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Thursday, 21 February 1980
Page: 209

Mr HURFORD (Adelaide) -The Opposition is happy to support this motion. We are glad that the Government has seen reason and has not eliminated all matters of public importance other than the question of Afghanistan. We agree that the Afghanistan question is of importance, but there are others. We are glad that it has agreed that there are other matters that should be brought before this national Parliament in this first week after a recess of about three months. In other words, the Opposition has won its way. We had to seek to have Standing Orders suspended yesterday in order to bring on a matter yesterday. We are glad that, through the media, that drew the attention of the people of this country to what this Government is doing. It is seeking to use the Afghanistan issue for political purposes and suggesting that the economy of this country is not an issue. It is a grave issue that we bring before the House again today. We would have liked the issue to have been brought up in addition to the matter for General Business Thursday No. 12, which is also in my name; namely, the matter of small business. But the Government has seen fit not to do that. I have been given assurances, and I would like the Leader of the House (Mr Viner) to acknowledge by nodding that the matter for General Business Thursday No. 12 will indeed be postponed and will come before the -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I interrupt the honourable member for Adelaide. I suggest that the Leader of the House say yes rather than nod.

Mr HURFORD - I was going to put into the record the fact that he was nodding in agreement. That will satisfy me. That fact that I want to make quite clear is that small business also is of extreme importance to the Opposition. We would have liked to have debated that today, particularly as it is a large issue that is being promoted by the Labor Opposition in the Western Australian elections. It would have suited us very well to have highlighted that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia, Mr Mai Brice, and others have a very well thought through policy for assisting small business in that State, but that is not to be. I acknowledge now that that matter will come before this Parliament in two weeks' time. To summarise, we are glad that we are at least able to debate in this Parliament at this time the dire straits of the motor vehicle industry.

Mr VINER(Stirling-Leader of the House)- Mr Speaker, with your indulgence perhaps, rather than nod, I should say that a mutually satisfactory arrangement has been reached between the honourable member for Adelaide (Mr Hurford) and me concerning the conduct of business today.

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