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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4823

Appointment Ministerial Committee on Industrial Relations

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/09/1978

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 4823

Reports of a disagreement . within-the Ministry over the
appointment of a Ministerial Committee on industrial
relations, and over a statement on employment, are
completely untrue.
one major newspaper has a story this morning which I
have discussed with the Minister for Employment and
Industrial Relations, Tony Street.
As far as we are both concerned there is no element of
truth in the story whatsoever. I have total confidence
in Tony Street. He is one of the best Ministers for
Industrial Relations that Australia has ever had.
Tony Street will chair the new Committee. As we know,
industrial relations and industrial law are a complex area.
The Minister and the Committee will be concerned with
achieving a better industrial climate, a greater measure
of support for the conciliation and arbitration system and
a greater understanding of the importance of good
industrial relations to all Australians for our economic
well-being, and for growth in employment. It will review
industrial law as well as the processes of consultation
and understanding.
Industrial relations is an important area, not only to the
participants, but to the nation as a whole.
It affects the economy, overseas and domestic investment,
business confidence, and employment opportunities.
The Government's policies under Tony Street have achieved
a marked improvement over the past few years.
But, because the area is so important, the Government wants
to review what has been done, and to see what further steps
it ought to take.
To suggest that such a review implies any criticism of
Tony Street is the grossest distortion. / 2

Mr. Street's statement to the Parliament on employment
was fully agreed to by both the Treasurer and myself.
The Minister had suggested it some considerable time
ago and received support for his suggestions.
It was necessary to lay out the position plainly so that
all Australians could understand the nature of the tasks
in front of us. That is what the Minister has done.
Let me say in the plainest terms, that I have never had
a significant difference with Tony Street over the
conduct of his portfolio.
I am advised that the author of the story that appeared
in one morning newspaper did not check with my office.
I am also advised that the same author did not check
with Mr. Street's office.
Whatever his sources might have been, they can only be
misinformed and mischievous.
The business of Government is complex, especially in our
modern society. It is made all the more difficult, and
quite unnecessarily so, when stories are written without
foundation, without truth, and are mischievous and
damaging in their content.
Australia is entitled to better reporting, to a more
constructive press. 000---

Transcript 4823