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Thursday, 13 September 1973
Page: 940

Mr COLLARD (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Treasurer. He will be aware that following our discussion last night it was decided that I should telephone the manager of the North Kalgurli gold mine and speak to him in relation to the matter referred to earlier by the honourable member for Stirling. Is the Treasurer aware that the manager advised me that the retrenchments referred to had to be made and that they were in no way occasioned by any decision of the Government? Is he also aware that the manager told me that the situation in that regard had been completely misrepresented by the Press? This being so, would it be correct that the honourable member for Stirling is either ingnorant of the true situation or is otherwise happy to use the misfortune of the workers to try to gain some political advantage for his own party, which only 2 years ago decided that the gold mining industry should be allowed to die and the people dependent upon it should be thrown into the large pool of unemployed that it had decided to create?

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - That was a political question.

Mr CREAN - I think the other one was, too. At least we have now heard the authentic voice of Kalgoorlie on what has been done. I am glad that the honourable member and I had that talk last night. It shows that he anticipates things, whereas the honourable member for Stirling merely picks up the unconsidered trifle. I believe that, if some mining activity in that State is in dire circumstances because of projected action in the Budget, it is about time those concerned made out the case to the Government. They have not done so as yet. I urge upon them, if they expect good faith on our side, that there should be no attempt to pressurise by dismissing workers in advance. I am pleased to have the assurance of the honourable member for Kalgoorlie that this has been done for entirely different reasons from those the honourable member for Stirling implied.

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