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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 204

Mr HODGMAN(10.23) —When the Hawke socialist Government came to power on election night 1983 the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) pledged that he would be a Prime Minister for all Australians. On election night 1983 he said on national television that he would be fair as between the States and as between Australians living in the individual States. He sent a special message to Tasmania on that night. As he put it, he noted the way in which Tasmanian voters had voted. I remind the House that the Tasmanian voters had, in some cases with increased majorities, returned the five sitting members of the Liberal Party of Australia for the electorates of Denison, Franklin, Wilmot, as it then was, Bass and Braddon. The Prime Minister assured Tasmanians that they would be treated fairly and that our State would not in any way suffer or be disadvantaged because the voters had had the good sense to re-elect for the fourth term-in one case a fifth consecutive term-Liberal members to the House of Representatives.

Sadly, within a few short months, Tasmanians to their horror saw the action of the Hawke socialist government in trampling on our State rights and moving to prevent the construction of the Gordon below Franklin dam. We suffered the indignity of having part of our State of Tasmania, to quote the former Attorney-General, Senator Gareth Evans, hot-dogged by Royal Australian Air Force spy planes. We had the ignominious situation that part of the defence forces of this country were used to spy on a State of the Commonwealth. But worse was to come. Utilising what I regard still as spurious powers, the Hawke socialist Government, claiming that it was acting in accordance with the external affairs power, proceeded to take action which effectively negatived the will of the people of Tasmania as expressed in the State election of 1982, as expressed in a referendum and as expressed in several other polls, including local government elections. The upshot was that Tasmania was trampled on by a centralist government, Canberra dominated, determined to impose its will on the people of Australia's smallest but most beautiful State.

We still smart at what was done to us with respect to the Gordon below Franklin. It is now history how the High Court of Australia, by the narrowest possible margin, upheld the constitutionality of the Hawke socialist Government's actions. We would have thought that the Prime Minister and his Government would have learnt a lesson. Following the 1984 Federal election in which again I and my colleagues the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck) and the honourable member for Lyons (Mr Burr) were re-elected and two new members, the honourable member for Bass (Mr Smith) and the honourable member for Braddon (Mr Miles), were elected, we thought that the Prime Minister would realise that Tasmania would not tolerate again the intervention of Canberra, the trampling and the treading down of a small population but very proud State. Sadly, over the last few weeks we have seen the tentacles of Canberra stretching in the direction of Tasmania. Unfortunately, some of the things that have been said about current logging operations in Tasmania are so untrue that they are almost beyond comprehension.

There is a place in Tasmania called Jackeys Marsh. The Prime Minister should definitely be nominated for miracle worker of the year because he has talked about Jackeys Marsh as unique and untouched virgin rainforest. The plain fact is that Jackeys Marsh has been logged for over three generations and nearly 100 years. The extraordinary thing, if the Prime Minister would like to check, is that where trees have been cut down others have been planted two to one-two planted for every one cut down-and new trees have grown. Now we see the Federal Government threatening to intervene in the operations in Jackeys Marsh-not the Lemonthyme-once again trampling on Tasmania's State rights. The people of Tasmania have had a gutful of the Hawke socialist Government. We have been robbed by Canberra of over $200.25m in the last two years and now once again Canberra is trying to put over 6,000 Tasmanians out of work and on the dole, because that is the impact the Hawke socialist Government will have on our forest industries if it succeeds in closing us down. We will fight and we will win. It will never treat us like this again.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.