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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2831

Mr WHITTORN (BALACLAVA, VICTORIA) - I ask the Treasurer whether he yet knows the areas to be canvassed by his Prices Justification Tribunal when consideration is given to the fact that since 1966 government transport fares have Increased by 66.9 per cent, local government rates by 63.6 per cent, postal and telephone charges by 41.1 per cent and radio and television licences by 34.4 per cent, whereas in the same period, that is from 1966, prices for household appliances have fallen by 1.2 per cent and food prices generally have risen by only 28.6 per cent. Obviously, the Tribunal will be looking at all costs where increases have been the greatest and a burden on the people and, therefore, these must include government expenditure and charges.

Mr CREAN (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - I think the honourable member misconstrues altogether the role of this Prices Justification Tribunal. Whether these particular prices have risen or not - and I submit that they rose during the long period of Liberal rule in this country - at least Post Office charges, one area of increase cited by the honourable member, are the subject of examination in this House already. What the Prices Justification Tribunal is to do is to cover those price makers who, at the moment, have no scrutiny whatever of a public kind of their actions.

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