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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 10127


Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/10/1996

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 10127

13 October 1996


E& OE..........

Thank you very much Bob Woods, to Jackie Kelly, to my other parliamentary colleagues of which there are quite a number here today, to Mr and Mrs Mead who made their home available, very specially, to my parliamentary colleague Jackie Kelly, ladies and gentlemen.

We shouldn't be having another vote. There's something odd about it isn't it? You win
something fair and square, you take out the prize, you win the grand final and they want a
re-run. It does strike most Australians as rather odd that somebody who joined the Royal
Australian Air Force, who rose to the rank of Squadron Leader in that air force, is
regarded in some technical way as owing an allegiance to a foreign power. But such are
the vagaries of the profession in which I once practised and far be it from me to cast any
critical aspersions on decisions of the courts, but simply let me say that it's a very odd sort
of situation and I think it strikes Australians and it strikes the people of Lindsay as being
rather odd. I think it also smacks of that old sort of Australian no-no and that is bad
sportsmanship to grizzle when the verdict has been given and the referee has blown the
whistle. Anyway it's happened, and we have got, can I tell you, one hell of a fight on our hands.
You all know that this area has traditionally, historically been a Labor Party stronghold.
It's called Labor Party heartland, and of all those magnificently warming results that we
received on the second of March few of them matched Jackie's victory here to get a
swing of eleven and a half per cent. It was a remarkable achievement and it's a remarkable
tribute to her and it's a remarkable tribute to you because so many of the people who
made that victory possible are here today. But despite having sort of conquered all those
enormous odds, despite having imagined that she could look forward, at least, to three
years of representing the people of Lindsay and doing good things for the people of
Lindsay she now faces a by-election. She faces a by-election which has been made more

difficult for her to win by the fact that the Labor Party, despite its noisy protestations
about its commitment to all sorts of things in terms of racial equality, a Labor Party that
has done a deal with the Australians Against Further Immigration Party, they've done a
deal with other organisations. I mean there's a real danger that Free will sneak over the
line by courtesy of the preference of the Australians Against Further Immigration and the
Shooters. Now there's no point in me as your political leader, as your Prime Minister and
as Jackie's parliamentary colleague mincing words on something like that. If it's a fair and
square fight she ought to win. But you've got a situation where they've entered into these
arrangements while at the other hand putting their hand on their heart and saying ' oh, you
know, isn't this terrible that organisations and people should say anything at all about
immigration'; I mean what sort of hypocrisy is that? On the one hand you're saying you
shouldn't talk about it and the next hand you go behind the shed and say ' look will you
give us your preferences' I mean that is basically what is happening. And I think that is
just monumental hypocrisy and Australians can pick phoneyism, but they can only pick
phoneyism when it's brought to their attention. So we have got a fight on our hands, a
real fight. There's a real risk that a bloke who, after 13 years, you threw out because he
hadn't done enough for the area can sneak back through the back door by courtesy of this
preference deal.

Let me say something about Jackie. She's a bundle of energy, she's new, she's fresh,
she's different and she's the wave of the future as far as this area is concerned. She's
asked more questions in the Parliament than any other member on our side. They're all
getting a bit envious, but she has and she gives me a hard time if she doesn't get the right
answers and that's what a local member ought to be about. And she's prepared to do that.
I mean, I just think it is terrific that the Liberal Party was able to extend its support into
areas like Lindsay. I mean the Liberal Party of all the political parties in Australia's history
is the one party that is owned by nobody. Nobody owns us. We're not owned by the
Trade Union Movement, we're not owned by big business, we're not owned by any
pressure groups, we're really not. We're made up of people from all walks of life. And
one of the reasons why Jackie won on the second of March was that the Australian people
were fed up with having a Government in power that bended its knees to the noisiest
interest group in the community. Run by a Government that was too beholden to noise
and not concerned enough about the mainstream of the Australian community. We are a
great community. Australia is now composed of people drawn from all parts of the world,
but they're united behind a common commitment to the ideals that make up this country.
So many people over the years have made a contribution. Instead of, sort of, focusing on
some of the things that divide us and push us apart, one of the things the Liberal Party and
I've certainly tried to do is to focus on those things that bind us together as Australians.
And that was one of the promises that I made on election night and is one of the promises
that I have carried forward. We brought down a budget, we were left with an appalling
financial mess, we were left with a much bigger deficit than we were told, we were left
with much higher debt than we were told and we had to make some difficult decisions.
But they were done in a fair way.

I met a business man in Adelaide the other day and he said, ' look, I had a look at your
budget, and he said you know, you did this and I didn't like that, it affected me, you did
that and I didn't like that and you did a whole lot of things that affected me but', he said,
' I've written you a letter congratulating you on the budget'. I said, ' why?' He said,
' Because it was fair'. And I'm very proud of that. There are a few things about being an
Australian and the Australian spirit that endure from one generation to the next. One of
those things is our great tradition of mateship and another things, of course, is our sense of
a fair go. And we did try to have a fair go. There were some things in that that hit a few
people that could afford it and there's also a few things that a lot of people didn't like.
But overall it did the right thing for Australia and that is why it has been well received, not
only here, but it's also been respected overseas. When I went to Japan and Indonesia a
few weeks ago the business community in both of those countries were very appreciative
of the fact that we had inherited difficulty and we had done something very material about
it. So ladies and gentlemen, can I do two final things. First of all I want to thank you for all
that you did to get this wonderful lady elected on the second of March. I want to thank
you very warmly. You have sent to Canberra a person of real vigour. She is new, she's
different, she does represent the future. She replaced somebody who was part of the
problem and now he's trying to sneak back by courtesy of a sleazy preference deal with
some Independents. Ladies and gentlemen, it's going to be tough, I thank you for what
you've done so far, but could I ask you to re-double, treble, quadruple those efforts over
the next week. Because if we can defy those forces in the community here in Lindsay that
would, sort of, reverse the freely given verdict of the people on the second of March. If
we can demonstrate that that kind of political cynicism is unacceptable, and it will be a
very tough fight to do so, we will have not only done a very good thing for the people of
Lindsay, we will have confirmed in office an outstandingly energetic local representative in
Jackie Kelly, but we will also have said to the people of Australia that we want something
new and different and better and that is really what Jackie represents and that above
everything else is why she ought to be returned on Saturday. Thank you.

Transcript 10127