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The Gair Affair in Parliament – “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

October 16th, 2012 · No Comments · Politics, Queensland, Quotes

Upon the revelation of the Gair Affair:

Whitlam reacted angrily, even threatening to go to the High Court but the delighted federal opposition rubbed salt into the wound. During question time, Anthony asked the prime minister if he had ever been taken for a ride by Bjelke-Petersen: “The premier of Queensland is a very experienced pilot, and can cope with all circumstances – high-risk or otherwise. Could the prime minister tell us whether he has ever been taken for a ride by the premier of Queensland?”
Whitlam’s reply was, as usual, not without some wit: “My understanding of the premier’s interest is that he is more interested in exploring the waters under underneath the earth than the heavens above. I am not unaware of the complaints he has against the present Australian government, and the previous two Australian governments.. [which] have wanted to ensure that the nation’s interest prevailed in the waters, under the earth and off the shore, even though the premier was speculating in them to the national disadvantage. I cannot imagine why the honourable gentleman raised the Premier’s name in this context. It might be that the honourable gentleman has in mind some quite novel action that the premier took this morning.”

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