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Thursday, 17 October 1974
Page: 1825

Senator WHEELDON (Western AustraliaMinister for Repatriation and Compensation) - I should like to say only a few words because in all the to and fro in the discussion on Tasmania there is still one point which has not been clarified. I might be doing some of our speakers an injustice, although there were many excellent points raised by them, but I do not think it was brought out on this side and it was left to Senator Hall to raise this point. The point that Senator Hall has raised- and he raised it in the form of a question- is: What precisely is the Liberal Party's economic policy? As I understand it, the gravamen of the Opposition's criticism of the Australian Labor Party is that it is engaging in too much public expenditure but what the Opposition says about Tasmania is that we are engaging in too little public expenditure.

Is the argument therefore that there ought to be a reduction in the expenditure in all or some of the other States in order to make up for the increased expenditure in Tasmania? If so, which States are they to be and to what extent? If this is not the case, how is the Opposition proposing to us that the Government can couple increased expenditure on Tasmania with a Budget which in toto is reduced? This point has still not been answered and I should be delighted, even at this late hour, if somebody from the Opposition- perhaps Senator Greenwood, instead of pursuing his personal vendetta against Senator Hall- were to deal with matters of substance and matters of policy and not matters of personality and explain to us precisely what it is that they have in mind on economic policy.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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