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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4697

Mr ENDERBY (Canberra) (Minister for Manufacturing Industry) - The Government cannot accept the amendment. In fact the Government rejects it more or less out of hand.

Dr Edwards - Right at the end of the session.

Mr ENDERBY - No. As I indicated in my second reading speech, the Government sees this measure as being incorporated into a wider system of structural change. But no government could accept the attitude expressed in the Opposition's amendment which seeks automatically to take control of this measure out of the hands of government. The Opposition claimed to support the measure- mouthed its support for it- but it adopts the attitude that the legislation should automatically come to an end without any intervention of this Government at a certain time in the future, namely, 30 June 1975- a date chosen by the Opposition.

Mr Malcolm Fraser - You want a slush fund for your own political patronage.

Mr ENDERBY - If the honourable member wants to talk nonsense, let him go ahead. This measure, by all accounts, is a great advance in economic management in Australia. For 23 years the Government could have done with it. For 23 years the Government was denied it. This Government has introduced it and the Opposition grudgingly admits its merit. Then, seizing upon passages which I put in my second reading speech, it says: 'Look, why do you not bring the legislation to an automatic end in 6 months time because you are going to marry it to a wider system of structural change anyway?' I say: Of course I am. That is right. But being in government, the problem has to be solved by government. The Opposition looks at it from the point of view of trying to score rather nasty cheap little political points. The merit of the measure is not disputed. The Government cannot accept the Opposition's amendment. It disputes the Opposition's motives.

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