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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5259

SUMMARY OF NEWSVOICE

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: 14/02/1980

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5259

PRIME MINISTER FEBJRUARY 1980
From the Press Office SUMMARY OF NEWSVOICE' X01
The latest jobless figures out today put Australia mployed
last month at 382,000, about 6.8% of the full-time workforce. The
Bureau of Statistics says a jump of 27,000 on the December figures
was caused mainly by school leavers. There was a slight improvement
against the January figures last year. According to Mr Viner, the
Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs, Australia is starting 1980
on a much better basis than last year. In Perth, Chris Hunt asked
Mr Viner what he thought of Government critics who predicted h million
unemployed. Mr Viner
Wtheilnlk hetrheo swee carriet, i cst hec opueladk refaidg urteh eifro r crtyhse tasle asboanl l atl et3 82a, l0o0n0e, thsoe irI don't
statistics very well. There's no way we'll reach 500,000.
Chris Hunt
Would you go so far as to say that we've definitely reached a bottoming
out and that perhaps we're on the edge of a distinct improvement.
Mr Viner
In Sydney the other day, I pointed out that there are very strong
indications within the economy, that the economy will improve
throughout 1980 and that that will reflect itself into a continually
improving employment market. In 1979 we had a very strong rise of
122,000 in the employed labour force, at the beginning of the year I
don't think anybody really anticipated that and that reflects the
growing strength of our economy.
Labor's spokesman on employment, Mr Nick Young, said he wasn't
surprised by January's figures. He told Alister Young in Melbourne,
he'd expected no improvement and there virtually was none.
Mr Young
We said last year unless the Government spent some money on job
creation programmes we'd be heading into a record of high unemployment
and thats exactly what we've got. You've got to add these figures to
the figures put out by the Bureau of Statistics on those people who
have given up hope for a job altogether. Theres no doubt that we'll
have well over 500,000 now that would like to go to work.
Alister Young
The figures do indicate there has been some small drop over the same
period last year, whats your reaction to that.
Mr Young
A drop in these figures of about 3,000 out of a total of about 450,000
odd so its insignificant as far as the improvement is concerned. It
just exposes the rhetoric of Mr Viner and Mr Fraser and how false that
is. The fact is the Government doesn't give a damn about those people ./ 2

who are unemployed and intends to do nothing about it.
Wool handlers in 3 cities began walking off the job today in protest over
the upholding of an appeal lodged by the Wool Brokers Federation agaj nst
wage rises of up to $ 15.90 awarded by the Arbitration Commission.
The latest reports show more than 700 wool handlers in Sydney, Melbourne
and Newcastle are now on strike and more are expected to go out tomorrow.
This report from Alister Young in Melbourne.. A federal secretary of.' the
storeman and packers Union, Simon Green, predicted last night the upholdin(
of the appeal would spell the end of wage indexation. His argument is
that no matter what evidence is presented in support of wage rises
through work value exercises, the amount awarded is preset the community
standard between $ 8 and In his opinion, this makes a mockery of the
wage fixing system. And thats the matter being discussed at present by
union heads at a meeting now underway in Melbourne. The meeting is
expected to draw up a plan of action to firstly consider ways of overturning
the appeal benches decision and secondly, how best to pursue the
claims for its members in the oil, tobacco, container terminal and paint
industries. If the Storeman and Packers Union decides to pursue the
claims outside the wage indexation system, they are hoping for support
from the ACTU at its executive meeting next week. Meanwhile. the wool
workers are expected to meet around the country tomorrow to decide where
and how they can reverse the appeal benches decision and win back the
$ 15.90 awarded by Deputy President Mr Justice Staples. Alister Young,
Melbourne. Hundreds of firefighters in Victoria are battling two big bushfires
which are burning out of control.
Hopes seem to be growing daily that the 50 American hostages in Tehran
are close to being released. They've been locked up.-now for 102 days,
but Geoff MacMullan says the lastest news conference given by President
Carter reinforces the view that a breakthrough in negotiations isn't
far off.
The Deputy Opposition Leader, Mr Lionel Bowen, says Australian security
is threatened more by events in Kampuchea than in. Afghanistan.
Mr Bowen returned to Australia today after an Asian visit which included
Hanoi and refugee camps in Thailand. Mr Bowen told Richard Palfreeman
why the Kampuchean situation posed a greater threat-than the Russian
invasion in Afghanistan.
Mr Bowen
Because you could get big power and super power involvement there
immediately. You could get a Russian base established in the region.
You have a war there already in Kampuchea, you have massive flights of
people known as refugees or as other people call them illegal migrants.
Everyone of those factors would not only affect the world it would
affect Australia first.
Question Why then is not Mr Fraser paying attention to this area of the world.
Mr Bowen.:.
I think he's frightened of it so he'll pay attention to some other area
that might suit Australia and the United States. But this is a region
which we were involved militarily in 1960 due to. Mr Fraser's own
philosophy at that time, maybe its a guilty conscience but if he went
back there today he'd see the horrific results of our involvement in
those regions. Genocide in Kampuchea, millions of people displaced,

armies activily involved in warfare and no peace and stability in
sight. Question What positive action then should Australia be taking to bring a degree
of peace and stability to Kampuchea.
Mr Bowen
The only way to get peace and stability in any region. is to have
dialogue with the people concerned. And I would think Australian
Governments should immediately initiate some form of conference
between those parties that would include, not exclude, Vietnamese,
the Asian and anybody else we think that would assist. The idea
is to neutralise Kampuchea, its important we don't recognise the
horrific regime of Pol Pot, a well known communist whose responsible
for the deaths of at least 3h million Kampucheans.
Australia's largest mining house, CRA, has announced a record profit.
CRA said today it made a profit of 135. million dollars in 1979.
Booming world prices for copper, gold, lead and zinc were the main
reasons. However the CRA result has also been kicked along by : lealthy
rises from some of its other subsidiaries and associates. Bouganville
Copper made a profit of 110 million dollars, Calmalco earned 59
million dollars, Hamersley Iron made $ 31 million and Mary Kathleen
Uranium $ 17 million.
The Opposition leader Mr Hayden has criticised the ABC for its
decision not to allow him full time to reply to Mr Frasers address
to the nation last night. Mr Hayden put out a statement in Canberra
describing the ABC's decision as dispicable. Barry Cassidy reports.
Mr Hayden who is campagning in Western Australia said that Mr Fraser
had clearly lent on the ABC Commissioners to avoid an open debate on
an embarrassing issue. Australian participation in the Olympic Games.
He said it was hypocritical absurdity to pretend that Mr Frasers
address last night did not impinge on party political debate. He said
it called for serious analysis on some important points. Mr Hayden
said he wanted to make it plain to the ABC that it could not muzzle
the Labor Party, he had approached all three commercial networks
asking for equal time. one network had already agreed to telecast his
address, he was confident the other stations would do likewise. He
said it was a matter of national shame that the ABC did not have the
integrity and respect for fair play that commercial stations had shown.
Barry Cassidy in Canberra.
The Winter Olympics have begun at Lake Placid in the United States.
But an agency reports says they may become a fiasco because of chaos
with the transport system.

Transcript 5259