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Wednesday, 19 September 1973
Page: 1298

Mr KEOGH (Bowman) - It is a pity that the honourable member for Darling Downs (Mr McVeigh) used the opportunity of the adjournment debate tonight to make such ยป vicious attack on the members of the trade union movement currently engaged in an industrial dispute in the special hospitals in Brisbane. It ill behoves him, but perhaps we might excuse his performance this evening and put it down to his inexperience in this House, to the fact that he has not been here very long, and hope that he will learn better as time goes on. One thing that is sure is that nothing he has said this evening can serve any purpose in the most important consideration concerning that dispute, that is the settlement of that dispute. My colleague, the Minister for Health, Dr Everingham, has offered his services to mediate in this dispute, should he be called upon. He is eager and ready to carry out the task of endeavouring to settle the dispute, should he be asked. Naturally, he will not do as some people are prepared to do, namely, butt into somebody else's business. However, he has indicated that he is prepared to try to settle the dispute if he is asked to do so.

Let me remind the honourable member for Darling Downs that not one member of the union involved in the dispute is earning money while he is out on strike. It is money out of the pocket of the worker. What consideration does he give to that when he gets up on an occasion such as this and makes groundless accusations against people involved in a dispute? If the honourable member for Darling Downs is such a wonderful person and knows such a great deal about the dispute, his time would be better spent in assisting Industrial Commissioner Gibson in his efforts to try to settle the dispute, rather than making such an attack this evening on people involved in the dispute.

This evening I wish to speak principally about something that has been brought to my attention in recent days. I refer to the new found interests of the honourable member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron) in Eagle Farm airport. I see the honourable member for Griffith sitting in the House this evening. If it is his intention to speak again on this matter tonight in the adjournment debate, he will be making his third speech on the subject in just on a week. That is more speeches on the subject than he made on this issue in the entire previous time that he has been in this Parliament. I have consulted the Hansard records and have come up with some startling facts relating to the great interest the honourable member showed in the problems of Eagle Farm airport in the first 6 years that he was inflicted on this Parliament and on the electors of Griffith. I should like to quote this record to honourable members.

The first speech of the honourable member for Griffith on this issue was made some 3 years after he became the honourable member for Griffith. It was made on 11 March 1970 and it was the first time he got on his feet and showed any concern for the victims of noise in his electorate for whom he now cries so loudly. The speech was made on the occasion of the reappointment of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Aircraft Noise. His grave concern for the electors of Griffith was shown at this time when he made a statement in the House in which he really attacked the then Minister for Civil Aviation for his inactivity. He said:

I ask the Minister to give an' assurance that the Committee's findings will be taken seriously by the Government.

That is really going to town on the Minister. Twelve months later, he was again stirred to make some effort on behalf of the people of his electorate and the people of Brisbane who were suffering through the inactivity over so many years of the then Minister for Civil Aviation, Sir Reginald Swartz, and on 18 March 1971 he spoke on the adjournment and stated:

All honourable members will know that ever since I arrived in this House I have been a strong advocate of the cause for peace for the constituents residing in my electorate and those who have been subjected over the years to the increasing noise problem.

He was a strong advocate but also a very silent one until that time. He continued to make a great effort to impress upon his Government the urgency of the task before it and about which it had been making excuses for so many years, and these were his words to spur on the then Government to greater efforts:

Today I am advocating that something be done quickly and that 1978 be the date for the building of a second airport in Brisbane.

He was talking about a second airport and the Government was not even able to do anything about the one that was already there. The honourable member for Griffith went on to talk about the great efforts his colleague, the previous member for Lilley had made and said: . . the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Kevin Cairns), has quietly but positively worked towards the solution of the problem of the Brisbane airport.

The then honourable member for Lilley certainly must have worked very quietly towards it because we never heard very much from that gentleman except words of praise for his friends in the Democratic Labor Party. The honourable member for Griffith went on during his speech on the adjournment on 18 March 1971 to refer to a Press statement. It is probably as well that I explain to honourable members how he came to make this statement to which I am about to refer. The Press statement made mention of noise in the Ascot-Hamilton area. The honourable member for Griffith said:

I would hate it to be thought that reference has been made to the electorate of the honourable member for Lilley in this Press statement because he has worked harder than I and no mention has been made of my electorate because of my tardiness.

If the cap fits, wear it. The second speech that the honourable member for Griffith made and which I have just quoted was made on 1 8 March 1971. He had been a member of this House since the 1966 elections. That was the extent of his interest in Eagle Farm airport during the whole of the 6 years he spent sitting on the back benches in support of a government that did nothing until just before the last election. A Press statement referred to the report that was tabled in March 1972.

At that stage, the Government announced for about the fourth time that plans had been prepared and activity was to commence at Eagle Farm airport. Such was that activity that he was able to refer to it in the third speech that he made, on 12 September 1973, when he said that 5 years had almost passed and the new Government had done nothing towards the planning of Eagle Farm Airport.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I was referring to Sir Donald Anderson's statement in Melbourne at the Rotary Club. Be specific and honest.

Mr KEOGH - I accept that. It was not intentional that I should have misquoted the honourable member. I am quoting from his speech. I accept, as the honourable member says, that he was referring to a speech made by Sir Donald Anderson. But in that speech he referred to the inactivity of the present Government and certainly made no reference to the inactivity of the previous Government. But of course he woke up to himself in the last speech that he made prior to yesterday evening, on 13 September. He said: 1 repeat my comments last night when I referred to the Coombs report which clearly outlined that the previous Liberal-Country Party Government had intentions ... of continuing, moving along the road of speeding up the building of the Brisbane airport.

That was the Government that he was proud, pleased or prepared to sit behind and support in the. efforts it made, and those efforts it made, and those efforts amounted to nothing over the years it was in office as far as the Brisbane airport was concerned. In a few moments my colleague, the honourable member for Lilley, will be able to outline very clearly the activity of this Government in the short time that it has had the responsibility for the rebuilding of Eagle Farm Airport.

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