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Tuesday, 9 June 1970

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I understand that the honourable member for Cowper is to speak in this debate and that in fact he will follow the honourable member for Eden-Monaro. He will have the opportunity to say something then.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - When the honourable member for Farrer rose to speak - not 1 Minister having been sufficiently interested either to listen to or to rise in reply to the case made by the honourable member for Lang - on the Government side, apart from the honouable member for Farrer himself and the Minister for Social Services at the table, only 1 other member of all the 66 members of the Government Parties was present. A quorum had to be called from the Opposition side at that time to get any of those members into the chamber to listen to their own member, their own former Minister. I realise that, in recent days, he has suffered some humiliation. He has gone through some bitter and difficult experiences-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I would suggest that the honourable member for EdenMonaro comes back to the Bill.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am speaking directly to the Bill when I say-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I would suggest also to the honourable member for EdenMonaro that all personal imputations against any honourable member-

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am making no personal imputation when I say that this man has been through a bitter experience. I sympathise with him in it. But I imagine that no man has been placed in a more humiliating and bitter position than the position in' which the honourable member for Farrer was placed tonight when even the honourable member for Lyne (Mr Lucock), who is now interjecting, and all the rest of his colleagues, except one, were absent from their places in the chamber when he spoke. I will not say any more on that.

Mr Lucock - You do not need to. You have shut your own case, as you usually do.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The House will come to order.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have only a few moments left. I want to say this: The day must and will come, despite what those people on the other side of the House are doing at present, when a national conservation authority win be established to tackle the great tasks which must be undertaken in this country. Obviously, despite all the false promises and despite all the betrayals, it is now clear that that action will not come from a government constituted by members of the Liberal Party and the Country Party. It has been made abundantly clear by the speech of the honourable member for Farrer - first, by his damning of projects of this kind as being socialist, which they are; and, secondly, by his easy assumption that the High Court w l! never authorise again what was carried through successfully ever since 1947 and which was never challenged in the courts by anyone - that this action will come from a succeeding Labor government.

Those people in the employ of the Snowy Mountains Authority who today are so full with resentment, doubt, distress and uncertainty about the r future, while they themselves may not return to participate in such an establishment - that is, such a conservation authority - will be given the opportunity to do so. I am certain that many of them will respond to that opportunity, that we will see the great conservation tasks for which Australia is crying urgently carried out by a Labor government, that it will be in power to do this within the next 12 months or so, and that it will make the carrying out of this task, immediately it is elected, a No. 1 priority.

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