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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3778

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY (NEW SOUTH WALES) STATE CONFERENCE - ADDRESS BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR EG WHITLAM QC MP, 14 JUNE 1975, SYDNEY NSW

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: 14/06/1975

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 3778

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NOTES ORY
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY NEW SOUTH 14ALES BRANCH
* STATE CONFERECE
ADDRESS BY THE PRIME MINISTER,
flR E, G. W! IHITLAM, C PA.. 1 41-4, JUP1 E 1975 SYD[ IEY-N; S'; 1J',
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I THE HISTORY OF THIS PARTY IS THE RECORD OF THE EFFORTS
OF OUR OPPONENTS TO DIVIDE US, OUR SUCCESSES ARE
MEASURED BY OUR SUCCESS IN RESISTING THOSE EFFORTS,
OUR FAILURES AND DISASTERS ARE THE STORY OF HOW
WE HAVE SUCCUMBED TO THOSE ATTEMPTS. THOSE EFFORTS
TO DIVIDE . THIS PARTY HAVE ONLY SUCCEEDED WHEN
THE PARTY ITSELF CHOSE TO DIVIDE WHEN ONE GROUP OR
SECTION OR FACTION WITHIN THE PARTY BELIEVED THAT
IT COULD PROMOTE ITS IMMEDIATE, ITS SHORT TERM INTEREST,
THROUGH A DIVIDED, A. WEAKENED PARTY.
SINCE WE WERE ELECTED TO OFFICE TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO,
SSINCE WE WERE RE-ELECTED TO OFFICE JUST OVER ONE
YEAR AGO,. THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR GOVERNMENT HAS HELD
STEADFASTLY TO ONE OBJECTIVE,
WHAT IS THAT OBJECTIVE? THE OBJECTIVE HAS BEEN TO
FULFIL THE POLICY OF THIS PARTY, THE POLICY GIVEN
TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE AND ACCEPTED BY THEM IN 1972,
THE POLICY GIVEN TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE AND
REAFFIRMED BY THEM IN 1974,
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WHEN THE PEOPLE ELECTED US IN 1972, WHEN THE
PEOPLE REAFFIRMED US IN OFFICE IN 1974, THEY VOTED
FOR OUR PROGRAM, THE PROGRAM AS THEY KNEW IT TO BE,
AS IT WAS PRESENTEDIN 1972 AND AGAIN IN 1974.
THERE ARE MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE PROGRAM.
. MOUNTED AGAINST THIS PROGRAM IS A CAMPAIGN OF HOSTILITY
UNPARALLELED IN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY. THE HOSTILITY
SIS UNPARALLELED BECAUSE NEVER BEFORE IN AUSTRALIAN
HISTORY HAVE SO MANY VESTED INTERESTS BEEN TAKEN ON
AT ONE TIME, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE ENTRENCHED,
. THE POWERFUL, THE HIGHLY PRIVILEGED HAVE FOUND THAT
THEIR DEMANDS ARE NOT ACCORDED THE NUMBER ONE
PRIORITY WHICH THEY BELIEVE IS THEIR INHERENT RIGHT.
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I CAN ACCEPT ALL THE GROUCHES AND THE GRIPES
AND'THE COMPLAINTS'OF ALL THOSE OLD ESTABLISHED
INTERESTS WHO BELIEVE THEY ARE NOT DOING
PARTICULARLY WELL OUT OF A LABOR GOVERNMENT. IN
CANBERRAI* IIT ' S ADIFFERENT MATTER WIHEN IT COMES TO
RESISTANCE TO THE PROGRAM WITHIN THE LABOR
4 MOVEMENT, -THIS IS A TIME WHEN THE LABOR
MOVEMENT HAS TO THINK VERY CLEARLY ABOUT
THE DIRECTION IT IS GOING TO TAKE,
IT IS A MISTAKE FOR ANY UNION TO BELIEVE THAT
-ITS OWN MUSCLE POWER IS AN EFFECTIVE SUBSTITUTE .4
FOR CONCERTED GOVERNMENT ACTION TO PROMOTE
REAL EQUALITY AND RAISE REAL STANDARDS&
; IT IS A MISTAKE'FOR ANY'STATE MEMBER TO BELIEVE
THAT THE WAY . TO POPULARITY OR POWER IS TO
JOIN IN THE CHORUS AGAINST THE LABOR GOVERNMENT
IN CABERR S. .4
IT IS OUR BOAST THAT WE ARE THE ONLY TRUE
NATIONAL PARTY IN AUSTRALIA. -WE CANNOT BLAME THE
PEOPLE IF THEY TAKE US AT OUR WORD AND AT OUR OWN
VALUATION. .4 .4%
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-THE STRENGTH OF THE NATIONAL PARTY IS THE
. STRENGTH OF EACH SECTION OF THE ENTIRE PARTY.
THERE IS A MYTH THAT STATE PARTIES COULD PROSPER
IF THENATIONAL GOVERNMENT WERE DEFEATED,
THERE IS-A MYTH THAT IF YOU KNOCK THE LABOR
GOVERNMENT IN CANBERRA YOU WILL GET KUDOS
SFOR LABOR IN BRISBANE, OR SYDNEY OR MELBOURNE.
YOU WILL NOT,
. OUR OPPONENTS WILL ALWAYS DO THAT SORT OF THING
-SO MUCH BETTER. IT IS ONE OF THE GREAT MYTHS
THAT A STATE LABOR POLITICIAN, WHOEVER HE BE,
WILL GET GOOD MARKS BY KNOCKING A FEDERAL LABOR
GOVERNMENT, IF LABOR IS NOT NATIONALLY CREDIBLE, IS IT
TO BE THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT THAT IT CAN BE.
S CREDIBLE ON A STATE BASIS?
THERE IS NO POINT,
LIBERAL GAME THE NO DIVIDEND, IN PLAYING THE
OLD GAME OF DIVIDE AND RULE... r

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LET ME SAY VERY CLEARLY WHAT THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR
GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT, IT IS ABOUT THE FULFILLMENT
OF THE POLICY OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
. AS PROMISED TO THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA,
i WE HEAR A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE UNPREDICTABILITY
OF THE GOVERNMENT IN CANBERRA. THE REAL OBJECTION
IS THAT THIS GOVERNMENT IS ALL TOO PREDICTABLE,
-EVERYTHING. THAT WE HAVE TRIED TO DO, OR ARE DOING,
WAS IN THOSE POLICY SPEECHES.
IT MAY BE TRUE THAT IN 1972 SOME SUPPORTED US
ON THE GROUNDS THAT WE WERE NOT SERIOUS OR SINCERE
SOR INTENT UPON APPLYING OUR POLICIES, IT MAY BE
THAT SOME MISTOOK THE PROGRAM FOR MERE WINDOW-DRESSING,
IT MAY BE THAT SOME THOUGHT THAT ONCE WE GOT INTO
GOVERNMENT WE WOULD TAKE UP THE NORMAL POSITION
OF PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT OF CYNICISM, OF BETRAYAL.
WHAT HAS HORRIFIED SO MANY OF THE WELL-ESTABLISHED,
SO MANY OF THE POWERFUL, SO MANY OF THE PRIVILEGED
IN AUSTRALIA IS THAT WE HAVE ACTUALLY SET ABOUT DOING
THOSE THINGS WHICH WE SAID WE WOULD DO AND WHICH
WE PROMISED TO THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA THAT WE
WOULD DO,

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ADHER IUTOT HSE PLEDGES, AGAIN I KEPEA
IT IS NOT THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF THIS GOVERNMENT
AND OF THIS PARTY-TO WHICH OUR OPPONENTS OBJECT,
BUT OUR PREDICTABILITY THE FACT THAT WE HAVE TRIED
TO ABIDE BY OUR UNDERTAKINGS. IT IS OUR
SERIOUSNESS, OUR SINCERITY TO WHICH THEY OBJECT. TA.
WE INHERITEi-A GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS A JOKE;
TESE GREAT AND POWERFUL PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT ALL
GOVERNMENT WAS A JOKE; SO THEY TOOK OUR POLICY
FCR JUST ANOTHER SORT OF JOKE.
THEY FORGOT THAT THERE WERE MEN AND WOMEN IN:
' AUSTRALIA, THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE AUSTRALIAN
LABOR PARTY) WHO MIGHT BE SERIOUS SERIOUS
Ifl THEIR TASK, SER-IOUS IN THEIR PROMISES AND
PLEDGES TO THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA AT AN ELECTION.
So WHAT WE HAVE DONE-FROM DECEMBER 1972
UNTIL THIS DAY IS TO TRY TO KEEP THOSE PROMISES,

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AND LET IT BE VERY CLEAR THAT THE PRINCIPLE
SOBJECTIVE REMAINS AS I STATED IT IN NOVEMBER 1972
TO PROMOTE EQUALITY. IF YOU LOOK AT EVERYTHING
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t' DEMOCRATIC WORLD, SOUGHT TO PROMOTE EQUALITY, t..
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THIS GOVERNMENT HAS DONE, YOU WILL SEE THAT THAT
HAS BEEN ITS ABIDING AIM TO PROMOTE EQUALITY,
I EMPHASISE " TO PROMOTE EQUALITY" NOT TO
IMPOSE EQUALITY,:' WE HAVE IN A QUITE UNIQUE WAY'
IN THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA AND PERHAPS IN THE
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IN A SOCIETY SUCH AS OURS, EQUALITY, BOTH EQUALITY OF
OPPORTUNITY AND EQUALITY-OF RESULTS IS NOT GOING TO
BE DETERMINED SOLELY OR EVEN MAINLY BY EQUALITY OF
INCOME. THE FIRST AIM MUST BE GREATER EQUALITY OF
BASIC SERVICES,. THE SERVICES WHICH THE COMMUNITY ALONE
CAN PROVIDE IN A MODERN SOCIETY AND THROUGH GREATER
EQUALITY BETWEEN REGIONS. THE GREAT INEQUALITIES
IN AUSTRALIA ARE NOW NOT AS BETWEEN STATES, BUT AS
BETWEEN REGIONS WITHIN STATES. INCREASINGLY, A
FAMILY'S STANDARD OF LIVING, THEIR OPPORTUNITIES FOR
DECENT HEALTH, DECENT SCHOOLS, DECENT TRANSPORT,
DECENT ENVIRONMENT, ARE DETERMINED NOT SO MUCH BY THEIR
INCOME, BUT BY WHERE THEY LIVE,
EXT WEEK, AT THE PREMIERS' CONFERENCE, WE WILL HEAR
A GREAT DEAL ABOUT A BETTER DEAL FOR THE STATES,
WE ARE PERFECTLY PREPARED TO PROVIDE A FAIR DEAL
NOT ON THE BASIS OF DIVIDING AUSTRALIA INTO SIX
COMPETING, CONFLICTING COMPARTMENTS OR SEVEN COMPETING
CONFLICTING GOVERNMENTS, BUT ON THE BASIS THAT ALL
THE GOVERNMENTS SHARE THE SAME PROBLEMS AND SHARE THE
SAME RESPONSIBILITY. 1
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THOSE PROBLEMS CANNOT BE SOLVED JUST BY HANDING OUT
A FEW MORE MILLIONS OF THE AUSTRALIAN TAXPAYERS'
MONEY, WE HAVE TO FIND PERMANENT SOLUTIONS WHICH
MAKE FOR BETTER SERVICES AND A MORE EFFICIENT ALLOCATION
OF THE NATION'S RESOURCES, THE APPROACH IE HAVE
ADOPTED EVER SINCE WE CAME INTO GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN
TO TRY TO RELIEVE THE STATES OF SOME OF THE CHRONIC
BURDENS ON THEIR BUDGETS AND FREE THEM TO USE
THEIR RESOURCES MORE CONSTRUCTIVELY AND EFFECTIVELY.
IN THOSE AREAS WHERE STATE GOVERNMENTS ARE PROPERLY
PARAMOUNT,
THE LIBERAL APPROACH OFFERS NO LASTING SOLUTION,
THAT APPROACH IS TO LEAVE THE BASIC STRUCTURES
UNCHANGED,/ TO KEEP THE ARRANGEMENTS ABOUT FUNCTIONS
AS THEY ARE AND TO HOPE THAT THE EXISTING SYSTEM
CAN CONTINUE TO CREAK ALONG BY THE APPLICATION OF
A BIT MORE OF THE TAXPAYERS' MONEY, IN EFFECT
* THE LIBERALS ASK THE TAXPAYERS TO SUBSIDISE THE
INEFFICIENCIES AND INEQUALITIES OF EXISTING ARRANGEMENTS
AND TO MAKE GOOD THE LOSSES WHICH THOSE ARRANGEMENTS
MAKE INEVITABLE, THAT IS THE APPROACH OF THE LIBERAL
PREMIERS. IT ISN'T OUR APPROACH AND IT SHOULD NOT
BE THE APPROACH OF ANY SECTION OF THE PARTY. ii I
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TWO GREAT DRAINS ON THE STATE BUDGETS ARE RAILWAYS
SAND HOSPITALS.,
IN NEW SOUTH WALES WE HAVE THE SITUATION IN BOTH
THOSE AREAS OF MOUNTING LOSSES AND DECLINING SERVICES.
' YET OUR EFFORTS TO HELP THE STATE GOVERNMENT
AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO HELP THE AUSTRALIANS
WHO LIVE IN NEW SOUTH WALES GET BETTER SERVICES,
:' MORE FAIRLY FINANCED, HAVE BEEN REJECTED OR
. OBSTRUCTED.
TOMORROW I SHALL BE ADDRESSSING THE SOUTH
AUSTRALIAN CONVENTION OF THE PARTY.
I SHALL BE ABLE TO DRAW A GREAT CONTRAST BETWEEN
"-' THE CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO LABOR GOVERNMENTS
IN CANBERRA AND ADELAIDE AS AGAINST THE
OBSTRUCTIONISM OF THE NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT, I
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S/ -t IN TERMS OF SHEER POLITICS, DON'T FORGET THAT THE
NIEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT IS SHOWN BY THE POLLS TO
BE THE MOST UNPOPULAR OF THE STATE GOVERNMENTS,
S" AND THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LABOR GOVERNMENT IS FAR AND
AWAY THE MOST POPULAR..
' KNOCKING CANBERRA HAS NOT PAID OFF FOR MR LEWIS.
IF IT WON'T WORK FOR AN ANTI-LABOR GOVERNMENT, IT'S
NOT GOING TO WORK FOR ANY SECTION OF OUR OWN PARTY,
THE OBSTRUCTION FROM NEW SOUTH WALES RANGES FROM PETTY
CUSSEDNESS ON LITTLE MATTERS, TO GROSS IRRESPONSIBILITY
. ON GREAT MATTERS, THERE ARE THINGS LIKE THE REFUSAL
TO LET A NEW SOUTH WALES OFFICIAL TRAVEL ON A CULTURAL
MISSION TO CHINA, OR THE REFUSAL TO LET AN OFFICIAL
: ATTEND A MEETING OF A SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE INTERIM
COMMITTEE FOR THE CHILDREN'S COMMISSION.
BUT THE TWO GREAT MATTERS, IN TERMS OF THEIR EFFECT
ON THE PEOPLE AND THEIR POTENTIAL EFFECT ON THE STATE'S
FINANCIAL POSITION ARE HOSPITALS AND RAILWAYS. THERE
AGAIN, MARK THE CONTRAST WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIA, _. 1
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-; 7 LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE OF THE STORY OF OUR PROPOSAL
TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE NEW SOUTH WALES
RAILWAYS. IT WAS AN OFFER MADE IN THE POLICY SPEECH
OF 1972, IN FEBRUARY 1973 I WROTE TO SIR ROBERT
ASKIN CONFIRMING THAT PROMISE, IN MARCH HE
AGREED TO OFFICIAL DISCUSSIONS, WITHOUT PRIOR
COMMITMENT, TO CLARIFY THE ISSUES INVOLVED IN SUCH
A TRANSFER. ' WHEN MR LEWIS BECAME PREMIER, HE
BROKE OFF THOSE DISCUSSIONS. THEY HAD BEEN
FRUITFUL AND CONGENIAL BUT HE BROKE THEM OFF.
IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, WE REACHED AGREEMENT FOR THE
TRANSFER LAST YEAR. THE CONTRASTING RESULT
IS THAT SOUTH AUSTRALIA SAVES $ 10 MILLION
A YEAR AND NEW SOUTH WALES CONTINUES TO HAVE TO
BEAR AN $ 80 . MILLION ANNUAL LOSS ON ITS RAILWAYS, o.

JUST BEAR THAT IN MIND NEXT WEEK WHEN MR LEWIS
SQUAWKS ABOUT SO-CALLED CENTRALISM IN CANBERRA
AND CANBERRA'S ALLEGED NEGLECT OF THE STATES.
THERE'S NOTHING PARTICULARLY " CENTRALIST" ABOUT
NATIONALLY-OPERATED RAILWAYS IT'S HARDLY
A MATTER OF PHILOSOPHY ITS JUST COMMONSENSE.
IN EVERY OTHER FEDERAL SYSTEM IN THE WORLD,
RAILWAYS ARE RUN NATIONALLY,
OUR RATIONAL APPROACH IS SHARED BY OUR PARTNERS
IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, THE SAME OPPORTUNITY
FOR BETTER SERVICES, FOR FAIRER AND SOUNDER
FINANCES, IS THERE FOR NEW SOUTH WALES. THE
PARTY HERE SHOULD SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
SUPPORT OUR INITIATIVES, IT OFFERS A POSITIVE
APPROACH TO THE QUESTION OF FEDERAL-STATE
FINANCIAL RELATIONS, A WAY THROUGH THE CARPING
AND CONFRONTATION WHICH IS THE ESSENCE OF
OUR OPPONENT'S APPROACH.
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THE NEW SOUTH W'ALES GOVERNMENT'S RECORD ON HOSPITALS
SIS EQUALLY OBSTRUCTIVE, A LITTLE MORE THAN A MONTH
BEFORE MEDIBANK WAS SCHEDULED TO COME INTO OPERATION
!. ON THE 1ST JULY, AFTER MONTHS OF NEGOTIATIONS,
MR LEWIS CAME UP WITH A NEW SET OF PROPOSALS THAT
WOULD STRIKE AT THE FOUNDATION OF OUR HOSPITAL PROGRAM.
IN PARTICULAR, THE NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT IS TRYING
TO SABOTAGE THE BASIC PRINCIPLE. THAT ANY PERSON IN
NEED OF HOSPITAL TREATMENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO RECEIVE THE
BEST AVAILABLE TREATMENT FREE OF COST AND FREE OF
CONTRIBUTION TO A MEDICAL FUND, THE NEW SOUTH WALES
GOVERNMENT HAS RESORTED TO A VERY EXTENSIVE PROPAGANDA
CAMPAIGN TO JUSTIFY THIS SABOTAGE.
" THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY ASPECT OF THIS CAMPAIGN AND
MOST OF THE CAMPAIGNS WAGED BY OPPONENTS OF OUR
PROGRAM IS THAT THEY ALL RELY ON THE IDEA THAT THE
SAUSTRALIAN PUBLIC KNOWS NOTHING AND REMEMBERS NOTHING.
NEW TERRORS ARE DRUMMED UP TO CONDEMN PROPOSALS WHfCH
ARE IN FACT VERY FAMILIAR TO THE PEOPLE. i
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FOR INSTANCE, WHY SHOULD A PUBLIC LONG ACCUSTOMED
TO STATE GOVERNMENT INSURANCE OFFICES BE TERRIFIED AT
THE PROSPECT OF AN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INSURANCE
CORPORATION? FOR ALL THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
DOLLARS SPENT ON THAT CAMPAIGN, IDON'T BELIEVE THE
AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE WERE A BIT IMPRESSED.
THE CAMPAIGN DIDN'T GET OFF THE GR OUND,
NCW THERE 13 THIS LAST MINUTE ATTEMPT TO SABOTAGE
fIEDIBANK, THE PLAIN FACT IS THAT AS FAR AS
HOSPITAL BEDS A"-RE CONCERNED, OUR PROGRAM WILL SIMPLY
RE-ESTABLISH WHAT EXISTED AND WORKED VERY SATISFACTORILY
UNDER THE CHIFLEY GOVERNMENT -THE PROVISION OF FREE
HOSPITAL TREATMENT IN PUBLIC WARDS,, FUNDED ON A
50-50 BASIS BETWEEN THE FEDERAL AND THE STATE GOVERNMENTS.

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I SAID BEFORE THAT THE GREAT THRUST OF OUR PROGRAM IS
TO PROMOTE EQUALITY IN MATTERS LIKE SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS
AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT, WE ARE STRIVING FOR SOCIAL
EQUALITY. EQUALLY FUNDAMENTAL IS THE STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL EQUALITY.
IT IS EXTRAORDINARY HOW WE STILL ACCEPT THE DENIAL OF
THIS BASIC RIGHT, A RIGHT WHICH HAS BEEN PART OF THE
DEMOCRATIC RHETORIC FOR A CENTURY OR MORE YET
-NEVER TRANSLATED INTO REALITY IN AUSTRALIA. IT IS
EXTRAORDINARY HOW EVEN PEOPLE IN OUR OWN PARTY FAIL
TO BE INCENSED BY THIS DENIAL, I
TWO WEEKS AGO THE SENATE AGAIN REJECTED THE NEW
REDISTRIBUTION A REDISTRIBUTION WHICH ON ANY GROUND
IS THE FAIREST EVERY PRESENTED TO ANY AUSTRALIAN
PARLIAMENT.
WE HAD TWO DEBATES ON THE REDISTRIBUTIONn FIRST WE
SUBMITTED THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONERS' PROPOSALS TO
THE PARLIAMENT. WHEN THEY WERE REJECTED WE SUBMITTED
THEM IN THE FORM OF BILLS. BOTH THE PROPOSALS AND THE
BILLS ARE DESIGNED TO EFFECTUATE THE LAW OF THE LAND
A LAW ESTABLISHED AT THE JOINT SITTING OF BOTH HOUSES
OF THE PARLIAMENT LAST AUGUST. THE LAW-SAYS THE NUMBERS
OF VOTERS IN EACH ELECTORATE WITHIN A STATE SHALL NOT
VARY BY MORE THAN 10% ABOVE OR BELOW THE QUOTA IN THAT
STATE,'
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IN BOTH THE DEBATES, NO SENIOR LIBERAL INTERVENED.
THE LEAqERS LEFT IT UP TO THE MEMBER FOR BENNELONG
NO A HOUSEHOLD WORD TO ARGUE THEIR CASE, SUCH
S-AS .: IT WAS, AND NO WONDER. HOW COULD MR FRASER
JUSTIFY TO HIS OWN SUPPORTERS THAT THEIR VOTE IN
MITCHELL IS TO BE WORTH HALF THAT OF A PERSON VOTING
SIN DARLING? . THAT ILLUSTRATES THE REAL POINT ABOUT
ANY ELECTION HELD ON THE EXISTING BOUNDARIES.
. THERE IS NO PENALTY FOR LABOR VOTERS AS AGAINST LIBERAL
VOTERS; . THE PENALTY IS SPREAD INDISCRIMINATELY. ON
SLABOR AND LIBERAL VOTERS ALIKE IF THEY HAVE. THE-.
SMISFORTUNE TO LIVE IN THE PLACES WHERE MOST AUSTRALIANS,
LIBERAL OR LABOR, LIVE.
THROUGHOUT THE DEBATES THERE WAS NEVER ANY SUGGESTION
THAT THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONERS HAD NOT DONE A
SCRUPULCUSLY FAIR JOB, IN EACH STATE THE COMMISSIONERS
BENT OVER BACKWARDS TO BE FAIR, THE OBJECTION TO THEIR
WORK WAS THAT THEY ADHERED TO THE LAW OF THE LAND, AS
THEY WERE DUTY BOUND TO DO, THE OBJECTION TO THE
REDISTRIBUTION WAS NOT ON ANY GROUNDS OF FAIRNESS . IT
WAS AN OBJECTION TO ANY REDISTRIBUTION AT ALL. i I

THE FATE OF THE REDISTRIBUTION PROPOSALS IS THE CLASSIC
EXAMPLE OF HOW A VERY SMALL BUT VERY VOCAL PRESSURE GROUP
CAN SET ASIDE THE CLEAR WILL AND INTERESTS OF THE MAJORITY,
IN THIS CASE ALREADY'EMBODIED IN THE LAW OF THE LAND.
THE COUNTRY PARTY MADE ALL THE RUNNING AND WAS. ABLE TO
GET ITS WAY EVEN THOUGH THE LIBERAL PARTY IS EVERY BIT
AS MUCH A VICTIM OF THE PRESENT MALAPPORTIONMENT AS THE
LABOR PARTY.
WE HAVE TO REMEMBER HOWEVER THAT A GREAT DEAL OF OUR
PROGRAM IS THREATENED IN THE SAME WAY THE OPPONENTS ARE
POWERFUL, WELL-ORGANISED ENTRENCHED; THE BENEFICIARIES
ARE IN GENERAL NOT SO WELL ORGANISED, SO ARTICULATE,
THEREFORE WE HAVE TO BE THE SPOKESMEN, NOT JUST IN
OUR OWN CAUSE, BUT IN THEIR CAUSE,
TAKE THE CASE OF THE HIGH COURT CHALLENGE SPONSORED BY
THE NEW SOUTH WALES AND VICTORIAN GOVERNMENTS AGAINST
THE CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY OF THE AUSTRALIAN ASSISTANCE
PLAN AND THE REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT SCHEME.
SOME 60 SPECIFIC PROGRAMS ARE IMPERILLED BY THE CHALLENGE.
WHAT EACH HAS IN COMMON IS THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED TO
BENEFIT THE WEAK AND UNDERPRIVILEGED IN THE COMMUNITY
THE OLD, THE HANDICAPPED, ABORIGINES, MIGRANTS.

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STATE PERMIERS HAVE A READY MADE FORUM IN THE CAPITAL
CITY-BASED NEWSPAPERS. THE PEOPLE ON WHOSE BEHALF
WE ACT, DO NOT HAVE ANY SUCH VOICE. IF WE DON'T SPEAK
UP FOR THEM, NO ONE ELSE WILL, IF WE DON'T SUPPORT
AND DEFEND OUR OWN PROGRAM, NO-ONE ELSE WILL.
THE INSURANCE OFFICES ARE WELL-ORGANISED, POLICY HOLDERS
ARE NOT. THE AMA, IS ARTICULATE. THE MILLION
AUSTRALIANS WHO CANNOT AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE ARE NOT,
WE HAVE IN OUR'RANKS MANY OF THE MOST ARTICULATE PEOPLE
IN AUSTRALIA. IT IS OUR DUTY TO MOBILISE OUR
OWN RESOURCES AND TALENTS IN DEFENCE OF THE PROGRAM. I

Transcript 3778