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Tuesday, 29 May 1973
Page: 2812

Mr DALY (Grayndler) (Minister for Services and Property) - I do not intend to reply in detail to all that has been said. I only wish that the present Liberal Party members of this House would get on the beam with their counterparts in the Australian Capital Territory on the question of Senate representation because I have with me an article from the Canberra Times' of 17 May 1973 headed 'Libs Want Two A.C.T. Senators' which states:

The Australian Capital Territory Federal Electorate Conference of the Liberal Party may ask the Party's Senate wing to initiate moves to bring in legislation giving the A.C.T. two representatives in the Senate.

The Federal Electorate Conference will also ask the Parliamentary Liberal Party to support any legislation providing for the two senators.

At its meeting last night, the Conference carried a motion supporting the establishment of two Senate seats for the A.C.T., both to be elected at the same time.

The Chairman of the Conference, Dr Peter Hughes, said today the legislation should be brought down as soon as possible.

The two senators are vital to Canberra because the A.C.T. is under-represented in that it does not have self-government', he said.

Local government now seems even further away because the Federal Government is talcing centralism to an extreme degree'.

If honourable members opposite believe that, they should believe the rest of the article. It continues:

Proposed legislation to provide Senate representation for the A.C.T. was approved last month by Federal Cabinet.

However, Dr Hughes said the legislation did not look like coming up in the present session of Parliament.

One reason we would like to see the matter dealt with soon is that it would give us a chance to start campaigning', he said.

Members of the Liberal Party in Canberra are not worried about the Constitution. The article continued:

We expect the two new seats will be established before the next Senate elections which are likely to be held either in November this year or March next year.

November seems the most likely choice, so there is not all that much time left.'

Where do members opposite stand with their counterparts in Canberra? Are they a lot of phoneys, a lot of no-hopers? I have quoted what their candidate, Dr Hughes, said. He is one of the most capable Liberals, the most intellectual, most competent, and most brainy of all in the Liberal Party of Australia. This is a fact. The learned former AttorneyGeneral, the honourable member for Parramatta (Mr N. H. Bowen), says this is all phoney. Did honourable members ever hear anything like that? Why do Liberal members opposite not talk to their Canberra colleagues sometimes. I can understand them not talking to members of the Country Party but 1 urge them to have a yarn to their fellow Liberals in the Australian Capital Territory. That would be only reasonable.

Did anyone ever hear anything like what was said by the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder)? He believes 100 per cent in Senate representation for the Northern Territory so long as he does not have to vote for it. The Country Party is constantly asking for extra facilities, smaller electorates and more members because they have too much to do in the huge areas they represent. If anybody wants assistance the honourable member for the Northern Territory does, but today in this Parliament he said that he does not want anyone to help him in the 500,000 square miles he represents. While the Country Party seeks to gerrymander every electorate in the Commonwealth by means of a 20 per cent tolerance, a Country Party member has turned down added representation for the people in an electorate of 500,000 square miles. I suggest to him that he should examine bis record in this Parliament. He has never voted for anything worth while for the Northern Territory since he has been here. The fact of the matter is that a full-time Minister for the Northern Territory is now available and the Northern Territory has development unlimited. There is protection of the rights of the people and everything that goes with it, yet the member for the Northern Territory today said that those people do not need additional representation when everybody in the House knows that he is a complete failure himself. Why does he not want extra representation? The answer is that he knows that it would not be hard for another representative to outshine him, even in the Senate. I say nothing more except to repeat that the Liberal Party in Canberra does not agree with the views expressed tonight by members of the Opposition. It knows that Labor is endeavouring to give the Australian Capital Territory representation on a constitutional basis.

Mr BEAZLEY(Fremantle- Minister for Education) - 1 wish to make a personal explanation.

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