PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4819


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: 14/09/1978

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4819

EMBARGO: 7.30 p. m.
On Saturday week, 23 September, the people of Liverpool,
Campbelltown, Green Valley, Ingleburn and Narellan have
a great opportunity. You have the opportunity to elect an
absolutely first class man as your Member for Werriwa
Bill Sadler. I know Bill is well-known to many here.
He has long been a leading member of this commiunity, an
Alderman of the Liverpool City Council, a former Deputy Mayor
of Liverpool, and a past editor of the Liverpool Leader and
the Liverpool Champion.
Bill and his wife, Kaye, and their three children have been
residents of Green Valley for the past 15 years. I have no
doubt Bill Sadler would make a fine representative for this
electorate in Canberra. He would be an effective voice in the
Government for your interests just as he has been fighting
for this area for the last 15 years. He would be effective
because he would not be just sitting on the Opposition
benches. As a member of the Government team, he would have
a direct influence on the Government of this country. No other
candidate in this by-election is in that position. Bill would
be having a direct say in your future.
As a member of the Government team he would be sharing in our
task of restoring full economic recovery, or renewing growth and
development in Australia, and of establishing stability,
security and prosperity in which we can all share.
We all know what Australia's potential is. We have the initiative,
the natural resources and the capacity to make Australia the great
country we know it can be, and we now have a government which can
maintain stability and progress through sensible and responsible
economic policies.
When we were first elected just two and a half years ago, our
job was to reverse Australia's downhill slide, to turn back the
alarming increase in inflation and to build a strong, healthy and
prosperous nation for all Australians. We all knew that
this would not be an easy task that tough and difficult
decisions would have to be made in the long-term interests of
this nation. We have taken on that responsibility, and already
Australia has come a long way towards achieving these goals. / 2

When we came to office inflation was 16 percent and more.
It is now under seven percent. When we came to office,
government spending was out of control. We have restored
responsibility to the management of your government's funds.
When we camne to office, taxation was increasing at an
appalling rate, removing any incentive to work harder or
achieve more. We have slashed taxation to such an extent
that this year even taking into account the temporary increase
in rates, Australians will pay $ 3,000 million less in personal
income tax than they would have paid if the 1975 Hayden tax scales
were still in force. When we came to office, the confidence
of the private sector and of overseas investors had been
shattered. We have worked hard to restore their confidence and
we are now seeing a sharp upturn in business investment.
In the recent Budget we have continued with our strategy to
put Australia's economy back on its feet. Because we have
acted responsibility, because we have kept the deficit down,
and because we have spent every dollar of your taxes carefully,
inflation is likely to be down to five percent or less before
this financial year is out.
A low inflation rate is vital to the future of every person here
tonight. Low inflation means that your savings are not eroded;
low inflation means that businessmen have a greater incentive
to invest in new projects, a greater incentive to create new
jobs for Australians; low inflation clears the way for a drop
in interest rates for home owners, for those of us who have
overdrafts, for businessmen, shopkeepers, and tradesmen.
Low inflation in Australia while inflation is increasing oversea. smeans
Australia can become more competitive in world markets.
Low inflation, through its boost to investment, exports and
business, throughout the country, means healthier private*
enterprise in Australia, and therefore more permanent, lasting
jobs for Australians. Our economic strategy is the only one
which will produce real jobs jobs that will last.
At the same time, we have been taking special steps to tackle
unemployment directly. We have introduced manpower programmes
particularly to assist young people. At the end of June 1978
there were six times as many people being trained under NEAT
as there were at the end of June 1975, and we have
changed NEAT to give a much greater emphasis to on. the job
training training more directly related to industries' needs.
Our programmes to assist young people include the introduction
of a Special Youth Employment and Training Programme.
More than 60,000 young people have already been assisted by this
programme since it was introduced in October 1976, and there are
another 40,000 people in training under the scheme at themoment.
A further 45,000 young people have been assisted under the
Community Youth Support Scheme. We have improved apprenticeship
support programmes, and allocated a greater share of education
resources to technical and further education.
We are improving the capacity of the Commonwealth Employment Servicto
serve people efficiently and promptly. 3

The combination of our economic strategy and our specific
programmes to help the unemployed offer the only real solution
to the problem of unemployment. Most people have concentrated
on the economic objectives of the Budget, but let's not forget
the great assistance this Budget gives to those in need.
Expenditure on key programmes for the aged, the handicapped, and
children has significantly increased. We have raised-spending
on aged, invalid and widows pensions and supporting parents
benefits by 11 percent. We have increased spending on pensioner
housing by 40 percent. Assistance to organisations providing
facilities for the handicapped is up 37 percent, and the
Handicapped Child's Allowance has been extended to students under
who do not receive an invalid pension. In the case of home
care for the aged, even though the subsidy rate has been varied
to meet greatly increased demand, total spending will increase
14 percent to over $ 10 million. That makes a rise of 83 percent
in home care for the aged in the last three Budgets.
We have also introduced new simplified health arrangements which
cover everyone against serious illness, and protect pensioners
and socially disadvantaged patients against all medical and
hospital fees. From 1 November, the Medibank levy will be
abolished. The Government will pay 40 percent of all scheduled
medical fees and 100 percent once the patient has paid
of the bill. Standard ward treatment in public hospitals will
be available free to all Australians, and pensioners and
the disadvantaged will all receive free medical treatment.
This scheme leaves maximum freedom of choice with the individual,
while at the same time providing complete cover for everyone
against serious illness, and meeting the whole of the health and
medical costs of those most in need.
We are also making the greatest initiative Australia has ever
undertaken to assist our ethnic communities, the people that
have contributed so much to Australian society. Migrants
to Australia have to face extreme psychological and social
stresses loneliness, homesickness, anxiety and, in many cases,
the frustration caused by language difficulties. They have to
cope with a completely new environment, different laws, different
customs. The government is making every effort to see that
the changing needs of migrants are met as effectively as possible,
and recently a review was completed of all programmes and
services for migrants arriving in Australia.
As a result, the government is setting up 16 centres to enable
newly arrived migrants to take part in full. time English and
orientation courses; spending an additional $ 10 million over three
years to teach English to migrant children; upgrading and increasing
English classes for adult migrants; extending the telephone
interpreter services; making more funds available to ethnic groups
and community organisations to employ their own welfare workers,
health workers, and people skilled in assisting their children and
the aged; and establishing a new Institute of multi-Cultural
Affairs to encourage the further growth of our multi-cultural society.

To meet all these new initiatives, the Government will be
spending an additional $ 50 million over the next three years.
These new mig-rant settlement services and improved English
language training will be of great significance for this
electorate. There are many other initiatives in the Budget which have
not gained publicity, but which are designed to increase the
growth and development of our great country. In the
face of these constructive and far sighted policies initiated
by the Government, it is appropriate to ask: What does the
Labor Party offer?
All year, the Labor Party has done everything except come
forward with new policies. They have whined and whinged and
utterly failed to concentrate on the fundamental issues that
really matter. Labor has put forward no constructive
alternative policies of their own. They have suffered an acute
case of policy constipation. They are a Party of no ideas,
no plans, no iriitatives and no hope.
Their problem is that the Australian people told them last December
in the clearest terms possible exactly what they thought of
Labor's negative no hope policies. Now the Labor Party has had
to set up an inquiry to work out where they are going.
All this has been too much for Mr Hayden. Last week he lamented
to some students at Melbourne University that the prospect of
the next decade " is almost terrifying". He said the 1980' s
was the " decade of despair". I can sympathise with Mr Hayden,
the 1980' s certainly will be a decade of despair for the Labor Part,.
The prospects for Australia's growth and development in the
under a Liberal Government are excellent. and the near certainty
of Labor's eclipse during the coming period of stability and
prosperity has driven Labor's leader to despair and desperation.
He has now come forward with a plan which he has bravely called
an " talternative Buc'aet". He would have us believe that his
so-called alternative contains some spark of new thinking by Labor.
A moment's analysis of this sad and desperate document shows
that it is nothing but a second serve of the same old recipe
for economic disaster that Labor concocted in its three years in
office: More public spending, bigger deficits, and more taxes
higher taxes, penal taxes, retrospective taxes, which would hurt
us all. Mr Hayden says he would have a deficit of $ 3.6 billion
a huge deficit in anyone's terms. But in fact the position
is far worse than that, for when his new revenue proposals are exam!-
in detail, it is clear they would raise only a fraction this
year of the amount he claims.
Labor's deficit would in fact be over $ 4.5 billion. * Such a deficit,
far from being the salvation of Australia, would cause lasting
damage, the very damage that the last Labor Government inflicted
on us all. It would accelerate inflation, it would force up interes.
rates: It would undermine our prospects for sustained growth,
and it would destory the confidence of domestic and overseas
investors in the Australian economy.

Mr Hayden's " alternative" contains an extraordinary collection
of tax increases. His solution to our need for further investment
in industry is to abolish the investment allowance altogether.
What is more, he would do it retrospectively, penalising
businessmen, large and small, who last year in good faith installed
new plant and equipment. Nr Hayden's solution to our oil
shortage is to confiscate $ 340 million from the oil companies
the very money they might otherwise be using for essential oil
exploration. His arithmetic is so brillant that he says he
could take $ 340 million from these companies, even though their
total expected after-tax profits this year will be only
$ 300 million.
Mr Hayden's solution for encouraging Australians to show more
enterprise and initiative is to resurrect the old socialist
chestnut of a capital gains tax, the very tax that Labor itself
abandoned in 1974. And just in case there are still a few people
who are still doing well despite all the other tax increases
he wants to impose, Mr Hayden wants to increase the tax rates
for all incomes over $ 25,000. He would raise the maximum
tax rate to 72 cents in the dollar. What a wonderful contribution
that would make to incentive, initiative and investment in this
Labor's problem is that it is motivated by the politics of envy.
It cannot abide success or achievement; it's solution for all
problems is to cut down anyone showing enterprise or achieving
success. This is not the path to a stronger, growing and
prosperous Australia. It is not a path which Australians will
ever accept.
It is high time the people of Werriwa had a representative who
could share in the task of making Australia the great country
we know it can be. The people of Werriwa need a man of
Bill Sadler's experience and compassionate understanding for
their problems. The people of Werriwa need to have a direct
say in the government of this country not just another voice
crying in the wilderness of the Opposition backbenches.
When you come to vote on Saturday week, I ask you to think carefully
about your future. Ladies and gentlemen, the choice in this
election is clear. Will you reject Labor's policies of futility
and fear or will you choose the Liberal Party's policies of growth
and confidence which are policies of success.
Our country is poised to move into a decisive decade. We area
nation of many cultures and many rich traditions. A nation to which
people from all over the world have contributed through a sense
of national unity, of purpose.
With a sense of determination by all Australians, we can build a
better life for everyone. We can achieve a quality of freedom
and of opportunity for individual Australians unequalled anywhere
in the world. We can build a society which meets the fundamental
needs and aspirations of the working men and women of Australia.
The people of Werriwa can help our country move towards that light
on the hill by making Bill Sadler part of the Liberal team in Canberra

Transcript 4819