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Tuesday, 5 May 1987
Page: 2646

Mr McVEIGH(10.35) —We live in an era in Australian society in which, quite fortunately, there has been a reawakening of the Australian conscience and there is a movement to preserve, for the benefit of future generations, some of our great historical buildings so that people in the future can learn from the hardship and the discipline of those who went before them. I am delighted that the Minister for Science (Mr Barry Jones) is at the table because he was one of the people who were in the forefront of preserving the great Australian films of the past to ensure that those who wanted to enjoy the theatre in the future would be able to sit back and realise that the Australian film industry was really the cradle of the world film industry. We were the people who showed the Americans and the Europeans how it could be done. I am delighted that the Minister was among the pioneers and pathfinders of that particular enterprise.

I often wonder about protests when governments, whether they are in Queensland or anywhere else, seek to pull down an old building. I can understand the sensitivity of people who are upset by those particular happenings. I believe that it is appropriate that politicians from all sides of the political spectrum should have a bipartisan approach in preserving historical buildings, thus ensuring that the environment is such that those who follow us will be able to enjoy it.

Tonight I want to pay tribute to a breed of horses called Clydesdales, because unlike buildings, films and great performances of the theatre, unfortunately they will not be widely remembered. I hope that my few simple words recorded in Hansard will leave imprinted indelibly on the minds of people who read Hansard the great contribution that the Clydesdale horse made to the development of Australian agriculture. All the young people who live in this wonderful era of the mechanical gadget fail to realise that way back in 1907, and until 1952, the greatest quantity of wheat produced in Australia was produced solely by the power of the horse. That is a fairly significant performance when we realise that the horses, mostly from the humble areas of Scotland, were brought out here to work, be it in the Mallee, where they pulled down the harsh scrub, or be it in the beautiful fertile land of the Darling Downs, where the farmers were able to adapt to harsh, inhospitable conditions by preserving for use on winter crops the abnormally heavy summer rainfall that fell many months previously. All of that was done by the Clydesdale horse. People are going to forget about it.

I want to record tonight the wonderful contribution of people such as George Cox from Swan Hill, Alan Marriott from Melbourne, the blind breeders, the Phillips, from the electorate of my friend the honourable member for Gippsland (Mr McGauran), the Jorgensen family, the family of Dave Rees from Forbes in New South Wales, Tom Trewin of Benalla and my very great friend Pat Ehrich from Roadvale in Queensland. Pat Ehrich is a great Australian and, along with his wife and family, among my very best friends. They saw fit to preserve these magnificent animals renowned for their loyalty and strength.

I am not belittling the Federal Parliament in saying that I want to record for history the wonderful contribution of the Clydesdale horse and those who seek to preserve it. To me, this is very important, because the Clydesdale horse, with its strength, its gentle docility and its friendship to man in tough times and in good times, has one important characteristic-that is, loyalty. Unfortunately, loyalty is absent from the parliaments today. People have forgotten what loyalty means.

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