent - frantically trying to hold his seat and trapped by a tape recorder - and by an Opposition having no regard for technological facts and no regard for founding its opinion on proper grounds. This Opposition, not able to succeed in passing its amendments during the last hours of the debate there, was frantically scuttling for political advantage by tacking its support on to the amendment moved by the Independent. The carrying of that amendment brought down the South Australian Government. What is the position? A little while ago, 4 leaders of Governments signed an agreement to ratify and to build the Darthmouth Dam. A tremendous advantage for the State of South Australia was built into this agreement. This advantage was the alteration of the entitlement for water in South Australia from 1.254 million acre feet to 1.5 million acre feet. This represented an increased supply of water to that State of 37% . This increased entitlement to water meant that

South Australia had first call on the Murray system. The 2 upstream States, not having an entitlement to a quota, would receive only whatever is left. Built into that agreement was the best protection for South Austral a that we possibly could have expected. By the regrettable action of 1 Independent and by the capricious action of a totally irresponsible power hungry Opposition, we are now back, regarding an entitlement to water, to where we were at the 1915 level. It is about time that this fact was well recognised and the totally irresponsible action for anyone interested in the future well-be:ng of South Australia was pinned home to those responsible.

Mr Foster - Tell them about the Legislative Council and how-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I warn the honourable member for Sturt to cease interjecting. He has done so continually.

Mr GILES - I maintain that this regrettable action is completely against the interests of South Australia. The current position is that the State is back to 1.254 million acre feet whereas our entitlement was to be 1.5 million acre feet. The Leader of the Opposition in South Australia, Mr Dunstan, has said that he will try to renegotiate the 2-dam project. The 2-dam project is quite ridiculous. May I explain briefly to the House what it means? The entitlement of South Australia under the Dartmouth Dam Agreement Act has been increased from 1.254 million acre feet to 1.5 million acre feet. This means that if 2 dams are to bc built, any increased yield that Chowilla may give if it is built by a stroke of the magic wand - and I cannot really see at least 2 parties to the Agreement ever agreeing to its establishment - must be considered.

What it means is that instead of an entitlement of 1.5 million acre feet - our quota now - an addition of 0.2 million acre feet will be made to the flow of the Murray River system. South Australia will move from the level established under the Agreement to the level that would result from the building of both projects. It is very problematical whether, if Chowilla were built, South Australia would get any increase in its entitlement, because it is only the entitlement that governs the quantity of water coming into South Australia. This is not governed by whether or not water flows up hill or down hill or whether or not dams are built north, south, east or west. It is the entitlement that is of importance.

No doubt, if Chowilla appeared by some stroke of the magic wand, South Australia would put forward a case for a proportion of the 0.2 million acre feet. It would be awfully lucky to get it if from 1915 to 1970 our entitlement remained the same. In a very marginal increase, with our entitlement now being so great and so beneficial to the State, I think a great deal of doubt would arise as to whether we would receive any extra water from Chowilla, because we have first call on our entitlement now. So, in a state of drought, we would still have this entitlement of 1.5 million acre feet while the 2 upstream States, taking what is left, would have approximately 0.9 million acre feet each. At this point in time there is no case for a dual dam project. It is totally irresponsible for a major party that claims to have new intellectual qualifications to put itself in such a ridiculous situation.

I will conclude my remarks by saying one thing. It is possible that Chowilla will be be built. It is to my interest ultimately that it should be. It is something for which I will fight on behalf of my electorate when I see any possibility. But it will be built, in comparison with other schemes whether they be upstream or not, in order in due course to substantiate the entitlement of South Australia to 1.5 million acre feet. If there are further diversions upstream there will be a case for new damming of water. That will be the time when Chowilla may be built. But any party that tries to play ducks and drakes on a matter so important as water is to South Australia deserves the censure it will unquestionably get at the State election to be held soon.

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