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Thursday, 12 April 1973
Page: 1414


Mr FAIRBAIRN (Farrer) - This is a major policy statement which has been made by the Minister for Minerals and Energy (Mr Connor). I should think that he has been preparing it for some months. It was first seen by me this morning. I am not complaining about that, because we had 2 hours notice, but it is not easy for an Opposition spokesman looking at a major policy statement such as this to comprehend everything that is included in it, and, of course, one has no opportunity of referring it to the executive of the Liberal Party. Having said that, I am anxious to take the earliest opportunity to comment on some of the matters which the Minister has raised in his statement. The first point, of course, is that he acknowledges what has been acknowledged by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam), namely the outside control under which the Government functions. This confirms the statement of the Prime Minister that he is obliged in Government to act in conformity with the decisions made at the Australian Labor Party Conference held in Launceston in 1971. This brings us back to the whole question of who runs the Labor Party or who runs the Government when

Labor is in office. It is not run by Cabinet; it is run by the Australian Labor Party's Federal Conference which met 2 years ago. It is interesting - obviously this is getting under the skin of Opposition members - to look at the composition of this Conference to find out just how its policies are made. When the Opposition was in government, policies were made by Cabinet as a result of information papers which were presented to it by departments which are expert in this field, particularly the Department of National Development, the Bureau of Mineral Resources, and the Department of the Treasury, and chewed over. But the Labor Party made its policies at the Launceston conference and, no doubt, will do the same at the new conference which is soon to be held in Surfers Paradise.

The meat of the statement can be divided into 2 parts. The first is that this is an obvious implementation of the Labor Party's socialisation pledge. The second is that the Labor Party is using new words to dress up, as part of a public relations campaign, actions which were being undertaken by the previous Government. The Labor Party is using these magnificent new words - 'energy budget' and authorities' to replace 'the Minister' and 'the Department'. Here we have the perfect socialist state. The Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) was attempting to laugh as if there was not a socialist objective in the Labor Party. Let me, in case he has forgotten, read it out and read out also the pledge that he signed. This is what the Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) and the Minister for Minerals and Energy signed in earlier days:

I also pledge myself to actively support and defend at all times the Party's objective - the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.

Of course they have changed this.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Hear, hear!


Mr FAIRBAIRN - I am glad to know that this is supported by the Minister for Labour. The Labor Party's objective now is democratic socialisation. It was changed a bit because it was thought that this was somewhat unpopular so the Labor Party now calls it democratic socialisation' - whatever that might mean. I do not see what democratic means in this context - the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.


Mr Keating - Mr Deputy Speaker, is this a debate on the constitution of the Australian

Labor Party or a debate on the Minister's statement relating to a petroleum search policy?







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