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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 581


Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - I ask the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs to state the basis of his costing and the assumptions and to produce the documentation, in view of the fact that the figure he is quoting is vastly inflated on the figure provided to the Government by its advisers which, in turn, is based on wrong assumptions but at least is several hundred million dollars below the figure the Minister is quoting.

Honourable members interjecting ;


Mr SPEAKER -Order! When the House comes to order I will call the Minister.


Mr Hayden - Quote the correct figure and stop lying.


Mr Malcolm Fraser - Mr Speaker, the microphone of the Leader of the Opposition is turned on, as honourable gentlemen know. You may not have heard the remark; but, just before you called the Minister, the Leader of the Opposition was still chattering into the microphone and he said to the Minister: 'Stop lying'. Whenever the truth is stated about the Opposition's policies and its--

Opposition members interjecting -


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the Opposition will remain silent. I ask members of the * Opposition to remain silent while the point of order is being made by the Prime Minister.


Mr Malcolm Fraser - Whenever something is said which the Opposition does not like, the Leader of the Opposition leads his cohorts to make that kind of claim. I suggest that if that tactic is going to be permitted through the rest of this session this Parliament will truly be a shambles until the election.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker--


Mr SPEAKER - The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has informed me, as a point of order, that the Leader of the Opposition used an unparliamentary expression directed towards the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs. I did not hear the expression. The Leader of the Opposition will know whether he made that statement. It has been said by the right honourable gentleman that he did. I accept that and 1 ask the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker,it is correct that I did say to the Minister that he has been caught out lying, which is unparliamentary.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will withdraw.


Mr Hayden - I think he will acknowledge that. Of course I withdraw.


Mr SPEAKER - On several occasions yesterday I asked honourable members whom I heard interjecting to withdraw statements they made which were directed in terms like 'lying', 'tell the truth', et cetera. The fact is that those are unparliamentary expressions. They cannot be used. I do not propose to continue to ask honourable members to withdraw. If they continue to use that language, then I will have to deal with them under the Standing Orders.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I ask for your guidance in relation to what is acceptable in parliamentary terms.

Government members interjecting-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. I ask honourable members on the Government benches to remain silent while this point of order is being dealt with.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, I ask for your guidance on what is acceptable in parliamentary terms when I know for a fact that the Minister is citing a figure several hundred million dollars greater than the net figure provided for him by Government advisers and that figure--


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Hayden - That figure in turn is based on wrong assumptions according to the calculations.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Hayden - He has sought to mislead the Parliament.


Mr SPEAKER -I find it quite disturbing that the Leader of the Opposition continues to speak when I ask him to resume his seat. I inform him that he knows very well that unparliamentary language cannot be used. It is not for the Speaker to decide whether an allegation is true or false. I will not permit unparliamentary language. Has the Prime Minister completed his point of order?


Mr Malcolm Fraser - Mr Speaker, I was only seeking to draw to your attention the nature of the Opposition's behaviour.


Mr SPEAKER -The right honourable gentleman has done that.


Mr Cotter - Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Is it in order for the honourable member for Robertson to display a large handwritten sign with an unparliamentary word upon it?


Mr SPEAKER -It most certainly is not. I have not noticed it. The honourable member for Robertson sits to my left and I do not have him in my gaze. The honourable member usually is well behaved. I hope that he will continue to be so.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. You have given a ruling this morning that you will deal with honourable members from this side of the House who refer to Government Ministers as liars or as telling lies. Can you tell us what redress we have when Ministers, including the Prime Minister, deliberately come into this place--


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - Quote misleading figures and tell lies? What is our redress?


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The honourable gentleman has been here, 1 believe, for 20 years. If he has not yet learned that unparliamentary expressions will not be permitted, he must bear the consequences of using them.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - I am not so slow a learner as not to realise that the Ministers do tell lies.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Newcastle will withdraw.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - But Ministers do tell lies.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Newcastle will withdraw. I warn the honourable member for Newcastle.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - I will withdraw that, even though it is the truth.


Mr SPEAKER - I warn the honourable gentleman. I call upon him to withdraw unqualifiedly.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - I withdraw.


Mr SPEAKER - I call the Minister.


Mr VINER - I am rather amused at the efforts of the-


Mr SPEAKER - I ask the Minister to answer the question and not to refer to the interjections.


Mr VINER - I make three simple points: On 25 March there was a debate in this House, fully recorded in Hansard, in which I put forward all the costings which justify the figure of $ 1 , 000m that 1 have mentioned. On the same day I answered a question from the Leader of the Opposition also detailing the costings, and the debate followed that. As I said in my preceding answer, the Opposition has not challenged those costings. I remind the Opposition that not once in the debate yesterday were those costings challenged. The second point I make is that the costings that I have given have been on the basis of advice provided to me by my Department, by officers about whose integrity and competence I have no doubt. The third point I make is that, as the Leader of the Opposition, a former Treasurer, knows, when one details the costing of a proposal one details it on the basis of the outlays that will be shown in the Budget and on the basis of the appropriation which will be required to be made to the department concerned.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order.


Mr SPEAKER - I indicate to the Leader of the Opposition that, if his purpose in taking the point of order is merely to contradict what the Minister is saying, it does not represent a point of order.


Mr Hayden - Mr Speaker, I ask you for some guidance and I would suggest some defence, if not of the Opposition, then of the dignity of this establishment. Several of us here are aware of the detailed figures which have been supplied to the Minister by his Department and we have to sit here burning, knowing that he is not telling the truth. He is overstating a wrongly concluded figure by some $400m at least.


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Hayden - Why does he not tell the truth? It is the wrong figure.


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Hayden - It is at least $400m lower than he is prepared to-


Mr SPEAKER - The Leader of the Opposition must not persist with points of order which are not in fact points of order.


Mr Hayden - Are we supposed to stand here and be clobbered?


Mr SPEAKER - The Standing Orders bind me as well as the Leader of the Opposition, and the Leader of the Opposition must comply with the Standing Orders. I call the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs.


Mr VINER - I take the opportunity to repeat that the figures that I have provided have been based on advice from my Department, by officers whose integrity and competence I have no reason to doubt at all. Finally, I make the point that I made earlier: Government sponsored- that is, taxpayer financed - job creation proposals of the kind put forward by the Labor Party do not provide employment of the kind that is required within the Australian economy. As the lesson of the Whitlam years demonstrates amply, those kinds of schemes in fact displace people from other jobs. If we go back to the statistics, we will find that between 1 973 and 1 975 jobs were actually destroyed in the private sector at the same time as government jobs increased-


Mr SPEAKER - I ask the honourable gentleman to draw his answer to a close.


Mr VINER - Jobs in the private sector were actually destroyed. That is the lesson of Australian history. It is a lesson that the Australian people know very well indeed.







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