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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1661

Mr CHARLES JONES (Newcastle) (Minister for Transport) - I wish to make a few comments on the remarks made by the honourable member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron). He made misleading statements in this House that were not true. I do not mind him coming in here and making statements that are true, but when he resorts to untruths I believe it is time that a member of the Government replied to him. In my opinion they were deliberate untruths. There has been a long standing practice in this place - certainly while I have been a member for the last 14J- years - that if an honourable member intends to make an attack on another honourable member he always pays him the courtesy of telling him in advance.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I came looking for you.

Mr CHARLES JONES - If you did, you did not look very hard. The honourable member knows where my office is. My staff was in the office but he did not speak to them or tell them what he proposed to do. The honourable member for Griffith said that in the last 6 years Evans Deakin Industries Ltd has lost about $6m. I do not know whether that is true or false but it is pretty close to the mark. However this amount of $6m was lost by Evans Deakin when the Liberal-Country Party Government was in office, not during the time of the Australian Labor Party Government. If the honourable member for Griffith has any adverse comments to make about the $6m lost by Evans Deakin, he should refer them to members of the former Government which is guilty. The guilty men are not on this side of the House.

The honourable member for Griffith said that I had indulged in parochialism and favouritism in granting the Australian National Line ship 'Seacoaster' to the Newcastle State Dockyard, which happens to be in my electorate. He said it was a foregone conclusion before the election that it would go to Evans Deakin. I am certain that the people of Adelaide will be delighted by that statement. Let us examine the facts. Five tenders were received. The Newcastle State Dockyard was the lowest tender. The next lowest tender was from Carrington Slipways Pty Ltd, which is also in Newcastle but in the electorate of the honourable member for Lyne (Mr Lucock). It is just across the river from Newcastle. The next lowest tender was Sim higher than the State Dockyard tender and it was from Adelaide Ship Constructions. The next tender was from Evans Deakin and it was S2m more than the State Dockyard tender. The fifth tender was from Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd. So the former Liberal-Country Party Government intended to allocate this order to Evans Deakin. In other words, it was a $2m handout to that company over and above, for example, the tender of Adelaide Ship Constructions. Is this favouritism? Is this the way to run a ship building industry? Does a government make handouts to its friends, which obviously was the intention of the Liberal-Country Party Government - a $2m handout? That is what the honourable member for Griffith was suggesting in his contribution today. As far as I am concerned work for which tenders are called will be allocated on the basis of the lowest tender and best delivery date. As far as I am concerned, that is the set-up.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Did you-

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