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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3029

Mr UREN -Has the attention of the Deputy Prime Minister been drawn to threats in the last week by the Queensland Premier, first to the residents of Mount Isa and later repeated to the electors and residents of Mackay and Rockhampton, that their areas would be deprived of State funds if they did not vote for the National Party next Saturday? Can the Deputy Prime Minister assure those people that he will not allow Federal funding to Queensland to be interfered with by a Premier who intends to carry out those threats?

Mr ANTHONY -My attention has not been drawn to these so-called threats by the Premier of Queensland; but I can well imagine the threats there would be to the people of these outlying areas if there were a change of government in Queensland, just as there would be if there were a change of government in the National Parliament. The whole performance of the Australian Labor Party over the years has been to concentrate expenditure in the public sector, and very much against the rural sector. One classic example was water resources. Under Labor Party policy we saw the tapering off of water resources programs over a number of years. Money for local government was contained to a very low level. When we came to office we ensured that more money would be made available for local government, and more money is being provided for local government. We ensured that there would be a return of many of the incentives and benefits to the rural community, and they have been returned. Under the Labor Administration they were taken away. The interpretation which the Labor Party is putting on the things which the Premier of Queensland has been saying is prompted by its own conscience.

Mr Hayden - I raise a point of order. The Deputy Prime Minister implies support for the Queensland Premier by his evasion.

Mr SPEAKER -There is no substance in the point of order. The honourable member knows that.

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