PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4846


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: 12/10/1978

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4846

This is the first opportunity I have had to visit Nambour
as Prime Minister and I must say I am delighted to be here in the
heart of the Sunshine Coast. This area is, of course, one of
the major growing tourist centres in Australia with now over
one million visitors a year, and having enjoyed just last week
a few days of Queensland sunshine, I can well understand why
tourists are flocking here in such ers.
This fine modern building is a symbol of the dynamism and
development of this area. This district has become a
productive, thriving area because people have worked to make it so.
Further south, you can come across som-e sectional interests who
preach gloom and doom about Australia's future. But they
underestimate the drive and initiative of communities like this
throughout Australia, and if they are not convinced of that
simple truth, let them come to the Sunshine Coast to see for
The Federal Government has been able to add its help to the
growth of this area. The Government has significantly increased
funds for roads outside the metropolitan areas and this Shire
has benefitted from that policy.
The upgrading of the national road system connecting the largest
cities is entirely funded by the Commonwealth, and part of these
funds are being devoted to the further duplication of the Bruce
Highway north from Brisbane. But our road systems like so
many of the basic services we all enjoy are in most respects the
final responsibility of local municipal authorities.
It is vital that local government has access to the funds
recessary to carry out its tasks effectively. Local government
finances have been transformed in the past two years by the-
Government' s tax-sharing arrangements which guarantee a fixed
share of income tax revenue for local shires and municipalities. / 2

Such revenues are untied. Local government is free to set
its own priorities and spend the funds as it thinks best.
Furthermore, all councils share in these grants.
The scheme implemented by the previous government was highly
selective. In 1974/ 75 and 1975/ 76, llaroochy Shire did not
receive a single grant. Since the introduction of the new
tax sharing arrangements, the Shire has received a substantial
grant each year. This year it amounts to over $ 330,000.
Our Federalism policies have not only increased the financial
strength of local government. The status and recognition of local
governmient as an integral part of our Federal system has also
been enhanced, principally through local government representation
on the Advisory Council for Inter-government Relations which
met for the first time in June last year.
The Advisory Council is making a most valuable contribution
in improving coordination and cooperation between the Commonwealth,
State and local government, and Queensland is represented on
the Advisory Council by the Presient of the Local Government
Association of Queensland, Councillor Fred Rogers, who comes
from the Moreton Shire Council, not all that far from here.
I am particularly pleased to be able to open this new administration
building because it will not merely provide better facilities
for the staff and ratepayers of this Shire. It will also house
a new regional office for the Department of Social Security.
I know many of you have been urging successive governments for
years to site a regional office here, instead of servicing this
region from Brisbane. Now, at long last, a regional office with
a staff of over thirty will service the 60,000 permanent residents
of this region. This on-the-spot service should enable the
Department to provide a more effective and efficient service
and I would hope that this exercise in decentralisation can be
repeated elsewhere.
I congratulate everyone who has helped to make this building
a reality. I have much pleasure in declaring the Naroochy Shire
Council's new administration block officially open.

Transcript 4846