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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1701


Mr SINCLAIR (New England) - I second the motion. Never before in the history of this Parliament has such a deplorable incident happened. The Government, through a Minister, has sought directly to deny to this House the opportunity to table a document, demonstrating that everything the Minister for Minerals and Energy (Mr Connor) told this House yesterday was completely untrue, demonstrating that the answers he gave to this

House were deliberately intended to hoodwink the people of New South Wales and of Australia into believing that he in no way intervened in restricting the availability of power supplies to the people of New South Wales, lt is therefore essential that, this document be tabled in order that the Parliament may consider the circumstances of the denial of natural justice-


Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I ask whether the honourable gentleman is canvassing the question rather than debating whether Standing Orders should be suspended.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! There is no point of order.


Mr SINCLAIR - The document which we seek to table demonstrates that the Minister sitting at this table, the Minister for Minerals and Energy, has deliberately instructed the responsible officers of the Snowy Mountains Council to withhold power to New South Wales in order to further the intentions of the 35- hour week committee. It is a document which obviously is intended to go completely contrary to the expressed answers which the Minister gave today in the Parliament to questions by the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Fraser), the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch) and myself - answers which did not in any way relate to the real reasons for his instructing the Snowy Mountains Council to restrict the availability of power to New South Wales.

At this very moment there are significant blackouts throughout New South Wales. There is a lack of availability of power to the sick, to the invalids and to every citizen of New South Wales. There is a direct intention by the Minister for Minerals and Energy to contribute to this reduction of availability of power. The only way in which we have any opportunity to ensure that the truth is revealed is by the tabling of this document. The honourable member for Wannon sought leave to suspend Standing Orders because he was not given leave to proceed with his motion of censure forthwith. It is obvious that the Minister for Minerals and Energy should resign. He has obviously contravened his responsibilities to the Parliament. He has contravened his responsibilities to the people of New South Wales. He has - (Opposition members interjecting) -


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. When the House comes to order and the honourable members behind the honourable member for New England allow him to speak, I will call him again. If that happens again I will take the same action. I call the Deputy Leader of the Country Party.


Mr SINCLAIR - It is quite obvious that the Minister for Minerals and Energy treats this as a light hearted matter. He treats it as an incident which has no substance. Yet millions of people in New South Wales are suffering because of the deliberate action of this man - the deliberate action revealed by the document which we seek to table. It is a document which shows that this man has completely contravened his ministerial responsibilities. He has intervened to further an industrial dispute. He has intervened in order to further the intentions of left wing trade unions. He has intervened directly contrary to the best interests of the people of Australia and New South Wales. He has intervened directly contrary to his ministerial responsibilities. The only vehicle available to us is to table this document. The only vehicle we have to ensure that this man is revealed for his lack of concern for the truth, his lack of consideration for his ministerial responsibilities, is by demonstrating that in this document there is a complete rebuttal of the statements that he has given to this House. Yesterday and today he said that he would bring the documents to our notice.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I think the honourable member is getting a little wide of the mark.


Mr SINCLAIR - Mr Deputy Speaker,this document should have been part of the documents which the Minister said he would table in this House. I asked him earlier today when he would table them. He said that he would table them when the House resumed. That is not good enough. The document should be tabled immediately. We seek to table this document immediately. It brings forward circumstances which reveal that that Minister should resign, that the Government should be censured and there should be an immediate debate to that effect.







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