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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 944


Mr GOODLUCK(8.53) —I say from the outset that Tasmanians-I include my colleague and friend, the honourable member for Denison (Mr Hodgman)-found the speech by the honourable member for Dunkley (Mr Chynoweth) hard to suffer and hard to tolerate. If ever any poetry was uttered in this House about the lives and livelihood of men who work in the forests of Tasmania, it was uttered tonight. I hope that that speech is recorded in Tasmania and is played during the next election, because it will ensure that all the Tasmanian members are re-elected to this Parliament. It has been said tonight that passions and emotions run high on this issue, and they do. A headline in the Hobart Mercury of Monday, 16 March, reads: `Violence in the Bush'. It refers to violence in the Southern Forests of Tasmania. The article reads:

Violence erupted between conservationists and pro-logging demonstrators . . .

Of course, there was an allotment of blame to both sides. But we, the Tasmanians, know only too well what has been happening in Tasmania. It started with the Franklin River. It started with the distorted media coverage of that incident, when men lost their jobs. The conservationists-I call them the extreme conservationists-were going to obtain jobs for decent, hard working Tasmanians. No jobs were forthcoming. The issue was distorted by the media time and time again. I will not allot blame tonight to particular sections of the media. I would like to, but I will not, because we all know that it was distorted beyond comprehension. The media made gods of men like Bob Brown, MHA, Senator Sanders and others that I could name.


Mr Hodgman —Bellamy.


Mr GOODLUCK —Bellamy, the man from England, who came here and knew all about Tasmania. They locked him up. They should have kept him locked up. They were portrayed as gods by the media. The reason the Tasmanian members tonight and the Tasmanian people at home are so bitter about this legislation-the Lemonthyme and Southern Forests (Commission of Inquiry) Bill-is that it is being developed by the media and the conservationists.

I will go back in history. Do honourable members remember the blockade at Jackeys Marsh? Do honourable members remember that I named in this House 23 of those blockaders who were from this island of Australia? Most of them were unemployed. They came to Tasmania--


Mr Chynoweth —Don't you think that Tasmania is part of Australia?


Mr GOODLUCK —Because of the way in which the honourable member has talked tonight, we dissociate ourselves from Australia, if he is a representative of it. Anyway, they came to Tasmania. They were mostly unemployed. They blockaded good, hard working Tasmanians.


Mr Cohen —Are you an Australian?


Mr GOODLUCK —The Minister's Party purports to look after the workers. Historically-that is what has always been shoved down my neck; I do not believe it-his Party has always been the Party for the workers. But honestly, it is really selling out the workers of Tasmania. The Southern Forests are in my electorate. I have been pretty quiet about it. I cannot get much media coverage on the matter because my name is not Bob Brown, Norm Sanders, or that other fellow who came from the Minister's office.


Mr Hodgman —West.


Mr GOODLUCK —West. I cannot get any publicity to tell the people of Tasmania that it is the biggest con job in the world. The Government knows that it cannot win a seat in Tasmania. It knows that it cannot oust the five Tasmanian members. I have done a little research on the history of the electorate of the honourable member for Dunkley. It has a lot of trendy socialists who believe that everything develops from the birds and the bees, that if one has a good professional education, one does not have to work, or worry about the poor workers of Tasmania and their families who have worked in the forests, and who have worked so hard to develop an industry in Tasmania that has been so important. This legislation really means that everything will stop for about 13 months. Let us talk very simply about it. What will happen to those people for 13 months? Compensation has been talked about. What will happen to their jobs? What will happen to their hire purchase payments? What will happen to their families and children? Most of them only know this industry. They do not know any other industry. They have not had the same opportunity for educational pursuits that other people have had. That is all they know. That is why they are relying on us. They cannot write letters to the papers. They cannot appear on television programs and talk lucidly-like I may be able to-to develop their arguments. They cannot do that. That is the reason why they depend on us to fight for their needs. Many Australians depend on people to put the other point of view, so that the trendy socialists, the left wing of the Press and all the other people who develop their arguments, are put into a corner so that their arguments can be heard.

That is what this debate is really all about. We know that we will lose the vote tonight in the House of Representatives because we do not have the numbers. We know that we will lose the vote in the Senate. There are people who will lose their jobs as a result of it. The people of Tasmania will say that once again they are being trampled on and the media in Tasmania-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Leo McLeay) —Order! Could the honourable member for Franklin address this part of the House?


Mr GOODLUCK —Certainly.


Mr Spender —What about the Prime Minister during Question Time? He had his back to the Chair.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I do not need any assistance from the honourable member for North Sydney.


Mr GOODLUCK —The people will say: `Look, we have lost and again we are being trampled on by a government that should know better'. The Government purports to support the worker, the poor and the needy, and all the other things that we constantly hear from it. I came from a very working class background. My father was a worker. Somebody asked me: `Bruce, what are you doing joining the Liberal Party?' By gosh, I am proud to be a member of the Liberal Party in Tasmania that supports the workers of Tasmania, a party that does not turn against them, a party that does not support the trendy greenies, the conservationists and some of these other public servants who can write books but who do not understand what is it like to get up early in the morning and work from daylight till dark. They do not understand that at all. All they understand is getting on television, like Bob Brown with his nice kind face, Norm Sanders with his yankie twang--


Mr Hodgman —Comrade Devereux.


Mr GOODLUCK —Devereux, the one I licked at the last election. They get on television and say this and that about the wilderness, saving the trees, but nothing about the workers. Even in my electorate of Franklin at the moment in Geeveston where ANM Forests is trying to construct a mill which will bring life and energy back to that area, people are trying to oppose it from a distance of about three miles because the trucks will make too much noise as they drive past homes, and smoke from the chimneys will be against the environment. We have an unemployment rate of about 15 per cent down there; young people cannot get jobs. Obviously the trucks will need to use petrol, and soon, and there will be a flow-on effect that will bring life to the area, as it has done in New Norfolk with ANM. It supports the town and provides sporting facilities and so on.

But now all that ANM gets is a downgrading, a denigration by people who should know better. That is what this debate is all about. It is about working people who will be thwarted by legislation that this Government should know better than to bring in. When people talk about the birds and the bees and the trees and the cockies living in the trees and all the other things, as consistently as does the honourable member for Dunkley-I have two cockies at home-one must have in mind that they are trying to lock up 30 per cent of Tasmania, a third of the State. If somebody had said these things years ago we would have laughed. We must bear in mind what the forestry industry is trying to do by way of regeneration and the economy of Tasmania. These things are urgently needed in Tasmania. People have the audacity to say that they support the workers of Australia when they are taking them to the slaughter. Such an attitude is beyond comprehension.


Mr Hodgman —Tell them about Comrade Devereux.


Mr GOODLUCK —Mr Devereux is another story. He is a union man who purports to support the workers, yet he is supporting the Hawke socialist Government in introducing this legislation. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Robin Gray over this matter, the fact is that if people are to be sent from Tasmania to represent that State in this House or in the Senate, those who are sent here should put the interests of Tasmania first. I only hope that Labor senators will be guided by their conscience in their vote. I hope that they will have the fortitude to vote against this legislation because in their hearts and minds they should know that it will affect the ordinary Tasmanian, the ordinary workers of Tasmania. If they do not vote against this Bill, they will sell those people down the chute.

A lot has been said about this legislation, but I want to say a few words about the activists who have grown to dominate the conservationist debate in Australia. I rarely say anything about a particular person, but we have a gentleman down there called Jonathan West who made a remark the other night to which I took exception. He said this publicly, and every day I listen to the ABC and hear reports of what Jonathan West has had to say. He was not elected to represent the people of Franklin, yet he maintains consistently that the people of my electorate support this legislation. I say to him that he is not an elected member of parliament. He is a member of the Wilderness Society, and was formerly probably a good member of the staff of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment. I do not know much about him, but he is in Tasmania now. If he is bargaining for a fight, he will get a fight on this issue. I hope and pray that all my colleagues-and I know that they will-will support the amendment that was so well moved by the shadow Minister. He did a very good job in presenting the case for Tasmania. I hope that the Labor senators will act on this matter, and I certainly know that our own colleagues there will fight against this legislation, but we just have not got the numbers. I hope that the people of Tasmania who are listening tonight will understand that the famous Labour Party that once stood for the workers is nothing but a trendy movement of politicians, limousine lefties, who seem to think that they can do what they want to do, but that the poor old worker has not the intelligence to back up against them. It is up to my colleagues to follow my remarks, and I know that they will. I only hope that they do not get too worked up, emotional or bitter because it will spoil our argument.