PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3392

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON EG WHITLAM QC MP, ON HIS VISIT TO MACKAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 1974

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/1974

Release Type: Statement

Transcript ID: 3392

AUSTRALIAN GOVFR-N?, PMP
ASSISTANCE TO MACK~ AY
AND ITS REGION
STATEMENT BY THE PPTMF' ' lINT STER,
THE HON. E. G. WHITLAM, M. P.,
ON HIS VISIT TO MP. CI( AY
14 SEPTEMPEP 1S74
Mlackay is typical of the regions benefiting from
Australian Government policies tc improve local government
services and promote equal opportunities for Australian
citizens wherever they nay live.
While Mackay is one of the richest regions of
Australia and of great importance to the national economy,
the Government has given special attention to its need~ s and
its future development.
one of the most important Labor Government initiatives
has been to empower the Grants Ccmmission to recomnmend
financial assistance to local government bodies. The Government's
objective is to reduce inequalities between regions and to ensure
that people everywhere enjoy the same opportunities and living
standards. Last month the Government accepted ixn full the first
series of grants recommended by the Commission. of the
Australian total of $ 56.3 million, Queensland will receive
$ 8,954,000. Grants to local government in the Mackay region
total $ 397,000, including a grant of $ 64,000 to Mackay City
Council. No strings were attached to these grants. They will
help local government bodies improve community services and
initiate important development projects.
By giving help where it is most needed after careful
and impartial investigation by the Grants Commission the
Government hopes to give people in country-cities and regions
the same standards and amenities as the capital cities. ./ 2

-2-
RESOURCES Mackay is the centre of several important industries,
including sugar, coal and beef production. The region produces
more than one-quartar of Australia's sugar.
The Government acknowledges this vital contribution
to the national economy and is Oetermined to assist and
strengthen these industries in every possible way.
Australian exports of sugar are now worth more than
$ 300 million a year. The market remains buoyant. Through
the efforts of Dr Rex Patterson, the Minister for N7orthern
Development, firm overseas markets have been secured for sugar,
with substantial long-term contracts already signed with
Malaysia, ! ingapore, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.
Negotiations are in progress wi. th China, the United Fingdom
and Japan. The Government is ma}: inq a $ 5 million grant for the
Kinchant Dam to help stabilise sugar-cane production in an
area subject to droughts.
Productivity in the beef industry has risen sharply.
To help meet problems due to world oversupply, the Australian
Government is sending a high-level trade delegation to Brussels
and Tokyo and is seeking consultations with the F. F. C. under
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
The Government will spend $ 24 millio-on beef roads
in Queensland over the next three years.
To further develop the vast coal resources of the
region, the Australian Government has commissioned a report on
the industrial development prospects of the Bowen Coalfields
Basin with special reference to a possible steelworks.
FLOOD RELIEF The Australian Government is providing massive financial
assistance for restoration work following the recent disastrous
floods. Under the Queensland Flcod Relief Act 1974, provision
has been made for Australian Government Assistance of $ 66 million
over a three-year period. 9../ 3

Transcript 3392