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Thursday, 15 September 1983
Page: 890

Mr WHITE —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I preface my question by reminding the House that only one member of the Ministry comes from Queensland. In light of suggestions now being made that the Prime Minister's recent visit to and general interest in Queensland are exclusively related to the forthcoming Queensland election, will he further indicate his support for Queensland by appointing a Queenslander to fill the ministerial vacancy created by the resignation of the former Special Minister of State?

Mr HAWKE —One of the great advantages which my Party has, as distinct from the one on which the honourable member is a member, is that we have full democracy. I do not have the privilege or the autocratic right to appoint members of the Ministry. As I indicated earlier, this matter will be dealt with by the Caucus when the report of the Hope Royal Commission on Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies is received, and the outcome will be determined by the democratic processes of the Caucus. Let me say this: Queensland's interests are not dependent solely upon the composition of the Ministry and its geographical source. We are more than content with the reaction that this Government has received from the State of Queensland-a very positive reaction which will be more than confirmed on 22 October.