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National Party of Australia Federal Convention 1980: Agenda and resolutions

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The National Country Party of Australia.•

Founded originally to promote the interests of people outside the major capital cities, the Party is proud of its image and of its specialist role.

Now, as a great national party, it has a total policy, based upon Australia's national needs.

The Party is determined:

• To cater for the well-being of all Australians and to ensure that adequate provision is made for those in the community who need help.

• To maintain the rule of law and the freedom of the individual.

• To provide, through government, the services — particularly in the fields of health and education = which will contribute to happiness for the family and opportunities for self-advancement for the individual.

• To promote the decentralisation of population and industry.

• To encourage a fair reward for enterprise, initiative, work and investment.

• To promote Australia's economic growth and social stability.

• To maintain the security of Australia.

• To support private enterprise in the struggle against socialism.

• To foster the small business and the family farm.

• To be a special advocate in the Parliament for the wealth-producing industries.

• To be a truly federalist party and to remove some of the abrasiveness from Commonwealth- State relations.





The Rt. Hon J. D. Anthony , Sir Thomas Drake-Brockman DFC.

Mr C. Holm (Queensland): Mrs S. McKerrow (Victoria);

VICE PRESIDENTS: Mr R. Reid (Western Australia); Mr B. Wyatt (Northern Territory); Mr G. Clothier (South Australia); Mr R. Killen (New South Wales).


Mr H. Rogers. Mr P. Warrick OBE. Mr B. Osmond


FEDERAL MINISTERS: Rt. Hon. J. D. Anthony, M.P. Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the National Country Party of Australia, Minister for Trade and Resources. Member for Richmond, (NSW).

Hon. P. Nixon, M.P. Minister for Primary Industry. Member for Gippsland. (VIC). Hon. R. Hunt, M.P. Minister for Transport. Member for Gwydir, (NSW).


Mr P. C Millar, M.P. Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees. Member for Wide Bay, (OLD). Mr J. Corbett. M.P. Party Whip. Member for Maranoa, (OLD). Mr R. Braithwaite, M.P. Member for Dawson, (QLD). Mr S. Calder, D.F.C., M.P., J.P. Member for Northern Territory. Mr P. Fisher, M.P. Member for Mallee, (VIC). Hon. R. Katter, M.P. Member for Kennedy, (QLD).

Hon. E. Adermann, M.P. Minister for Veteran's Affairs. Member for Fisher, (QLD). Hon. D. Thomson, M.P. Minister for Science and the Environment. Member for

Leichhardt, (OLD). Senator the Hon. D. Scott. Minister for Special Trade Representations. Senator for New South Wales.

Mr B. Lloyd, M.P. Member for Murray, (VIC). Mr P. Lucock, C.B.E., M.P.

Member for Lyne, (NSW). Mr S. Lusher, M.P. Member for Hume, (NSW). Mr A. J. Mackenzie, M.P. Member for Calare, (NSW). Mr T. McVeigh, M.P. Member for Paterson, (NSW).

Hon. I. Robinson, M.P. Member for Cowper, (NSW). Rt. Hon. I. Sinclair, M.P. Member for New England, (NSW).


Senator S. Collard. Senator C. R. Maunsell. Senator L. Neal. Senator G. Shell.

Senator for Queensland. Senator for Queensland. Senator for Victoria. Senator for Queensland.


(For Adoption)

The time limit for the mover of a motion shall be three minutes and for the seconder two minutes. All subsequent speakers shall be allowed two minutes, and the mover two minutes to reply. Three consecutive speakers in the affirmative or negative close the debate. All amendments must be submitted to the Chair in writing. The mover of an amendment has no right of reply. The first amendment to any motion shall normally be debated in conjunction with the original motion. The mover of the original motion shall normally be debated in conjunction with the original motion.

*Ordinary Rules of Debate will apply.





9.00 a.m. NSW National Country Party Executive meeting (Regency Room) 9.30 a.m. Women's Federal Council. (Upstairs suite) 12.00 p.m. Professional Officers' (Hotel suite) 3.00 p.m. Federal Management Committee (Regency Room)

4.00 p.m. Registration of delegates, Canberra-Rex foyer. 6.00 p.m. Press briefing and reception, Regency Room. 7.00 p.m. 8.00 p.m. Official welcome and opening address by National Country Party President, Sir Thomas


8.15 p.m. Address by Premier of Queensland, the Hon. J. Bjelke-Petersen. 8.35 p.m. 5-minute reports from State Presidents. 9.00 p.m. Supper, Embassy Room.


8.30 a.m. Registration of delegates continues. 9.00 a.m. Conference announcements Standing Orders. 9.30 a.m. Conference address by NCP Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Doug


10.15 a.m. Vote of thanks, Senator L. Neal, Vic. 10.30 a.m. Resolutions.

12.00 p.m. Guest Speaker, Miss Ito Buttrose, Publisher, Women's Magazines, Australian Con-solidated Press Limited. 12.45 p.m. Lunch adjournment. 2.00 p.m. Conference resumes. Resolutions.

4.00 p.m. Resolutions.

4.15 p.m. Guest Speaker, Mr Robert O'Neill, Defence Expert, ANU. 5.00 p.m. Policy review report and discussion groups. 6.00 p.m. Session adjourns.

8.00 p.m. Conference dinner, Garden Court, Canberra Rex Hotel.


9.00 a.m. Question Time to Parliamentary panel. 9.45 a.m. Resolutions.

11.00 a.m. Address by Minister for Primary Industry, the Hon. Peter Nixon. 11.15 a.m. Resolutions.

12.00 p.m. Address by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser. Introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Doug Anthony. 12.30 p.m. Conference summary by NCP President. 12.45 p.m. Conference adjourns.

2.00 p.m. Federal Council convenes. Morning and afternoon teas will be available in the foyer.
























I. That Telecom be requested to conduct a review of telephone charges in order to lessen the load country business have to carry in their attempts to conduct decentralised industry. (Victoria). 2. That the excessive profits made by Telecom in the

1978/79 financial year be investigated, particularly with reference to the costs incurred by city and country people for telephone connections and the costs of country phone calls. (W.A. Women). 3. That the Federal Government examine the possibility

of the Australian Broadcasting Commission taking sponsorship for major national and international sporting events. (This would enable the ABC to compete with commercial channels, thus ensuring all Australians coverage of these events.) (Federal YNCP). 4. That Telecom abolish the excessive rental penalty

charges proposed in conjunction with the installation of automatic telephones outside the 16-kilometre limit. (Qld. Women).


FOREIGN POLICY 5. That this conference expresses concern at the danger to world peace caused by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the continuing expansionist policies of the USSR. 6. That the Australian Government maintain its long- standing policy and tradition of not including food in any trade sanctions against any other countries and expresses deep concern at the prospective dam- age to Australia's economy if food sanctions are approved. 7. That relations with New Zealand, the ASEANcountries, Papua-New Guinea and the countries of the South Pacific be recognised as of pr'me concern in the development of Australia's foreign policy. 8. That this Federal NCP conference extend its support to President Carter and the United States Adminis- tration in the methods pursued to seek the release of the U.S. hostages in Tehran. 9. That this conference expresses its deep concern at the deteriorating strategic position in the Indian Ocean as a result of the Soviet invasion of Afghan- istan and requests the Government to encourage the United States and the countries of Europe, South Africa and other Indian Ocean countries to join with Australia in military and naval exercises similar to those now conducted by Western allies in the Pacific Ocean. 10. That recognising the changing strategic situation facing Australia, the Government undertake a re- assessment of its forward defence equipment purchases program to ensure it is adequate to meet Australia's foreseeable defence requirements. 11. That this conference urge the Government to review its decision not to re-introduce National Service. (Victoria). 12. That the financial burdens of any sanctions on trade with Russia be borne by the whole community of Australia. (Victoria).13. That Defence spending be raised to 3.5% of the G.N.P. (Qld women).10



14 That this conference expresses its concern at the level 14 of assistance to isolated children and recommends that it be increased to bring it into line with present day costs. (Queensland). 15. That the Federal Government be requested to up- 15

grade the basic isolated children's allowance to $800 and raise the level of the means test and apply it to the disposable income rather than the gross income. (Qld. Women). 16. That students who are forced to live away from home 16

to further their education should not be subjected to a means test when applying for TEAS grants. (Vic-toria). 17. That the Federal Government continue to give high 17

budgetary priority to technical and further education in continued recognition of the years of neglect of the TAFE sector and the serious shortage of skilled labour in the Australian workforce. (New South Wales). 18. That this conference acknowledge that many country 18

families experience financial hardship in accom-modating children away from home while they pursue secondary and tertiary education and recog-nises that accommodation assistance is available to secondary students but not to tertiary students.

Accordingly, this conference is of the opinion that accommodation assistance should be made available to tertiary students who are required •to live away from home and that such assistance be supplemen-tary to that available under the TEAS scheme.


19. That National Country Party Senators and Members 19 of the House of Representatives insist on the restor-ation of the 20 per cent tolerance between Federal electorates to ensure adequate representation for geographically isolated electors and Australia's prod-uctive areas. (New South Wales). 20 20. That the National Country Party oppose the public funding of political parties at Federal or State levels.(New South Wales). 21 21. Bearing in mind that: (a) the average enrolment in electorates is now about 70,000 and,(b) country electorates have become so large that rural constituents are denied reasonable access totheir members, this conference recommends to the Federal Govern- ment that a further referendum be held to break thenexus between the House of Representatives and the Senate in the Commonwealth Parliament and that should such a referendum be successful, that therebe a redistribution of the House of Representatives electoral boundaries such that no electorate would have an enrolment of more than 60,000. (Federal Management). 22. That this conference recognises that there have been 22 31 elections for the House of Representatives since Federation in 1901 and is of the opinion that elections at such frequency are not in the interest of good government or stable policy development in Australia and therefore recommends to the Federal Govern-ment that:


the term of Parliament be extended from a NOTES

minimum of three years to a maximum four years unless the Government should lose the confidence of the House, and (b) a referendum to enable the Constitution to be

altered in this way be held.


23. That in view of the additional revenue the Federal 23 Government is obtaining from the oil levy, the excise now being applied to diesel fuel be eliminated in the interests of reducing transport costs. (Northern Ter-24. ritory). Due to the wide variation in the prices being charged 24 for petrol in South Australia (up to 11 cents a litre) it is considered that the benefits intended under the Government policy of subsidising freight costs on fuel are not accruing to country users and this conference calls on an inquiry into the application of the relevant Act. (South Australia). 25. That the Federal Government increase its budgetary 25 allocation to research into alternative sources of energy. (New South Wales). 26. That fuel prices be the same for all Australian 2627. consumers. (New South Wales YNCP). That Government policies be developed to encourage to oil-based energy. the use of alternatives27 28. That in the interests of fuel economy, motor vehicle 28 emission control standards be eased on motor vehi- cles garaged outside the metropolitan area. (Vic-29. toria). That the Government lift the subsidy on liquid 29 petroleum gas from $80 per tonne to $200 per tonne immediately and that LPG for industrial use be included in the increased subsidy. (Victoria). 30. That this conference adopts as National Country 30 Party Policy.(a) alternative fuels must be developed to supplement and to reduce the usage of petrol; (b) emphasis be placed on the development of fuels from renewable sources; (c) and that while accepting the Federal Govern- ment's import parity pricing policy, the Party requires the Government to compensate country people for the additional cost burden they suffer31. because of that policy. That this conference calls on the Federal Govern- 31 ment to redistribute the majority of the windfall revenue gain of the crude oil policy in the areas of:(1) Increased expenditure on road and public trans- port systems; (2) increased expenditure on research into alter- native energy resources;(3) throughout Australia. (Federal standardisation scheme YNCP). 32. That this conference urge the Federal Government 32 to reduce import duty on passenger vehicles which are powered by diesel engines. (Federal YNCP).FAMILY33. That the role of wife and mother in Australian 33 society be prompted as a worthwhile career objective9.

and that the Party express concern at the breakdown

of the institution of marriage and the responsibilities NOTES

of parenthood. 34. That licentiousness and pornography be recognised 34 as a crime against the family and appropriate censorship be applied by Federal and State Govern- ments. (Queensland). 35. That a family allowance capitalisation scheme be 35 introduced in Australia and that family allowances be increased to restore their real value. 36. That the Federal Government be requested to in- the deductions 36 crease tax for a dependent spouse to $2000 and give realistic family allowances to pre- serve and protect the family unit. (Queensland Women).HEALTH AND WELFARE.37. That the range of Federal and State assistance to 37 handicapped persons be reviewed to ensure its ade- quacy for community needs. 38. That the Government reintroduce the 40 38 per cent Government medical rebate for GP services — as has been the case under Liberal/National Country Party Governments since the early 1950s — to remove the 'inequity present in the medical insurance arrange- ments following the last change to the Federal Government Health Scheme. (Victoria). 39. That the Federal Government consider a national 39 compensation scheme to improve compensation for all forms of injury to the community. (Victoria).LOCAL GOVERNMENT40. This conference expresses its appreciation to the 40 Commonwealth Government for recognising the plight of local government by introducing a tax- sharing arrangement which enables 2 per cent of personal income tax to be distributed to local govern- ment and expresses the hope that the policy can be extended in the future. (Victoria).POLITICAL41. That this conference ensures the National Country 41 Party maintains its clear and separate indentity as a strong, free-enterprise party dedicated to fighting socialism and specialising in the interests and needs of non-metropolitan people. (Federal Management) 42. That the Party modify its policies to give greater 42 weight to the political objectives of town and city residents rather than only those of rural Australia.PRIMARY INDUSTRY43. That meat inspection services be rationalised to 43 eliminate expensive duplication of State and Com- monwealth administration. (Victoria) 44. That this conference congratulates the Federal Par- 44 liamentaryParty on its efforts to have re-introduced the special primary industry tax concessions to10

enable farm modernisation and fodder and water


conservation to be undertaken. And further that this conference acknowledges the vital significance of these measures in helping to resist the devastations

45. of drought. (N.S.W.) That Section 36A(a) of the Income Tax Act be 45

amended to permit the proceeds from the sale of stock necessitated by drought or natural disaster to be spread over five years for income tax purposes. 46 46. That to assist and encourage farmers and graziers

to mitigate against natural disater, this conference requests that the interest rate on IEDs be brought

47. into line with present-day interest rates. Bureau of Agricultural Economics indicators show 47 that since the mid-I960s farm costs have consistently

risen faster than commodity prices, resulting in a serious down trend in farmers' terms of trade. This situation and the prediction that, in the long term, farm costs will continue to rise faster than commodi-

ty prices, whether inflation is high or low, emphasises the imperative need for the introduction of a national strategy under which rural producers throughout Australia will be able to function profitably on a basis of equality with every other Australian.

Consequently, this conference views this need as of major importance in the national interest and directs the National Country Party Executive and Parlia-mentary parties to take positive action, at Federal and State levels, to devise and implement a national strategy for agriculture to achieve the above-men-48.

tioned ends. (Victoria) That the Federal Government move to establish a 48 young farmers establishment scheme. (Victoria) 49 49. That this conference supports the principle of the

foreign fishing treaty. However, it urges the Govern-ment to amend the policy to ensure that Australian fishermen, processors and shore-based facilities are

50. involved to a greater extent. (South Australia) That the same benefits which accrue to drought- 50 affected farmers (e.g. low-interest finance) apply to businesses operating in drought areas. (South Aus-51.

tralia) That this conference is strongly opposed to the 51

Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation de-cision of August 1979 which excluded Refrigeration Express Lines (Australia/Asia Pty. Ltd.) from the list of designated carriers of meat from Australia

as from 1980 onwards and requests the Federal Minister for Primary Industry to fully examine the effects of this decision with a view to its reversal, particularly in the area of:

I. increased shipping cost to northern ex-porters and producers: 2. loss of an alternate method of meat

shipment requested by USA importers and Australian exporters: 3. High risk of industrial tie-up at the con-tainer port.

(Queensland Women)

52. That a decision on beef classification be made during 52 the life of the present Parliament. (N.S.W.)


53. That the Federal Government be urged as a matter 53 of urgency to increase in real terms its budgetary

commitment to the upgrading and maintenance of

NOTES country roads and bridges, the condition of such roads and bridges having deteriorated significantly in recent years. (Queensland & NSW)


54. That the Federal Government introduce taxation 54 rebates for contributions to registered health funds. (Queensland)55. That the Federal Government upgrade taxation zone 55 allowances to a realistic level and that they beindexed to offset the effects of future inflation. (Queensland)56. That the Federal Government be requested to calcu- 56 late sales tax at the point of manufacture rather than at the point of consumption to avoid the inclusion of the freight component which acts to the detriment of rural dwellers. (Queensland)57. That the Income Tax Assessment Act be amended 57 to permit the estimated provisional taxable income (other than salary or wages) to be not less than 80 per cent of the actual income (other than salary or wages) derived. (Western Australia)58. That the Federal Government be urged to implement 58 a flat 20 per cent tax on income, in place of the existing taxation system. (Western Australia) 59. That the Federal Government take immediate 59 steps to reduce sales tax on hand weaving equipment e.g. spinning wheels, looms etc. (Victorian Women) 60. That this conference calls on the Federal Govern- 60 ment to undertake an immediate policy of personal income tax reduction. (Federal YNCP and Queensland)TRADE61. That this conference congratulate the Minister for 61 Trade and Resources on his continuing efforts to increase market opportunities in the Middle East, the breakthrough in sales to the European Common Market and increased sales to the United States and Japan. This conference urges the Minister to en- courage industry to take advantage of the excellentopportunity existing for increased trade with China. 62. That this conference recommends that a special tax 62 allowance of, say $4000 per annum, be available to those people who invest in shares to assist in the development of Australian resources, thereby en- couraging the accumulation of Australian capitaland lessening the nation's dependence on foreign investment.TRANSPORT63. That the Federal Government end the two-airline 63 agreement and that it take the necessary steps to sell TAA to private enterprise, at the same time guarding against a monopoly situation in the nation's major airline system. 64. That this conference endorse the concept of positive 64 competition in fares, schedules and services between domestic and international airline operators and callson the Government to adopt this approach in any12

current or future reviews of aviation policy. (Western


Australia) 65. That the Federal Government be requested to con- 65 sider granting landing rights for international airlines

to any centre which has appropriate facilities and tourism potential. (Queensland) 66. That in the present review of Australia's internal 66 airline policy there be an upgrading of services

available to rural Australia and that the Federal Government particularly, oppose and resist any downgrading of those services. (Queensland)


67. That the National Women's Advisory Council be 67 restructured so that representatives be drawn from a wider field of women's organisations. (Victorian Women) GENERAL

68. That the Heritage Commission Act 1975 be reviewed 68 to see that it does not operate outside its proper role. (Queensland Women)



Basic PrinciplesThe National Country Party of Australia seeks to protect therights, foster the aspirations and preserve the freedoms of theindividual, and advocates:1. Preservation of democracy, the Westminster Parlia-mentary system of government and the CommonwealthConstitution.2. Preservation of a bicameral system of government, withthe Senate as a house of review in the interests of up-holding the rights of the individual and the sovereigntyof the States.3. Adherence to the federal system of government with itsthree-tier structure — Federal, State and Local.4. Maintenance of the rule of law.5. Assuring Australian security by ensuring strong defencecapacity.6. Implementation of a foreign policy to enhance nationalsecurity, international stability and trade through appro-priate agreements and treaties.7. Furtherance of the principles contained in the UnitedNations Charter.8. Preservation of freedom of communication, speech,worship, assembly and association.9. Protection of the security of private ownership and theadvancement of free enterprise through individual initia-tive, as against the socialisation of industry, production,distribution and exchange. 10. Fostering of a spirit of partnership between all sections

of industry, commerce, the work force, Government and the community at large.

11. Promotion of balanced national development, empha-sising provision of economic and social opportunities and community services throughout Australia.

12. Promotion of an efficient and prosperous primary industry sector to provide appropriately priced food and fibre, with stability of supply, to the people of Australia and of other nations.

13. Encouragement of economic and efficient mining, secondary and tertiary industry, recognising the need to assist decentralised development.

14. Implementation of measures to achieve a more balanced population distribution throughout Australia.

15. Recognition of the family unit as the basic element of a strong and stable society.

16. Fostering of equality of opportunity and social justice for all, and of the removal of arbitrary discrimination from the Australian community.

17. Conservation of our natural environment and resources as one of the paramount responsibilities of all levels of government.

18. Encouragement of a level of development and population that is consistent with the preservation of a congenial environment — a balance between the requirements of conservation and development.





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