The Hon. C. J. S. LYNN: My question is to the Minister for Fisheries. Why did the Minister agree to meet a delegation led by One Nation leader, the Hon. D. E. Oldfield, to discuss new industries in far western New South Wales? Why did the Minister not invite the local Labor member for Murray-Darling, who is so often touted as the florid face of Country Labor? Is this so-called Country Labor member such an embarrassment that the Minister will not expose him to business delegations during the evaluation process? Does the Minister agree that his preference to deal with One Nation rather than his own local member exposes the myth of Country Labor for the absolute sham it is?
The Hon. E. M. OBEID: I am sure all honourable members who regularly attend in this House will wonder how long the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn will remain on the Opposition front bench. He seldom asks a question about public works. He is an embarrassment to the Liberal Party, but he is of more embarrassment to the National Party. I am sure the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn is either always asleep or does not understand what happens in this House. As every member of this House knows, particularly Opposition members, every member of this Government has an open-door policy. We are more than prepared, in the interests of Broken Hill or any other part of New South Wales, to accept any delegation that is interested in talking to this Government about issues relating to their community. The Hon. C. J. S. Lynn takes umbrage at the fact that Peter Black is one of the best State members we have in this Parliament. Not only does he represent 44 per cent of the area of this State, but he does a great job. Every Government Minister knows when Blackie wants something he makes sure he gets it! I assure the honourable member that in the spirit of accommodating any delegation—
They are a rowdy lot! They do not want to see how well we service country New South Wales. It was bad enough last week that the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn stated four times that there was nothing good in country New South Wales. I repeat it because I feel ashamed that not one member of the National Party took him to task—instead, members of Country Labor did so.
The Hon. D. J. Gay: They weren't here.
The Hon. E. M. OBEID: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition was present. You were sitting there. It was during question time. The Hon. D. F. Moppett and the Hon. Jennifer Gardiner were here. I am not sure whether the Hon. R. T. M. Bull was present.
The Hon. J. F. Ryan: Point of order: I know Ministers have a wide latitude as to how they answer questions, but I understand it is a fairly solid convention and adherence of the standing orders that one may not launch a substantive attack on a member of Parliament without there being before the House a substantive motion for debate. The Minister has gone on for some time criticising the member opposite. It is not just an odd criticism; he has gone on for some time and made a point. He should answer the question or sit down. He is clearly launching an attack on a member.
The PRESIDENT: Order! I have previously made the point that members should try not to be diverted by interjections. If interjections remain at a minimum, Ministers will not be diverted.
The Hon. E. M. OBEID: I will continue to have an open-door policy for any such member of the public or any person with responsibility in local government or otherwise. It was because of my interest and this Government's continued interest in Broken Hill that the Hon. D. E. Oldfield asked whether I would receive a delegation from the local council at Broken Hill. It is my duty as Minister to see any such member of the public, and I will continue to do that. It is an absolute furphy for the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn to suggest that Peter Black would not be present when I receive that delegation. It is untrue because I would insist that Peter Black, who is the hardest working member and represents his community with great vigour, always be present when I receive any delegation from the Broken Hill electorate. What offends the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn is that we care about country New South Wales and we are prepared to see any delegation from country New South Wales.
The Hon. D. J. Gay: Where was Blackie?
The Hon. E. M. OBEID: I suggest the Deputy Leader of the Opposition grab the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn on the side and make him wake up because he is destroying the party's base. I would like to see the National Party continue its presence in this Parliament, but every time the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn opens his mouth the party loses thousands of votes.
The Hon. J. F. Ryan: Point of order: In your previous ruling you said some latitude was given for people responding to interjections. The Minister is now continuing his attack on a member in this House. Again there is no motion before the House and there was no interjection that caused the response.
The PRESIDENT: Order! The Minister is quite clearly answering the question, which was about a delegation from Broken Hill.
The Hon. E. M. OBEID: The Hon. C. J. S. Lynn ought to sit in this House and listen instead of going to sleep and deluding himself with his own self-importance. He should listen to questions, listen to answers and understand once and for all that we on this side of politics, the Carr Labor Government, believe in serving country New South Wales.
The Hon. D. J. Gay: Point of order: On two occasions the Hon. J. F. Ryan raised the point of order that a member cannot make a personal attack in this House without having moved a substantive motion. Yet the Minister continues to make a personal attack on the Hon. C. J. S. Lynn. I ask that you draw his attention to that fact and ask him to desist unless he moves a substantive motion in the House.
The Hon. M. R. Egan: To the point of order: It surprises me that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition takes up the point of the Hon. J. F. Ryan because he is a more experienced and mature parliamentarian than the Hon. J. F. Ryan. If the Hon. J. F. Ryan or the Deputy Leader of the Opposition regard the remarks of the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries as a personal attack, I suggest they should look for a different career. I suggest they are not used to the rough and tumble of parliamentary debate. There is quite a difference between the rough and tumble of debate and a personal attack. That is well known to any member of the House. The Hon. J. F. Ryan is simply trifling with the House, and I am surprised that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is doing his bidding.
The PRESIDENT: Order! There is no point of order. I agree with the points made by the Leader of the Government. There is certainly a tradition in this House of a certain robustness of debate and I think that that is what is occurring. There has been no imputation against any members, and they can make a personal explanation under Standing Order 70 if they wish to.