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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7895


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: 12/02/1990

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 7895

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, when will the election be?
PM: I'd like to be able to break the news here, but I don't
G& know yet.
JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, we've heard from Melbourne that the
result of the pilots case is some $ 6 million, I believe.
What's your reaction to the amount?
PM: Well, it was just a matter of decision by the court
as to how many days were involved. They had agreed, between
the two parties, as to what the amount today would be, so
that's Just a judicial decision as to the number of days
that were involved.
JOURNALIST: Are you disappointed by the amount, given that
you urged the airlines not to proceed with the damages case?
PM: Well, that's a finding of the judge now as to what the
damages should be now. As to what will happen after that
will be a matter for decision by the airlines. I've got
no reason to change what I've said.
JOURNALIST: Mr McCarthy said that would have to sell
their homes to pay for that. How do you feel about that?
PM: Well, I don't want to see individuals suffer. It's
a pity that Mr McCarthy and those officials hadn't thought
about the suffering that they've inflicted on so many people,
including their own members. But, as I said, on the question
of damages, I've made my position clear about that that
I don't want to see damages against people however stupidly
they have acted, but I've got nothing to add to what I've
said about that before.

JOURNALIST: Is there anything you can do about that Sir?
PM: Well, not publicly at this stage. I've made my position
known and we'll see what happens I mean, I really haven't
got anything useful to add on that.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, with the release of Mr Mandela,
would you favour a relaxing of sanctions against South Africa?
PM: I've made my position quite clear on that and let me
say it again. Firstly, I welcome the decisions that have
been taken by the Government of South Africa the ones that
preceeded the release of Mr Mandela and his release. Now,
what I've said is that those decisions create the stage for
negotiations. Apartheid is still in place and it is a
vicious, abhorrent, totally unacceptable system and it is
still in place. I have said that we should be prepared to
indicate that we will look at the lifting of sanctions if,
having created that stage they now go on with the stage and
actually enter meaningful negotiations between the Government
of South Africa and the representatives of the black people,
and if it is seen that those negotiations are taking place
and are leading towards the objective, the common objective
of a democratic multi-racial South Africa, free of the
practice, philosophy of apartheid, then of course we should
be prepared to lift sanctions and I trust that that stage
will be reached where they will enter into negotiations.
JOURNALIST: ( inaudible)
PM: Just a minute, one here.
JOURNALIST: Several times today earlier you were urged to
help a c~ ity which has been cracked down the middle by an
earthquake and has has been severely battered around-in
recent years, to push for the establishment of a Taiwanesebacked
steel works in the midst which could produce thousands
of jobs. You were also urged, if you were returned to power,
to try and influence the Liberal Government in New South
Wales to overcome its apparent disincentive to try and help
business along, how do you feel about that request which
was put to you today?
PM: We've made it quite clear, not just by words but by
action. We've moved to bring in the legislation which would
remove any impediment to that because there was some concern
that because there was not a recognition of Taiwan that that
would create commercial difficulties. Now we've brought
in legislation to remove that concern, so we've put our
actions where the mouths of other people are.

( PM cont): So we are commnitted to helping and I think now
that you've got that legislation indicated by the Government
and you've got the indication of the commitment of the working
people of this region, the trade union movement and our
commitment, in the best possible environment has been created.
I understand there's some developments within Taiwan that
they may not be as close now to making a decision, as has
been contemplated before, but if they are going to move
offshore in any way, Australia in general and Newcastle in
particular, is where they should come.
JOURNALIST: How would you feel about working closely with
a Liberal State Government?
PM: I don't have any problems working with them. I mean,
after all look at the question of the disaster at the end
of last year. I immediately saw Mr Greiner and I suggested
to him that we should just scrub all the red that's usually
associated with these sorts of things in setting up the
national disaster relief arrangements let's scrub that,
let's agree now that we'll share dollar for dollar the costs
and we agreed. So I've shown that I don't have any trouble
working with Liberal Governments. I mean, I'd prefer that
they were Labor Governments that I had to deal with, but
they're the democratically elected Government and when you
have a thing like the earthquake, politics get put aside.
You've got to concern yourself with the needs of people and
act accordingly. One over here?
JOURNALIST: Yes. Prime Minister, further on the election
date.. PM: Nothing further on any specific date.
JOURNALIST: And what about the sitting of Parliament. Can
you confirm that that will or will not go ahead?
PM: I've got nothing to add to what I said yesterday on
JOURNALIST: Can you rule out March-
PM: I've got nothing to add to what I said yesterday.
JOURNALIST: But apparently you did rule it out this morning

PM: I haven't been talking to anyone this morning. I looked
at myself in the mirror, cleaned my teeth, had a shower,
but I haven't been talking to any media, so I've neither
ruled it in or out this morning. I mean, I don't talk to
myself about election dates talk to a lot of other people,
but not to myself.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, on the question of
elections and industrial relations, you referred in your
speech here to the creation by unions of single bargaining
How important is that in your strategy?
PM: Well, I think it's obviously, as we see the evolution
of a degree of enterprise bargaining within the framework
of it allows a aggregate national of outcome to be
predicted, that at those levels there should be a combination
of the unions into a unit because it makes it more, not just
easier, but it makes the laying down of a framework for future
industrial relations within the enterprise easier.

Transcript 7895