PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3619

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON, E.G WHITLAM, QC, MP, FOR THE OPENING OF THE NEPEAN DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL HORTICULUTRAL AND INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY;S ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW

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: 14/02/1975

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 3619

SPFFCII BY iIIF PRIME MINISTR,
T 1l i 1. FEI -G1 . iiI TlIAM, .1oC.. I, Po.
FOR THE OPENING OF TIHE NEPFAN DIT I PICT
AGRICULTURAL, ! iORTICUIIITIIHRALA ND INDIISTRIAI. . IITY'S
ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW,
PENRITII, 1 FEBRUARY 1975
I HOPE NO ONE WILL ACCUSE ME OF JUNKETING IF I
POINT OUT THAT THIS IS MY SECOND VISIT TO PENRITH IN THE
PAST FIVE MONTHS. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF OPENING A T. V.
FACTORY HERE LAST SEPTEMBER; NOW I AM OPENING YOUR
ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW. AND IT IS HERE IN THIS COMBINATION
OF LOCAL ACTIVITY OF PRIMARY PRODUCTION AND VIGOROUS
SECONDARY INDUSTRY THAT WE FIND THE GREAT STRENGTH AND
DIVERSITY OF YOUR CITY AND YOUR REGION.
PENRITH IS THE CENTRE OF A THRIVING AND PROSPEROUS
COMMUNITY RICH IN HISTORY, RICH ' IN NATURAL BEAUTY, RICH
IN NATURAL RESOURCES. IN YOUR ANNUAL SHOW WE SEE
BOUNTIFUL EVIDENCE OF YOUR RURAL PROSPERITY. IT IS
HEARTENING TO COME TO YOUR DISTRICT AND SENSE THE CONFIDENT
AND INDUSTRIOUS SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE OF THE NEPEAN. OUR,
COUNTRY FACES PROBLEMS AS YOU ALL KNOW, BUT SO LONG AS THERE
ARE DISTRICTS LIKE YOURSAND SHOWS LIKE YOURS WE CAN BE
CERTAIN OUR PROBLEMS WILL BE BEATEN. THEY WILL BE BEATEN BY
A STURDY, CONFIDENT PEOPLE, WITH FAITH I. N THEMSELVES,
FAITH IN THEIR ABILITY TO PRODUCE THE GOODS WE NEED, FAITH
IN THE VAST NATURAL RESOURCES OF OUR COUNTRY, FAITH IN THE
BASIC STRENGTH OF OUR ECONOMY, FAITH IN A STRONG DEMOCRATIC
SYSTEM AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT A SYSTEM WE MUST STRIVE
TO PRESERVE.

HERE IN PENRITH, IN THE NEPEAN DISTRICT, YOU ARE
. BUILDING UP THE STRENGTH AND RICHES OF OUR NATION. YOU ARE
MAKING A BETTER LIFE FOR AUSTRALIANS EVERYWHERE, AND THE
GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED TO MAKE A BETTER LIFE FOR YOU,
FOR THE FARMERS AND THE TOWNSPEOPLE IN OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES.
YOU HEAR A LOT ABOUT OUR WORK FOR THE-CITIES; YOU DON'T
HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT OUR WORK FOR THE COUNTRY TOWNS. THE
PURPOSE OF SO MANY AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES -OUR
GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, OUT. AREA IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS,
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO SPORT AND RECREATION, TO MENTION A
FEW IS TO MAKE LIFE IN COUNTRY TOWNS AS REWARDING, AS
PROSPEROUS, AS SATISFYING AS' LIFE IN THE MAJOR CITIES.
PENRITH IS TYPICAL OF THE CENTRES BENEFITING FROM
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT POLICIES FOR ASSISTING LOCAL
GOVERNMENT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT. AS A DIRECT RESULT
OF OUR MEASUR~ ES MORE THAN $ 1,100,00 HAS BEEN ALLOCATED TO
ASSIST YOUR CITY'IS GROWTH AND RAISE THE STANDARD OF COMMUNIT?,*
SERVICES IN THE AREA. IN ADDITION, THE PEOPLE OF PENRITH
AND THE NEPEAN DISTRICT WILL BENEFIT FROM OUR ASSISTANCE
TO SCHOOLS, HEALTH SERVICES, ROADS, TRANSPORT.. DON'T OET
THE IDEA THAT THESE MAJOR GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS ARE FOR
CITY PEOPLE ONLY. OUR POLICIES ARE DESIGNED TO BENEFIT ALL
AUSTRALIANS, WHEREVER THEY LIVE, WHEREVER AND HOWE VER THEY
WORK. WE HAVE LONG BEEN AWARE OF THE-INADEQUACIES OF'OUR
CITIES. RECENTLY, IN THE INTERIM REPORT OF T-HE COMMISSION
OF INQUIRY INTO POVERTY WE HAVE* HAD STARK EVIDENCE OF POVERTY
AND DEPRIVATION IN COUNTRY TOWNS. @ 3

-3-
ONE IN FOUR FAMILIES IN COUNTRY TOWNS LIVE IN POVERTY OR
NEAR-POVERTY. THERE ARE MORE POOR FAMILIES IN AUSTRALIA'S
COUNTRY TOWNS THAN THERE ARE IN SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE. YOU
CAN-BE SURE OF THIS: WE ARE DETERMINED TO MAKE COUNTRY
PEOPLE EQUAL PARTNERS IN A STRONG AND PROSPEROUS AUSTRALIA,
THE GOVERNMENT WILL GET THE FACTS OF RURAL POVERTY AND BASE
ITS PROGRAMS ON THE BEST POSSIBLE ADVICE. WE ARE GOING TO
MAKE SURE THAT EVERY AUSTRALIAN HAS A DECENT STANDARD OF
LIVING, A DECENT WAGE, A DECENT JOB, A DECENT HOME; THAT
EVERY AUSTRALIAN IS PROUD'OF HIS COMMUNITY AND ITS LOCAL
AMENITIES; THAT EVERY AUSTRALIAN HAS OPPORTUNIT'IES FOR
WORK, EDUCATION, RECREATION AND PERSONAL FULFILMENT EQUAL
TO THE BEST IN AUSTRALIA.-
I-WANT PENRITH AND THE NEPEAN DISTRICT TO SET AN
EXAMPLE. I WANT THEM TO SHOW WHAT AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS
AT EVERY LEVEL CAN DO TO IMPROVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR COUNTRY
PEOPLE AND CITIZENS IN COUNTRY TOWNS. ONE OF OUR FIRST
INITIATIVES AS A GOVERNMENT WAS TO EMPOWER THE GRANTS
COMMISSION TO REPORT ON INEQUALITIES BETWEEN REGIONS AND
RECOMMEND GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES TO OVERCOME
SUCH INEQUALITIES. PENRITH CITY COUNCIL. HAS RECEIVED
$ 330,000 UNDER THE GRANTS COMMISSION'S FIRST RECOMMENDATIONS.
THESE ARE UNCONDITiONAL, NON-REPAYABLE GRANTS WITH NO
STRINGS ATTACHED. THEY WILL HELP PROVIDE MANY OF THE
ESSENTIAL SERVICES WHICH MODERN COMMUNITIES DEMAND. IN
THE WHOLE OF THE WESTERN REGI. ONS OF SYDNEY, INCLUDING THE
PENRITH DISTRICT, THE GRANTS TO LOCAL COUNCILS TOTALLED
MORE THAN $ 3.3 MILLION THIS FINANCIAL YEAR.

PENRITH IS ONE OF THE REGIONS WEST OF SYDNEY
RECEIVING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'IS
AREA IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM. THIS IS A PROGRAM TO IMPROVE
L IVING CONDITIONS BY EXPENDITURE ON RECREATION AND COMMUNITY
FACILITIES WHEREVER IT IS NEEDED.. LAST FINANCIAL YEAR~
PENRITH WAS ALLOCATED MORE THAN $ 800,000 FOR THE PURCHASE
OFE COMMUNITY LAND RESERVES, PLANTING TREES, WIDENING
ROADS, RESTORING BUILDINGS. MR. UREN A ND SIR CHARLES
CUTLER HAVE ANNOUNCED A-CONTINUATION OF AREA IMPROVEMENT
FUNDS-FOR THE PRESENT FINANCIAL YEAR. PENRITH WILL
RECEIVE NEARLY $ 300,000, AND IN ADDITION, $ 50,000 FOR
SPORTS OVALS AND AMENITIES UNDER A GRANT FROM THE DEPARTMENT
OF TOURISM AND RECREATION. TOTAL SPORT AND RECREATION
GRANTS TO THE NEPEAN AREA AMOUNT TO $ 250,000.
I MENTION OTHER EXAMPLES. OUR NATIONAL SEWERAGE
PROGRAM HAS BEEN EXPANDED TO INCLUDE CITIES AND TOWNS IN THE
20,000 To 60,000 POPULATION RANGE. THAT MEANS PENRITH
WILL BENEFIT FROM OUR PROGRAM TO OVERCOME THE-NATIONWIDE
SEWERAGE BACKLOG. WITH THE CO-OPERATION OF THE N. S. W.
GOVERNMENTI WE HOPE TO DOUBLE THE CAPACITY OF THE TREATMENT"
WORKS AT ST. MARYS TO SERVE 150,000 PEOPLE.* WE. DON'T
BELIEVE PEOPLE IN IMPORTANT COUNTRY TOWNS AND RURAL
COMMUNITIES SHOULD HAVE TO PUT UP WITH INFERIOR SERVICES
OF ANY KIND. WE ARE GETTING ON WITH THE JOB OF
IMPROVING PUBLIC TRANSPORT. a, i

OUR PROGRAMS FOR URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT WILL DIRECTLY
BENEFIT THE PEOPLE OF THE NEPEAN/ PENRITH AREA, WE ARE
PROVIDING FUNDS TO WIDEN THE GLENBROOK RAILWAY TUNNEL
AND QUADRUPLE THE RAILWAY LINE BETWEEN PENRITH AND GRANVILLE,
THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT HAS APPROVED ARTERIAL ROAD WORKS
IN THE PENRITH DISTRICT COSTING MORE THAN $ 2,5 MILLION, WE
RECOGNISE PENRITH'S UNIQUE PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN
SETTLEMENT AND ARE DETERMINED TO PRESERVE THE BEAUTIFUL AND
HISTORIC BUILDINGS OF THIS DISTRICT, OUR BUDGET FOR THE
NATIONAL ESTATE ALLOCATED $ 50,000 TO THE NATIONAL TRUST TO
HELP PURCHASE AND RESTORE TWO COTTAGES AT WINDSOR AND
$ 100,000 TO RESTORE THE EXTERIOR OF THE MACQUARIE ARMS
HOTEL,. IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO BE AMONG THE PEOPLE
PRODUCING THE PRIMARY WEALTH OF OUR COUNTRY AND
EXHIBITING THAT WEALTH IN SHOWS SUCH AS YOURS, WE DON'T
TAKE THE VIEW THAT BECAUSE PEOPLE LIVE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES
OR WORK ON FARMS THEY DESERVE SOMETHING LESS THAN OTHER
AUSTRALIANS, IF THE COMMUNITY HAS A DUTY TO PROVIDE
BETTER SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, ROADS AND HOUSING IN THE CITIES
IT HAS THE SAME DUTY IN THE COUNTRY AREAS, I KNOW FARMERS
SOMETIMES THINK, OR ARE PERSUADED TO THINK, THAT THEY GET
A RAW DEAL FROM A-LABOR GOVERNMENT, BUT WE KNOW YOUR
PROBLEMS, AND THEY ARE PROBLEMS FACED BY FARMERS EVERYWHERE
IN THE WORLD, / 6

YOU CAN TAKE GREAT HEART FROM THE FACT THAT THE
WORLD WILL ALWAYS NEED, AND INCREASINGLY NEED, WHAT
YOU PRODUCE. DEPENDABLE LONG-TERM MARKETS ARE THE KEY
TO YOUR1 PROSPERITY. No GOVERNMENT HAS WORKED HARDER
TO SECURE THOSE MARKETS AND DEVELOP THE INTERNATIONAL.
GOODWILL ON WHICH TRADE DEPENDS. BEING A GR AT TRADING
. NATION BRINGS OBLIGATIONS AS WELL AS BENEFITS. WE HAVE TO
BE SURE THAT IN PROTECTING OUR LOCAL INDUSTRIES WE DON'T
HARM OUR PROSPECTS AS AN EXPORTER OF FOOD OR RAW MATERIALS.
THESE ARE DIFFICULT DECISIONS, COMPLEX DECISIONS; BUT
SUCH DECISIONS ARE THE STUFF OF MODERN GOVERNMENT. IT IS
NOT EASY TO SAFEGUARD LIVING STANDARDS AND PRESERVE JOBS
IN A WORLD OF INFLATION AND'UNEMPLOYMENT. WE NEED COOL
JUDGMENT, A STEADY NERVE, A BALANCED AND RATIONAL SYSTEM OF
PRIORITIES. WE DON'T BELIEVE IN SHORT-TERM, PATCH-UP MEASUR~ ES
TO HELP THE FARMING COMMUNITY. WE WANT TO GET TO THE ROOTS
OF YOUR DIFFICULTIES. THAT'S WHY WE ESTABLISHED THE
INDUSTRIES ASSISTANCE COMMISSION TO GIVE EXPERT ADIVCE ON
THE PROBLEMS OR ANY INDUSTRY, PRIMARY OF SECONDARY, AND TO
RECOMMEND HELP AS NEEDED. THAT'S WHY WE CALLED FOR AN
EXPERT GREEN* PAPER INTO RURAL INDUSTRY THE MOST THOROUGH
INVESTIGATION OF FARMERS'I NEEDS AND PROBLEMS EVER MADE IN
AUSTRALIA. THAT'S WHY WE ARE STUDYING THE WHOLE QUESTION
OF FLUCTUATING RURAL INCOMES TO GIVE FARMERS A MORE
STABLE AND ASSURED EXPECTATION OF INCOME OVER A LONGER
TERM AND REMOVE MUCH OF THE HARDSHIP AND UNCERTAINTY OF
RURAL LIFE. ea. 17

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I CONGRATULATE THE ORGANISERS OF THIS SHOW. IT IS
AN INSPIRATION TO SEE THE WORK OF A VIGOROUS AND BUOYANT
RURAL COMMUNITY, TO SHARE THE OPTIMISM AND HOSPITALITY
OF COUNTRY PEOPLE. I WISH YOU WELL IN YOUR EFFORTS TO
DEVELOP THE AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL POTENTIAL OF YOUR
DISTRICT AND ASSURE YOU OF THE GOVERNMENT'S SUPPORT. I
HAVE PLEASURE IN DECLARING OPEN THE NEPEAN DISTRICT
AGRICULTURAL, HORTICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY'S
ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW.

Transcript 3619