PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6063


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 21/03/1983

Release Type: Correspondence

Transcript ID: 6063

FOR MEDIArMnday, 21 March 1983
F K A L! n

Hon Robin Gray,
Premier of T.-smania1 JS9
Parliament Hlouse
My dear Premier
As Prime Minister, I and my Government confirm our
endeavours to reconcile differences in the community
and to negotiate rational settlements on matters
uoon which there are differences. One such matter
affecting both your Government and mine is the
question of the Gordon below Franklin Dam.
During the election period in my address to a public
meeting in Launceston on llth February, I stated:
" My Party has a very clear view about this
issue. Simply stated, it is that the
Franklin Dam should not be built anrid, when
we are elected to government on March 5, we
will ensure that our commitment is carried
In my private conversation with you, my Party's
position was clearly put, as it was when I gave our
policy speech at the Opera House on 16th February.
Through that period and since, we have made it very
clear that the Federal Labor Government is totally
committed to achieving that position.
C, We believe the issue is one of national significance
and that we have a very clear mandate to put our
policy into effect.
In achieving that objective, we repeat our commitment
to: ensure the long term energy needs of Tasmania
are met;

ist i in r c rC i c p1 a n
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assist. the deve'lopent of South West Tasmiania
Sa n a c cmec n t. 7. u othr i y.
We recqest your co-operation in cpening up discussions
to determine the way in which can best tocjether
achieve these objectives.
We will give appropriate assistance to absorb the
existing workforce into other programs which can be
rapidly undertaken.
In suggesting such alternative short term transitionary
employment for the current construction workforce,
we would clearly be guided by your Government in
terms of the most appropriate program.
We do suggest that the workforce and contractors should
be almost immediately absorbed in such projects as:-
speeding up the construction of the Pieman Scheme;
continuation of the work on the Crotty Road and
extension to Kelly's Basin;
upgrading of work on the Zeehan-Strahan Road;
refurbishing of the Murchison Highway where
needed; a commencement on one or all of the proposed water
conservation programs at Warners Creek, Coal River
and Cascades Dam;
reafforestation programs already planned for the
0-West Coast; and
upgrading of access to and facilities in National
Parks, including staffing of these areas.
We understand that the West and North West Coast
Councils have submitted public works programs in
recent years which have not been funded due to lack
of capital. Such programs could also be the basis of

Thn! e r'sucgjestions are not meant to be c:-: haustive, nor
do they nireclude the need for long term permanent
employment and econoic dcveiloiment as mentioned above,
but are nut for ward as a basis for discussion to
cover the transitionriary period.
WVe would appreciate your early consideration and response
to our request to negotiaticns as outlined above, and
for such a resnonse to be available to me no later than
Monday, March 28th, 1983.
It is my view and the view of my Government that our
differences can be resolved that alternative energy
sources can be guaranteed, and alternative employment
created to protect those affected by cancelling this
project. We seek your co-oneration in reconciling the differences
over this issue in the national interest.
Yours sincerely
R. J. L. Hawke

Transcript 6063