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Thursday, 13 September 1973
Page: 943

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr VINER - I claim to have been misrepresented by the Treasurer (Mr Crean) on several counts. The Treasurer in answer to a question that I put to him and to a question put to him by the honourable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr Collard) implied that I was not concerned about the workers in Kalgoorlie who are affected by the Budget decisions of this Government, He implied that I was concerned only with the shareholders in the gold mining companies. I would like to explain to the House that I do not hold any gold mining shares and I not know of anybody who does. No representations were made to me by any shareholder to ask the question or to make any statements to the House regarding those Budget decisions. I asked the question because I am concerned as a Western Australian about what is being done by this Government to a major industry in Western Australia.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman is now debating the question.

Mr MacKellar - He is debating the question very well.

Mr SPEAKER - He is not allowed to do well.

Mr VINER - I would also like to explain to the Treasurer that I had the privilege several years ago of representing the major unions on the gold mining fields in a nickel claim against Western Mining and during that case and on other occasions when I have worked closely with the unions-

Mr Charles Jones - I raise a point of order. This is not a case of misrepresentation or of a personal explanation being made by the honourable member. He is debating the whole subject. Any member is entitled to ask a question in the House and to get a reply to it.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I ask the honourable gentleman to keep to the personal explanation as to how he was misrepresented and not to open a debate on the gold mining industry.

Mr VINER - I will certainly keep to the misrepresentations. So any aspersion that the Treasurer sought to cast upon me as not having any concern for the workers of Kalgoorlie I completely deny. As a Western Australian I was concerned about their welfare. I can feel only that the ferocity of the Treasurer's attack upon me was because of the way in which he was stung by the question and the realisation that his Budget decisions were wrong. The Treasurer, in answering the question asked by the honourable member for Kalgoorlie, cast aspersions upon the accuracy of what I had asked him, I should like to quote to you, Mr Speaker, and to the House, passages from the 'West Australian' newspaper - a responsible journal - of 12 September which quotes manager of North Kalgurli Mines Ltd.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I have asked the honourable gentleman on several occasions to confine himself to the subject matter of his personal explanation. I think the honourable member has made his point in regard to the misrepresentation but he now is going on to debate the question and is referring to matters which do not actually concern his personal explanation.

Mr VINER - With respect, Mr Speaker, the Treasurer cast aspersions upon the veracity of my questions.

Mr SPEAKER - You have already stated that.

Mr VINER - I am showing to you, Mr Speaker, the Treasurer and the House the source of my question. It is the 'West Australian' newspaper. I should like to quote the remarks of Mr T. D. Field, the General Manager of North Kalgurli. He said:

The decision1-

That is, to sack 30 men - was part of the company's reorganisation program in anticipation of the effects of the Federal Budget and Sunday's revaluation of the dollar.

Mr Fieldsaid also:

.   . the Federal Government could not expect mining companies to carry the burden of recent Commonwealth measures.

If revaluation and the removal of taxation concessions on gold mining profits had not been introduced the company might have been able to carry surplus labour.

I referred also to the position concerning the Kalgoorlie-Lake View company and, in respect of that company, the 'West Australian' of 12 September quotes the remarks of the General Manager, Mr J. Oliver.

Mr Scholes - Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Is the honourable member entitled to quote from a Press report in answer to a claim of misrepresentation in an answer he received to a question which, in accordance with the Standing Orders, he was not entitled to base on a newspaper report?

Mr SPEAKER - Order! It is quite right that any honourable member must be able to authenticate any newspaper article in order to quote from it. Can the honourable member for Stirling authenticate the article?

Mr VINER - I can authenticate the article, Mr Speaker. It is a direct quotation from a statement made by the General Manager of the Kalgoorlie-Lake View company, Mr J. Oliver, who said: a new policy would be adopted because of the burdens placed on the industry by the Federal Government.

That, I would think, sufficiently authenticates what I have said and, judging from the rate of interjections and points of order sought to be taken from the other side, it is clear that the Government does not want to know the truth.

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