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Wednesday, 26 September 1973
Page: 1512

Mr SCHOLES (CORIO, VICTORIA) - Is the Minister for Services and Property aware of statements made in this House and in the Senate that persons resident in the Australian mainland Territories are lesser citizens than persons resident in the original States? Is it a fact that both Houses of this Parliament have full jurisdiction to pass laws in respect of both of those Territories yet persons in those Territories have no say in one of the Houses of this Parliament? ls this in line with the principles of democratic practice in modern society? Can the Minister indicate whether he has been able to convince members, especially those people who claim to represent the Northern Territory, that they should be entitled to representation in Parliaments where laws respecting them can be made?

Mr DALY (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Services and Property) - I confirm that what the honourable member says is correct. It is true that the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are represented only in this place yet both Houses pass laws affecting those Territories. As a matter of fact, the honourable member for the Northern Territory in this House gave notice yesterday to disallow a regulation applying to the Territory that he represents. The Australian Labor Party, in accordance with its democratic practices, has endeavoured to remedy this situation by giving representation in both Houses to the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. For once I congratulate the Australian Country Party in this House because its members supported that move, but their colleagues in another place decided to oppose it. Whether they will do that again and whether that acrobatic stunt will prevent democracy being given to these Territories, I am not in a position to know. But I assure the honourable member for Corio that the Labor Party is committed to giving representation to both Territories in both Houses of this Parliament. Legislation to that effect has been introduced, and I hope that common sense and the desire to give in both Houses democratic representation to the Territories will receive the support of honourable members opposite when the legislation is presented again.

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