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Tuesday, 24 September 1974
Page: 1294

Senator BAUME (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Has the Leader of the Government in the Senate seen the results of the local government elections which were held last weekend in New South Wales? Did the Australian Labor Party suffer major setbacks in almost every local government area in New South Wales? Did the Labor Party lose control of many councils which it previously held? Will the Government now acknowledge that there has been a clear expression of opinion from the grass roots in New South Wales? Will the Government moderate some of the iniquitous and devisive policies which have obviously upset the electorate?

The PRESIDENT - I remind the Leader of the Government in the Senate that Senator Baume is seeking an opinion, and it is up to the Minister whether he wishes to reply.

Senator MURPHY -I understand that the election result is not a reflection of the opinion of the majority of people in New South Wales.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) -Didn't only 20 per cent of eligible voters vote?

Senator MURPHY -The Minister for the Media informs me that only approximately 20 per cent of the people voted.

Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson - You are about 10 per cent out. It was 30 per cent.

Senator MURPHY -Senator Sir KennethAnderson suggests that the figure was 30 per cent. In any event, it was a very low poll and the election was directed towards local government issues. If Senator Baume seeks somehow to extend what happened in a local government election with a very poor poll to the attitudes to the Australian Government, I think he would on reflection find that his prediction was a very improper and unscientific- even politically unscientificmethod of analysis. It would be much better for him to accept the verdict of the people which was given in a solemn fashion not so long ago and to help to carry it out.

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