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Friday, 25 May 1973
Page: 2706

Mr SCHOLES (Corio) - It is unfortunate that the honourable member for Ballaarat (Mr Erwin) chose deliberately to misrepresent a former honourable member for Corio, the honourable John Dedman, who is not able to defend himself in this House. J think it is accepted that the distortion which has been made in the accusation against the honourable John Dedman has been so often repeated that honourable members opposite who have to lean on it to justify their statements believe that what they are saying is true. The statement attributed to the honourable John Dedman on the hustings in 1947 by the honourable member for Ballaarat was in fact made in reply to another member in this House in October 1945. I would suggest to the honourable member for Ballaarat that before he misrepresents a former member whose record in this Parliament is greater than that of any member on the Opposition benches at present he should check his facts and make correct statements to this House.

Mr Erwin - Did he say it?

Mr SCHOLES - Read the statement he made and the context in which he said it. It is the easiest thing in the world to distort statements. The honourable member for Ballaarat stated that the honourable John Dedman made the statement 2 years after it was in fact made and he also said that it was made on an election platform. It was made in this Parliament and it is in the Hansard record for anybody who takes the trouble to check his facts before he makes irrelevant and untrue statements about a former member of this House.

The honourable member for Ballaarat made a number of assertions about the authoritarian manner in which the housing agreement has been drawn up. I think he was a member of this House a couple of years ago when Mr Kevin Cairns, then Minister for Housing, introduced into this House a Bill relating to a new housing agreement which had not even been shown to the States and about which the Victorian Government made exactly the same noises that it is making now. The Victorian Government's housing policy reflects the Victorian Government's belief that if a person cannot buy a house he should live in the street. That is exactly what the Victorian Government is saying and has been saying all the time. That Government is selling off houses as quickly as it can without consideration for the needs of the community at all.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.

Mr SCHOLES - I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later stage.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

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