PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11027

Doorstop Interview, Adelaide

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: 13/08/1999

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 11027

Subject(s): Coal miners strike

13 August 1999

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister, can we ask you about the national coal strike?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes. I’m very sympathetic to the situation of the Oakdale miners, and the Government is working very hard to try and find a fair and workable solution to that issue. But nothing is gained by strikes and I worry that strikes might weaken overseas buyer confidence in the Australian coal industry and that doesn’t help anybody, particularly coal miners. But we are sympathetic to the Oakdale problem but it’s not an easy one because everything has a long term precedent. You’ve got to remember that this was a consequence of the coal mine going broke because of market forces, not because of anything the Government did. It’s not the Government’s fault the mine went broke but we do understand the sense of grievance that the miners have. I understand that very much and we are working hard to find a fair and workable solution. And that is taking a little time but we are working hard on it and it’s not fair to categorise the Government’s response as one of indifference. It’s not indifferent. It’s sympathetic. But I don’t know that having a strike is helpful to the cause of the coal miners. Thank you.

[Ends]

Transcript 11027