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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 2060

Senator LITTLE (Victoria) -The Australian Democratic Labor Party supports the Bill. We are pleased that the Bill contains a provision which makes allowance for the fact that the policies of the previous Government, the present Government and maybe the succeeding government on matters affecting the economy of the nation are such that we must expect continued inflation. A provision in the Bill makes it possible for the 11c per tonne which is expected to be imposed to be extended to 1 5c per tonne to make allowance for inflation. As long as the previous Government, the present Government or the future government continues a policy of higher interest rates, which must add to the wealth of the rich and the poverty of the poor, as a means of curing inflation, we will be beset with inflation.

It is wise to make provision in this BUI for the collection of another 4c a tonne at any particular time to allow for inflation. It is wrong to say that the industry itself should be providing the whole of the funds for the future research conducted in relation to it. As I understand it, whatever funds are provided by the industry are matched by the Commonwealth Government. That does not mean that the Government pays for the research. That is another illusion that whichever Party is in power always seems to run away with. They think that they are being generous to the industry and that the government is providing the money. Of course, what they are doing is transferring the contribution from the rest of the taxpayers- the people of this country. They make their contribution not only in the interests of this industry and those engaged in it, nor even in the interest of this country alone but also iri the interests of the whole world. We must all face up to the probability that in the future the world must learn to produce the maximum amount that it is possible to produce from the resources it has in order to cope with the ever narrowing gap between the production of sufficient food and the requirements of the people who populate the world.

The taxpayers of this country who make a contribution and the wheat growers who make a contribution to assist their own industry and, incidentally, themselves, are at the same time making a contribution to the world economy, to the future needs of that economy. That is what they do when they make a provision such as this to improve the efficiency and the capacity of the industry to produce. We have so many examples of this that it is not necessary for me to reiterate them to show precisely how the capacity of the world to produce can be expanded by the application of the knowledge and the ingenuity of which man is capable. Probably this is an argument that can be used in reply to those people who prattle about zero population growth. That is an absurdity particularly in an under populated country such as the one that we have the great privelege to occupy. It is ridiculous when you realise how much knowledge we have added to reach the situation that we have reached today. This has enabled us to improve the capacity of the world to produce the requirements of such people who prattle ridiculously about the need in a country like Australia to adopt zero population growth. Of course, it is obvious to any person charged with a responsibility on behalf of others, as members of Parliament should be, that this country must reach its full potential not only in its own interests and those of its people but also in the interests of the world. An under populated Australia is a curse to mankind and the whole world. Those who promulgate this philosophy in Australia are a menace not only to themselves and the people of Australia but also to the future of the whole society which makes up the world to which we belong. We support the Bill. We think that it is practical and sensible and that it makes provision for the obvious weaknesses of the Party in government today and the Party that might even be in government in the future with its economic policies. We give the Bill our blessing.

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