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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2722

Senator HANNAN (Victoria) - I wish to make a brief reference to clause 8. I do not intend to vote against the clause. Senator Davidson has referred to some significant omissions in the facilities that are to be provided. He has also drawn attention to the significant part which the Albury-Wodonga area has played in the absorption of migrants into the Australian community. I had the privilege of being brought up in the Albury-Wodonga area, and I know the very great role which the migrants are now playing in the city of Albury. A very significant proportion of the population of Albury is migrant or of migrant extraction. Like Senator Davidson, I should like to know whether it is intended to direct- and, of course, the constitutional power of the Commonwealth to direct is somewhat hedged around in matters of this nature- incoming migrants to this Albury-Wodonga area.

Another matter which is only obliquely related to that question concerns the oft-expressed view of this Government in relation to what it calls the quality of life and, the new in-terms of ecology, conservation and many other abstract nouns, the validity of some of which may well be open to question. It may be a little late to raise this matter, but I ask the Minister, in replying, to say whether any inquiries were made about the wishes of the people of Albury. I speak about Albury specifically, although it is just across the border from my own State of Victoria. Have any inquires been made in respect of the wishes of the people of Albury, as to whether they wanted to be part of an enormous complex.

Senator Mulvihill - Mr Hamersaid it was all right.

Senator HANNAN - Mr Hameris the Premier of Victoria. I am talking about Albury, which happens to be in New South Wales. I raise this question not on a political basis but merely as a matter of simple interest. I did my own little gallup poll when in Albury a few months ago and I could not find one local resident who was in favour of turning Albury into this gigantic complex. I realise, of course, that under a socialist administration the wishes of the individual do not count for very much, but I should like the Minister, when replying, to tell us what inquiries were made of the local people- and I do not mean only the local councils. It may be difficult to ascertain the wishes of such a complex community, but it would be a matter of interest to me to know what inquiries were made of the people who live in Albury, as to whether they wanted to become part of this complex.

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