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Thursday, 26 November 1959


Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay

Order! The honorable member will withdraw that remark.


Mr UREN - I withdraw the remark. The honorable member for Perth (Mr. Chaney) mentioned earlier in the evening that drink was an economic condition. I am well aware that it is an economic condition, and in New South Wales it has been found that because of extended trading hours the family unit is obliged to go without certain essentials. Unfortunately, some men are weak and drink that extra quantity during the extended hours. There are many views for and against the extension of drinking facilities at airports. The travellers will not gain very much of an advantage because in most cases travellers want a drink only when they are fog-bound at some airport.

Let us discuss the position as it exists in New South Wales. The honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) has said that if liquor is sold at airports it will be sold only within certain hours. Will that mean that on Sundays the bar will not be open to air travellers? Travellers overseas can get a drink on Sundays. Will the same position apply here? The honorable member for Perth has said that only six or seven persons were drinking at the Perth airport at the one time. If you go on a Sunday to any hotel outside the 20-mile limit from Sydney, you have to line up two or three deep to get to the bar.


Mr Wight - Are you a frequent visitor to those hotels? You seem to know all about them.


Mr UREN - The honorable member is a very smart and smug individual. I am not a drinker, but I have no objection to other people taking liquor if they wish to do so. At the recent referendum in New South Wales I voted for the extension of hotel trading hours. I now regret that I did so. I am very proud of the opposition that the Australian Labour Party has raised to this bill because I cannot see that the extension of drinking facilities at airports will be in the best interests of the people of Australia.

I think it was the honorable member for Chisholm who raised the issue of the Commonwealth's powers in this matter. I should like the Minister for Defence (Mr. Townley) who is at the table to inform me what the trading hours will be.


Mr Townley - They will be exactly the same as in the respective States.


Mr UREN - The Minister will have plenty of opportunity to reply to me later. Clause 10 of the bill provides that businesses at airports will be covered by the State health regulations, but no mention is made of any restriction of trading hours. Recently shop trading hours in the Australian Capital Territory were extended and this has had a detrimental effect on the nearby town of Queanbeyan, which is in New South Wales. A great deal of chaos has been created by this law of the jungle - the more you get the more you want.


Mr Buchanan - There is no chaos. The people want extended shopping hours.


Mr UREN - The honorable member does not know what he is talking about. I worked in the retail trade for many years in an executive capacity. I was employed by Woolworths at Lithgow, and for the four yea's while I was there we worked a five-day week. The people had a certain amount of money to spend and they spent it during those five days and were quite happy about it. But when the extended drinking hours came into operation, less money started to flow into the shops and consequently they wanted extended trading hours.







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