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Tuesday, 13 March 1973
Page: 465

Mr DRUMMOND (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Did the Prime Minister receive a request from the Labor Premier of Western Australia 3 weeks ago for the Australian dollar to be devalued because of the tremendous impact on the Western Australian economy of devaluation of the United States dollar, followed' by the Australian Government's revaluataion? Did the Prime Minister see a report of a statement by the Western Australian Premier last Saturday that he has been unable even to get a reply to his request? Finally, do his Government's policies in favour of the big cities mean that the welfare of the small States which export much more than they import is to be sacrificed in favour of the most populous States?

Mr WHITLAM - The Premier of Western Australia did write, to me a week or so ago about the effects on the mining industry in Western Australia due to the fact that so many of the companies there had written their contracts in United States dollars and had not anticipated that the United States dollar would be, devalued vis-a-vis the Australian dollar. I have naturally consulted my colleague, the Treasurer, on this matter, lt would be, to quote a phrase, an economic crime to speculate at question time on the valuation of our currency. The Australian Government is interested in people, wherever they live. In the honourable gentleman's State a larger percentage of people live in the capital city than is the case in any other State. For the first time there is now an Australian government which is actively helping the Western Australian Government meet the demands of the populataion of its capital city.

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