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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4432

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Corbett (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - Order! The point of order is upheld. I ask the honourable member for Sturt to refer to the Prime Minister as the right honourable the Prime Minister.

Mr FOSTER - I was merely quoting the Press reports. I was not being disrespectful to the right honourable gentleman. Let me also say, regarding the position with reports in this House, that it is just a non-event. There is not one member of this House who can stand up and say in fact, in truth and in logic that we have had presented to this Parliament a report stating that following the Prime Minister's statement to the House a meeting was held to put into effect the proposal now before the House.

Mr Turnbull - I told you about it.

Mr FOSTER - Well, what a big deal! The honourable member for Mallee has told us about it. The Deputy Government Whip says he read it in the 'Murray Rag', so it must be right. That is not good enough for me and 1 am quite certain that I speak for members of the Opposition.

Mr Turnbull - I rise to a point of order. 1 did not say that I read it in the 'Murray Rag'. There is no such newspaper. 1 object to the remark.

Mr FOSTER - I had overlooked the fact that I have not really any proof that the honourable member can read at all, but I have seen him look at a piece of paper when he has been reading speeches in this place. So let us not be hoodwinked. We have seen reports in newspapers, have we not, that this Government said before the last Senate election that it was going to build a string of child minding centres across the metropolitan areas of the Commonwealth. We read this in the newspapers. We did not believe it. It has never come to fruition. So what is wrong in applying that argument on this occasion? The Government has a responsibility to remove the tombstones of unemployment in this country. I do not think there is anything that hurts a person more than to be told, not directly on some occasions by his employer but by finding in his pay envelope a slip that tells him his services are no longer required. I doubt very much whether any honourable member on the Government side has suffered this indignity. There are some very wealthy people on the front bench and they have probably never given this matter any thought.

Another matter I want to refer to is a point made by the honourable member for Kingston (Dr Gun) who said that the Government has given no thought to unemployment relief for those who are unemployed as a result of Government inaction in this field. The Government ought to consider that it does a disservice to the nation. 1 believe and 1 am quite certain that there are older members on the other side who believe that the Government should recognise that it has run its race, it has run its time and it ought to vacate office in the interests of the people of this country generally. Finally [ want to say that there is nothing in the amendment moved by the Opposition which, if there is anything at all contained in the measure-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

MrO'KEEFE (Paterson)- I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr O'KEEFE - Yes. During the course of the address by the honourable member for Sturt (Mr Foster) he mentioned that the colliery in my electorate known as Liddell had closed and that I had previously denied this. The Liddell Colliery some 2 or 3 months ago had a disastrous fire and it closed down, but I am happy to announce that a new colliery will be opened in January and will employ 150 miners.

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