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Wednesday, 23 August 1972
Page: 370


Senator YOUNG (South Australia) - It is not my practice to speak on the question that the Senate adjourn, but I have been very interested in the debate that has taken place tonight because members of the Opposition have been denigrating basically the Australian motor car industry. The companies of Ford, General Motors-Holden's and Chrysler have been mentioned tonight. One honourable senator said quite frankly that it appears that these companies go out to produce the cheapest or lowest standard product that they possibly can which they sell at the highest price they can get. However, we should bear in mind that if the motor car industry was to leave Australia, Australian workers would be out of employment. The way in which the Opposition denigrated Australian production would make wonderful ammunition for overseas companies to promote their cars against the Australian product. I think there are ways and means of pointing out to companies various faults rather than washing these matters completely in public to the extent which has been done tonight.

Comment was passed about the Ford car. It was said that this was an expensive car which is not even capable of keeping the rain out. The reason that the transport drivers went out on strike was that when the window of the cars they were driving were let down the weather was let in. lt is true that these cars needed a weather shield. I do not disagree with this; I know that this happens. I know that this was pointed out on 2 occasions by a couple of transport drivers. I invited both of these gentlemen to see me or write to me so that I could take up this matter with the Minister for the Interior (Mr Hunt). The next I heard of this matter was that the drivers had gone out on strike. They approached me at the beginning of the last session about this. As I said, the next I heard was when they had gone out on strike. I agree that the cars need weather shields. But I made it clear to the 2 drivers that if they came to see me I would take this matter up with the Minister. However, unfortunately this did not happen.

That is all I want to say because one could speak for some time on this matter. However, I find it surprising tonight during the course of debate that some members of the Opposition have gone to extremes in denigrating an Australian product which is of such good value to us, not only on a dollar and cents basis but also for the livelihood of so many Australian workers. I hope that in the future we will go out and promote our products, not denigrate them.







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