PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4888

ADDRESS AT LORD MAYOR'S DINNER, MELBOURNE

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: 09/11/1978

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4888

L( 7
PRIME MINISTER
FOR PRESS 9 NOVEMBER 1978
ADDRESS AT LORD MAYOR'S DINNER, MELBOURNE
Last week in Melbourne a radio interviewer asked me if I had given
thought to retiring, he had that hopeful and rather optimistic
tone to his voice. I let him down gently. I made it clear that
day was some years off as much as I would love to go back to the
farm. He then asked if I would be writing a book you know.
" Fraser on Fraser" or something. On this occasion he had that
" I hope he doesn't do it" kind of tone to his voice. I was pleased
to be able to satisfy him.
What happened yesterday is history. What happened last week or
last year or 20 years ago cannot be altered. It is now part of
history and people can judge it as they wish. I'm more interested
in tomorrow, next week, next year. My interest is in the future
Australia's future.
In just over 400 days we enter a new decade a decade that promises
so much. What do the ' 80' s hold for our families, our friends,
this city and for our country? How are we placed, now, as a
nation to cope with the problems and challenges: how are
we placed to capitalise on the opportunities? Will the
be a " decade of despair", as some would have it or will it be
a decade of dreams fulfilled?
Today, in Australia at least, there is a new feeling, a new spirit
and a sense of expectation perhaps also a sense of relief that
we are through the worst of the recession. I share that optimism.
In every sense, we are uniquely placed to take advantage of the
challenge and promise of the next decade. In stockborkers' jargon
Fraser is " bullish".
Of course this hasn't been a good year for Fraser bulls.
Poor Franz's future snapped recently. But that set-back hasn't
dissuaded me about Australia in the 80' s. In many senses we
are still the lucky country. Our great natural resources are the envy
of nations around the world. We have the minerals the energy
supplies so desperately needed in an energy hungry and energy
short world. Our massive rural industries are supplying local and
world markets. Our wheat, sheep and beef are keenly sought on
the world marketplace.
We are developing a great multi-cultural society. Families from
all parts of the world are looking to Australia for new hope
a new homeland. They are contributing to our maturing as a nation,
they are adding to the character of this nation. / 2

Our technology and scientific expertise is grabbing
attention and respect in the hospitals, laboratories and
academies throughout the Europe and the Americas.
Interscan developed by the CSIRO will help make the world
airways safer. The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute under
Gus Nossal is playing a leading role in world cancer research.
The world is looking to Australian expertise in dry land and
grassland farming. The CSIRO in cooperation with industryhas
pioneered new techniques in wool production. As a result,
Australian machines have been sold in many markets overseas.
In the arts music, painting, writing Australians like
John Sutherland, Sidney Nolan, Robert Helpmann, and Morris West
are admired and respected everywhere. Australian ballet charms
and delighted audiences of the world.
There is no question that we have the people, the talent, the
capacity and the opportunity to make Australia unequalled among
the free nations. These are not just politician's words.
This challenge, this promise that the 80' s holds, is not some
unrealistic utopia. It's not pie-in-the-sky. Do we all have
a vision of Australia's future? Surely we all want an Australia
which is a country of growth and development, of prosperity arnd
enlightenment, of stability and security, or compassion and
effective help for those in need? Do we not want a country in
which there is unequalled freedom and opportunity for individual
Australians? It is in this way that we can have a more self reliant, more
caring, more responsible, more creative and more tolerant nation.
We are already on the way to realising this ideal. It is our
goal to build a vital economy, sure of its own strength,
developing through the capacity of its people.
Beating inflation killing the deadly effects of inflation
throughout society has been the key. The Treasury tells me
that we will achieve a five percent inflation rate before the
middle of next year. Think what this will do for Australian
industry for confidence. Australian companies are now selling
Australian-made products in some of the toughest overseas
markets and Australian products are respected in the great
market places of the world. We have entrepreneurs who have
used drive and initiat-ive to seek out new markets and produce
goods to meet those markets' needs.
How long is it since our companies could do that. Our manufacturers
are able to do it, because Australia has a more stable cost
base with inflation now below that of our trading partners.
A stable cost base gives confidence to industry, it allows
industry to plan ahead and invest with a certainty and predictability.
If some industries can do it more can. It is for Australian
enterprises to show the stuff they are made of. / 3

Australia's rural industries are now, for the first time in
maybe a decade, looking ahead wi ' th optimism. With costs
coming under control, our great wheat, beef, wool and
sheep industries are experiencing good markets together with
a good season at the one time. Too often we underestimate
what a strong rural economy can do for Australia. There can be
no permanent prosperity in our great cities, until there is
prosperity in the countryside. City and country are interdependent.
Not only are costs settling down, but interest rates are
falling. That's good news for every Australian for business,
for farmers, for home seekers. Inflation,' interest rates,
stability in policy from Canberra these are the keys to a
revival of confidence and development throughout Australia
Of course, the real productivity the real life of
Australia is private enterprise. The decisions of people in
industry in banking, retailing, manufacturing affect our
country's fortunes. The initiative of individuals is central to
how we grasp the opportunities of the 80' s. But Government also
has its place.
The historic decisions taken by the Commonwealth and every State
Government in Melbourne this week illustrate how Government and
industry in partnership can set up the guidelines for growth.
Great new power sources, upgraded export facilities, a great
world trade centre for this city these are the acts of
governments adding confidence upon confidence. In these conditions,
how can Australians have anything but confidence in the future
of our country.
But Government is more than economics, figures and indicators
it is about people and the place that people take in our society.
We must be concerned to protect the weak and the poor.
We must be concerned to help young Australians in the
transition from school to the workplace. We must be concerned
to create and promote a tolerant society for the well-being of
all irrespective of colour or race.
The Galbally Report on Migrant Services; family allowances;
training for the young; automatic pension increases;
unparalleled help for handicapped and aged; and channels to
protect people from unreasonable decisions by what are sometimes
regarded as all-pwerful bureaucracies these are the hallmarks
of concern and opportunity.
Let me ask just one thing of you that we do not pay mere
lip-service to the goals and aspirations we all share.
They are not simply abstract notions for speeches by Prime Ministers.
We need all of us to relate these goals to our everyday
lives. Can I suggest that this gathering of men and women in
Melbourne tonight is perhaps better placed than most to do just
this. Let me offer some exampies. 4

We all believe in there being more jobs available for
Australians out of work. It is not now time for union leaders
to show concern for their members out of work for the unemployed
by moderating their wage claims? Jim Callaghan Labor Prime
Minister of the United Kingdom is also struggling hard to make
this point. He knows the British community must show wage
restraint.
We all believe in the handicapped receiving a fair deal.
Is is not now time that more employers showed real concern for
the handicapped by offering them work as vacancies become
available? Do the handicapped not have the same right to work
as anyone of us in this room?
We all believe we live in a great country. Isn't it time we
stopped knocking our achievements? Isn't it time we
started demonstrating real national pride and confidence in
Australia and a belief in the future?
Achieving the aspirations we share is not just a task for
Dick Hamer's Government, for Malcolm Fraser's Government.
It is a partnership in the truest sense between government and
citizens.
At this dinner last year, I said:
" Forces at work will take Australia into the 80' s 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."
With the 80' s on our doorstep, we will achieve just that.
Achieving the goals and aspirations we share is not just a
task for Government. It is a task for Government and people,
for the Commonwealth and the States, for the young and old.
For Australians wherever they are.
The Australian Government seeks a partnership with the community,
between government, employers and employees, between
government agencies and voluntary organisations, between
legislators and individual Australians. With such a partnership,
with such a commitment, there is nothing Australians cannot
achieve.

Transcript 4888