PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4954


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: 16/02/1979

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 4954

16 1i~ 9iJ7A 9
r. 1r--ato of Ur Dunstan did -that come as
Yes it did. I. hadn't understood that he had not been well.
I tnouht h ilht hAEVe been there for quite some time.
PaUl T1,; 1e-.
It's I-ard to be apoiLtical I know, but w.' hat sort of contribution
do you thitk that he's made to Asrlaspolitical life?
Prime Minister-:
fie's made a distinctijv. e contribution to South Austral i an
politics, and flowing out of that has had an impact on
Australian politics overall. H4e's been, I think, qui-t e u -i i
any other Prem1-ier b. c fore him. He's mada a very great
contribution to the arts and to the % development of the arts.
He as different. He contributced greatly and he worked
very very hard. I think it is a great -tragedy that his
poli-. ticL: a'L life hais ended through.-ill health. He is, in
geZ eraL terms, still a pretty young man.
Paul Brber:
ill health is the reason that we are all given for his
resm~ ton. I % e4 should accept that. I am just
wonduering wheht aL raises the question in your mind
about he-, alth amozng politicians generally, because most
of ~ ve ia *-_ ctic lives. Is it a fairly common
thing, do you r that politicians perhaps get run down
and--doe-s that a their performance, do you think?
r A 4Str f
I i -Can It really is a most exhausting
; o -7 rnt-ozt anding job put it that way. You have to le. arn
to -vourse-l-_ because the demands on your own time are go-ing
I! tusi ble. They just never end. In other words,
z-; kej ot to know how to say For every invitation tUhat
yo-ur~ acczept there are probably 10,20, 30, 40, 50, that have
to b:~ ue~. Sometimes people will press very hard, sometimies
your friends will press very hard but if they come in latncn
o. L an already busy schedule, it gets pretty-L difcu_

, AW VZJ. LK-732\ CT
llavc doctors avrwarne-d you, or told you -to slow down?
;': niszer:
i th; oilrii cinsoften get -old to slow down but the
r~ ai -Ing is to pace, yourself in a way that you can managa.
Yout'b-2 able -to draw on reserves from -time to time
bec-au: n:. youi have a busy period and -then if some difficulty
cc-7rac. _ i on top -;. hat you've got to pay attention to it.
3LLi. LnoF is ipart zof the business of politics. I think you
adj-ust to -the somewhat irregular kind of life that is
Q u e stio n ( Cller)
rr. P r imre Ministelr, Iwould like to ask you to Live up to
your J-975 prcmrroses toPensioners. Your Budget-time argument
for 12-montChly -increases instead of six-mionthly due to the
Consumer Prtice Inde-; x being cut due to the fall1 in inflation
making th-E increases naglible, has been proved quite wrong,'
since inflation has again risen and your argumfen-t is no
longer a valid one if it ever was.
Prime MT-inister:_
Inflation hasn't risen. The December Quarter Consumer Price
Indax , was disappointing, I agree whthat but inflation has
not riLsen. -Tho m-) veC down has flattened out but the 12-month
rat,-e was siqnificantly below -the 12-month rate previously)
and so inflation and has come down and it is going to continue
to co-me ciow. n. VWe had some very difficult d-ecisions to mtake
at the tjie-of the last Budget over a number of areas and
one of : nm In 1975 inflation was 17 percent, it
nait bre-n for a six-month period knocking 20 percent, 19 percent,
an.; e nav got-aircat deal more stability into the economy.
chat-did iro-restraining expenditure over a wide range
o. r: s There 3ragain, many difficult decisions which in
ot:-er timies peopl~ e Awould much prefer not to have had to take,
believe th1-1-t overall the Budget is working very much
ince ; rtterests . D Australia. We are starting to see now more
1if -and in t ere s a stirring as somebody else said in
~~-c. usrvand in telast few months of last year manufacturing
er> ovmnt taradto grow fEor the first time in many many years.
Faciy da--ys yet, but I -think as a result of -the kind of
have introduced, we are starting to see Australia
on move.
Ouas-~ on:( Paul ' Barber)
Woi-. u be prepared to have another look at that pensi on
situ TChough, because it has been the cause of concern for
a lot .11 our callers. They say-, well-the rest of Australians
have I-lf-yzearly indexation, why can't they? / 3

Prime : ister:
Sha%/-ner h v hlf-yearly inde. xalion, but alright, they
igot circent last time, but they don't always get
100 p: en:. ' Te-y gc maybe 50 percent, 60 percent, or
perc t~ of ;, hhu. Wver the rate of inflation is. The
coxn i to persioners, of course, is 100 percont, and
tha, : umi-. cment is absol. ute.
t think that, as some of our callers suggest, that
you ar tre ating pensioners as second-class citizens?
Prime 1Minister:
T don't think so, because you see that makes a very great
difference to if pensioners were to be treated the same
as wau0n arners they would get the same indexation adjustment
as wage earners. Now the Arbitration Commission sometimes
says 100 percent but sometimes it might say 50 or 60 percent.
I don't believe anyone believes that we should say 50 or 60 percent
of the adjustment for pensioners and we've said it should
be 100 percent. It will remain 100 percent, as it should.
So there is a real distinction between the adjustments made
for pensioners and the adjustments made for wage earners.
Question: ( Paul Barber)
Can you still give 100 percent, though, by doing it twice
a vyear?
Prime Minister:
I know, but you said put them on the same position as wage
earners. That's not a very good thing to do if wage
earners are only 50 percent of the adjustment.
Qu. stion: ( Paul 5ar. : r)
By giving it to m at the same time as wage earners?
P: ; inister:
Th--' s not puttiL. g them on the same position.
t "-. zke the proposition now of giving the 100 percent to
a year.
i'Ve .: ade our decision in relation to that. / 4

'. iLn ' t cons Ldcr i -or reconsider it -again?
L': Lhcory, one looks at all asoects of
r:.: c:: nonc1itLure, I % wouidn' t w-. ant to bu. ild up
~ xp~ c.: ios oza chai-icje of policy.
( cai cr
Rcc. v~. J~ Lr ~~ñ cenLintroduiced bills it h eea
i~ e~ tCA. iasc4: ed to outlaw compulsory membership of
studzit u-nions arid the Australian Union of Students however,
yiour wvill ro~ ynember tL-hat this legislation only applies in
Ca'rraand there? are many tertiary students who are wonderirg
what your Goven ,. nt and what you as Prime Minister can do
t-o pror-.-cc the r. ight -s of students in all the Labor states
and in Queens-la rtwhe -re tertiary students are still forced
to joinI student uniLons before they can com-mence their
tertiary educ tioni. Now, is there anything your Government
can do to protect -the rights of these peiple?
Prime Minister:
Th-e legislation that hras been in-troduced in the Fecderal
Par 1 Jam2an-wil 1 Le P:, s s -d because we be 1_ i th at it is totall1y
w. rongj that a poricc of getting a degree or a tertiary Lcducatioz
-so in a studcn-ts union which might be pursuing activitios
which are totally agai-nst -the view s and inclinations of
the student. In addition to that, we don't believe compulsion
ok:-that kind iJs rcight. if student bodies want support they
sh-ould be ebto attract support and I think that is the
way i~ t c. ojht-to be. Now, Victoria has made some moves in that
direction. Western_ Australia has. I would hope that other
s-hztes w-J. ll follnw the Comrmonwealth legislation. I think. it
is s L r ancj th at in universities people claim this is
P].-ce of ac& eia~ mc freedom, this is the place of intellectual
f:.-~ zhm-this is pl cec where you will freer than at any
cii7ins in your 1ivo-2; , nd then the very first thing you have to
do a un~ ve~ rsit-, i. s compulsorily join a quasi-political
ffoi r st boc-n e Pr i me Mi n is t. er y ou promised open
C; Orn~~ tand > a~ several sessions of meet the press. Why
se bEean discontinued and replaced by talk-back
state election time?
alk-bao radio rgtthroughout the year and not
-s-t a stat.:. election time and I think shortly before
Ch_-_ Joj _-a7s and throughout last year in different states

3AT--_.. LX S ACK
ta-O) rLri Of taC1-Lijfl: th popole whenecrer
ha uoss ible. Su far as press conferences are concerned,
I mass confe-rences on a continual basis, when it
CZ; av; n 1 every MNonday afternoon at 2: 00 o'clock
buC -,-hera i-s something to communicate, some: thing of
~ r ' cthere is a press confer: en-ce for the me-dia.
o1! t e _ cn CQinberra, it might be in one of the capital
c Ycstcerday there was a press conference for the
I LL dnir about 30 journalists and editors camne along
: QD. STI thinlk really I am quite accessible and
whem cat is on talk'-back or press conferences, or television,
oneA way or the otcmer.
V' vs~ u~ come ! baci from-t a time anbroad and learnt with
groar; disma-that tankls have been 7out on blocks, as it were,
0oL; t ofI co mss ion. Now, the war that your Government put
us in-t o, and1 in uich some of us suffered very badly, what
is the d-efeonce policy of this country? Are we serious
about dctfendirng i-* C?
Pr-imat r-11nis ter:
Yes off course weare and I think, it ought to be under stoord1
that it cught tr be_-understood that -for each of-the l1ast
-th-r yo<_ ars="" sicgnific_-nty="" norce="" dollars="" and="" more="" in="" real=""> is, more recsources have bea:-n made available to defence.
Inat we,,' ve seekinq -to do is to make sure that a larger
proportion oj: " L4e total defence voeis spent on capital
equipment. During the previous administration, in one year,
the expenditure On capital equipmtent was as low as 6 perceni
I think 3. V percent of the defence vote. Well now we've
got thI'at ' Figure hbacl -to between 14 and 15 percent. It's
still not high enough. Part of the process of getting the
rcct geup b~ een to keep a very tight rein on. other
. eets o~ f deaeexpenditure. It has meant a tight
r in elic-ent-, c train ing programmes but in the longer
term interes-s of t1e Australian defence force, in the
macrarsof eta more modern effective equipment, we
f9 t Cat this h2 bean necessary. Only a few days ago
-K docisier> which will increase the rate of increase
E d: ef 2eezc .-enditure over the next few years a bit
h wW , ould have been envisaged some months ago.
rz:; 1 1 Paul 7Barber)
,;, your reaction to the criticism of the R1AAF chap in
TI'v\ e for) r g otten his name, whCo compolained on his
-' ncthere a couple of days ago, about the fact that
." as too much civilian control of our defence forces
anrn 1-s said that the rm-ilitary people weren't getting a
~ aarStJ Is that justified criticism do you think? ./ 6

Tdon': is at all. The other day we had in -the
Cab X., L~ r ,-ure Oiscussing defenrce matters one civilian,
t h z: S' JL e ry of 2' ; e . fme ! n t of D efE. nce b Lit Lco ur
-7i ic' tho Chief of cachi Service and the Chief
OfL D~ c n _% L. taE~ f -e now have one civilian department,
The.. u: Lo e Cour, fieif yo--u like the Department
o c1> Z: Fw Lhreze Se-zrvice departm;, rits and the Department
4-t' -ow eirnlraced largely in one department
ana an -imbars have been cu'-very greatly. T think in
an'i~ cnc ru. cuewhere you've got uniformed people
and hns. ou are gjoing to get an argument about
ariprotpri ate blance.
Qur: estion: ( Pauli Barber)
Ir yo) u worri-d about m-. orale in the armed forces almost
evc-. ryone of these: cnap pies -that retires has a. moan about
morale in ' Llie Army, or Air Force or Navy.
Prime Minis tar:
People would Like a greater rate of increase in expenditurein
defence eq~ uipment and" for various defence purposes.
I can understand thatL.. If we didn't have budgetary restr~ iints.
f ' d izea gre2ater rate of incr-ea Se in_ defence spending
alspc rt ' ol hto10ka tne figures and ought t
k . nw, th at S u b s nIi a I a dJi t io nal r e sour c es h av b eecn decvoted
to dc_, eence year aftcr year. Now the restraint has como
on re~ current costs and somne training activities but we believe
thait' be-en ncsayii -the int-ere: sts of making sure that
the ma-tmum as i,-uch as the vote as possible goes into
def'ence ecju. L1-cmen4-., Modern equipment is so vastly expensive.
I think in ti-Ta-t -war -the best fighter, or Spitfire,
igzCost 7,530 pounds but now you are talking to
ii to $ 30 mn f.( r a modern replacement fighter, or something
of thatl order.
QU: eSt4on: ( alr
1-1Iwatt is this every week more and more
-sions are Ttece. d and necessary, or not necesary. Every
dz fathe. 2Y-! ery deserted mother wants a pension.
Ev in-le a*_ ir, every single mother wants a pension.
nreiL; 7aredivorces every week, more single
mc .: re is nzi~ jbabies every week, the taxpayers that
ars~ d i n; g~ tn the taxes are getting higher and highe: r;
hqherwill they have to go to be able -to cope withi
a. e pensions; that different groups of people are
aorn for. Does it mean that our taxes are going to go
hicqi,: r-Lnd higher and a single pz-rson that is hoping to get
zMarrze;, these taxes are so high he just even can't afford
-t0y for a home themselves who are doing the right thing
by gc:. qmarried. in the normal, decent way. ./ 7

I n inisbtor. cce veer c,, Les Lion is a very important
t n j. e c aL'se cv, nr ousand taxpayers are today suppozting
a ntm; cr iiuch larger num~ ber of pensioners that would have
02C 2yIr s ago. I haven' got the proportion
but ir be 50 -) ercent more, it could be approaching
o. ellt More. That obviously puts a great burden
;~ eTheam *; yin taxes and you rigjhtly draw attention
L> been able, ovrth at three years,
tc. t--x-2s and it is hard to understand in the bulk'terms,
bt'c--n: t-;-xp ayers this year -in spite of that temporary
tax in the last Budget -are paying $ 3,000 million
less txtha-n tihey~ ; dould have if the tax scales that prevailed
when~ tok. offce were still in force. Now you transiate
thar back,-Into the savinas of a husband and wi fe with a
COUPle of donetchildren and it still is a very
substan ti a savjnc of several dollars a week. We understand
and are ) Cymuci-concerned about the point you make about
high taxes and w~ m would like to be in a positiona to reduce
-taxes fur-ther.
Ouestion: ( Paul Barlber)
Hiow. tetr,, orarv, Ls tha -tax increasa?
Prr ime Minister
The legislation runs out on the 30-th of June. " le don't'-have
to anythi. n-,,! l egi slat-ion just runs out. IN7e introduced
in that w,, ay, vwe : iald it would applv for this year.
There are ma-ny ulem-rands on Governmnent. We were just talking
aboutAd e4: ence; th-at's one dema. nd on Government. Earlier
Lhere was a sucfgestion that the pension should be increased
more oft-e n. Now, for education and a whole host'L of services
pepeare alw. ays saying " please will you spend more"
thatGn~. ernents have got to show maximum restraint
bec c. sit f neo. t -Iastralian taxpayers are going to be pressed
0-u: stLLon: ( P-aul Ba! rber)
b--ehincd t'hI a s question, there seemed to be the
p--csopny -tnar, nan-d-outs are too easy to get in Australia.
~ Tic ca~ h that?
-3I. e hink so yes. I think...
0 ( Paul Barber)
COLLLJ. you put a percentage on -that?
No, 1 Uon' t think you can. 1 think the basic thrust of the
purpose of mizost pensions is probably right and proper. But
for eva-y particular pension there are probably some who
abuse tesystem and take advantage of it. / 8

J eMiisn iw Lr: ( c on iued)
Iil; i n city lut t is qruite imipossible
to ciu*~ r.: zy th~ 2 C) aue some people -who do casual work,
nIr ; acL. n; uttin-; a Lawn and the going rate
T i tCoLl, in this city ar~ in Sydney, is
ay. ; uch paopie are probably also getting
unr-27r.> ben~.: l s, two or three clays casual work, and
then > atr cff tt. lh: an many people on a perman-ent job
th e ; cll
s z'Ial SVrber)
So w' ~. tttFl ol he bludger in Australia, you'd say?
Well: the chap migh-t be working but I tihink it is abusing
twn C : EM. No-, it's quite impossible -to quantify and
I dori't a* L-t. mpt tIhutI we know -there are some people who
do mCis,
Oaestion: '-u1l Barber)
And thats . orrying you?
Prime M4nister:
I Se': a systam being abused, of course you laould
like to do somethihig about it but in this particular case,
the case I mentionec, I thiink, it aould be very hard to
hav--rz ministrativ-L, procedures that stopped it.
0uestion: ( caller)
I'm afraid RAwueos tralians are beginning to doubt your
cre. ij. bility an%-I regard you as becoming perhaps one of
the mcnx t n~' l i governments in the world and the
poin-c w'hzich I wlish to draw to your attention is not just
me-, falsit of many of your promises or many
P ri re i nister
I i; ti nwko d b! a good idea to say which ones instead
laki g_-rl comments and allegations over the
stz~ l-ll te
io i: a t Fraser. The main point I wish to discuss
wz. u is the s-crecy of your Government, which of course
scrcrt in the western world.
lv is a great deal of nonsense.
( Paul Barber to the caller)
Can yo,. give an example? / 9

Y~> 3 sh~ o-, that the clocu-ents of the Tascr
G um: iic i! e d with C r at Britcain and -the
ii*. r2 ne most s-ecret in the world. Nearly
O zri of the S.,-.: dish Government documnents are
L*. L~ rLJUñ ICperusal and 50 poerccnLC of the British
GOV~ r~. dc~ ur~ e~ sare open for Perusal but 25 p'arcent
off* tT--in~ c. ru -iiints are open for perusal.
I think thacthi raally is a great deal of nonsense I've
never statisUics of this Jkind put -together and the
roc~ L-Lhat ha-e been published in the time of moy
Goi.-rnioient 1aeee n fEull and operi and that' s going -to
continrm-. to ba t-e rase. A Senate Comnittee is examnin ing
a-t' thj; [ momen~ ft Lroelom of informat-ion legisation and
we are commitLtera to , naking as much information available
to te pblic as is possible. TI' -, ep cuA ite certain that we've
acted upon that. Yo~ u know, the person who just asked that
question seemed to have a large nurtbe: r of allegations to
make but I don-t -think he had any substance in any part of it.
Question: wantozd fi~ rst ': to congr atLulate you on the ( inaudible)
Ithflink it Is a ver-y oac or Australi-a to get into the.
Jxnt -rnatinalL market som-2how and about the tax-es how
can woe expect the r-eduiction of taxes when people don't
want to work f a!-all, if the-y d'. on) t work, they don' t
earn any m_. oney and they don't pay taxes and then the
Govern~ ment is njto -s give them money but they can' t
maky-? it becausz if ou start printing oney then we are
back to scxuare one.
Prfi I~ nister:
I mn: I agralwit everything that y,, ou've said. if
gover~-nets ornt % ney we just add to inflation and that
a lot ofamage noveryone. The more people do work the
pro. duction p roductivity there is in Australia,
themc*-~ chance : reis maintaining, or reducing taxes and
not -to i ncr_: ase taxes.
Q ( Pa BajrLb er)
W" n:. nutti ~ e of people not wanting to work. I mean
co1 ~ put a figure on how many Australians
r7~ :.ñ nister:
Its q-ate impossible. Quite obviously under present
c ir-stances there are people who want to work but find it
ver-icil to get work. On the other hand, I think we
all stories of some people banding together in houses
and together and not really going out and looking
for a and maybe not taking a job when it is offered
to the-' i I've heard of instances of this in the city and
in country areas and I think it is one of the symptoms of

3AW TAL' -D. ACK 1.0
Pvrme c-ter: ( cont tnudc)
I. ho : ic asanceC gher(! unneomplovym-cnt is too hLgh. But when
. hre moro job vaconcies, as recovery in the economy
nahr pce, i think it will be much easier to test
pLopI . L) d see 1whether tlhey really want to work or
WhetQ: 2hev don-t.
O-e ( Pau~ l Barbor)
_ o he3. rd instances of people doing that sort
* 1i!. aWvte you done aboit it? Have you sent
Comrnonwieulth people around there to find out why they
don't v , nt zo work?
Dasically, if people apply to a particular employer for
a job and don't want that job they make it perfectly plain.
They are ofren cdoino so so that they will remain on
unemployment benefits. I've had a number of employers,
small and larqe, making that point to me.
Question. ( Paul Barber)
fave thoso-cases been followed by one of the DepartmenLs?
Pri'e Minister:
When that does happen the employers are meant to make thei:
names available to the Commonwealth Employment Service and
ten if soaebody is sent along to apply for a job and
turns up without any shoes and looking unkempt and dishevelled
for a job where a prson requires some neatness, and inside
job and this sort of thing quite obviously he is not trying
to get the job and doesn't particularly want it. If somebody
is ii that category, they don't really deserve to remain
on. unermcpl Jymen . t bift its. You can't always get employers
to t-Ke the actico...
Que~ tion: ( Palul Ba; rer)
o any emplo::.: that might be listening to you this
moni. who has at sort of situation, to ring up the
Coc: nwealth Ema. Loment Service and tell them.
' 71I t: sy orght to. What they ought to be doing is saying
job > ioause this is what happened"
OuesiLon: And hi, benefits will be stopped? / 11

FP: rie Miniss tr
They w. old be stopped for a time, yes. I don't anyone to
assume that I'm saying that's everyone. I know very well
it's I know there are people who want to work and
who f-ELd it very difficult to get work under present
circuL: st ances.
Question ( Paul Barber)
I'm surprised at what you say about long hair, and thongs
and thal kind of thing... I wouldn't have thought that the
appearance necessarily meant that the person didn't want
to work.
Prime Minister:
Well if somebody wants a receptionist and you turned up
with no shoes on and whatever--you said thongs I meant
no thongs either.
Question: ( caller)
Have you every though of the superannuation people. My husbad
is a public servant and at 60, as a returned serviceman, he
can retire now but he cocs on a 45 percent pension and i have
ben listening with interest to the elderly pension during
the week. We have to pay taxes, we don't get any reduction
on -3tes, phones, medical and things like that. Now, I'm
an arthritic and on one of my tablets it's $ 27 for 100.
I often w. onder if the pensioners think of these people that
are paying superannuation and then they just don't get any
benefits at all.
Prime Minister:
If you are on those tablets as a result of a doctor's
prescription for arthritis isn't that on the national health?
Question: ( caller)
No, it's not. They are $ 27 for 100 and I have to take four
a dcawhich means every 25 days you have to pay $ 27 for tablets.
Pri.. ie Minister:
Ic not necessarily over the airwaves but I'd like to
i: to that if I could and I wonder if it would be
. sor s e for you to leave your name and address with the
stac. n, and the name of the tablets, because I would like
to look in and find out why they are not on the national health.
Ouesicn: ( Paul Barber)
What are you going to do with your pension, by the way, when
you retire? / 12

3AW TL :-BACK 12
Pr-r%^ r:
do b-tvn' rf: ally thoujuit about retiring
Ouesti) n: ( P . ul Barber)
v e, tho. ugh bout what you're going to do wi. th the
p": n -cn. though?
I'd pro-bably go fishing.
Question: ( Paul Barber)
I don't know whether there's many pensioners in the community
who could do that on their pension these days?
Prime Minister:
I think a lot of people in Australia go fishing. It hasn't
got to be an expensive pastime.
Question: ( caller)
A. ustralian petrol prices have gone up 47 percent in the
last year, thus putting Australia in the bracket of three
nations with the highest petrol prices in the world. Your
Government's policy is to put the Australian price on
an equivalent basis with other nations but we have surpassed
all but two other countries. I would therefore like to ask,
is your lack of concern based on the fact that you are
chauffer-driven in brand new Government vehicles on petrol
paid for by the people and not personally by yourself.
Prim. e Minister:
No, not at all. I suppose if you want to deal with it on
a p'rsonal basis you could say that on the farm we use a
gre-t deal of petrol and that's gets paid for as anyone
els ' s petrol gets paid for. I think you misunderstand the
or the reason, for the Government's policies. We were
in situation wher-oil search in Australia had stopped.
Pac'-ie weren't drilling for oil. They weren't developing
fu: r h r existing holes because this is an expensive business
ani -: plorers, developing companies, could get more by
gand developing oil in other places where they'd
gc-c~^ thng much nearer to the world parity price for
wh .: ar they found. The policies of the previous administration
oil search just at a time when there was a severe world
cri::' in oil. Now, as a result of our pricing policies, and
as resuit of some other inducements oil search is again
getting underway in a healthy fashion in Australia. As a
result oi our policies by 1984 or 1985, 30-to A0% of the
oil that we will be using will be coming from reserves that
have beien proven, developed, as a result of our changed policies.
So I th'.: i that is showing that they are being successful. / 13

* e Ct a rci i o ilI, o ii oe oil, 0 yo i ha~ v c 0 1
lwr a ii ci p c o po r i on Fr omi ovcr s -2as ffro m ' L-heP id dlIe
isc '~ from othei countries a.? df you are certa-inly going
co -uin world-c parity' prices tor that. The. c's really
no aiJtar-in7LIVe_. There arcc one or two major countries
chat av'e THir oil price., ort a worldc parity basis
cn rc iLn ic al difficulties as a rasulL of it and
in Cr2CIfqan energy policy in fact, they justL haven't
got an -nergy policy. Oil is in a greneral scarce position
Ct -( Ute -world and -to think that Aust~ ralian motorists,
oc : ny-other -motorists, or any other motorists can go on
, gTttinc itL under its cormmercial and economic price is just
notL real 3. ife.
Quesztion: ( Paul Uarber)
Just back -to your personal problems ., ith petrol on -the farm
I'm probably putting my foot in it here but isn't
rural pe-trol subsidised?
Prime Jlinister:
For some-peoplc2 wh/ Io live in remote a-reas the freight is
erualised. But the margins in some country districts for
t h_ re-sellers is a good deal hioher than it is in cacital
cities. Que7': ion-( Paul fiarlbar)
r suppose what. I'~ m ae-tting at is your petrol subsidised?
PrimeMiNJnister: No. ouestion: ( Paul Bar-be--r)
You pay the ncriqal price?
We renot in an arfea -that is subject to fuel equalisation,
if1: mory is correct.
Qu e on:_ ( callr
AZ aSEr, yesterday morning I spoke -to Mr. Wilkes on the
_-i-nc and I spoke to him about the plight of the single
J-& ccr-family today and at a time when there is great
. in'-~.% mntin our country thcere are very many married
.* or-ir the paid! workforce who are there simply for econom~ c
711-,. lThey would very much like to home caring for
their families, but they can' 1t afford to. Mr. Wilkes said
tChac . t waasn't a Sta-, te problem, that it was a Federal problem
and tlhat only the Federal Government could do something
about t Could I ask you to comment, particularly as this
is th-C Y' ar oZ, the Child could I ask you what your Governm? nt
is coni-.: dring in these areas? ./ 14

u ~ c nt'r o0 pro gr araS wh ic h are a S L gn to
f~ 2Lic' neor t-wo which a ce s~ peciffi cial Ly designed
~ cj ' coe aij. Lie .11i is one of the
' 3 7. : t ) uld AI to b able -to do muach ipore but
; in. i r2 a c_-ues c: on of resoilrc. s But, family allowance
JLS LAC'No dC si ' n11eL to helpj fL-ui~ li A n ci as yui knlow
Th .~ nsare ma-de direct to the mothe: r and on the ba S4S
C, .; 1iflber of chi-idren I-hat you haive. The wi-Ee's rebate2
i n. r~ o system fo-_ a taxpayer w,, ith a depcndent wife,
cc ~ 5:' An spouse I suppose is -the proper term because it-
. s noc ncnuessarily only the husband that works these days,
does provide some additional benefit for the single -income
1. In economic terms that brenefit is nothini-g like as
qr-2at as that which a family gats if both the husband and
wif-2 ~~ Lto be ivockinar. one way of providing greater
holp for the single-incomie family is to substantially increase
tho spouse rebate but -to do -that in a w.. ay w-. hich is significant
anitdf ri. ally noticable for inrlividual -Ea: cilies could cofnt
$ 600m or 700in or $ 800m so there are many problcms. Sometims
you have~ n't got the resources immediately available to
b able ' Co tackle them in the way that you would like but
iine uoint yrou make about sirtcje . inco-e fa. rnilios is, I lthink,.
a very . import ant one indeed.
uut; n ( caller.)
wanñ n toak bu one pfrtoh mi ses you mf-ade in
your po. licy speech that was not f Ulf illed and that was the
scr vico periors for -Allied ex-servic. Emen who of course
had the elicjibil ity to receive them.
Primze Ministe r:
Th~ at was commitTint made at -the las-L policy speech and it
tins a comrtitiment tLo be implemented during the life of this
P'ar l~ defl. Ct, and it Will be.
( caller)
Th:: is Mrs. E'l. Lis of the Pensioners Federation. You will
reC_* l. ect that you met ofticers last October. My concern is
that as _' inflation appears to be running higher than
the::~ orinntanticipated, will the full flow-on of the
ino:~ sein the Con-sumer Price Index in the financial year
be il in the November next pension cheques.
Ef : are asking w ill the adjustment be 100 percent of the
7Pri ce I ndex change, yes it will be. The full flow-on
_____( Caller)
Pir. Fcaser, 1 am+: t he wife of an unemployed plu. mber who has
gone ;--rou~ gh and got all hi~ s certificates, a qjualified
; ian, Irae s never been out of work in his life. Now, this
ai yourt,-c-ountry, 1 don't come from this couritr) 4, I come from

3iM' 7_ TAL-CK
~ ct. x~ 1: imc to L tnhin'k-that a yo ung cou-ntr'zr, gono to
, j warii s I wan to ]. iow -is Tihy the figures came out
~ i s !-rn ing 1Ea million unomployed peopI 2. A
c~ n'if~ you weeLalking b reabout unemployment,
You. a: nh ~ it about peoplie going for intervicws,
:: ownltuL~ band h'as uiic for about. five or six intervi_, ws
and haF. been 30 t-u cach ~ intervie, q,. IE ask you, in
11. hi a g I -as shce otikthat a qualified
M n, P. lme/ ca-ite/ edr cannot get employment.
yo3 ur comment on t'hat?
Many7 trad: es ai~ e in short supply, even in circumstances we
have at the mimo ent when. we have! far too many peorule who are
u n e , no. l o e d I tried to emphasise before that I -wasn't
trying to quanti fy the number who might not really be trying
to get a ob I said there w.. ere some and I also said I
know there-are m~ iany who do want to work and find it very
difficult to gret a job under present circumstances. What-. 1
would 3-lke to do -is to get your narame and address and the
niame of your husband and his qualificatijonls and -aesm
inqu4Lri( c. s, personally, because I woulId believe that ffie
qualifications that you de-scribe, it oughit to be possible
-to get a Job. W.-ould it be possible to give your name andaddres_
s t~ o ' Chei n~ ation so -that I can make those i.-quirie-:.
Qucz. tiorñ: ( Paul liarbar)
Tjhc Eigure: 3 she-s referring to of course have come out in
-: nIS morning's press. Can you confirm...
Prim..,, e Minister:
The': iiavon ccilC out in this morning's press. They will
cor.-e out at about 12 o'clock today.
CUeVr Paui Barber)
V~ udyou like -to confirm at this stage whether in fact
Pr2I E Min ist e-r:
Nn, I haven't in fact seen the figures. They will be
an:.-unzc-ea by the 2' ilister at 12 o'clock.
c> 2~~ on:( Paul Barber)
Oon't know what the figures are yet?
2-iste r:
No, in detail, no. / 16.

S Qu't. oie.: ( Paul _ irber)
I I've been given a roujhn order of and
t h results o' that about 12 o'clock.
Ot. on: ( Paul Darber)
c i: n-y -re b: iif a million unemployed, as the papers
. re suqgesting this morning, are you worried about
the psychological impact of that. It seems to me that
once you get to the stage of half a million unemployed,
you oare really getting into the big league there's no
do; bt about that.
Prime Minister:
I think it will be under that figure, on what I've been
told. iWe knew we would be hitting a seasonal. peak at this
time and I believe that we need to look at the other side
of the ledger. In the last two or three months of 1973
calendar year, over time was up to highor levels than it had
obrean for many years; emiployment in manufacturing industry,
'. ieed, private civilian employment, increased in a way
: 1-at it _ Llso had not for many years.
C-uLiion: ( Paul Barber)
But with respect... ( tape turned over)
Prime Minister
. anfactur: ing emLployment had been reducing over a long period
because it hbeame very uncompetitive as a result of the
of .1 result of ( inaudible) of wages increases four or five
ve s ago. I think all the signs in the Australian economy
ar_ point-ing to tnhat position being changed. Manufacturing
inC stry is starting to look ahead w. ith much greater confidence
it had for a very very long while. Unless that happens
, we are not going to solve the unemployment problem because
i . pcndis upon selling more Australian goods in the Australian
I depends upon Australian factories being able to
ianto ex,, ort imarkets and being able to sell in export mar: e. s
S e more they can sell the more Australian people will be
in the factories making those products.
O> -ion: ( Paul Barber)
ese figures are announced today do you intend to ride
ouu : he obvious complaints and criticisms that there are going
to or are you going to... / 17

yn L! ; A i. n~ j as thoucih lairor going to bo SOm-e cjrea;
ocly. -Lhe ligure'; toc: tay you're making atmit
or :-in questions andt then not givuing an opportunity for
I: c-: nraen T h~ k zeh-cd expcriences of that kind onceC
b--for-1n it is roally much more helpful if you do give
a rai~ lror the answiqe.
Tesocts ofE figqu-es that will come out today ha'ze been
u 2. For a lonq while so there is no surprise about it.
l1h. n o SLLtUden change. The po-int I am making is that
thea uindt~ rlyirg thrust a-rd help for the Australian manufacturing
i ~ ursy today is much better than it has been
for a long while. People are looking to the Lfuture with a
groat C. 2al of: confidence. The Ford order book,-s and many
Australian f: onpanies are fuller than they have been for many
N\' 3ars anid therefore we are moving into a much better situation
than we've had. Ithink it is early days and if you like,
the sjqns are stil tentative. Retail sales at the end of
last. ycear? coupled with thie -improvement in overall euiploymert
J-n a number of industries, gives us mnuch greater hope for
confidence in 1979 and it is my very firm view that -this is
coming to be widlely recog~ nise-d outside.
Question: ( Paul Barber)
C.. ould you give a figure OF an una lcmetfgure by
Jul, six mon,-hs ti-me?
PrimeMkiniste; r
No, i'm not going to give a figure.
Question: But It will1 be down?
Prim-ie Mi~ nister:
It -,. ill be dow, n firom February, of course it will.
Question: ( caller)
I ~ avea two-prong question so stop me if it's going on too
lc~ v-Cœ irstly, it's about the prospects of alleviating
uni i Io v. en t . T ow., n a small business in a blue-ribbon
held seat and we pass through our doors in the vincinity
of ajn d 600 people a day and over the course of a week
Ti.-e t. O) speak to most of these people they are all concerned
ab--uc the-iir children. Without exce-ption they all say " why
71 oZe-; I -. C the Government reintroduce National Service?" Also,
i~ r says that we cant ask our people who receive the
aole to work, but we've got a responsibility to these young
peopl to give them incentive and ambition and while we are
givir~ a thkem the dole without requiring anything for it, we
are t" h.'-ncj away their ambition and we have plenty of land
ownednl the Board of Works, not owned, but controlled by
the Dcr~ of Wocks . Could we give these young people an
OPPO-ur-4ty to produce wildlife type give the responsibiliLy
tw. o dlays a week for their dole and the ro-sponsibility
Of pl~ z7,. ning and build3.-nq wildlife parks along the banks of
theset vr nL C are just -lying teeawasteland.

i qll 1 u r: serstand The concerns that you have in tnis
arV! many p.:: Le ave out: the scam: r. e sort of view to
. no. t of neoulo are inte'rested in the rc-intrnoduction
nna l Serv c i t if ' ational Service were to be
Inr c tin thlat would have to aply for a whole
ag grcu:.. and thi ' s uabot 180,000 or 200,000 young people
chur;; the cour8 Oc he yar. Thiat . ould nued a total
cOj-:. a. 2Jitio of the defence effort and the defence
cor: ri. n: t and I chink we would be introducing National Servia.,
ffor a Arir) S Cc: hur than for defence, under the pcesent timai:
it c-. racr e difficulties with it, quite apart from the cost.
Sdor't Think it ould help the defence effort in the short-term
where the major recuirement is to get more modern equipment
into the detence forces. The point you make about young
popDIa Losinc their ambition and incentive through receiving
ur-nemployent benefits I think can b: a very real one. This
is why a large part of the training progra7mmes that we have
introduced have been designed cquite specifically to create
opportuni[ ties for people, and especially for young unemployed.
Over the course of this year something well over 100,000
Australians, and many of them young Australians, will be
helped in the various training programmes. Ian Viner, the
Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs, will be seckinq to
est'ablish community based support prograimmes whiich will give
young pople not in work the opportunity of doing some
co:. piminty service of the kind that you mentioned. It. woulc n'
a cor: p. rulsorv. It would be voluntary but I would hope that
a significant numbe-: of young people % would want to particip.-e..
-a are seeking to meet the concerns that you mentioned throuql
tra. ining programnme. s which have alrea" y helped well over
300,000 Austr-alians and about 100,000 over the course of
this financial year and then for the development of a community
scheme which I hone will meet the kind of things that you
have in mind.
Question: ( Paul Barber)
get very ann-oyed when people interrupt you, why?
Pr is Minister:
an't get annoyed. I just think it's plain politeness
t , L: Low a question to be answered. 000---

Transcript 4954