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Wednesday, 25 February 1987
Page: 750

Mr GOODLUCK(7.28) —Tonight I wish to raise a very serious matter. During my speech I want to have a good swipe at a Sydney newspaper but before I do that let me say for the benefit of honourable members present tonight-I do not need to tell them as they know-that Tasmania is a State of the Commonwealth. It is good to see the honourable member for Bass (Mr Smith) present. Tasmania is a State of Australia with a population of 400,000 people. The people of Tasmania are determined-some say that they are a bit unusual but I will discount that-and they are passionately fond of their State. They love their State and they will put up with a few jokes and being the butts of jokes. I have been the subject of a few jokes in my lifetime, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment (Mr Cohen) would understand that. I have been asked `Have you got two heads?', or `How are you going with your cricket, Bruce? With six fingers you should be a good spinner', and all that sort of thing. I have been asked: `You are related to everybody in Tasmania, aren't you?' Incidentally, I probably am.

Anyway, we put up with those sorts of jokes and we laugh them off and carry through because, in the main, most Tasmanians are passionately proud of their State. They love their State. That is the reason why the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) always miscalculates on issues concerning Tasmania, such as the dams issue and now the timber industry. This Government thinks that it can walk over the Tasmanians but it cannot because the Tasmanians are very determined. I read a few of the Sydney newspapers occasionally just to see whether my name is in print because I have relatives in Sydney.

Mr Cunningham —You've got an aunt.

Mr GOODLUCK —Yes. I happened to read something in the Sydney Daily Telegraph dated 25 February which honestly made me absolutely mad. It gave a compliment but, by giving the compliment, it was really taking the mickey out of a lot of Tasmanians on the other. I thought that tonight they would not get away with it. I have checked with the staff of the Telegraph here. They are quite okay; they are decent people and always write fairly and appraise fairly. I do not want to burn all my bridges. They are good people up there from the Telegraph. I also rang my friend Dorian Wild who usually takes the mickey out of me but she had nothing to do with the article.

Mr Cohen —Get to the point.

Mr GOODLUCK —Do not get impatient. It is like the timber industry; he will cut down the trees in due course. The article is headed `Tassie folk the wizards of Oz' and states:

Struth! It's enough to make you sell up the red-brick and go bush. It seems those tin-pot Tasmanians know more about our heritage--

Mr Peacock —What?

Mr GOODLUCK —Tin-pot Tasmanians-

know more about our heritage than ``real Australians''. A survey of 1271 Aussies has found that the Apple Islanders are more aware of Australia Day than the mainlanders.

I take offence at that article, in particular calling Tasmanians `tin-pot'. The article is really saying that Tasmanians are not part of Australia even though we know more about the heritage of Australia than do Australians in the other States. There have been some very famous Tasmanians-including me. For example, Joe and Enid Lyons.

Mr Robert Brown —Your grandfather was one of them.

Mr GOODLUCK —Yes, and Errol Flynn, who went to the same school as I did. There is Merle Oberon. Eileen Joyce is a famous pianist, as honourable members would know. There have been many famous Tasmanians and to use the word `tin-pot' gravely offends the majority of Tasmanians who, as I mentioned before, are proud of their State and do not like a Sydney newspaper referring to them as tin-pots. If the editor does not apologise, I will bring 200 of my tin-pot Tasmanians to Sydney and we will take over the Sydney Telegraph. Murdoch took over the Press; so I will take over the Telegraph.

I would like to read a little quote from another Tasmanian, Tim Bowden from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, when he launched the book The Double Man which is written by a fellow classmate of mine Philip Koch. I think that what he said is not rude; it is great.

Mr Campbell —Hurry up.

Mr GOODLUCK —The honourable member should be quiet. He stated:

Tasmania, you see, is the testicle of Australia, suffusing the mainland with strength and vigour. What a pity there is only one of them.