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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5022

1979 VICTORIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN OPENING

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: 17/04/1979

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5022

EMBARGO: AGAINST DELIVERY
_ A U STRAIA
PRIME MINISTER
FOR MEDIA-17 APRIL 1979
1979 VICTORIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN OPENING
We are eighteen days away from a crucial election, an election
which will decide the future of this State, an election
which is vital for Victoria. We want a government committed
to Liberalism. We want a government committed to free
enterprise. We want a government committed to the right of
people to achieve their own goals in their own way. We
want a Hamer government.
Dick Hamer is vital for Victoria. Just look at the alternative.
Does Victoria want a socialist government? Does Victoria want
a government in the grip of the extreme left wing? Victoria
needs the philosophy, the policies, the people, that only the
Liberal Party can provide.
Only Dick Hamer and the Liberals will take Victoria confidently
into the 1980' s, with a humane and progressive government.
The economic record of the Hamer government speaks for itself.
It's kept Victoria prosperous. It's kept Victoria in the forefront
of Australia's economic activity. But Victoria's successes have
not just been in the economic area. The Victorian Liberals have
demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of
life in this State, to improving health and education, to
conserving the environment and our historical and cultural
heritage, our great buildings and historic sites, to providing
a new deal for our ethnic communities, and working with the
Commonwealth to make the Galbally Report a total success; to
protecting the civil rights of individuals. Those are just
some of the achievements made by the Liberal Government.
But what of the future? Under a Liberal Government, Victoria's
future is one of progressive reform and continued economic
prosperity. It's because of industry's confidence in the Liberal
approach of the Commonwealth and the State Government that so
many new major projects are planned for Victoria. There's
ICI's $ 500 million petrochemical pl-ant at Point Wilson,
GMH's $ 210 million engine plant based in Victoria, ALCOA's
$ 350 million aluminium smelter, and the massive expenditure
which Esso-BHP will make in Bass Strait.

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Would Labor get any of these projects underway? No. Labor
says it's " moderate", but Labor always says it's " moderate"
at election time. We saw how Mr. Whitlam's Labor Party pretended
to be moderate in the run up to the 1972 elect1ii. And we saw
how quickly they cast aside their cloak of respectability. Labor
stopped development dead in its tracks. In three years income
tax more than doubled from $ 4 billion to over $ 9 billion. In one
year alone, income tax grew by 40 percent. Our income tax
reforms have saved taxpayers $ 3 billion a year. In three
years under Labor, government expenditure soared from
billion to nearly $ 22 billion. In one year alone outlays
grew by 46 percent.
We have reduced the rate of growth of government expenditure
to 7.7 percent. Under Labor unemployment rocketed, rising
by nearly 200,000 in one year. Labor created unemployment
in Australia. The Whitlam. Labor government which set this
record said it was " moderate".
We saw Mr. Wran's Labor Party preach responsibility when it had
a majority of only one. We are now seeing Mr. Wran, with a
clear majority, paying off his debts to the left wing. He took
the power workers' demand for a 37 1/ 2 hour week out of the
hands of the Industrial Commission to give it to them on a
Parliamentary platter, as an entree to a 35 hour week.
But we must be fair. At least the left wing in New South Wales
had to wait until after the election to be paid off. In
Victoria, the left wing has already won.
The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Wilkes, has said that he will
ignore the Arbitration Commission, and give wage increases to
Latrobe Valley power workers, regardless of the decision by
the full bench of the Commission.
It's official Labor Party policy to remove all present legal
restraint on industrial disputes conducted by trade unions.
Labor wants to put unions above the law. Would Labor protect
the people of Victoria against union militants? No. Is there
a guarantee that Newport would go ahead under Labor? No.
The union leadership knows that Labor's posturing on Newport is
only political expediency. As the Secretary of the Electrical
Trades Union said on the 27th of March: " Frank Wilkes is
prepared to make statements for political expediency.., the
Parliamentary wing of the Labor Party had changed its stance
( on Newport) three times since 1971..."
The Labor Party would try to buy industrial peace by caving in
to every union demand. It's prepared to appease the unions by
bankrupting the enterprises that provide the jobs for
Victorians, by promoting inflation which would harm the weak
and the poor most of all. / 3

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The left wing goes quiet just before election time, but just
a few months ago, they showed their strength. They defeated
a motion condemning infringements of human rights in the
Soviet Union. There couldn't be any such infringements because
the Soviet government said so. The left wing also defeated
a moton which tried to water down Labor's commitment to
nationalise industry. The left wing wasn't having any of that.
They insisted that the commitment to total nationalisation
remain in its pristine form the same form that it had
in 1921. What a way to step into the future.
The Labor Party is ready to leap with verve and gust back into
the 1920' s. While Labor is looking backwards, the Liberals are
ready for the challenges of the 1980' s. We are now moving into
a new period of economic recovery. Inflation has been reduced.
Australian businesses are once again competitive. Investment
has increased dramatically. Exports are rising, and business
confidence has returned. There are heartening signs of
improvement on the employment front. For the first time in
five years, civilian employment, seasonally adjusted, have
risen for each of the last seven months. Overtime and
vacancies seasonally adjusted, are also improving.
For Victorians to benefit from this recovery, we need a State
government which is prepared to co-operate with the Commonwealth
government's policies, not undermine them.
The Labor Party would turn back the clock. It would destroy the
advances already made in Victoria. It would damage the future of
this State. Only under the Liberals who have provided stability
and good sense in government for almost a quarter of a century
will Victoria continue to build on its achievements.
When it really comes right down to it, that's what this
election is about. Do we want a Liberal government, committed
to people, to people's creativity, to people's needs, to
people's interests? Or, do we want a Labor Party committed
to the destructive dogma of socialism, a Party that has time
and time again been rejected by the people of Victoria?
The Liberal Party has governed Victoria well, providing stability
and prosperity. I have no doubt that the Liberal Party will
lead Victoria into the 1980' s.
But we can't just sit back. We all have to go out and tell people
about what the Liberal Party believes in, what the Party has
achieved, about the Liberal vision for Victoria's future.
It's been this vision, it's been our capacity to govern well, and
the dedication of those committed to the Liberal way of life,
that has given us victory after victory in Victoria. We are
doing it again because the Liberals and Dick Hamer are vital
for Victoria. 000---

Transcript 5022