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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 820

Mr KATTER - In addition there is a rather confused state of affairs in regard to the operations of the various Commonwealth departments. It is very obvious that there is confusion as to who are the actual departmental heads and more precisely who are the advisers to the Ministers. I am sure that this situation has created great difficulty for the less senior departmental officers who are confused about where they are going and who are the actual advisers to the various Ministers. All of this is tied up with salaries.

I would like to make just one final point. Members of the Country Party are constantly insulted by comments and remarks about the areas we represent, lt would be very interesting to measure the production per head of population in areas represented by the Country Party as against the production per head in areas represented by supporters of the Government and to see just what value they are to this country. Again, if I were suspicious of the Government's motives in introducing this proposition I would wonder why we were given a set of figures this morning which indicated that there was to be a variation between the allowance paid to members in country areas and that paid to members in city areas. God bless them- -they have their 3 J square mile electorates. They have a tremendous task in covering them. My electorate is 230,000 square miles and 1 feel confident that the size will be greater after the proposed redistribution of boundaries takes place. But I will not go into details on that. What I want to say is that it is rather strange that this morning it was well known around the corridors that figures were out which showed a variation between the electorate allowances for people in rural areas and those in city areas. Again, if I were suspicious, 1 might think that a little bit of spite had come into this because members of the Country Party were claiming the status that our party demands. Never mind about Doug Anthony - the Leader of our party might be someone else. The Leader might be a shearer next time because the people in the Country Party have something in common with the workers. We have din under our nails.

Government supporters - Oh!

Mr KATTER - Government supporters find that amusing because they do not know what I am talking about. I conclude on this note: We are completely united in the matter of principle that our party will not be denigrated or downgraded. We are determined on that issue.

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