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Tuesday, 22 February 1977

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - In passing I have been aware of certain events in Western Australia over the last weekend. On Sunday evening I had discussions with Sir Charles Court whom, I think, the great majority of members of this House would wish to congratulate most heartily on his magnificent victory. The result will make quite certain that the development of Western Australia, whose economy is now starting to take off, will proceed in a proper and vigorous fashion under the leadership of Sir Charles. Whatever might have appeared from time to time, the Commonwealth will be looking forward to working in co-operation with Sir Charles Court in the resolution of many of the problems that are in front of Australia both in the economic field and in other matters of organisation concerning the implementation of our federalism policy.

I believe that the policies in Western Australia that led to the return of the Government are basically State policies. I believe that in State elections people to a very large extent make judgments on the basis of State results, although I know from time to time that politicians sometimes seek to claim, when the result goes a certain way, that the election was fought on Federal or other issues. Basically I think the people of Australia can distinguish between a State election and a Federal election. They know that the results to a significant extent are related to different matters. I would think this has basically been the case in Western Australia. Certainly Sir Charles Court's own record would amply have justified his return with the increased majority that has in fact occurred. Again this is something that must give great satisfaction to everyone from Western Australia because they now know that their State will be safe for a while longer.

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