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Thursday, 10 March 1977

Mr UREN (Reid5.31) -The honourable member for Eden-Monaro (Mr Sainsbury) talked about the good things that had occurred in his electorate. He omitted to mention other things that have occurred in his electorate, such as the stopping of the area improvement program and the reduction in the special assistance provided to local government and councils like those in the Queanbeyan Shire and the shires on the South Coast of New South Wales. He also omitted to mention what happened to the assistance that was formerly given under the Australian Assistance Plan. How good is that now? It has ceased. The honourable member talked about how well the people of Eden-Monaro have fared under this Government and how farm income has fared under this Government. In this financial year alone there has been a drop of 30 per cent in farm income; even after devaluation the reduction is running at 8 per cent. The honourable member represents a semi-rural electorate. Farm income has decreased by 36 per cent since 1973. Farm income has fallen from $15,900 in 1973 to $5,700 in 1976. That shows how the rural sectors of this country are suffering under this Government. Farm income is at the lowest level of any year since 1973.

We all know that the Queen has a duty to mouth the words prepared for her by the government of the day. I intend no disrespect to the Monarch by describing the Speech before the House as the most deeply disturbing I have ever heard. It is a speech which should stir every Australian to a very deep anger. It is very much a statement of the personal philosophy of one man- Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. We all know that for many years the Prime Minister has given a weekly broadcast to his electorate. These talks provide the most damaging expression of Malcolm Fraser's narrow ideology and his reactionary outlook on politics and the economy. The Queen's address was phrased in the style of Malcolm Fraser's sermons to his electorate. If the text was slipped into the sequence of the Wannon electorate broadcasts I doubt whether anyone could tell the difference.

Mr Yates - I rise to a point of order. I thought it was customary in this honourable House for an honourable member to refer to the Prime Minister as either the Prime Minister or the honourable member for Wannon and not just Malcolm Fraser in such a vulgar way.

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