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Tuesday, 16 October 1984
Page: 1802

Senator TEAGUE(10.46) —I welcome all that the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Chaney, has said. I will not add to my personal explanation of today, except to note that nothing that Senator Elstob has said tonight has in any way detracted from one word of that personal explanation. I, like Senator Chaney, regard Senator Elstob as an honourable senator. I will regard him as even more honourable if he will admit that at no stage in the media in South Australia have I referred to inspectors entering people's homes.

Senator Grimes —Just knocking on doors.

Senator TEAGUE —Or even knocking on doors. I take this opportunity to say that I will resolutely continue in the coming weeks to oppose this Government and to work for the election of a Liberal-National Party coalition government to govern Australia. However sensitive the Minister for Social Security, Senator Grimes, is to the weaknesses of his policies in his area or in any other area of the Government's making, I will continue to criticise the assets test. The places to oppose those areas which I do not believe are in the best interests of Australia are here and in the electorate.

I take the opportunity as well to say something of the misplaced education policies of this Government last year, which we debated in the electorate and in this chamber. I believe we debated them sufficiently effectively that the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) and the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs (Senator Ryan) gained support in the Cabinet for a reversal of the way in which the Government's education policy with regard to the funding of schools was heading. I believe that that debate in the public area and in the Parliament was effective in serving Australia. We will resolutely oppose this assets test in the same way until the Government reverses its decision, and not just in the way that the Prime Minister did in February. I believe that with a change of government we will see a further reversal. I reinforce my opposition to an assets test which I believe is unfair and unnecessary, and which does not serve Australia. I will not be deterred from that opposition by misquotations by Government senators or even by the sensitivities of and false accusations by the Minister.