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Wednesday, 17 November 1976

Mr COHEN (Robertson) -The Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development (Mr Newman) started his speech by saying that he would not have won his seat in Parliament if it had not been for the policies of the previous Labor Government. I put it to the House that if he was fighting that same election campaign now, he would not be here after an election. The Opposition and this country are fed up to the back teeth with listening to the tired old excuses of this Government that the problems facing this nation are the fault of the Labor Government. The Liberal-National Country Party Government has celebrated its first year in office and things are worse now than they ever were before. I do not know how long the Government expects to get away with blaming the Labor Government for all the present inadequacies of the economy. Its support is running out fast. The Government's supporters are absolutely appalled at its failure to come to grips with the problems of the economy, particularly the problems referred to in this matter of public importance, that is, problems experienced in regional areas.

I understand that last night or this morning the well known businessman, Mr Rod Carnegie, in an address to the Government parties, predicted that unemployment would hit 600 000 within 3 years unless the Government reversed its economic policies. When this Government was elected to office it made a lot of promises, particularly in the area of Gosford- Wyong which I represent. Gosford-Wyong is one of the prominent regional areas in this country. The Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser) on a local radio station said that a Liberal Government would end unemployment on the Central Coast. That statement would bring a hollow laugh if it was repeated today. I seek leave to have the unemployment figures for the last 2 years incorporated in Hansard. I have shown them to the Minister -

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