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Thursday, 7 May 1987
Page: 2495

Senator SIDDONS —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Can he explain the connection drawn by the Treasurer, Mr Keating, between a resource rent tax and optional preferential voting? In the light of the Treasurer's threat to wipe out minor parties and introduce changes to the voting system that will do that, are we to assume that because minor parties, including the Unite Australia Party, together with the Opposition-that is, everyone but the Government-chose to oppose what they considered to be a very ill-conceived tax on industry, we are threatened with changes to the electoral system designed to deny parliamentary representation to anyone holding a view contrary to that expressed by the present Government?

Senator BUTTON —I do not think any particular conclusions can be drawn from the Treasurer's association of the resource rent tax and optional preferential voting. The only conclusion which can be drawn, which is nothing new, is that the Treasurer of this country is imaginative, colourful and brilliant. I think that, in expressing the thoughts which he expressed on the steps of Parliament House on behalf of all of us, he was indulging those qualities which have made him a very good Treasurer of this country.