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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4590

HURSTVILLE RALLY, 8 DECEMBER 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: 08/12/1977

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4590

EMBARGO: 8.30 p. m.
FOR PRESS .8TH DECEMBER 1977
HURSTVILLE RALLY
on Saturday, a g reat decision has to be made, a decision about
our future, about the kind of life we want to lead, about the
kind of country we want to pass onto our children.
We must elect a government that meets the real needs, the real
aspirations of the Australian people, that will provide
Australians with the freedom to build the kind of life we
want, that will provide incentives to achieve and fair reward
for initiative, that will create opportunities and productive
jobs for our young people, that will give effective assistance
to the -poor and disadvantaged in ways that increase dignity
and self-respect, that will let our great country grow
and develop, bringing prosperity and a better life for all
Australians. There is only one choice, for only the Liberal Government has the
policies, the experience and the will to meet these needs, to
realise Australia's potential. Australia is poised to move into
the 80' s and beyond with a new found confidence, a new spirit,
a new sense of security, a-new sense-of national purpose.
We were elected to get this country back on its feet, to revive a
failing economy and restore to all Australians the prosperity which
we once knew. we were elected the cut the inflation we inherited.
tnflation is down to 9% and it's falling. We were elected to control
Government spending. We have halved Labor's $ 4,500 million deficit.
We were elected to break the-crippling burden of Labor's excessive
taxation. We have substantially cut the taxes of every Australian,
it's now worth working overtime again. Above all, we were elected
to get Australia moving again, and already we can see the results.
Industry is starting to invest again, our natural resources are being
opened up once more and there is new found confidence in our
manufacturing industry. $ 6,000 million dollars worth of investment
projects in mining, manufacturing, processing, retailing and
construction are under way or ready to go and many billions of
dollars more are in the pipeline.
Now our task is to work together-to ensure that we build on the
firm foundations we have laid. A bright future is before us, a
future which promises work and prosperity for all Australians. Under
a Liberal Government, we are ready to stride into a new era of
prosperity and development. 2/

. Our policies are demonstrably succeeding. We have the lonly
policies which will keep Australia growing. Policies that will
-guarantee Australia's development and the creation of new jobs.
We will push inflation down to between six and eight percent by
next June. We will keep industry investing. We will keep
interest rates falling down as much as two per cent over the next
twelve months. That's a saving of $ 520 a year, $ 10 a week to the
average young couple buying a new home.
Most importantly we will get unemployment down: investment that
means jobs, getting inflation down that means jobs, getting
interest rates down that means jobs.
Because of our prudence in Government spending, we can afford more.'
tax cuts for all Australian taxpayers. They will. start on the first
of February, just two months away. ' They will increase people's income
and inject $ 26.7 million a week into the economy.
Because we have reduced inflation the-tax cuts will create more
jobs. Because people can spend more our factories will : have to produce
more. There will be a demand for more employees. That is why, from
next February, unemployment will fall and keep on falling. We are
determined to foster Australian industry's new found vitality. This
Government buys Australian, not the cheapest foreigh-products
our predecessor favoured.
We will give export sales fresh impetus with a new five-year
export incentive scheme. We will provide special help to Australina
businesses competing for overseas projects. We will actively promote
more processing in Australia of our basic raw materials. To small
businessmen we will make finance more readily available. Unlike the
Labor Party, we are giving Australian industry, Australian jobs and
Australian workers, the protection they need.
We have increased protection for industries employing over a quarter
of a million Australian men and women. Our swift and effective
action has meant the survival of industries such as the apparel,
textiles, and footwear industries, industries employing 120,000.
Last week, the Labor Party refused point blank to support our
action. They turned their backs on 120,000 working Australians,
of whom are women,. and many of whom are migrants. It is Labor * that
-the---party -of -unemptloyment. I--ws-r. Wi--m who,. when-he-, was
Prime Minister, put tens of thousands of Australians out of work
through his notorious, indiscriminate 25% across the board tariff
cuts. He made unemployment a deliberate, calculated part of
Government policy. He went and cut tariffs,, despite the fact that he
was warned by a top level report that such a slash in tariffs would
throw tens of thousands out of work.
Now he wants to do it again. Labor's tariff policy would cause massi~ r
unemployment. Labor wants a " crash" spending programme that would
involve $ 800 million in six months. That's an annual rate of $ 1600
million a year. And they have other promises worth billions of
dollars they haven't even costed.
All this would more than double the deficit,' unleash inflation once
again, and increase interest rates. ThI's could only have one resul-t,
it would create more unemployment. 3/

Labor has said it would repeal our February first tax cuts and
tax indexation is under threat too. For a fortnight, Labor's
half dozen economic spokesmen have been in utter confusion and disarray
constantly contradicting each other over their Party's policy on tax
indexation. When the Shadow Treasurer, Mr. Hurford, was asked in
Cairns what Labor's policy was, he said he couldn't say, because he
had only read the " Cairns Post". He said he would be having a press
conference in a few days, and he'd make sure he'd read the major
city papers by then. He did read the papers, and he immediately
cancelled his press conference.
The new tax cuts which come in on February 1st are vital reforms. Thes
tax cuts are fair. People on average earnings of $ 10,000 a year
will pay a marginal rate of tax of only 32 cents in the dollar. Under
the Hayden scales it was 45 cents. From February 1st, it will be
32 cents right up to $ 16,000. These tax cuts are substantial. Over
of taxpayers will.. pay less than one quarter of their incomes in
tax. These tax cuts are a significant social reform. A quarter of a million
low income earners, tens of thousands of pensioners, widows, andII
students, with taxable incomes under $ 3,750 a year, will no longer pay
any tax at all.
Th ese are the people Labor forgot. To pay for abolition of payroll
tax, Labor would have to increase personal taxes by $ 850 million this
year, ,$ 1900 million next.
Only the present members of the Labor Party would seriously put forward
a plan to rip $ 850 million this year and $ 1900 million next year
out of the hands of the working men and women of Australia, and use it
to pay big and profitable companies.
No jobs would be created. The companies have said so. The working
men and women of Australia won't vote for this. They won't vote for
any of Labor's policy proposals. They will vote for the Government's
positive programmes which-meet theneeds of all Australians, and which
cut their taxes, not increase them.
Our tax reforms have not ended yet. All estates passing between
husband and wife, parent and child will be free of Federal Estate
and Gift Duty as from November 21st, the day of my policy speech.
Over -the, life-of-thene-xta rl iam nti, both these taxes will be
entirely abolished.

~ c
D . I -4-
' Ladies and Gentlemen, the Government's strategy to increase
jobs is working. Total employment has risen by 180,000 since
we came to office. Only through this Government will our
. industries fully recover and only through that. recovery can
we get unemployment down permanently.
That recovery is now underway. A new period of stability
S.' and fuller employment is within our grasp. It is an opportunity
that might-not come again for a very long time.
While our economic recovery is underway, we are helping those
looking for work to improve their skills, and thus be equipped
. to take new jobs as they arise.
Already over 120,000 people have been helped by our training
and job assistance schemes, and the number is steadily growing.
We are making sufficient money available to ensure that no-one
eligible for any. of these schemes will be turned away.
We have a constructive, comprehensive and coherent strategy
. to provide more jobs for more Australians. It is a strategy
which inspires confidence, not Labor's doom and gloom. It
is a strategy founded on the fundamental assertion that we
can make Australia grow and prosper again, and this is something
in which all Australians can share.
We will improve the quality of the essential services which
the Government provides; we will help the State railways
by upgrading-the National Mainline System; we will expand
existing programmes of support for urban transport. Sydney's
train and bus-services can benefit from this; we will join
the States in a National Water Resources Programme which will
boost city and country water supplies; a study will be made
of the sharing of electricity supplies in the south-east
Australian region; and we will provide a new deal for telephone
subscribers by reducing charges for off-peak long distance
telephone calls to 40% of the standard rate.
This Government offers Australia a return to prosperity, a
higher standard of living, a continuation of efficient,
consistent, coherent policies which have provided Australians
with a new hope and a better future. We will press ahead
with our programmes which are now so clearly succeeding.
We will keep this momentum in motion. That will keep Australia
on the move.
We have laid the framework for a real advance into the future
where Australia can be an example to the world: An economy
we can be proud of, social justice for all Australians, care
i : and-concern for the disadvantaged, and encouraging initiative
and rewarding achievement.
It has sometimes been a hard road getting to that point because
of what we had to deal with at the beginning. But our policies
are working.
On December 10 by voting for the Government you are voting for
a great Australia. My commitment to you tonight is that this
Government, the Liberal/ National Party Government, stands
:. ready to lead Australia to this better future.
7 7 7 7'

And Ladies and Gentlemen, there is one othaer thing-that Z wou: ld
like to say. In times of Politics, in times of elections,
there is a tendency to divide this great nation, and in politics
too often people seek to divide where they ought not. They
bring issues that should not be matters of Party political
debate into the political arena.
All Australians in the Federal Parliament, in the State
Parliament, in Local Government, Australians wherever they may
be, have a duty to reach out'. beyond the bounds of politics to
seek to understand and to define those issues that unite this
Australia as one people with a common purpose and common
objectives. -So that we may achieve a greater, a better, a
more just, a fairer society. so that Australia may be an
example of a free people united in common purpose, an example
for the world. w

Transcript 4590