PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2591


Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/05/1972

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2591

Speech by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. WTJilliam McMahori
Thanks! Dr Derek Freeman for your very kind welcome, and
thanks Frank Theeman and your charming wife for your kindness and
generosity and for inviting us all to enjoy your hospitality this
afternoon. I am delighted to see so many of you here today. Like you,
my main purpose is to lend the strongest support I can to Bill
Aston and the Liberal Party in Phillip.
Bill has been an outstanding Liberal and has occupied the
high office of Speaker with distinction and authority for so long.
So we are all here this afternoon to make sure that when our
Speaker is returned, it will be with the kind of majority he richly
deserves. Amongst us today, there are representatives of the Liberal
Party as a whole Federal and State politicians, officials of the
Liberal Party organisations, "-nch officers, Party members and
strong supporters. I am glad, too, that this Garden Party is
being held in Leslie Bury's territory. Because this is teamwork
in operation and that is one of the great contrasts between the
Liberal Party and our opponents. Unity, loyalty and teamwork are
our insurance policy for success.
In the past few days, we have seen the confirmation of the
swing back of support to the Government. Our support is rising,
and it will be much higher later on in the year as confidence
srrgcs ahead. I ask you to redouble your efforts at the Branch and
organisational level in the coming months. Now is the time to
spread our campaigning and our support throughout the community.
Our policy positions are sound. We have a first--rate story
to tell. It is a story of constructive achievement and imaginative
action. I say let's get on with it as one team and with one voice.
Don't let us be diverted or distracted by side issues or irrelevancies.
We must fight and win on our grounds on the the-nes of our
choice with our timing and with complete unity of purpose.
By way of contrast, our opponents are uniquely vulnerable
this year on just about every main issue that Australiais are
concerned about.
On the other hand, we are strengthened by our policies and
accumulated practical experience of many years of proven record in
government. / 2

We-lal know there -ar. very real and unbridgeable differences
between our policies and the aressed-up impractical proposals of-..
Labor. Ours arc the practical-policies of a Government which
knows how to implement and finance them.
The Labor Party is completely confused, even on agreeing
what their own policies are, let alone on how they would implement,
administer and finance them.
Let me illustrate this today in three vital areas of
community and national life in our management of the nAtional
economy, in the vital area of education, and in CommonY4-lth/
State relations. First of all, the economy. In common with many nations,
we have in the rast few years, faced new types of economic
problems, problems which have not been as amenable to the traditional
responses and adjustments f previous years.
In the face of this, wc have been prepared to be more
flexible than we have ever been before. We had to frvoL!-
acknowledge where predictions wgere not being borne out, to be
ready to correct trends as they emerged and to adjust our
economic strategy accordingly. We adopted a flexible and very
responsive stance and T think it is now paying off.
We took a series of actions in the second half of last
year, starting with monetary pclicy. Most recently, there
was the mini-Budget which will 2rovide a big li: t in deas'. d, and
in confidence. This was active . nd positive decision-making
in the highest area of government.
Then there is education, and with it the desire to help
in a very substantial way both Government and independent
schools. Last December, I announced a special 120 million emergency
grant to the States. it was the first time the Commonwealth had
moved specifically to provide grants for classroom construction at
primary and secondary schools.
Then at the beginning of the year, we announced increases
in the per capita grants to indep'endent schools. Then a few
days ago, details were given to the Parliament of what I called
imaginative proposals to introduce certainty in planning as between
the Commonwealth, the States and the schools, and to make both
grants for capital construction and per capita assistance part of
permanent Commonwealth/ State education policy.
We announced a fivee-year programme of $ 215 million for
school building, and with it arrangements that are designed to
meet up to 40 per cent of independent school running costs.
This continued a policy our Government started in 1963, when
the Commonwealth first approved the science laboratory plan for
Government and non-Government schools. / 3 I

I am p~ roud to s.-av that right frorr th-a beginning, I have
tae nv. part in tho-fo--ruation of1 this scheme. Our
obiective thcn was -~ 4gvio0-oa d and -adequato education
to all Austrailian ch6, ildren in all Australian scho-ols. It is
still my own and the Liberal Party's objective and I think We
are getting a great deal closer to our goals3.
Last, let me mention Cormonwealth/ State relationships.
We apnroached the most recent Premiers' Confercnce at three
levels 1. A very substantial increase in financial assistance
to thec State Governments and to local and sem. 4-
Government autho~ rities. New South Wales was particularly
Wol). treated.
2. Substantial inCreases in uncmpioymcnt benefits and
for unemployment in rural areas.
3. A71ssistanco to the free entcr-risc systom. We restored
thi( iLnvestmcnt -lol~~ anteer aonnd a nnounced a new
and better research a-nd investment sc~ ierne for industry.
These three illustratirins are -ocsitivo cxamoles of an
active Government a G3overnment -f decisi ) n in tho areas that
count, in tho are. as that meian much to us all.
This is the message we; c must get across. With teamleork
we can. Members arc not sitting in Canberra watching opinion
rolls. We are imnroving and introducing -practical policies,
policies designed to makc this a stronger, richer, more3 Australian
and exciting nation.

Transcript 2591