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Tuesday, 28 August 1973
Page: 479

Mr DOYLE (Lilley) - (Quorum formed) - I rise to oppose the amendment put forward by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden). I have not known the Leader for the Opposition for very long. 1 met him only after I came to this place. I have no doubt that he has certain qualities, but I must confess that until this evening I did not realise that he was such a comedian. He even succeeded in making members of his own Party laugh and that is the first time some of them have laughed since 2 December last year. The Leader of the Opposition would have to be joking, of course, with some of the statements he made here this evening. As I have some knowledge of what is occuring in Queensland it is easy for me to understand the attitude of the Leader of the Liberal Party. I feel that he has a definite fear of the Country Party's activities in Queensland and perhaps he has good reason to feel this way. The Democratic Labor Party in Queensland - in Brisbane anyway - is distributing a paper called "The Democrat'. In an edition that was made available to me is reference to the size of the new party - this will be the party when the Country Party and the DLP amalgamate - and it appears that if the percentage of votes is considered in Queensland it will have 30.4 per cent of the vote against the Liberal Party's 25.4 per cent of the vote. No doubt the Leader of the Opposition has read this paper. A passage from this document put out by the DLP, the party that will amalgamate with the Country Party in Queensland, states:

Doug Anthony as leader of the new Party would have increased influence over the Liberals because the new Party vote (i.e. the Democratic Labor Party in 1972) had decided 23 of the 38 Liberal seats in the House of Representatives including half of the 'Shadow Cabinet' (Snedden, Lynch, Fraser, Chipp, Bowen and Killen).

The party is, in effect, nominating the people which it believes Mr Anthony, as Leader of the Country Party, will be able to influence in the Liberal Party.

Mr Hewson - What has this to do with the Budget?

Mr DOYLE - It has a lot to do with it. The Leader of the Opposition this evening made remarks which seemed to be levelled at pandering to the Country Party and to the country voter. I mentioned earlier that the Leader of the Opposition made some rather comical statements. But this is the man - the Leader of the Opposition here this evening - who, as Treasurer in the last Liberal-Country Party Government, foisted upon the people of Australia the highest level of unemployment since the Depression days. He is the same gentleman who told this House and the people of Australia, through the medium of this House, just how bad is the Labor Budget. His cure for inflation appears to be to refuse wage increases for workers but to allow the profiteers and plunderers in the community to press on touching the pockets of the people of Australia.

This evening, in many respects, the Leader of the Opposition made the same kind of speech as he made in August 1972. At that time he blamed wage increases for inflation. His Government - of which he was Treasurer, let, us not forget - had the opportunity to halt inflation but his cure was to take jobs from Australian workers and to deprive their families of a decent living standard. Because of engineered unemployment during the term of the last Liberal-Country Party Government, and the Leader of the Opposition's efforts as Treasurer, misery was brought to about half a million Australian workers and the families which they had to keep. The rate of unemployment benefit was below the payment rate made to pensioners. I am certain that the rate of payment to widows, who were put into categories and discriminated against, was far too low. This Labor Government has corrected this situation.

It was the Leader of the Opposition, this financial wizard, who was responsible for a deficit of $709m and a domestic deficit of $215m in the last Budget which, of course, was $22m and $53m respectively more than the estimate of the Labor Government for 1973-74. I hope I have not upset the Leader of the Opposition by reminding the people of Australia of his performance as Treasurer. 1 now pay the Leader of the Opposition a compliment. Some people may have thought of him as a dead loss as a Treasurer but he was, in fact, a prophet. In the last paragraph of his 1972 Budget speech as Treasurer he said:

This Budget serves the nation's larger purposes. There are, of course, challenges ahead as well as rewards. This is always so. But anyone who looks around this country - especially if he recalls it 20 years ago - will see why we have cause to read the future with confidence.

That was a wonderful prophecy. The honourable member for Henty (Mr Fox) reiterated almost word for word the speech of the Leader of the Opposition. The honourable member for Henty referred to a shortage of tradesmen at the Broken Hill Company Pty Ltd. Of course, what he forgot to mention was that under the policies of the previous Government, of which he was a member, that company did not employ trade apprentices. This is one of the reasons for the shortage of tradesmen today.

The Budget speech delivered by the Treasurer (Mr Crean) last week, contains an abundance of sound ingredients which are necessary if we are to build a better Australia for this and future generations. For the first time in almost a quarter of a century a determined effort has been made by the Federal Government to properly plan the economy and to set guidelines for a master plan which will achieve improvement in living standards, remove fear of the future for those in needy circumstances and provide the assurance that equality will become a reality. I congratulate the Treasurer on the sterling job he has done as the architect of this plan. There is no doubt that he has won the admiration and gratitude of those who have an interest in education and those in receipt of pensions. (Quorum formed) The Treasurer has won the admiration of the majority of Australians. The 1973 Budget has brought an abrupt end to the stop-go, boom-bust policies of successive Liberal-Country Party governments which have plagued Australia for the past 24 years.

The usual anti-Labor propaganda has been evident in some quarters and the Premier of

Queensland is following his usual practice of attacking Labor Party endeavours made on behalf of the nation and its people. But the people of Queensland should realise that payments to be made to that State by the Federal Government - I hope the Country Party is listening because it is very vocal in its attitudes to the actions of this Government - will represent a record allocation of funds and should bring great benefits to that State despite the fact that it has a backward State government currently in office. Undoubtedly the conservatives in Queensland will be able to introduce some change through the efforts of the Federal Labor Government, and will want to take all the credit for the benefit that can be brought to Queensland. I point out also, after listening to Opposition members attack the Budget this evening, that the McMahon Government in 1972 made provision for an estimated amount of $436,440,000 to be allocated to Queensland as compared to the estimate of $591,445,000 by this Government. This represents an increase of $145m to Queensland or over 30 per cent more. Labor's generosity to the State will mean that Queensland will benefit. It is interesting to note that Queensland will receive more than twice the amount granted by the Gorton Government for the year 1969-70. So if the Labor Government today has not brought down a good Budget in 1973 there must be much criticism levelled at the endeavours of the previous Liberal Party-Country Party Government in Australia.

The 1973 Budget makes provision for the greatest financial assistance in the history of this nation in the extremely important field of education. The 2 Liberal Party speakers who preceded the Labor speakers in this debate did not say a word about education. The Leader of the Opposition, in attacking Labor's Budget, indicated opposition to the provision of additional finance for education. Education has been given top priority by the Government and $843m is to be provided in 1973-74, representing an increase of $404m or 92 per cent on last year. There was not one word said by the Opposition Parties about this important reform. This allocation of funds to education makes me particularly happy because it kills the claim made by Labor's opponents prior to the 1972 Federal election that Labor Government would eliminate aid to private schools and that our education promises prior to the election would be broken.

Just before the 1972 election, in my electorate of Lilley a vicious campaign was waged by the National Civic Council, the Democratic Labor Party, the Liberals and pseudoLiberals - cum-DLP-supporters who stooped to every undesirable tactic to instil fear into the minds of people about the future education of their children. This misleading campaign of hate carried out by individuals who spread fear and distrust was waged in vain and this Budget throws back to them the attempts they made to besmirch the character of Labor men and the good intentions of a Labor Government.

Let me indicate to the people of Lilley what has occurred in the electorate where a great deal of this pre-election false propaganda had its infamous beginning. State schools will receive a share of the massive amount of funds the Federal Government is making available in the greatest injection of Federal finance in the history of the nation. In addition, every private school in Lilley - this will occur almost throughout Australia - with one exception will receive substantial increases in grants from the Federal Government. This must be of great benefit to students, to parents, to the schools and to the whole education structure. It must hurt the fearmongers who, with an attitude of ill will, spread their gospel of fear prior to the 1972 Federal elections.

I am very pleased to be a member of a government that will enable boys and girls not only in my electorate but also throughout the length and breadth of this land attending universities, colleges of advanced education, State teachers colleges and other approved teachers colleges and technical colleges, to benefit because of the Federal Government's action in assuming financial responsibility for education and also in the abolition of fees.

The increase in pensions of $1.50 a week is another important step taken by the Government to assist pensioners and to raise the standard of living. If it were not so sad it would be rather amusing to hear members of the Opposition talk about the treatment of pensioners because for too many years under successive Liberal Party-Country Party governments the plight of pensioners was made a political football. On the eve of each election we found that the government could find finance to make available to pensioners 50c or $1 or whatever it might have been, and after the election of course the then govern ment forgot all about its responsibility to these people. While a greater increase would have been welcomed, there is a firm undertaking by the Government to further improve pension payments in accordance with Labor's plans to relate the pension to the average wage. Through Labor's plan an end has been brought to the disgusting and degrading action of previous governments whereby pension handouts were used as bait for an election and pensioners and their plight were made political footballs.

I was pleased to hear the Treasurer refer to the setting up of land commissions designed to provide Australian families with land; at fair prices. I have no doubt that statements by the Treasurer relating to housing are welcomed by low income families, young couples and other persons purchasing a home. The previous Government's poor performance in the housing field had resulted in a national crisis developing in that area. There will be overwhelming support for the introduction of the scheme of tax deductibility of mortgage interest as promised in Labor's policy speech. This scheme will assist persons purchasing a home. I certainly welcome this announcement together with the moves to ensure that land is provided at a fair price.

I am particularly concerned about the rise in the price of land and I had hoped this evening to be able to report to this Parliament on investigations that I have made in my State concerning the spiralling land costs but I notice by the clock that I will not have time to deal with this. But as a future date I shall reveal to the Parliament particulars of an investigation I made of a land redeveloper's activities in Brisbane. I will show that much of the increase in the cost of housing can be attributed to the cost of land. If we analyse this as I hope I will be able to do on a future occasion, we will find that the claims being made by our opponents concerning the increase in wages or wage increase pressures, have very little at all to do with the increase in land prices.

I shall conclude on that note, again congratulating the Treasurer for leading Australia on a path to true progress and prosperity. I know that it is very difficult for our opponents, after 23 years in office when they did very little to lift the standards of the people generally, to realise that a Labor government is bringing true reform which will benefit this nation and its people. If honourable members opposite are patient, because I sincerely believe they will have plenty of time to see future Labor budgets introduced, they will see reforms introduced in Australia which they might not like but which will assist the ordinary people. If we have to choose whether we pay a few cents extra on a pack of cigarettes or a gallon of petrol, against an improvement in the education of the children of this country, the lifting of the standard of living of our pensioners and making a better country for everybody, I will choose the course that has been taken by this Government.

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