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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2615

Senator CAVANAGH (South Australia) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - in reply- I had a lot of respect and liking for Senator Wood. I took pride in what I thought was his decency. I listened, with some great expectation, to the start of his contribution to this Parliament tonight because he rarely speaks on the motion for the adjournment of the Senate. He started off by attacking the proposed control of urban and regional land prices. Naturally I forgave him because I thought that he was possibly peeved that the repercussions may have caught up with some of his investments. I thought that he may have had some justification in protesting. He concluded his speech by referring to the conduct of Parliament. This was only an attempt to get down as low as possible for the purpose of condemning other politicians, including the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam). Of course the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) is interested in controlling the price of land on the fringes of cities because he wants to make land available for those who want to build homes and to stop land speculation. Surely someone who has a farming property, the value of which has enhanced one hundred fold not because of anything that he has done but because of something that someone else has done- the spread ofthe city has come to the boundary of his land- should not exploit the land hungry public because of that spread. We are not seeking to control the price of land to help the centre of the city dwellers. This is not where the need is urgent. If Mr Whitlam has something to sell and no restriction is placed on the price that he can get for it, like everyone else he will seek to sell it to the highest bidder. Senator Wood, who has just resumed his seat, is renowned for this practice. He does not sell his shares when the market is low; he waits until their value goes up. If it is wrong to engage in this practice, it is because the system makes it possible to do so.

We should be in this campaign to see that we have the power to stop any Whitlams who might want to exploit a property and see that we get the power next Saturday. The only anxiety that the honourable senator had was to condemn the Prime Minister, In doing so he even condemned his own colleagues. Whatever state a member is in- I never reflect upon a man 's state- whether it can be said that the Prime Minister was snarling at the individual or not, it was over and forgotten. Now it is revived so that the public again must listen to the misdeeds of the honourable senator's colleague. The honourable senator chose to show disrespect to everyone for the purpose of attacking the Prime Minister. He disregarded scruples, honesty and decency. This is a man we have so long admired. We have just seen a shameful exhibition here tonight and I hope that it is never repeated.

Senator WOOD( Queensland )-Mr President-

The PRESIDENT - Senator Wood,you have no right of reply. You have already spoken.

Senator WOOD - The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Senator Cavanagh) said something-

The PRESIDENT - Order! Does the honourable senator intend to reject my ruling? You have already spoken, senator, and you cannot speak again.

Senator WOOD - I want to make an explanation in relation to something that the Minister said about me which was wrong.

The PRESIDENT - Does the honourable senator claim to have been misrepresented?

Senator WOOD

The PRESIDENT - What is the misrepresentation?

Senator WOOD - I have a very great respect for the Minister. I want the Senate to understand that.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Just confine yourself to the matter of misrepresentation.

Senator WOOD - The misrepresentation is this: The Minister said that I may have land for sale, no doubt implying that I probably would be concerned about making a profit. I want to make it quite clear that I am not concerned about making a profit because the money I make from my investments I propose to give away to very worthy causes while I am alive and as soon as the profits are realised.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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