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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2336

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - The Opposition certainly does not intend to bow to the threats which the Leader of the House (Mr Daly) has made on this occasion. One of the reasons why this Government has lost such a massive support throughout the country is simply because of the tactics it has adopted in this House which deny the Opposition Parties adequate opportunity to scrutinise and fully debate the legislation which comes before the House.

Mr Peacock - That is only one reason.

Mr LYNCH - It is only one reason but it is a very powerful reason. I thank the honourable member for Kooyong for his interjection. The plain fact is that this Government apparently is intent on interring democracy in this House; the Government apparently will not learn the lesson of the Parramatta byelection and the Greensborough and Murray by-elections in the State of Victoria. This Government apparently has a manic preoccupation with the concept of the volume of legislation which is passing through this House. There is no attempt- (Government supporters interjecting) -

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I know that everyone has had a very enjoyable lunch, but let us leave it there.

Mr LYNCH - This Government is intent on running Australia like a company which is busy going broke. In other words, there is a manic preoccupation with volume, pressure, expedition, speed and numbers. It has no conception of the need for this House to be given an opportunity to scrutinise legislation and no recognition of the need for quality in legislation. One of the major reasons why the Government has lost such a massive percentage of votes in the country is because of the jackboot tactics which the Leader of the House has adopted.

I put down for the record the fact that this is the sixth guillotine moved by the Government this year. We make the strongest possible protest to the Parliament about the manner in which the Government has abused the forms of the House at every opportunity. The responsibility lies with the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam), but he is a man who is intent on using this Parliament as a forum for his own grandiose pretensions and not as a house of legislative review, as its democratic functions are prescribed under the Constitution.

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Who wrote that?

My LYNCH - The facts are plain and undeniable. Every major legislative proposal advanced by this Government has been subject to a guillotine. The Minister for Housing asks: 'Who wrote that?' I hope the people of this country in their hundreds of thousands are listening to the inane interjections of honourable members opposite and will recognise that one of the most important pieces of legislation which the Government has put before this House - that is the Government's judgment; the Government says this Bill is important and significant - is being guillotined. Let the listeners of this country know that this is a government which is prepared to deny the Opposition Parties a real opportunity to look at the details of legislation. As I said before, I put down for the purposes of the record- (Government supporters interjecting) -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have appealed for order for the last time. If I do not get order, I will take the appropriate action, irrespective of what side of the House the disturbance comes from.

Mr LYNCH - I put down for the purposes of the record of this House the fact that the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was guillotined on 8 May, the National Pipeline Authority Bill, the Bill to establish the Prices Justification Tribunal and the Seas and Submerged Lands Bill were subject to the guillotine on 16 May, the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1973 (No. 2) was guillotined on 20 September, the Constitution Alteration (Incomes) Bill was guillotined on 26 September and the Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill was guillotined on 17 October. Now, on 18 October the Government has moved the guillotine on the National Investment Fund Bill. These are not urgent Bills. The only reason why the Government has taken this action is that it seeks to force through this Parliament approximately 200 Bills this session. I would have thought that if there was one lesson or moral that this Government would have learned by now it would be the simple lesson that momentum of legislation is no criterion for success in the country. That is one reason why the Government has lost support throughout Australia. As far as the Opposition Parties are concerned, the Government may be expediting the business now but when the legislation goes to another place the Government will find that this move has been counter-productive. We in this place will not listen to the politics of confrontation. We will not bow to threats but we will make certain that this legislation is debated in another place.

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

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