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Thursday, 19 February 1987
Page: 431

Mr CADMAN(10.57) —Australian businesses are facing absolute destruction under the hands of the Hawke Government. Figures released within the last week show that there has been a 35 per cent increase in the rate of bankruptcies half year on half year. The figures were confirmed--

Mr Barry Jones —What are the Queensland figures?

Mr CADMAN —Queensland has a figure of 23 per cent half year on half year. That is way below the national average. The destruction that those opposite have caused as a government is really obvious in Labor States. For South Australia and New South Wales the figures are stark and serious. This country is facing the prospect for the second year running that there will be record numbers of bankruptcies. Last year was record breaking in Australia's history and it looks as though this year, for a full year, will be also. The Inspector-General of Bankruptcies says that it is perfectly proper to expect that the half year result will finish in a double figure, so it is possible to double the half year result and come forward with the figure of 8,004 bankruptcies for this financial year.

The destruction of Australian business has been brought about by the economic vandalism of the Government in its effort to put extra charges, taxes and impositions on Australian businesses. Those results on bankruptcies will shortly come through with increasing unemployment figures. It is obvious that the downturn in economic activity, the cost imposed by this Government on businesses and employers, the cost of militant union leaders and the cost of interest repayments, are all factors which are dampening down business activity and business prospects. Those results will just exacerbate the already record level of bankruptcies.

We are not talking about big businesses, about takeovers or the friends of the Australian Labor Party. We are not talking about those friends of the Treasurer (Mr Keating) who talks about the white shoe brigade but is the man who cannot remember to put in his own tax returns-a process which is not available to any businessman in Australia, large or small. That Treasurer is so remote from the real needs of small business that he is not prepared to go to his own electorate in a by-election campaign, to espouse his policies for the wrecking of the Australian economy. It is a sad day when the Government dismisses the shambles that it has caused in the economic structures and the economic prospects for employment and profits of small business.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! It being 11 p.m., the House stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow.

House adjourned at 11 p.m.