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

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

APPROPRIATION BILL (NO. 1) 1984-85

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans)-That this Bill be now read a second time.

Limitation of Debate: And the time allotted for the consideration of the Bill having expired-

Question-That this Bill be now read a second time-put.

Senator Peter Rae, by leave, moved an amendment, viz: At end of motion, add '', but the Senate is of the opinion that the Hawke Government should be condemned for presenting a Budget which totally fails to take account of or to provide for the correction of the serious state of the economy, namely, that in Australia- (a) public debt in 1984-85 is estimated to be $90 billion, which involves an average interest bill of $34 per week for each taxpayer;

(b) overseas investment is at its lowest level for the past 3 years;

(c) the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has forecast an expected decline of 29 per cent in rural production in the year 1984-85;

(d) private fixed capital investment in 1983-84 was 10 per cent lower than in 1982-83;

(e) manufacturing production in the June quarter 1984 actually fell by 0.7 per cent, continuing a trend of decreasing growth over the past 18 months;

(f) seasonally adjusted retail sales fell by nearly 1 per cent in the 3 months ended August 1984 compared to the 3 months ended May 1984;

(g) inflationary pressures arising from the indexed increases in Government charges and from the fact that average weekly earnings for the 12 month period to the end of June 1984 increased by 12.3 per cent;

(h) public sector employment and public sector funded employment has increased drastically while employment in the productive sectors of the economy such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and the associated area of transport has actually fallen by 50 000 during the term of the present Government;

(i) Australia's unemployment rate remains above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average;

(j) Budget estimates show that this Government's administration costs were increased by 16.7 per cent in 1984-85 which is 3 times the expected rate of inflation and nearly 1/3 as high again as the increase in total Government outlays;

(k) the Government sector is the main cause of inflation in Australia; and

(l) a widespread and justifiable fear exists in relation to severe increases in taxation in the event of the re-election of the Hawke Government''.

Leave refused: Senator Harradine sought leave to make a statement.

Objection being raised, leave not granted.

Senator Jack Evans, by leave, moved an amendment to Senator Peter Rae's proposed amendment, viz: Leave out all words after '', but the Senate is of the opinion that'', insert ''successive Australian Governments from 1975 to 1984 should be condemned, in that- (a) the Fraser Government from 1975 to 1983 pursued economic policies which: (i) by encouraging private foreign borrowings by Australian companies in anticipation of a resources boom, have saddled Australia with a huge foreign debt,

(ii) by deliberately allowing unemployment to increase in order to reduce inflation have created a society where over 2 million people are unemployed, under-employed or are hidden-unemployed,

(iii) by deliberately seeking to gain political benefit through creating confrontation and conflict, gained Australia the world reputation of an unstable country torn by industrial strife, and

(iv) by pursuing taxation policies designed to win votes created a regimen of taxes which are inequitable and stifle individual initiative and enterprise; and

(b) the Hawke Government has presented a Budget which fails to take account of or to provide for the correction of the serious state of the economy, namely, that in Australia: (i) public debt in 1984-85 is estimated to be $90 billion, which involves an average interest bill of $34 per week for each taxpayer,

(ii) the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has forecast an expected decline of 29 per cent in rural production in the year 1984-85,

(iii) manufacturing production in the June quarter 1984 actually fell by 0.7 per cent, continuing a trend of decreasing growth over the past 18 months, and

(iv) Australia's unemployment rate remains above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average''.

Point of Order: Senator Harradine raised a Point of Order to the effect that the amendment moved by Senator Jack Evans to Senator Peter Rae's proposed amendment had not been circulated in writing and that consequently Senators were not in a position to vote on the amendment.

Debate ensued on the Point of Order.

Ruling of President: The President ruled that there was no Point of Order.

Dissent from Ruling: Senator Harradine, having objected, in writing, to the ruling of the President, moved-That the ruling be dissented from.

The Manager of Government Business (Senator Grimes) moved-That the question of dissent requires immediate determination.

Question-put and passed.

Debate on the motion-That the ruling be dissented from-ensued.

Suspension of Sitting-Variation of Order: Senator Grimes, by leave, moved-That the Order relating to the luncheon suspension of the sitting this day be varied to enable the Senate to sit between 12.45 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Question-put and passed.

Senator Jack Evans, by leave, withdrew his amendment to Senator Peter Rae's proposed amendment.

Senator Harradine, by leave, withdrew his motion of dissent.

Postponement: Ordered on the motion, by leave, of Senator Grimes-That the Questions with regard to the remaining stages of Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1984-85 and Government Business, Orders of the Day No. 3 (Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1984-85) and No. 4 (Advance to the Minister for Finance 1983-84-Statement of Expenditure), be postponed till after consideration of the matter of public importance proposed for this day and that the motion for the allotment of times agreed to on 23 October 1984 relating to these Bills have effect at that time.