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Wednesday, 29 August 1973
Page: 564

Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - I support the Budget. It has been described as a centralist and socialist Budget but I congratulate the Treasurer (Mr Crean) on bringing down such a fine Budget. It is the finest Budget we have had in 24 years, brought down by the finest Treasurer and supported by the finest Government that this country has had in 24 years. The conservative reactionaries opposite who were rejected by the people of this country on 2 December last have said that it is a socialist Budget as if that expression would arouse disgust in the community. I inform them that the people of Australia are very pleased to hear that expression. They are very pleased to have a socialist government and the next time we go to the polls they will prove it.

The honourable member for Murray (Mr Lloyd), who preceded me in this debate, made a comment that epitomises the conservatism and rank reactionarism of hourable members who now sit in Opposition. With no justification or support for the statement the honourable member said baldly when talking about a government-built factory to produce motor cars that the facility could be built cheaper and could be run more efficiently by private enterprise. Private enterprise has proved around the world that it does not work. Inflation is rife not only in Australia but also in other capitalist countries around the world. The United States of America, a bastion of free enterprise, is also the home of the greatest and most rapidly growing inflation in the world.

Last evening we were treated to a dissertation by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden), who was Treasurer in the previous Government. I listened very carefully to the words of wisdom he was addressing to the people of this country. After a while I started to realise that I did not really understand what he was saying. It worried me a little and I thought that my mental processes were perhaps deteriorating as I could not understand what this man was saying to the House of Representatives and through it to the nation. However, I was rejuvenated this morning when I read in today's newspapers that some journalists had not understood him either. It was the type of diatribe- which we have always been fed by the people opposite who were in office for 23 years but did nothing except bring about a shambles and ruin. The right honourable gentleman's speech shows clearly how speeches can deteriorate when they are no longer written by Treasury officials. When they have to be written by the right honourable member himself, they are not quite of the same quality.

We have always been consistent. Honourable members opposite stand up and say that nothing is being done about decentralisation. They did nothing about it in the 23 years that they were in government. We have been in government for about six or eight months. They say that nothing has been done in any area about decentralisation. They ask: 'What is being done about the environment? What is being done about this and. that?' If they believe that those are good things they could not have suddenly reached that conclusion on 2 December. They must have believed that for some time. Yet in all the time they occupied the treasury benches of this Parliament they did nothing about it. At least the Labor Party has been consistent. For 23 years it has been saying that there are areas of neglect and areas that need to be tidied up. Now that the Labor Party is on the treasury benches it will do something about these things.

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Reg Pollard would turn over in his grave.

Mr Keith Johnson (BURKE, VICTORIA) - He is not dead, so how could he turn over in his grave? He is still alive, for the honourable member's information. The honourable member for Murray seemed to indicate that areas outside the metropolitan areas are deprived. He said that no benefits filter through to the country. I see from those who represent the country that no intelligence filters out that corner of the House. His comments lead me to believe that what has happened-

Mr McVeigh - I rise to order. The remarks of the honourable member are personally distressing to me. He said that there is no intelligence coming from the country corner. I ask him to withdraw that.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Martin)Wouldthe honourable member mind repeating the part which he considers to be offensive?

Mr McVeigh - He said that there is no intelligence coming from the country corner.

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