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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2633


Mr STEELE HALL(9.00) —I do not intend to speak at any length and had not intended to speak at all. However, the honourable member for Port Adelaide ( Mr Young) continually over the last few months and years, in making the case for public funding of elections, has pointed the finger at the Liberal Party and the coalition generally and cried corruption. He has done so from the base that his party is the only party that has so publicly demonstrated its willingness to buy favours from other countries. It was the infamous breakfast with the Iraqi representatives by the then Labor Prime Minister of this country that highlighted that fact.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mrs Child) —Order! The honourable member will direct his remarks to clause 113 and not bring in extraneous matter.


Mr STEELE HALL —Yes, Madam Chair, but the clause is about political funding and gifts for political parties. Honourable members can make their case as they like but it is entirely unfair also for the honourable member for Port Adelaide to speak to the public of Australia as if corruption exists here now. Apart from that one instance, which was so flagrantly spread abroad by the news media of Australia and brought so low the reputation of the Australian Labor Party-as demonstrated thereafter at the polls right through the latter part of the 1970s- Australian governments, and the Australian Parliament, have been among the most remarkably free of corruption in the world. I stand up on behalf of everyone, including the members of the honourable member's own party, and say that this Parliament is to be congratulated on the lack of corruption within it. I do not want anyone who is listening to this broadcast to think that the search for public funding is to correct corruption perceived in this Parliament now, because what he has described does not exist now. He does a disservice to his own members and to the national Parliament of this country and I reject the reasons that he gives.