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Thursday, 18 April 1985
Page: 1391

Mr IAN CAMERON —I refer the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations to his statement yesterday that if the Queensland Government changes its course 'there would be no so-called company hit list and there would be no blockade'. I ask the Minister: Why is the dependence of his Government on the Australian Council of Trade Unions so absolute that he is driven to attack the attempts of a democratically elected government-

Government members interjecting-

Mr SPEAKER —Order!

Mr IAN CAMERON —I must say, I have never been so proud to be a Queenslander. At long last we have a Premier who will stand up to the bully boys in this country. Why does the Minister attack the attempts of a democratically elected government to protect the rights of citizens to essential services? That includes the citizens of Maranoa.

Government members interjecting-

Mr SPEAKER —Order! I appreciate that the honourable member for Maranoa has been subject to considerable interruption. I invite him now to complete his question.

Mr IAN CAMERON —Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am pleased that you are on my side for a change and not against me as usual.

Mr SPEAKER —I would suggest to the honourable member for Maranoa that he withdraw that reflection on the Chair.

Mr IAN CAMERON —I am sorry, Mr Speaker. I withdraw. Why does the Minister defend union lawlessness, union blockades and union power? Is this due to the accord, is it due to the ACTU's financial contribution to the Australian Labor Party, or is it that this Government just does not know right from wrong?

Mr WILLIS —The basic assumption of the honourable member's question, that there is a democratically elected government in Queensland, is on the face of it quite ridiculous. Not only has the Queensland Government pursued a gerrymander for years, but it has just pursued a further one. In the dying stages of the session of Parliament the Government put through a further gerrymander of the electorates in that State to try to ensure that it is re-elected next time. The question of democratic rights, which the honourable member raised in his question, is very much at issue in this whole matter. The democratic rights of the people of Queensland to elect the government of their choice are denied by the Queensland Government in refusing to allow them to have their boundaries on which they might make such a democratic choice. The rights of the people of Queensland to undertake peaceful protest have for years been subject to unfair limitation, and that has been greatly exacerbated in recent days by the laws in regard to picketing. The actions in relation to the trade union movement are so horrendous as to constitute a total offence against a number of international conventions and covenants. I believe that the question of democracy in Queensland is a very important issue indeed. We would make a great start in getting democracy in Queensland if we had a democratic government in that State. I hope that in the near future it will achieve one, but it certainly will not be one led by the present Premier.