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Thursday, 17 September 1987
Page: 307

Mr IAN CAMERON(10.41) —I, too, would like to buy into the identity card issue. What I would like to say about it is that this Government on this side of the House, in the 200th year of our settlement, is putting numbers back on our backs. We arrived in Australia as convicts 200 years ago. We have shaken off the numbers and the chains around our necks and ankles. It took us a while to get rid of that stigma. Now the Australian Labor Party wishes to impose the chains and shackles of numbers on every citizen of this country. Each and every one of us is to have a number on our back. I fully support the comments made by the honourable member for Moreton (Mr Donald Cameron) in the House tonight.

I am more concerned about the cuts that the Labor Party has imposed, again, on rural Australia. We have seen massive cuts in the Budget in terms of help needed in the productive sector of this country. When the farmers of Australia are paying their way and are trying to pull the nation out of its economic problems, the Labor Government withdraws the aid that is needed. There has been a 4c per litre cut in the fuel freight subsidy scheme. Some honourable members opposite should be ashamed of the initiatives which their Government has imposed on their constituents. The scheme has been a great help to those people, but the Government wants to save $8 1/2m.

The Government has withdrawn $10m that was allocated for wool promotion. At long last, after 20 years, the wool industry is recovering and is adding up to $2 billion to our balance of payments situation. But what do we see? Those people opposite who are meant to have some business sense about them have cut out promotion. It is only through the expenditure of growers and governments in the past 15 years that the wool industry has been able to get back on its feet, thus helping to put this nation back on its feet. However, the Government has cut $10m from the funds it promised. That represents another broken promise by the Hawke socialist Government. It is a disgrace.

No money has been allocated in the Budget to help with the meat chemical problems which we have run into the past few months. The Government should look very closely at setting up a high temperature incinerator. We need an incinerator that will operate up to a temperature of 4,000 degrees and burn some of the chemicals which are sitting around on farms and which have been there for many years. Obviously, those chemicals must be destroyed. I am a firm believer in spending a lot more time and effort on attacking the source of the problem and not concerning ourselves too much with all the expense and red tape involved in the testing procedures that have been put in place. I make a plea to the Government, especially the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Mr Kerin), to look closely at the problem and to see whether some funds can be provided to enable the chemicals to be picked up and burnt. Presently, the only way of getting rid of the residues and the chemicals that are left sitting around in old rusting tins is to take them out to sea in a ship that visits Australia every 18 months or so and burn them.

We have not heard anything about the remote area commercial television signal. It is a disgrace. When we were in government we worked for many years to put the satellites in place to give people in rural Australia some television. They are now able to receive the Australian Broadcasting Corporation signal, but in many areas of Australia that is still the only channel they can get.

Mr Cunningham —Won't free enterprise do it?

Mr IAN CAMERON —Free enterprise cannot do everything.

Mr Cunningham —You want a cross-subsidy.

Mr IAN CAMERON —It may be needed to give those people an adequate service, just as they need a freight subsidy for fuel. The Budget has increased welfare handouts by $2 billion. An amount of $2 billion is going to people who do nothing but lie around and pick up welfare payments.

Mr Lamb —Oh!

Mr IAN CAMERON —It is true. If the honourable member reads the Budget Papers, he will find out about it. In my shadow portfolio of local government, there has been no real increase in funding for roads by this Labor Government since 1983. It is a disgrace. The Government expects us to continue to increase our exports when the road structure of this nation is falling apart. Yet the Labor Party is not prepared to increase funding for roads. In addition, the 2c that is taken out of personal taxation is being moved from country areas back to city areas, just as we would expect from the Labor Government.