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Thursday, 20 October 1983
Page: 2009

Mr HUMPHREYS(12.40) —The honourable member for Ryan (Mr Moore) has been waffling again. He has been totally irrelevant to the motion before the House. Honourable members on the other side of the House know, as do members on this side of the House, that the Bjelke-Petersen era in Queensland is about to come to an end. There is no doubt that on the 22nd of this month the people of Queensland will get rid of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and rightly so. Why should they want to get rid of Joh Bjelke-Petersen? One reason is that he has refused to introduce into the Queensland Parliament a public accounts committee so that he can be accountable to the people. The motion moved today by the honourable member for Petrie says that Joh Bjelke-Petersen should be accountable. We all know that he should be accountable. Why is there all this drama in Queensland about not having a public acounts committee? In today's Courier-Mail there is an article headed 'The need for an accounts committee'. The honourable member for Ryan supports the view that there should be a public accounts committee in Queensland, yet he comes in here and waffles and pretends that he does not support it.

Let me remind honourable members of what happened when the member for Toowong, Mr Prentice, moved a motion in the Queensland Parliament that a public accounts committee should be set up. We all know what happened on that day. Members of the Liberal Party moved that motion because they knew that if they did not move it the Labor Party would. They knew that they would be forced into error. The Press over the last few weeks have printed articles stating that the Liberal members crossed the floor to vote with the Labor Party. That is not the fact. The Labor members crossed the floor to vote with the eight honest Liberal members of Parliament. Out of 22 members present there were eight honest Liberal members calling on Joh. We have a situation where the Queensland Parliament and Queensland politicians, especially the members of the Government of Joh Bjelke- Petersen, are a total sham. We know for certain that the people of Queensland will get rid of them.

Let me remind the Queensland Liberal members of this Parliament of what happened in the past four elections. When Sir Gordon Chalk was Leader of the Liberal Party in Queensland he said that he was going to take on Joh Bjelke- Petersen. We all know what the Liberals and the National Party did to Sir Gordon Chalk, with the assistance of Bjelke-Petersen. Then we had Sir William Knox at the next election saying: 'We are going to fix up the Queensland Parliament. We are going to have a public accounts committee and we are going to fix Joh this time'. This was another fraudulent statement by Sir William Knox. What happened when they lost that time? Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the Liberals got rid of Sir William Knox. Then we had poor old Dr Llew Edwards. What have they done to him? He was going to be tough and strong and he was going to fix up Joh Bjelke- Petersen. We all know how the Liberals and the National Party got rid of Llew. Poor Dr Edwards. Now we have that terrible, shameful person Terry White purporting to represent the Liberal Party. Liberal members on the other side of the House know full well that they should have a public accounts committee so that we know what happens to the Federal money that goes to Queensland. That is what the debate is all about. The money that comes from the taxpayers of Australia which goes to the Queensland Government should be spent correctly in that State. There is no accountability whatsoever for the Queensland Government. I will quote from a letter in the Courier-Mail on Monday, 24 April 1978, written by a law professor, Professor Tarlo, in answer to a letter that appeared in the Courier-Mail from Senator Don Chipp. Professor Tarlo states:

. . . Mr Chipp puts it, 'isolating you from the rest of Australia by his outrageous conduct.'

Mr McVeigh —Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. You will recall earlier in the week that Mr Speaker, in answer to a query about quoting from newspapers, indicated that it was inappropriate for honourable members to quote from newspapers unless they could authenticate such statements. I now ask you to ask the honourable member for Griffith whether he can unequivocally authenticate the statement he is quoting indicating that a certain person made a statement.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order. It being 12.45 p.m., the debate is interrupted in accordance with sessional order 101A. The debate may be resumed at a later hour. The honourable member will have leave to continue his speech when the debate is resumed.