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Government shys away from Appropriation Bill defeat



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CANBERRA

5 April 1974

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STATEMENT BY - SENATOR R. G. WITHERS, ^

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE.

The Labor Government’s actions last night in shying away

from the possible defeat of the Appropriation Bills and introducing

Health Bills were the actions of a terrified, dying Government, the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator R. G. Withers, said

today.

Instead of facing the current issues, they are now attempting

to get out of the mire by trying to inject what they hope to be

popular issues," he said. '

They want to give a phoney slant to the issues because they are

afraid of the cold hard facts. ■

"The question arising from this introduction of fresh bills is ■

will the Senate be given its rightful opportunity to amend?

"It seems likely that the Prime Minister will dictate that

anything short of complete acceptance is a failure to pass.

"This would be a travesty of justice."

Senator Withers said the Opposition in the Senate was not

afraid of _any moves, straight or zig-zag that the Government might

make.

"We will confidently face the electors on whatever ground

Mr. Whitlam decides, real or fabricated," he said.

"Everything this Labor Government has done has been a political

disaster.

"This ranges from its useless and baseless foray into the

socialist world, its emasculation of the defence forces, its .

absolute failure to check inflation, its victimisation of primary

industry, its failure to stem industrial unrest, its disastrous policy

of confrontation instead of co-operation with the States, and this

week it has been capped by its wheeling, dealing disastrous "Gair

Affair"·.

Senator Withers said the Labor Government had destroyed its

credibility.

"It has shown itself unequivocably,. unfit to govern," he said.

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