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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 798

Mr O'KEEFE(4.27) —In the few moments left in the debate today, as a new member in this place, I want to make an observation on what I regard as an appalling set of double standards from members on the other side of the House. Honourable members opposite had their opportunity to do something in many years of government. They have had their opportunity and failed to produce a workable system for this nation in key areas such as taxation, pensions, a universal health scheme or the dairy industry. We on this side inherited a mess. However, we are now moving into constructive policies and finding constructive solutions to the problems that face this country.

Day after day in this House we get drivel and nonsense from across the chamber. In the last 20 minutes or so we have been listening to speeches on the assets test. The Government recognises that some fine tuning is needed in this area. However, what has not been recognised is the process that is being undertaken. We have been prepared to take decisions. We have been prepared to set a motion a national ruling off line. Everybody in Australia now understands what planning for the future is all about. The assets test is now in place. It is now a case of planning, whether this be by way of superannuation schemes or building up a capital base. We on this side of the chamber will now set in motion steps to implement things such as a national superannuation scheme to supplement the assets test so that people in our community have a clear indication of where they are going.

The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Kerin) today had to take probably one of the hardest decisions that will face our Government. He and the Cabinet have taken a decision which effectively takes the dairy industry down the path of deregulation and makes it responsible to the market mechanism. For years we have heard claptrap from members on the other side of the House about deregulation and free enterprise. One simply has to look at the mess which exists in the dairy industry at the moment in terms of the production, marketing and dispensation of manufactured and liquid milk products to understand that something had to be done. This Government has taken the plunge. It has made the hard decision and it will make the dairy industry work. We should be receiving credit for this. Those on the other side of the House should acknowledge that this Government is prepared to take, implement and review decisions.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 4.30 p.m., the debate is interrupted. The House stands adjourned until 2 p.m. on Monday next.

House adjourned at 4.30 p.m.