Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 5 June 1984
Page: 2491

Senator RICHARDSON —Has the Minister for Social Security seen reports suggesting that the Leader of the National Party of Australia, Mr Sinclair, and its spokesman on primary industry, Mr McVeigh, have been claiming that farmers with mortgages or other debts on their farms will not have these debts taken into account in assessments for the assets test? What is the truth of this claim?

Senator GRIMES —I believe Mr Sinclair and Mr McVeigh are handling the truth in the usual manner in which they handle the truth--

Senator Walsh —He has as much respect for the truth as he has for other people's money.

Senator GRIMES —And that is, very carelessly. I had better not repeat what Senator Walsh said or I might be in diabolical trouble.

Senator Peter Baume —I take a point of order. Does Senator Grimes's comment bring the remark by Senator Walsh into the Hansard record? If it does, I ask that it be withdrawn.

The PRESIDENT —Order! I did not hear what comment Senator Walsh made. But if he made a comment that is regarded as unparliamentary, I ask him to withdraw it.

Senator Walsh —Mr President, I said that he had as much respect for the truth as he has for other people's money, and I withdraw it.

The PRESIDENT —I ask the honourable senator to withdraw that remark.

Senator Walsh —I did, Mr President.

Senator GRIMES —You are not very bright, Peter; you are really not very bright. The simple fact of the matter--

Senator Walters —You were not too bright either.

Senator GRIMES —I am worried about Senator Walters, Mr President. If she keeps making noises like that she will lay an egg.

Senator Chaney —I raise a point of order, Mr President. I am trying to remember what standing order, if any, there is which prevents unending rudeness in this place. I ask you to call the Ministers to order and tell them to get on with the job.

The PRESIDENT —I have asked the Minister to respond to the question directed to him by Senator Richardson. Time is running out and we want other questions asked .

Senator GRIMES —I will continue to answer the question, but I remind Senator Chaney that I was answering an interjection. The market value of farm properties under the assets test, less the home and the curtilage if the farmer is living on the property, will be considered net of any debts outstanding, be they mortgages or other debts, and they will then be treated as an asset for the purposes of the test. To suggest, as did Mr Sinclair and Mr McVeigh, having read the statement of the Prime Minister, that mortgages and debts will be ignored and that assets will be considered at their total market value without taking those into consideration, is quite simply wrong, deliberately misleading and deliberately designed to worry people who may be affected in that situation. Those suggestions should be treated for what they are-blatant scaremongering and fearmongering by two individuals who have no other arguments against the test and who are just resorting to the usual fear tactics of the conservatives.