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Monday, 11 November 1985
Page: 1943

Senator BOSWELL(10.32) —Tonight I want to use the opportunity of the adjournment debate to set right a matter that was brought up last Friday. Last Friday I moved a notice of motion noting that the Camelia Restaurant, which was Brisbane's oldest licensed restaurant, had closed. I am grateful to Senator MacGibbon for setting that matter correct today in a notice of motion that he gave in the Senate. After my notice of motion on Friday, Senator Jones moved a contradictory notice of motion, which said:

That the Senate congratulates the Camelia Restaurant on its endeavours to spend $1 1/2m in redeveloping in the Riverside development in Brisbane.

Of course, this was totally incorrect. I then received a message from the owner of the Camelia Restaurant, Mr Allen, and I think it may be appropriate if I read it into the Hansard. His message of last Friday reads:

I resent being misrepresented in Parliament, and seek the Senate to set the matter straight.

I am the current owner of the Camelia Restaurant, the oldest licensed restaurant in Queensland-a restaurant that ceases to exist today, destroyed specifically by the actions of the Federal Government, and their oppressive tax attack against the business community.

I have not invested any monies in the Riverside project in Brisbane. The investment referred to by the Senate was made by a previous owner who sold out several years ago. His investment in the Riverside project was committed prior to the announcement of this destructive tax package.

I have not and will not invest any moneys in the upper end of the restaurant industry in the current economic climate in Australia. The Federal Government is effectively destroying that market sector.

Today I close, for the last time, the doors of the Camelia. Its name will be lost forever. I intend to open a bistro in that location with fewer staff and lower overheads, so that I may stay in the industry I love.

I think that this should be recorded in Hansard to point out once again how Senator Jones continues to put his foot in it in this place. He shoots from the hip at every opportunity and usually ends up in trouble. The seriousness of the plight of the restaurant and hospitality industry is such that it is estimated that in Queensland alone over 1,500 people have been added to the dole queue. I believe that in total the figure was 3,700 people at last count. That count is continuing upwards all over Australia. Members of the Government which has brought down this oppressive tax on the restaurant industry do not realise the hurt that is being caused to people in small businesses in the restaurant industry. These are people who have striven to put a small business together and employ people. It is a terrible thing to have to watch one's business being ripped away by someone in the Government who has no conception of what small business is all about.

That, coupled with high interest rates, will mean that we will see many more restaurants go to the wall just as the Camelia has done. Many small businesses will end up in the same plight as the Camelia. They will end up broke and bankrupt. This Government makes inane comments about free lunches.

Senator Messner —Mr Keating says that they will find jobs easily.

Senator BOSWELL —I hope Mr Keating will find jobs for them. He will probably find jobs for them under the community employment program in which many unemployed Australians end up to reduce this Government's unemployment figures. As we have heard many times tonight, they are false figures. All the Government is doing is taking people out of real jobs and propping them up in Government-sponsored CEP jobs. That is not solving the problem; it is adding to the problem.