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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1505

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin (BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Yes, certainly. The honourable member for Corio (Mr Scholes) has completely misrepresented me in an effort to save 2 seats which the Labor Party in Victoria is going to lose in the forthcoming State elections. The honourable member accused me of calling a public meeting from which Mr Eddie Lewis and Mr Bill Lewis were excluded. In the first place it was a meeting which was organised at my initiative because the Victorian Government had expressed concern, I had expressed concern and the Portland Harbour Trust and the Portland Development Committee had expressed concern. It was not a public meeting. Both men had made it known that they wanted to come along, and they were very welcome. It was not a public meeting. To suggest that there was an attempt to exclude them from a public meeting is a fabrication.

There was also a suggestion that I and other honourable members on this side of the House voted for a Bill which damaged outports. What the Minister for Labour (Mr Clyde Cameron) refused to recognise right throughout the arguments about this matter was that the changes introduced by the Association of Employers of Waterside Labour were made under the terms of his Administration. They were not made under the terms of the previous Administration. If the changes had been made under the previous Administration the Association would not have been allowed to get away with it in the same way as the present Minister for Labour has for far too long allowed it to do so.

The other aspect of this matter is that everyone who was represented in Victoria, including all political parties in Victoria, clearly realised that this was a matter which was within the responsibility of the Minister for Labour, that it was only natural that the main discussion should be concerning him and that State members were not directly involved. But the fact that it has been accepted as a Commonwealth responsibility and the fact that the Minister for Labour did, after a great deal of pressure, act upon this matter came as a direct result of action by the State Government.

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