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Wednesday, 1 November 1967


Mr CONNOR (Cunningham) (1:15 AM) - In reply to the honourable member for Evans (Dr Mackay) I quote the following:

The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.


Dr Mackay - That is the third time that I have heard the honourable member say that in this place.


Mr CONNOR - It is time that the honourable member for Evans took it to heart because he has been rather ambivalent in (he whole of his interest in this matter. He has a perfect right to be so. The honourable member for Evans is attempting to mislead the Committee. There was never the slightest intention of this reservation being made for defence matters. It is one of the clauses and this Bill is studded with such clauses which have been put in at the behest of the oil companies as a result of their lobbying. This has been going on. Who would know better about this than the honourable member for Evans? The lobbying has been going on. The clause has been put in the Bill for their specific purpose.

There is not the slightest doubt as to what it is intended to do - to freeze and to paralyse. Let the honourable member for Evans get up and deny it if he can. He cannot do so.

The clause is there for one purpose. This Government has already pushed through the Committee a clause which allows a dele.gatee to deal in thousands of millions of dollars - in fantastic sum of money. This Bill is nothing more than a conspiracy to give away Australia's assets. Ninety per cent of the capital of the oil companies that are busy around the Australian coast is foreign owned already. The honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) raised this point in his speech on the second reading of the Bill and we give him credit for it. The technique in many cases is not to develop certain areas but to lock them up. The honourable member for Mackellar mentioned that in the world today there is a serious overproduction of oil. If one looks through the list of the companies that have been given permits and production licences one finds that there is not a major oil company in the world that is not represented either directly or indirectly. There is not an oil company in the world that is not represented and that is not interested in manipulating the degree of the production of oil and natural gas in this country. They are locking it up and they intend to keep it that way. Tn particular cases it might suit them to develop a particularly rich area. But in the main at the present time there is an over-production of oil in other parts of the world. These international companies are in Australia and they have this Government in the hollow of their hands.

Clause agreed to. Progress reported







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