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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5966

PRESS RELEASE BY THE ACTING PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON JD ANTHONY MP - PROPOSAL FOR SPECIAL PREMIERS CONFERENCE

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: 15/11/1982

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5966

PRESS RELEASE BY THE ACTING PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON.
J. D. ANTHONY, MP
PROPOSAL FOR SPECIAL PREMIERS CONFERENCE
All of us have become increasingly concerned at the increase
in unemployment.
This has resulted not only from the growing effects of the
international economic recession on the Australian economy,
but also the rapid escalation of wages in Australia in
recent times.
This very substantial increase in wages over the last few
years has-cost a large number-of Australians their jobs.
Over the most recent six months average ordinary time e~ arnings
of Australian males went up at annual rates approaching 17 per
cent when in other O. E. C. D. countries wage increases were
reflecting sober assessments of the need to save jobs; over
the most recent six months. for which data are available,
the annual rate of wage increase has been about 8 per cent
for the O. E. C. D. as a whole and under 5 per cent in the U. S.
Although the Budget contained a significant-niumnber of measures
to cope with the worsening employment situation, the position
has deteriorated even more rapidly than was thought likely
at the time of the Budget.
The Government is conscious of the strong and growing sentiment
in the community for wage restraint in the interests of saving
jobs.
The Government believes the time has now arrived for those
in the community who have jobs to sacrifice a future wage
increase in the hope that this will help those in the
community who do not have jobs or who run the risk of losing
their jobs over coming months. ./ 2

J," b. -2-
The Government has therefore decided to call a meeting of
Premiers and the Chief Minister in Canberra on 7 December to
consider proposals for a series of measures, including a 12
month pause in award wage increases in the public and private
sectors. The Government seeks the full support of the States and the
Northern Territory in this initiative.
We also seek the support and participation of the employers
and the unions.
The proposal is that there should not only be a pause in wage
and salary incomes, but also other-incomes of different kinds
throughout the economy.
No measure would be likely to have a more beneficial effect-on
a deteriorating employment position than what is now being
proposed by the Government.
If the pause is achieved, there will be made available savings
from budgets at all levels of Governments in respect of
expenditure which would otherwise have had to be incurred to
pay rising wages and salaries. Some hundreds of millions
of dollars would be involved.
It is an integral part of the Government's proposal that these
savings should be devoted to expenditure on employment related
activities. The details of this would be the subject of
discussion with the States and the Northern Territory.
I and a number of my colleagues propose over the next few days
to discuss the Government's initiative with all of the Premiers
and the Chief Minister. During these discussions the initiative
will be outlined in more detail.
This initiatLve demonstrates the Government's determination to
do all it can to save jobs and to take practical and lasting
steps to help employment. It is the Government's hope that
this initiative will receive strong support from all sections
of the community.
CANBERRA November 1982

Transcript 5966