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Friday, 7 September 1984
Page: 636


Senator MASON(9.52) —I cannot allow that speech by Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle to pass unnoticed. It contained so many misrepresentations and errors of fact that it cannot be allowed to stay on the record. Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle appears to have forgotten that the Australian Democrats did go to the wall and stand by their pledge to the Australian electorate on sales tax Bills. I refer to the sales tax on the necessities of life which the Fraser Government, in its foolishness, tried to impose on the Australian people and which, according to the polls, 80 to 90 per cent of the Australian people disliked. Members of the former Fraser Government would know that but, of course, as Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle told us, they never take any notice of what their constituents bring to them. So they used that sales tax legislation as a double dissolution issue and they were destroyed as a result of it.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Townley) —Order! I would like you to speak to the requests rather than about history.


Senator MASON —That is true. We are dealing with requests relating to those non- amendable Bills. I stand corrected by you, Mr Chairman. But the effect is the same. The Australian people supported us on that matter. It is quite wrong for Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle to say that we will not stand by our constituents to this extent. We will do it this time too. We are asking the Liberal Party to have the intestinal fortitude to do the same thing and not to take a gutless, whining retreat. It says that this is something we cannot touch, and then says to the electorate: 'But if you vote us in in the next election we will change it'. The electorate will not buy that one on this issue or on any other issue either.

Question put:

That the request (Senator Jack Evans's) be agreed to.