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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1567


Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - We may recall what this debate is about. I represent in this chamber the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren), who is responsible for the support that the Commonwealth is giving to the area of Monarto. Senator McLaren thought he had a responsibility tonight to show up the attack that has been made on the progressive move of the South Australian Government. As with most things Senator McLaren raises here, the matter aroused a lot of opposition. Surprisingly tonight it aroused all except one of the Opposition senators from South Australia. Therefore, we had unanimity among Liberal senators that we should not go on with Monarto.


Senator Jessop - We did not say that.


Senator CAVANAGH - Let us get it straight. I do not want to misrepresent anyone. I gathered from the remarks that there was so much opposition to Monarto that it should not be gone on with.


Senator Jessop - No.


Senator CAVANAGH - Then what are we arguing about? We have complete unity. Let us get behind the wheel and see how much we can develop Monarto to make it the city we hope it to be. We can only assume from the Opposition's interjections, and because of its recent attitude of attacking everything that the Government has done, that it opposes Monarto. In 1972 the South Australian Government decided that Adelaide should not be developed to more than 1 .3 million population and that that should be its maximum. Does anyone disagree with that? It did not want Adelaide to become another city as we have seen in Sydney and in Melbourne and other large cities. A French firm of consultants, Elkouby and Labro, came to Australia to make an investigation and reported that Monarto should not be developed because Adelaide is not yet sufficiently developed. The consultants stated that we should do the very thing that the South Australian Government is trying to avoid. The South Australian Government said that with a proposed planned increase in population for Adelaide, which will rise over a 10-year period at a rate of 1.8 per cent a year, it will reach that 1.3 million by about the year 2000. It is to stop the very thing that the consultants recommendedand they are supported now by Mr McLeay- the plan was envisaged. It was done so that we could reduce the present 3 per cent growth rate in Adelaide and so that an alternative site was available when Adelaide reached the maximum size to which we could permit it to grow. It was done to preserve the dignity and the respectability of a small city, something which I think will be an attraction. It will not be a large metropolis such as those which we see in other States of Australia.

I do not think anyone with a liking of Australia will greatly disagree with that. Because it was decided that the growth centre would be Monarto we find that, according to honourable senators opposite, it is the most unsuitable place in the whole of South Australia. Let us look at the facts. We have heard of Eyre Peninsula and Yorke Peninsula. But the essential thing that makes a city is its industries. If honourable senators opposite think that with the present interstate competition to attract industries- competition in this interstate field is becoming much more activeindustries will be attracted from Eyre Peninsula or from the south coast to come to this area that has a train line running interstate, they have another thing coming.

The other question involved is that we have no water there. Monarto is right on the Murray River that supplies the water supply. Senator Davidson told us this evening that we should not build this growth centre on the Murray River because we are draining too much water from the Murray system. Wherever we build in South Australia we use Murray water. The whole State relies on it. Right down to Kimba on Eyre Peninsula, people are using Murray water at present. Murray water is being used on Yorke Peninsula and at Woomera. The whole of the city . of Adelaide is using Murray water. If Adelaide is expanded, we still have to obtain water from the same source. That water will be obtained for Monarto with less transport costs at the present time.

The reasons for the decision of the South Australian Authority, which is supported by the Cities Commission under the Department of Urban and Regional Development, to establish in this area were because an adequate and reasonably cheap water supply was available and because supplies of gas and electricity were there already. Were such facilities available in any other township? There was also the rail link with Melbourne and Adelaide. There will be a freeway connection to Adelaide by 1977 and the possibility of a general aviation airfield site. Are those facilities available at the other site? The area has a reasonable climate and is in close proximity to the River Murray, the sea and the Mount Lofty Ranges for recreation facilities. It is within reasonable proximity of Adelaide for social and economic reasons and has the physical separation of the Mount Lofty Ranges to prevent a fusion of the 2 urban areas. I ask honourable senators: Where would you get an area in South Australia with all the qualities that Monarto has in order to attract industry? But we find Senator Jessop wanting to take things 100 miles to Adelaide for transshipment.

Senator SteeleHall spoke of conscripting labour. If you are interested in decentralisation, surely it is proper for government departments to be situated in areas which a government is trying to develop? If there is no need for those departments to be established in a crowded metropolis, they should be situated in the growth centre area. Many government departments will be situated in Monarto. There is only one other thing I want to mention. What Senator Poyser said about the Liberal Government in South Australia is true. Senator Laucke, as a former member of that Government, knows it is true. He knows that he was part of a gerrymander that took place in South Australia for a number of years. He knows that Tom Playford would only develop areas which were safe and secure Labor seats. That is why he developed Port Augusta, Leigh Creek and Mount Gambier. Where did he ever establish an industry in a Liberal held seat? I ask honourable senators opposite to tell me where he ever put an industry-


Senator Rae - Mr President,the reference to Senator Laucke-


The PRESIDENT - Order! Is the honourable senator raising a point of order?


Senator Rae - Yes. The references to Senator Laucke having participated in a gerrymander and having been responsible for gerrymanders, which are now being elaborated on, I think go beyond the provisions of Standing Orders.


The PRESIDENT - If Senator Cavanagh is directing those remarks specifically I think that he is out of order.


Senator CAVANAGH - If Senator Laucke objects or denies what I have said then I withdraw it. I do not think that it becomes a member from a far distant State which has the protection of the most democratic system of State elections in the whole of Australia to object to a reference to an area about which he knows nothing and which has the worst gerrymander system in Australia. South Australia has the greatest concentration of voters in the metropolitan area relative to total population of any State in the Commonwealth. The man who was called Uncle Tom' was always known to me by the nickname of 'Honest Tom'. This was the man who kept in office for 21 years by fooling the people with a gerrymander. Over that period he received a majority of the vote on 2 occasions. When he was finally defeated and realised that he could not be succeeded and was determined that he would never be exceeded, he appointed a young fellow to the leadership of the Party. His successor won one election, lost the 2 following elections and then left the Party for the whole purpose of coming to this place to criticise his colleagues from South Australia.

We can see the concentration of the attack on South Australia by the interjections that have been made tonight. There is no opposition to Monarto. Opposition senators are merely using the debate on Monarto as a means of getting a speech recorded in Hansard. Because Dunstan is building Monarto Liberal senators in this place have to attack it. They say that the proposed city is in the worst position in the world. The people in the Gulf country of South Australia where unemployment is at its greatest at present are relying on industry for development. They are crying out for the Redcliffs project. But the Opposition attacks everything that the Government is trying to do in respect of this project. We can see that everything that the Dunstan Government does will be attacked in this place. Don Dunstan is the outstanding Premier of Australia and Opposition senators are afraid of him. While ever he is in power in South Australia the Liberals will never get back to office in that State to carry out further gerrymanders. Therefore Opposition senators attack the greatest Premier that this country has. Don Dunstan will be Premier of South Australia for many, many years. Quite a number of senators who were defeated in State elections have entered this Parliament. Now Opposition senators have made attacks on those responsible for the change in the political climate in South Australia at present.







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