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Thursday, 20 May 1993
Page: 971

Senator PATTERSON —Mr Deputy President, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Do you claim to have been misrepresented?

Senator PATTERSON —Yes, on at least two occasions in one interview.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —The honourable senator may proceed.

Senator PATTERSON —On Pru Goward's program this morning, the Minister for Family Services, Senator Crowley, claimed that my efforts to expose the Government's deception in regard to its Christmas promise to charities were, and I quote:

. . . the beat-up by the Opposition on this.

In an even more outrageous and distasteful claim, Senator Crowley said, in relation to my efforts, that:

Their great good work on behalf of needy Australians is now being called into question.

In regard to the `beat-up', I simply quote the Prime Minister (Mr Keating) on 6 December 1992. He said:

. . . every dollar that the voluntary agencies like the St Vincent de Paul, the Smith Family, the Salvation Army collect for material assistance, the Commonwealth will match for the Christmas Appeals.

In regard to the second claim, may I say that I have not and will not in any way question the great work of these charities. It is an absolute disgrace for Senator Crowley to imply this. On the contrary, my efforts have been aimed solely at exposing the fact that the Government has duped these charities and a generous Australian public by reneging on its promise to match, dollar for dollar, money raised in these Christmas appeals.