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Wednesday, 21 September 1983
Page: 1053

Mr HODGMAN(11.13) —Having myself served in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve and having kept in regular contact with the reserves I can assure the House that the tax slug on reserves' pay, together with the major cutback in training days, has absolutely devastated the morale of reservists right around Australia. The cutback in training days in itself is a vote of no confidence in the worth of the reserves by this socialist Hawke Government. Reserve training days in some parts of Australia petered out in April and May and were not resumed till late July. In other words, for more than two months this year training days were abandoned in some parts of Australia. What a way to treat the reserves. What a way to treat the defence of Australia. Is there any truth in the rumour that the Hawke Government is now going to give the Department of Defence its own new flag and that that flag will be all white? Prior to the Federal election we clearly and forcibly warned the people of Australia what would happen to the defence of this nation if the Australian Labor Party came to power. The combination of the Hawke Government's stance on foreign affairs and its attitude to the defence of Australia is a monumental disaster and poses a major threat to our national security and to the protection of our Australian way of life.

In the area of immigration and ethnic affairs, which is my shadow ministerial portfolio responsibility, I can only say that the policies of the Hawke socialist Government are bad news for Australia. The once bi-partisan approach to immigration and ethnic affairs is now shattered as, under the initiatives of the Hawke Government, immigration policies have taken a major, and a dangerous turn, to the left. Urged on by the idealogically committed Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West)-the darling of the socialist Left in New South Wales and the only socialist Left Minister in the inner Cabinet-we have seen a major change in direction which will be unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of Australians. I have dealt in detail with this socialist Government's new policy directions in immigration and ethnic affairs in another speech which was delivered recently in a debate in this Parliament on a matter of public importance.

Suffice it to say here and now that I am concerned about the Minister's commitment to increase substantially the number of refugees coming into Australia from Central America and South America. If they are genuine-and I repeat 'genuine' refugees-that is fair enough. But if they are something else we will be importing into this country major problems which will tick away as a time bomb threatening our Australian way of life. Under the Hawke Government's policies deportation will now virtually become a thing of the past. People such as Professor Hidaka will have open access to this country and people such as Mr Brett Collins will be told they can stay here till their dying day. Gangsters, drug traffickers and organised crime bosses will sleep well at night knowing that they will not be deported from Australia under the present socialist regime . On the other side of the coin, ministerial discretion becomes a thing of the past as far as people in Australia on visas wishing to--

Mr Holding —Madam Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order.

Mr HODGMAN —Why are you interrupting?

Mr Holding —Madam Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order which I will explain to the honourable gentleman. The honourable gentleman has referred to points he has already made in the House and in another debate. The point of order that I am making is that the issues in that debate were resolved by resolution of the House and by a decision of the House. What the honourable gentleman is now doing in his speech is reflecting on a decision of the House. He is therefore out of order.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Child) —There is no point of order.

Mr HODGMAN —The pro-communist Left will not silence me in this place or elsewhere. On the other side of the coin, ministerial discretion becomes a thing of the past as far as people in Australia on visas wishing to transfer to permanent resident status are concerned. Pre-election promises as to the size of the migration intake have been cast aside. Ethnic communities who were wooed before the election have now been spurned and let down. Overall, a major electoral backlash is building up against the Hawke Government's policies on immigration and ethnic affairs.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this socialist Government is also totally committed to the destruction of Federalism in Australia. The Prime Minister has on a number of occasions made derogatory remarks about the States and the need for State governments in Australia today. The Australian Labor Party knows only too well that a strong federal system will present a bulwark against the implementation of its socialist policies. Therefore, this socialist Government is determined to strike down our federal system, to destroy the States and to centralise power in Canberra. These blatant political objectives were starkly revealed, when, in the first days of its election to power, the Hawke Government effectively declared war on Australia's smallest State--

Mr Goodluck —Tasmania.

Mr HODGMAN —My home State of Tasmania, as that good Tasmanian, the honourable member for Franklin, interjects. The implications of the High Court decision in the Tasmanian dam case are horrific to all those who believe in and support the federal system of government in Australia. Out of that majority decision-a watershed in Australian constitutional law-we now find an extended interpretation of the external affairs power under section 51 (xxix) which effectively gives the Commonwealth, and this socialist Government, a blank cheque to alter drastically forever the traditional balance of power in Australia. It gives to Canberra a large stick with which to beat the States into submission and, ultimately, into extinction. Notwithstanding the pious claims that these powers will not be abused by the present Government, the fact is that they now have within their grasp the power to destroy the federal system forever . I believe that those who are committed to the federation must now fight back. I commend the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Peacock) and Liberal Party of Australia and National Party of Australia leaders from all around Australia on their firm commitment to defend and protect the federal system. I further believe that upon our return to power legislative action, including the possibility of a referendum, must be implemented to protect and uphold the federal system-thought to be guaranteed in our Constitution-for if it is destroyed the people of Australia will be the losers.

Whilst on the subject of the Hawke Government's action leading to the halting of the Gordon-below-Franklin power development scheme in defiance of the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Tasmanians, democratically expressed on at least three occasions--

Mr Holding —Don't you believe in accepting the referee's decision?

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The Minister will cease interjecting.

Mr HODGMAN —Socialist interjector. I draw again to the attention of the House and the people of Australia the shameful fact that to date the Hawke Government has failed to pay 1c in compensation to the State of Tasmania, nor has it provided one single job for the 377 workers who have been displaced in their employment as a result of the actions of the Australian Labor Party. I say 'the Australian Labor Party' advisedly because it was not just the Hawke Government which perpetrated this outrage against Tasmania. The ALP in Tasmania adopted a supine and acquiescent approach to the plans of the Federal ALP to intrude into Tasmanian internal affairs. The ALP was sucked in by the greenies, the trendies and the lefties, whose real commitment is not to the protection of the environment but to the prevention of development and progress wherever it arises . If the State Leader of the Opposition had shown a bit more guts and courage in the early stages of this debate--

Mr Goodluck —Has he got any?

Mr HODGMAN —I do not think so-Prime Minister Hawke and his socialist colleagues would never have commenced their action in the High Court of Australia to prevent the building of the Gordon below Franklin power development scheme. In short, if Mr Wriedt and his State ALP colleagues had stood up for Tasmania and for Tasmania's right to determine its future, instead of currying favour with the ALP party bosses in Canberra, Tasmania and the federal system would not have been victims of a litigious onslaught unparalleled in the history of this nation . It is because of the actions of the ALP, both nationally and in Tasmania, that the most recent gallup poll shows federal voting intentions in Tasmania at present to be as follows: ALP, a miserable 39 per cent; the Liberal Party, a magnificent 57 per cent. It will be many years before the ALP wins a federal seat in Tasmania, and it will be, thank heavens, many years before the Labor Party in Tasmania again resumes the treasury bench in our State.

So there it is, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Hawke socialist Budget-a disaster for Australians, and a disaster for Australia. This depth-charge, delayed-shock, Budget will, in the fullness of time, do more to put our nation on the brink of bankruptcy than even the Whitlam Government at its worst ever did. The people of Australia are starting to wake up to this Prime Minister, this self-styled president of an Australian republic, this dictatorial little Caesar, this imposter and usurper.

As many would know, I am just a quiet country boy lost in a big city. But I am not much impressed by this public breast-beating about being a re- formed alcoholic and a retired boudoir bandicoot. Slick theatrical performances and the ability to con, the capacity to juggle the truth--

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Child) —Order! I ask the honourable member to withdraw the former remark that he made about the Prime Minister.

Mr HODGMAN —Which one-'reformed alcoholic' or 'retired boudoir bandicoot'?

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Will the honourable member withdraw those words, please.

Mr HODGMAN —I withdraw whichever you ask me to withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker. Slick theatrical performances and the ability to con, the capacity to juggle the truth, to tell lies and to misrepresent the facts, do not impress me--

Mr Holding —I raise a point of order. The honourable member is--

Mr HODGMAN —The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Holding) is a socialist, and he is trying to silence me.

Mr Holding —You are a disgrace to the Parliament and to the people of Tasmania. You are deliberately abusing the Standing Orders, and you know it.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The Minister will resume his seat. The honourable member for Denison will withdraw his last remarks.

Mr HODGMAN —I withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker. Slick theatrical performances and the ability to con, and all these matters, do not impress me or the overwhelming majority of Australians. We see before us a charlatan, a usurper of power--

Mr Holding —I raise a point of order.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

Mr Holding —I raise a point of order.

Mr Hodgman —The Minister has deliberately prevented me--

Mr Holding —I have stopped you--

Mr Hodgman —You are the voice of the Soviet Union. You ought to go back to the Soviet Embassy.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —The honourable member's time has expired. Please resume your seat.

Mr Holding —I ask the honourable member, Madam Deputy Speaker, to withdraw that statement.

Mr Hodgman —You ought to go back to the Soviet Embassy.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —The honourable gentleman will please withdraw that remark.

Mr Hodgman —I will withdraw.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Thank you. Please resume your seat.

Mr Holding —Thank you very much.