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Tuesday, 18 September 1973
Page: 1214

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Thank you Mr Speaker. I speak tonight on behalf of the Brisbane suburbs of Hendra, Ascot, Hamilton, Doomben, Eagle Farm, Bulimba, Balmoral, Hawthorne, Norman Park, Merthyr, New Farm, Teneriffe and Newstead. I would like to point out that this is the third occasion in a row on which I have tried to seek out the presence of that ignorant Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Charles Jones). One moment ago that man was in the House. But he has left this House as an indication of his contempt for the people of those suburbs in the city of Brisbane. I find this sad because on 2 occasions last week I advised the Minister's office that I was to speak on this subject and tonight in this Parliament during those many divisions we had I advised him again. But the Minister has seen fit to walk out not in contempt of me but in contempt of the citizens of Brisbane. What a discourteous ignorant man he is, and a contemptible man at that.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member should not refer to a Minister as contemptible.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I withdraw my statement that he is contemptible.

Mr SPEAKER - That is a personal reflection. The honourable member should know better than that.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I do. I withdraw it. But it is understandable that I should be upset after informing the Minister on so many occasions that I intended to speak on this matter tonight. The recent decrease in the use of Moreton Bay in Brisbane by big jets as a landing approach towards Brisbane has meant that 13 unlucky Brisbane suburbs and at least 50,000 citizens are taking the full blast and brunt of screaming jet engines. It is unfortunate that at this time the Minister, who is southern-based in the city, town or whatever he wishes to call it--

Mr Keogh - I rise on a point of order.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I would like to hear from someone on the other side of the House.

Mr Keogh - My point of order is this: I do not think the honourable member fully withdrew the insulting remarks that he made about the Minister for Civil Aviation. He did not withdraw the word 'ignorant'. I think that is a gross insult. I believe it should be withdrawn.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The word 'ignorant' is not unparliamentary.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - He is ignorant, ignorant, ignorant, if you like to know. The blatantly political postponement of the resiting-

Mr Keogh - On a point of order, did you, Mr Speaker, rule that the word 'ignorant' should be withdrawn? The honourable member repeated it.


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I will say it again in case the honourable member for Bowman who does not care-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I ask the honourable gentleman to get on with his speech. Honourable members are carrying on like a pack of school kids.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The blatantly political postponing of the re-siting of the Brisbane airport, which the Coombs report admits the Liberals planned to start constructing in 1973, exposes as a myth the claim that Labor cares about pollution and the quality of life. More particularly it highlights the thinking that if one does not live in Sydney or Melbourne one is considered politically expendable. It is a pity the Minister walked out because I would like to hear whether he believes that Brisbane is politically expendable. Since I spoke on 2 occasions last week I have been told that the Government made a specific request to the Coombs task force that the Brisbane Airport be included in its report so that it could be discreetly axed. The Minister has an obligation to confirm or deny the truth of this. Mr Speaker, you are a man of democracy and will understand why I am personally upset that the Minister who has had many occasions to confirm or deny these allegations has seen fit once again to run from the concern which I express on behalf of 50,000 Brisbane citizens.

Mr SPEAKER - Then do not send him a Christmas card.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will not send him a Christmas card and I am quite sure that no one in Queensland will do so either because he has been nothing but a disaster since his appointment. The Minister continues to seek asylum in the confines of his office and has refused three opportunities to explain what the Government is or is not doing in Brisbane. It is a shameful display of discourtesy and blows to pieces yet another Australian Labor Party myth - open Government. The promise of the construction of a new international terminal instead of the beginning of noise relief is an insult to the intelligence of a city of nearly 1 million people. I will continue to speak on every day that it is possible to do so about the Brisbane Airport, until the Minister informs the Parliament of the Government's intentions. On the previous 2 occasions on which I have spoken I made references to when the Minister was but an Opposition member. Let me spell it out once again because I see the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh) and the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Doyle) present in the chamber tonight.

The Coombs task force report requested by the present Labor Government spelt out very clearly that the previous Government intended spending Sim this year on the Brisbane Airport, approximately $13m next year and approximately $18m the year later. Honourable members in this time of inflation might say: 'What is $32m - but a drop in the bucket'. But the truth is that the previous Government was at last beginning to begin. At last it was starting to do something about providing Brisbane with a new airport. Unfortunately we had a change of government. The Labor Party regards north of the New South Wales border as being totally expendable. Every time in the past when honourable members opposite have prattled on about the quality of life, people outside - particularly the young - have believed that the Labor Party was a party that cared. Its attitude on this occasion indicates that its words have had but a hollow ring, that me quality of life as judged by the Labor Party is something that is measured more by the capacity of a particular area to produce votes and win seats in this House than by a concern for the welfare of the people of that area. I take this opportunity to remind you, Mr Speaker, because I know you like this job, that your job is imperilled because of the closed mind and ignorance of the present Minister.

The honourable member for Lilley (Mr Doyle) won his seat by only 35 votes at the last election. He has told me that he hopes to do better next time. He has assured me that he has spoken to the Minister for Civil Aviation on this subject. Let me assure the Parliament that the honourable member Lilley stands condemned by the Minister's inaction. The Minister's inaction indicates that the Minister regards the honourable member for Lilley as a man of little worth. If the Minister cared about him he would be doing something. It is unfortunate that the honourable member for Lilley, who does not have any personality problems, will be sacrificed on the altar of progress at the next election. I assure him - through you, Sir - that he will pay the price for the Minister's inaction and for the way in which the Government has continued to ignore the city of Brisbane while it has been poised on the verge of progress. We have waited for long enough-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable gentleman's time has expired.

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