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Monday, 1 December 1986
Page: 3048

Senator McKIERNAN —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. Will the proposals of the New Right to introduce a radical, laissez-faire approach to economic matters, in particular, to the deregulation of the labor market, result in the strong dominating the weak, as reported in this morning's newspapers?

Senator WALSH —I guess that, to some extent, the answer to that question is a matter of opinion or judgment. But one thing is perfectly clear: In the judgment of the honourable member for Goldstein-that is, Mr Macphee, a member of the Liberal Party front bench-the answer is clearly yes, because Mr Macphee said so at the Young Liberals meeting in Melbourne yesterday. I believe that Mr Macphee ought to be congratulated for having the moral courage to come out so forcefully on that subject and to distance himself from the New Right, or extreme right policies, on this and most other matters which have recently been embraced by the Leader of the Opposition and his Deputy. It is particularly courageous in view of the publicity which has been given in recent days to moves within the South Australian branch of the Liberal Party to purge Steele Hall from the Party-as another heretic, I suppose, or another one who challenged the dogma of the far Right and the Liberal Party leadership's too close association with it. Should the South Australian Liberal Party succeed in purging Steele Hall because he has heretical views, one wonders whether the next step or some later step might be to purge all of those who do not have blue eyes and blond hair. Clearly, though, Mr Macphee has thrown down the gauntlet on this issue to the Liberal Party leadership. I believe it will be a very good thing for the Liberal Party to promote constructive debate within the Liberal Party instead of allowing the views of the far Right to go largely unchallenged, as they have to the present time.