PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5437


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: 14/09/1980

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5437

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Last Thursday I announced in the Parliament that there will be
a general election on October 18. The result of this election
will shape Australia's future for many years to come. That is
why, in a difficult and demanding world, the decision to be made
by voting Australians is a critical one.
It is a decision to select a Party for Government which is
capable of successfully meeting the challenges faced by Australia
in the decade ahead. our record over the last five years and
our policies for the future entitle us as a Government, and as a
nation, to great confidence.
For five years ago we inherited an economy which threatened
Australia's future security. Yet today Australia's economy is
the envy of much of the industrialised world. Inflation, while
still too high, is lower than the average of major industrialised
countries; and much lower than the level of inflation in America
and Britain. And the claim of any Party to Government in the
must be based, above all else, on its capac~ ity to contain
inflation and secure sustainable economic growth. Because
everything we want as a people and as a nation depends upon that.
This we have done; this, the Labor Party failed to achieve in
the 70s and, on the eve of this election, they still have no
anti-inflation strategy. It is because of the success of our
anti-inflation strategy that business confidence in high and
overseas investment is being attracted to Australia. As a
result, in mining and manufacturing alone, $ 29 million of
investment is either under way or about to go. One needs only
to remember the investment collapse that occurred under Labor
in the 70s, to realise the extent of our investment~ achievements
in the last five years.
Our rural industries are looking good again; and rural exports
last year were the highest for a decade. Of course, the
Government is aware that significant parts of Australia are now
in the grip of severe drought conditions. It is because of
these unpredictable seasonable variations, faced by Australian
farmers, that the Government has consistently provided incentives
and support for rural industries including comprehensive drought
relief programmes. And these will continue.
This is not the time for a Party in Government which is
unsympathetic and hostile to rural interests. The most pleasing
barometer of Australia's improved economic health has been the
remarkable growth in employment over the last year.

While unemployment is still too high, in the 12 months to July
this year, employment in Australia rose by 212,000, the highest
annual increase for 10 years. And a recent survey by the
Bureau of Statistics shows that expected investment for the
year ahead is 40 per cent higher than expectations which existed
at this time last year. It is our ability to sustain these
expectations on which we base our claim to Government in the
For it is only through the creation of national wealth that any
community or government can meet its responsibilities and provide
for those in need. Because of our success in strengthening the
economy over the last five years, and in spite of much needed
restraint in many areas of Government expenditure, we have been
able to maintain our pioneering commitment to those in our
community who, through no fault of their own, need our assistance.
$ 600 million has been spent on man power and training programmes
for the unemployed. 570,000 Australians have been assisted by
these programmes in the last four years. Over 230,000 will be
assisted this year. We have built 500 new self-contained hostels
and nursing homes for the aged and this programme is to continue.
And our assistance to families, the handicapped, migrants and
Aboriginals has provided new and imaginative benefits.
The Government's energy policies, in particular our oil parity
pricing policy, are making sure that Australia will maintain its
energy independence in the future. Expenditure on exploration
and development is five times what it was in 1975. During this
year, 50-60 on-shore wells are likely to be drilled compared with
6 in 1975. And in the last four years, one bill. ion barrels of
petroleum liquids have been added to Australia's economically
recoverable reserves. Momentum such as this, which has been
generated in so many areas of national activity, must be maintained.
Yet our Opposition, the Labor Party, because of its policy and
platform commitments to date threatens our hard won achievements;
and challenges the very foundations that have so painstakingly
been established. At a time when international, academic and
business commentators point to the absolute priority that must be
given to containing inflation, the Labor Party have announced
massive spending programmes which would dramatically increase the
national debt, fuel inflation, promote unemployment and threaten
the national confidence and capacity that have been so successfully
generated in the last five years.
In only six areas, Labor have announced policies to spend more
than $ 2,500 million of taxpayers' money of your money. And,
almost unbelievably, there are more than 250 other programmes to
which the Labor Party is committed, and which have not yet been
costed. What Labor never understand is that governments have no
resources of their own. When the Labor Party promises massive
spending programmes, they are effectively promising to take money
from you your neighbour and from all Australian taxpayers. They
are promising something of yours. It needs to be understood that
what governments spend cannot be spent by Australian families.

The productivity, the production of this country is limited.
It is finite. In any one year if government consumes more,
families must consumeless. That is why, quite deliberately
of course, Labor avoids costing these programmes. Indeed
Mr. Hayden is on record as saying, " we have to present our
policies in an attractice and digestible form now this
requires us to be selective." This simply means that Mr. Hayden
will hide some of his commitments from the n3tion, in the weeks
ahead, because he knows they would mean a colossal drain on
taxpayers' money.
They would plant inflation, once again, deep in the national
soil. These consequences must be resisted and rejected.
Economic responsibility will continue to be the watch-word of
my Government in the 80s. Because it is on that economic
responsibility that your standards of living can, and will, rise.
We will continue to restrain Government expenditure. And by the
containment of inflation we will continue to encourage the
development of all Australia's natural resources; including the
great and proven creative resources of the Australian people.
We will continue, as in the past, to work with all Australians,
to see that we secure the bright prospects that now lie before us.

Transcript 5437