PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5537


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: 15/03/1981

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 5537

A ~ 7
JA~ k~ TjiALJA
AO1p hEilooh cano beND( It1981id MNiCIp1 l 1ods adb
pe. ople fllyn ltr discus oubr prioriteas tor et erspetiv
oier o tcieeent fand look aned for the nuue o teir ye unts.
Anro-ound valq a of poltiale Liera Prt s ffrig
Ae phloopanott f be met reI Ia aods, 2tFu t evene Joust r~
ceanrly in cIn Onlyls a ao tnft a the Australa
Dcioe, fora theiry ar. es, .1nd for th of thiar1uu r cutarfy.
becomtei a wmay ao lferou thathe ibn era Pary li -otoerinvv
andar to pevoge. outoidee th aty. drprset
ic lsey I f presenil Liberalcavnc o ideals to hEAutr) MalUiar
1-14p. ohle, ta prim'SSAryW eLcm& iEid toy( jt a). ISS t thel--F'Prim0tr
V. Autrl anas. s aoTri coe for oure csei the ao~ nonpt tocosm.
ane havehadomeni toc peple oTside tPhe aty. be y ao
-st Labofr saaeen nhbady,-e nc tiBh xiberhe futr
itselfk ll' Theet trosec Lbefrlve Autes trisaolniao w OMnn x
4. cre'aly irtproved rates of economi~ c growth. We are dcterqined
that this qrowth will benefit all setions of: the Aus; tralianl
commij~ mi ty_.__ This will be achieved in C1 number of ways. -Tile
Fgreat resouirce Oe;, veloprtents, are only part of z, broad based
revival of enterprise. T1his revival will lift real ~ ae
andsaaresprvie undred of tihousaild. of new' jobsi
tl~ oomngyarsand raise the livinci standards of Australian
f arnlies.
P.. Grow th cani0-bde C used to lighten persoa) tax: tn hel
families in need, and provide a s s istance t o h
* Wca), zer sections of the co-m~ ri-nity. We mkist. resist thle Social-isl
-fiallacy thctt the. % Wy tro sread tize ben( ft:. reee C~~ li
grow th iF; by even qrcEater qoez~ otintcrvention and more
FMakanidn gmo re regjulationi. The reversc is the case. I t i S by
-sure that individual Australia)-s have the opportunity A4.9. f.

-to-laar ti cipate ill econortic development, either directly
through. Sn-vestment. and employment or indirectly through a
* swhailrle bein, r wtihdee lyg esnhearraelO . p rosperity if-creates/ Ithat its benefits
We welcome the investment of shills and calpital froml oiher*
countries. Ouir policies are directed to securing the maxidmum
beeisfor Austraia and Austr, lians -fo-ti -i
Our economic policy exp-sses the fundamental Liberal beiL. ef
that the major role of government is to provide a stable
and predictable frameworjk for private deci . irms,, Triil. n9.
possible sound priv'a te judgiments and encourciging private
endeavour. In our view ti-is otoiThebVayof achlievinig the
Objectives of Mos; t Australians. it is the only way, because-i
tliec ontly way in which people can choose ef fectivlly thle way of
ifeth~ wan. ~ verthe last five years we have ben e--_ ser
a Liberal andl rcfsponsible role f or government in the -ecoriomy of
tie excesses -ifter the Loryears.
This hat, influenced our attitude to each of the threei main
elements of government activity-to gjovernment spending,
to the size of the bureauicra-cy anld to the extent of regalatio
r ( Ghev ernmen t' s objective Nis been-to provide the room for
priviate acti'vity to strecqthen and g~ row1 iandc th) e conditionls
under whic'h it is encouraged to do so. 13y po~ licies aimed
at xigoro control <.-ver sparidincj="" by="" li-="" iting=""> and rve.; uninecessary regulations, we have establishedl
-and are Strengthening the conditions, for the crowth now
Let there be-: no mistak. e. Control of Government spu-ling has
been a qcuite funetamental aolhievernent of this Government.
It hc-s b-en the essential fonainfor co nt olling inflation
and expaInding job opportu--it-ics. Over: thie last five year8,
the cjrowth of Fedleral CGovt; rnme-lt 8pandinqg tlhrough11 tie
budget has been held to an averig ial rate C-. t-about.
in real terks-The avcragi~ rat under Labo wa3
the three years of Labor, Goiwonea) th spendincj
L through t~ he burlget;-rose from 24<. of="" l="" nomsi="" h=""> comnmunity ( GDP) to MO~. burcing the Inst fisya5, hav
cuttheproportion bactk to unfer 28e,. Axnd with the curre nt
pXrospcct of highe). rate,, of qrowqth, continuied tight
control of Governmen t spenncj wiIr : u ther eueh
relative size of the Gederri,; overnent in the Australian
____ economy. Our success i-n cutting hac: the deficit has greatly e& sed
the Commnonwealth's clermand for loan funids. -In thiis way ou) r
policie8 h~ ave freed~ c Mor~ eore tot-piAte sector,
the engine of Aus; tralia prosperity aIjd economic strength.
VI. have passed the ball to private enterprise which has now
picked it uip and is running hard.
ni holding down the Government's ClaiMS1 We Bre -' IsO01 pnin
" p the only Xoute to -an easing of thie personal tax burdten,
-to-highr r-real-t-age& and Salaries, to more jobs and to the
creation of more resources to hl those in need. Our tight
controls oil Governinen-t spendinga have been li) kec with a policy t i
tingc n. t

of cV1tting back onl the Federal bureaucr7 y our-aim
leaner and more officleenit cgovernim'lent. sincee 1975 Ve
have reduced the hurmber of Federal public suvpants, under
~ tfUiinsby over 10,00~ 0. r~ eci. c;. ion1s sn to be announced
will show that11 our determnina~ tion in this . reqj-Ard has n) ot
Weakened in any respcct.
But while Com~ monwealthi spending has bef. ' n held ba ck, while
Coinxonwealth eleficits and the size of the Commonwealth
bureaucracy liavo bcen reduced, the samve cannotC 1be said
Commjonwealth sector decrcezseed between 1June 197S and Jlane
othe Staes ofd tover authiies aed 95,600 workler
to their payrolli;. While the Coimonwealth h~ a reduc d its
competition with the pri ate secator in financial mar! k-ets b
reducingj the s3ize of the deficit that neecls to be funded,
teSate an clathorities have increased their reqtiir6-ment
for borrowing and in 1980-81 are expected to require alinr-t
$ 1,400 million more than in 1975-76.
ven allowing for desirable infrastructure proqrammes being-'
undertaken by State auithorities all levels. of-9overflmeflt
MUst act now to relieve pressure on financial r esor) u rce s
to make room for tli-f> i va esectoa:_ grow. thnow occurring.
While the Coi,, imonwelth's spending on~ goods and services
now uses a smaller-prognortion of the nationtev total resourceFs
than it ii: 10 years acro, tbe use of reS6 e by % hI tae
x_.. andlocl _ horities hzs increased substant1ially. It is vit-1
t -tis ~~ hqu ic'Cns, D-rivzate enterprise e9.. aIro
to Vrow. A' 1l level,; of 1qovernmaeivt mus heli-i-n-achieving this
objectivE: curtailingj thieir dertand an fiinafcial resources.-
Ou r---th1r target in r~ e-asserting a bihera3. aiplraeh to
Government has been' to reduce Governmdent reuarctro.
IExcessi3ve, reguL1Ztionj is COU! 1ter-productiAve arld iliek icient,
_ it. di . t rt decision it we. a?: ens private inter) p-rlss, arn~ i the
LXOThmUnlit cniernh ly. T, eCgu~ aticm and de-rcepjlatiorL are complex
areas, and in oasinq th brri f xeuato ther ri~ t Ceav ful,,, eiohillof
cctt. J and bsncfit ve have alroadV; tnkert several' imrtrant
ep-s-ift the direction of de-regulatn intefnancial
2and banking area,' and the Caml: bel1 Ir, quiry . indic-ates our
firm interest in erploring the benefits, of further
'-de-reiulatxon. * De-regulatioii is* part of thle broader review of Comonwealth
functions by Itle group which has beenT popularly dW) bbed
the " Razor Gang".
This comittee of Mlinistergs ben xainn te fuLtur
of certa-inl rcgu). atory bodies, Possibi. l-i ti-es fo0. Xf qth E
decentral isation of government functi oris anid greabter COMc'nwealt-I
efficiency, and the extent to which, an h asi which~ i
activi. ties ' 6urrently uandertaken by go-vernmen-canx be handed
over to private enterprise.
7110 resul. ts of the tor of this committee wil shrtly be
a 1inIo UnIIC ad antd i t wif I bI an * i\ m'otinnf ate-se our
reform of the role of gjoveriiment. Th-: progress we have miade
in s calinc; down excessive government provides the foundation

for the growth and wider prosperity that now lie ahead.
Limiting the size of government hias rneany. that vie have beenl
able-to-keep. txx-nce): control. Many of our initiatives
are now tak-en for ( granted. People forget that vie have cut
thec marginal tax rate on the average % tga earn~ er from 44 cents
i ntheaonr tide Laorto the present rate of 32 ccnts,
that we abolished death duties, that we introduced fa, ily
LetitW! aIso0 mrake sure that the community understands the
dedication of the Liberal Party to hel. ping those in our
comra-blit? r hlo--are--in. genuinie need. By hjol-ding b ack spending
in other areas, we have been able to p: rotect and lrmprove
procjranunes designed to help the elderly, the sic'$ antd the
disabled. Over the period of this government, agpe pensions
have reached higjher lavels in irela-tion to average weekly___
earninqs than at any time in the last 25 yearsT.
We ar-e now spending over $ 1 billioin on overall assistance
to the handicappedl more than doule the amoutt of five
yecars ago and a very substantial increase in real terms.
Money alone is not the measxire of 6ur concern, nid in___
t; mentioningj these figures 1 , Io not suggest thvat. it is.
But the ccrit-. ibution of this Govcrnm~ ent has greatly
helped the.= -sition cfhs in need in c'wr comunity.
4Our recor-; -Sworthy of; a polit-ical piarty with a phlJOSoph y
of concern. individual. Party roarrbers have a
resposi'' ir~ r aent's in thethis
area, bu%, t alSo0 to tell thec) 10 yhw,
much hias bzen done.
Our philo , oph'v is concerned with all those matters Nvhich
af fe t th e ca r) aoi ty of indlividuals to load satiSfying
lives. our poli , ies have expresse cmphasise, these b~ road concerns. Take the_ case of tli,
enironnment. Our ruag" icent, coi~' m E: FVit ii~
* p101nts and animals, is One of thle gzeat treasu-kreSc: 0) this
plaie t. The priessures onl it are jreat, and there will1 alwa y s
be some tension betwqcen the nieed for development of
our resources especially. the energy ruc., ourccs
in the intere-st11s of raiankind1 anid protection Of th-1E natural
env. ronmr
Our conmitment to effective con-. ervatiofl of irrepl-Acable
elewents of the Australiaa-tenvirontierjt h~ as been a high
priority. Take our decision to prohibit sand ining on
Fraser Island. We res3. scted intenise pressure, because wie
believe that this rew-arkalolc islanid should be pr4-served.
The-protection of Fraser Jisland is only ale 02 our major
. ac. ivmns~
We* established the great Kakadt% National Park, pnssed
. the Whale Proteoction Act of 1980, establishlEd the Marine
Park in Capricornia on the Ba).-rier Reef, have strongly
r i s t ed mininc a'n the Reef, hlave sic iecl the newi treaty
Tprot06ting Antarctic seals, and airc considering flnew legislationl
oi. the protection of endancjer~ d s-pecics.

fi Thera are mi'iny Peop-le Who haive spokr-en iabout thle enviroliment.
140 h1ave acted. I Venture to -; ay that. ou1r rLCcord on conscervation
exCeeds that of any previous government in Australia'sh
is tozy-Xt-s-az ord ihicih we are dceternined to' build.
I also mention here our actions to strengthen the qrow4th of
n u3nitcd but diverse muwticultvira1 so-cety in, Austrzilia.
Our policier, in. this area rAre outs taiilnin tercUal
4 r and impact. Arising out of the Calbally Report on migrant
services and programumcs we committedl $ 50 million over three
years tO CXtena andl LuP92rade nx-ijrult services and programmes.
Ourriiiatives include3 a substanltial programMe : in special
rnng lish language instrtiction, encouragement to multicultural
education, andl a progr'-o , e to establish riugcant resource centre,,.
Undoubted~ ly one of our mos-t. visible achiewient&-here has been
~ j the-establishment of a MU'JticultUx-nl' television servic-E. unique
inl the world. -o provide high qua1i -ty research on Tfmu tlulturalisrm
we have esalse teIttucOf Multicultural Akffairs.
Our 1p-ro jrammc'-arc-unprecedented in their scope and are now.
gaiingthe recognition thi: y' deseerve. These aheeet
acpart of the ime-sszage that we ne( e-d to get across to the
people-of Australia. 1 ut they ari? important for the future
because -hey demowntrate the concern-of ' the Liberal larty
in all its policies withl bulilding a Strong free society
hased on respect for jindividUal pEsop) e aind opportunrities
for people to row as inividuals and to contribute to
* their Com;':_-ity.
bb elieve " 2. at what pe v~ ant to build illtD the. Australian way
of life ove-the next ' Few years are further increas-es inl
opprtu: LtAe an nd thIie siecurity which mkes p-~ l onie.
that they Clan use -thles 0" pportuitios. That i8 w! hy a pir
objective-of our pcoliciesF h1-as b~ een to create Conditions in
ww h ich a burg-aFc-I mngi1 p ri va te entearprise can provi; 6. e job,
opportunitiAes for all who want to % yorn. I t nr4, 1 8vLe,.--
1)* e ein -a to ' S y reductions in inflation withi higher nwKomft
The Governmle ) t ' s dete&' iination to solve the unlem., ploymznt
problem has b: ecen a fundaiaental andl itegral part of ou~ r
total approach to economic recover~ y.
Many of those who talk loulest. about enp-loym-ent . a-i~ lidea
about wh-ere real jobs comi from. The tlruthl is thiat
our Policies, directed tLo enc-ouraging pL) rivzate enterpri'SE
are the only way that sccure job opportuniies ca-n b. e
providcd for all Autralians who waznt to work, it isano
cient that in the last two years1 more t~ hn qater
Vof. a million jobs have been added to the ec on o my Nor i it
an accide-nt that the leveIT-M urie ploVETTrht in Ji~ imuary of -this
Year was the lowest January rati o oryas o si
anaccident that in M9~ O employment. op-portuni ties grew mor
rapidly in Ausi. ralija than in tile Unjited St AteE;, the U4a
1ingdom, Germany, or Jaepzn. Wa rcnis: ted the rzhortsihtCc
Eapproaich, and the value of our policies is becoiiing increasingly
plain.____ 1.

N! 6
The task here now is to ensure that those.' seeking jobs are
equipped with knowlecge and skills to take advantage of
the expanding opportunities. In January, Ian Viner and
Wal Fife announced that the Government was examining as a
matter of urgency further ways of increasing the'opporbunities
available for under 18 year olds in education, training and
employment. it is the view of the Government that Australia
should be able to do much better by its young people wanting
work than it is presently doing. More than 200,000 young
people will be assisted by existing employment and training
programmes this financial year. By giving young people a
relevant training, we will give them hope as well as skills.
And granted that employment is increasing at-* the same time,
it is plian that our policy is the most compassionate as-well
as the most effective. No political movement in Australia
has a more constructive and comprehensive approach to the
challenge of creating employment opportunities than the
Liberal Party.
It is now clear that our policies are outweighing the
destructive effects of the Labor shock of 1974/ 75 and the
continuing attack on employment from the militant unions.
It is because we care about individual people that we resist
the efforts of irresponsible union leaders to impose suffering
on innocent people for t'heir own selfish ends. It is
because '* ecare ahnut inividuals that we will be strongly
resist4-; pressures to ___ pos e damaging cost increases-on
indus tr: zthrough the 35 hour campaign and rapidly rising
wages. Nothing . s more destructive of the employment opportunities
of our young people than the job-destroying activities of
the militant unions and of these campaigns.
It needs to be understood that the former president of the
ACTU was the architect of both campaigns. The architect
therefore of campaigns designed to des-troy jobs within
Australia if not by deliberation, that can only be their
effect. As we showed in the Qantas dispute, we will not tolerate
divisive and confrontational tactics of this kind. You know
it is not the Government that has ever confronted the Australian
community or trade unions in this matter. It i~ s trade unionsthat
have confronted time and time again the well-being of the
Australian community, the interests of ordinary Australians
as they go about their lives and whether it is a pow.. er
strike, or the Builders Labourers' or the Transport Workers'
Union, whether it is shutting dow'n Qantas. In these things
it is trade unions who confront the better interest of
ordinary Australians in every corner of this land.
As the elected representatives of the whole people we in
the Government stand for the public interest and its defence
is our constant obligation and objective. This is a time
when we all need to think very seriously about our obliga-tions
as Australians. If there is a recognition of what we owe to
our fellow citizens the future of this country is limitless.,
/ 7

1i It is the unrestrained pursuit of self-i-nterest that we see
so clearly in-some of the abhorrent tax-avoidance schemes
which have become public, as well as ' in the cynical pursuit
of power by extremist union leaders, that clouds ouir future.
We are prepared to take the full force of the law to combat
the abdication of community responsibility evident in such
behaviour., But we all know that the real solution lies -in
a strengthened recognition throughout the community of what is
responsible and moral behaviour in dealings with one's
fellow citizens.
In private and in public vie must place greater emphasis than
ever before on the moral standards of respect for othersthat
lie at the heart of Liberalism and, I believe, at the
heart of the values of the great majority of the Australian
people. The Liberal Party is prepared to stand up for these
values. In the first five years of this current Liberal government the!
foundations for a new sense of confidnece in Australia's
future has been laid. This confidence has come about, I
believe, because it is understood that we govern in accordance!
with a philosophy which places individuals first a philosophy
which look-, s to the devel'opment of a spirit of community and
co-opera: _ n
It is ' 2LSseonfs ekn owi.,-: ng what the Liberal Party stands for
that gi-; E. c security to people. Security and predictability
provides z'_ e capacity to plan for th': future. Out of it
grows tekind of mounting prosperity and ' awakening hope that
we see around us today.
Security. and stability are of course also the conditions
under which we, as Liberals, work for responsible and
r-easonable reform. The reform of the role of government i~ n a
Liberal direction after the Whitlam years has been our great
continuing task, and will continue to be so.
Accompanying this have been valuable legal reforms the
Ombudsman, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Family
Law Court, the new Federal Court, and passage of the Administrative
Decisions ( judicial Review) Act.
Many of you will be glad to know that the Human Rights Commission
Bill is throught the Senate. I very much hope that it will
shortly be passed, without impairment, in the House of
Representatives as well.
V ictorian Liberals have made an important contribution to
these reforms and I know they will continue to play an
important role in reform to expand individual rights and
freedom. / 8

The Liberal Pary since 1975 has established a proud record
in Federal Government. It has given-. a decisive voice in Australia's
affairs to those who believe in the vision of a-nation strong
because its people can develop thqir abilities, build their
own lives, defend their freedom and. recognise their obligations'.
In the next three years we will carry this banner with
greater determination than ever. The Liberal Party must
continue to be the main force in Australia for responsible
Liberal policies. In that it will need the support of all
its -members.
The record of the Liberal Party is matched only by our
determination to make an even better future for this country.
Party members are entitled to be proud, strong ambassadors
for the Liberal cause. I ask for your continued advocacy
to make sure that the people of this country understand tiat
Australian Liberalism offers a way of life without equal
in the world.
That is the challenge that lies before us all a challenge
which we must meet in the interests of every Australian,
and every Australian family. o0--

Transcript 5537