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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6115

ADDRESS BY THE PRIME MINISTER TO THE 1983 ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL FARMERS' FEDERATION, 10AM, TUESDAY 17 MAY 1983

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: 17/05/1983

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 6115

A~ Tl T1; 11 ; TE
OAF. L: DR1LHES S ! IBAY7, 1IT; n! E PiI-L lI NI STEPR TO '; iE 1983 ANNUAL CONFEK NC?
OF 1! E N I OAL FAIERS' FEDERATI N' 1, U O A" i, ILESDAYJ
1 MIAY 1933
i AM DELIGHTED TO BE HERE TODAY TO ADDRESS AND OFFICIALLY
OPEN THE 1933 ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL FARMERS'
FEDERATION, I HAVE BEEN IMPRESSED BY THE POSITIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE
ROLE PLAYED BY THE FEDERATION SINCE ITS FORMATION IN 1979,
THE OBVIOUS SUCCESS OF THE FEDERATION IN ACTING AS THE
RURAL SECTOR'S VOICE, WITH CLARITY AND FORCEFULNESS,
IS CLEAR ENDORSEMENT OF FARM ORGANISATION AMALGAMATION,
BY PUTTING FORWARD ON BEHALF OF THE RURAL SECTOR A WELL
ARGUED POSITION WHICH HAS REGARD TO BROADER NATIONAL
ECONOMIC ISSUES, THE FEDERATION DOES CONSIDERABLE SERVICE
BOTH TO ITS MEMBERS AND THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE,
SINCE BECOMING PRIME MINISTER I HAVE GREATLY APPRECIATED
THE GOODWILL EXTENDED TO ME AND MY-GOVERNMENT BY PRIMARY
PRODUCERS AND RURAL ORGANISATIONS. I HAVE RECEIVED
INVITATIONS FROM MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY TO ADDRESS
RURAL CONFERENCES AND OPEN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY SHOWS
AND FIELD DAYS, PRESSURES OF OFFICE WILL UNFORTUNATELY
PREVENT MY ACCEPTING MANY OF THESE KIND INVITATIONS,
HOWEVER, I TRUST MY PRESENCE HERE TODAY WILL UNDERLINE
THE GOVERNMENT'S APPRECIATION OF THE VITAL CONTRIBUTION
THE RURAL COMMUNITY MAKES TO OUR NATIONAL ECONOMY, S, 2/,

11 Nin SEEK iIn[ AaN TH RLS; P: C* AND, SUPPORT
uFTHR .7IAL S ECTOR Ti QOL'C THE APPL ICAVION OF SOUND AND
RATONAL PbL ' 71 BASED ON C( Th7JLTA' ION ANID THEV NATICNAI..
INT EREST,
PRIMARY lND. U HAS A NEW AND ENE9FFTIC M iNICER WIT1 H A
S T ,: ON AG I CULTUPAL EAC KGRc'UND, I UNDERSTAND THAT
joUHN KLR IN HAS AL READY DEVELOPED A CLOSE AND CUjNSTRUCT IvE
AORKIN3 RE. T IONSHIP WITH THF FEDERJ'TICN, WV REFLECTS
I N PARIT % ULAR CONTACT SET WEEN MP KERN AND THE FECRAT ION
07ER fE ; PAOT COUPLE OF YEARS, As A MFieER OF THE
MiNORTANI ECONOMIC AND INDUSTR'; COMMITTEES OF CABINEIT
HE IS ! N A % OOD POSITION TO PRGTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE
RURA. L SETCTOR,
JOHN KERIN WILL BE ADDRESSING YOU TOMORROW, CONSEQUENTLY,
WILL CONFINE MY REMARKS MAINLY TO THE GENERAL DIRECTION
OF THE UOVERNMENT S POLICIES AND ALLOW JOHN TO ADDRESS
SONE MORE SPECIFICALLY RURAL POLICIES,
IN THE RURAL POLICY SPEECH WHICH I DELIVERED IN GRIFFITH
DURING THE FEDERATION ELECTION CAMPAIGN, I MADE AN
UNQUALIFIED CONMITMENT TO MAINTAINING THE VIABILITY
OF AUSTRALIA'S GREAT RURAL SECTOR AND THE PROVINCIAL
INFRASTRUCTURE, I HAVE NO HESITATION IN REAFFIRMING
TH IS COMM ITMENT, i. t 3/ 1

ALL. AUSTAL: S WERE GREATL'Y LI LVLD ' 4HEN THERE WE? GOOD
RAINS OVER MUCH OF THE COUNTRY OVER ' 11E PAST TWO MONVHS
IF MtORE NORMAL SEASONAL CONDITIONS CON I NUE TiiROUGH INTO
THE SPRING AND BEYOND, FARMERS IN EASTERN AUSTRALIA
WILL BE ABLE TO BEGIN THE LONG PROCESS OF RECOVERY
FROM THE DROUGHT,
THE GOVERNMENT RECOGNISES THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF
RURAL RECOVERY TO OVERALL DOMESTIC ECONOMIC RECOVERY,
BUT, OF COURSE, GOOD RAIN ALONE WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT
TO SUSTAIN RECOVERY,
THE GENERAL STATE OF THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY IS OF THE
UTMOST CONCERN TO FARMERS THERE IS AN OVERRIDING NEED
TO GET INTEREST RATES AND INFLATION DOWN TO MAINTAIN
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS OF OUR PRODUCTS, TO EXPAND
OUR MARKETS AND TO GET THE ECONOMY MOVING,
SINCE ASSUMING OFFICE, SOME TWO MONTHS AGO, THE GOVERNMENT
HAS TAKEN A NUMBER OF STEPS TO SET AUSTRALIA ON THE ROAD
TO NATIONAL RECOVERY, NATIONAL RECONCILIATION AND
NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION.
WE HAVE BEGUN THE PROCESS OF GETTING BUSINESS AND UNIONS
TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER, TO UNDERSTAND EACH
OTHER'S PROBLEMS AND VIEWPOINT, AND TO WORK TOGETHER
TO PROMOTE THEIR MUTUAL INTEREST, AN IMPORTANT
ELEMENT OF THIS APPROACH, WHICH WILL BE PART OF OUR i,

ONGOING TASK OVER THE YEARS O UJM IS TO LND iHE
ARTIFICIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST LETWEEN CIT' AND COUNTRY,
THERE ARE IN MY OPINION, PAR TOO MANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS
BY CITY PEOPLE OF THE PROBLEMS AND NEEDS OF COUNTRY
PEOPLE, AS A PARTY, AND NOW AS A GOVERNMENT, WE REJECT COMPLETELY
THE CONCEPT OF CONFLICT BETWEEN CITY AND COUNTRY, WE
DEPEND ON EACH OTHER AND WE NEED EACH OTHER,
AT THE OUTSET OUR FIRST MAJOR TASK IS TO CLEAR THE GROUND
SO THAT WE CAN BEGIN TO END DIVISIONS, ACHIEVE SOME
RECOGNITION OF OUR COMMON GOALS AND OBTAIN AN APPRECIATION
OF THE NATURE OF THE TASK WHICH THE NATION HAS BEFORE IT,
THIS HAS INVOLVED A GREAT DEAL OF CONSULTATION AND
INFORMATION-SHARING.
THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC SUMMIT CONFERENCE ITSELF WAS AN
IMPORTANT PART OF THAT PROCESS; AND IT WILL BE A
CONTINUING PROCESS,
THE PART PLAYED AT THE CONFERENCE BY THE NFF WAS MOST
VALUABLE. THE POINTS MADE IN THE FEDERATION'S SUBMISSION
AND IN STATEMENTS MADE BY YOUR PRESIDENT, MICHAEL
DAVIDSON, HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY NOTED,

FARMERS WILL BE REPRESENTED ON THE ECONOMIC PLANNING
ADVISORY COUNCIL, WHICH WILL BE CONTINUING THE WORK
OF THE SUMMIT, THE COUNCIL WILL HAVE AN IMPORTANT
ROLE IN ADVISING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS AND
PROVIDING A FORUM FOR COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON NATIONAL
ECONOtNIC AND SOCIAL STRATEGIES.
THE SU.', MIT LED TO WIDESPREAD UNDERSTANDING OF THE SERIOUSNESS
OF THE PRESENT ECONOMIC CRISIS AND AGREEMENT ON HOW
BEST TO PROCEED FROM HERE, IHE IMPORTANCE OF ACHIEVING
RESTRAINT Itl INCOME CLAIMS BY ALL BUT THE IMPOVERISHED
WAS RECOGNISED, AS WAS THE NEED TO FIGHT INFLATION
AND UNEMPLOYMENT TOGETHER,
WE CAME TO OFFICE WITH THE PLEDGE TO PURSUE EXPANSIONARY
POLICIES WHICH EMPHASISE JOBS, THAT IS STILL OUR AIM,
HOWEVER, WE FOUND ON COMING TO OFFICE THAT THE RECKLESS
FISCAL POLICY OF THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT IN ITS LAST
YEAR WOULD, UNLESS CORRECTED, LEAD TO A $ 9.6 BILLION
DEFICIT IN 1983/ 84, THIS MEANT THAT THERE WAS A NEED
TO REIN IN THE DEFICIT AT THE SAME TIME AS WE ENCOURAGED
INCREASED ACTIVITY, THIS WAS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN
INTEREST RATES ON A DOWNWARD PATH AND MAINTAIN ECONOMIC
STABILITY, 6/.

ij, L. i i
CIP E FF1L I I CTE2Iy AONIh HSO
Li: I-SCAL FOG I C O~ CO~ lJlSV IiA 3S~ lN I
-N VE R1E V E1CAOKNEOMIC STAIL TYE,
LAINGS ' Y CUTTING THE PROGIRAMS O O R P E D C SSORS At; D ALSO
I CEE OLR TAX COLLECTIONS. H( E SPEC [ AL CONC EPRN OF Y
GOVFRNM"-;' T ALSO RUIURE US O MAKE R' OtN iOR PROGRAMS TO,
2O: OTE EMPLOYMENT AND TO I NCREASEE EQUITY IN THE wAY THtE
BUD AFE" CGETTS IHL COMMU!; NIT. TY,
IHERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PAI: LESS EXPENDITURE CUT OR
TAX INCR EAE. THE RESTORATION OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND
ECONOMIC STAEILiTY REQUJIRES SACRIFCE, Y GVENMENT'S AiM
IS TO ENSURE. THAT T! : ACR fITICL iS BORNE EQUITABLY ACROSS
THE AUSTRALIAN C MUITIYT YTHABLYA NS H AE IN A
RELA 1Y-1FI LY ( GOOD' iPOo ' TO BE A iT,
NE A S A GOVERNMENT WERE NOT PREPARED TO LET THE BUDGET DEFICIT
PREVET US FROM IMPLEMENTING OUR PROGRAMS TO STIMULATE
EM'-PLOYMEINT AND TO PROMICTE EQUITY, To GET AUSTRALIA MOVING WHILE
RESTORI. NG ECONIC STABIL. ITY, THE TREASURER WILL1 BE MAKING A
MAJO STATEMENT ON THE ECONOY ON ' HURSDTAHIYS WEEK
WE ARE NOW EXPECTING REASONABLY STRONG GROWTH NEXT FINANCIAL
YEAR, AS TH-iE POLICIES 1' O BE ANNOIUNCED BY THE TREASURER TAKE
-7

F ELT THLE R EC 1-N T RE 0: L" J 1 SS S A ND C 0N i~ lER
CONF~~~ I-DEiC AS TH') E? T3T RNTESF ' HE RECENT
~) EALATC~ f-LOW THROUC; H TO NCY& AND INVESTMENT, AND AS
iNFLATION AN-1D IWI EREST RAT ES i' 1DERATE WE EXPECT THEMl TO
UNDER OUR POLICIES,
HE RU: RAL C. OAIM UNITY, LIKE ALL OTH. EP PARTS OF THE AUSTPALIAN
COMNl-' UNiCY, MlUST ACCEPT ITS SHAPE 0CF FISCAL RESTRAINT,
SOME OF THE MEASURES THAT WE WOULD L-IKE TO IMPLEMEliT TO ASIST
THE RURAL SECTOR MUST, I AMl AFRAID, WAIT FOR IMPROVED BUDGETARY
CONDITIONS, BUT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN IS THAT RURAL
COPiljJ-NITIES WILL SHARE, PERHAPS OR THAN OTHiEP[ AUSTRALIANS,
IN THE BENEFITS C. F THE FISCAL RESTRAINT, WHICH WILL TAKE THE
FORM OF MODERATION OF INTEREST RATES AND COST INCREASES.
CAN ASSURE YOU THAT TrHE GOVERNMENT IS POSITIVELY DISPOSED
TOWARDS THE RURAL SECTOR, AND THAT THIS WILL BE REFLECTED IN
THE OVERAL. L M'lIX OF ECONOMIC POLICIES, THE GOVERNMENT IS
COMM ITTED TO PROGRESSIVE LONG-TERM POLICIES DESIGNED TO
ENSURE A STRONG RURAL SECTOR.
THE NIFF HAS ALWAYS ARGUED THAT AUSTRALIAN TRADE POLICIES ARE
CR UCTI TO THE PROSPERITY OF AUSTRALIA'S RURAL INDUSTRIES,
THE FCEDERAT ION IS RIGHT TO DO SO. IT IS RIGHT TO POItIT OUT
THE COST THAT PROTECTION FOR AUSTRALIA'S MANUFACTURING
INDUSTRY IMPOSES ON AUSTRALIAN FARMERS, I HAVE NOTED REPORTS
OF THE FEDERATION'S RECENT REPRESENTATIONS ON STEEL IMPORT
19 ,/ 1

U IlkS S, l SAY' ThAi SE:~ SO" I" M-ER-r I N iA
SHE SAEEt ' E NO E HLRLN LINEMPL. O'YMENTl AT RECORD LEVLLS,
S 13T T IME TO REDUCI: iMANUFAC'TUJRI NG PROTECT ION. TL IE
L: R FAC y; A D I LIiIM CAIN ASSURE! Jp--YOU THAT AS wEI
, T T IXP T1 R ESO0L VE 11H IS D I LEMA, WE -I'L L B E T AKI1NG YO.
:~ LENATI H2I N 0O ACCOUNT, E DO NOT SEE THE SOLU_ ION TO
AiU TR AL I A'S E COJNONA I C P ROB LEMN! S I N I N CRE As i-I Nj P RO0T ECT I oN,
H E VE DERAT 0; 1IS A LSO R I GHT TOU E I" Pi A S I S IHE I NPOR TANC E
T o AUST2! AL_ A A A WHOLE OF ACCES'S 10 OVERSEAS MARKETS FOR
K: A ' ODUtC-' T3 S L. iK E THE PREVIOIUS GOVERNIM2NT, WE ARE
CONCRNETH * HE RULES OF TjHE I NTERNAT lI ONAL_ TR0ADING
SYS TEM DllS'CRIINAT E ACGA IN ST A I S FRA 1L A AND OTHC EFFIC I ENT
: RODUCERS OF F: OOD. IWILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE
TEEISSUES WrITH FRENCH AND AMERICAN LEADERS NEXT MONTH, AND
D W'' ELCOME THE FEDERATION'S ADVICE ON PRIORITIES AND
STRATEGiES ON INTERNATIONAL MARKET ACCESS FOR AUSTRALIAN FOOD.
IKNOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLYWWORRIED ABOUT
INDUSTRIAL RLELATIONS IN THE RURAL INDUSTRIES. No ONE IS
MORE A'IAREL THAN AM OF THE SERIOUS IMPACT OF POOR INIDUSTRIAL
* RELATIONS ON THE PRIMARY PRODUCERS OF AUSTRALIA, I HAVE
COMIT T ED IMY GOVERNMENT TO0 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS POLIC" IES
WH ICH, BELIEVE, WILL VASTLY IMPROVE THE GENERAL INDUSTRIAL
CLIMATE IIN AJSTRALIA, IN PUT7ING THOSE POLICIES INTO EFFECT,,
t. 1

vE ILL DE PART CiIAARHLEY MIHDFUL OT iNTERESTS OF
PR IMARY PUDUlC LER S
THE P1I ' N ISTER FOR LENPLOYMENT AND I NDUSl1 RI AL RELA TIONS,
RALPH ILLIS) HAS WORKED TIRELESSLY TO RESOLVE THE
JNFORT: JNATE WIDE COMG! 3S DISPUWEi, HAT EFFORT HAS
CONTR* BUTED CONSIDERABLY TO THE PROGRESS THAT HAS BEEN
MADE ON THIS ISSUE.
I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE NATIONAL FARMERS
EDERATION. I PESPECT THE FEDERATION'S PROFESSIONAL
APPROACH TO ITS ROLE. THAT PROFESSIONALISM HAS GIVEN THE
" IARi IHG COMMUNI Y A RESPEC 7LD V'( ICE NEAR GOVERNMENT JUST
AS I APPRECIATED fICHAEL DAVIDSON'S HELP AT THE SUMMIT,
LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE FEDERATION W; ITHIN AC,
AS WELL AS LESS FORMALLY, OVER THE YEARS AHEAD.
GOOD LUCK WITH THE BUILDING OF NFF HOUSE HERE IN CANBERRA,
I AM TOLD THAT PLANS ARE WELL ADVANCED AND THAT FUND RAISING
IS CLOSE TO THE TARGET EQUITY OF $ 1.5 MILLION PLANNED FOR THE
PROJECT, I HOPE CONSTRUCTION WILL PROCEED SMOOTHLY AND LOOK
FORWARD TO ITS COMPLETION IN I938,
SWOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH FARMING GOOD
FORTUNE IN -: THE PERIOD AHEAD. WITH THE BREAK IN THE DROUGHT
AND SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT IN THE WORLD ECONOMY TOGETHER WITH
APPROPRIATE POLICY RESPONSES WITHIN AUSTRALIA AND CO-OPERATION
ALL AROUND, I AM CONFIDENT WE CAN OVLRCOME THE PROBLEMS WHICH
FACE US,
I DECLARE THIS CONFERENCE OPLN,

Transcript 6115