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Thursday, 20 October 1983
Page: 2006

Mr MOORE(12.25) —It is my great pleasure to follow the honourable member for Petrie (Mr Wells) in this debate. He expressed some views which would cause the electors of Queensland, if they were listening, to wonder which State he came from. One thing with all Queenslanders is that, no matter who they are, if one scratches them hard enough one finds that they are certainly strong Queenslanders. It does not really matter how much the honourable member for Petrie might say in debates such as this about the various management techniques and so forth of the Queensland Government. The fact is that the State has done remarkably well under the Liberal National Party Government since 1957. It has been a tremendous success and the envy of the other States of the nation. It is unfortunate to hear the honourable member from Queensland bucket Queensland in the way he did, and I am sure that that will be made well known around the electorates of Petrie by all the State members in that area. The honourable member said that he was concerned about giving money to Queensland and the question of accountability. Before we turn to the matter of accountability, we have to look at the Labor Government's accountability.

Government members interjecting--

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Order! I interrupt for the dual purpose of restoring order and seeking a seconder. Is the motion seconded?

Mr Humphreys —I second the motion and reserve my right to speak at a later time.

Mr MOORE —I was speaking about the question of accountability. We must consider accountability in order to pass judgment. I should like to raise the matter of the accountability of the Government and its performance here to date. Rather than make judgment on others, let us look at what the Government has done. Let us look at broken promises for a start. Prior to 5 March the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) waltzed around Australia and made statements and promises to every interest group of this nation. He said: 'Here is a goody for you, and here is a goody for you'. What has happened since those days?

Mr Simmons —Mr Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order. I feel that the comments made by the honourable member for Moore are quite irrelevant to the notice of motion moved by the honourable member for Petrie. We are supposed to be discussing the establishment of a public accounts committee in Queensland rather than making extraneous comments about this Government, as the present honourable member for Ryan is doing.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member, like all honourable members, is required to have regard to relevance.

Mr MOORE —Mr Deputy Speaker, in order to make relevant comments we have to draw first of all on the question of where accountability must stand. Before we can cast aspersions on another parliament-I have heard that that some honourable members in this House believe in federalism-we must start with the accountability of the Government. That is where I should like to start my comments. During the course of the election campaign it was promised that six million people would have tax cuts. The result of that little promise is that a person on average weekly earnings will have a tax increase of 16 per cent. That is not a bad start.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! I think it is necessary for the honourable member to make a much stronger effort to relate his remarks to the motion before the House .

Mr MOORE —I accept your judgment, Mr Deputy Speaker, but I was relating the meaning of accountability to the double standards that were involved in this area. Further to the matter of accountability, we were promised that there would be no change to the taxation on lump sums of superannuation. What has happened to that promise? That promise has gone down the drain. The Government promised to maintain home loan interest rebates. That promise was broken. The Government also promised to maintain the health insurance rebate until the introduction of Medicare. Where is the accountability for that? We are talking about accountability. It was broken. We were promised that there would be no means testing of pensions for the over-70s.

Dr Theophanous —Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. The form of accountability that is relevant to this motion concerns the accountability of a public accounts committee. That is quite clear in the motion. The Federal Parliament has a Joint Committee of Public Accounts. By relating the issue in this way, the honourable member is reflecting on the excellent work of the Federal Public Accounts Committee.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order but I emphasise again that it is necessary for the honourable member for Ryan to make a much more direct effort to relate his remarks to the motion before the Chair.

Mr MOORE —Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I shall not continue with the long list of promises that have been broken, but it was promised that there would be no introduction of assets testing. Of course, those who live in Queensland-a large number of retired people live there-will be enormously interested in the outcome of that matter. That was the first broken promise. What have we got today? This Government should be concerned not with the menial political problems in Queensland and making the Australian Labor Party's contribution to the State campaign which is what this debate is all about--

Government members interjecting-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Order! The honourable gentleman is entitled to be heard without interruption.

Mr MOORE —This is the Labor Government's contribution to the State election campaign. It should be remembered that one or two threats have been made by Ministers to withhold funds from Queensland. I thought I heard the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Holding) say yesterday that there were circumstances in Queensland in which he would withhold funds from Queensland. Those matters ought to be taken into consideration. On top of that, I read in the ALP's campaign dossier that it would introduce State preference to industry. I agree with that. I asked Senator Button what his views were. I shall quote from his Press release on the matter. It states:

He was critical of these schemes because they caused fragmentation of industry which had resulted in a weakening of the competitive strength of certain industries.

There is a nice conflict of interest.

Dr Theophanous —Mr Deputy Speaker, this is going completely beyond the relevance of the motion before the Chair; it has nothing to do with it. Furthermore, the honourable member is misleading the House.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order.

Mr MOORE —I was drawing attention to the threat that had been made by a certain Minister in relation to withholding funds from Queensland. The State Government has every right to be concerned about this situation. I was also drawing attention to the sheer conflict between a State government policy and the Federal Government's stance in relation to industry. On top of that concern, the honourable member would know that Queenslanders would like to hear a Queenslander bucketing the home State in the way in which the previous speaker did. It is worth while to look at the question of what the Government has claimed to have done in Queensland. Let us consider the Burdekin Dam, for example. I have heard claims made by leading citizens that it is really a Labor project. To get the facts straight, I point out that in May 1980 that program was approved by the Fraser-Anthony Government in co-operation with the Bjelke- Petersen Government.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Order! I hope the honourable gentleman is relating these remarks to the motion before the House. I would be very glad to hear him demonstrate the relationship as soon as he possibly can.

Mr MOORE —I was endeavouring to point out that the relationship concerned Commonwealth funding of Queensland projects. I wanted to relate that point to accountability in Queensland because the funds for this dam were voted in the last Budget. This dam was the brainchild of the previous coalition government in co-operation with the Bjelke-Petersen Government. It therefore ill becomes some honourable members to pick up these points and run with them as their own projects.

The previous speaker, the honourable member for Petrie, spoke at length about why money was spent here and not spent there. Let us look at some of the achievements of the Queensland Government in this period. That is where the real accountability lies. Accountability to the electorate of Queensland is the most important aspect. In exactly the same way, the accountability of the honourable member is to the constituency of Petrie. For that reason it is worthwhile looking at what has been achieved. The growth rate in Queensland has been quite remarkable. It has the highest population growth rate in Australia on a State by State basis. Job levels in that State have increased at a faster rate than in any other State. The level of investment in Queensland has increased at a faster rate than in any other State. With 16.6 per cent of Australia's population, Queensland suffered only 6.6 per cent of the industrial disputes, which is one of the lowest rates in Australia, attracted 20.3 per cent of foreign investment proposals, and generated 20.5 per cent in fixed capital spending. It has also been the national leader in fighting unemployment. That is a matter to which every honourable member in this place should be addressing himself as we look to the highest ever unemployment figure in February next year, rather than wasting the time of the House making laboured contributions to the State election.

Another point I wish to make is the remarkable development that has occurred in terms of structure. Mr Deputy Speaker, you might not know the history of Brisbane as well as some other honourable members. When I was at university it was very much a quiet town. Today it is a sophisticated city, a city of which we can be proud. It did a marvellous job with the Commonwealth Games, the likes of which we would not see in any other capital in Australia. It underlined a new sense of maturity to the Queenslander. Because of that, it does not become the honourable member for Petrie to come down here and speak as he has about his home town. It is not only the Commonwealth Games that is significant. In the last three years we hve seen the development of the Queensland Cultural Centre, the Art Gallery, the performing arts complex, and the Museum, which is due to open in 1985, the building of the new law courts, the restoration of Parliament House, and the parliamentary development in the George Street precincts. New industries have gone right down the coast.

Mr Gayler —Cairns is-

Mr MOORE —As the honourable member for Leichhardt would know, Cairns has developed enormously in the last 10 to 15 years. That is due to private enterprise and what it has put into that area. If the honourable member for Herbert (Mr Lindsay) were here he would acknowledge the tremendous development that has occurred in the Townsville area. Not only has a contribution been made in terms of defence, for which the Federal Government has put forward funds, but also the State has been involved to the extent that Queensland is now a significant contributing factor to the Australian economy.

I have outlined what has occurred in the State of Queensland. I think that completely refutes the motion that has been put forward. It is nothing more than a political farce by the honourable member for Petrie. He does not understand the workings of the Queensland Government. He has been only too prepared to benefit from the qualities that have been produced by the Queensland Government, from the changes that have occurred in the State that have made it the envy of the other States in this nation. He comes into this place and attempts to put the bucket over the Government. The debate has been a failure. The people outside listening to this debate will know what it is all about. The Queensland Government will be returned after Saturday next on the basis of a coalition, with my full support.