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Friday, 5 October 1984
Page: 1751


Mr CHYNOWETH(11.51) —My desire to speak on the Bass Strait Sea Passenger Service Agreement Bill 1984 stems from the fact that my electorate of Flinders borders Bass Strait and therefore has a common border with Tasmania. I feel that Tasmanians deserve at least one member in this place to speak for them , so I have nominated myself to be that person. The Labor Government has provided over $25m for the purchase of the Nils Holgersson to provide sea passenger services to the beautiful State of Tasmania. It is one of the nicest States in the Commonwealth. I have visited the island many times and I know that Tasmanians can be justly proud of their fine island. They have the right to good representation in this House. However, I am sorry to say that in March 1983 they seem to have elected the wrong people, people who are in conflict with their coalition partners. Let me read some very notable quotations from the shadow Minister and from Tasmanian members. This is from the Opposition shadow Minister for Transport:

I ask the Treasurer whether it is necessary, for defence purposes, that some Australians--


Mr Goodluck —I warn the member that the die is cast.


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Darling) —Order! You do not have the call.


Mr Goodluck —If he is going to make this a political exercise it will be on for young and old.


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Would the honourable member for Franklin be seated?


Mr Goodluck —I warn him that there will be no peace movement.


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! I warn the honourable member for Franklin. He does not have the call. Please do not get up and shout across the House without addressing the Chair.


Mr Goodluck —I have warned the Minister at the table. He has been dishing it up for a few years. He is going to get a bit back today.


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Would the honourable member for Flinders like to continue?


Mr CHYNOWETH —This is what the honourable member for Hume (Mr Lusher) said:

I ask the Treasurer whether it is necessary, for defence purposes, that some Australians occupy Tasmania. Is this the only reason some Australians live in that State? Will the Treasurer table a cost-benefit study indicating how much mainland Australian taxpayers contribute to the maintenance of the population of Tasmania? Will the Treasurer consider transferring all Tasmanian subsidy appropriations to the defence vote? Failing this, can the amount be transferred to the social welfare vote? Failing that, can the sovereignty of Tasmania be transferred to New Zealand and, if any subsidies are still required, can they be paid under the foreign aid vote?


Mr Milton —Who said that?


Mr CHYNOWETH —That was the honourable member for Hume. That surprises me. I am quite certain that the people of Tasmania will be appalled when they hear that their coalition partners represented here in Canberra are trying to give away the beautiful island of Tasmania to New Zealand. It is a disgrace. The majority of Australian people realise that they must receive assistance and those of us in the Labor Party are very pleased to support and assist Tasmania.

Even as late as 12 o'clock last night the honourable member for Maranoa (Mr Ian Cameron) was complaining that moneys given to Tasmania for assistance should be removed. The Liberal and National parties have no policies to assist Tasmania. The division within the coalition is as deep as the waters of Bass Strait, and they are saying these things in public. It is indeed a shame that in-fighting in the coalition should effect all Tasmanians. I would like to bring to the notice of the listening public some of the assistance that the Hawke Government has given. Before I do so, I remind people in Tasmania of something that the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck) said:

We in Tasmania realise that we have to be sensible and have to realise, once and for all, that we cannot be continually propped up by the mainland.

Obviously he does not want the Tasmanian freight equalisation scheme to continue . That is a disgrace.


Mr Goodluck —I raise a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I would like that removed from the record. It is totally untrue.


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Darling) —There is no point of order.


Mr CHYNOWETH —I would like to remind the people of what Bruce did say and where it actually came from.


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! Would the honourable member please refer to honourable members by their title?


Mr CHYNOWETH —I am sorry. I would like to remind the people of what the honourable member for Franklin said:

We in Tasmania realise that we have to be sensible and have to realise, once and for all, that we cannot be continually propped up by the mainland.

This is in Hansard for 2 November 1983, at page 2229. I would like to bring to the notice of those listening some of the assistance that we in the Hawke Labor Government have given to Tasmania. Federal transport assistance to Tasmania in 1984-85: Roads, $51m; rail, $21m; Tasmanian freight equalisation scheme, $29m; Empress of Australia subsidy--


Mr Hodgman —On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker: The honourable member has just misled the House. It was reduced in 1983-84. Do not say that it has gone up .


Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —That is not a point of order. I call the honourable member for Flinders.


Mr CHYNOWETH —I am talking about the 1984-85 assistance. The Empress of Australia subsidy comes to about $2m. The total is approximately $103m, or $2m a week. That is a huge amount. I am quite certain that the voters of Tasmania will remember that in the coming months. The Hawke Government has shown a genuine concern for the State of Tasmania that no other past government has shown. I am sure that the people of Tasmania will wish to be represented in this House after the next election by Labor members who will truly represent them in the next Hawke Labor Government.