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Wednesday, 17 April 1985
Page: 1323

Mr KEOGH(7.53) —I had the opportunity in Question Time this afternoon to put a question to the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) in regard to the present state of the Queensland economy. The Prime Minister, in his very concise answer to my question-it was not possible for him to go into any great detail about the economic situation in Queensland due to the time available-dealt very briefly with a few of the facts that I am sure illustrated very clearly to honourable members the disgraceful situation into which the Queensland economy has deteriorated due very much to the deliberate actions of the Queensland Premier, who of course just happens to be also the Treasurer of Queensland. With all those facts that were given to the House today by the Prime Minister, that man, Bjelke-Petersen, must bear a heavy share of responsibility for the disastrous state of the Queensland economy.

In the final part of my question I asked the Prime Minister whether he saw any relationship between the situation in Queensland and the present industrial turmoil that has been manipulated, manufactured, brought about, by the actions of the Queensland Premier and by his failure to show any measure of preparedness to conciliate and come to agreement with the unions in Queensland that were affected in the initial industrial stoppage in the electricity industry. I asked the Prime Minister whether he could say that in any way the situation in Queensland could have a carryover effect on our national economic situation. As I said a few moments ago, because of the shortness of time, the Prime Minister was not able to go into any detail.

I propose to touch briefly on that situation this evening. I believe that the recent actions of the Queensland Premier have been deliberately directed to allowing the economy of Queensland to reach a ruinous state in the hope that there will be a flow-over effect to the national economy and that this will be to the detriment of this Government. Mr Speaker, this is an absolute fact. What is happening in Queensland today has been deliberately planned by the Premier of Queensland and his Government in an endeavour to manipulate a flow-over effect from the disastrous Queensland economy to the national economy. Let me tell the Queensland Premier that he is going to miss out. He is wide of the mark because the Prime Minister and this Government have the ability to ensure that the effect that he deliberately believes will flow over to the national economy will not result in a downturn of the Australian economy. So he is going to have to find some other way of sorting out his problem in terms of the disgraceful economic situation in Queensland today.

I also want to take one or two moments to show that the mind of this man has become quite senile in recent times. There is no doubt about that. Those who observe and listen to him are well aware of this senility. He has even reached the stage of abusing such people as the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is paying a courtesy visit to Queensland for some days. The Premier, who professes to be a great Christian, is in fact one of the greatest hypocrites that we have seen in this nation. The Archbishop of Canterbury made some very balanced remarks about the industrial situation in Queensland. All he suggested was that these problems can be resolved only by a measure of conciliation by the parties that are involved in the problem, but the Premier told the Archbishop to get out of Australia and go home.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.