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Wednesday, 14 March 1973
Page: 563


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin (BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I remind the Leader of the Opposition that the subject of this Bill is not migration but sales tax on contraceptives.


Mr SNEDDEN - I bow to your ruling, as I must, Mr Deputy Speaker, but perhaps you will permit me to complete that thought. I will not carry it any further. It is wrong to lay the blame for any urban problems upon migrants. It is ridiculously wrong to believe that we will solve this problem by stopping migration. If we have urban problems, we as representatives of the people have to -take decisions to cure them. Then we have to have the willingness and the fortitude to follow through those decisions.

This Bill, small as it is, is of very great importance. Perhaps I could summarise in the following manner. The removal of sales tax on contraceptives was elevated to a significance which was not real but symbolic. But it appeared to many people that if the sales tax was removed an immense number of problems would be solved. In truth the removal has not solved the problems, nor has it satisfied the normal and proper aspirations of women for equality in our community. We need to see the removal of sales tax not as the end of the line but merely as the commencement of the line. We need to continue as vigorously as we can the evolution of policies which will probably take some time but which in the end will answer the aspirations of women in our community who, as I mentioned, possess 50 per cent of our intellect. It is an immense luxury for us, as a growing nation, to believe that we can carelessly not make use of the full capacity which is available there. Making use of that capacity does not in any way mean an attack on the family. The family is the basic unit of our society. It is an institution which must remain, and I do not believe that any member of my Party - and I think I can speak for the Australian Country Party - would want to see the institution that the family, and all that means for cohesiveness and good in our community, in any way weakened.

Mr MATHEWS(Casey)- I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented.


Mr MATHEWS - Yes. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) said that he understood me to advocate a mass distribution of contraceptives so that single women would not have babies. The Leader of the Opposition misunderstood me, as is natural since he was not in the House long enough to hear more than a few of my remarks.







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