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Wednesday, 14 March 1973
Page: 538

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. To borrow an analogy recently used, when there is a fire in the house it is not necessary to have a computer to tell the occupant what he needs to do about it. Does the honourable gentleman believe that inflation can to many people be just as damaging as a fire in a house, and will the honourable gentleman explain to the Parliament what intentions he has either personally or for the Government to take action to prevent the Australian people being brought to a stage of great discomfort and disadvantage to themselves by the incipient forces of inflation which his Government intends to allow?

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - To quote from the same source, one does not need to have a witch doctor to be told that. Legislation is being prepared and will be shortly introduced to establish a prices justification tribunal. A motion will be put before each House, I expect tomorrow, and I would also hope that it would have the support of all parties in both Houses, to establish a joint select committee to review prices. The Government, moreover, is undertaking a deliberate program of consulting with the States to ensure that governmental expenditure in Australia is planned over the appropriate period of time to see that costs are not inflated by stop-go government policies but that there are properly planned and published programs in the public sector. We are intent on seeing that, as far as Commonwealth legislation, administrative actions and parliamentary inquiries are concerned, there will be the same consistent and constant review of prices in Australia as there is for incomes.

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