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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 2581

Mr CROSS (BRISBANE. QLD) - Is the Prime Minister aware that the Premier of Queensland has recently returned from abroad and levelled serious criticisms at the Australian Government on the matter of inflation? I ask the Prime Minister whether the Premier of Queensland has made any constructive suggestion as to action which the Commonwealth should take and whether the Premier has offered the cooperation of the State of Queensland' in any area where the Commonwealth has taken action already.

Mr WHITLAM - I have some faint inkling that the Premier of Queensland made some criticisms of the Australian Government. He is, of course, alone among Australian Premiers in criticising the Australian Government when he is overseas as well as when he is at home. I suppose the country suffers from the fact that this Premier goes overseas more often than any other. The honourable gentleman has not taken any initiatives to curb inflation which lie within the hands of State governments. For instance, State governments have always been able to stabilise the price of land. There are no constitutional limitations in this area because a block of land cannot be carried across a State border. The Queensland Government has been notably tardy in exercising its authority in this matter. Again, Queensland's governmental expenditure would be very much better directed if the Queensland Government were to seek the advice of a body, as the Australian Government did, such as the Coombs task force. It is well to point out that the extravagant, archaic, anachronistic expenditures by Australian governments are principally those by State governments. The Queensland Government has done nothing to update its practices.

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