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Tuesday, 16 April 1985
Page: 1221


Mr GOODLUCK(10.45) —I am an elected representative of the people of Australia and I take a completely opposite view to that of my friend the honourable member for La Trobe (Mr Milton). Tasmania is a lovely little place. It has 400,000 people and is very peaceful but it always seems to attract all the agitators. Everybody who has an axe to grind always seems to want to go down to Tasmania and do so. That is probably due to the media coverage of Tasmania. One television station covers the whole of Tasmania, so when an esteemed person such as Senator Chipp goes down there and expresses a particular opinion about nuclear war and American warships coming into Tasmania, what he says gets coverage all over Tasmania. The USS Texas came into the port of Hobart today and the same old protesters-about 20 people-were down there expressing their beliefs. The media give them a heck of a lot of coverage, but the majority of Tasmanians never have an opportunity to express their beliefs. Many Tasmanians welcome the visit of the USS Texas.

I think my friend across the room misses the most important point of this argument, and that is that America is always being condemned. It is very much in vogue today for young people to be taught to condemn America but very little is said about Russia. Palm Sunday is the day for peace and the day we all go to whichever church we want and express what we believe about world peace. None of us wants a nuclear war but we have to be sensible about it. On that day a peace protest was held at New Norfolk, which is 22 miles from Hobart. An advertisement was put out by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics-Australia Society supporting that rally. I noticed that there were no peace protesters who were protesting against the USSR. America is always being condemned. What worries me is that the media are giving saturation coverage to this point of view and people are starting to wonder what is going on. Even in the schools in Hobart at the moment the children are being taught that America-never Russia-is at fault. I think we had better start waking up in Australia before we are saturated to such a degree that the next generation will believe that we depend on the USSR, not America. We need to be sensible about it and to express our views at every opportunity.

Every time there is a peace and disarmament group gathering it contains many well-intentioned people. Many of them believe in peace and want peace. We all want it. Always the signatories to those protests are left wing unionists, the Communist Party of Australia, the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia and the USSR-Australia Society. We are being conned in Australia by these groups of people who seem to believe that that is the only way to achieve peace in the world today. They should be told that in Australia there are many people who believe we were saved by America. I welcome the USS Texas to Hobart and all other members from Tasmania welcome it. A group of Tasmanians rang me today and asked: 'Bruce, can we use your name in a protest against the protesters who do not want the USS Texas to come into a Tasmanian port?' We welcome the Americans. We know that they saved us. It was not the Russians who saved us and it is not the Russians who fight for peace in this universe. They are the ones we need to fight. I think my friend over there had better get his facts right.