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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5352

EXCERPT FROM PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS TO AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL STUDENTS' FEDERTION, HOBART

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: 16/05/1980

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5352

fP' 9'? L
FOR MEDIA FRIDAY, 16 MAY, 1980
EXCERPT FROM PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS TO
AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL STUDENTS' FEDERATION, HOBART
The package of offshore legislation which was introduced
into the Federal Parliament this Session is designed to
give the States a significant influence in the
territorial seas.
It is important that States should be able to influence
strongly policy in what happens offshore. It is not a
matter that should be determined solely from Canberra.
It is especially important for an island State like Tasmania,
where the fishing industry is a vital part of the economy.
The legislative package was opposed by the ALP which wants
total Commonwealth dominance over the States.
Nevertheless, it has the support of all States including
Tasmania and New South Wales, both of which have Labor
Governments. They took part in the painstaking negotiations extending
over two years, which have resolved some ten years of
concern over constitutional rights and arrangements aroused
by the territorial seas controversy.
The legislative package is a classic example of the way
in which constitutional problems should be resolved.
The three Tasmanian Members of the Federal Parliament,
Senators Grimes, O'Eyrne, and Wriedt belong to a Party
which is committed to opposing the passage of this legislation
through the Senate, as it was opposed, very strongly, in
the House.
If Senators Grimes, O'Byrne and Wriedt are concerned for
the interests of their own State of Tasmania, they will support
this legislation. For them to join in the attack by the
Parliamentary Labor Party on the offshore legislation would
be a betrayal of Tasmania. / 2 /-31

2
The legislation gives them the chance to support
Tasmania's rights and the rights of the States.
From 1973 to 1975 the then Labor Government sought to
dominate the States through behaviour which undermined
the economies of the States and the decision-making
capacity of their Governments.
That Government sought to establish total control over
the nation's resources, including the seas, with their
fisheries and'their offshore minerals.
Indeed, the Federal Labor Party seeks to establish branches
of Commonwealth Departments to do these things.
However, Senators Grimes, O'Byrne and Wriedt now have
the opportunity to turn their back on this principle
of centralised control and to support their own State
and its interests in the seas around Tasmania.
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Transcript 5352