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Tuesday, 18 October 1983
Page: 1816


Mr KATTER —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy. I refer the Minister to a statement recorded in the Queensland State Hansard.


Mr Simmons —How many years ago?


Mr Peter Morris —Which year?


Mr Howe —He will need a long memory.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order. The honourable member for Kennedy will resume his seat. When the House comes to order I will call on him to ask his question.


Mr KATTER —Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am sensitive; I respond very easily to these things. I repeat that I will quote from what was recorded in the Queensland Hansard. Are honourable members opposite afraid of what I will say? Mr Wright said this:

It always pleases me that we can go to the people of any State or nation and say 'this is our policy'. It is Labor Party policy to eventually achieve and maintain full ownership of coal, oil, natural gas, uranium and all other energy resources of the nation.


Mr Staples —Why not?


Mr KATTER —I thank the honourable member. The statement continues:

It is our policy to put the ownership of those into the hands of the Government on behalf of the Australian people.

What do you say to that?


Mr SPEAKER —Order! I remind the honourable member that he is not to provoke interjections; otherwise I shall ask him to resume his seat.


Mr KATTER —The honourable member for Diamond Valley--


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member had better continue asking his question or he will be sat down.


Mr KATTER —Will the Minister say whether this Government supports this policy of Mr Wright and the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party?


Mr BARRY JONES —I, of course, immediately pricked my ears when I heard a reference to a Hansard from Queensland. I did not know whether it was an historic document covered by the 30 years rule; I would like to have further details on the matter. It might be appropriate to place the question on notice. It can then be referred to my colleague in another place. I simply say that what is quoted is not consistent with Federal policy. I am curious about the accuracy of the report. I would like to see the original. I see that the honourable member does not appear to have a copy of the Hansard with him, and there are not too many of them around! It is quite clear that the policy of the Labor Party was set out in the Labor Party's Federal Conference document of July 1982. There is a consistency between the Commonwealth Government's policy and the Labor Party policy as adopted in the various States. I think the use of the material is taken out of context. It is intended purely--


Mr Katter —Come on, Barry!


Mr BARRY JONES —It is taken completely out of context because it is quite inconsistent with the Federal policy document. The Federal policy document--


Mr Fisher —What does it say?


Mr Ruddock —Have you read the context?


Mr BARRY JONES —I am on the platform committee of the Party in this area. I am very well aware of the policy. We are concerned about the question of social ownership. We want to ensure that the benefit of our natural resources accrues primarily to Australians and to the Australian community. Whatever would have been said by Keith Wright would be in consistency with that principle, and that is a principle we stick to. If the honourable member wants further details, he should put the question on notice and I will get an answer from my colleague in the Senate.