PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4537

LORD MAYOR'S DINNER, MELBOURNE, 9 NOVEMBER 1977

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/11/1977

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4537

PRIME MINISTER
FOR PRESS 9 NOVEN3ER 1977
LORD 1dAYOR'S DINNER. IMIELBOURNET,
I am delighted to be here in Melbourne this evening. I am
afraid Melbourne is going to have to put up with Fraser and
a few more of his speeches over the next few weeks. You
have probably heard that there is some strange event, something
we call " the campaign" in the air. This is a sort of political
Moomba where politicians all get together and have fun. My
Lord Mayor, we don't fight these events with the same style and
gusto of candidates who seek your office. It is just a nice,
gentle, three weeks.
Tamie and I both share delight in the fact that women are here
tonight not as a privilege but as a right. Lord Mayor and
Councillors, you are to be congratulated for making a move,
which dare I say it is long overdue.
The campaign is officially a little way off, so I will not worry
you with talk of implicit deflators, VDRs, 143s and underlying
trends* I want instead to speak for a few minutes about Australia about
the opportunities that we can grasp.
At this banquet, last year, I spoke about the challenges facing
Australia the challenges arising from economic difficulty and
inevitable social change. There is no doubt in my mind that we
are responding as a nation to that challenge. Wfe have all come
to accept that our country's resources are limited.
Vie cannot just keep printing money without huge costs to the
nation and to families everywhere.. The Government has spoken
often about what economists call " reigning in the public sector"
and " transferring resources to the private sector". I know this
is dreadful jargon but I think the point behind the jargon is
getting across. We talked about these issues and -took actionbecause
as a national Government we had no alternative. We had
been faced with difficult decisions, particularly in the complex
area of the economy.
We faced up to them even if many of our decisions were regarded
by the scribes as unhelpful to what they call the Government's
" image"
Looking back, there is no doubt that those tough decisions were
in the interests of all Australians. They had to be made.

-2-
I have never sought to head a Government or a Party that was
not prepared to take decisions necessary for the good government
of Australia. With the requests that come to Government and
the resources available to Government, there are more occasions to I
on which a Government must responsibly say " no" than say yes
People sometimes suggest that this is a handicap. They fear
and expect an adverse reaction from the community.
I think that is a very odd view to take because I have complete
confidence in the good judgement and common sense of Australians.
They know what is possible. They know what is in the national
interest. They have infinitely greater capacity for sound
judgement than many people in the public arena care to admit.
With those decisions made, we can achieve our nation's potential,
we can achieve our nation's vast promise.
In Government the coalition that I lead has clearly defined
objectives for Australia. Can I put it this way. Government
is about people. Nations have no life but the life of their
people. I believe our national objective must be to enhance
the position of the individual. It must be to maximise a person's
capacity for making his or her own decisions.
There has been a tendency for Governments, because they have
ready access to financial resources or printing presses, to
suggest that all problems can be solvedi by spending money.
Such a Government encourages the worst in society. It creates
a selfish community.
It is necessary to understand that politicians have nothing
of their own to give when they make promises they are promising
something of yours: something that must be taken away from you
as a taxpayer and citizen. Clearly, individuals want there to
be a limit to the promises politicians make.
In the next couple of years, I believe Australia can become an
example to the world. We can show the world how a resolute
spirit and determination and team work can overcome extreme
economic problems. We can show the world how people fromn all
walks of life all colours, all creeds can inspire one
another to high achievement. We can show the world how a
concerned and caring community itself can enter the lives of
those people in need and al~ d dignity and hope where previouoly
there was none. We can show the world that we can play a leadinE
part in the developing of a safer world; of a less selfish world;
of a world that learns to use its natural resources as a force
for good and not for evil.
We can do this. It is within our grasp.
I have no doubt of the ability or willingness of our people
to play this role. We have an educated, aware, and intelligent
youth. We have a migrant population that is lifting our sights,
widening our horizons and expanding our appreciation of what life
can offer.

-3-
We have a nation of articulate, concerned and forward-thinking
women who will play a key part in our maturing as a nation.
We have energy, imagination, resources, inventiveness and
above all, we have a growing realisation that we are part of
a wider world community.
We are facing up to our obligations to our near neighbours in
Asia and the Pacific, and our responsibilities to our friends
around the globe. What Australia says and does is important
in world forums.
My Lord Mayor, powerful forces are at work for Australia.
They are forces for good for achievement, for prosperity.
They are forces that will take Australia into the eighties and
beyond with a real hope and confidence, and a real sense of
belonging to a nation that has become an example to the world.

Transcript 4537