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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7603


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: 20/05/1989

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 7603

JOURNALIST: First of all, from what the protesters are
O saying out there, the small amount of protesters
PM: Very small.
JOURNALIST: What are you going to do about Kakadu?
PM: That's a matter that will be decided. An you know we've
it's a conservation zone there and therm are
investigations going on in which we're taking into account
the interests of the conservationists, the Aboriginal people
and the home. of the mining Inaterests and we will make a
decis ion which we believe is appropriate in the
circumstances. So the people out there are properly
concerned, they have that conservation interest taken into
aacumt and it will be and I think we're entitled, on our
record in the six years of Government, to be able to claim
credit f or doing more to preserve the heritage of this
country than any other government's ever done before. We
will properly take thee things into account. I haven't
anything more to say about that because it's a matter to be
S considered by Cabinet.
JOURNALIST: How far away is the decision?
PM: I'm not quite sure how far down the track it is but we
won't be rushing the matter.
JOURNALIST: Do you think the next election will be an
environment election?
PM: No it won't be just an environment election, but quite
clearly environmental issues will be of considerable
importance as they have been to us from our first election.
You will recall, 1983, which Party was it that promised to
save the Franklin, It wasn my Party. Who saved it? My Party.
Who established Kakadu into the World Heritage listing? My
Party# my Government. Who was it that saved the Daintree
Rainforest? My Government. Who was it that saved the
rainforest in Tasmania? My Government. Who was it that put

A. 0
PM ( cant) the areas of Tasmania onto the World Heritage
listing? My Government. Hasn't been a record in protection
of the environment like the Hawks Labor Government.
JOURNALIST: With the latest advisory committee coming out
and saying that interest rates are likely to stay high well
Into next year, have you totally given up hope that you had
earlier in the year that they will came down?
PM: I'm not saying anything predictive about interest rate.
at this time because it's a delicate issue longterm
forecast I was making. I don't intend to say anything now
until further on into the year. The fact is, as I have said
and Paul Xeating has said, that we will keep monetary policy
as tight-as necessary for as long as is necessary to protect
the Australian economy. I mean let me say to your viewers
the obvious facts. I m an intelligent politician, I don't
keep interest rate. higher than necessary for one day longer
than necessary. I'm not a masochist, I don't want to hurt
myself. I'm not a sadist-and I don't want to hurt the
Australian people but I know that with the level of activity
that we ' vs got in this country, if we relax on interest rates
policy at this time we'd lose the dollar and then interest
rates would go through the roof and the economy would
collapse. The best interests of the Australian people at
this time and into the near future, demand the maintenance of
tight monetary policy. Although that might be considered
politically dangerous by some commentators, I'll do it
because it a necessary in the beet interests of this
country. JOURNALIST: Therefore how tied are interest rates in your
election strategy?
PM: I haven't got an election strategy. I mean the only
person who's talked about elections is the fellow who was
Leader of the Liberal Party. I keep making the point that
here we are, less than two years away from the last election,
I've never mentioned early election., John Howard did because
he was worried about the impact of the cuts in interest
rates, cuts in taxes I mean, that we had promised twelve
months before and which was brought in and to try and
divert attention from that he started talking about an early
election. He was also a bit worried about his own scalp,
well he couldn't save that and I'm not'in an election mode
consideration. It's got nothing to do with it.
JOURNALIST: So why the three day trip to Adelaide?
FM: Well I ' spose on that basis, any trip I do immediately
after an election is electioneering. I sean, I can't, after
an election# go to any electorate for what period? Until
the next election is announced? I mean, I don't mean to be
rude to your but that's stupidity. I am the most travelled
Prime Minister I think in the history of this country.

PN ( cant) I like travelling around the electorate, I do it
consistently and I do it from soon after elections. I man
don't read any early election by the fact that I'm here with
Rod Savford, who is making Port Adelaide safe for democracy.
JOURNALIST: You mentioned briefly the ructions in the
Liberal Party. Do you think Ian McLachlan will be a help or
a hindrance in that area?
PM: He'll be a great hindrance to Fred Chaney's ambitions.
They tell &@-Fred's been taking a few headache powders over
the last 24 hour., as well he might, because Mr Chaney of
course engaged in the chicanery and deception against Mr
Howard on the basis that they were going to lose the next
election. Mr Peacock, the interim leader, he's going to take
over. Now I think that the Liberals will be looking at Xr
McLachlan, that is if he beets Mr Porter. I man Mr Porter
has been there for such a long time you'd think he'd have his
preselection safe, but if he's not and Mr McLachlan gets in,
I think the person in the federal Parliament who's worried
most about that is Fred Chaney.

Transcript 7603