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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2676

MACQUARIE NETWORK WEEKLY BROADCAST BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON WILLIAM MCMAHON CH MP - URBANN AND REGIONAL DEVELOOPMENT - 20 SEPTEMBER 1972 - INTERVIEWER: PAUL LYNCH

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: 20/09/1972

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 2676

MACC ' UARIE NETWORK BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON.
WILLIAM McMAHON, CH, MP
URBAN AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEPTEMBER 1972
Interviewer: Paul Lynch
Q. With the announcement of your plan to set up the
National Urban and Regional Development Authority, we have for
the first time a clear programme from the Governiment to ease
the strains of urbanisation in AustralIa which are considerable,
I understand that you have a number of targets for this
Authority. Coull you tell us what they arc, please?
PM: I wouldn't like to call them targets. I doubt whether
that is the correct term. But what we are doing is to promote
two different concepts. The first one is what we call submetropolitan
centres around existing cities and the second is
the development of regional growth centres. what we will do is
provide the finance to the States in order for these two concepts
to be made a reality. Those are the concepts that we hope to
achieve.
Q. Sir, in foriving your plans for this, have you any
figures in front of you in terms of foreign experience, of
what has been achieved in countries such as the United Kingdom,
which has tried this sort of thing?
PM: Yes, we have had documents relating to overseas
experience. That has not been the decisive factor with us.
We want something that is peculiarly suited to Australian
conditions, and so we hope to develop something that will be
imaginative, that will secure a better quality of life for
Australians and that will truly reflect the Australian environment
and the 5pirit of the Australian people. ./ 2

Q. The-New South Wales State. . Minister-for Decentralisation
has suggested that initially, the Commonwealth Government will
simply be co-ordi-nating--oth6 State Departments of Decentralisation.
Would you accept that?
PM. No, I don't. I don't think that is a correct concent.
Naturally we want to have the closest co-ooeration with the
States. This is essential. But what we will be doing is
establishing the Authority itself that is the Regional and
Urban Development Authority under an authority itself, and
then, we will be developing feasibility studies and plans for
the development of these areas, submitting them to the States for
their approval, and if they are approved, we will provide finance.
So it is not a co-ordination in that sense. It is a dramatic
new initiative to improve the quality of life in Australia.
Q. Prime Minister, this is, of course, a very large
canvas on which something like this would be painted, and I
imagine you will have considerable research to do before the
first active steps are taken. What will you be studying?
PM-That is why I have decided to appoint an Authority
immediately and have the Act passed in the Parliament before
the next break occurs at the end of another four weeks. We
will require the authority to make recommendations to us.
But there are two other organisations that are imoortant.
The approvals will mainly be on the basis of Prime Minister/
Premier relationships, and we will also establish a technical
committee with the best brains that we can get in Australia
to assist the Authority itself to develop plans for the new
regional and urban centres.
0. This could take a couple of years, I take it?
PM: No, we will be starting work in the course of a few
days, and I hope that Sir John Overall will be able to collect
a staff around him and we will be getting to work fairly
quickly. We want these plans developed as quickly as we can,
and that is why we made the decision to bring down a statute
immediately, to make it a reality and to let us get on with the
job as quickly as we can.
Q. A final point, Prime Minister. This could be seen as
a Commonwealth intervention in a State area. What would your
response to that be?
PM: I wouldn't use the word " intervention". It will be
Commonwealth/ State co-oneration in the best way that is
practicable, and particularly designed to ensure that people
have better standards of living, won't have the difficulties
of travelling and will not have the problems associated with the
isolation in big communities, or alienation in big communities,
and we hope that this will permit individuals to develop their
characters and their opportunities to the maximum. I don't regard
it as in any sense interfering with the States It must be based
on co-operation. Prime Minister, thank you very much.

Transcript 2676