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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6166

UNKNOWN

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 02/08/1983

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 6166

J~ UT11ALiA a
PRIME MINISTER
FOR MEDIA August 2, 1983
The Tasmanian Premier, Mr. Gray, must stop dissembling and
playing politics over the Federal Government's decision to
stop funding for the further construction of the Crotty Road.
Mr. Gray is quoted on Monday as claiming that " the first inkling"
o ptrhoajt echte hcaadm e ofo nltyh e onC oJmumloyn we28a. lth's intention to pull out of the
He was quoted as saying that the decision to cut funding had
been taken without consultation.
The facts are these:
1. The future of Crotty Road was raised by me in a letter
to Mr. Gray on July 1 in which I suggested that
construction work be continued " for the very
immediate future" pending detailed consideration by
the two governments.
2. Mr. Gray wrote to me on July 21. The relevant extract
is as follows:
" I accept your assurance that for the very
immediate future work continue on the Crotty Road.
Work is in fact continuing on that road and the
future direction of the road is of vital concern
0 to my Government. I have already cautioned against
the road being extended to Kelly Basin because of
the dramatic consequential effects such an
extension of the road would have on the economy and
life of Strahan. I advise that State Cabinet
considered this very matter on Monday, 11 July, and
resolved to oppose any extension of the Crotty Road
to Kelly Basin.
" You should be made aware of the fact that if the
King River Power Scheme is built, the part of the
Crotty Road, which has virtually been completed
will be flooded. The area of the road presently
being constructed will not be flooded." / 2

2.
3. As well as talks on the future of Crotty Road between
officials, the project was raised at the meeting with
me, requested by Mr. Gray, on July 25. At that
meeting there was a clear indication that the State
had no need of its own for the road to proceed,
regarded it as inappropriate for it in fact to proceed
and left it as a matter for Commonwealth decision.
Given the State Government attitude outlined on July 21, and
reaffirmed at the July 25 meeting the Commonwealth believed
that until the management plan for the wilderness areas was
agreed to by both governments, there aas little point in
continuing to spend money on a road that was going nowhere and
which could eventually be flooded.
I note that Mr. Gray has undertaken to bring forward the
construction dates of the King River and Henty Anthony hydro
schemes. The ' 7eoeral Government was already considering the
0 funding of these schemes as part of its overall compensation
package for Tasmania.
Following the July 25 meeting, I wrote to Mr. Gray recalling
that I had placed considerable emphasis for officials of the
two governments to make early progress with studies of future
power requirements.
" We see this question as central to the nature of future
arrangements between our governments and Senator Walsh has
already put in hand an examination of broad policy options for
the Commonwealth. I understand that your government expects
shortly to consider a paper dealing with future needs that is
being prepared by the HEC, and I would expect that work on the
proposed joint studies could proceed in earnest once that
action has been taken", my letter said.
Mr. Gray has yet to formally advise that he is prepared to
permit such a study.
Mr. Gray should know that I am becoming weary of his provocative,
ill-founded and deliberate deception for his own miserable
political purposes.
For its part the. Federal Government does not intend to be
distracted from the fundamental task of formulating a
compensation package which will provide the maximum benefit
for all Tasmanians.

Transcript 6166