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Wednesday, 3 May 1961

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Monaro) (1:31 AM) . - The speech just delivered by the honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull) was most revealing. I think it ought to be placarded at the next election. With the innocent candour that is typical of him, he has uttered the greatest condemnation of this Government that I have heard during my term in this Parliament. He has declared that the country districts are suffering from severe injustices and from a lack of amenities and facilities which v/ill not be remedied until country electorates are created with far fewer voters than city electorates, so that the country representation will be so much enlarged as to be able to compel governments to do justice to the country districts. In other words, he is saying that the present Government is not doing justice to the country districts - something which the Labour Party has been contending for a very long time.

Mr Cleaver - Are not you twisting his words?

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Not at all. He is saying, in effect, that the Country Party is supinely agreeing to this injustice to country districts.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I point out to the honorable member for Eden-Monaro that he is getting a little away from the question before the committee. I explained to the honorable member for Mallee that decentralization could be mentioned to illustrate the point he was making with regard to percentages above and below the quota. This is not a debate on decentralization or amenities in country districts.

Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am dealing solely with the question of representation of electorates. The final point I make is that the Country Party, which holds the balance of power in this Parliament, already has sufficient members here to enable it to require the Government to carry out any policies which it considers necessary for the benefit of the country areas. Therefore, the whole point of the speech just made by the honorable member for Mallee is that the Country Party is completely ineffective and unwilling to do the task which it came into this Parliament to do.

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