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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2694

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Davidson (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Order! There are too many interjections. Senator Jessop, will you address the Chair?

Senator JESSOP - Mr Temporary Chairman,I beg your pardon. I bow to your ruling. I cannot help but be provoked from the Government benches by my friend Senator Milliner. I know he does it deliberately and I excuse him for that. He also has a guilty conscience because I am sure he feels some compassion for councils which are contemplating dismissing employees. A council in Western Australia, about which I know on good authority, is contemplating dismissing 100 employees in about 8 weeks time if it does not realise its borrowings. The Government has created this problem for local government. All we are suggesting is that the Government should wake up to itself and do something about the economy. It should forget the hoo haa that honourable senators have been talking with respect to imported inflation. We suggest that the Government continue its policy of adopting what Mr Snedden has been proposing for the last 22 months. We are glad that the Government has done this but we do not believe that it has gone far enough.

Although we endorse the measures which the Government has put forward in this Bill we suggest that they are insufficient. We recognise that local government authorities have been forced to increase their rates by between 30 per cent and 35 per cent. Some councils in South Australia have had to raise their rates in excess of that percentage. In South Australia we are worried about the fact that water rates will rise by up to 300 per cent due to the incompetence of the Federal Government. As far as we on this side of the chamber are concerned, we endorse the substance of this Bill. But we reprimand the Government for its inadequacy and its incompetence in controlling the economy of Australia.

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