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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3076

Mr UREN (Reid) - I claim to have been misrepresented.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member for Reid may make a personal explanation on that basis.

Mr UREN - The honourable member for Sturt (Mr Wilson) misrepresented me on two counts. Firstly, he said that as Minister for Urban and Regional Development I tried to centralise all power in Canberra. Secondly, he said that I wanted to amalgamate local government authorities into larger bodies and that I would impose that view on local government. In relation to his comment that I tried to centralise power in Canberra I should like to say that basically the philosophy which I always advocated was contrary to that. I said that I was in favour of decentralisation because I was against centralism. I represent people living in the outer fringes of Sydney. I have seen what overcentralisation can do in major capital cities. You may recall, Mr Deputy Speaker, that at the end of my speech I reminded you, as a member of the National Country Party, of that situation. In relation to the second point raised by the honourable member for Sturt about the amalgamation of local government authorities I should like to say that the role I played as the Minister for Urban and Regional Development and the role played by my Department at all times was to persuade local governments to make their own decisions. In fact, the Labor Government introduced one program that encouraged -

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Reid has the indulgence of the Chair to make a personal explanation on the score that he was misrepresented. I ask the honourable member not to expand his remarks.

Mr UREN -One of the Labor Government's programs was to allocate money to local authorities. The local government authorities wanted to come together as voluntary bodies to create regionalism. That is the Australian Labor Party's policy now. It was its policy then and it is still its policy.

Mr Bourchier - I raise a point of order. The honourable member for Reid claimed to have been misrepresented and was given the opportunity to point out briefly where he was misrepresented. He should not make a statement on the matter.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The Chair is alert to that requirement. The honourable member for Reid has concluded his personal explanation.

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