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Friday, 25 May 1973
Page: 2691


Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - I listened very attentively to the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) and particularly to the first part of his remarks when he talked about his desire for real co-operation with the States. I ask him whether, if he really means this, perhaps in his new clause he would substitute for the words 'after consultation with the appropriate Minister of the State concerned' the words with the approval of the appropriate Minister of the State concerned'. Will he be prepared to do that? I ask the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam).


Mr Whitlam - No.


Mr WENTWORTH - That shows the bad faith of the Government throughout in this matter. It will not come out and do things honestly and fairly. I was in the House when the dialogue occurred to which the Prime Minister and the Minister for Urban and Regional Development have drawn attention. I listened to it very carefully because I think I was the original person to suggest that the words 'by regulation' should be substituted. I was listening very intently. It is true that the Hansard as it is before us gives a correct account of what was said. It cannot, of course, cover all the interjections and it cannot, of course, cover the tone of what was said. I return to the Hansard. It records that immediately after the Prime Minister had said:'I accept that' the Leader of the Opposition said:

I appreciate that. It will be moved by somebody on this side of the House that the words 'by regulation' be substituted for the words 'by instrument in writing'.

It was quite clear what was meant - absolutely clear. It is just the typical double dealing of the Prime Minister that has brought-

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock) - Order! I suggest to the honourable member for Mackellar that he might withdraw the remarks that he has made in relation to the Prime Minister.


Mr WENTWORTH - I withdraw them.I let the Committee judge the matter. It is typical of the frankness of the Prime Minister that this kind of thing is brought in. It was quite clear in the House what the Prime Minister committed himself to. It was absolutely clear. The Prime Minister said:

I accept that.

The Leader of the Opposition said:

It will be moved by somebody on this side of the House that the words 'by regulation' be substituted for the words 'by instrument in writing'.

It is a simple amendment to the Bill. The Government is twisting and turning with this complicated, stupid amendment which is meant to get it out of the position where it really has to be honest, where it really has to do either what the States want or what the Parliament wants. Why should the Parliament be bypassed? We have heard all this talk from the Minister that members and senators may be lobbied by their constituent councils. What else is a member or a senator for? Are we not here so that we can represent our electorates? Are we not here so that we can represent our States? Is it so terrible that my local council, the Shire of Warringah, should lobby me? Is it so terrible that the member for any other electorate should be lobbied by his local councils? Is this suggested as something that is really shocking? This is in point of fact what should happen. We are here as representatives. If there is any organisation in a member's electorate which has a right to lobby him it is an organisation which has the status of a council. We are all lobbied by all the local progress associations, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides. All this is good and proper. If there is one body more than another which has the right to approach its member in Parliament on a matter which concerns it, it is a local council. The Minister for Urban and Regional Development says that this is such a terrible thing and must not be allowed to occur.

The Government, if it were acting in good faith, would either say: 'We will allow these groupings to be made in consultation with the State Minister and with his concurrence and approval' or else it would say: 'We will have them supervised by the Federal Parliament'. But, no, it will accept neither of these supervisions. It will not accept that of the State Minister. Sometimes he is a member of the Government's own Party and sometimes he is not. The Government will not accept his supervision, although he is the man nearest to the local government scene in his State and knows it best. The Government will not accept his supervision nor will it accept the supervision of the Parliament. Each one of us as a member in the Parliament is here representing the constituent bodies in our areas insofar as they are affected by any Federal legislation. The fact that the Government will accept supervision from neither of these bodies, neither the State nor the Parliament, shows that the

Government is up to some kind of hankypanky. I wonder what it is.

Motion (by Mr Nicholls) put:

That the question be now put.







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