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Tuesday, 2 June 1987
Page: 3838


Mr ROBERT BROWN(10.39) —In the continuing saga of the events to which I have been drawing attention in Queensland, the last item I got to was item No. 30 which I referred to as the film studio. I referred to land having been made available to Dino de Laurentis Entertainment Ltd by the Queensland Government. The land was worth $1m and it was intended to make it available to the company for only $1 a year. The company was allowed to pick the land on which it wanted to build and it chose 40 hectares on the Pacific Highway between Brisbane and Surfers Paradise. The Queensland Government Development Authority has agreed to lend the company 75 per cent of the cost of building the initial $10m studio. It is understood that the concessional interest rate on the loan will be 25 per cent of the bank prime rate, or about 4 per cent. The de Laurentis studios are believed to be considering making a mini-series based on Sir Joh. Why would they not do so?

I refer to item No. 31 as the lost opportunity. Early in April 1987 the honourable member for Maranoa (Mr Ian Cameron) believed that he had it all under control. He and his four business partners could see the money in the bag-the $458m resort on the Sunshine Coast. The resort plans included accommodation for 4,900 guests, a jet airport, a man-made lake, a convention centre, golf courses, a hospitality centre and a bridge across the Noosa River-not a small development proposal by any stretch of the imagination. The partners had the Co-ordinator-General's Department and the Department of Local Government on side. Those two departments recommended that the State Government rezone the land in Noosa Shire and that all stops be pulled to allow the proposal to go ahead. State Cabinet was on side and ready to approve and, most importantly, Sir Joh was a strong supporter of the proposal.


Mr MacKellar —Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. It is customary on these occasions for the speaker to warn the honourable member. I just wanted to check whether he had done that.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Leo McLeay) -Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr ROBERT BROWN —Never mind about the 86 residents who have lodged formal objections; they could be silenced by covering the proposal by the Government's Integrated Resorts Act which would have prevented appeal to the Local Government Court. Then the honourable member for Maranoa went public and stated, in his usual forthright style, that he might not leave the Federal coalition as agreed by the Queensland Nationals at Hervey Bay in March 1987.

The retaliation from the Queensland Premier was swift and brutal. He immediately withdrew his support for the proposal. It has been reported that it was the Premier's view that the Cameron proposal was as dead as a duck and that Cameron could go and jump. By late April 1987 Cabinet sent the proposal back to the Noosa Shire Council for further examination and consideration. The question is: Who needs enemies when one has a leader like Sir Joh?

Item 32 concerns Joh's oratory. Joh has his own special linguistic construction, his own special form of syntax. Early in his push for Canberra he advised that he was racing ahead as fast as Australia's great Olympic swimmer, Betty Cuthbert. When asked about his foreign policy he responded that he would not be caught out by trick questions like that. When he was in Perth for the great yacht race he said: `I am here for one thing only-the Melbourne Cup'. When he was retreating from his Joh for PM campaign in March he said: `I wasn't the one that put up Joh for PM'. He said: `What I'm refraining to do is to create the impression the media would like to create, that my only objective is to become Prime Minister of the Lodge'. He went on to say:

I want to turn the economy upside down and go the other way. That's all I want. Not to become Prime Minister. That's just consequential and I don't want to emphasise that because that's not the objective I want.

On further tax reforms he said: `We've got to throw out that very, very evil FBI, the fringe benefits tax. From the first day, it's going to go'. When he was asked in March how he guards against eavesdropping by scanners on his car telephone Joh delivered this memorable response: `I always talk in a way that doesn't mean anything'.