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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1610

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Minister for Labour. Will the Minister inform the House what relief measures are proposed for the unemployed in rural areas for the period between the end of the present scheme which finishes this week and the implementation of the proposed new scheme? Does he realise that people are now being discharged, that hundreds of people are being affected and that the jobs of 8,000 people are at risk at the moment? Is this not a very cruel and inhumane way for a Labor government to be behaving? What steps should local government bodies take to ensure continued employment for those who are at present on relief? Finally, should these local government authorities continue to apply to State government authorities for assistance or is it his intention that they should apply directly' to him? This is the question I asked yesterday. I hope I can get a reply today because so many people are daily being discharged from their jobs.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I do not know why the right honourable gentleman grimaces as he does when he asks a question. I do not know whether he thinks it makes it look more penetrating, but he ought to try to look more pleasant if he wants to get a pleasant reply. In spite of the aggressive and almost insulting way in which the right honourable gentleman asked the question I can tell him that the Prime Minister called me into his office only last night to talk about this matter. He expressed his deep concern about the plight of people in certain pockets - not a lot - of unemployment throughout the countryside. He has expressed special concern, for example, for the position of people in Tasmania -

Mr Hunt - Gunnedah?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - He is concerned with all areas of distress. He has asked me to prepare another submission to Cabinet. That is now in the course of preparation and it will be ready very shortly. It will provide a scheme which will give proper and adequate protection to those who are in this distressed position. The scheme which the Government introduced for unemployment relief was a very poorly thought out scheme.

Mr Whitlam - The McMahon Government.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The McMahon Government, yes, I am sorry.

Mr McMahon - You did mean the present Government when you said 'the Government'?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The right honourable gentleman ought to know that the scheme that is now in operation was not introduced by this Government. It was introduced by his Government and it was a very poorly conceived scheme. It was so poor that when I asked Cabinet to continue it for another 6 months it rejected it out of hand. I think it was absolutely right. Cabinet Minister after Cabinet Minister drew my attention to gross anomalies in the present scheme and told me that I ought not simply ask it to continue a scheme that was so inadequate. In its place I will be bringing down fresh recommendations which will take care of all the points -

Mr Katter - When?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That is my business, Sir.

Mr Katter - It is not only your business. It is our business - the people who are representing the many unemployed.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - You are carrying on as though you are a member of Al Fatah. You are not going to frighten me with your threats.

Mr McMahon - I ask him to withdraw that. It is insulting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The House will come to order. When honourable members or

Ministers are referring to members or Ministers they must refer to them by the name of their electorate or the portfolio which they administer.

Mr Anthony - I raise a point of order. I am not going to tolerate that remark by the Minister for Labour about a colleague of mine. I ask that he withdraw it and apologise.

Mr SPEAKER - There was so much noise coming from both sides of the House thatI did not hear what the honourable member said.

Mr Anthony - You are the only one.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I did not hear what the honourable member said because of the noise in the chamber at the time so I do not know what the interjection was. However, if it was offensive to the honourable member, I ask the Minister to withdraw.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What I said was that the honourable member for Kennedy was behaving like a member of Al Fatah.

Mr Anthony - Are you going to withdraw it?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Just calm yourself. You are a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council; try to behave like one.

Mr Katter - That man over there got us thousands of votes in Parramatta.

Mr SPEAKER - Order!

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Try to control yourself.

Mr Katter - I will not.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The Minister for Labour will withdraw the remark.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I must have silence when I am speaking. Of course, if the remark -

Mr Katter - You are a racist. You are a party to racism; let that be clear. Let the hypocrites come out and show their colours.

Mr SPEAKER - Order!

Mr Katter - They are a pack of hypocrites - a pack of hypocrites and liars.

Mr Snedden - Mr Speaker,this has gone on long enough. Will the Minister for Labour withdraw and let the episode be finished?

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I think that the Minister for Labour might withdraw the remark and that the honourable member for Kennedy should remain quiet while the Minister does so.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Now that order has been restored, I do withdraw, if the honourable member feels offended by what I said. I think he would be the only person in the chamber who would be offended.

Mr Katter - Do not qualify it; withdraw it or get out!

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I do withdraw it and I wind up by saying as I said yesterday that when my recommendation to Cabinet is considered, I am certain that the Cabinet will find it very difficult to reject.

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