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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6721

TRANSCRIPT OF PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE, PORT MORESBY AIRPORT, 15 SEPTEMBER 1985

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: 15/09/1985

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 6721

41AUSTRALIA.-
PRIME MINISTER
E 0 E PROOF ONLY
TRANSCRIPT OF PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE
PORT MORESBY AIRPORT 15 SEPTEMBER 1985
JOURNALIST: -Prime Minister, on a domestic issue, has agreement
been reached on the package of taxation reform?
PM: Well they were well on the way when I left them at 1050
this morning. It will be announced in due time.
JOURNALIST: Do you think it will be achieved this weekend?
PM . We will be ale -to announce it this w ek I believe.
JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, you apparently sewed up a capital gains
tax yesterday, at yesderday's meeting. Can you give any idea
whether this is going to be at a marginal rate or a flat rate.
PM: I know you would expect me to announce the details of capital
gains tax here in New Guinea before the package, and I am sure you
expect me answer that question.
JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, have you headed off che revolt over
: MP's fringe benefits?
PV: What revolt?
JOURNALIST: What appeared to be a potential revolt?
PM: You may have written it up as a revolt but the facts don't
always correspond with your fervent imagination.
JOURNALIST: Does it have unanimous support Prime Minister?
Are there objections to it?
PM: Well the decision is still to be taken. We hadn't dealt with
that when I left. I have no worries about that area of the package
JOURNALIST: On that particular-t Prime MInister. ARe you
confident that the principle will be maintained that politicians
will make a similar sacrifice to what they ask the community to
make. PM: At least a similar one.

JOURNALIST: It could be more.
PM: Well, I am not going to depart from what I have said. I
am not going into the details of a package which has not been
finalised-. And I know all our time is valuable. But you keep
asking me the questions about the package if you like, I am not
going to the details.
JOURNALIST: Are you confident that the package will be electorally
acceptable? And how do you reconcile this with giving the income
tax at the top end?
PM: It will beat the hecll out of whatever th6 Liberals will be
forced to come up with I can assure you of that.
What about the local media. I hope you haven't been intimidated
by my rough and ruthless colleagues from Australia.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, the patrol boat program.
change his position.
PM: Well, they had a position in 1984. There seems to be some
indication that they may have changed from that. Whether they
have changed back to the 1984 position I am not sure. But they
is a maTfl e? that I will be discussing with the Prime MInister
while I aml here.
JOURNALIST: Are you at all confident that there waight be
a change of view of this matter?
PM: Well I thin% it is presumptuous to advance speculation on
that before I talk to Mr Somare. I hope ' that we can arrive
at common ground on it.
JOURNALIST: Sir, the Papua New Guinea Cabinet has decided
against it. Has this affected relations or the Australian
stand on going ahead?
PM: No we had been proceeding on a certain assumption about a
number of boats for Papua New Guinea. Now there does seem to have
been some change there. Now, a11' I can say is that the Prime
Minister has indicated that he wants to discuss this matter
with me and I am more than prepared to discuss it with him.
JOURNALIST: So you will change your stand?
PM: I will change my stand?
JOURNALIST: The Australian Defence Minister said that
Papua New Guinea didn't want these boats then they will forget it,
that was the end of it.
PM: We conveyed our position to them. Subsequently to us
conveying our position to them I had a communication from
Mr Somare saying he would like to talk to me about it. I
am always a model of decency and good behaviour and so on.
And -if someone wants to talk to me, indicates they want to
talk to me, I will. talk to them. And I intend to 6o that.
JOURNALIST: So there _ 4z a possibility that things could change
both on youki! side and the Papua New Guinea side.

PM: Well, we are going ahead with our program.
JOURNALIST: And I take it we are not changing our program.
We are not changing the specifications of our boats.
PM: No, there will be no change in the basic specifications
of the boat.
JOURNALIST: If all the other Pacific Island countries who are
party to the patrol boat program, if they had taken the same
stance as Papua New Guinea did, would-that make any difference
to the Australia
PM: Well, that is like, if I may say so, if your aunt had a
different anatomical construction she would be your uncle.
It is no good asking questions like that. We are dealing with
the'position as it is.
JOURNALIST: Yes, but Papua New Guinea seems to be the only
country that, apart from Fiji, seems to be the only country that
dissented from the program. They want a specific specification.
PM: We have a clear arrangement with a number of countries of
the South Pacific. We will be going ahead with the program
in line with the arrangements we have made with them which were
the same arrangements that we made with New Guinea last year.
JOURNALIST: AS well as talking to Mr Somare about patrol boats,
will you be disqussing matters of mutual interest such as
the Irian Jayan refugees and Australian a~ id to Papua New Guinea?
PM: Yes we will be discussing those matters. And a number of
others I would think.
JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, have you any advice for Mr Somare on
his domestic political problems, given your own experience?
PM: Given my own experience in being able to solve all my own
problems advice.
JOURNALIST: facing a no confidence motion?
PM: Oh, look it would be quite improper for me to come in
here and intrude myself in domestic politics. I believe the
Prime minister nor the Leader of the Opposition would welcome
that. And I don't intend to do it.
ENDS

Transcript 6721