Petitions-20 October, 1982 1841 Wednesday, 20 October, 1982 Mr Speaker (The Hon. Lawrence Borthwick Kelly) took the chair at 2.15 p.m. Mr Speaker offered the Prayer. PETITIONS The Clerk announced that the following petitions had been lodged for presenta- tion : Woolloomooloo Bus Services The Petiton of concerned Woolloomooloo residents respectfully sheweth: That the current public transport bus facilities for residents in Woollmmooloo are inadequate. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that your honourable House recommend an extension of the existing bus routes into Woolloomooloo. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. Petition, lodged by Mr Miller, received. Children's Services The humble Petition of the undersigned citizens of New South Wales respectfully sheweth: That citizens of New South Wales view with great alarm the present administration of children's services, and call for an urgent review to determine the most appropriate structure to administer child- ren's services in New South Wales. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Legislative Assembly, in Parliament assembled, should take every step necessary to obtain such a review of the administration of children's services. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. Petitions, lodged by Mr Fisher and Mr O'Connell, received. Hawkesbury River Fish Resources The Petition of certain concerned citizens of New South Wales, respectfully sheweth: That recreational and commercial fishing are very important to the New South Wales economy. The existing knowledge of fish and fishing in relation to their habitats and resources is insufficient to ensure proper management of these. 116 Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Government com- mence immediately a detailed study of fish and their habitats in the Hawkes- bury River system and the ocean waters confronting this with the object of protecting the ecology of a region so precious to the metropolis of greater Sydney. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. Petition, lodged by Mr Smith, received. Four-Term School Year This Petition of certain citizens of New South Wales concerned with the education of State schoolchildren respectfully sheweth: That in the professional opinion of the overwhelming majority of schoolteachers in this State, and in the view of many pupils and their parents, the introduction of a 4-term school year would be of greater educational benefit to the pupils than the current 3-term year. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that your honourable House: Introduce the 4-term school year from the beginning of 1984. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. Petitions, lodged by Mr Fischer and Mr Schipp, received. Homosexual Laws The humble Petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia, New South Wales, respectfully sheweth: That we support your valiant efforts, particularly over the last twelve months, to strengthen and support our family and community life. We therefore call upon you to firmly reject the 1982 report and recommendations of the Anti-Discrimination Board on homosexuality, for the following reasons: (1) The board's irrational proposal that copies of Young, Gay and Proud, an obscene children's school textbook, should be included in all school libraries (page 643) is a threat to morals of children. This publication has already been prohibited in New South Wales schools by the New South Wales Director-General d Education and is a restricted publication under the Indecent Articles and Classified Publications Act, 1975, which means that the book may not be sold, displayed or exhibited in areas accessible to persons under the age of eighteen years. (2) The board's recommendation that the word spouse be legally redefined to recognize homosexual male partners, which would be a direct attack on the institutions of marriage and the family (refer- ence 8.18). ( 3 ) The board's endorsement, without modification, of Mr G. Petersen's private member's bill of November 1981, which would have legalized buggery, sodomy, and homosexual male prostitution, et cetera, in spite of that bill having been already overwhelmingly rejected after prolonged debate by the New South Wales Parliament (reference 5.71). Petitions-Questions without Notice-20 October, 1982 1843 (4) These irresponsible recommendations, and many others relating to education, police and health, et cetera, clearly discredit the board's report, and strongly indicate the board's lack of objectivity and professionalism. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that your honourable House will continue to support family life and high moral values, and to protect children in New South Wales, by firmly rejecting the board's report and recommendations on homosexuality and to ensure that this report is not implemented surreptitiously without the approval or authority of Parliament. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. Petitions, lodged by Mr Beckroge, Mr O'Connell, Mr Park, Mr Pickard, Mr Punch, Mr Schipp and Mr West, received. Sydney Harbour Bridge The Petition of citizens of New South Wales respectfully sheweth: That there is a great deal of opposition to the proposal for an extra traffic lane on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and that it would be a waste of public funds badly needed for more pressing uses. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that the proposal for the extra traffic lane on the Sydney Harbour Bridge be abandoned. Petition, lodged by Mr Mack, received. QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE EX OFFICZO INDICTMENTS Mr DOWD: My question, which is without notice, is addressed to the Attorney- General, Minister of Justice and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. During the course of the committal for conspiracy concerning the Bartons and Bounty Oil, did the Minister interrupt those proceedings before all witnesses had been called, in order to issue an, ex oficio indictment against the Bartons and Mr Laurence Gruzman of Queen's Counsel? Will the Minister tell this House his reasons for taking the unusual course of interrupting the committal proceedings? Was it a result of representations made to him by the Premier? Is there any truth in the allegation made in court by Mr Laurence Gruzman that arrangements had been made between the Minister and the Premier to institute ex oficio indictment proceedings? Mr WALKER: The answer ta the first part of the question is, yes. The answer t o the last part of the question is, no. I took those proceedings on the basis of advice given to me by senior Crown counsel involved in the case. Mr Dowd: Called Neville Wran? Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr WALKElR: Though he was a briefless barrister, the Leader of the Opposition well knows, or he will learn by reading the papers today, that Mr Gnuman of Queen's Counsel has withdrawn unreservedly his false and foul allegation. It ill behoves the Leader of the Opposition, in the face of that unreserved withdrawal by Mr Grwman, to persist with such a vile and maliciaus accusation. I844 ASSEMBLY-Questions without Notice WOLLONGONG UNEMPLOYMENT Mr RAMSAY: My question without notice is addressed to the Minister for Industrial Development and Minister for Decentralisation. Has the Minister's depart- ment provided assistance in the form of business or alternative employment oppor- tunities for persons who have been laid off or face the prospect of being laid off by Australian Iron and Steel Limited or collieries in the Wollongong district? Mr DAY: I compliment the honourable member for Wollongong on his un- firing efforts to resolve the longstanding unemployment problems in the major industry of the Illawarra region. I advise him that some little time ago a regional employment working party was established within my department. That party has concentrated its efforts on the recognition and promotion of immediate business opportunities which would be particularly suitable for established medium-sized small businesses. The working party has also sought to assist, by means of management skills and advice, in ensuring the continued existence of such small businesses. It should be remembered that 93 per cent of Australian businesses have fewer than ten employees. In New South Wales there are more than 180 000 of them. In the past five weeks the members f s the working party have conducted a programme of visits and research into and concerning the Illawarra region. That area has become a pilot for similar programmes that may be applied in other regions when resources allow. However, Illawarra is suffering more than any other region from the downturn in the steel industry. One of the main findings of the working party has been that many local small businesses lacked both the management and financial flexibility to adapt to the down- turn in the region's major industries. The parochial nature of the small business management in the Illawarra region is a fundamental problem. As wdl, there is increasing obsolescence of methods and machinery used by the metalwork fabricators who, in the past, have relied heavily on the steelworks for their orders. My depart- ment has already established a comprehensive programme to assist the small business community in the region. This includes a one-day seminar for retailers, covering hancial management and merchandizing, which will be held at the University of Wollongong on Sunday, 14th November. This seminar is being conducted in con- junction with a sponsorship from the Wdlongong Chamber of C o m e r c e . The particular problems of metal fabricators have had extra, special assistance. Already a subsidized consultancy is under way in one business and a number of other prospects are being looked at, including assisting smaller firms to seek business outside the region, assistance in preparing tenders to make their position better when quoting for government jobs, broadening the scope of local industries' marketing so that they can apply also for work outside the region, and steps towards attaining a greater degree of co-operation for subcontracting or contracting work within the region, When this work has been further developed, it is likely that a workshop or seminar will be developed to provide information specifically for the appropriate firms. Previous studies have shown that many of those who opt for early retirement from their employ- ment can be expected to seek self-employment. My department's small business agency already has a programme called the "new venture workshop", specially designed for such people. This programme outlines pitfalls and problems likely to face new- comers, as well as detailing the advantages of self-employment and indicating the action that should be taken to increase the chance of success. The first of these workshops is to be held in Wollongong tonight at the city council's information centre. I hope it will be rapidly followed by many more. So far it has confirmed enrolments for twenty-eight people. Apart from these specific initiatives, there has been a vast increase in the number of visits by small Questions without Notice---20 October, 1982 1845 business agency personnel to the Illawarra region. Originally the programme envisaged visits once a month. The demand for the services has been so great that Wollongong now has a counsellor from the agency visiting for a full day each week. I said that the department views that Illawarra region programme as a pilot programme for oithep areas. Steps are already under way to adapt the programme to the Hunter region, bu$ further departmental work will be done to expand the programme towards long-term strategies for assisting employment opportunities. I have no doubt that the honourable member is aware that the Premier announced proposed alterations to the Illawarra industry development board on his recent visit to Wollongong. It is hoped that the altered structure of that board can be announced soon. WAMBO MINING CORPORATION Mr PUNCH: I direct my question without notice to the Treasurer. Is he aware that the Government Insurance Office has acquired 50 per cent equity in Wambo Mining Corporation Pty Limited for a reported sum of $3 million? Is he further aware that the Government Insurance Office holds a 10 per cent shareholding in another coal company, White Industries Limited, and has tendered for the Jerrys Plains lease areas adjacent to the Wambo mines? Will the Treasurer assure the House and the people of this State that the insurance premiums levied by the Government Insurance Office will not have to rise to pay for these ventures into mining, which would be better, more efficiently and more cheaply handled by private enterprise? Mr BOOTH: I am aware of the Warnbo situation. When the reoommendation was made to me, to satisfy myself of the economic soundness of the proposal that was being put I asked for further clarification from the Government Insurance Office. I also asked Treasury officials to support further the recommendation being made by the Government Insurance Office. In the light of the evidence that was placed before me by the Government Insurance Office and the Treasury officials, I was satisfied that the proposal was economically sound and that it would not lead to an increase in the Government Insurance Office premiums. From time to time the Government Insurance Office enters into business investments. Its judgment up to this stage has been satisfactory. I approved of the recommendation of the Government Insurance Office and the Treasury officials. NEWCASTLE UNEMPLOYMENT Mr WADE: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Decentralisation. In view of what the Minister has said about his department's progress in assisting people in the Wollongong area, will he advise the House as to any plans his department has-and the progress it has made- to give similar assistance to people in the Newcastle area? Mr DAY: I am grateful to the honourable member for Newcastle for his direct and topical question, as I understand that today the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited stated that it will start laying off workers from its Newcastle works. I said previously that the department's regional employment working party has had certain objectives and has used the Illawarra region as a pilot study for a short-term programme that has been put into action. That working party has stated that this pilot approach will be implemented in other regions as quickly as resources allow. Obviously the Hunter region is a pre-eminent place for an extension of the scheme. In addition, the new venture workshop, which is being held tonight in Wollongong, 1846 ASSEMBLY-Questions without Notice will be mirrored in Newcastle on Wednesday, 27th October. For some time the Small Business Agency has made regular visits to Newcastle and other centres in the Hunter region, and it will continue to do so. The original arrangement in Newcastle was on the basis of a visiting counsellor going to that city two days a month. In preparation for an increased demand, one of the counsellors now visits Newcastle for two days every week. One last matter I should mention is the proposed restructuring of the Hunter Development Board, which has been a somewhat complicated proposal. However, I am pleased to say that I intend to proceed by restructuring the board as a company limited by guarantee. This incorporation will be undertaken as quickly as possible. Although several lesser matters of detail have to be resolved, I do not see them as impediments. Once the incorporation has been acheived, the board can better attack the problems of the region, in co-operation with my department and other arms of government. LAURENCE GRUZMAN, Q.C. Mr T. J. MOORE: My question without notice is directed to the Attorney- General, Minister of Justice and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Did Mr Kevin Anderson, S.M., yesterday award $100,000 costs to Mr Laurence Gruzman in respect of the proceedings commenced by ex olgicio indictment, issued by the Attorney- General against Mr Gntzman? Did the Crown consent to the award after negotia- tions with Mr Gruzman? Was it a condition of the payment of that sum that Mr Gruzman withdraw allegations concerning the conspiracy between the Premier and the Attorney-General in respect of the issue of the ex oficio indictment? Mr WALKER: The answer to the first part of the question is, yes. The question of costs arose after I made the decision not to proceed with the conspiracy charges. A number of other matters are still before the court in respect of these cases. The question should be answered but it should be answered carefully so as not to prejudice the fair trial of those other matters which concern different but related charges. At a previous hearing approximately a week ago Mr Anderson, S.M., said that he intended to award costs. The hearing was adjourned so that discussions could be held as to the quantum of costs. That was a perfectly proper and usual course to follow. Mr Dowd: That is rubbish. Mr WALKER: The Leader of the Opposition thinks it is rubbish for the magistrate to announce that he intends to make an order for costs and for the parties to discuss the quantum of those costs. I understand that Mr Gruzman, Q.C., demanded $313,000 costs after an extremely lengthy hearing. Discussions were held between Mr Gruzman and the legal advisers representing the Crown with regard to the quantum of costs. As a result of those discussions it was decided that the significant sum claimed should be reduced to $100,000. That sum is comparable with awards made in the past in lengthy cases concerning corporate crime. I deny the allegations made by the honourable member for Gordon. The Opposition is being malicious, particularly in light of the fact that Mr Gruzman, Q.C., has unreservedly withdrawn his vile and totally unsubstantiated allegations. If the honourable member had taken care to read the newspapers, he would be aware that Mr Gruzman withdrew his remarks after seeing documents that convinced him that his comments were totally untrue. Those documents related to advice by a Queen's Counsel to my advisers as Attorney-General. I resent in the extreme the nature Questions without N o t i c e 2 0 October, 1982 1847 of the question and the vile allegations. Since Parliament is now to have a privileges committee, in future the honourable member should be careful to ensure that, before he makes vile allegations about the integrity of a member of Parliament, he has evidence to substantiate them. [Interruption] Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Northcott to order. LIVERPOOL RAILWAY STATION Mr PACIULLO: Will the Minister for Transport inform the House of the progress of work to improve facilities at Liverpool railway station? Is the pro- vision of covered walkways and other facilities for passengers transferring between bus and rail at the station also included in the general improvement programme? Mr COX: Honourable members will know that the honourable member for Liverpool has strongly represented this question on a number of occasions in this House. In March last year it was my great privilege to announce that a major develop- ment of the railway station would be undertaken. The extent of the work to be carried out at Liverpool railway station certainly bears repeating. It included demoli- tion of the existing station building on the island platform and the demolition of the existing footbridge and booking office. A new booking oflice, barriers and concourse were to be provided together with a new parcels office and switch room and a signals and communications depot. Also a new footbridge with weather covering to the island platform was to be provided together with an awning and control room. Finally, landscaping, drainage and other site works were to be carried out in conjunction with associated alterations to the remaining buildings and toilets. Those works, costing in excess of $1 million, have been completed. I shall soon have the pleasurable task of consulting the local member about an official ceremony to commemorate the com- pletion of this major undertaking. The honourable member for Liverpool, almost three years ago to the day, said: The station and its surrounds are the gateway to Liverpool but are totally out of character with the rest of the bustling progressive, modern business centre of Liverpool. It is about time that this part of Liverpool ceased to be the shame of the city. In answer to the second part of the honourable member's question, I am pleased to announce that funds have been allocated for the 1982-83 financial year to enable the Urban Transit Authority to proceed with the provision of bus-rail inter- change improvements at the station to complement the work already completed. The Government's western region transport improvement programme includes the provision of weather protection, seats and information displays for bus-rail passen- gers at a substantial number of stations in the western region. Most of these projects were completed in the 1982-82 financial year. Because of proposals by Liverpod City Council to reconstruct the bus terminal and alter traffic movements, it was not practicable to include Liverpool in the initial group of stations listed for interchange improvements. However, now that council's works have been completed, the inter- change improvements can be carried out. Eary attention will be given to design work and the calling of tenders so that a contract can be let as soon as possible. I shall certainly keep the honourable member and the House fully informed of further developments as they occur. 1848 ASSEMBLY-Questions without Notice MANLY TOURISM Mr A. G. STEWART: My question is directed to the Treasurer. What steps has the Government taken to encourage the tourist industry in Manly? What benefits will that bring to my electorate? Mr BOOTH: I thank the honourable member for Manly for his question. I pay tribute to his efforts to promote tourism in the Manly area. Without his dedication and enthusiasm many of the key tourism initiatives currently taking place would not have occurred. Each year more than 4 000 000 tourists and day trippers visit the Manly municipality. In recognition of the area's potential, the Government established a task force comprising officers from the Premier's Department, the New South Wales Department of Tourism, and the Department of Environment and Planning. These officers consulted widely with the various community, civic and business sectors involved in the Mady tourist industry. In July 1981 the Premier presented the report of the task force to Parliament. The recommendations in the report were wide ranging and dealt with such matters as the Manly wharf, public wharf facilities, Narrabeen Lakes sport and recreation centre, beach improvements, the Manly pine-trees, North Head reclamation, and direct tourism promotion. To date progress has been made on most recommendations. The Manly council has recognized the development of tourism as an important priority and has supported the proposals outlined in the report. Con- struction is underway on stage 1 redevelopment of Manly Corso. The council has called tenders for the Wentworth Street development site, which will provide housing accommodation, a shopping complex and a municipal library. A new surf club at the South Steyne surf pavilion has been completed. The North Steyne surf pavilion is under construction. Also, council has 500 small Norfolk pine-trees under cultivation to be systematically transplanted to the Manly beach front. These trees are regarded as part of Manly attractions and will be a contribution to the bicentennial celebrations. The new Manly surf pavilion and a new museum have been opened. I pay tribute to Manly Chamber of Commerce and in particular its president, Andrew Kalajzich, who has regarded tourism development as essential to Manly's growth. Through the chamber's efforts a levy on commercial establishments in Manly was introduced designed specifically to assist the development and promotion of tourism in Manly. Funds from this levy are used to finance the tourist promotion committee. The chamber acts as a voice for the business community and works closely with council and the honourable member for Manly. In fact, at the instigation of the chamber the Government undertook to examine the feasibility of encouraging tourism in the Manly area. The honourable member has worked closely with both the chamber of commerce and council, particularly in relation to major renovation of the Manly wharf, which is expected to be completed at the end of the year; the operation of new Manly ferries, and the modifying of public wharf facilities for use by private recreational boating and smaller tourist ferry services. The honourable member has played a significant role in the establishment of a park on North Head, As a result of his eEorts recently the North Head harbour park was gazetted. Two other major developments augur well for the promotion of tourism in Manly. On Saturday on behalf of the Minister for Leisure, Sport and Tourism I will officially open the Manly Tourist Information Centre. The State Government met half the cost of the $200,000 centre. That contribution was one of the largest ever made for such a project. The new centre will play a major role in encouraging tourism development in the area. On 1st December the Premier will open the Manly Pacific International Hotel, which has 300 rooms and will give Sydney yet another hotel of international standard. In the past few years much has been achieved in Manly. In the future it will go from strength to strength. Questions without Notice-20 October, 1982 1849 KIDNEY DIALYSIS MACHINES Mr J. H. BROWN: I direct my question to the Treasurer representing in this House the Minister for Energy and Minister for Water Resources. Are there a number of people in New South Wales who, because of their medical condition, are required each week to spend many hours on a kidney dialysis machine? Do these machines use a lot of electricity? Will the Minister investigate this matter in the hope that some reduction in electricity charges may be granted to people who use the machines? Mr BOOTH: I shall be pleased to refer the honourable member's question to the Minister for Energy and Minister for Water Resources in another place for his consideration, and I shall give the honourable member and the House a comprehensive reply at a later date. GLADESVILLE BRIDGE Mr CAVALIER: Is the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister for Roads aware that this morning, as a result of an accident involving a truck carrying drums containing chemicals, Gladesville Bridge was closed for a long time? Has the Minister in mind any proposals to limit the passage of trucks on Sydney's major roadways during daylight hours and particularly during peak hours? Mr WHELAN: I am grateful to the honourable member for Gladesville for his question as it affords me an opportunity to inform the House of the inconvenience occasioned to passengers and drivers of motor vehicles and commuters travelling to the city, especially during peak hours, caused by delays following the breakdown of motor vehicles or their being involved in an accident such as occurred this morning on Gladesville Bridge. Apparently a semi-trailer carrying a large container overturned on Gladesville Bridge, or on its approaches, and several other vehicles skidded into it. The truck was carrying industrial waste. I am pleased to inform the honourable member and the House that notwithstanding the severe nature of the incident, all lanes of the bridge are now open and naturally will be open for this evening's peak hour traffic. Some interesting developments have occurred arising from this accident. During morning and evening peak times on that bridge the Department of Main Roads operates a service to cope with breakdowns and accidents. However, the department does not operate a towing service capable of removing within a reasonable time an over- turned heavy truck that had been carrying a container of industrial liquid waste. I have asked the Commissioner for Main Roads to furnish me with a report on this aspect. This type of accident, especially involving heavy trucks, seems to be happening quite frequently. The honourable member's question raises also an issue that has been causing me some concern for a considerable time, and that is the delay and inconvenience occasioned to traffic by breakdowns on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In the year 1980-81 more than 4 284 vehicles were given assistance by the Department of Main Roads traffic patrol that operates on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Of those 4 284 vehicles, 902 vehicles broke down on the bridge as a result of having insufficient petrol. In other words, about twenty vehicles a week through having insufficient petrol are breaking down and blocking one of Sydney's major roads. [Interruption] Mr WHELAN: Obviously some honourable members on the Opposition benches regard this matter as a bit of a joke. I know that the occupants of motor vehicles proceeding to work from the north side of the harbour who experience difficulties when crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge would not seek assistance from Opposition 1850 ASSEMBLY-Questions without Notice members who represent electorates on the north side of the harbour. Inconvenience is also occasioned to drivers of vehicles travelling against the flow of peak hour traffic, that is, those vehicles travelling from south to north in the morning and from north to south in the evening. The 902 vehicles that broke down last year as a result of insufficient petrol constitute a major problem. I have asked the commissioner for Main Roads to submit to me a list of suggested fines that might be imposed upon drivers of such vehicles. I consider that motorists cou!d be regarded only as careless if they did not ensure that they had adequate petrol before attempting to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If people exercized more care it would mean a huge saving in time and fuel costs to workers proceeding to work as they would not be delayed by vehicles stalling. I thank the honourable member for Gladesville for his question and I shall provide him and the House with more details at a later stage. PAROLE OF PRISONERS Mr SMITH: I address a question without notice to the Minister for Corrective Services. How many prisoners have been released under the Government's scheme for releasing prisoners in certain circumstances prior to the expiry of their non-parole period? Were either George Crawford or Peter Robinson Train two such prisoners? Were two released prisoners, one of whom was a former painter and docker, involved in the death of Eileen Ruth Van Veen? Will the Minister now review the Government's policy on the early release of prisoners? Mr JACKSON: In the past twelve months the Corrective Services Commission has introduced a scheme to assess behaviour and all aspects relating to prisoners, in the long-term and in the short-term. Approximately 500 prisoners have been released under the scheme. The Government accepts that procedure, which is similar to proce- dures in other States and other countries. A number of committees and individuals monitor the records of particular prisoners, their visitors and attitudes. Prisoners are released only upon the unanimous recommendation of the indeterminate sentence com- mittee, the superintendent of the particular prison, and the probation and parole service which has regular contact with the prisoner involved. I am not aware of the prisoners to whom the honourable member for Pittwater referred, but I shall ascertain whether they were released under the scheme. I know that in recent weeks there have been one or two failures in the programme. They involved parolees who had been released on the recommendation of the parole board. I know of no serious crimes that have been committed by any of the persons released under the pre-parole scheme. I shall ascertain the facts. I do not rely upon the honourable member for Pittwater, who has not been right so far in any of the allegations he has made. It will be a unique occasion if the implication in his question is correct. If it is, I shall be the first to advise him. WOY WOY BAY BRIDGE Mr O'CONNELL: As the bridge on Brisbane Water Drive over the entrance to Woy Woy Bay is in a dilapidated state, will the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister for Roads inform the House whether my constituents and those who regularly use that road can take heart from a proposal to replace the bridge in the near future? Mr WHELAN: The honourable member for Peats has referred to the bridge on main road 349 over the entrance to Woy Woy Bay. The bridge at that location was built in 1945. It is an eight-span steel girder structure on concrete piles. The bridge was designed to carry loads of 25 tomes. That is substantially less than the loads to which it was subjected for most of its life until it became necessary in 1978 to Questions without N o t i c e 2 0 October, 1982 1851 impose a 20 tonne load limit. Deterioration of the bridge has been accelerated by the proximity of the steel girder deck system to salt water and by regular loadings in excess of design tolerance. I should explain to the House the enormity of the task that confronts the Department of Main Roads in replacing old bridges on the main road system. Like any other asset that is subjected to constant use, a bridge will deteriorate with the passage of time. There axe more than 6 000 bridges on the State's main road system; approximately 1 600 of them are old timber structures. The elimination of old timber structures from the main road system has been and will continue to be one of the major objectives of the Department of Main Roads and of the Government. The estimated cost of replacing those bridges is approximately $100 million, excluding the cost of approaches. From the depastment's experience the approaches often cost as much as do the bridges. Nevertheless, the department will continue to devote as much effort as is practicable to the progressive replacement of d d timber bridges and old bridges such as that at Woy Woy. I am delighted to advise the honourable member that his persistence about the need to replace the bridge over the entrance to Woy Woy Bay has at last been rewarded. Plans for a new bridge to replace the existing one will be completed by the end of this year, and construction will commence in April 1983. The new bridge will be a concrete structure, 87 metres long and 9.2 metres wide between kerbs. It will have a footway. The d d bridge is about 7 metres shorter and only 5.48 metres between kerbs. The total estimated cost will be about $750,000. When completed, the new bridge will serve residents in the Woy Woy-Ettalong-Umina area for many years to come. It will certainly enhance the entrance to this fine area. It will also bring t o a conclusion representations made over many years by the honourable member. I am sure the honourable member is delighted with the answer I have just given. DRUG AND ALCOHOL AUTHORITY Mr HATTON: I direct a question without notice to the Minister for Health. Is the Minister aware that $57,000 of State Government money was spent by Odyssey House on oversea trips, and that $28,000 of that amount was spent on three executives? Following an approach by Odyssey, did the Minister freeze funding of all Drug and Alcohd Authority programmes pending reconsideration? Will the Minister give an assurance that the recommended programme of funding, to which he initially agreed, will not be altered in favour of larger agencies such as Odyssey, penalizing smaller and more efficient drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres in Illawarra, the South Coast and throughout New South Wales? Mr BRERETON: I am not aware of the figure of $57,000 nor of the details contained in the first part of the honourable member's question. In respect of general funding for agencies through the Drug and Alcohol Authority of New South Wales, I repeat the advice I gave to the House yesterday, which was that the G o v e m e n t is very proud that it is allocating 10 per cent more money this year than it did last year, bringing the total funds available for the many agencies in the State to $3.1 million. No decision has been reached as to the level of the grant that will be available to Odyssey House this year. Last year more than $300,000 was made available to it. A decision will be taken shortly-I believe on Friday-on the recom- mendations made to me by the Drug and Alcohol Authority. The honourable mem- ber's advice that there was an initial agreement on any particular sum of money for Odyssey House or anyone else is quite incorrect. As soon as I have the find recommendations of the Drug and Alcohol Authority before me, I intend to inform all honourable members what money wl be available for the many agencies in their il electorates. 1852 ASSEMBLY-Questions without Notice Mr Pickard: It was due on 1st October. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr BRERETON: Let me make it quite clear that the Government will be doing its best to make sure that all State programmes receive a fair and equitable distribution of available funds. To do so, it will be noting the performance of all bodies that have received moneys in the past and considering the claims of organiza- tions seeking additional funds. Each organization will be considered on its merits. As soon as I am in a position to do so, I shall infonn the House of the results. YOUTH REFUGES m MI MOCHALSKI: I direct a question without notice to the Minister E Youth and Community Services. As a result of the economic policies of the Fraser Govern- ment, is the incidence of homelessness increasing, particularly among young people? What has the Government done to combat the problem? Will the Minister continue to monitor the incidence of homelessness? Mr K. J. STEWART: The honourable member for Bankstown is correct; the incidence of homelessness, particularly among young people, has increased markedly over the past few years. This unfortunate situation has worsened as the federal coalition Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Fraser continues to slide into financial and moral bankruptcy. The reaction by the federal Government to this state of &airs has been to do almost nothing, which is the way that Government usually handles most welfare issues. However, as I said in detail in my contribution to the budget debate yesterday the New South Wales Government has a deep commitment to welfare matters, and most programmes under my administration received large increases in their allocations. The level of State funding for youth refuges has increased from $1,057,000 in 1981-82 to $2,960,000 this year. Of that amount, the New South Wales Government will contribute the lion's share, $2.3 million, and the federal Government only $579,000. There are twenty-one youth refuges and twelve half-way houses in New South Wales. The increased funds allocated this year will be used to improve the services provided by existing refuges and half-way houses and to establish new projects. The youth refuge programme is designed to address the problems of youth homeless- ness, which has increased markedly during the past decade. The programme aims to assist restoration and reconciliation of young persons with their families where possible and to help them achieve independence in the community. I assure the honourable member for Bankstown that I and my department will continue to monitor the situation so that young persons who are disadvantaged because of the economic downturn in Australia will not suffer further disadvantage. LOGGING AT NIGHTCAP RANGE Mr BOYD: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Last week in reply to a question on Nightcap Range logging did he fail to express his strong support for members of the New South Wales police force in dealing with unlawful acts by demonstrators? Does his lack of resolution indicate that Cabinet has agreed to ignore the need for job opportunities for forestry workers, the necessity for the public to have an assured supply of Australian timbers, and the expert knowledge of the New South Wales Forestry Commission? Questions without Notice-20 October, 1982 1853 Mr Walker: On a point of order. I submit that the question is prolix. Mr SPEAKER: Order! Has the honourable member for Byron almost con- cluded his question? Mr BOYD: Yes, Mr Speaker. Does the Minister's attitude indicate also that the Government has surrendered unconditionally to the environmental lobby? Mr ANDERSON: The answer to the latter part of the honourable member's question is, no. I strongly resent the implication in the first part of the question that I do not support the New South Wales police in the actions they have taken in the area to which the honourable member referred. [Interruption] Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mr ANDERSON: I have said on many occasions in this House that I am extremely proud to be the Minister responsible for the New South Wales police force. The public is well served by it. The sorts of utterances made by members of the Opposition, including the Leader of the Opposition, and today the honourable member for Byron, do the Opposition little credit. [Interruption] Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Hornsby to order. Mr ANDERSON: Last week when I answered the question referred to by the honourable member for Byron I expressed my support for the actions the police had taken in the matter. Police officers will always have my support in enforcing the laws that govern everyone. If anyone on either side of the logging dispute breaches the law, the police will take appropriate action against him. The police do not take sides on any issue; their job is to enforce the law as Parliament has enacted it. That is what they are doing. I support them in their actions. During the past six years this Government has significantly improved the human and technological resources avail- able to the police force. Improvements of that kind were sadly neglected for the eleven years that the Liberal Party and Country Party were in government. This Parliament and the people of New South Wales should be proud of their police farce. It has no peer in Australia. DENISTONE RAILWAY STATION Mr McILWAINE: I direct a question without notice to the Minister for Transport. I have been concerned by reports circulating in my electorate that a proposal exists to close Denistone railway station. Will he assure me and the House that Denistone railway station will not be closed while this Government remains in office? Mr COX: I am aware that Denistone forms part of the honourable member's electorate and that he takes a keen interest in its development. Furphies have been circulating that Denistone railway station is to be closed. I assure the honourable member that will not happen. I am fully aware of his interest in his electorate and I give him a 100 per cent guarantee that Denistone railway station will remain open. 1854 ASSEMBLY-Questions without Notice--Coal and Oil Shale Bill DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR TRANSPORT OFFICERS Dr METHERELL: My question is directed to the Minister for Transport. Did the Commissioner for Motor Transport, Mr J. W. Davies, issue a minute dated 17th September, 1982, to senior officas of his department instructing them that under a new policy they would be compelled to retire immediately if they had already attained 60 years of age unless they could make out a personal case for exemption? Has Mr Davies now withdrawn this directive as a result of the Minister's intervention? Was Mr Davies acting with the Minister's knowledge and approval when he issued that original minute or did he misuse certain provisions of the Transport Act, which are intended to prevent corruption by departmental officers? Mr COX: It is true that Mr Davies issued a circular informing employees of the department that officers could be retired at 60 years of age depending on their personal and financial circumstances. This matter came to my attention when the Australian Transport OfEcers Federation raised the matter with me. My under- standing is that the association had not been informed of this decision and its members were most concerned. I then advised Mr Davies that for the time being that policy was to be suspended so that unions could be acquainted fully with any proposals. JOB SHARING Mr HILLS: Yesterday the Deputy Leader of the Opposition asked the Premier a question without notice regarding a statement by the Hon. I. M. Macphee, the federal Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, about permanent part-time employees. Extensive discussions have taken place between the public service unions and the Public Service Board regarding the introduction of permanent part-time work in New South Wales. Superannuation is a major stumbling-block because the present design of the State Superannuation Fund will not accommodate a pro rata system of entitlements, which would be necessary for the equitable treatment of part-time em- ployees. A system of service relationship in the determination of benefits is needed to provide an equitable superannuation coverage between full-time and part-time workers. Reforms to the structure of the fund, which would allow the inclusion of part-time employees, are a major part of a package of proposals that have been circulated to unions by my superannuation administration. On the conclusion of discussions and with the unions' agreement it is hoped that amendments to the Superannuation Act will be submitted to the Parliament. COAL AND OIL SHALE MINE WORKERS (SUPERANNUATION) FURTHER AMENDMENT BILL Second Reading Debate resumed (from 22nd September, vide page 1083) on motion by Mr Hills: That this bill be now read a second time. Mr SMITH (Pittwater) [3.10]: Although the Opposition supports this bill, a few points need to be made. In his second reading speech the Minister said the bill seeks to ratify a consent agreement entered into between the coal proprietors and the unians m@hg superannuation for coahnhers. Cestain changes, will be made by Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill-20 October, 1982 1855 the bill. One change provides for early retirement at the age of 58 years. A limit of fourteen days is imposed as the time in which companies must forward con- tributions to the tribunl if they do not want to pay the 10 per cent interest default. A further change brought about by this bill allows the tribunal discretion to deal with people who are in psychiatric hospitals. Previous provisions were quite rigid in that respect and caused injustice, and it is pleasing to see that such points have been corrected. The consent agreement was thrashed out for quite some time between the unions and the proprietors in the industry. One of the proprietors is the State Government, for it has large holdings in Electricity Commission mines. The miners wanted to have early retirement at 55 years, although the bill allows for it at age 58, simply as an attempt to counter the increasing unemployment in the industry. That there should be such increasing unemployment in that industry is an indictment of this Govern- ment, for no reduction in employment should need to take place. The present unemploy- ment is the direct result of the policies of this Government which have resulted in inadequate coal loading facilities, making coalmining uneconomical in New South Wales. When one looks at the business returns of coalmines in the past couple of years one wonders why anyone would invest money in coalmines. The returns are extremely low. Returns for Clutha have been in the order 06 0.5 per cent over five years. White Industries, which built the Ulan railway that was opened with great fan- fare last Friday, has been able to export only 1 million tonnes of coal a year when it should be exporting at the rate of 4 million tonnes in order to pay for the rail line. The Miners Federation, which wanted an early retirement age of 55 years, is concerned about the increasing unemployment in the coal industry. The federation sees early retirement as one way of keeping employment opportunities open for other miners, but any mineworkers who take early retirement suffer a superannuation loss simply because of its pro rata basis. They get so much money for every month of service they have had in the industry. The superannuation scheme in fact provides them with a lump sum on retirement. With the extremely large pay scales that miners have been receiving in the past few years it is to be regretted that the coal industry and the Government have not done something about making the superannuation scheme more economically appealing for miners. In many cases miners do not spend their wages wisely. Many of them have not acquired monetary skills or learned how to handle money. That criticism does not apply to al rnineworkers. Some have been quite l successful in the husbanding of their wages. However, there are miners in receipt of large wages who have disposed of a fair portion of them in poker machines or in purchasing liquor and other such matters. Having worked with miners all my life I recognize that many of them need financial advice so that they may use their large wages to the best advantage. One of the ways this could be done is to have the industry and the Government do something about the miners' superannuation scheme. That scheme has never been one of the better superannuation schemes in the community. It is interesting to note in the Auditor-General's report that the estimated excess of the fund's net total liabilities over its accumulated fund was $51,532,000 at 30th June, 1981, compared with $23,500,000 at 30th June, 1978. That shows the fund is actuarially rather unsound. At page 216 of the Auditor-General's report the statement is made: The most recent actuarial valuation reported that the net liability of the fund, as at 30th June, 1980, remaining to be paid for by the special mine owners' contribution, was $349.3 million compared with $326.5 million at 26th March, 1979. 1856 ASSEMBLY--Co~al and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill That was a rise of some $23 million over 1979. That means that the special mine- owners' contribution will have to continue for some twenty-one years. The House may not be aware of the ratio for contributions from the mineowners and the mine- workers. At present the mineworkers are paying $7.88 a week, whereas the mine- owners are paying $23.63 a week for each person and $17.33 as the special mine- owners' contribution. It seems that will have to be paid for some twenty-one years, in the present circumstances. The opportunity was available for the Minister to show some intelligence by having a good look at this fund to see how he could encourage the mineworkers to contribute more d their earnings for their future long-term security. One of the problems facing New South Wales, and Australia in general, is the superannuation time bomb. Many superannuation schemes put up by government, which includes the public service superannuation scheme, are actuarially quite suspect. What is happening is that the liability being built up under those schemes is far in excess of the contributions being made so that the management of the scheme cannot produce sufficient funds to cover the liability. Several examples of this can be seen across Australia. The young people of tomorrow who will come into the work force will have to subsidize these schemes by their taxes. When such schemes are actuarially unsound, that is always a danger. With miners earning salaries of $30,000 a year and more, it seems only prudent they should invest more of their salaries in the superannuation fund to offset a sudden drop in income when they retire and thus better provide for their old age. As I pointed out earlier, coalmine owners are paying something like four and a half times the contribution of the mineworker. At present, it seems impossible to milk more out of the mineowners to put into this scheme for the simple reason that in that industry profits are not being made that should be made. Consequently, because it is not profitable for Australians to invest heavily in the coal industry we find much of its investment capital coming from overseas. We are selling out the farm to oversea interests by way of loans and allowing oversea equity in our own natural resources. The Government should be doing something to encourage Australian investment in our own industry. As I have said, it is impossible to milk more out of the coal industry at the moment. The Govern- ment takes 30 per cent of the revenue that the industry earns from each tonne of coal for port charges, rail freights, royalties and other levies. That is a significant proportion of mining revenue. Another 35 per cent of the revenue goes in wages, 15 per cent to the Commonwealth Government-I do not excuse it for that-and supplies and other costs account for 10 per cent, leaving only 10 per cent to pay interest and dividends and to cover the capital cost of operating a mine. That does not seem to me a sound distribution of revenue from mining. I ask the Minister to take the opportunity of examining the mineworkers' superannuation fund to see what can be done to improve it generally for the miners. At the moment they receive on retirement a lump sum of $47,259, which is not a large sum of money today. If the mineworker who retires has not been prudent during his working life, that sum will not set him up for long and he will soon be a burden on the community. The Opposition does not oppose the amendment to provide that contributions to the fund may attract interest at 10 per cent if they are not paid to the super- annuation tribunal within fourteen days. That seems reasonable. It is possible that some employers might be a bit tardy if they have an overdraft running at 18 per cent. By delaying their contribution to the superannuation tribunal they can save Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill-20 October, 1982 1857 interest payments on their overdraft. I commend the Minister for introducing the amendment to allow the tribunal to exercise a discretion whether a person's subsidy or pension rights should be suspended while that person is a patient in a psychiatric hospital. The previous rigid provision created some injustices. No one would wish to find himself as a patient in a psychiatric hospital with someone else having the power to take away his financial rights and put his estate and family at risk. This provision is humane and sensible. I am confident that the tribunal will exercise the discretion wisely. I support the motion and ask the Minister to consider the points I have raised. Mr NEILLY (Cessnock) [3.24]: I support the bill. As the honourable mem- ber for Pittwater pointed out, the Government is legislating to formalize an agreement reached between the colliery proprietors and miners. The amendments will provide for the introduction of retirement at 58 years after 25 years' or 300 months' service in the industry. The amendments will provide also a fourteen day deadline for the receipt of contributions by an employer to the superannuation fund. That is scrund common sense and business practice. A third amendment will give discretionary power to the superannuation tribunal to make payments of pension to people who are patients under the Mental Health Act. I shall deal first with the introduction of retirement at age 58. On 16th July a new award for the mining industry was ratified. It received acceptance by 97 per cent of the rank and file, The new award included provision for voluntary retirement at age 58. This will bring New South Wales into line with what happens in Queensland. Retirement at age 58 will not provide men in the industry with additional funds compared with what they would receive on retire- ment at age 60, for the scheme operates on the principle of payment of a certain amount for each year of service. So the new provision will not result in financial gain for the miners, but it will allow them the option of voluntary early retire- ment. In the July issue of Conzrnon Cause, the mineworkers' magazine, it was re- ported that New South Wales and Queensland mineworkers will in twelve months seek to reopen discussions with the colliery proprietors with a view to introducing voluntary retirement at age 55. Early retirement is not peculiar to the mining industries in Australia. I understand that in the Soviet Union it is possible to retire at age 50 and that in France there is provision for retirement after 30 years' service in underground mines. One matter that is causing considerable concern at the moment is the position at Drayton open-cut mine. The northern miners' federation has taken a stand and will not man that operation. I referred to this matter in my contribution to the Address-in-Reply debate. The mineworkers have based their stand on the slacken- ing in demand by the Japanese for export coal, the fact that Japan is considering alternative sources of coal supply, the fact that Elcom's production is exceeding the requirements of the Electricity Commission, and the fact that the use of natural gas has increased in the past 12 months by about 700 per cent. In addition, the Lochinvar aluminium smelting project is not proceeding, so the coal that would have been required to generate electricity for that smelter will not be needed. Members of the federation are concerned that their job prospects may be in jeopardy. When the mineworkers' new award was introduced, the miners in the north voted for over- time limitations as well as other measures. The mineworkers can see a situation developing in which cavelling out would occur. As a result, representatives of the federation met with colliery proprietors and representatives of the Joint Coal Board and in early August a letter was directed 117 1858 ASSEMBLY-Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill by the Joint Coal Board to the chairman of the mineworkers' national liaison com- mittee, Mr Bob Kelly, stating that the coal board "guarantees to minitor produc- tion from all mines and ensure that their levels of output do not threaten employ- ment at existing mines". I do not think the fear of the miners relates to output. I think it is about the changes that are occurring within the industry. I shall speak about that later. The honourable member for Pittwater blamed the New South Wales Govern- ment for the downturn, or potential downturn, in the industry in this State. An examination of mining operations overseas will show that the problems of the industry are not unique to New South Wales. In Canada three leading mining companies have ceased operations and stood down their employees. In the United States of America it is expected that there will be a slowing down of exports in the next seven months and that this will lead to short time work in some mines and the closure of others. I understand that the Miners Federation in Queensland is concerned that there could be closure of some mines and changes in the industry in that State. The miners have some fears with regard to a cavel-out. In the 1950's work was available in other industries. In the north the BHP steelworks provided excellent job opportunities for some miners who were cavelled out. In the 1950's some of those men who were cavelled out chose not to return to the mines; they continued to work in the steel industry. Also in the 1950's when cavelling out occurred in the north job opportunities were available in the mining industries on the South Coast when new mines were opened up in that area. A number of miners took up employment in Queensland and Western Australia. Such opportunities are not now available. All honourable members are aware of the predicament of Broken Hill Proprietary Com- pany Limited with regard to its steel production. I should like to refer to the report of the Joint Coal Board presented to this Parliament for the year ending 30th June, 1981. Part of the report deals with employ- ment in the mining industry. It contains a table of some employment statistics for the industry between 1951 and 1981. At the end o June 1951 some 18 665 persons were f employed in the industry in New South Wales; at the end of June 1961 the number was 12 595; at the end of June 1976 it was 15 478, and at the end of June 1981 the figure was 19 867. It is evident that between 1951 and 1961, when mechanization occurred within the mining industry, the number of persons employed was reduced by one-third. Almost fifteen years elapsed before the number of persons employed commenced to increase. Towards the end of the 1970's the employment figure rose again to a level comparable to that for 1951. The numbers I have quoted include employees working in open-cut mines. The relevant figures are: for June 1951, 1 289, for June 1961, 148 and for June 1976, 762. The figure for June 1981 was 1855. The number of persons now employed is approximately 50 per cent higher than the number in 1951. A similar change has not taken place in the underground mining industry. I shall now make some observations on those figures. During the period from the 1950's to 1961, when retrenchments were taking place, no new mines were opened. Consequently, a large number of mineworkers are now approaching retirement. An analysis of the figures reveals that a large and unreal proportion of mineworkers are aged 50. There is not a significant number of miners between the ages of 30 and 50; there is a large number between the ages of 20 and 30. Any early retirement benefits introduced into the fund probably would require close scrutiny as a result of a demand on the fund's resources. In recent years-and this is a cause of concern to the mining unions-production from open-cut mines, which are not large employers of men, has increased from 10 per cent to 40 per cent of total production. In the 1950's Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill-20 October ,1982 1859 the industry changed from using picks and shovels to a system of continuous mining. The impact of that system on manpower was a cause of great concern. In recent years there has been an extension of open-cut mining and the development of long wall underground mining. Long wall underground mining has had the same impact on the industry as the change from the use of picks and shovels to continuous mining. Mineowners will find that with long wall mining it may be possible to operate two mines and achieve greater production than by operating four mines under the present system. Doubtless great change will take place within the industry as a result of the development of new technology. The consequence will be a downturn in man- power required to operate mines. It is interesting to note the report of the Government Actuary into the efficiency of the mineworkers' superannuation scheme as at 30th June. In a letter to the coalmines superannuation tribunal dated 7th October, 1981, which accompanied his report, the Government Actuary stated: Although the accumulated funds of the superannuation fund did not make progress in the period up to 30th June, 1980 it now appears that some progress will be possible provided that the number of contributors continues to grow and no seriously adverse features emerge in the experience. That report contains a number of conclusions and recommendations. They assume il that the numbers employed in the industry wl grow at the rate of 4 per cent a year for the next ten years and at 2 per cent a year for at least eleven years thereafter. The Government Actuary, in stating his conclusions, said: The superannuation fund remains sensitive to the numbers employed. If a downturn were to occur, unexpected though it may be, the effect on the assets would need to be carefully monitored. If retirement at age 55 is to be contemplated in twelve months' time-and because of the statement by Mr Bob Kelly I believe the issue will be raised again-the Govern- ment Actuary should reassess the situation prior to 30th June next year. The Govern- ment Actuary reported that he did not feel that the fund needed any further review prior to 30th June, 1983. Obviously, changes are occurring within the industry. Des- pite what has been said by the honourable member for Pittwater, those changes have not necessarily come about because of slackening in demand for domestic coal and export coal. Many changes have come about because of a change in mining operations. The superannuation fund, as we know it, will have to change if it is to continue in its present form in the future. The honourable member for Pittwater referred to the contributions made to the superannuation fund by coalminers and coalowners. When lump sum payments were introduced into the new scheme in 1978 the employees agreed to a reduced pro rata contribution by the proprietors from the ratio of 43:l to a ratio of 3 3 : l . Admittedly, the proprietors have been required to pay into the fund more than they did previously. I agree with the honourable member for Pittwater when he said that the lump sum payment of $47,000 after thirty years service in the mining industry- and a person is expected to live on that sum from 58 to 65, when he is entitled to receive a pension-is inadequate. In future applications by the Miners Federation to amend the award more emphasis should be placed on retirement and a better scheme that will pay greater benefits. I commend the bill. Mr FISHER (Upper Hunter) [3.401: It has already been made clear that the Opposition does not intend to oppose the bill nor seek to amend it. I shall not reiterate the Opposition's attitude to the main provisions of the bill relating to retire- ment, superannuation and pension rights under the Mental Health Act. Those matters have been covered adequately already by the honourable member for Pittwater and 1860 ASSEMBLY-Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill the honourable member for Cessnock. I shall direct my attention to two particular matters. The first relates to the hazards of coalrnining, with which the Minister dealt in his second reading speech. The hazards involved in underground mining operations have been recognized for many years. Recent technological improvements have re- moved some of those hazards. Nevertheless, miners working underground are always at risk of accident and they are aware of that. Anything done to improve their condi- tions and retirement benefits is to be applauded. The provisions in respect of earlier retirement will relieve some of the pressures on the industry at a time when it is sdfering from the effects of a deal of unemployment. Problems involving unemploy- ment have occurred in mines on the South Coast, in the Burragorang Valley and the Newcastle area. I agree with the comments of the honourable member for Cessnock when he spoke about the Drayton mine, which is now producing 40 per cent of the total coal output of New South Wales. Underground mining results in almost half the coal resources being kept in the ground. For that reason the development of modern opcn- cut mining machinery capable of removing coal to a depth of 1 000 feet wilt enable Australia to recover about 98 per cent of its total coal resources. If such a vast quantity of coal can be recovered by open-cut methods, surely that process should be encour- aged. At present a number of difficulties are being experienced because of the action of the Miners Federation whose members are concerned mainly in underground mining. Open-cut mines are operated almost entirely by members of the Federation of Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association. The difficulties to which I refer are affecting opera- tions at the Drayton mine. It is deplorable that a mining company, which may have spent between $150 million and $200 million in developing a coalmine, and having dealt with twenty-eight departments, should have to suspend operations because of the actions of the Miners Federation. The federation has refused to allow its members to operate the mine. This highlights what happens when a large number of unions is involved in an industrial undertaking. Obviously the Miners Federation fears for the future of its members. However, that should not interfere with the operations of the Drayton mine, particu- larly as no federation members are involved in the mining operations there. The honourable member for Cessnock read an extract from the Common Cause, seeking to justify the reasons behind the Miners Federation's failure to allow its members to work at the mine. The article instanced the stockpiling of coal, the downturn in demand by the Electricity Commission and other reasons. However, I do not regard that as the main cause of the federation's actions. Indeed an editorial in the Common Cause had some scathing comments to make about the reasons why the Drayton mine was not allowed to open. For instance, it pointed to divisions within the unions involved in the mining industry. A total of twenty-eight trade unions are involved in the process of getting the coal from the pithead to the ports in Newcastle, Sydney and Port Kembla. The present difficulty should provide an opportunity for the Government to take the initia- tive and attempt to achieve one union for the mining industry. Such a move would clear away many of the difficulties now facing the Drayton mine. Because open-cut mining is being affected adversely by the actions of the Miners Federation in its fears for its members, New South Wales is losing markets to other producers. Contracts earmarked for Drayton will now go to Queensland or to other countries. This is a threat to the export potential of New South Wales. It certainly does not improve the at opport~~nities other mines. The action that has brought to a standstill the operations at the Drayton mine can only be deplored. Most of the members of the Miners Federation in New South Wales live on the South Coast and in the Burragorang Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill-20 October, 1982 1861 Valley. The men and their families would not wish to be relocated in the Upper Hunter area where the open-cut mining operations are to take place. It is a sad state of affairs that although the Drayton mine will not affect the jobs of Miners Federation members, labour is being withheld The end result may well be a closure of the company's operations in New South Wales. Much of the money invested in expensive mobile mining machinery may well be moved to another State. This would be a great tragedy for New South Wales and for the mining industry in general. It is ridiculous to expect a company to invest large sums of money in open-cut mining but not to have its operations well under way by now. The bringing of this measure before the House provides an opportunity for the Government to correct a number of anolmalies that have existed in the Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers (Superannuation) Act since its enactment in 1978. The enabling legislation was introduced by the Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Technology. At that time he acknowledged that a number of retired mineworkers would be disadvantaged by the legislation, and that has been the situation for four years. Retired mineworkers who still claim to be disadvantaged by the legislation have held a number of meetings to discuss the matter. The honourable member for Cessnmk and other honourable members are aware that those retired to miners will conti~lue be disadvantaged. The opportunity to remove those anomalies has been lost by the Government's failure to introduce the necessary amendments at this time. The problem is not easy to resolve. The retired miners were promised by the Premier that a conference would be held to discuss those anomalies. Mr Hills: A meeting was held. I was chairman of that conference. Mr FISHER: I have a letter from the Northern Retired Miners Association that quotes the Premier as telling them, "You have got the rough end of the pineapple". The association acknowledges that a meeting was held with the Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Technology. However, it does not acknowledge that a conference was held at which this issue was discussed. The Minister's reputation has been tarnished, for the meeting that was promised to discuss these anomalies has not taken place. Mr Hills: Who signed the letter to which the honourable member is referring? Mr FISHER: It was signed by three people, who could be known to the Minister. One is Mr Jim Commerford. Mr Hills: He was at the conference. Mr FISHER: Another is Mr Cockerell. Mr Hills: He was at the conference. Mr FISHER: The other person is Mr Jim Priest. Mr Hills: He was at the conference, which was held at Parliament House. Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr O'Connell) : Order! The Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Technology should seek the call if he wishes to have the opportunity to reply to the remarks of the honourable member for Upper Hunter. Mr FISHER: Doubtless the Minister has a copy of the letter. Those retired miners fed strongly about the fact that the Premier failed to honour his promise. Those miners are still disadvantaged. I join the honourable member for Pittwater in supporting the bill and acknowledge that it goes some way towards improving the benefits for retired mineworkers. 1862 ASSEMBLY-Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers Bill Mr HILLS (Elizabeth), Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Technology L3.551, in reply: I am glad that the honourable member for Upper Hunter decided to conclude with a reference to the bill because most of his speech dealt with anything but this measure. I did not take a point of order, for I was interested to hear what he had to say about Drayton. I enjoyed the contributions by the honourable member for Pittwater, the honourable member for Cessnock and even the speech of the honourable member for Upper Hunter. The bill seeks to ratify agreements made between the mineowners and the unions. The Government has no authority in the matter. The honourable member for Pittwater attempted to give us the impression that taxpayers' money was involved, but that is not so. Not a penny of taxpayers' money is contributed to this fund. The money is contributed by the mine- owners and workers in the industry. Before the 1978 legislation was enacted the Government contributed to the fund. However, that legislation altered that situation and the Government's contribution was phased out. The honourable member for Pittwater spoke about the stability of the fund. The 1978 legislation put the fund on a proper economic basis. It will take some considerable time for the fund to be considered completely safe. The bill is the result of a decision by the bodies concerned in the industry. The honourable member for Pittwater said that the mineowners are contributing all that they are able to contribute and that something should be done about reconstructing the fund. Although he did not say that the employees should contribute more, that is what he meant. Mr Smith: That is correct. Mr HILLS: The honourable member for Pittwater agrees he meant that. The bill seeks to give miners the opportunity-it is not compulsory-to retire at 58 years of age. If they do so, they will lose a considerable sum. New South Wales is experiencing difficult times. The unions concerned came to see me and the Premier and suggested that the time would probably arrive when 55 years of age would be the appropriate age at which a person should have the right to elect to retire. I had a conference with mineowners, union representatives and officers who administer the fund on behalf of the parties. The mineowners and the workers agreed to go away and discuss the matter further. The honourable member for Cessnock suggested that when the Government Actuary has another look at the fund in June or July next year, serious consideration should be given to reducing the retirement age to 55. I have grave doubt about the merit of that suggestion, and the officers who advise me feel the same way. The figures submitted to the parties at the discussion in my office about two and a half weeks ago convinced them that this was not the appropriate time to legislate in respect of the optional retirement age of 55. It was correct that a person who came under psychiatric observation should have had the right to continue to receive a pension during the time he was under such observation. I do not know how such a provision found its way into the original Act, but the Government has set about to change it. I repeat, the bill is the result of agreement between the parties. When the Act was amended in 1978 I felt that more consideration should have been given to those who were already pensioners and would be affected by the legislation. Nevertheless, the Government was bound by an agreement made between the parties. The Premier undertook to investigate their claims. I called together representa- tives of all unions involved at a meeting at Parliament House. Those representa- tives included two persons mentioned by the honourable member for Upper Hunter. Mr Priest was not here, though I had thought he was. Mr Commerford and Mr Coal and Oil Shale Bill-Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1863 Cockerel1 attended. Of the three New South Wales branches of the retired mine- workers, retired mineworkers from the west and south agreed completely with the amendments made in the 1978 legislation. Only retired mineworkers from the north objected to those amendments. The statewide body of the retired mineworkers support the legislation as it stands. Messrs Commerford and Cockerel1 and the people from the north are the only persons who object. Mr Fisher: The Minister has missed an opportunity to amend the Act. Mr HILLS: My conference with union representatives lasted three hours. A11 parties were present, including representatives of the Federated Engine Drivers and Fire- men's Association, mineworkers and the retired mineworkers. Only three people at that conference, which was attended by about twenty-five people, disagreed with exist- ing legislation. The mineowners are not willing to agree to the amendment. How the honourable member for Upper Hunter can suggest that my reputation is tarnished when there was an overwhelming support among all the parties that the legislation should remain as it is, is beyond my comprehension. Mr Fisher: Obviously the Minister has seen the letter in which details are set out. Mr HILLS: I have seen the letter. I have had a conference with all the parties. It was held on the eighth floor of the parliamentary building. All parties had an opportunity to express their points of view. Only two persons in that room, Messrs Commerford and Cockerell, disagreed with the others. The statewide body of the retired mineworkers favours the existing legislation. I repeat, the retired mineworkers from the west and the south favour the present legislation. Only the northern districts retired mineworkers are opposed to it. Under no circtimstances could I convince the parties that the legislation ought to be changed. They would not agree to that course of action. It is their money that is involved, and therefore the Government can do nothing to about it. For the honourable member for Upper H ~ ~ n t e r suggest that this was an opportunity to change the legislation, despite the opposition of the parties involved, is quite beyond my comprehension. I am glad that all honourable members support the legislation. I acknowledge that the mine industry is encountering difficult times. It is distressing that miners have locked themselves in a mine on the South Coast. The conditions under which these men work, and the fact that they are losing their employment, and that they and their families are suffering, require that something be done as quickly as possible to overcome the serious problems that prevail within the mining industry and the steel industry. The economic situation generally ought to be tackled by all honourable members and all governments. Motion agreed to. Bill read a second time. Third Reading By leave, bill read a third time, on motion by Mr Hills. APPROPRIATION BILL Second Reading Debate resumed (from 19th October, vide page 1804) on motion by Mr Booth: That this bill be now read a second time. 1864 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill Mr PICKARD (Hornsby) [4.5]: I note that the Deputy Premier, Minister for Public Works and Minister for Ports, who earlier made some comments and was called to order, is absent from the House. He has been quiet since being called to order. I wonder why. I paraphrase the Bard who said that he who steals my purse steals trash, but he who filches my good name leaves me poor indeed. Members who attempt to denigrate the good reputation of other honourable members in this House resort to the lowest form of parliamentary behaviour. Unfortunately many honourable members pride themselves in their capacity to do just that. Many members of this Parliament, indeed all parliaments of this land, seem to have adopted an attitude of trying to attack the good reputation of other honourable members on every occasion that presents itself. Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr O'Connell): Order! The honourable member must restrict his comments to the question before the Chair. Mr PICKARD: At your direction I shall speak to the Budget. During this debate I have been concerned about the frequency with which honourable members take every opportunity to slight the good reputation of other people. Instead of debating the Budget, several honourable members have taken the opportunity. As late as last night immediately before the motion for the adjournment of the House, the- Mr ACTING-SPEAKER: Order! I have already called the honourable member to order for not debating the question before the Chair. I ask the honourable member to observe my direction. Mr PICKARD: I am merely trying to answer comments made last night during debate. I submit I have a right to mention matters raised last night. I do not intend to dwell on them at length but merely to make passing reference to them. I am not canvassing your ruling, Mr Acting-Speaker, but I ask you to reconsider. Mr ACTING-SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member may continue so long as he speaks to the bill. Mr PICKARD: In accordance with your direction I shall debate the Budget, which among other things deals with four important matters: education, health, public works and ports, and transport. Despite sleight of hand and thimble and pea tricks performed by this Treasurer and his predecessors, from all political parties, the public should be made aware that allowing a 10.7 per cent increase for inflation, if services in those four important porfolios are to be maintained at existing levels, without better- ment, it would require an additional budget allocation to them of $343 million this corning year. To continue the existing standard of education services would require the expenditure of an additional $68 million. School building programmes have been cut back savagely in the past six years. Until last year the Wran Government had never introduced a Budget in which the allocation for the building programme of the Department of Education reached the level that had been provided in the last year of office of the former coalition Government in which the Hon. Sir Eric Willis was Premier and Minister for Education. About $500 million would be required to catch up on the school building programme, without having regard to special grants that would be necessary for the construction of halls and multipurpose buildings. There has been a decrease in the percentage of funds allocated for the pro- vision of transport for school students. In its 1978 election campaign the Wran Government promised that it would increase expenditure on transport for children attending kindergartens and remove the 1.6 kilometres qualifying restriction so that Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1865 all kindergarten students could enjoy the benefit of free transport, no matter how far they lived from the schools they were attending. A further promise was made that the benefit would be available at a later stage to all students. That promise was never honoured. This Government is making every effort to curb expenditure on providing transport for schoolchildren, to the danger and detriment of all students. The Government has reversed the only major promise it made about education in its 1978 election campaign. Mr Mulock: School transport in New South Wales is the most liberal in Australia. Mr PICKARD: The Government has reneged on its promise in regard to school transport as it has reneged on so many other promises. It is all very well for the Minister for Education to laugh. He will not be laughing when the people show their disapproval of the Government's broken promises. When speaking about broken promises I should refer to my experience with two high schools in the Hornsby electorate. The first matter concerns Asquith Girls High School. By the time the coalition parties ended their term of government, two stages of a three stage develop- ment programme for that high school had been completed. A contract had been let for the third stage and the builders were ready to proceed. With the change in government approval for the construction work was withdrawn. The programme has never been completed. The second school involved is Asquith Boys High School. A promise had been made that work would be carried out at the school and tenders had been called. Funds were made available. The Minister for Education in the new Labor Govern- ment who succeeded me in that portfolio made a promise that the former coalition Government's undertaking would be fulfilled. To the credit of the present Minister for Education, he has followed a constant and firm line in regard to Asquith Boys High School. The former Minister for Education in the Labor Government added a further promise, but then withdrew funding. The Wran Government has never fulfilled its promise to the people of the Hornsby electorate. To catch up with the school building programme and to keep the present programme up to date an additional $68 million would have to be allocated in the Budget. There is a shortfall of $187 million in the budget provision for health. If the Government wants to maintain the level of health services, allowing for an infla- tionary factor of 10.7 per cent, an additional $187 million will have to be made available. Specialist units at several hospitals have been disbanded. The Government has no real policy to re-establish those units at any of the new hospitals. The ratio of specialist beds at some inner city hospitals has been increased but that has not happened in the western suburbs hospitals. Though the Government has said that it is reducing specialist units at inner city hospitals so that people in the west will be able to receive specialist treatment at local hospitals, those beds have not been transferred to the western metropolitan area; nor has the necessary funding been provided to make that possible, even if the manpower and facilities were available. Everyone seems to have ignored the abuse of the rr--3ical fraternity by the Minister for Health, who overnight somehow has blossomed ix ~o an expert on tonsil- lectomies and many other matters. The Minister must have found on his desk a pamphlet that has given him a vast amount of knowledge. If he read today's Sydney Morning Herald he would learn what is being said about tonsillectomy by those who are proficient in that field. On one day alone last month 200 New South Wales doctors applied for permission to migrate to the United States of America. One of the doctors who spoke to me about this matter has been a friend of mine since university days. He asked me "How will we replace the experience that those men 1866 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill will take with them? How will we find the experts to replace those doctors?" One wonders what could be done to replace the capacity, skill and dedication of such persons as the medical practitioner who has been castigated constantly in this House and called a defrauder of people, in a most vindictive and vicious manner. That doctor has been pursued individually yet all he did was render a service at the request of the parents of six children. The mother of those children gave the doctor her approval and thanks for what he did. The Government provides the Health Commission of New South Wales with funds that are insufficient for it to maintain the same level of services that it provided last year. Further, the Government permits a young Minister to castigate a doctor and smear in a vicious way the character of medical practitioners. The Parliament should not tolerate that conduct. It would appear from the provisions in the Budget and from the attack by economic means and by way of personal vindictive remarks about medical practitioners that the Government wishes to nationalize at a State level all medical services. Mr Caterson: That is the Government's policy. Mr PICKARD: It would appear to be its policy. If it is not, the Government should apologize and thus restore people's confidence in doctors whose reputations may have been destroyed by the vicious personal attacks made in this House. In respect to public works, $76 million must be found to keep services operating next year at the same level as they are operating this year. If that sum is not found it will have a serious effect on the operations of the Maritime Services Board, on the provision of coal loaders, and in keeping ships moving in and out of port. The only real economic growth factor in New South Wales-or perhaps I should say was-its coal. Quite suddenly Wran's navy disappeared off the coast of New South Wales. The people of New South Wales heard the Premier promise, not from this city but from Korea, that such a happening would never occur again. The Premier must realize that in the time that he allowed the ships to stay off the coast New South Wales lost contracts for the supply of 15 million tonnes of coal a year. The people of New South Wales should be reminded that although that one real economic growth factor could provide income, job opportunities, and the maintenance of services in the coal industry, since the Wran Labor Government came into office no new coal loader or a port capable of accommodating a ship of more than 120 000 tonnes has been provided. During that time the world's shippers and buyers of steaming coal have said that if economic use is to be made of port facilities at oversea destinations, New South Wales cod ports must be capable of accommodating vessels of between 120 000 and 150 000 tonnes. Contracts for 23 million tonnes of coal exported from Montana in the United States of America could have been available to New South Wales had the Government opened Botany Bay to the export of coal. That is the only port in New South Wales that could be capable of accommodating vessels of more than 110 000 tonnes. Because of the political machinations within the Labor Party the Govern- ment has remained idle and shown no concern for the State's real economic growth. The Government should have ensured that coal was exported through Botany Bay rather than burdening the industry with $1,000 million in extra freight charges over a period of five years as a result of coal having to be transported to other places. That figure was arrived at by the group established by the Government to investigate several aspects of the South Coast railway service. As a result of New South Wales gaining no new coal port or new coal loader during the time that the Government has been in office, the State has lost the opportunity to obtain contracts for the export of 15 million tonnes of coal a year. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1867 I refer next to the railway system. Seldom is the railways deficit referred to in the Budget. Apparently many of the items that once made up the deficit appear in a different place in the Budget. Some critics of the Government have said that the railways deficit should stand at about $700 million. They assert that if one includes the rolling stock that the Government sold off and then leased back, the deficit would have reached that figure. One would not criticize the Government if that rolling stock were sold off to the advantage of the people of New South Wales. Notwithstanding the Government's action with the rolling stock and its increasing freight and other charges, the State Rail Authority dips constantly into the Government's coffers. In 1981-82 the State's railways and various public transport services incurred a deficit of $442 million, which was a 34 per cent increase on the previous year's deficit, not- withstanding the hidden factors to which I referred. Honourable members will well remember the Premier saying in his first term of office, "If I do not remove the deficit on the railway system I will have regarded myself as failing as Premier." Mr Caterson: We know he is a failure. Mr Mulock: It is the honourable member for Hornsby who is a failure. Mr PICKARD: Government supporters laugh again. All we get across the table of the House is laughter and jeering. Mr Mulock: You are good at telling lies. Mr DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Order! Has the honourable member for Hornsby con- cluded? Mr PICKARD: No I have not concluded. I was called a liar. Mr Mulock: I did not call you that. Mr PICKARD: You said that I deal in lies. Mr Mulock: I did not say that. Mr DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Order! My attention was momentarily distracted during the debate and I did not hear what the honourable member for Hornsby said, or what was said by way of interjection. In those circumstances I cannot ask for some- thing to be withdrawn when an honourable member denies making the statement to which exception is taken. Mr PICKARD: During debate in this House-and this applied particularly last night-some honourable members denigrated the character of other honourable mem- bers instead of speaking to the motion. I wish to speak about the amount of money the Urban Transit Authority would require to maintain present services. This year it would need approximately $20 million to continue present services and, to allow for a deficit of the size I mentioned, it would require a similar amount in the ensuing year. I appreciate the efforts of the Minister for Transport in doing what he has done through- out the State and in my electorate with the limited funds at his disposal. I refer first to the Wahroonga parking area, which is no longer in my electorate, having been moved out of it in the electoral redistribution. That parkir~y area provides a good service to people travelling from Normanhurst and wishing to park their vehicles. I mention also provision for parking made at Berowra and at Normanhurst. Bearing in mind the limited finance available to the Minister, these parking areas have provided a good facility for my electorate. It has been appreciated. However, my constituents have waited in vain for the commencement of other projects for which the Minister is not directly responsible; the decision rests with his department. I refer to the development over Hornsby railway station. 1868 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill About three years ago some work was carried out at Liverpool. This was a marvellous idea and I do not contend that other electorates should not get services that I want for my electorate. I ask that the services that were promised for various parts of Hornsby, in particular, Hornsby railway station, be provided. At Hornsby three rail systems come together, causing Hornsby railway station to be one of the busiest outside the heart of the city. Yet the services provided there except for a coat of paint, are still as they were in the time of Queen Victoria. All governments have neglected the station. On behalf of the people of Hornsby I ask the Minister to implement the improvement programme that he announced four years ago for the railway station. Work was commenced but suddenly came to a stop two years ago. Perhaps because of budgetary constraints the money had to be diverted elsewhere. Honourable members should be told what work they can expect to be carried out in their electorates. I invite attention in particular to Hornsby hospital which in 1975-76 was given permission to build, with its own money, a new casualty and emergency centre to cost $2 million. Since that time, in successive budgets, various sums of money have been promised. Even in the present Budget, Hornsby hospital is mentioned, as it has been in every Budget since 1976, but still the hospital has not been allowed to spend its own money to carry out this essential work. More than 50 000 people use the existing casualty centre, which is the only emergency casualty centre between Gosford and North Sydney. The hospital has a fine record. It is willing to provide $1 million or $2 million for an emergency centre if the Government will give its approval. At present patients are being squeezed into antiquated buildings that the hospital wanted to replace eight years ago but has not been allowed to do so. On some days there is standing room only for people who are waiting for treatment at the casualty emergency centre, yet the Govern- ment will not allow the hospital to spend its own money to build at least the first stage of a new casualty and emergency centre. Mr DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member has exhausted his time. Mr R. J. CLOUGH (Bathurst) 14.351: During the half hour that the honour- able member for Hornsby addressed the House it emerged clearly that he knows little about the coalmining industry. He is a city based member of Parliament who knows little about mining and the movement of coal. The honourable member for Northcott proposed the introduction of a State income tax. His Liberal Party and National Party colleagues support him actively in promoting the introduction of a State income tax. Such a tax is not designed to help the people of New South Wales so much as to relieve the financial strain on the federal Government. The federal Government is so denuded of funds by chronic mismanagement that it is unable to balance its budget. Yet it is willing to buy itself out of electoral disfavour by intro- ducing a budget that is designed to win votes for the time being before a minibudget is introduced, if the federal Government is fortunate enough to win office again at the next federal elections. It is important to the federal Government that a State take the initiative in introducing a State income tax. If the Prime Minister can compel New South Wales into an economic situation in which it is necessary to impose a second income tax, the other Liberal Party-Country Party States throughout Australia will fall into line like railway carriages behind a locomotive. If ever the people of Australia are sick of a government, they are sick of the apology for managerial personnel in Canberra. A State income tax is dearly sought by the Fraser Government, despite record income from taxation and all of the schemes that are designed to shift the burden Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1869 from the people most able to pay to those who normally carry the country on their backs. The honourable member for Hornsby pretended to claim some knowledge of the mining industry. The people who will be most affected by this type of taxation are the workingmen and workingwomen of Australia. In particular it would affect men working in the mines in Lithgow in my electorate. One of the undertakings that the Premier gave prior to 1976 to the miners of Lithgow was that there would be no second income tax. He said, "I won't have a bar of this type of taxation in New South Wales." The fallacy that a second income tax will get this State out of financial difficulty must be exposed. Such a scheme would not get New South Wales out of any difficulty but it would get the federal Government out of trouble. The federal Government would then be able to reduce further the funds allocated to New South Wales. A State income tax would not mean an extra cent being paid by the federal Government to this State. i t would not result in a reduction in taxation payable by New South Wales residents, for the Fraser regime is strapped for funds. It has no money. The honourable member for Hornsby talked about the possible deficit in the New South Wales Budget. I wonder what sort of a mess the federal Government will be in after twelve months. Already the federal Parliament is debating the possible understatement of the federal deficit for the coming year. The Fraser Government is moving towards its ultimate goal. That it has a goal, there can be no doubt. Its goal is to keep this country economically depressed, and it does not have far to go to reach that goal. With school leavers coming into the potential work force in a few weeks' time, job opportunities will be reduced even further. That is the deliberate intention of the federal Government. Its aim is to follow the American philosophy of driving the unions and workingmen and women into the ground by denying work. People can be driven into the ground by denying them the work to which they are justly entitled. The end result is that worker will be against worker, vying for the few jobs that remain. That trend is already apparent in Australia today. Some Australians are voluntarily taking reductions in salary and working four days a week instead of five in order to keep their jobs. That worries me. Unscrupulous employers will work employees as hard as they can in four days in order to get five days' work from them, even though paying them for four days' work. Once that practice starts, it will snowball and the problem will never be solved. The problem that faces us is not concerned with the provision of government funds to provide jobs but, rather, how big profits should be. Instead of using some form of job creating scheme, as for example the institution of a national housing programme, the federal Government is persisting with its endeavour to bring the workingman to his knees. A national housing programme would involve the white goods industry in producing items such as washing machines, stoves, refrigerators and freezers. More than that, a national housing industry would require bricks, cement and timber. The need for electrical wiring, plumbing and manual labour would be increased con- siderably. The housing industry is a most labour-intensive industry. It brings t o it many other people. It uses enormous quantities of steel and that, in itself, might help Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited in its present economic disaster, The company that is supposed to be producing Australian steel uses such antiquated methods that it cannot compete on the open market. The consequence is that the workers of Newcastle and Wollongong have been affected disastrously and many are becoming unemployed. 1870 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill We have had enough of this nonsense of a second income tax. There is nothing in it for New South Wales. Who in Australia, in view of the track record of the Prime Minister, would trust him to honour any commitment at all? Who, in Australia, faced with the bitterness and hate that is still being engendered by that man, could expect him to allocate a fair share of federal taxation revenue to the New South Wales Government? Mr Jones: No one. Mr R. J. CLOUGH: That is so. No person in his right mind would trust that man. Having got rid of that fallacy I shall turn the attention of the House from the federally inspired solution of a second income tax to solve the State's problems and address myself now to the issue of public transport. The other evening the honourable member for Davidscm did nothing but criticize the State Rail Authority. Members of the other side of the House have formed a lobby for the road transport industry. They work on the basis that what is good for the General is g o d for Australia. That statement used to apply in the United States of America where, at one time, it was said that what was good for General Motors was good for America. That philoaophy is being imposed on the people of Australia today. The public transport system of the United States of America was purchased by General Motors and then closed down, with the result that motor vehicles must do the job that was once done by public transport. It does not behove the honourable member for Davidson to come into this House pleading the cause of the General and his counterparts in Australia and knocking the best public transport system to be found in this nation. When one looks at all the public transport systems in Australia it is seen easily that none of t h m comes within cooee of the New South Wales State Rail Authority. I invite honourable members opposite to have a look at some of the public transport of the other States and the sort of rolling stock they have. In Western Australia they will see 15-tonne wooden coal waggons that are older than I am, and I shall be fifty-five years old next Friday. The difference between me and those waggons is that they are not in my good condition. I am a good deal better. Mr West: That is questionable. Mr R. J. CLOUGH: The honourable member for Orange says that that is questionable, but let me hasten to assure him that there is no question about it at all. The locomotives of Western Australia and Queensland are provided by the people who operate the coalmines, not by government. The infrastructure costs in those two States are met largely by the people who use them. We hear much about the other States but members opposite do not go to see what is actually happening there. The honourable member for Upper Hunter claimed that although we have coal available for export we need more trucks to get it to the seaboard. The other night he said quite seriously that we do not have enough rolling stock to carry our coal to the ports. What utter rubbish. The State Rail Authority can handle all coal shipments in New South Wales and has proved that time and time again. Imagine what a mess the coal industry would be in New South Wales if we were still operating under a Liberal Pairty-Counitry Pasty government. A few moments ago the honourable member for Homsby said we should go ahead and build the Botany Bay coal loader, but that would mean we should haul all our trains through the main suburban areas of Sydney into a coal loader located right in the heart of the city. No one in his right mind would want a coal loader bbut in his area. I would not want one either. Recognizing the fact that it is not practical to build one there, the New South Wales Government is building other coal loading facilities that will certainly permit coal from all over New South Wales to be shipped. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1871 The former coalition Government left this Government with a permanent way that was incapable of carrying its proper load. There were no locomotives capable of pulling the coal trains and no rolling stock to convey it to the loaders. After eleven years of neglect we have come a long way. The Government has rescued the coal industry from its predecessors in office. As one who represents a coalmining electorate, I can vouch for the truth of that statement. In the old days there was no way that coal would have been abIe to come down the Blue Mountains with rail facilities as they were under the previous State Government, especially with the state of the track. The coal waggons had the wrong bogies underneath. The Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Technology is aware of the mistakes that were made by the previous Government in relation to rolling stock. All of it had to modified later. Having dealt with some of the points that have been raised in this debate by the Opposition, 1 should like to address myself to the Budget. The Treasurer is to be congratulated on his first budget, the seventh in the history of the Wran Government. As I listened to the Treasurer detail the Government's plans for 1982-83 in the State of New South Wales, I waited for the crunch that had to come to a government treated so unfairly by the federal Government. No one believes that State governments, where Labor is in power, will ever get a fair go from the Prime Minister. But there was no crunch at all in the State Budget. It was a Budget of hope, framed in most dificult circumstances. Next I address myself to specific issues in the Budget. In addition to a capital works programme of $3,477 million, over $15 million was set aside in the Budget for special employment initiatives. By how much could that be increased if the federal Government were to work to provide employment instead of simply spending about $2,000 million a year on unemployment relief to provide young and old Australians with only the very basic necessities of life. The allocation of $10 million to the special council employment scheme to partly fund approved labour intensive works of lasting value should be compared with the sum of $5 million provided in 1981-82. Last year that sum meant 100 councils could employ almost 1 600 men and women for up to ten weeks. Perhaps that was not much, but it was better than having those people draw the dole. It was much better for them to have that work than to face the soul-destroying search for jobs that were not there. It was better for them to have that than to get knockback after knockback, when twenty-one out of every twenty-two people seeking jobs remain unemployed. This year that sum of $5 million is doubled to $10 million. Payroll tax concessions are to be granted to employers of young people in their first full-time job. The Treasurer will allocate $12 million for this purpose, and more if it is needed. There are young people in my electorate who are turning twenty-one and have never had a job. Many have had their spirit broken, although most have not. Sometimes I wonder how I would react if I were in that situation, whether my spirit would be broken. It is for that reason that the allocation of $600,000 for youth work co-operatives is to be commended. The State Government youth training programme has already trained some 6 000 people since the scheme began operating. An addi- tional 2 000 will benefit from the $8.3 million available this year. The amount is nearly doubled. Again the Teasurer has taken positive steps to help the young. Group apprenticeship schemes, payroll tax and workers' compensation refunds for addi- tional apprentices all help the young, and funds have been increased for these also. The Government has provided assistance in the western suburbs of Sydney, where assistance is most needed by young people attempting to obtain employment. I applaud the initiatives taken by the Treasurer in this regard. Apprentices who lose their jobs will be helped. The provision of special trade courses, concessions for 1872 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill workers' compensation payments and the creation of an additional 100 apprenticeship positions in government organizations to assist displaced third and fourth year appren- tices to complete their training will cost the Government of New South Wales $2.7 million this financial year; that is money well spent on the tradesmen and artisans of tomorrow. I turn now to services for people in trouble. Many people are in trouble; there can be no doubt about that. Doubtless every honourable member has people coming to him with grave problems. The workload of all honourable members has increased enormously because of the national economic downturn. People do not have housing, they have insuficient food, they cannot pay their electricity or gas bills or look after their children. They are making their way to the doors of honour- able members' rooms to seek assistance. From the point of view of employment the economic downturn and the policies of the federal Government have placed Aus- tralians in a position worse than for many years. Depending upon how one looks at it, it bears favourable or unfavourable comparison with the Great Depression. Though the community has not seen the soup kitchens encountered by my parents in the 1930's, every day agencies such as the Salvation Army and St Vincent's de Paul Society are stretching their meagre facilities to provide for an increasingly large sector of the community. In my electorate I am continually seeking to assist with human problems. Those problems include those of the sick husband who could not afford to buy essential medicines, families who find payment of their electricity and heating bills beyond them and families for whom meat has disappeared from the dinner table. If anybody should doubt the validity of these statements, I can offer as proof chapter and verse of cases where hungry people have walked into my office. The case that comes immediately to mind is that of a wife who was caring for a sick husband. I feel sure that she was suffering from malnutrition. So far as that family was con- cerned, the end of line had been reached. In my electorate there are many families who are in that position due to the grand architect of Australia's economy, Prime Minister Fraser. There are people who need a house in which to live but have Buckley's chance of obtaining it in the present situation. That has led me to inves- tigate the possibility of a scheme in Bathurst where low interest funds may be made available by public subscription. The success of that scheme will depend upon whether the more fortunate members of the community are willing to make some sacrifice to help their less fortunate neighbours. I am pessimistic about the scheme being successful, for I think that Australians of today have lost some of the spirit that bound them together through bad times such as the Great Depression. Though the federal Government has responsibility for social welfare it has failed to match the demand for help; again I mean just plain help to the community staggering through this depression. The Commonwealth Government has gradually withdrawn from most of the fields of welfare. The Government of New South Wales does not have the financial resources to fill the vacuum caused by the withdrawal of the federal Government. But by this year's Budget the Government of New South Wales is putting its money where its mouth is. Net allocations to the Minister for Youth and Community Services have increased by 21 per cent from $100 million to $121 million. The Government will increase payments to foster parents and pocket money to State wards. I recall the comments of the Minister when he was speaking in this debate last night. I applaud the concept initiated by his predecessor, who is now Minister for Corrective Services, that State wards should have increased pocket money. Also, the Minister's department will plan for and provide several new long day care centres for children of mothers fortunate enough to be working. Mr R. J . Clough] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1873 The Government will increase subsidies for pre-schools, with the base rate increased by 7 per cent. I recall the good old days when the Whitlam Government contributed 90 per cent of the capital cost and 75 per cent of the recurrent costs for pre-school education. Prime Minister Fraser has not funded a pre-school in a Labor electorate for years. Instead of contributing 75 per cent of recurrent costs, the Commonwealth Governmenl: has gradually withdrawn its support to the extent that only a minor proportion of the running costs are provided by the Commonwealth in the important area of pre-school education. The Whitlam Government had the courage to contribute 90 per cent of the recurrent costs. The Fraser Government has with- drawn and is providing much less than 50 per cent. Women's refuges are to get extra help, and God knows they need it. Women usually bear the brunt of a husband's frustrations brought about by his failure to obtain employment, by worrying about how to make ends meet, and many wives resort to searching for somewhere to sleep and to take the children, often after receiving a beating. The Government will provide emergency assistance to people who have not the means to feed their families. All honourable members know that that happens in some families. When I began my speech in this debate I said that it does happen, and it is happening increasingly in our society. Increases in home help services and other adjustments to welfare expendi- ture deserve the highest praise. Aborigines will receive help. As one who has lived with Aborigines in another less enlightened State I can say that at least New South Wales is recognizing the grave injustices perpetrated upon Aborigines and is doing something about it. Aborigines suffer by comparison with white persons, particularly in the areas of housing, health, education, welfare and culture. I have seen instances of their treatment in other Sates that would be of interest to members of this Parliament. I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Select Committee upon Aborigines under the chairmanship of the honourable member for Woronora. I recall vividly attending Dubbo one morning for a hearing. The honourable member for Woronora will recall that when we arrived in Dubbo on that morning a white frost covered the ground. During the taking of evidence on that morning there were two men present in the hall who had spent the night sleeping under the trees on the riverbank. It was a bitterly cold morning and there was no accommodation available for them. They had nowhere to go. I believe that, black or white, Australians are all human beings and nowhere in Australia should this be necessary. Australia is the lucky country-or should be-and should be a country of plenty. That experience will remain in my mind forever. Opposition speakers have referred to increased electricity costs. There is a power generation plant located in my electorate and I should like to make some comments in that regard. New South Wales is still amongst the cheapest power producing States in Australia and stands in front of some of the so-called financial wizards in the service it provides. All honourable members will recall what was happening during the last winter. The prophets of doom on the Opposition benches freely tipped blackouts. They said that New South Wales would stagger through a winter full of blackouts. They said that we would be doomed. But, what happened during the winter? There were no blackouts. The Opposition did all it could to ferment industrial unrest in the power generation industry to try to bring New South Wales to its knees. Though it worked in some areas, it did not work in my electorate. The men and women who operate the power generation plant at Wallerawang power station came up trumps in keeping the lights burning in New South Wales and support- ing the Wran Government. The thanks of the appropriate Minister have been con- veyed personally to those employees. New South Wales was plagued by industrial stoppages plainly designed to cause blackouts. Though there were 12 000 megawatts available from power generation only two-thirds of that capacity could be supplied for most of the winter. 1874 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill Instead of knocking the State of New South Wales, Opposition members should rise and take their hats off to the Minister for Energy. The Minister got power genera- tors going everywhere in New South Wales. He encouraged industry to produce power and quickly got fuel-fired small generators into operation, kept the old power stations going and opened up some that had been shut down years ago. True it is that New South Wales staggered through the winter, but the attempts of the Opposition to plunge New South Wales into darkness were defeated. But that was not done easily and it was done at cost. As against that, all honourable members know the answer they would receive if they asked constituents of my electorate whether they would prefer to have the lights and heaters operating during one of the worst winters in history. It was a costly process; there is no doubt about that. Though 2 000 megawatts of power should have been produced at Liddell at the cost of approximately $12 a tonne of coal, insufficient power was produced there to keep the lights burning. The Government had to pay up to $63 a tonne for the coal used in its power generation plants. I do not believe that this Government has cause to apologize about electricity generation in New South Wales. The Government has proved that with good manage- ment, quick action and co-operation of the workers in the industry it could, and did, get through. From this point it is all downhill. No doubt next year the Opposition will ferment further trouble. It wants control at any cost. The latest poll indicates that the Opposition will wait a long while to attain power because the Wran Government has the confidence of the people. Those people who tend to stray away from the Labor Party tend to look at the Opposition and turn back. They ask what is the alternative. They would be justified in that attitude merely by sitting in this House day after day and observing the Opposition benches. At the moment there are but two members of the Opposition in the Chamber listening to this debate, and they are both from the National Party. Those people concede that the Wran Government is pushing New South Wales and not knocking it. I turn now to drought relief. A few nights ago I saw an interview on the local television channel with an executive officer of the National Party who unashamedly said, among other things, that his party supported the mining industry. This could be so, but it certainly does not support the miners who win the coal in my electorate, or the power workers. Recently in this House honourable members heard a long diatribe by the honourable member for Upper Hunter complaining about the high wages being paid to miners and power workers. The people of Lithgow know all about that-I saw to it. Honourable members might well ask what this has t o do with drought relief. It points up that the National Party represents mainly the mining interests and does little for the people who live in the country. The National Party does not represent the small farmer. The National Party has kicked the inside out of him through its approach t o drought relief measures. A farmer has to be nearly broke before the federal Government will come to the party. The Leader of the federal National Party decided ultimately that New South Wales would have to double its drought relief contribution, bringing it to $10 million, before a cent of Common- wealth money was made available to the natural disaster relief scheme and the Com- monwealth Government endorsed that proposal. Small farmers going to the wall are forgotten in the hasteful spite of the federal Government to treat New South Wales differently to the other Australian States. The crime of New South Wales is that it has a Labor Government. This takes me back to a speech made by the former Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowan, at the National Press Club in Canberra shortly prior to his retirement, which I was fortunate enough to hear on the radio that day. Sir Zelman is referred to as the peacemaker Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1875 because he took over from Sir John Kerr. He was put there -k, draw Australians together after the bitterness and hatred of November 1975. Good man that he is, he failed. The Prime Minister's bitterness is just as paranoid today as it was then. The Prime Minister's behaviour towards New South Wales is spiteful and his approach to this State even on drought relief continues to be spiteful. How will this State's drought relief assistance help the farmer who has endured nearly four years of drought? The form of assistance given to a farmer makes no difference. A loan in the third or fourth year of drought is still a loan. The farmer probably still has the burden of repaying the loans that he obtained in the first and second years of the drought. Those loans have to be repaid. Each year New South Wales is expected to contribute the first $10 million in relief. The federal Govern- ment has the capacity to do something about this and it should say, "All right, for the first year we will arrange loans for farmers. We are even willing to fund them for the second year. If the drought goes into the third year and they require loans, we will write off the first year's loan and make a maximum of two years' loans available to them on the basis of it being a natural disaster." Members of the Opposition have not suggested anything along those lines so that the farmer may be relieved of the continuing debt that he will incur. Mr Singleton: This Government is always crying poor mouth. Mr R. J. CLOUGH: The honourable member for Coffs Harbour is muttering something. [Quorum formed.] Motion (by Mr Wade) agreed to: That the honourable member for Bathurst, Mr R. J. Clough, be allowed to continue his speech for a further period of fifteen minutes. Mr R. J. CLOUGH: It is clear that no Opposition member, particularly those who claim to represent country electorates and the interests of country people,- wishes to hear the true facts about drought relief when the federal Government is involved. There is only one honest man on the Opposition benches in this House who repre- sents the interests of country people. I refer to the honourable member for Lismore, who has the courage of his convictions. He is the only Opposition member who is game to stand up and be counted. The honourable member for Lismore is held in the highest regard by Government supporters. Though members on this side of the House might disagree with him regularly, they acknowledge that he is a man of courage, which is more than can be said for the members of the National Party. In this the third year of drought a farmer is nearly gone. Why cannot he obtain a grant from the federal Government? Why should he be forced to take up low interest loans? Why should he incur debts of, say, $120,000 before he is forced out of business? One day honourable members may see members of the National Party adopt a positive approach towards assisting farmers. Mr Singleton: The honourable member for Bathurst is starting again at the beginning of his speech and is repeating his remarks. Mr R. 3. CLOUGH: When I was elected to his House I could not understand why the honourable member for Coffs Harbour was nicknamed Hurricane. I thought, he must be a top operator; a member who gives of his best in the Parliament, a man I should fear. However, sometime later, after I had heard him making speeches in the House, I was told, and I cannot now recall who informed me, that the honourable member for Coffs Harbour was known as Hurricane because it was short for hurricane lamp-not very bright. I agree with that assessment. 1876 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill I shall return now to the assistance granted to farmers. If a farmer is worthy of being granted a loan of $40,000 in the first year of a drought and he receives another $40,000 the next year, surely he qualifies for a grant from the federal Govern- ment. The New South Wales Government has raised carry-on loans at a State level. That is the best that New South Wales can do. A loan of $60,000 at 4 per cent interest is of immeasurable assistance to a farmer whose holding is devastated by continuing drought conditions. The State's generous subsidy schemes and water cartage sub- sidies are of untold assistance to farmers. In recent years 45 per cent of all assistance made available has come from the State's own resources. It is a national disgrace that the State should have to meet the costs of a natural disaster. This year $30 million will be spent on assisting farmers. Millions of dollars in freight charges will be lost as a result of the inevitable failure of the wheat harvest. The federal Government, which is broke, has not contributed a cent. The Government in Canberra has been ripped off by its own supporters through the perpetration of tax avoidance schemes. This has grossly hurt small farmers as well as working men and women in country towns. Allocations totalling $263 million will go to rural services other than those related to the drought, including the Soil Conservation Service, State Fisheries, the Water Resources Commission, the Forestry Commission, Glennies Creek Dam in the Hunter Valley and the Windamere Dam to the north of my electorate. Australians have the capabilities to enable them to weather the storm. However, they will find it most difficult to do so under the administration of the federal Government which is in disarray, bitterly split by illicit taxation schemes. The Commonwealth Government on its record, deserves to be thrown out of office. In fact, Australia's future depends upon that happening. The New South Wales Budget demonstrates the type of management that is available under a Labor Government. I commend the Budget. Mr 'WEST (Orange) [5.10]: The honourable member for Bathurst expressed so-called concern for the primary producers of New South Wales who are suffering from the effects of the drought. If the honourable member had genuine concern he would not resort to the type of political bashing in which he indulged. It is unbecoming for members d Parliament to stoop to such levels. In this debate all Government supporters who have spoken, including Ministers, have incessantly whinged a b u t the federal Government's policies and said that New South Wales has not been given emugh funds by the Commonwealth. It is time the Government began to accept its constitutional responsibility for the affairs of New Scruth Wales. It must operate within the framework d its budgetary constraints and adopt sound fiscal policies. I was amused to hear the honourable member for Bathurst say that the State Government had nothing for which it needed to apologize in regard to electricity generation. I believe there is much for which it should apologize. The cost of electricity to consumers in New South Wales has increased to the stage where many people especially those in country areas and those with families are tremendously disadvantaged. The burden upon them is intolerable. The price freeze on tariffs that has been introduced is a short-term measure. It will not have any lasting bendcia1 effect for people who live in country districts. I n many ways the State Budget has become an insignificant part of the Govern- ment's overall fiscal programme. Though the Budget Papers set out clearly and in considerable detail expenditure in the various aspects of the Government's administra- ticm, the revenue raising measures are not clearly included as part of the Budgd. It has become the practice of the Government to introduce, in mall doses and progressively, the bad news taxes. Thus the Budget has become very much a one sided document. Naturally that practice has considerably improved public acceptance of o ' the Budget. I should add that I regard this as a most deceitful way y f presenting the fiscal policies of the Government. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1877 The practice to which I have referred leads me to question also the soundness of the Government's financial management. Many new revenue raising taxes which have been introduced at different times of the year, invariably just before the Budget was brought down, have increased the revenue raising capacity of the State. That practice should n d be encouraged but should be used only as a device in exceptional circumstances. The bad news taxes that have been introduced outside the Budget include the new fuel tax, which was imposed less than twelve months after the Premier and Minister for Mineral Resources assured the people of New South Wales that no such tax would be introduced. The people d New South Wales will not forget that broken promise. Other increases imposed by this Government include hospital fees, public transport freights and fares and electricity costs. In respect of a l of these rises l the Government claims that it has no apology to make whatever. The original payroll tax surcharge which was to be only a temporary measure has become a permanent tax-a tax on work whereby people are being deprived of jobs as industry and employers have been penalized and can no longer afford to employ people. The Treasurer has not achieved what he claims to be sound financial management. The State is in a mess. In this debate I shall address my remarks primarily to two most important aspects. The first is education; the second is youth and community services. The Budget shows the people of New South Wales finally that the Government no longer regards expenditure on education as being of top priority. That is so specifically in regard to improving the overall quality of education. I believe that principle to be correct, in spite d the claim by the Minister for Education that the appropriations for the Department of Education and the Department of Technical and Further Education comprise 36 per cent of the total budget expenditure. It is correct to say also that the Government's overall level of spending on education has increased. However, in real terms the increases have not kept pace and the decline in the standard of the State's education system has been considerable. The Government has failed to fulfil its commitment to provide relief from face-to-face teaching for primary school teachers. In last year's Budget and in the 1978 election campaign the Government regarded the provision of that relief as a matter of high priority and promised that it would be implemented during this financial year. So much for the Government's so-called high priority promise. That is another promise that has proved to be worthless. In last year's Budget the Govern- ment accepted the principle that all technical trade teachers beyond their third year of service should have a maximum teaching load of eighteen hours a week. All honourable members will acknowledge that the duties of teachers in the trade cate- gories are as demanding as those of teachers in certificate and general studies areas. n E common with most teachers, I regard the Government's failure as discriminatory. The Government has a responsibility to put an end to that inequality of treatment as a matter of extreme urgency. The unjustifiable discrimination that has affected approximately 25 per cent of TAFE teachers has been the cause of a most bitter and protracted industrial dispute. The Government can put an end to the dispute promptly by announcing the implementation of the 18:12 principle by the beginning of the 1983 TAFE year. I shall deal now with some of the many areas of the State's education system in which the Government has failed. It has not provided sufficient TAFE teachers to meet the expected increase in technical college enrolments next year. The Budget 1878 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill spells out that an additional 370 teachers will be employed in the TAFE system. Considering that approximately 340 000 students are enrolled in TAFE courses and that next year enrolments are expected to increase to 370 000, the proposed increase in the number of teachers will not be adequate. The Government has not made provision for additional primary positions to qualify for regional primary supplements. It has failed to implement the urgently needed restructuring and reclassification of primary schools. That is an urgent requirement throughout the State and especially in respect of primary schools, follow- ing declining enrolments in the system. It is most evident in country areas that teachers are being denied normal promotional opportunities and that primary school students are being denied access to a standard of education equal to that which was available under the administration of the former coalition Government. Though the Government claims it is concerned about disadvantaged people, it has failed to increase adequately the number of teaching positions in special educa- tion. It has failed also to provide additional school counsellors. The Government claims that the ratio of school counsellors to children is 1:800. I assure honourable members that that is not the ratio in country areas. Not long ago the honourable member for Lachlan pointed out that in Forbes there is only one school counsellor to serve more than 2 000 students. The people of New South Wales are entitled to expect something better than that. A special programme should be implemented urgently to improve that ratio to 2:800 in rural areas. This highlights the bias that the Government has against country electorates in most of its policies, but in particular in its education policy. The Government has allowed secondary school and technical and further educa- tion textbook allowances to fall below acceptable levels. The Government introduced six Budgets before increasing textbook allowances. Still the allowances are inadequate. It would be more satisfactory if the allowances were indexed, though I appreciate that that may not be possible. However, the Government has a responsibility to adjust levels in every budget to an acceptable standard. The Government has failed to provide adequate numbers of school scholar- ships and bursaries. The Treasurer explained that the net value of scholarships and bursaries has been increased by approximately 10 per cent and that more bursaries will be available, but every day members of my party, and doubtless members who are Government supporters, have a stream of parents coming to their ofices com- plaining that they are not receiving sufficient financial assistance for the education of their children. Our system of education is supposed to be free, yet many parents cannot afford to meet the costs imposed by the system. Bursaries and scholarships are awarded to assist students and families in need of financial help, but there are two few scholarships and bursaries to help all who are in desperate need. The Budget will provide insufficient funds to maintain a safe school bus pro- gramme. The method of funding school buses has been revised. Again I refer to how the system affects country children. The school bus programme was introduced by the former Liberal Party-Country Party Government as a means of providing the opportunity for equal education so that country students would not be disadvan- taged. Its purpose was to allow children to get to school and obtain a reasonable education. The scheme has been expanded considerably since it was first introduced. Soon school bus operators will not be making enough money to maintain their buses in safe condition. That is a most important matter. Mr R. J . Clough] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1879 Bus proprietors must pay escalating wages as well as meet increased running costs and registration fees that have been brought about by the actions of this Govern- ment. Proprietors are finding it difficult to meet those costs. Consequently, the stan- dard of the buses used will decline to the point where they become unsafe. Residents of urban and suburban areas enjoy the service of government trains and buses or private buses that do not have to run on dirt roads. Few buses in the electorate of the honourable member for Fairfield are required to travel on dirt roads, but this is an expensive problem in country areas. Constant running on dirt roads causes a bus to deteriorate quickly. This Government is not concerned with providing equal education opportunities for students in country areas. The Budget does not make adequate provision for the maintenance of school buildings. The amount provided this year is a reduction of 3.8 per cent compared with last yeas. In 1975-76, when the former Government presented its last Budget, an amount of $18.8 million was allocated for the maintenance of school buildings. If one applies the cumulative inflationary effects that have occurred between 1975-76 and 1982-83, $34.5 million should have been provided in the Budget for the main- tenance of school buildings. Instead, a miserly $27.7 million has been allocated. The amount should have been increased by 30 per cent over last year's allocation, resulting in an increase of roughly $30 million. Even that amount would not have been sufficient to upgrade schools. Schools are a State asset, yet they are being allowed to fall into disrepair. The Government has not provided adequately to allow for capital expenditure on school buildings. The total capital expenditure allocation this year for State schools is only $120 million, and that amount includes $45 million of Commonwealth funds. The State's contribution is $75 million. Last year the Government's estimated expen- diture on capital works for State schools was approximately $108 million, so there is a decline of about 30 per cent. Last week the Minister for Education attempted to deny that, but the figures speak for themselves. There has been a decline in spending by this Government on the maintenance of school buildings and school programmes. This will result in dropping the standard of country schools. Already some country schools are no longer safe. The principals of some schools in my electorate write to me constantly and to their area officers complaining that tiles are lifting off the floors and that children are tripping over them. Many schools need urgent maintenance. Some require reconstruction programmes to effect major repairs where vandals have caused damage. These matters are of concern to everyone. I do not expect the Government to be able to overcome the problem easily. The Canobolas High School will not be able to get an assembly hall. The Anson High School for Special Purposes will not be able to get an additional toilet block or classrooms. The Minister for Education has agreed to visit that school next month with a view to considering whether at least one of those projects can proceed this financial year, but at this stage no indication has been given of which way the decision will go. In view of the education allocations I do not have any hope. I have mentioned already that this year the total allocation for State schools is $120 million. The former Liberal Party-Country Party Govern- ment provided $140 million in the last Budget it presented. If one applies the inflationary factor since that time the allocation should be $260 million for capital works on schools. Even that sum would not be sufficient to meet present requirements of schools. An allocation has been made this year of $61.8 million for capital works expenditure in the technical and further education system. That sum is farcical in view of the considerable demands for funds that should be met. It is no big deal. It is praised as being a State allocation but, if one delves a little more deeply, one finds that $49 million of that sum is Commonwealth money. That means the State allocation is only $12.8 million for technical and further education, a cut of 6.5 per cent on last year's allocation of $13.7 million. Industry, and the community generally in this State, depends upon the technical and further education system to provide students with up-to-date training on the latest equipment. However, there is a massive backlog of new buildings and equipment required for technical and further education in New South Wales. The TAFE administration estimates that to catch up with the backlog would require the expenditure of more than $650 million. The New South Wales contribution to capital works expenditure in TAFE has declined from 35 per cent in 1977 to a shameful 23 per cent in 1980-81, and is a smaller percentage this year. Students in the TAFE system are being educated in unsafe premises and with totally inadequate facilities. The State Government must make a commitment to overcame this capital works backlog. Through all this Budget debate honourable members on the Government benches have spoken about the Commonwealth Government's failure to provide New South Wales with sufficient funds. The old cry is raised that the Commonwealth is not shoulder- ing its financial responsibility for education. I provide the House with two examples of where the Commonwealth is actually providing money for capital works. For technical and further education, of a total of $61.8 million, $49 million has come from the Commonwealth. Of the total capital works programme of $120 million, $45 million is provided by the Commonwealth. In 1982-83 New South Wales will receive its most generous treatment from the Commonwealth since 1975-76. Therefore, I cannot and will not accept the excuse from supporters of the Government that the Government's poor performance in education is related to the failure of the Cornmanwealth Govern- ment to provide sufficient funds. I address myself now to the matter of youth and community services. Yesterday the Minister for Youth and Community Services spoke of the concern expressed by the Leader of the National Party about the inadequacy of child care services. The Minister said that when the Leader of the National Party had been in Cabinet during the term of office of the previous coalition Government, he had not exerted his influence at that time to improve child care services. That does not remove the blame from the Labor Government for the present problems. New South Wales has reached an a l l time low in its allocations for child care services. The present allocation falls well below that of any other State in the Commonwealth, for there has been a reduction of 12 per cent in funds provided in the Budget for child care services. A substantial injection of funds should be made by the Government in children's services. It is appalling that the Government should have ignored the vital need to improve such facilities. Over the past two years the Government has underspent its allocation for these services by almost $4 million and thus has contributed to the lack of adequate day care facilities in New South Wales. Country areas are particularly disadvantaged by the lack of State assistance, although they have a high proportion of working mothers. I instance a couple of examples. In the New England area, where 30.5 per cent of children under 4 years of age have working mothers, there are 2 676 children for every full day care place available. In North Sydney, where the proportion is 29.96 per cent of working mothers with pre-school children, there is one day care place for every fifty children and one pre-school place for every four children. That emphasizes the anti-country bias of this Government. It is becoming financially intoler- able for working mothers in country areas in New South Wales to be able to continue to keep their children in pre-school. The New South Wales Government allocated $14.6 million for almost 400 000 pre-school children, compared with Queensland which estimates an expenditure d almost $30 million for less than half that number of children. It is pointless for the Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1881 New South Wales Government to utter the old catchcry of federal funding cutbacks in defence of its own shameful record. In this matter of the Government's failure to provide adequate child care services it is pertinent to recall that both the former and present Ministers for Youth and Community Services have been heard to say how well they have catered for our pre-school children. Again I draw the attention of the House to the problems of pre-schools. In my electorate, and in country areas of my colleagues, those in charge of pre-schools are coming to us to explain how difficult they are finding it to make ends meet. The subsidies provided are not adequate to meet the increased wages and costs of maintaining those pre-schools. Pre-school education is a most important and desirable aspect of early childhood services programmes. The needs of the system are not being satisfied. The Government must move quickly to adopt a policy I have been advocating for some years. The salaries of approved staff of pre-schools should be funded 100 per cent, and the schools and their committees, through the fees charged, should pay for the maintenance and general running costs of the pre-schools. They would be quite happy to do that for they would be relieved of the enormous burden of having to pay increasing salaries for staff of pre-school centres. In his contribution to the Budget debate the Minister for Youth and Community Services referred to the increased subsidies paid to the economically disadvantaged children of New South Wales and to handicapped persons. mhough I do not seek to detract from that policy, the only way equality can b.e achieved within our pre-school system is to have the Government adopt this 100 per cent subsidy programme and then battle with the Commonwealth Government to 1 recover as much money as it can. A 1 too often children in our pre-schools have suffered because the State cannot reach some agreement with the Commonwealth Government about the fees that have to be collected. The whole Budget reflects its anti-country areas bias. It is apparent in educa- tion, in youth and community services, in water resources programmes, and in the soil conservation programme, which affects my electorate particularly, as it does the electorates of almost every other country representative of this House. The work of the Soil Conservation Service is first-class. Our soils are probably one of the most important aspects of primary industry. Although the Minister for Agriculture travels occasionally to the country and speaks of his interest in the soils of this State, he was not able to stand up to his colleagues in Cabinet and demand an increase in funds for the Soil Conservation Service. Instead, he took a cut in funds. Although there were many applications on the books from people who required the services of the Soil Conserva- tion Service, a funding cutback was the result. That is a measure of how the Govern- ment of this State no longer has any interest in that service, and in the needs of country areas in New South Wales. Mrs CROSIO (Fairfield) 15.401: I was pleased to observe that when the honour- able member for Orange commenced his speech some members of his party came into the Chamber to give him their support. However, when the honourable member emphasized points in which he genuinely believed those members of his own party did not pay him the courtesy of remaining quiet. [Interruption] Mr SPEAKER: Order! Mrs CROSIO: Though I acknowledge the right of the honourabIe member for Orange to address the House, I do not necessarily agree with his views. His speech on the Budget was informed and presented far better than the speech of the honour- able member for Hornsby. During the time that I have been a member of this Parlia- ment never have I listened to such tortuous tautological statements as those delivered 1882 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill by the honourable member for Hornsby. I congratulate the Treasurer on bringing down a budget that deals realistically with the maintenance and improvement of essential services at a time of national economic difficulties brought about by the continuing ineptitude of the Fraser Government. Of special significance in the Budget is a n increase from $22.8 million to $50.4 million for special employment initiatives, particularly the creation of an additional one hundred apprenticeships in government organizations to assist displaced third and fourth year apprentices, thus enabling those few at least to complete their training. Unemployment in Australia has reached epidemic proportions. The federal Government's Budget totally ignored the plight of the unemployed. The New South Wales Treasurer is to be congratulated for increasing the special council employ- ment scheme allocation from $5 million to $10 million. This allocation will be used for the relief of unemployment in areas where its incidence is high. Of the budgeted amount, $3 million is to be allocated to the Sydney metropolitan region, $2 million is to be distributed to each of the Wollongong and Newcastle regions and $3 million has been set aside for country areas. Although the westcrn region of Sydney has one-fifth of the population of New South Wales, the Government has seen fit to allocate $3 million to country areas. Of the total amount of $10 million that the Government will contribute in terms of the special council employment scheme, $2 million has been specifically earnlarked for sport and recreation facilities. The Government grant of $10 million for the relief of unemployment is to be distributed generally on the basis of $1-for-$1 contribution by the Government and a council. The council may utilize funds contributed by community organizations in matching the Government's grant under the scheme. When one examines the Budget further one finds that an additional 2 000 young people will be assisted in training under the special youth employment training pro- gramme. I am pleased to see the continuation for a further three years of the youth work co-operative scheme. The allocation to the western Sydney area employment assistance scheme has been increased to $837,000. The Budget forn~alizesthe Govern- ments programme of allocating funds evenly. I do not read the figures in the same manner as the honourable member for Orange. The education vote has been increased from $1.7 billion to $1.902 billion. That signifies the Government's concern in that area. The allocation represents over one-third of the total annual appropriations, which since 1976 have increased on an average of 20 per cent per annum. I am pleased that included in the capital works programme this year will be the building of a much needed high school at Wetherill Park, which will be called Prairiewood High School. The Minister for Education informed me that he has approved the acceptance of a tender for approximately $4.9 million. This School will comprise twenty-four classrooms, a library resource centre, administration-staff facili- ties, three art rooms, six science laboratories, industrial arts and home science facilities, a multipurpose centre and playing fields, and the usual ancillary spaces for the school. This school, which is in the new release area of my electorate, will be ready for occupation in 1984. It will provide much needed relief of the present overcrowding at St Johns Park High School and the other high schools within the electorate. The multipurpose centre and the extended playing field facilities in this complex have been made possible through an agreement with the New South Wales Government and the Fairfield city council. The council in recognizing the facilities needed in the area, has agreed to expend a n amount of $200,000. An allocation of $100,000 will be used so that the hall can be extended. It will seat up to 1 300 persons. Council is also willing to allocate up to $100,000 so that the sport fields can be enlarged and used by the local community at weekends. When completed the school will clearly demonstrate how local government and the State Government can combine so that the facilities Mrs Crosio] Appropriation B8-20 October, 1982 1883 available may be used continually by the local community. I hope that through this achievement vandalism which has been so rampant in the area over the past twelve months will not occur at Wetherill Park. 1 am pleased that the Government continues to give a high priority to appren- ticeship training at technical and further education levels. The allocation in the Budget of $258.8 million that has been provided for TAFE is an increase of 16 per cent. The WetherilI Park technicaI coIIege in my electorate provides a wide range of courses. When the second stage of this college is completed it will provide courses in heavy machinery, plant mechanics and fitting. I was pleased when I read recently that the Budget was accepted as a genuine step to assist home buyers. The New South Wales President of the Housing Industry Association, Mr J. Read, said: We are delighted with this Budget. Not only is it beneficial to home buyers, it signifies the State Government is taking notice of the home buyers' plight, and taking positive action to provide a series of solutions. We see it as a prelude to more good news, for what Premier Neville Wran has achieved, is a method of slowing down the inflation spiral which will in itself be directly beneficial to the borrower. The Housing Industry Association welcomes the removal of loan instrument duty from 1st January, 1983. Mr Jim Read in his article went on to say: We see this as another indication that the State Government is working in the right direction to bring down the mountain of financial problems which plague the home building industry generally and the home buyers specifically. The actions that the Government has taken to assist home buyers through the introduc- tion of the supplementary housing loan and first mortgage loan schemes have been positive. The $52.8 million allocated to co-operative housing societies will provide loans to over 1 500 home buyers. I was particularly pleased last week when I was informed by the Minister for Housing that $500,000 had been allocated to the Fairfield Co-operative Housing Society to assist a great number of my constituents who have been on a waiting list for some considerable time. The ever-increasing need for welfare housing continues to grow at an alarming rate. The Government, by entering into a joint venture with the Rental Bond Board and the Government Insurance Ofice to build a further 600 homes, will be constructing this financial year more than 3 200 homes and endeavouring to provide, as soon as funds permit, accommodation for the needy in our community. The $218 million aIlocated to the Housing Commission for this purpose is an increase of 26 per cent. One cannot help but feel and appreciate the devastation that many of our constituents experience when they are told that they have to wait between three to four years for this accommodation. I find it difficult to understand how the federal Government can justify its miserable allocation of $104 million this year for welfare housing and at the same time expect the New South Wales Government to continue to make available additional finance to meet the evc; -increasing shortfall of funds. Blame for the increasing need for housing has to be attributed to the massive increase in interest rates. I am sure that all Members of this House can remember the promise made in 1977 by the Prime Minister to reduce interest rates. Instead of falling, since that time interest rates have risen another 6 per cent. The Housing Industry Association has suggested that every 1 per cent increase in interest rates costs the industry another 9 000 homes. If this is carried to its logical conclusion, then the 6 per cent rise in interest rates over the past five years has virtually excluded 54 000 families from obtaining a home of their own. 1884 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill I appreciate the positive steps being taken by the Minister for Health in providing a more equitable distribution of health services, particularly to the western areas of Sydney. I am pleased for the electorates that will share the $60 million allocated in the health budget for capital works. I am sure that the Minister for Youth and Community Services, a former Minister for Health, will not mind my saying that I am a little disappointed that the electorate of Fairfield was not included in that allocation. Since the formation of the western metropolitan health region in 1973 the facts have been well and truly established that on a per capita basis this region continues to lag behind all other New South Wales health regions so far as major public investment in health services is concerned. In December 1975, in an analysis of a preliminary report on the planning of the hospitals west of Sydney, the working party reached the unanimous decision that the needs of Fairfield hospital should receive first priority. Today the Fairfield hospital has 82 general acute beds, which is 0.66 beds for each 1 0 0 0 persons in the electorate. In 1956 the residents of Fairfield were assured that their temporary hospital would be rebuilt. I know that the Minister for Health is taking constructive action about the hospital. I am alarmed at the reduction of $180 million in the federal Government's contribution to health services. Although hospital charges and health fees have been increased, gross operating expenditure is expected to rise to $1,845 million, which is an increase of 8.6 per cent on last year and an increase of almost 27 per cent on the amount allocated in 1980-81. These facts were stated by the Treasurer in his Budget Speech. I hope that the next budget will have Fairfield listed under the Government's programme of major new works. The revenue supplement of the Urban Transit Authority is expected to be $94 million compared with $83 million in the previous year. In July 1980 the Urban Transit Authority was established. Besides operating government-owned buses and ferries, it is charged with exercising broad policy control over privately operated public transport in urban and interurban areas. Through the assistance of this authority the introduction of cross-country buses in the western region was achieved. Western Sydney, which has a fifth of the State's population, does not have govern- ment bus services. Until the Labor Government came to office in 1976 the residents of the area relied on a private transport system that had been essentially unchanged since 1930. I am pleased that as a result of this year's Budget the western Sydney public transport information service will be established. The service will be estab- lished during the year 1982-83 and will provide detailed information on public and private transport timetables in the region. The Urban Transit Authority has the power to set the criteria for minimum levels of service for private bus operators and to contract bus services to private operators. The Budget allocation for the capital works programme of the State Rail Authority is $308 million, which is an increase of $22 million on the previous year. I hope that part of this allocation will be spent on providing more services through Fairfield during offpeak hours as many of my constituents travel to work by train. I am reminded continually of the lack of express services from Fairiield to the city and return during peak hours. The people of New South Wales will welcome the 21 per cent increase in the allocation for the Department of Youth and Community Services, representing a total allocation of $12 1 million. I am pleased particularly with the $3.1 million increase in the allocation for the home help service. This service has been in operation for four years in my electorate and at present is caring for 547 persons. The service is carrying out excellent work, but due to the large increase in population, the many persons on its waiting list and in order to keep to its budget allocation, it has had to reduce its Mrs Crosio] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1885 hours of service. I commend publicly the staff, assessors and workers for the humane and excellent work they are performing for the people of Fairfield. I hope that the service will receive an increase in its allocation this year. It is a travesty of justice that since the election of the Fraser Government the Commonwealth's commitment to children's services has been eroded steadily and deliberately. Three-quarters of the national expenditure on child care services is now borne by the States. New South Wales receives only 23 per cent of the Com- monwealth's block grant for pre-schools notwithstanding that the State has 36 per cent of Australia's 4-year-old children. There has not been a decrease of 12 per cent in children's services as asserted by the honourable member for Orange. If the honour- able member had read further, he would have found that it has been increased substantially. Since 1975 this Government has increased the children's services fund by almost 1 500 per cent. The Budget has increased subsidies for pre-school services by 7 per cent as a base rate and up to 20 per cent for handicapped children. Because of the young population in my electorate, it has an urgent need for provision of adequate child care services. Children's services should be regarded as a basic need and not just another welfare service. All families in need should have access to them. If the federal Government had its way, honourable members would see a proliferation of child care centres commercially run just to make a profit. The distribution of federal funds has been heavily biased. It is in growth areas of low-income earners, single parents, migrant families and working mothers who are already hard pressed financially that one finds the greatest need. These areas are lacking sadly in child care facilities. Although funding of children's services is a federal responsibility, it is pleasing to know that this Budget has allocated funds for the planning and construction of several new long day care centres for children of working mothers. The Government has taken positive steps to assist the Aborigines of this State who for too long have suffered through lack of adequate housing, health care, and education facilities. I am pleased with the allocation of $7 million to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Aboriginal land rights have been accepted by the Government. The Government will consider a submission from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, which will lead to AboriginaI land rights legislation being introduced into this Parlia- ment. I was pleased to read a report in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald of a statement by the Minister for Education that Aboriginal heritage and contribution of Aborigines to Australian history will be compulsory studies in New South Wales primary schools. I was pleased also to read that the Minister stated: Through social studies, primary schoolchildren should be introduced to a historical viewpoint which will help them to understand and appreciate their multi-cultural society, its origins and their future. An increase in the allocation for police and emergency services from $288 million last year to $324 million this year will enable the employment of 200 extra general duty police, an additional 200 highway patrol officers, and 100 parking patrol police. My electorate welcomes the news. I am inundated continually with requests for extra police in the Fairfield electorate. Not only is a further $1 million being allocated for the western Sydney area assistance scheme, but provisions have been made within the allocations for the Premier, the Minister for Youth and Community Services and the Minister for Health to meet the recurrent cost of various projects commenced in the first three years of this scheme. The availability of recurrent cost has been one of the problems encountered in the region. Though the scheme has been success- ful, many participants in projects that have achieved so much success were concerned because they realized that after two years they would no longer qualify for future funding and they did not know where to go for help. 1886 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill The 18.2 per cent increase in the allocation to the Department of Main Roads will provide $706 million to that department. Extensive major construction works will be undertaken in the western area of Sydney. I hope that future budgets will provide for the completion of what is known as link road 2071. When constructed, it will provide greater access for vehicles travelling through the Fairfield electorate in a south- north direction. The Betts Road reconstruction and widening is listed in the Budget with an estimated expenditure of $650,000. It is part of the link road extension. I pay tribute to the Treasurer for the way in which his first budget has been presented to the Parliament. When one takes into account the difficulties that this State is experiencing because of the drought and the present state of the national economy, the Treasurer and his department are to be congratulated on the humane way in which moneys have been allocated. I commend the bill. [ M r Speaker left the chair at 6 p.m. T h e House resumed at 7.30 p.m.] Mr SMITH (Pittwater) [7.30]: I compliment the Treasurer on the presentation of the Budget, which is certainly set out better than any budget that I have seen since I became a member of this House. I do not suggest that the Budget contains all of the information one would like to have. The Government's intentions are not disclosed clearly. Undoubtedly the Government is trying to hide quite a lot. It has always suggested that it is a low tax or no tax government, though the facts prove otherwise. The Government says that the Budget shows exactly what has happened and what will happen, but taxpayers in New South Wales will learn that they are being stung left, right and centre. It is interesting to examine government expenditure in the six years that the Wran Government has been in office. For my purposes I need consider only the years from 1978-79 until 1981-82 without including the Budget Estimates for the present year. In that period there has been a 59 per cent increase in government expenditure. In the same period the consumer price index has increased 30.6 per cent. This year the Government has budgeted for an 11.4 per cent increase in expenditure. On that basis this year the Government proposes to spend almost $700 million more than it spent last yeas. Last year estimated expenditure was $5.3 billion and actual expenditure $6.1 billion. There was a 15 per cent overexpenditure on the Estimates. If that demonstrates the measure of control that the Government has over its expenditure, this year will be a disaster. If the Government runs 15 per cent over its Estimates this year the result will be that many public servants will lose their jobs. The Government has emptied all the hollow logs and will not have sufficient funds to pay public servants, unless some thundering new charges are proposed. Why has this increase in expenditure occ~~rred? Clearly the Government has not done anything to curb expenditure. In the past three years the New South Wales Government has criticized the federal Government, which has worked flat out to try to improve the nation's economy. The New South Wales Government has spent money as if it were going out of style. One would think that unless the State was advancing and expanding at a great rate, government expendi- ture would have been kept at the rate of cost of living increases. Where has the money been spent? Not all the figures are available from the Budget Estimates. Information supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that, in March, New South Wales had 35 400 more public servants than it had when the Wran Government came to office. In the supplementary budget information that figure is shown as 31 486. I prefer to accept the figures furnished by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. If one takes a round figure of 35 000, and recognizes that in addition to paying a person the Government had to meet other costs, overheads, supply Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1887 a shovel, chair, car or whatever was required for his employment, it is conservative to allow $20.000 as a round cost for keeping each public servant employed. The State must find an additional $700 million a year to pay the wages of those employees. Perhaps that is where some of the money has been spent. The Government has not controlled the increase in the number of State public servants. The federal public service has increased by only 3.4 per cent. Overall staff levels in the federal public service are lower than they are in the State public service. The expansion in the public service would be acceptable if it resulted in a better service or if the profitable enterprises of the State were expanding at a rate that would enable the Government to support the increase in staff levels. That has not occurred. In the past twelve months the coal industry has experienced enormous problems. Industrial disputes at the port of Newcastle have led to the loss of 3.5 million tonnes of coal sales for which contracts had been let. To my knowledge the decisions on coal loaders have cost New South Wales contracts for 15 million tonnes of coal a year. At an average selling price of $40 a tonne, that coal would have earned an additional $750 million in revenue for New South Wales. The loss of those coal sales can be laid directly at the door of the New South Wales Government. It is all very well to employ inore public servants and spend money, so long as the funds are available from the generation of new industries. All public servants and all State politicians depend for their wages on profitable enterprises. Unless the State makes a profit, how can it pay wages? The Government might say that it will simply increase charges. It is already taking massive amounts out of the coal industry. The Government has made it difficult for people in that industry to make a quid. The effects of the Budget are interesting. This year the Government will collect $454 million more in State taxes than last year. Revenue from land will be $15 million more than last year. Charges for services will increase by $52.5 million. All of these increases must be paid by the public. General miscellaneous receipts will decrease by $18 million. Commonwealth payments for specific recurrent purposes will increase by $28 million. Commonwealth general revenue grants will increase by $323 million, or 15.8 per cent. Yet the Government still cannot manage. It will spend $6,796,381,000 if it is able to remain within its budget. The current economic climate is not suitable for expansion or huge expenditure by the Government unless its aim is to develop industry and create jobs. Honourable members are aware that the Government, by its decisions, has held back the coal industry. Aluminium smelters have been announced with a flourish but have not materialized. The Government has suggested that the Ford M d o r Company and other major industries would open plants in New South Wales. That has not happened. The Government must keep its charges in check so that industry can operate profitably, reduce costs and increase sales. It is time that a campaign was launched to build better things in Australia, to be a better Australia, and to buy Australian. That should be done Australia-wide. The Budget discourages that because it will increase prices and industry will become less competitive. People are being encouraged to buy cheap imports. Some figures listed in the Budget demonstrate the Government's attitude to revenue raising. I refer in particular to general miscellaneous receipts. I find it amusing that motor traffic receipts are budgeted to rake in $83 million. Last year the figure was $55 million, though receipts amounted to $62 million. Evidently it is proposed to use police officers as revenue collectors. That is disgraceful. It is contrary to what the police force wants. If the police were doing their job properly the fines brought in from traffic offences would be reduced instead of being increased. The proposal for random breath testing could turn out to be a revenue cdecting scheme. 1888 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill It would be far more honest if the police took their random breath testing vans into hotel or club yards and allowed everyone leaving the hotel or club to be tested. Then patrons could be told whether they were fit to drive home o not. Instead, the r vans will probably wait down the street, catch people unawares and charge them with drink-driving. An education campaign is needed, not a rip-off to pay for the Govern- ment's excesses. Police officers I have spoken to are not happy about becoming revenue collectors. Their job is to assist people to obey the law and to train them to do so. The Government should be condemned for its acti'm. I make a plea for the people in my electorate in connection with State charges. Many of my constituents live in areas that are accessible only by water. I refer to residents of Scotland Island, which is one of the two places in Sydney where one can live on an island, the other one being Dangar Island in the Hawkesbury River. For the purposes of this discussion I disregard a few Maritime Services Board employees who live on Goat Island in Sydney Harbour. People living on Scotland Island and on the western shore of Pittwater are entirely dependent on water trans- port to get to and from their homes and places of employment. The land board office issues permissive occupancies for jetties to which people who travel by water take their boats. The increases in the charges made for those permissive occupancies are astronomical. Between the time the present Government took office and 1983-84 the increases will amount to 1 200 per cent. A resident of Lovett Bay on the western shore of Pittwater pays rent of $43. From l l t h September, 1982, the rent will be $98, an increase of 227 per cent; and from l l t h January, 1984, it will be $153, an increase of 356 per cent. The Deputy Premier, Minister for Public Works and Minister for Ports has said in this House that people who live in Pittwater are silvertails who hog the waterfront. I assure honourable members that many of them are ordinary Australians who are not wealthy but who are battling to make ends meet. I come next to increases in government charges since the 1981 election. Court charges have risen by 25 per cent; conveyancing by 30 per cent and electricity by 60 per cent, though my electricity account has increased by more than 100 per cent. Inland fishing licences have increase4 by 66 per cent; timber royalties by 20 per cent; grain handling charges by 20 per cent, in a time of serious drought; private employment agents' licences have increased by 60 per cent; theatre agents' licences by 900 per cent; and national park entrance charges by 150 per cent. Hospital charges have risen by 20 per cent; doctors registration fees by 250 per cent and ambulance fees by 20 per cent. I am giving the House conservative figures. Liquor licences have increased by 400 per cent; local government rates, depending on the locality, by possibly 20 per cent; planning and environment licences by 12 per cent and mining lease charges by 100 per cent to 1 100 per cent. Maritime Services Board charges have increased by 30 per cent to 114 per cent; port charges by 47 per cent; waterfront rentals by 700 per cent; cost of transport by bus and ferry has increased by 20 per cent; rail fares by 20 per cent and freight by 25 per cent to 40 per cent. Department of Main Roads and Department of Motor Transport charges have increased by 50 per cent; motor car registration by 13.6 per cent; parking fines by 400 per cent; petrol tax by 3c to 3 . 8 ~a litre; veterinary surgeons' licences have increased by 50 per cent; water rates by 18 per cent; agricul- tural water meter fees have increased by 536.4 per cent. Those increases are not apparent from an examination of the Budget unless one notes the increase in taxes of $454 million and the State charges of $52 million. I realize that a large proportion of the $454 million is sales tax and a further large proportion is petrol tax. Payroll tax is up $200 million and fuel taxes by $159 million. Yet Government supporters say this is a good Budget. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1889 The honourable member for Bathurst spoke in this debate of the public trans- port system and said that New South Wales had the best system in Australia. He should come to Pittwater. It takes two hours to get by bus from Palm Beach to the city of Sydney. It took me less than two hours to do that in 1941 when I was a youngster. Constituents complain that they must catch a bus to North Sydney and change to get a bus to Palm Beach, but the buses are always full and go straight past them, so they cannot get home. My daughter had that trouble when she attended school at Neutral Bay. If she was delayed at school she was not able to get a bus. It is a disgrace that New South Wales should have a bus service like that and the honour- able member for Bathurst should be ashamed of the statement he made. The population of Sydney has increased in my lifetime from one million to three million but only one suburban railway has been built in that time, the eastern suburbs railway, built when the former Liberal Party-Country Party Government was in office. If honourable members look at The Hills area, and the whole of the area of the southwest between Camden and Penrith, in all that new development not one railway is planned. Despite that, this Government commends itself for its planning policies. Where are they? Where is the planning forethought that this Government claims to have? If private industry were to operate in that way, there would be an economic disaster. The honourable member for Bathurst also spoke about coal trucks in Western Australia. Though he claims much knowledge of the coal industry, all he did was emphasize his lack of knowledge. My recognition of his lack of knowledge goes back to the time I operated in his electorate. I realized then that he did not know much about the coal industry. New South Wales is using coal trains of a size that are a disgrace. In the Western Australia iron ore field one finds 15 000-tonne trains. In Queens- land one finds 10 000-tonne trains. New South Wales is approaching a gross maxi- mum of 4 000-tonne trains. A legitimate comparison cannot be made between the coal industries of Western Australia and New South Wales, for the only small field operating in Western Australia is at Collie. That does not warrant the attention that has been given to coal in New South Wales. Unfortunately, this State needs to do more for the coal industry and is being left behind by other States. The honourable member for Fairfield spoke of the lack of government buses in her electorate. According to the Budget the State Government bus services will lose $100 million this year. If one considers mileages last year, and projected passenger traffic, it means that a loss is being made of $1.5 for each kilometre and that must be subsidized. It works out at 50c per passenger camed. In view of that, who would want government buses in the western region of Sydney if they could be maintained d y at government expense, and losses could be expected? The community would have to pay for them. Mr McCarthy: What about the bus service to Palm Beach? Mr SMITH: The bus service to Palm Beach is the same as it was years ago, inefficient. The only difference now is that there are Mercedes buses, which are much better than those provided in 1941. The new technology has made a great difference. The honourable member for Fairfield should press for the construction of a new rail- way, instead of seeking government bus services for her electorate. Experience has shown that private buses are a great deal more economically run than government buses. The latter use 3.7 employees per bus on the road, where private buses operate on about 1.25 employees per bus on the road. 119 1890 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill The honourable member for Bathurst displayed his ignorance about the Botany Bay coal loader. It is quite significant that all the coal that goes; to Port Kembla from the west goes to within four miles ob the Botany Bay loader, and then heads off all the way down the Illawarra line t o Port Kembla. Although a coal loader is being built at Port Kembla it has not yet come into operation. The Botany Bay coal loader would have operated in 1979. It is clear that the Government has not solved the problems of transporting coal to Port Kembla. Corrective Services Commission wages were overrun by $5.5 million which is approximately 10 per cent of the total. Overtime runs at more than $1 million a month. Costs of keeping a prisoner in the system rose to $24,600. The answer seems to be that we should I d all prisoners out, so that they do not cost us anything. In this Budget, instead of $24,600 being required to keep a prisoner in the system the cost will rise to $27,300 a year for each prisoner. It is interesting to note that sales from prison industries are increasing, and are budgeted for. The sum has risen from $4.9 million to $6 million. It is hoped that this will eventuate because it is necessary in the prison system to give people useful work and to provide them with an opportunity to develop their skills. I find it sad to visit Long Bay gaol these days and note that the vegetable gardens that once surrounded the gaol are no longer flourishing. At one time the produce from those vegetable gardens was used to supply hospitals. That seems to have gone by the board and something should be done about it. Significant problems have occurred in my electorate in regard to matters appertaining to the portfolio of the Minister for Youth and Community Services. I have in mind particularly the Bringa women's refuge at Dee Why. That refuge has been always scratching for funds. In a question in this House within the past few days I raised the matter of funding required by Granma's youth refuge. That refuge was opened by the Premier. It has run into financial difficulties. When it was opened the refuge was intended for use by children who had been bashed by their parents, to provide them with the opportunity to get away from home. However, the Department of Youth and Community Services has been directing 18-year-old drug addicts to Granma's. Young hoodlums are also going there. They have almcrst wrecked the place. The refuge cannot handle that sort o person without an increase in staff. f Originally, it was planned to run it as a foster family or surrogate mother and father arrangement for children in their early teens who had been bashed or abused by their parents. The result of the department directing these other young persons to that refuge has been that its expenditure has gone through the roof. Between $150,000 and $200,000 a year is needed to fund the refuge. It is certain that the problem is there. Something should be done about it. The Premier promised that the Minister for Youth and Community Services would attend to the matter. I hope he remembers those wolrds and that there is sufficient money in this Budget allocated for that to be done. It was with interest that I heard the honourable member for Fairfield talk about the Wetherill Park High School. I have an interest in Fairfield because that is where I spent part of my childhood. I lived quite close to the shop now owned by the honourable member for Fairfield. I know Wetherill Park quite well. I am quite @eased to hear that the Wetherill Park High School is getting playing fields and a 1 300 square feet general purpoe hall. However, all I should like to say is that although it is right for that school to have those facilities, it must not be forgotten that other schools do not have them. Some schools, in my electorate, many years old, do not have them. One such school is Barrenjoey High School. It does not have playing fields or a hall but for four years won the school band competition. Despite that, it seems it did not merit a hall. Additionally, in my electorate North Narrabeen Public School is using the type of portable schoolrooms used when I went to school in 1935. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1891 Mr Whelan: Where did the honourable member attend school? Mr SMITH: Merrylands West and Parramatta High. I lived near Fafield. The North Narrabeen school buildings are of a low standard and fires have been set in them on several occasions. Nothing has been done to upgrade the school. I have made submissions to the Minister and I invite him to inspect the school at Narrabeen North and do something about it, for it is so out of character with other schools in the area. Mr DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member has exhausted his time. Mr JONES (Waratah) [8.0]: I wish to contribute to the debate on the Budget but before doing so I congratulate the Treasurer upon bringing down his first Budget. He has done a magnificent job, as did his predecessor, and has carried out his task thoroughly and well. Constituents in the Newcastle and Hunter areas are proud of the Minister. Next I should like to answer a number of points raised by the honour- able member for Pittwater, one of which relates to a debate on a previous occasion when he commented upon a statement that I had made with regard to Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited and steel usage. The honourable member for Pittwater adopted a story that had appeared in a newspaper. Had the honourable member read the comments I made in the House, he would have observed a marked difference in the reports. I said that I should like the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited or one of the main owners of the Kooragang coal loaders to state what was to be done with the remainder of the plant and the steel that would be used. That was all I asked. The honourable member for Pittwater referred to the larger number of public servants employed by this Government. Since it has been in office, the State Government has employed more than 8 000 new schoolteachers. Does the honourable member suggest that those 8 000 new teachers should not be employed and that the staffing needs of the schools should be retarded and that they revert to what was the position when the Opposition parties were in government? The Wran Government does not agree that that should be done. It believes that students attending State schools are entitled to receive the best education that can be offered. The honourable member for Pittwater referred also to transport losses. Transport losses are a problem worldwide. France has been and is the largest subsidizer of transport systems. Prior to the recent elections, when a socialist government came into office, France subsidized its transport system to the extent of 665 per cent. The British transport system is subsidized by 50 per cent. All in all, problems in public transport are worldwide. The administration-and particularly the new commissioner- is attempting in a proper manner to bring the financial situation of the State Rail Authority to the point where it can achieve greater efficiency. I believe that the com- missioner will achieve some measure of success in the ventures that he is pursuing. Another matter to which I should like to refer is the crisis within BHP and its effect upon the Newcastle and lower Hunter areas. It is important that the Government should know about the situation. I believe that the Premier and his Ministers have the situation under control with regard to future planning in relation to those workers who will become unemployed. It is in the best interests of workers who have been cast upon the unemployment market that planning should be co- ordinated by the Government. I commend the Government for the prompt action it has taken. I am somewhat sceptical about the facts that have given rise to that exercise, for I believe that there is a possibility of collusion between the Fraser Government and BHP. I do not regard Prime Minister Fraser as an asset to this country. I believe that he will make every effort to bring the workers to their knees and make them grovel in the dirt for anything they might get. This is one method 1892 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill whereby the Prime Minister will throw more people on to the unemployment market and so make the workers feel a little more responsive in their efforts to obtain work and perhaps reduce their claims on their employers. I shall refer to history and quote examples of what I believe the Prime Minister is attempting to do. In an article that appeared in the Sun on Tuesday, 13th July, it was stated: Perhaps the New Guard's finest hour came when Francis de Groot galloped forward and opened the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in front of the eyes of the Premier, Jack Lang, in March 1932. I quote another example from the same article, which refers to the period of the Lyons federal Government: But on the next day, May 13th, 1932, Lang was dismissed from office by the Governor of NSW, Sir Phillip Game. The Leader of the United Australia Party-Country Party coalition, B. S. B. Stevens, was sworn in as caretaker Premier, until an election could be held. After the elections, which the UAP-Country Party won, no further action was taken against the New Guard; the seven on charges relating to the conspiracy were released and the State Government inquiry was shelved. Similarly in Canberra, the Royal Commission was shelved. What is happening today appears to be history repeating itself. In the Daily Mirror of 5th August, 1975, under the headline "Vicious U.S. riots were sparked by empty stomachs", the following passage appeared: During the last months of 1931 America, the world's richest nation, was racked by a moral and physical agony few 20th century people have been called on to endure. It was the era of the Great Depression, a short, sharp period of massive unemployment, poverty, starvation and despair. Those are the sort of things that concern me. On 11th November, 1975, the Whitlam Government was sacked by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. I believe that the matters referred to in the passages I have quoted are examples of the methods that the Fraser Government would unhesitatingly adopt in an attempt to bring the workers to heel. I do not know whether many people are aware that on that infamous occasion in 1975 high ranking officers from the armed forces were on standby in case a coup occurred. This type of occurrence is not within the bounds of democracy in this country. Harry M. Miller is in Cessnock gaol. Honourable members know a person by the name of Michael Darby. During the period that the Whitlam Government was in office both those people were involved in a fascist aligned meeting at Armidale. It was something similar to the new guard; they were seeking to take over the country. The best place for such persons is in gaol. They do not believe in democracy and should not be allowed to mix with people who do. It is important that they are not permitted to turn back the clock. The Fraser Government has turned back the clock on so many advancements that the great Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, introduced. Year after year one hears the results of negotiations with the federales on measures introduced by the Whitlam Government. Funding was commenced at 50 per cent, then reduced to 25 per cent and subsequently nothing. Many community organizations are being divested of the support they need. Despite this, Opposition members scream that the State Labor Government has not fulfilled its obligations to keep these community organizations alive. The Fraser Government has taken away from the people those things that were of use to them. It is a shame that Prime Minister Fraser continues to lead this country. I refer honourable members to an article on the front page of yesterday's Newcastle Herald M r Jones] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1893 concerning the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited. I do not know about whom Mr David Rice was speaking, but he was present at the Australian steel con- vention in Perth. The report reads: Brighter news as bloom mill rolls in its last ingot BHP sees better times ahead A top BHP executive believes there will be better times for the Australian steel industry in the second half of the decade if it can battle through the next two years. M r David Rice, the executive general manager of BHP's steel divi- sion told the Australian Steel Convention in Perth yesterday that there were no signs of a short-term recovery in the world steel industry. He said large tonnages of steel would continue to be forced on to a declining world market. M r Rice said this would depress prices as steelmakers fought to maintain blast furnace operations on a marginal basis while hoping domestic markets would help cover high fixed costs. During the years BHP has continued with the plant it had available. The company has assisted Korea and China to establish themselves as steelmaking nations. In Australia, where BHP has been renowned as a leader in steelmaking, the company has let its own methods deteriorate and be overtaken by other nations. The company has deliberately permitted its own plant to run down and has put the blame on to its staff. That is a deplorable thing to do. The report in the Newcastle Herald states further: The Federal Government said in late August that steel imports would remain steady at 1981-1982 levels, despite pleas by BHP to the Temporary Assistance Commission for imports to be kept to 15 per cent at the most. BHP bas announced major retrenchments in its steel division this financial year because of the downturn in domestic and overseas markets. The year 1981-82 was one in which Australia imported a record amount of steel. Already this year the imports are at a relatively higher level. Australia cannot afford such luxury. The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited should reconsider its future plans. The company has stated that it will not be moved from its present plans. A federal Labor government would give BHP three years in which to renew its plant so as to make more economical the carrying out of its operations. In dis- cussions with BHP the Premier has stated that apart from a moratorium being held, the company should do something about updating its plant so that it may compete better with world markets. A large amount of the steel coming into Australia is from Korea. The Korean Government subsidizes its steel exports to the extent of 33.1 per cent. If that Government is able to do so, why cannot the Commonwealth Government? The BHP company has said it will retrench 1 738 employees. When the ramifications of such retrenchments are analysed, the number of persons affected could amount to as many as 20 000. Recent newspaper reports suggest that John Lysaght (Australia) Limited is having difficulty as it cannot compete with imported galvanized sheet iron. The federal Government should support BHP and restrict competing imports into Australia. The honourable member for Hornsby said that large cargo vessels could not use some ports along the New South Wales coast. He referred specifically to Botany Bay. The Deputy Premier, Minister for Public Works and Minister for Ports asked coal exporters at Newcastle whether they wanted the Newcastle harbour deepened to allow larger 1894 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill vessels capable of loading up to 150 000 tonnes of coal to use the port. The exporters said they would not be in it. They were content to allow the vessels with a capacity of up to 120000 tonnes to continue to look after their shipping operations in the immediate future. The honourable member for Hornsby should visit the places where the problems are occurring and not sit on the sidelines in the metropolitan area and comment upon matters about which he knows nothing. In the near future Newcastle harbour will be deepened to enable it to accommodate vessels of up to 120 000 tonnes. A suggestion was made also that coal from the western coalfields should be taken by rail to Port Kembla for export. As a Novocastrian I have been urging that the DubboSandy Hollow-Maryvale railway line be completed so that it might be used to relieve the congestion caused by rail transport coming in from the west. Ore for smelting could be transported from Broken Hill to Newcastle along that line. It would be cheaper to transport the material by that route than to bring it to Sydney and then take it from Sydney along the coast to Newcastle. Lithgow coal for export also could be brought by rail to Newcastle harbour by such a railway link. When the amalgamation of the University of Newcastle and the Newcastle College of Advanced Education was first proposed, those connected with the two institutions were strongly opposed to the suggestion. However, the federal Government exerted pressure and it was realized that the amalgamation was inevitable, though many still feel deeply opposed to it. The federal Minister for Education said that there would be no reduction in funds allocated to the two institutions. I believe, as the Indians would say, that he talked with a forked tongue. This financial year the Commonwealth allocated $38.5 million to the two organizations. That is almost $2.5 million below the combined budgeted programme of the college and the university The federal Minister for Education said that the amalgamation would result in better economy, better understanding and improved communication. The college and the university each has its own telephone exchange. Each institution has a library. Surely the federal Government should have had sufficient foresight to take those matters into account when it was considering the future needs of the two organizations. The amalgamation has been like a shotgun wedding. If the amalgamationdoes not proceed to conclusion, no funds will be urovided bv the federal Government. Evervone con- nected with the university and t6e college is trying to achieve the best resu6 from an amalgamation that has been forced upon the two institutions. In the near future the Minister for Consumer AEairs and Minister for Roads intends to visit the Waratah electorate. I ask the Minister to consider the problems that will arise from the construction of the second bridge at Hexham. For many years Oak Milk and Dairy Foods Pty Limited, which sells butter, milk and milk products has occupied a property near the Hexham bridge. The company has traded profitably and has acted as agent for the Hunter Valley tourist authority. The planned new bridge will impede access to the company's premises from both approaches to the bridge. The movement of trucks to and from the aluminium smelter at Tomago has strained the capacity of the bridge over the Hunter River. Work should be commenced as soon as possible on construction of a second bridge in that area. Recently I read an article that claimed that many registered clubs are closing and that others are amalgamating so as to remain in existence. I suggest that inspectors who are trained in business affairs might investigate the clubs, discover where they have gone wrong, and advise managements how to get out of their financial problems. Mr BREWER (Goulburn) [8.30]: The Budget is an extension of big brother government and finance of government activities by taxation. The escalation of the bureaucracy and the raising of huge amounts of taxation by governments to pay for it is one of the factors that has a big influence on the decrease in productivity and the Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1895 change in community attitudes by the people of New South Wales. The Queensland Government provides a good example of what a truly private enterprise government can do for a State. The overgovernment that is taking place in New South Wales and the increase in taxation to meet the cost are reasons for the drain of people and finan- cial resources from New South Wales to Queensland. This financial year the cost of the increase in government and the increase in taxation to meet the cost of it will be in the vicinity of three-quarters of a billion dollars. That is more revenue by far than the total revenue the State received when I first became a member of Parliament. I refer to some of the revenue earning taxes that help to defray its costs. The most important is payroll tax. No one could have conceived a tax that would have such a disastrous and deadening effect on industry and commerce. Payroll tax is one of the most unjust taxes that could be devised. At a time of worldwide recession, when the State is suffering from a serious drought which is affecting country communities as well as metropolitan communities, the Government applied a 1 per cent surcharge as a temporary measure for a few short months to help meet its budgetary commit- ments. This surcharge was not imposed as an expedient to meet the blow-out of a Budget; it has become permanently entrenched in this State's budgetary process. It is alarming that the yield from payroll tax is by far the largest of any taxation measure ever introduced in this State. The yield from the payrolls of industry, many of them small businesses, will be $1,345 million. That is an increase of $205 million over last year. Payroll tax has had a disastrous effect on rural industry. Mr McIlwaine: It must be milking time. Mr BREWER: Whether it is milking time or not, at least more honourable members are listening to my contribution to the debate than listened to the speech by the honourable member for Waratah. I t is interesting that the honourable member for Ryde made a statement about milking time when I was speaking about payroll tax. That tax is the greatest milking exercise that has ever been suffered by commerce and industry in this State at a time when commerce and industry can least afford it. Many small businesses and industries in New South Wales will pay more in payroll tax than any other form of taxation. For some time the Premier and Minister for Mineral Resources has been saying-and his comments have been echoed by the harpies who follow him-that the past six budgets introduced in this State have not been responsible for increasing taxa- tion. In June and July of this year this Parliament had a special session to introduce some of the heaviest taxes that have been applied in this Parliament for several decades. Mr Anderson: What were the special taxes? Mr BREWER: I am referring to the tax on petrdeum products. Mr Anderson: That is o l y one. Tell me about the second one. Mr BREWER: The Minister will have his opportunity to make a speech on the Budget. Usually he makes his speeches during question time in reply to prearranged questions. Honourable members are accustomed to the tear-jerking and the hearts and flowers. The Minister should keep quiet at this stage. He will have an opportunity later to contribute to this debate. I shall refer now to the petroleum products taxes. Mr McIlwaine: Tell us about the federal Government. Mr BREWER: I shall talk about the federal Government and roads in a moment. The tax on petroleum products is estimated to raise almost $160 million, though I believe that estimate is conservative. Parliament sat in a special session in June and July to introduce the tax. One of the reasons the Government advanced for introducing a 14 per cent tax on diesel fuel was to provide and improve roads. This Government has never been noted for providing funds out of cansolidated revenue for roads. Instead, the Government has allowed the Department of Main Roads to borrolw so heavily that the burden of debt repayments this year almost equals the additional revenue that will be received from motor licence fees and diesel f u d tax. Of the $159 million that will be received from the petrol tax and the diesel tax, only $29 million is to go to roads. During the debate on the introduction of the petroleum products tax the Minister said that 14 per cent would be levied on diesel fuel. It has since been fiddled with, and I note that the Budget mentions no percentage. The percentage is hiding in the wings somewhere and will be applied as a flat increase on diesel prices. The amount of $29 million is a mere pittance compared with the amount that will be received from diesel tax. The Government said that the diesel tax would go into consolidated revenue and then be paid to the Department of Main Roads. That was the first step in hiding the real result of the tax. The Budget does not distinguish between the petrol tax and the diesel tax. I dare say the only opportunity honourable members will have of discovering what amounts went to which departments and what amounts were derived from which sources will be when next year's Auditor-General's report is published. The budget is full of deceit and trickery. I remind honourable members of the introduction of the soccer pools by the Askin-Cutler Government. It was hailed as a great innovation for the New South Wales sporting fraternity. That Government introduced that legislation provided that revenue derived from soccer football pools was to go into a sport and recreation fund. The fund was established for that specific purpose, and the revenue did not go into consolidated revenue. Substantial sums were derived from the soccer football pools. When the Wran Government came to ofice it established Lotto. The proceeds derived from Lotto are paid direct into consolidated revenue. Lotto provides government funds more readily than do soccer football pools. Lotto was promoted by two great entrepreneurs, Mr Murdoch and Mr Packer. I should like to know what those gentlemen's share is from Lotto. The net result of the establishment of Lotto has been an increase in revenue to consolidated revenue and an increase in sums paid ta these two powerful news magnates by way of commis- sion and from advertising proceeds. I shall now deal with the State's football pools and sporting and recreation fund. This year the return from football pools was $87,000 less than last year. Less than $1 million was derived from the football pools for promoting sport and recreation in New South Wales. It is a different story altogether with Lotto, which has made a gain this year of $8 million. The Budget Papers do not reveal the adverse effect that Lotto has had on the State's lotteries and on other sources of government revenue. Soccer pools provided money for cricket fields, sporting fields, tennis courts, or lights on playing fields. Sporting groups can blame the Wran Government because in a devious way it has diverted funds from sport and recreation. I shall examine some of the bureaucratic government departments. This year the Premier's Department received a 19 per cent increase in funds. It is probably one of the most bureaucratic and non-productive government departments in this State. It is responsible for 90 per cent of the New South Wales Government propaganda. The propaganda emanating from the Premier's Department is the most false that I have the heard in my lifetime, and I lived throt~gh Second World War and heard propaganda from Hitler. Hitler was a boy scout compared with Neville Wran. The Department of Environment and Planning has been responsible for the emasculation of a great deal of development in New South Wales. It has taken the power from local government and other responsible bodies to make decisions. The Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1897 Department of Environment and Planning has delayed and frustrated development in this State. This has resulted in increased costs incurred by local government. How- ever, the Budget provides for a 17.8 per cent increase in funds for that department. This is an example of overgovernment. Last Monday I attended the local government conference at Goulburn at which one of the most talked about subjects was the activities of the Department of Environment and Planning and how it had frustrated development in New South Wales. The Department of Local Government is one of the most important government departments in New South Wales. The councils and shires and the Department of Local Government employ more people than any other area of government in the nation. Although the department makes important decisions that affect the community, its budget allocation was reduced by more than 12 per cent. I remind honourable members of the promises that were honoured by the former Government and of the promises that were broken by the Wran Government. The coalition parties made a promise during the 1968 election campaign to subsidize pensioners by a 50 per cent rebate of local government rates. The former Government honoured that promise in its first months of office. It provided funds to fulfil its promise to subsidize pensioner rebates based on a formula applied to local councils. The Wran Government gave certain undertakings with regard to electricity charges, but tried to get the county councils to meet the cost of those undertakings. Prior to the election the Government backed off and met part of the costs. The Government required local government councils to meet half the costs of pensioner rebates, notwithstanding an undertaking given by a previous Liberal Party-Country Party government and a promise reiterated by the Wran Government. The costs to councils will amount to about $30 mi!lion. The Labor Government's breaking of a political undertaking is one of the most disgraceful and deceitful actions that I have ever experienced. Mr Singleton: What about electricity? The Government made the pensioners pay for that. Mr BREWER: The Government will make all ratepayers pay for its policies. It would have done the Premier good to have been at the local government con- ference held last Monday in Goulburn. The Minister for Local Government and Minister for Lands could not get his Lands hat on. Never in my time in politics have I seen a Minister taken to task so much as that Minister was by the people who attended the conference. Mr Armstrong: By members of his own party, too. Mr BREWER: Yes, and by the Lord Mayor of Sydney. Mr Armstrong: And by the Shires Association. Mr BREWER: By everyone: There was not one person on the same side as the Minister. I remember being on a committee that recommended to a former Minister for Local Government, Mr Pat Morton, in the Askin Government, that a local government assistance fund be established. Various ev-iowments were recom- mended to make up for various Governmel~t properties such a s Crown lands, national parks and other areas not being rated. The committee felt that it should save bureaucracy and red tape the task of working out various formulae for endowments and that the Government of the day should create a local government assistance fund that would provide assistance to ratepayers in local government areas. Mr McIlwaine: Was local government being funded by the federal Govern- ment in those days? 1898 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill Mr BREWER: That aspect may have been forgotten. The honourable member for Ryde would do much better as a research officer than he does as a parliamentary representative. In all my eighteen years as a member of this House I have never seen such a poor attempt at being a member of Parliament as the attempt by the honourable member for Ryde. All the questions without notice he has asked in this House have been Dorothy Dix questions formulated by Ministers. The abolition of the local government assistance fund will cost local govern- ment ratepayers $9.5 million. In all, the cost to ratepayers and local govern- ment as a result of this Budget will be $40 million. It is an extremely lopsided programme. Some country shires that have few pensioners to qualify for the rebate will pay little or no rebate, but other shires and local government bodies in coastal areas of the State, and some inland cities and the City of Sydney will pay upwards of $1 million to subsidize rates. The statement made by the honourable member for Ryde with regard to the local government assistance revenue sharing fund was not correct. The Minister for Local Government and Minister for Lands openly admitted in Goulburn on Monday that the Government would take advantage of local government and use up the increased revenue that was received by the ratepayers of New South Wales from the Commonwealth Government. That is a dastardly act and a disgusting way to finance the State. The people of New South Wales will take action to rectify that by putting the Government out of office much sooner than is generally thought. Government supporters have become extremely complacent about, and insulated from, the opinions of the people of New South Wales. None of the promises made about street lighting charges and other statutory charges on local government were kept by the Government. It had no intention of keeping them. Roads are most important to New South Wales. However, the State Govern- ment has never been known for the size of its contribution from consolidated revenue for the road network of New South Wales. Members of the Government have com- plained about the Commonwealth Government and its supposed lack of road funding since it came to office. I ask honourable members to consider the State Government's efforts this year to improve the road network of New South Wales, after the applica- tion of the petrol and diesel tax levy. If one does one's sums properly on the revenue provided by the State Government this year and last year, one finds that the State's contribution in real terms has increased by only $18.6 million or 7.8 per cent. An analysis of the road funds reveals that revenue going to the Department of Main Roads from motor vehicle taxation and registration has risen this year to $338.3 million, an increase of $49.7 million or 173 per cent. Further, the amount of $29 million from diesel tax revenue has been brought into road funding by the Government this financial year. Revenue for main roads from all forms of taxation in New South Wales has increased by $78 million or 27.3 per cent. Next I consider what actually happened to the road funds. A considerable part of the funding of the Department of Main Roads was by way of borrowings. This year, borrowings have been limited quite substantially by the Government. The borrowings of the Department of Main Roads were reduced by $27.5 million or 31.6 per cent. Last year, there was a cash increase of only $51.2 million or 13.6 per cent. I now take into account some other charges. In the past financial year debt charges were $61.9 million and administration and plant purchases amounted to $76.4 million. This year the figures are $76 million and $95 million, which result in a decrease of $32.7 million for roads. The Commonwealth's contribution of $229.7 million is an increase of $15.3 million or 7.1 per cent-about the same or a little less than the State's real figure. The Commonwealth contribution is in the form of a total fund and this can be regarded as a real figure. If one adds to that the Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1899 bicentenary contribution that will be provided by the Commonwealth Government of some $49.3 million, one obtains a figure of $64.4 million as the Commonwealth's increased contribution to the roads of this State, which is an increase of 30.1 per cent. So in spite of all the talk about the petroleum tax and the diesel tax, the increase in road funds from the State Government this year is barely 8 per cent. That is typical of almost every facet of the Budget. From time to time in tbis House I shall deal at great length with the road funding programme of this Government. The local government bodies, including the shires and other people who are responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads in this State, especially the Department of Main Roads, are well aware of the financial trick that this Governmeat has played with road funds. The Minister for Consumer Affairs and Minister for Roads is trying to use his power to determine the priorities and decide where Commoawdth funds for roads are spent. Mr DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member has exhausted his time. Mr CAVALIER (Gladesville) [9.0]: The Budget presented by the Treasurer gives a good indication of the values o the Wran Government. In a time of f considerable economic difficulties the Budget Estimates provide a clear indication of the priorities of spending by this Government and how it will seek to gain revenue. For any Labor Government the third term is the mod critical in determining its ultimate direction. It is never easy to maintain a coherent strategy of reform when a steady administration and reaction to events presents far fewer hazards. The idealism that carried the party into office is an early victim when that thinking becomes paramount. A State government that did not realize that priority must be given to the needs of Aborigines in their quest for land rights, public housing, the plight of the unemployed and those groups in ous society that are ground down by the structure of our system, would not be a government worthy of the history of our p d y and the idealism that carried it into power. Two State Labor governments have fallen since the Wran Labor Government was elected in 1976. The governments of South Australia and Tasmania were routed after long periods in office. They were not routed because of dangerous adventurism- far from it. They were routed because everyone could perceive that they had dried up creatively. They were operating from day to day, enduring for endurance's sake. From the time that Don Dunstan left public office in South Australia, the Government of that State lost its sense of purpose. It is clear that the people have voted for the Wran Government in record numbers because they have come to expect a government that is contemporary and innovative. They expect a government that is committed to reform in education, a concern for the environment, coherent planning laws, prison reform, a feeling for arts and culture, access to their government, and some measure of civil liberties. Much of this has been achieved, much is under active considexation, and much still needs to be done. A careful examination of the Budget Papers is necessary to p r q a r e one's contribution to this debate. The Premier and the Treasurer have often explained to this House and elsewhere to the people of New South Wales the clear evidence of conspiracy by the Commonwealth Government against the finances of this State. So often is this repeated that one fears there is a danger of resignation to this grim reality. Ordinary people do not grasp the subtleties of Commonwealth-State financial arrangements, and the probability is that they do not care. They know that there is a malaise economically in Australia, a condition altogether alien to thoge who had become accustomed to the boom times of the 1950s and 1960s when there were expanding 1900 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill markets for our expots, cheap Middle East oil and a stable economy in the United States of America. Those times are past and they are unlikely ever to return. Australia is now faced with underlying structural problems in its economy, especially its manufacturing base, a particular problem for New South Wales, a problem so serious that a miracle in the market-place-unlikely as it is-will not precipitate any early or lasting recovery. The difficulties for a reform government are acute. People expect that a Labor government will deliver more; that it will be sympathetic and responsive to the ever-growing demands of the needy and the underprivileged. Even as this State Government is starved for funds and is required to push taxes into new areas that please no one, its expectations have not diminished and they will not diminish. The extent of our problems caused by the Fraser so-called new federalism and the clear conspiracy against the major States is the single greatest handicap holding back a full-blooded government assault on the economic ills of the State. I do not wish my speech to be studded with statistics, but a few of the core figures provided by the Treasurer cannot be repeated often enough. The State of New South Wales receives payments from the Commonwealth in three basic areas-general revenue, specific purpose grants and general purpose capital grants. The general revenue is derived from the reimbursements from the Commonwealth to the States of personal income tax collection within the States. As the Treasurer has indicated to the House, if the Commonwealth had continued to share 39.87 per cent of those income tax collections with the States, New South Wales would have received an additional $236 million on top of its actual allocation. If one adds to that the unanimous recom- mendations of the Grants Commission with respect to individual State shares, New South Wales would have received an extra $39 million. Those two sums add up to $275 million in one year alone. Taken in conjunction with the cutbacks in specific purpose grants, such as those to hospitals and other health services, those cutbacks become quite massive. For those who find that these sums are too large for their personal comprehen- sion, I shall convert those figures to Commonwealth reimbursements per capita. The conspiracy is then revealed rather graphically. The Commonwealth payments to New South Wales will be $442.30 per head. By contrast, Queensland will receive $622.56; South Australia, $649.13; Western Australia, $680.48; and Tasmania a whopping $842.91. Under the weight of such severe funding cutbacks, the New South Wales Government has been compelled to delve into new areas of taxation and plumb its revenue gathering potential to new depths. The State is confronted with real difficulties in doing that. The level of economic activity is the basis of almost all State revenue collections. When houses and home units are not sold in their customary volume, conveyancing and stamp duty revenue falls accordingly. When people cannot afford to buy cars, registration fees, stamp duty and sales tax will decline. As people move about less, go out to eat less often, or shun expenditure because they are uncertain about meeting ongoing commitments, the ultimate revenues available to any State government must decline. Commonwealth revenues, dependent largely on personal income tax and com- pany tax, will rise almost on their own because fiscal drag will collar for the Common- wealth fabulous additional tax dollars. Almost every week, wage rises push people who can ill afford it into tax brackets that never were intended to cover them. The problem of matching revenue against expenditure is not unique to the federal system in Aus- tralia. It is a feature of the federal system throughout the world and it is one of the central difficulties of modern capitalism. Mr Cavalier] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1901 The distinguished United States economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, has written about these problems with his usual common sense and perceptiveness in his classic work Economics and the Public Purpose. In that work Galbraith develops his theory that the neoclassical model of the market system has been replaced in the advanced capitalist world by the planning system. The planning system is dominated by the large firms, which are able to win control over prices automatically, determine output and largely shape demand. The planning system has succeeded in gaining control of the economic environment and dictating to the market. The controllers of the plan- ning system are in a position to dictate even to elected governments. Robert L. Heilbroner has written that: In the advanced capitalist nations, new elites based on science and technology are gradually displacing the older elites based on wealth. How the planning system affects the management of the modern capitalist State has resulted in gross inequity for the lower levels of government. As Galbraith has written: The present arrangement was designed, one judges, with a kind of malignant skill to serve not the public but the planning system. Those services which are of the greatest importance to the more powerful parts of the plan- ning system are performed by the Federal Government. The persona1 and corporate income taxes which go to the Federal Government expand more than in proportion with economic growth and increasing income. The services to the planning system are t h ~ ~ s supported by automatically expanding revenues. The taxes on which the States, and especially the cities, depend have no similar upward flexibility. He continued: Meanwhile the tendency of the civilian tasks of government is pre- cisely the reverse of that of the revenues. With the urbanization that follows from the decline in rural employment, increasing consumption and (even though the gain is now more modest) increasing population, a larger share of the tasks of government accrues to the cities. So it is with the provision of housing, protection of persons and property, provision of elementary educa- tion, protection of health, arrest of air and water pollution, control of auto- mobile use and removal of the detritus of an increasing living standard. In broad summary the revenues which expand with the economy go to the federal government where they support the planning system. Those that do not so expand go to the cities where they serve the public. The preferred claim of the planning system on the more ample revenues of the federal government is not an accident. Functions that serve the planning system-industrial research and development, support to tech- nical education or the building of interstate highways are examples-come to be designated tasks of prime national importance. This reflects the interest of the planning system. Being so designated, they are appropriate functions of the federal government. A task that is historically, tradi- tionally, logically or properly a function of State or local government is one that serves only the interest of the public at large. Notwithstanding seven years of optimistic promises by the Fraser Government. the domestic Australian inflation rate is still in double figures. The decline in the purchasing power of the wage and salary earners' income has meant that the drive by the unions to maintain their real standard of living cannot be abated. No Labor government wishes to appear niggardly in the face of requests for wage rises for people who perform yeoman services to the States, such as nurses, railway workers, bus 1902 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill employees, policemen and teachers, yet it cannot be blind to the financial con- sequences of the additional revenue outlays that must follow from increasing the State's wages and salaries bills. Our rate of inflation has contributed to the main- taining of record high interest rate levels. Borrowers do expect a return on their capital investments ahead of the inflation rate and taxation margins; that is, wMe idation is running at 11 per cent or more and personal income tax takes up to 62 cents in every dollar of interest, the prime lending rate will remain in the middle to high teens. The short term interest rates have been most alarming. Treasury mtes exceeded 20 per cent earlier this year and the overnight market on one occasion in August reached 100 per cent. Nowhere else in the western world is this problem so serious. While we can rejoice that our prime lending rate has now been cut by fractions of a per cent so that some of the banks are offering 16.75 per cent, the contrast with the rest of the major economies of the west is revealing. In the United States of America the commercial bank rate for three months deposits has fallen to 10.38 per cent. In France it is 14 per cent while West Germany manages 7.28 per cent and Holland 7.88 per cent. Switzerland and Japan do remark- ably well, offering rates of 3.25 per cent and 3.75 per cent respectively. At present the price of money is the basis of the instability of our economy. People do not have sufficient confidence in their earning power and the continuity of their real purchasing power to be able to afford to enter into long-term commitments while interest rates are hovering near 20 per cent. Even with the welcome downturn in interest rates, the managers and spokesmen for the banks and major financial institutions continue to reiterate that there is no fall in prospect with the home mortgage interest rate. The problem of putting people in proper shelter is a major social tragedy and will reqnire a co-ordinated response from the Commonwealth and the States. The Fraser Govern- ment shows no interest in such an approach. People are coming to see me in my electorate office almost every day to see what can be done by the New South Wales Housing Commission about providing them with public housing. What with the price of land, the price of building materials and the price of money, the provision of public housing will become an acceptable alternative to most people seeking to place a roof over the heads of their family. The situation in the international economy makes any early Australian recovery unlikely. The disastrous outcomes of the experiments in the United Kingdom and the United States of America of Friedmanite monetarism, though not unexpected, give no observer any joy when one contemplates the suffering of the working people of those two countries. The money supply has been restricted in both places and inflation has been caused to fall, but at the expense of massive unemployment and quite criminal cutbacks in the provision of social services to those who need them. This is a familiar and well-documented story for those who are interested and more than puts paid to claims of those like the honourable member for Northcott, who still wail histrionically about the so-called western renewal. Just how desperate the Thatcher government has become in trying to meet its ideological commitments in the face of the demands by its people upon it were revealed most embarrassingly in a document leaked to the respected British magazine, the Economist and published in its issue of 11th-17th September, 1982. The Economist revealed that the central policy review staff of the Thatcher government spent six months studying public spending strategy and attempted to devise means by which public spending as a proportion of the gross domestic product could be reduced. They came to the only con- clusion that could be reached by anyone attempting to examine the modern welfare state. They concluded that massive cuts would have to take place in health, edu- cation and social welfare. Those three nouns roll easily off the tongue; they are commonly quoted as the areas where there is much spending. They are places where Mr Cavalier] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1903 there has to be a lot of waste and where the real savings have to be made. But when one looks at the consequences to human beings in the real world when people actually try to put down in writing what is involved in cuts to education, health and social welfare, the human consequences are quite staggering. The specific recommendations of the central policy review staff included the ending of all State funding for higher education. This would be implemented by the introduction of fees at universities at market rates. Honourable members should pause and consider that for a moment: fees for universities at market rates. The fees charged would have to reflect lecturers' wages, the upkeep of buildings, the servicing of capital debts, thousands of video units, materials in chemical and medical laboratories, advanced computers, and highly specialized equipment in the natural science departments. If it were introduced in Australia this would work out con- servatively at fees per student of not less than $18,000 per annum. What a neat, effective way this would be of ending more than a century of reform in education predicated on the notion of equality. Universities and places of higher learning would effectively be limited to the children of wealthy people or those bound hand and foot to corporations who were beneficent enough to provide scholarships. That example illustrates more than adequately just how serious the monetarist threat can be. The Thatcher Cabinet considered this document on 9th September but has adjourned any consideration of it. The electorate is stiII strong enough to resist such reforms only because there is an organized labour movement capable of articulating the concerns of the needy, the poor and the underprivileged and acting to ensure that when Labor is in goverment it allocates resources to those areas. Education has been one of the areas of Commonwealth spending most severely hit. A few statistics make my point: the expenditure by the Fraser Government on education in 1980-81 was $16.1 million less than it was in the last year of the Whitlam government, Make an allowance for inflation during the past five years and one will realize just what a huge cut this has been. Decisions taken this year by the Commonwealth Schools Commission reveal starkly what the priorities of the Fraser Government are. In the guidelines published for 1982, the Commonwealth achieved the inconceivable-more money will be spent by the Commonwealth on private schools than will be spent on government schools. This year, the cutbacks and restrictions announced in the guidelines will involve more than $20 million in the funding of New South Wales government scho~ls. Inflation will cost another $6 million in real terms. All honourable members should study carefully the excellent speech made by the honourable member for Waverley, a speech studded with statistics. Anybody who is interested in the New South Wales economy and the consequences to New South Wales of Fraser federalism will benefit from his contribution to the debate. The point made so strongly by the honourable member for Waverley on education cannot be repeated often enough. In the past four years the Commonwealth has cut New South Wales education expenditure by as much as $20 million, or 9 per cent. At the same time the federal Government has increased assistance to private schools in this State by a sum of $77 million, an increase of 50 per cent. I should be surprised if even the honourable member for Hawkesbury could justify that expenditure. In the area of education the comparative values of Fraser federalism, the Wran Government, the former Whitlarn Government, and a future Hayden government stand out in clear contrast. The New South Wales Budget has been framed at a difficult time in the State's fortunes, and it pays one to examine not merely the numerals but also the pro- portions of expenditure. When the New South Wales Labor Government gained office 1904 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill in 1976, education accounted for 31 per cent of public spending. In the past five years that figure has risen to over 36 per cent. In the 1981-82 estimates capital expendi- ture on education reached 36.49 per cent. At a time when revenue is limited and demands on resources have not diminished, the Wran Government has been able to increase its capital expenditure on education to 36.71 per cent of the total State Budget-far and away the largest item of expenditure. Mr Rozzoli: Not over a period of years. Mr CAVALIER: I fail to follow that intervention by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The Liberal Party-Country Party government, of which the honour- able member was a latter day incumbent, bequeathed to the Labor Government capital spending of 31 per cent of the total State Budget on education. The Wran Government has increased that figure by more than 1 per cent in every single year to the point that even in these difficult times that Government has maintained a further increase. Mr Egan: It shows that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is innumerate. Mr CAVALIER: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is a pleasant and chaming character but, as the honourable member for Cronulla says, he is innurn- erate and, on occasions, his remarks border on illiteracy. At the same time as the New South Wales Labor Government is straining its resources to maintain its commitment to public education, the Minister for Education has annotmced most welcome reforms in the administration of State aid to non-government schools. I pay tribute to the Minister for displaying great courage in bringing forward recommendations aimed at altering the funding arrangements for category 1 and 2 non-government schools. The recommendations were the collective wisdom of a group of men and women who have sought to return government policy to a needs basis of funding. Their initiative is welcome and shows considerable political courage. The Government will be imposing a freeze on per capita funding to wealthy schools in categories 1 and 2 so that in 1983 what they receive will be exactly equal to what they received in 1982. At the same time the working party will continue to examine the definitions of what is a needy bct~ooiand what is a wealthy school. In this way some of the extraordinary anomalies in the present schools commission definitions will be corrected. It would be unfair to single out particular schools by name, but schools with rifle ranges, swimming pools and extensive grounds bordered by stone walls cannot by any definition be considered needy. It pleases no member of the New South Wales Labor Government that Teachers Federation activists and those who attend parents and citizens meetings are expressing their concern about what the Wran Government is doing in education. Many of those same people seem to be remarkably silent in directing their fire at the Fraser Government. Macquarie Street is certainly more accessible than Canberra. But some of the protests, however justified in their original intention, cannot warrant the venom -certainly not the personal venom-expressed by some involved. One has only to compare the record of the Fraser Government, then read the figures on their cutbacks and examine the decline in the number of pupils attending primary schools to realize that the New South Wales Government has achieved a great deal in maintaining its commitment to public spending in education. The fact is that the proportion of children attending school as a percentage of population is in decline. Though high school enrolments have increased, there has been a decrease in enrolments at primary school level. Nobody would have contemplated that possibility in the heyday of the 1950's and 1960's when there was a failure by demographers accurately to judge movements in population in the future. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1905 The Government, in the search for additional revenue, has brought forward a worthy reform in its financial institutions tax. On the whole it has been welcomed by respected journals such as the Australian FZn~ncid Review and the Sydney Mornirzg Herald. It will seek a more equitable gathering of revenue from those who pay their bills or debts by credit arrangements. It will raise money on a continuing basis from banks, building societies, credit unions, finance companies, cash manage- ment trusts, credit cards and the bankcard industry. It is hoped to raise between $100 million and $200 million in a single year. At the same time, as part of the reform of institutional taxes, mortgage duty will be abolished. It is hoped that a second mortgage market will be established and will have a most welcome effect on the housing industry. It is clear to anybody who has studied housing and planning problems in the Whitlam era that the size of the money supply probably had more effect on levels of building than planning laws or policies adopted by local councils or central government. Unless money is reasonably and freely available to borrowers on terms they can afford, or can expect to continue to afford, they will not have the confidence to invest. Consequently there will be a marked decline in the housing sector. I conclude by making a few brief personal comments. I was disturbed that in the Budget Estimates in respect of the Department of Environment and Planning there has not been a continuance of the single line item in respect of the grant to the National Trust of Australia (N.S.W.). In 1981-82 the trust received a grant of $28,000. That item has been deleted with an annotation to the effect that the sum has been transferred to item C5, General Grants to Environment Organizations. I believe that the National Trust, as the premier and pioneer organization of con- cerned environmentalists, deserves separate recognition by specific mention in the Budget and a guarantee by Parliament that it will continue to receive public funding for its important task. Some of those tasks must lead men of integrity to clash publicly with other men of integrity about the goals of government. Though I never waver in my loyalty to the present Government, I agree with the position taken by the National Trust on questions such as Parramatta Park, rain forests or the refur- bishing of the Treasury building-though I disagree on the demolition of the State Bank building. I believe that every member of Parilament should stand up and speak for the rights of people and dissent from the Government. I should hate to see publicly-funded bodies being expected to be loyal to the Government that provides their funds. What I have seen in my four years in this Parliament has convinced me more than ever before that intervention by the Government is required in the economy. All of the trials and tribulations of seeing a reform government come to grips with administering the economy convinces me that only socialist philosophies will solve the problems of New South Wales. I conclude by paying tribute to the work of my colleagues on the Gladesville State electorate council who have worked vigorously in the past four years and who have paid me the honour of coming to the Parliament tonight and being present in the public gallery. Mr ROZZOLI (Hawkesbury), Deputy Leader of the Opposition E9.301: I should have liked to commence my speech by congratulating the Treasurer on intro- ducing his first budget. The Minister, while occupying the Sport and Recreation port- folio, built up a formidable reputation over his in-depth knowledge in that area and for the cool and calm manner in which he administered his department. However, it is obvious from his presentation of the Budget and his explanation of that document that the Treasurer is unable to cope with the Government's budgetary problems. That is not necessarily a criticism of the capabilities of the Treasurer; it is a realization 1906 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill of the impossible position in which the Government has placed itself and the un- suitability of its philosophy in attempting to deal with the present crisis. It is not so much that the Treasurer has let down the Government, but that the Government has let down the Treasurer. I could not disagree more with the closing remark of the honourable member for Gladesville that only a socialist philosophy could provide the solutions for the present problems of this State. Heaven help us if a socialist philosophy is being employed to solve the State's problems. New South Wales has been plunged into a situation of economic despair in the past six years. The State is almost in a situation of non-government from which it will take a long time to extricate itself. In a time of stringent economic circum- stances and high unemployment one would have imagined that the Budget would have been all about employment. However, it does nothing to stimulate employment in any sector. The Budget does not even have the saving grace of this year's federal Budget, which gave some relief to people on low incomes who need assistance des- perately. The Government is like a poorly managed business that is running out of ideas, that is working from instinct and keeping a facade of business as usual, that is surviving by cutting its services to customers and working angles to the detriment of its customers and to itself. I shall deal with some general issues, namely, employment, local government, assistance for the disabled and a number of matters of a local electoral nature. One should have imagined that the Budget would have been all about employment because of the crises that beset New South Wales at this time, the increasing number of people unable to get jobs and those who are being retrenched. That number has reached its highest level for many years. One would have imagined the strategy underlying the Budget would have been aimed at solving that problem. The Budget does not contain any assistance or hope for those who are either out of employment or on the periphery of the work force, those persons who are likely to lose their jobs in the near future. Mr Bedford: Recently the Opposition opposed a bill that will create a great deal of employment. Mr ROZZOLI: The Opposition opposed that bill vehemently because it was a bad measure. It should not have been brought before the House. That bill was designed to set aside the planning process; it denied completely the rights of the people. The Opposition opposed that measure on those grounds. The number of jobs that may flow from that legislation will not offset the vast number of jobs lost in the State by the economic disaster into which this Government has plunged New South Wales. The Government bears a great deal of responsibility for the high level of unemployment in this State. Mr Bedford: That is rubbish. That is the fault of the federal Government. Mr ROZZOLI: One wonders whether the Wran Government ever takes responsi- bility for anything. When criticism is levelled at this Government during question time honourable members hear Ministers say that it is not this Government's fault, that it is the fault of the Fraser Government. I have been a member of this House for ten years. That is long enough for one to realize that if one can foist the blame on to someone else one does SO. That is the name of the game. But that wears thin when this Government refuses to take responsibility for anything. Doubtless Government supporters have often heard the public say that no government, no matter how incompetent it might be, is always wrong. NO Opposition is always wrong. This Government would have the Opposition believe that everything the Government does is right and everything that the Fraser Government does is wrong. The Minister for Planning and Environment knows that is a lot of hooey. Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1907 A government that represents a State as large as New South Wales, with a huge budget and a big work force has to share the responsibility for what is happening to the economy. If a business gets tired and runs out of imaginative ideas, it seeks to survive by pulling in its endeavours and hoping that something will rescue it. Any business can be successful in good times; a business that is well run survives the bad times. I doubt whether this Government will survive with the economic policies that it is pursuing. I refer honourable members to some matters that affect employment. I accept that the Commonwealth is affected by international pressures that undoubtedly have repercussions on the national economy. I accept also that the federal Government can adopt initiatives in an attempt to combat the problems. However, this Government also bears its share of the responsibility. The Government claims that until this year it has not raised taxes. That misrepresents the true situation. Until this Budget the Government has not introduced any new charges that bear the name tax; it had not increased by a mathematical exercise the rates of any particular tax. However, over the years it has raised a wide range of rates and charges, which are taxes by another name. It does not matter how the Government gets its revenue. If it charges for any service it imposes a form of taxation. If it does not place a charge on a service, it is bearing a cost that it accepts as one of the responsibilities of government. Any charge the Government puts on its services is a tax. The Government has raised taxes. In particular, it has raised savagely, in real terms, the rates of two taxes that affect employment, payroll tax and land tax. If the Government had integrity in tax matters, it would have indexed the level of payroll tax so that businesses previously exempt or subject to the taper provisions would still be in the same relative positions as they were in 1976 when the Government was elected to office. That relativity has been destroyed. Many businesses that were not subject to payroll tax in 1976 are now paying that tax. That makes it difficult for them to maintain employ- ment. The same comment applies to land taxes. The former Liberal Party-Country Party Government lifted land tax on residential properties. A total exemption applied. Also, there was a total exemption for rural properties other than properties run on a company basis. However, the average rural landholder was not subject to land tax. Some other concessions were granted. In the 1975 Budget the exemption level rose from $21,000 to $30,000, and the taper provisions were increased from $30,000 to $45,000. If the Government were true to its claim that it has not raised taxes in the past six years, it would have indexed the exemption level and taper provisions applying to land tax. With the rise in land values, the exemption level would now be about $60,000 and the taper would extend to about $1 00,000. The same argument applies to payroll tax. Increased wages have dragged many businesses into a payroll tax bracket. The Government is now taxing many firms that were not formerly subject to payroll tax. Surely that is an increase in taxation. It might be fair to increase payroll and land taxes if the people affected could carry the extra cost and if the economy were sufficiently buoyant to ensure that such increases would not lead to a decline in employment. However, employment has declined through increased taxes. The capacities of many businesses, large and small, to retain the same number of employees has been diminished. Two years ago a business might have employed twelve persons; it probably now has eight employees. Members on the Government side of the House who do not believe that obviously need to move round the community and learn of the plight of the unemployed. 1908 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill Recently I attended a function with members of the Auctioneers and Valuers Association who, by the definition of their businesses, are all small businessmen. I was told that it was common to find that the combined onslaught of payroll tax for businesses employing about a dozen people and land tax on properties that had become subject to that tax because of increases in valuations had meant that the businesses that were unable to pass on these costs, could not sell their products at a higher price and thexefore could not increase turnover. The market can take only a limited increase in turnover because of the relationship between supply and demand. The only way businesses could maintain their position at a time of falling profitability was to retrench st&. Those two taxes create unemployment. In determining budget strategy one must take into account all that has happened in the past twelve months. Though the public has not been fooled, the Government considered that it had acted in a clever fashion by introducing the petrol tax and diesel tax before the Budget was brought down. That enabled the Government to say that only one tax was included in the Budget-the financial institutions duty. However, to that must be added the increase in corporate charges, the petrol and diesel fuel tax and the mammoth increases in electricity charges, which are approxi- mately 100 per cent for commercial properties. When those matters are taken into account, one has a budget strategy that is aimed at creating unemployment. What can be done in a budget to try to stimulate employment in the com- munity? One can increase exemptions from payroll tax and land tax. The Govern- ment could have removed the 1 per cent surcharge on payrolls of more than $1 million a year and expressed some confidence in the economy of New South Wales and in the capacity of people to work, and by achieving higher productivity levels, balance the Budget. I have always been somewhat critical of Treasury thinking in New South Wales and in the Commonwealth sphere. With all the good intentions in the world, Treasury officials are not good business people. They do not understand the cut and thrust of business whereby one survives upon the fruits of productivity. The Treasury views increased finance only in terms of increased taxation. The most simple philosophy of business is that if one can increase turnover by lowering the price of the commodity that is for sale, in many cases one can increase profitability, depending upon whether it is done satisfactorily. To substantiate that philosophy one need consider only the enormous number of products that sell for less than a dollar, have expensive television advertising campaigns, big turnovers and corresponding profits. The Government rejects that philosophy, and the Budget is lacking on that score. Everything the Government has done has been a result of panic and a n endeavour to try to plug the leaks in the sinking ship in the hope that good times and fair winds will bring it back into calmer waters. The economic upturn will not come that quickly. As a result of the Budget New South Wales is in for a tough time in the next twelve months. I should refer briefly to the Budget allocation for the Department of Youth and Community Services, especially as it affects the disabled. Last year, the Inter- national Year of the Disabled Person, one would have expected a change of heart by the Government in its provision of aid for disabled persons. If ever one has witnessed exhibition of callousness and of forgetting the plight of the 400 000 disabled persons in New South Wales, it is evident in this Budget. The Government should feel ashamed of the harsh treatment it has handed out to the disabled people of New South Wales. Lest anyone think I am exaggerating, I point out that the total budget for cam- munity services for 1981-82 was $9.96 million. It must be remembered that last year another $250,000 was allocated for the International Year of the Disabled Mr Rozzoli] Appropriation Bill-20 October, 1982 1909 Person. That allocation is not repeated in this year's Budget. From the amount of $9.96 million disabled persons received benefits of $1.75 million. This year's Budget allocates $2.15 million for this purpose, which is an increase of 13 per cent but a reduction in real terms. One must use as a benchmark the fact that expenditure in this area commenced only in 1979 and the programme started with a low base alloca- tion. In those circumstances it takes some time to raise the allocation to an effective level. I contrast that with the allocation in this year's Budget for Aboriginal affairs. I am not critical of that allocation or of others, for I am sure they are warranted. Aboriginal assistance grants have been increased substantially from $40,000 to $5 million. Such an increase is needed to provide significantly more than a token expenditure, as the allocation for handicapped persons was when it was first made. There are approximately 150 000 Aboriginals in New South Wales, and 400 000 disabled persons. I deal next with programmes for persons who are deemed to be disadvantaged. The allocation in last year's Budget for youth refuges and women's refuges was $2.8 million. This year it has been increased by $2.7 million, a rise of almost 100 per cent. The allocation to the Community Development Fund has increased by $1.4 million, from $4.3 million, which is a rise of 20 per cent. The allocation for homeless persons increased by $1.8 million from $600,000, or 400 per cent. When one compares those figures with a decrease of 4.6 per cent in real terms in the funds provided for handicapped persons one sees that the Government has treated disabled persons poorly. There are two other areas in which funds are made available to handi- capped persons. One youth and community service education programme accounts for $400,000 and an unidentifiable sum is being set aside for special education teachers and teachers' aides. The Budget provides little for disabled persons. I have had long association with organizations working to help the disabled, and make no apology for feeling strongly about the way in which they are being treated. Less than twelve months after the International Year of the Disabled Person it is absolutely scandalous that the Government should be so miserable in its budgetary allocations to those who do not choose their handicap, who are deserving of help, who have little freedom in what they can do and who, in many cases, are able to maintain little dignity. One assumes that prisoners who are serving g a d sentences are doing so because they have erred against society. Time and again we are told that the price they must pay is absence of freedom. They should not be treated like animals; they should be allowed to retain their dignity. I do not contest those notions. However, when one compares the amount the Government spends on prisoners with the amount it spends on disabled persons, who to some extent are prisoners of circumstance, the result is disheartening. Many disabled persons are compelled by the nature of their disabilities to live in institutions that offer services and conditions inferior to those found in some prisons. Though I do not denigrate what has been done to improve the conditions of prisoners, I contrast the treatment of pfisoaers with that of the disabled, my aim being to bring home to the Government, which does not under- stand the position, the fact that many deserving people in the community are not getting from the State Government the help that they deserve. Other disadvantaged groups have not been treated badly. The Government has been able to find money for them. That is good, but if disabled persons are to be treated in the same way as 1910 ASSEMBLY-Appropriation Bill other disadvantaged groups, the Budget allocation for the disabled should be not $2.15 million but approaching $15 million. The expenditure of a sum of money of that order could provide many benefits for the disadvantaged. The perilous state into which the Budget has thrown local government has been mentioned a number of times in this debate. The abolition of the local government assistance fund and the heavy cuts in pensioner rebates, taken with the two matters to which I adverted earlier-electricity charges and taxes on petroleum products-have placed a heavy impost on local government. The State Government shrugs it off saying it is the problem of local government authorities. Local government must face the acrimony and hostility of the ratepayers. The Treasurer's pathetic defence of the effect of the Government's budget strategy on local government highlights the point with which I commenced my speech. The Treasurer does not understand the budgetary process or the implications of what he does. I feel s o w for him; he is a nice fellow and he deserves a better fate than the Government has dished out to him. As in all these situations, the Budget has had far reaching Statewide and local consequences. I looked through the Budget in vain for specific assistance to my electorate, in particular, assistance for the Hawkesbury District Hospital. The Minister for Health has talked about the provision of hospital beds and better health care for the west. The electorate o Hawkesbury is held by a Liberal Party member, and so it f is convenient to forget that that electorate also is situated in the west and has a hospital with urgent requirements. Mr Beckroge: After the next elections a Labor Party member will represent Hawkesbury, and the electorate will be looked after properly. Mr ROZZOLI: The honourable member for Broken Hill will be trying for many years. The Opposition will win his seat before the Government wins mine. Pr2m to 1976 when the Labor Government came to power the Hawkesbury District Hospital was high on the priority list. However, the Labor Government took the money that was to be allocated to that hospital and used it for projects in the Casino electorate to bolster the election prospects o the local member. The parlous financial f position of the New South Wales Government has been brought about largely because of the Government's attempts to shore up marginal seats. Political history has proven over and over again that no matter how much one tries to bolster votes artificially, eventually the electorate turns. That turn is occurring now. Many people in New South Wales agree that the Government will be fortunate to survive at the next elections. The Budget does not provide su6cient funds for much needed work on schools in my electorate. I have not got time in this debate to go into that matter in detail. I wish to refer also to the parlous state of the New South Wales police force. The Budget is supposed to provide for the appointment of an additional 500 policemen, but there will not be 500 extra policemen appointed. Information given supplementary to the Budget will disclose that the State will be fortunate if fifty additional policemen are appointed. There is an appalling lack of police strength in the Hawkesbury electorate. Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member has exhausted his time. Debate adjourned on motion by Mr McGowan. Bills Returned-Adjournment-20 October, 1982 1911 BILLS RETURNED The following bills were returned from the Legislative Council without amend- ment : Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers (Superannuation) Further Amend- ment Bill Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Bill ADJOURNMENT Goulburn Electorate Railway Crossings Mr BEDFORD (Cabramatta), Minister for Planning and Environment [10.2]: I move: That this House do now adjourn. Mr BREWER (Goulburn) [10.2]: I wish to refer to the tragic accident that occurred last Thursday at Wingello railway crossing, near the 117 kilometres peg from Sydney. I am grateful to the Minister for Transport for being present in the Chamber while I speak on this matter. Safety aspects of the Wingello and Penrose railway gates and the Bundanoon pedestrian crossing have been a matter of extreme concern for some considerable time. On 4th December, 1981, the Minister for Transport gave an undertaking to proceed with plans and specifications for a regulated crossing at Wingello provided that the Wingecarribee shire council acknowledged its responsi- bility to contribute its share of the cost. The council replied to the Minister's letter and asked when it would have to provide its share of those funds. The type of accident that occurred last Thursday was what was expected might occur at either the Wingello or Penrose railway crossing, although Penrose is regarded as the more dangerous crossing o the two. The Minister for Transport wrote to me on f 30th December and advised that he had given priority status for the crossing, and that plans and specifications were being prepared. I have a petition from 975 residents of the districts of Wingello, Penrose and Bundanoon expressing concern that the accident occurred. These districts form a close-knit community. It is to be hoped that a similar accident does not happen again at Wingello or Penrose before the proposed work can be completed. The Bundanoon crossing bisects the township, as do the vehicular crossings at Wingello and Penrose. Though the Penrose crossing is probably the more danger- ous of the two, and the sighting time of trains is less at Penrose than Wingello, there is a lot of traffic at the Wingello crossing because of the direct link with the Hume Highway between Paddy's River and what is known as the Highlands Way at Wingello. The sighting of approaching trains at the level crossing is quite bad. Some sighting times were taken at the Wingello crossing. Those who did the testing used the approaching sighting of the XPT train from both the eastern and western sides of the line. I shall provide that information to the Minister. At Wingello, the time lapse between first sighting the approach of the northbound XPT train and its arrival at the level crossing, when viewed by a person sitting in the driver's seat of a motor car stopped at the level crossing stop sign- Mr Cox: What speed is the honourable member talking about? Mr BREWER: This is the XPT train. Mr Cox: That is the normal train speed. Other trains besides the XPT train do 95 kilometres an hour. That is what the XPT train is doing. Mr BREWER: The recording of approaching train sighting times was done with the XPT train. The people who did the test said that the train was slow. There may be a couple of reasons for that. I am aware that the track was under maintenance. The testers said the XPT train was not travelling fast. I am merely pointing out what a bad crossing it is. The sighting time of the approaching north- bound train when seen by a person sitting in the driver's seat of a car at the level crossing stop sign is 8.5 seconds. That is, from the time the train was first sighted until it arrived at the crossing. That means that there would not be very much time to avert a tragedy such as that which occurred last Thursday when the people in the car that was stxuck were unable to hear the train. The northbound XPT train is sighted 8.5 seconds before it arrives at the crossing, and southbound the travelling time is 11.75 seconds. I d e r these time recordings to the Minister as a guide. A great deal of traffic crosses the line, coming from the Hume Highway to the Highlands Way. People come to view the scenic beauties of the area. Many tourist buses use the crossing. It is fortunate indeed that it was not a tourist bus that was involved in the accident. One week before a tourist bus had a close shave there. Semitrailers engaged in the timber industry often use that crossing. The road on the eastern side of the railway line is such that if a semi-trailer with the normal regulatory length of 55 feet were to cross the line and be met by a vehicle coming on its right so that it had to stop, there would be at least 10 feet of the semi-trailer on the railway line. These facts emphasize how bad the crossing is. I have been asked to place before the Minister figures in regard to the approach sighting times of trains at the Penrose crossing also, although I shall not traverse the details of that now. It is a worse crossing for sighting approaching trains. One d the important points about this section of the railway line is that it lies between Moss Vale and Medway Junction, perhaps one of the most heavily trafficked parts of the main southern line because of the livestock trains, fast goods and passenger trains coming up and down from the coast to Medway sidings. I ask, and the petition of the residents of the area requests, that the Minister expedite the installation of the flashing lights and warning bell system that has been approved for Wingdlo and, at the same time, expedite similar treatment for the Bundanoon and Penrose crossings. Some time ago in his reply to me in the House and by way of letter the Minister said that the Bundancron crossing would be attended to early in the new year but that, as yet, Penrose is not on the priority list. In the interest of safety to the community I ask the Minister to acknowledge that both those crossings are dangerous, perhaps worse than most others, and give them special attention. To assist the Minister in his deliberations I hand to him the petition presented to me, together with the details of approaching train sighting times as recorded by local people. Mr COX (Auburn), Minister for Transport [ 0 1 ] I shall deal first with the 1.0: Penrose level crossing. The interdepartmental level crossing committee has recom- mended the installation of flashing lights and the local council has asked that they be given a higher priority. The committee will examine the matter on 28th October. I shall advise the honourable member of the result of its deliberations. In relation to the Bundanoon pedestrian level crossing, the committee has recommended that flashing lights be installed within six months. I am following up that matter closely. I shall let the honourable member know the result of my inquiries about the Bundanoon pedestrian level crossing. Adjournment-Questions upon N o t i c e 2 0 October, 1982 1913 I have asked the State Rail Authority to give me an urgent report on the fatal accident that occurred at Wingello. I shall be interested in the coroner's inquiry into the fatality. In those circumstances I cannot say much about it, except that I am upset that it occurred. One thing that disturbs me is that the XPT train has been invoIved in two fatal accidents. One must keep in mind that the XPT train was going through the area at only 95 kilometres an hour, which was the normal speed for trains in the area. If we did not have the XPT train, some other train would have been travelling through the area at a similar speed. So the accident was not caused by high speed. I realize that there are some problems in this area, but I inform the honourable member that there are 2 200 level crossings in New South Wales and it would cost $1,200 million to eliminate them. We do not have that sort of money. At a meeting of ATAC-which is a meeting of State transport Ministers and the federal Minister-I sought additional funds to implement a programme that I put before the meeting, to eliminate these level crossings. I regret that the proposal was not favourably received by the federal Minister. I am not using that as an excuse. The problem of level crossings needs to be resolved on a national level. I reiterate that I shall keep the honourable member informed about the level crossings at Penrose and Bundanoon. I regret the fatality that occurred at Wingello. I shall be interested in the coroner's inquiry in relation to that matter. I have asked the State Rail Authority to give me a comprehensive report about the accident there. Motion agreed to. House adjourned at 10.13 p.m. QUESTIONS UPON NOTICE The following questions upon notice and answers were circulated in Questions and Answers this day. PETROL AND DIESEL FUEL TAX Mr FISCHER asked the Treasurer- Under what legal basis have the border exemption zones been established in respect of the Business Franchise Licences (Petroleum Products) Act, 19827 Answer- As in the case of the Business Franchise Licences (Tobacco) Act the exemption in relation to border areas and the zone concessional aIIowances are provided by way of Act of Grace remissions. PERMASTEEL INDUSTRIES PTY LIMITED Mr T. 5. MOORE asked the Minister for Housing, Minister for Co-operative Societies and Minister Assisting the Premier- (1) What contracts, since October 1978, have been entered into by each Department or statutory body under his Ministerial control with Permasteel Industries Pty Limited? 1914 ASSEMBLY-Questions upon Notice (2) What was the value of each such contract? ( 3 ) What was the value of the work performed under any such contract within the State Electoral Division of Wakehurst? Answer- (1) None of the departments within my administration has entered into contracts since October, 1978, with Permasteel Industries Pty Limited. (2) Not applicable. (3) Not applicable. FERRY COLLISIONS WITH WHARVES Dr METHERELL asked the Minister for Transport- (1) How many ferries crashed into wharves in (a) 1980-81, (b) 1981-82? (2) Will he consider, as a matter of urgency, the fitting of special safety buffers at Sydney wharves in view of the number of ferry accidents involving collisions with wharves? (3) Has a new design for a safety buffer been proposed for Manly Wharf as a result of a recent ferry accident? (4) Will he investigate the suitability of this design for Manly and other wharves? Answer- (1) During berthing manoeuvres there have been occasions when wharves have been subjected to heavier than usual lateral loads and there have been incidents in which vessels have over-run dead-end berths and have been brought up on the specially constructed wooden buffers designed for that purpose. Specifically, during 1980-81, four such incidents occurred and three during 1981-82. (2) All dead-end ferry berths are provided with such buffers. ( 3 ) The safety buffer currently proposed for the eastern side of Manly wharf is a result of building development by the Amusement Pier at the inner end of the berth which has rendered ineffective the existing safety buffer arrangement. Both the Urban Transit Authority and the Maritime Services Board have insisted on replacement by an alternative system which the Amusement Pier is propos- ing would be of an, as yet, unproven arrestor wire device. The Board and the Authority have an open mind on the device which has been designed by a firm of Sydney based Design Engineers. (4) The existing arrangement of wooden buffers at ferry wharves has proven to be adequate over the years. However, should the arrestor wire type be installed at Manly, its suitability will be closely monitored with a view to installation at other locations. Questions upon Notice-20 October, 1982 1915 MOTOR VEHICLE NUMBER PLATES Mr HATTON asked the Minister for Transport- (1) What are the details of registration, transfer of ownership in the last four years of a Porsche motor car engine No. XJ 001276, registration No. KPJ 953? (2) What are the details of valuation duty paid to the Department of Motor Transport on this vehicle on each of the occasions it was transferred? (3) What are the dates of transfer of ownership in regard to this motor vehicle? Answer- (1) According to the registration records of the Department of Motor Trans- port, Porsche motor car engine No. XJ001276 has never been registered in New South Wales. At the date of entry of Question 294 on the Notice Paper, and at the date of preparation of this answer, plates KPJ 953 were in issue in respect to a Honda motor car. (2) Not applicable. (3 ) Not applicable. MOTOR VEHICLE NUMBER PLATES Mr HATTON asked the Minister for Transport- (1) When was a Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL car with Iiegistration No. AM 165 and Engine No. 117986/22/048578 registered? (2) What are the details relating to registered owners and transfer of ownership from 1 January, 1980 to 1 January, 1983? (3) What is the latest information that the Department has in regard to the present owner and location of vehicle? (4) What are the dates of transfer of ownership in regard to this motor vehicle? (5) What are details of valuation duty paid to the Department of Motor Transport on each occasion ownership was transferred? Answer- (1) An original registration of Mercedes-Benz motor car, engine No. 117986/ 22/048578, as AM 165 was effected on 3 January, 1980, in the name of Marshalls Motors 1935 Pty Ltd of 312 Church Street, Granville. (2) The registration was transferred to John L. Pier1 :Pty Ltd of 170 Toon- gabbie Road, Girraween, on 9 January, 1980. At the date of preparation of this answer the registration was still in that name. However, as a result of two authorized exchanges of number plates, the registration number has been JP 666 since 11 January, 1980. 1916 ASSEMBLY--Questions upon Notice (5) The amount of stamp duty paid in respect of the only transfer of registra- tion that has been effected, i.e., the transfer to John L. Pierce Pty Ltd on 9 January, 1980, was $1,040. SEARCH WARRANTS Mr DOWD asked the Minister for Transport- Which New South Wales Acts, regulations and statutory instruments, under his administration, permit the issue of warrants to enter and search premises? Answer- There are no Acts, regulations or statutory instruments under the administra- tion of the Minister for Transport which would permit the issue of warrants to enter and search premises.
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