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Thursday, 28 November 1974
Page: 2992

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - What odds if they are identically worded? There is nothing wrong with 12 or 14 telegrams coming from Thursday Island or from Bamaga. They are the centres and the settlements are all around them. They have to come through there. In the past we have had lots of telegrams on different matters from different organisations sent to members of Parliament as spontaneous protests. There has not been objection to that sort of thing in the past. I advised the Minister before that I thought he was getting wrong advice when he was seeing people in Queensland. I told him that he was going to the wrong people. But I did not realise until he went up there the time before -

Senator Keeffe - What date was that?

Senator Poyser - When was that?

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - It was the date of the Weipa meeting when the people who came down to hear him were each paid $20 to come to the meeting.

Senator Rae - That is the way to get an audience.

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - That is the way to get an audience. I can show to the Minister in writing a copy of the receipts for this money. If you want to get an audience, pay them $20 and you will get one all right. Those are the reasons -

Senator Poyser - What did you pay the Country Party to give you endorsement? You could never have got it on your intelligence.

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - Mr Deputy President,I think that that remark ought to be withdrawn.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Webster)- Order! Senator Poyser will withdraw that remark.

Senator Poyser - I unequivocally withdraw it.

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - Thank you. This matter will be debated when the Bill comes before the senate. The Minister has already had a very unpleasant shock from the reactions of the island communities and the reservation communities which are freely elected by an ordinary democratic vote.

Senator Cavanagh - They are not.

Senator Keeffe - Goodness gracious me. You have not been to Queensland for a couple of years.

Senator LAWRIE (QUEENSLAND) - I beg to differ on that one. I will get some more information and I will bring it forward when we debate the Bill next week or before the Senate rises. That is all I have to say tonight.

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