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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 493


Mr HAYDEN - I ask the Prime Minister a question. Is it a fact that the--


Mr Malcolm Fraser - If the honourable member had been sitting over here--


Mr HAYDEN - Well, we do not get two from the one side. If honourable gentlemen had been sitting over here they would have found out how boring it was and recognised--


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I think that I have called successive questions from the Opposition side. I will correct that. The Leader of the Opposition may proceed.


Mr HAYDEN - Is it a fact that the effect of a resource rental tax is to raise a greater level of revenue from a given level of market prices whether domestic retail prices in the case of a commodity supplied domestically or export market prices in the case of a commodity exported? Does he deny, therefore, that the effect of the resource rental tax proposed by the Australian Labor Party would be to raise a greater amount of revenue from domestic mineral producers, including petroleum producers, without in any way at all affecting the domestic price for that commodity? Is he aware in fact that, if the pricing policies of the Labor Party had applied in the last 12 months, motorists would have saved $3.60 on each occasion they filled the petrol tank of an average six-cylinder car? Finally, why has the Prime Minister on this occasion, as on earlier occasions today, either completely misunderstood or wilfully misrepresented--


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member will ask his question.


Mr HAYDEN - The situation in relation to these matters?


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Let me repeat the sections I have quoted from the Sydney Morning Herald article. The interviewer was told:

No. The debate about resources taxes doesn't matter . . to the motorist at all.

If it does not matter to the motorist at all, surely it means that the motorist will have to pay about the same price for petrol.


Mr Hayden - I raise a point of order.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Mr Speaker,he just cannot take it. This poor little man--


Mr Hayden - I cannot take it because I am used to dealing with honourable men.


Mr Hodgman - Like Yasser Arafat. He is your hero - Yasser Arafat and the PLO.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat.


Mr Wallis - Throw him out.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Grey does not usually interject. I ask him to give a lead to his colleagues. The honourable member for Denison will withdraw those remarks.


Mr Hodgman - Mr Speaker,will you hear me on a point of order?


Mr SPEAKER - No, I will not.


Mr Hodgman - Mr Speaker--


Mr Innes - Sit down, you log.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Melbourne will be quiet. The honourable member for Denison will withdraw.


Mr Hodgman - You will not hear me?


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member will withdraw.


Mr Hodgman - I will withdraw then.


Mr SPEAKER - If every day between now and the election is like this, it will be a very difficult time for me. I ask for the co-operation of all honourable members. I call the Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister has reduced the procedures of Question Time to low bathos.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will make a point of order, if he wishes to.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, I am putting it to you that there are certain discretionary powers which, I would suggest, you ought to apply in a situation like this. Otherwise, the workings of the Parliament, which are already quite unseemly - and I feel as discomfited by that as you do - will degenerate further. The behaviour of the honourable member for Denison has surpassed itself in its fancifulness.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will put his point of order. I will hear him on a point of order, but not otherwise.


Mr Hayden - What I am putting to you is that the Prime Minister has embarked upon a campaign, because of the unacceptability of the Budget, of dishonesty.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no point of order in what the honourable gentleman is saying.


Mr Hayden - I am putting it to you that the Prime Minister wears his honour as a badge - a badge of shame. It is a disgrace to the Parliament.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. I call the Prime Minister.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Of course, the purpose of a large part of the Government's policies is to enable the companies .involved in these matters to have additional funds for exploration and development. An amount of $ 1,200m has been invested by Esso-BHP alone. That is no mean sum; it is a great sum. The Government wishes to encourage all companies to use additional funds so that reserves can be extended, new fields found and new exploration undertaken. The catalogue of policies of some other people I believe would prevent that happening. The policies and the quotes I have given from the honourable member for Blaxland do not indicate all that much change. Before ending this particular point, I hope the Leader of the Opposition will accept the accuracy of Hansard of 1 1 September 1975, when my colleague the Minister for Productivity was speaking in another capacity. He said:

In case there is any doubt about what are the real feelings of the honourable member for Blaxland, I should point out that I know that deep down inside - I have a great respect for him, I must say- he agrees with what we are doing.

There was an interjection from the honourable member for Blaxland, who said:

Yes, I do.


Mr Hayden - In 1975? In September 1975, he was a Minister.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - It was 1979.


Dr Klugman - You are even lying about the dates.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Prospect will withdraw.


Dr Klugman - I withdraw, but the fact is--


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will withdraw.


Dr Klugman -I withdraw.







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