PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 22909

Doorstop Interview - Melbourne

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: 12/10/2000

Release Type: Doorstop

Transcript ID: 22909

Subjects: Sir Don Bradman; Corporation Law; Business Names act

E&OE……………………………………………………………………………………

JOURNALIST:

The decision with sir Donald Bradman, is this an unusual decision?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it is unusual, but he is an unusually special figure in Australian history, not only our sporting history but our cultural history. The Government took the view that there was a very strong potential for people to commercially exploit his name, to suggest a connection which didn’t exist, and following some representation from his family I considered the matter and the Government decided that we should provide protection through the Corporations Law which means that people can’t use the name in circumstances suggesting a connection that doesn’t exist or hasn’t been authorised.

I’ve spoken to a couple of State premiers – to Mr Carr, the Labor Premier of NSW and Mr Olsen, the Liberal Premier of South Australia and both have expressed their very strong support and I would hope that all of the other States will also express support. And as well as amending the corporations regulations we also have an amendment of the Business Names Act regulations at a state level so that the circle would be closed in relation to both business names and corporations.

JOURNALIST:

Have you spoken with Sir Donald?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’ve had discussions with his family. I see him from time to time. I don’t want to take it any further than that. He’s a very private man and I am sure that most Australians would support the decision the Government has taken. He does occupy a very special place in the hearts of Australians, not only as our greatest cricketer but also as a very special Australian who has really dominated the Australian psyche for a very long time.

JOURNALIST:

Does it set a precedent?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think there are special characteristics about this that probably mean it may not set a precedent but in the end you take decisions because you think the circumstances surrounding them suggest you ought to take them. If you worry too much about establishing precedent you’d never do anything. This is the right decision, there are good reasons. I have no compunction about the Government having taken the decision and I believe that the Australian community will support it. There’s are a lot of protection to given to things like the improper use of the expression ‘olympic games’ – something that has been very recently in people’s minds and the idea that you wouldn’t extend the same kind of protection in this case would be in my mind a bit odd.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think he’d be happy about it personally?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh, I would expect he would be. He’s a person who values his privacy. He’s a reasonable man. He obviously doesn’t want an improper use of his name and this will be seen by him I know in a very positive light and it will be supported by the Australian community.

[ends]

Transcript 22909