PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2598


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: 19/05/1972

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2598

EV4BARGO: Not for RELEASE" UE70R17 9.10 rm on 19/ 5/ 7?
HjOLT EILECTORATE. Vic. 19 ~ 197 2
Speech by tY7 e Prime ! Minister, the at Hon.
William cI ahon, CH, MP.
Ladies anr2 Gentlemen,
To start with I think you woTculm like me to thank rr and M1. rs
Bill MontaguLe f or providinag us with thie opportunity to be here. It
is a real gathiering of the% la. t
We are here not only to meet and have a happy time; we are
here to heln in every way we can to ensure that L1EN REID, is going to
come back into the Government at the next election with the thumping
majority he deserves. This function is a tiut to him. I t is a
tribute to -tnie Libarals in the Division of Nolt who have helped make
it a success. Hiolt is rather uniaue and unusual. In a mi-nute I wdill tell1 you
why it has a rat-her uniaue and unusual membcr in Len Reid. MTh-i s
electoral division w-as namecd after a mar, who was an outstanding
Australian, an outstanding Victorian, ancl an outstanding Liberal Prime
Liinister. I refer of course. to the Lato IFarold Fio'] t.
I'm told tt~ sdivision is in fact one of the fastest growing
electorat3R in Australia, after Mitchell, on the Western. outskirts of
Sydney and Diamond Valloy.. which covers thgrowing N'orth-eastern
s uburban fringe of iMcrlbourne. The point about these t*. iree elactorateos
is that they arc, all in~ ra-nidly deveoi e suburban areas, anrd t-hey
are all held 1, y Liberals.
Ele-: ctora. tes; like this are truly a part of the suburban oxnlosion
t-hatinas been going on around the edges of Irga ciisfrsm
years now. :, anv of the peonlc who are moving into these areas aroe
young couples with young feirilies, who are zstablishing their first h1-ome.
They have particular needs in housing, in hatin education, in roads,
In power, sewerage and in othor conmunity facilitie-fmnykns ./ 2

So you find tocharacteristics neculiar to the7, e new areas3
growth and youth which pose speci al orobl. orr, to be solved, and these
need special remcdies anQ solutions. The effort to meetk. the problems
of community development is one for all c-1 us at all levels of gove--rnment
at the local govern~ ment level and I believe it is fundamental
to Persevere and co-opsrate wi-t1h local gc-verrment.
This afternoon, on the way here, I atte-nded a civic reception
at Springvale in this electorate. Springvale is one of the:, fastust
growing districts in Victoria, or in Australia for that matter, arnd it
is, I would say, a good example of tlle grow)., th explosion I have roferred
to. The second love], of government invinlvnd is ofE course, tho Statte
government with its multitude of specific rcs * nnsibilities. The third
link in the chain if3, of course, my own government in Canbcrra. Now the
problecms and needs oif this rapid urban grcwth rainge across th-e thrt-! r
lcvels of govcrnment and in soma places thay inelvita-bly overlao). Put
it should be remenmberced that thesce ara nroblems which are a-nnratad by
grow.-th and orogress thzi sel--ve9. Thoy occur cgzainst a backdrop) of a
developing, diversifying and continuousl! y xan:. gnationa. l economy.
Thc-y are nroblems whaich will not ba swernt av-ay-by finae nhrases or
fulsome promises in f~ loction year. Tile-' 11il. only lbeovrmey ain
and intelligent co-opra~~ tic'n between all of the thiree tiors of our*
Australian systrem of go'verniment.
Our opponents think it is fashionablo thc--se days to claim we have
a crisis" in our cites imilar to--th ose srome comnoar-11. la cities
overseas. That, cf course, is wi,-ldly inaccurat--. IkovrtheLe-ss we in
thea Commonwealth Goverrnnt know).. you are corncoried, cand righ-tly so. We
know,-you want actiJon now to imprfove today's living conditions and to
avoid the greater nrnolems of tomorrow. No ono. c,-n nretend taat the
citiescb not have oroblems such as high lani costs,' atmospheric
pollution, traffic ccongeton, long distance commuting, recreational
congestion, * Lack rf coirxiinity centres in the outer suburbs, and an
increased crime ratze, violence and other srcial prob,-, lems.
Basically, these are tasks for the tiers of our government
structure which arc closest to them, and they are-the local and state
governments. But this d -os not any means indicate that we in Canberra
do not * h-ave, a very strong indirect interost, nor does it mean we ara
not 3ympathetic. Let meolan
Ile i n Canberra sc-, onen of our vitally important dutie(-s as the
management of the national economy. Success in national economic areas
is fun-famental to the growth wh7' 1ich the suburban explosion iimn.. lies. It
is fundamo-ntal that. national ceconomny be kapt h:! althy and . crntiniuo-usly
expanding. I hope I say this modestly.
I h-ave had a good deal of di-rect exnerienca in financial and
economic management as Treaourcr and now% in my nresent portfolio. On
that score I think th-. at we can faiirlv claim that our own flexible and
sensitive approach to the difficult economic nroblems we have be'en
confronted with, and our willingnl. s-7 to act boldy and without delay to
take positive decisions in stimulating the-ieconorny arc now, paying off
4n the return of business confir,! nce, and the continuing improvement in
the employment situation.

Only on Tuesday, my colleague, the Minister for Labour and
National Service, announced the April figures for employment. They
showed unemployment . was down by nearly another 5,000 to about 93,400.
This was a far cry from the anguished cries and the fear predictions
of the Leader of the Opposition and his Lieutenants. It is no thanks
to him, or his industrial snokesman, tr. Cylde Cameron, or to Mr. Hawke
for that matter. They saw unemployment as a fear issue, as something
to be exploited. The more unemployed, the more votes.
Well, that one has blown up in their faces. So have others
where they have sought to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate.
Remember the " reform" and I have that word in inverted commas of the
Victorian Labor Party? That exnloded when the " reformed" Victorian
Labor Party broke out in cheers for the North Vietnamese aggression
against South Vietnam. The support of the Labor movement for
demonstrators and even violence, has grown in strength. That blew up as
well. I am glad to hear that some Labor politicians are now adding
their voices to the call to observe the law in the streets, even if it
is belated. I look forward to them extending their call to observe
the law on draft dodging as well.
But to return to my main theme here tonight on the question of
urban development: The second area of our involvement this is interconnected
with our overall role of economic management is in our
continually increasing financial allocations to the states. Before
people become too carried away with labels like urbanisation, or urban
affairs, or phrases like the challenge of the cities, they should stop
to consider the billions of dollars for housing, for roads, for water,
for sewerage, for hospitals, and for many, many other facilities that
have resulted from the long years of practical co-operation between
Commonwealth and State Governments under Liberal and Country Party
Governments. For the current financial year, the states works and housing
allocation alone is 92 million dollars. It is left to state
Governments tc decide how they spend those allocations and most other
capital and revenue assistance from us. We believe it is right that
they should have this right. They are closer to these problems than we
are. They have the administrative experience.
Lastly there are the ways in which the Commonwealth directly
assists in coping with the snrecial needs and nroblems of the new, urban
areas. Health and education are two areas where we have made specific
decisions within the nast few days and weeks. Example the most common
fee has been increased in Victoria and accepted by doctors here without
further cost to fund contributors. We have in education moved directly
and for the first time into providing money to build school classrooms.
Previously, we wre ::. elping with science blocks and libraries.
Now we will be building the schools themselves, for both government and
independent schools for all Australian children in all Australian schools.
/ 4

We will also shortly he making an imnr-ortant * policy statement on
the Commonwealth's apnroach to,. enviro~ nmental questions, and of course,
there is the other large area of dire--ct commonwealtii assistance. That
is social wefr. This is an aro. a in which Led Raid hais shown himself
to bc a man of great compassion and &--termination in both-',* a national
and international sense. His concern knows no borders and no limitationo.
That is why he was such a strong advocate of our help for Bangladesh.
Lilco him, I am proud that Australia was one of thea first to go
to the aid of Dangladosh and one of the first to recognise that new
nation and new member of the Commonwealth. On the home scene hc has been
a determine~ d advocate of certain important reforms in our non7, ions and
social welfare structure.
Well Chairman, I do not want to int(*_ rrot the proceedings
and furthicr, But I did want to indicato to you and those who are Iicre
this evoning how we in Canberra and w,, e in the Liberal Party are thinking
on these problems: How' we aro ore'pared to heir) co-oneratively axvi
constructively in urban develcomont; and' hnow we do not favour an
impractical and unworkable rystem of long-. range bureaucracy to C'.& al with
essentially local problems such as that favoured by the Labor Party.

Transcript 2598