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Wednesday, 16 October 1974
Page: 1735

Senator McAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) -Is the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction aware that George Stevens Pty Ltd, a Brisbane based building contractor and land developer, has gone into receivership and that Mr Stevens has blamed the Marxist policy of the Australian Government for the collapse of his company? Is the Minister also aware that the same Mr George Stevens picked up the tab for $20,000 from Leo Burnett Pty Ltd, an advertising agency, on behalf of the Australian Country Party in Queensland? Will the Minister inquire whether this bill has been paid? If it has not, will he use his best endeavours to see that the payment of it does not get priority over the payment of tradesmen or other people in the building industry?

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - I know very little about George Stevens Pty Ltd. I know more about the Marxist policy of the Australian Labor Party and I make no apologies if it puts out of business those who pay the advertising debts of the Australian Country Party in Queensland. Anyone supporting the Country Party in Queensland- as distinct from the Country Party in other States- would see a Marxist threat or a communist bogey under every bush in the State. I am asked: Who will be paid? I suppose Mr Bjelke-Petersen in Queensland thinks that he should have some priority for payment of his advertising transaction. Under Commonwealth bankruptcy legislation the priorities are clear. I know that wages, long service leave and annual leave have high priority. Having been in the Senate on the occasion when the relevant Bill was discussed, I cannot recall a high priority being given to the payment of the debts of a political party. I do not think it will receive preference over workmen.

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