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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 9358

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING MP DOORSTOP AT "TIMBAROO",DUARINGA,QUEENSLAND 15 SEPTEMBER 1994

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/09/1994

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 9358

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PRIME MINISTER
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING MP
DOORSTOP AT " TMAROl DUARINGAI QUEENSLAND
SEPTEMBER 1994
E& OE PROOF COPY
J: .( inaudible)
PMV: .( inaudible) it's got very expensive, I think, because of the fact that It
has gone on for so many seasons. You know, It's got to the point
where there is virtually.. . the grass has disappeared and you're really
Into very dry country, and I think ( Inaudible) What it means Is that
the breeding stock Is starting to go, and this is a long term problem for
the cattle industry.
J: You have talked to some of the hardest hit farmers in Central
Queensland in that room there what are they demanding?
PMV; Well, they're not demanding anything. I think they are very sensibly
saying that this is a major economic and social problem and what we
have got to do Is think our way through It to make sure that whatever
measures we put Into place are most effective. Now, the point I made
to them Is the thing that has motivated this Government Is the policies
of Inclusion, that Australian society goes on together and we don't let
one group slip behind. I said at election time we wouldn't let the
unemployed slip behind, and I don't want to see the rural community
slip behind, so I think this Is a chance In the face of this drought to
sort of rennovate some of these policies to see that we do stay
together In our society, and that the country is wealthy enough and
compassionate enough to make sure that rural people are not denied
income support and the sort of support they need to carry on their
businesses.
J: There are reports that the Federal Government will commit to a $ 100
million package... a I--4 1 1' 4 U U U L. r v

I Li.. 2
PM: Well look, I mean I'm reeking in questions about money I get every day
of the week, frankly. Wait and see. What you want here are really, I
think, thoughtful appraisals of policies to see whether they work rather
than how much money Is it going to be. I mean, it will be as generous
as we can make it but, most Importantly, more effective, as effective as
we can make It.
J: Did you expect it to be this dusty?
PM: I did, but I didn't expect it to be so denuded of stock, end also to see
some of the regrowth dying off. I mean, I think that's a pretty ominous
sign to see some of this regrowth from species of scrub that can
virtually exist on anything and they're dying too.
J: Did you hear some sad stories in there today?
PM: Well, now, I don't want to say they're sad stories, but they're
meaningful stories. You know, they're stories that are looking for hope
and want some sensible appraisal of their circumstances and that's
wh~ at I'm here for.
J: ( inaudible)
PM: Well, again, we've already spent $ 100 million In the last.. slnce ' 92 on
the RAS Scheme for drought. Thats the Commonwealth, and of
course, we've stated, Queensland receives more. But It's not enough.
It's a matter of how much we can do, but then how effectively we can
-see it come down to where people can use It best.
J: Do you think ( inaudible)...
PM: Well, If we can get some handle on this In time, 1 will. Otherwise it will
be a little later.
J: And you spoke about a long-term drought strategy what was that?
PM: Well, that's what I mean. There Is a set of .( inaudible In
assistance that looks Into Income support, carry-on support, where
they go after the drought financially those sorts of things that are In
place year-in, year-out. They are there perpetually.
ends A _ e L V j

Transcript 9358