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Wednesday, 18 March 1987
Page: 1086

Mr CADMAN(7.27) —I draw to the attention of the House two letters received by a dear friend of mine who is a pensioner and a delightful person. There was an appeal from the Australian Labor Party National Secretary, Bob McMullan, and a letter signed by Bob Hawke, Prime Minister of Australia. It is a fascinating appeal. Firstly, the letter from the Prime Minister is addressed ``Dear Friend''. This dear lady was not really impressed by being addressed in that manner by the Prime Minister, the man who delayed her pension at Christmas time. She said that he has an impertinence to address her as `Dear Friend', but he goes on. He uses five points to prove why this pensioner lady should make a donation to the Labor Party. The first point is the creation of more than 590,000 jobs. As she pointed out to me, over a third of those were paid for by the taxes that she has to pay. She is a part pensioner and pays some tax. The interesting thing, as she pointed out to me, is that Bob Hawke, Prime Minister, is talking about all the jobs that he has created but Bob McMullan indicates that there are even more jobs than Bob Hawke thought; over 600,000 jobs being created-just a slight inconsistency.

The second point of this appeal letter concerned the prices and incomes accord and the fact there there is less industrial unrest, because the union movement has captured the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Labor Party does whatever is requested of it by the union movement. She pointed out the third point about Medicare and the introduction of a fair, equitable and universal health care system. She says it is impossible in the local area for pensioners to have elective surgery for hip or knee replacements. She said that she does not think Medicare is fair, equitable or universal because it means that if one is half dead, can get to a hospital in time and can wait long enough one will eventually get some treatment. The fourth point with which the Prime Minister sought to attract her money was the increased level of social security assistance. This pensioner lady from whom the Prime Minister was trying to get a donation rightly pointed out that her pension had been delayed at Christmas time. She was not impressed by that either.

The final point mentioned in the letter was increased opportunities for young people. The training program is a failure, Austudy has real problems and Priority One was a dead loss. But the Prime Minister says that this is only a beginning. If it is only a beginning I do not know what sort of a shambles the Prime Minister will have this country in by the time he finishes. This letter deals with five points which are supposed to be the selling points of the Australian Labor Party-none of them believed by the Australian community-and then promises more of the same thing. It is not exactly the best wording for a letter to draw money from a lady pensioner. The attachment to the letter states:

Yes, Bob--

referring to Bob McMullan--

I want to support the ALP III Term Fund.

It goes on to state: `I realise how much the Australian Labor Party has done and I want to change this'. The wording is a bit ambiguous because it could lead one to think that if one made a donation one could actually change the Government, which is what most of Australia wants to do. I suggest that before the Government designs another letter of this type it should check the wording because it is ambiguous and ambitious.

McMullan's letter is interesting in that it deals with left wing issues rather than right wing issues, which is quite different from the approach adopted by the Prime Minister. McMullan's letter deals with the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone; a more equitable taxation system which is imposing a fabulously difficult burden on the Australian community; the deal with the union movement on superannuation-of course, the lump sum tax on superannuation must be part of that; the campaign against privatisation; Medicare; affirmative action; and all this left wing rubbish that is thought by McMullan to appeal to a lady pensioner. I would like to advise the minders of the ALP that they have been completely unsuccessful in this instance.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Leo McLeay) -Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 7.32 p.m.