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Tuesday, 27 March 1973
Page: 753

Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no substance in the point of order.

Mr GARLAND - Of course, it has been found that other Ministers have taken over areas, or it has been claimed that they should have areas, which one would have thought that the Minister for Northern Development would have had. What has been left for him to do? It has been said, perhaps a little unkindly of him, that he is the Minister for sugar. That is all that has been left to him - sugar.

Dr Patterson - That is more than you have.

Mr GARLAND - I am sorry. I do not wish to be unkind to the Minister. I think that many of the policies he put forward and his attempts are deserving of support, but what I am pointing out in a list of examples is that this Government has been inadequate and incorrect in what it has put forward, and I think it is wrong that it should have stripped the Minister of so much responsibility. Indeed, the Prime Minister in order really to crush the Minister politically took the whole question to the Australian Labor Party's Federal Executive, a body which is mainly comprised of non-members of Parliament. He moved himself - imagine it - a motion that that body congratulate the Government, of which he is the Prime Minister, on its new minerals policy. How silly can you be? You would think that self-adulation would not have too much part in Australian politics, but of course there was a method in his madness. This was a means of crushing the policies of the Minister for Northern Development, and, needless to say, the Australian Labor Party's Federal Executive passed the motion which the Prime Minister had moved. But of course the Prime Minister did something very wrong in that he introduced a Cabinet dispute into a body outside the Parliament, and that of course is a bad principle for the Australian Parliament.

Another point that has been evident in the Government's conduct has been the appointments it has made to its political friends in the area of the arts. I say deliberately that many of those appointments are pay-offs, and I intend to return in detail to this subject on another occasion. We have seen an example of empire building in the area of the arts - a tremendous growth. We have seen the using of actors employed by the Labor Party in the election at a parliamentary opening as a payoff. We have seen Ministers employ members of their families and give them other perks. I conclude by saying that the time has come for this Government to govern responsibly in the interests of Australia, leaving aside all dramatics, improprieties and evasion. It is the results of policies that are of importance, not the promises and the publicity themselves.

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