PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6870


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: 21/03/1986

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 6870

JOURNALIST: inaudible
PM: Well, I don't know there is such dissension in their
ranks that it is very likely to appear I would think.
JOURNALIST: You are obviously very happy about the way
things have been going?
PM: Well, it Is nothing much more than you wouJd expect
really. This is the worst Opposition in, I think, the
history of federal politics. The most inept leadership
I have been saying from the time that this Parliament
resumed that the media should be watching the Opposition
parties because they were going to be fractured by different
factions, philosophies and opportunisms. And that is
the way It is working -out. They have no principles,
they have no policies. And it is inevitable in that
situation that you are going to have this degeneration
in the rabble that you have got.
JOU1NALIST: Mr Hawke any comments on what you will be
discussing today at the meeting.
PM: NO, 1 always maintain my comments for in the meetj'ng
not outside.
JOURNALIST: Will interest rates be a topic of discussion?
PM: No. of course not.
JOURNALIST: ANy idea of what is on page four?
PM: NO. Tt Is fasctnating. If they had to keep that
quiet, may be it is the liquidation list. I just don't
know. / 2
4' s n;

JOURNALIST: Would you expect some sort of challenge
to Mr Howard, given the number of leaks from the Party
in recent times?
PM: I don't think it it just because of the leaks.
As I said before, they have no principles. They have
never really worked out what they stood for. They have
had government for a fair while by default. They have
never had to address themselves to what they really believe.
And of course, it emerges that they believe in nothing
except power. So they have no capacity to develop policies
because they have no principles from which to develop
policies. And in that sort of vacuum of principle and
policy, what comes to the surface inevitably is personal
lusts for power. What comes to the top is the pursuit
of particular personal possessions. In that situation
you will have leaks, you will have backbiting. And you
will have very tenuous holds of positions of power.
JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, all I want is a tip for the Slipper?
PM: Well, I have to confess that I haven't had a chance
yet to study the form as closely as I would like to,
but my preliminary position is Bounding Away and IMperial
BAron, but I would like to have a look at the form of
this New Zealander Scotch and Dry, it seems to be fairly
good. JOURNALIST: What about for a bit of value?
PM: For a bit of value? Perhaps Bataan,
JOURNALIST: drought along the East Coast, is that
a concern to the Government re the balance of payments
problem? PM: Well, you never want a drought. But at this stage
it hasn't been put to me as something that is likely
to occur. Our problem, of course, is the prices we get
for our products. We are amongst the world's most efficient
producers of rural products. The great tragedy is that
our farming community, the best in the world, is being
mutilated by a corrupted international market. And that
is why I am going to see President Reagan. Why 1 am
going to press the case of Australian farmers. It is
a tragedy that these men and women, who work so hard,
more efficiently than anyone else in the world, are not
getting a proper reward for their efforts because of
this corruption of the international market initiated
by the Europeans and now compounded by the understandable
concern of the Americans who are trying to retaliate
against the Europeans, but in that retaliation Australia
could be hurt. So that is why I am going to the United
States to try and ensure that the proper interests of
Australians are protected. / 3
s 1' % S OW

JOURNALISTi: Will it immediately affect th morn press
prousing economic problems facing9 Australia will
theso things affect government policy over tho short.
PM: Well1, te'L me say that the matters to which 1 have
beun referring, the corruption of international markets,
has been a major factor in the massiv'e turnaround in
List; u L m. u. r LiaJl. If, Is, Caut,, Lim~ L-tj amm of L-idu
hadnl't turned In the way they havo, that its n drop. a
substauiLial drop in pr-ioas for our conimudi Lies iii irt~ Tineijtionlal
markets. we had had the uumo terms o~ F trade position
which operated at. the end of 1984. Our current account.
situation would be thtree and a half" billion dollars betLer
1-han it is. Now, Lhat Is an enormous load for ally tciomly
to be carrying. And it is a tribuLe to the styririg,
of tho Australian economy Lhat with than t-ituiinously adverst,
turn agafrisi us in the terms of trade, te' prices we
receive for our Products, that we are doinig so outstandin~ gly
well. JOUR~ NAI [ ST: al I& CISAw ka, Mo k~ bit
PM: No, itL is Just an internal matter. It Is on) ly the
Liberal Pas-Ly which spills its qujt--, if I can--put it
gjently that. way Lo the public, We condiiet our affairs
wiLhln tho P'arty.
JOURNALIST: Sir, will You be discussing at all Mr* Hartley'.-
13m: Ohl, I think there ts-somel rofer-ence Lo it., but.
T think that sh ould take up a small amount of our time.
JOURNAI-TST: 3ust. one question, Sir, on Lhit. matter.
Lhc infamous list from Lhe Liberal Party. coifl It. bt4
not. be seell as ' somethirty quite normial, given that-all.
parties might. discuss who might; oppose who sup~ port. their'
P'M: No, it can't be seen normal in-any -sense )) ocaus
here Y011 hava a iparty which traditionally has rolied
upon the support of the businessi comniunity and this document
starkly reved1s that their own base has r'epudiated thom.
Quite understandably, because the sort of nlonsense they
are talking in regalrd to Industrial relations would be
disastrous for businoss as indeed It would be for the
trade unions and the community generally. -No, 1 mcan
IL Jsaterrible cOmmmentary upon their IuiepLitudie, thoir
hoeeI ouness, Lhat in a central issule like this they
Re revealing that they under-stand that they have no
basic support any where in the community.
JOURNALIST: Does the Labor ParLy have anly ! si: milar type
li s t"?
PM: No, of course not. We have broad sup~ porL from thle
business communiLy, the trade unions and community generally.
We Just couldn't Possibly fill up five pages of peoplo
liko that who would be doubtful about our policics.

Transcript 6870