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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2349

Mr HURFORD (Adelaide) - I will not detain the Committee for long, but there are a couple of extra points to which I would like to draw the attention of the Parliament at this stage. Are we dinkum about keeping Australian resources in our hands or are we not? The fact is that the Australian Labor Party that now governs went to the people with such a proposition not so much to buy back Australia, which we heard a lot about, but at least to attempt to buy a proportion of the increasing investment in Australia. We need some overseas investment. Technology will be coming in. But at the same time we want to harness as much savings within Australia as possible so that the resources of this country are kept in Australian hands. It is the future investment that I am particularly interested in, at the same time attempting to buy back some of the sales that have taken place, with all that that means - and I need not go into that.

The clause we are discussing contains a proposition to harness the funds in order to do that. Here we have the Opposition showing its true colours in opposing this attempt. It does not put up anything as an alternative to what we are suggesting. Admittedly in the second reading debate the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch) went a stage further than Opposition members have previously and laid down some guidelines in the matter of Australian management and a few things like that, but I suggest that they were pretty nebulous. They did not come to the kernel of what we are attempting to do here - raise the funds, harness the funds within Australia to take the place of the overseas funds which have been bringing about so much that we do not want to continue. The debate on this Bill shows up that one opportunity we have of tapping an important area where the smaller man can invest in his own country. We had a year or two ago - many members will remember this - the proposition of the present Minister for Immigration (Mr Grassby) and the present Minister for Health (Dr Everingham) to attempt to raise funds to buy a portion of the Simpson Desert. The way the small amounts flowed into their offices at that time showed that the small man in this country has a great deal of interest in buying a part of his own country. The endowment insurance and public retirement fund provisions of this legislation will be a means of harnessing the funds of the smaller man to do just this.

We have heard the right honourable member for Lowe (Mr McMahon) in particular talk about nationalisation and what this legislation can do in that area. I must tell him, if he does not already know it, that an appropriation would have to be made and brought to this House in order to harness funds in that way in our country for the Government to invest on behalf of the people in any enterprise. There will be plenty of future occasions when he can debate whether that is right or wrong. In this legislation we are attempting to raise funds voluntarily from the little men of this country in order to buy part of their heritage, part of the resources of this country. That is what we are attempting to do and I support it wholeheartedly.

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