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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4431

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Luchetti (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Order! The honourable member will speak through the Chair.

Mr FOSTER - Mr Deputy Speaker,I challenge the Prime Minister not to scurry into a long recess, as has been the custom of the Parliament and as he did at the end of the autumn session, and leave the problems that he is leaving to the nation today. What plan does the Prime Minister have to arrest ' unemployment, outside of a piece of paper such as his statement? What plan has the Prime Minister for the rural reconstruction employment training scheme introduced into this House by the Minister for Labour and National Service on 10th September this year but which was withdrawn because he refused to circulate details shortly after he presented it. There the matter has rested. Not one word has been said about this document that was presented to this House on 10th September. The Prime Minister does not want to discuss it. What he and his Party want to do is to wait for somebody to come along with an industrial situation on which they think they can divide the nation. The Government should be cursed for it, if I may use that term.

I have just been handed some advice which 1 am prepared to accept. For the benefit of the honourable member for Paterson. I mention the 2 collieries that have been closed. I understand that the Liddell Colliery is in his electorate. Let him stand in this House now and seek the protection to which he is entitled and say that I was right and that he was wrong. Is it not a fact - I direct my remarks through you. Mr Deputy Speaker, to the honourable member for Paterson - that the collieries have in fact closed? I repeat the allegation that I made before. The honourable member called his own Premier a liar. The Premier of South Australia is more than concerned. Did he not make some representations to the national Parliament suggesting ways to get the country back on an economic footing? Have his proposals not been ignored? The honourable member for Angas the other week used the procedures of this House for a cheap political trick in seeking to have the wine excise removed? He ought to be condemned for that for ever and a day.

Mr Giles - Mr Deputy Speaker, with great respect might I remind the honourable member through you that we are debating a statement. It is not an overall debate on the state of the economy or the state of the electorate of Sturt.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Sturt will proceed.

Mr FOSTER - Let the Prime Minister, the Government and the Cabinet continue to sit in this place and draw up a plan of progress, a plan for the future and a plan to return the people to industry. Let the Prime Minister knock off the high interest rates that he has imposed in both this Budget and the Budget of last year. Let him no longer come into this House as he does- with catch phrases from time to time. What plan has any one of the 3 Ministers - I understand none of them has been sacked recently - who are sitting in this House at the moment?

Mr Giles - What about your amendment?

Mr FOSTER - I thank you. I come to the amendment. Why does the Government want to oppose the amendment? Is it because it does not want anything done before Christmas? What does the amendment say? We are saying in the amendment that a person in the city who is unemployed has a damned equal right in this country, as he should have. Does the honourable member for Angas realise that the figure he gave for the high percentage of unemployed for the metropolitan area of Adelaide is brought about by the fact that people have flocked to the metropolitan area because their positions in the country have become redundant? So the honourable member has denied his own people that the Government has sacked. The people who have moved into the metropolitan area are being denied their right. What else do we say in our amendment? The amendment urges the Government to initiate immediate discussion. Why not?

Mr Turnbull - That happened yesterday.

Mr FOSTER - Let me finish. Let me say this to you: I as a member of this national Parliament have heard no statement made, even by the Minister for Customs and Excise (Mr Chipp), who is sitting at the table-

Mr Giles - Read the newspapers.

Mr FOSTER - 1 am not looking at the newspaper. Mr Deputy Speaker, let me say this to honourable members opposite whom you have not called into line for interjecting: There has been no announcement in this House of any meeting yesterday with anyone from any level in the States dealing with the matter contained in the statement that is now before the House. I am told that we can read about these things in the 'Daily Mirror'. I can read in the daily papers also some things that have been said about the Prime Minister. If I wanted to do so 1 could pick out one from amongst all the gear I have here. Here is one which says: 'You'll be all right'. The 'Australian' sets out what ought to be done as far as the leadership of the nation is concerned. A Melbourne newspaper talks about Billy McMahon having big ears, short arms and big pockets. But I do not want to do this.

Mr Turnbull - I take a point of order. I object to the Prime Minister being called Billy McMahon'. The honourable member should say 'the right honourable the Prime Minister'. It shows how much he has to learn about politics.

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