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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 4167


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I am very pleased that the member for Bowman (Mr Keogh) has entered the chamber. Just before the sitting was suspended for lunch and immediately after the resumption of the sitting he made a rather vicious attack on the Queensland Government. I wish to take the opportunity in a few words to put the record straight. He referred to the fact that the Queensland Government charges 5c a ton on some of the minerals taken from the ground in that State. He speaks almost as if he is ashamed to be a Queenslander, but it is appropriate to remind him whence he comes to this chamber. I remind the honourable member for Bowman and other honourable members of the record of an Australian Labor Party State Government. When the Australian Labor Party was in power in Queensland it charged a royalty on coal of exactly 6d a ton for the first million tons, 3d a ton for the second million tons and Id a ton thereafter, no matter how many millions or billions of tons were taken out of the ground in Queensland. It also had a system whereby it charged those persons leasing the area for mining one lousy shilling an acre.

Because I am eating into the normal adjournment debate time I shall make my remarks short, but I remind the honourable member for Bowman of the things he omitted to say. He omitted to tell the Parliament today that in Queensland the railway lines which have to be put into the areas to be mined must be financed by the mining companies. They are paid for in toto by the mining companies. Furthermore, the moment they are completed, the mining-


Mr Keogh - I rise a point of order. It it correct for the honourable member for Griffith to criticise a member of this Parliament in another place? He is criticising the ex-Leader of the Democratic Labor Party, Senator Gair, who was Premier of Queensland when these contracts were drawn up. I know that he would want to be protected from the honourable member who depends on his preferences to get into the Parliament.


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


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Often the contributions by the honourable member for Bowman are of the type that would be made in the Queensland Parliament. Perhaps after the next election he will be out looking for a seat in the State Parliament, because he certainly will not continue as a member here. As I was saying, these railway lines must be handed over to the Queensland Government; the lines then become owned by the State Government, and the State Government charges the mining companies for using those lines for carrying freight. Last year the Queensland Government made $17m on freight charges alone. The honourable member for Bowman referred also to Weipa and the bauxite deposits in that area. The fact is that the people who have developed Weipa had to dredge a port there and build port facilities. This has happened in many other places in Queensland. The mining companies have had to outlay their finance to develop the State. My case rests there, but I remind all members on the Government side, particularly the honourable member for Bowman, that an Australian Labor Party Minister in Western Australia is reported in today's paper as referring to Canberra madness and as standing by the utterances of the Queensland Premier, Mr Joh Bjelke-Petersen.


Mr Hansen - He does not know him as we do.


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The honourable member for Wide Bay is another who will be lucky to hold his seat after the next election, likewise the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Doyle) who has a grimace on his face. No wonder the gallup polls show that the Australian Labor Party has the support of only 36 per cent of the Queensland people. I conclude by reminding honourable members opposite that an Australian Labor Party Minister from Western Australia has said that the Government is gripped by madness if it thinks that by kicking foreign capital in the belly continually it is helping the people of Australia or Western Australia or Queensland.

I just say: Wake up to yourself. Go and do a little bit of reading and get an understanding of what is going on and what you are doing in this country.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.







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