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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7454

TRANSCRRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE, OLD MINT, SYDNEY, 13 JANUARY 1989

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: 13/01/1989

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 7454

PRIME MINISTER]
TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE, OLD MINT, SYDNEY, 13 JANUIARY
1989 œ 0 3-PROOF ONLY
JOURNALIST: What do you think about the resignation of
Justice Muirhead7
PM: Well I've known about this now for come time that it
was impending. I've had discussions with him and it's a
decision which I understand completely. He has made a great
contribution and he has the opportunity of taking up the
appointment as Administrator of the Northern Territory, a
position for which he is eminently well equipped. I think
the work that he has done in the Commission sets a very firm
foundation for the future work of that commission. The
interim report is a very useful one. He will continue to
work until April. we will receive further reports from him
before the end of this month as his statement has indicated
and at the appropriate time in consultation with the State
Governments will nominate the successor to Justice muirhead.
09 X % van ka # tako thl c mft ~ ir otirtincg nn t-hp r1hlic
record my appreciation for the great work that he has done,
for the foundation that he has laid and to wish him well for
the future.
JOURNALIST: Did you try and get him to stay Mr Hawke?
PM: I was able to get Justice Muirhead to stay for perhaps
longer than the personal pressures upon him before would
have led him to do, so he stayed, as I say, perhaps longer
than he perhaps thought was possible as a result of the
discussions I had with him. I am confident that, as a
result of the work he has done-and the team that he's got
working with him, that we will be able to nominate an
appropriate successor. me is confident, as I am confident,
that the work will be carried through to a successful
conclusion. JOURNALIST: Sir, why was the decision made to appoint him
to the Northern Territory today? why did the Government
make that decision today?
PM: I didn't make that decision today is the answer to that
question.

-2-
JOURNALIST; Prime miinister, there was talk that there was
some sort of political pressure on Justice Muirhead to
leave, what do you think of those
PH: Wello it's nlonsenseO.
JOURNALIST: Is there any implication with the Western
Australian election coming on that the Northern Territory
appointment was made?
PM: None whatsoever. You would need to have even the most
fervid imagination in the silly non-political season to work
that one out. I'd just like to know what the machinations
in your mind are to think that one up. There is absolutely
no foundation for it at all.
JOURNALIST: Who is the likely successor?
PM: That's a matter that we will decide in consultation
with the States.
JOURNALIST: will his departure disrupt the Commission at
all? M No. I thought I'd made it quite clear in the answers
I'd given a moment ago that the work that has been done by
mr Justice Muirheado in consultation and in association with
his colleagues, will mean that the work will go on. I've
already made that quite clear.
JOURNALIST: Prime minister, how confident are you that the
$ 250,000 reward can do something in the Winchester case?
PM: we obviously hope it will do something, otherwise we
wouldn't have put it there. But you can't be certain in
these matters. What we have decided to do of course is to
give as much incentive by that step and to ensure that all
the resources are going to be available to maximise the
chances of apprehending the perpetrator of this monstrous
crime. We hope that that will play a part in bringing to
justice whoever is responsible for it.
JOURNALIST: Sir, on the Muirhead matter, do you have any
preference for a likely successor?
PM: Well, it I have I'm not going to announce it publicly
here. I will take that into account in my discussions with
my colleagues and with the States.
JOURNALIST: Sir, a report too that Mr Fraser, Malcolm
r~. uve wouad Ue alLato to cell * he ahnriainAl rnnnt to
white Australia, do you have any reaction to that?

-3-
PM: Again, like a previous question put, rather
inaccurately put, if we can get down to the substance of it,
in discussions that I have had last year with a number of
people including representatives of the Aboriginal people
and with Mr Hand, I had mentioned Mr Fraser's name as one of
a number of people in the community who I thought would be
appropriate in promoting discussion of and also in
soliciting support within the community for the concept of a
treaty. I think that the reputation of Mr Fraser in this
area is impeccable, but his was one of a number of names
that's in my mind.
ends I

Transcript 7454