PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6479


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: 21/09/1984

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 6479

LkL Z L v:
I would like to begin by recording my thanks to Sir Arvi
Parbo for the way in vhicn he has faci iitated contaci
between the Cvernment and thc Busi ness Council ovcei the
past year. I extend my Lest vwishes i z, thr-new Chairman, Mr
Bob Wihte, ond look forwa-rd to continuing close
It is now just over a year since I addi-essed the first
meeting of the Business Council of Austr~ aia.
The year that stands between your first PrI-d second jnnL, 21
meetings has been one of qrcat achi evo mEnllnt for your Council1
and for Australia.
Already the Business Cou.-iil of Aust'i ali and its vnt:; Aic.: s
are rnakig a constructive contribution to p-: blic
polic)-, iakino and public education i-p the i-tercsts ,3i
inprevd economic perfornancce.
And for Australia there has Lben c lear progi ess oi the
changing of cttiIude:;, the buidi ri of r. ev Jinstitution! z:
th1e deIopm i r.! F rew appxroach es n mnan a rCas of pu!. ic
po) cch -3r necessa-iry for s nncetodi , t r og
s) on J, n fl: t i ona r y q r ov . h
Th'roUgh the year WE haVe exp erianc. 2 tIhst
Sro~: tn in eco1ncic n, 1t0t sicrccccut
fi rs; r-:.) ctcd irl thaieJ rc rsnt Oo f a0
T h1-ic. t nci s 1
T I t
r n,

Fsster growth and modest teage i ncreases % 7ithin the Accord
h av e d i a rrno; t i c a y reduced real unit Iabour costs. The share
of national income accruing to profits is now higher thin at
anly time for t. ie post 10 The continued succes.-, ful
operation of the ALcord will enable_ still further
improvement in real unit labourzreists because there. will be
no increases -in award wages -over the twel. ve mionths to next
April. Real i.. ooes cost,,; pez-unit of output are now much the
same as in the late 1960' s to earl1y 1970' s.
This rapid turnaround in economic activity has been
accompanied by the lowest incidence of industrial
disputation, as m~ easured by working days lost, for one and a
hal', decades.
Interest rates have fallen appreciably, contributing
directly to lower business costs and improved sales and
investment prospects.
Our success over the past year or so, goes beyond there
qjuantifiable e ffects, to greater co-o~ peration amnong:-st major
groups in our economy, and the enhanczd con-imun ity confidencec
that has eme rged from-, new consul tat ive inechani sis anid
i nst it uti o ns.
Austra) iiins have accepted and responded to the message that
I have been advancing, that the objectives of each of
Australia's vc:-ious economric groups can be realised MOre
ef fectively ' through co-operation than through the
confrontation which hsd become an entrenched feature of
Australian life.
As a result there is a rmuch imiproved e-. vironrnent for
addressing the di f F5 cult econiomic issues and choices that WC
must conf ront as a nat ion i f we are -to ochi eve susJtC ined,
strong non-inf lat ionary growth
At the centre of our @ chi evements to date hZI3 been the nciw
wil lingness of key economic groups to enter into close arid
f rank discussion with each other and with St ate crnd Fodclral
coverncts on the removal of barriers to our econo~ mic
p rog res s.
I he continued close co-nS~ LJtat) Oni of-bui~, union: s ant')
St[ Ite or-d fornmonwe'a1l 111Gverricnc. s i , e veCn M 1-
i 1 r0i r. I t o 0 U' 3 su c r ( sfii F v! S kI It o na. vpc dU ntL t o
3 t r e n qLth Cn J n q o u lonig or irpp r o~ i .; n c c thc: n L
ceUe ou-' r r UCeU. nt t or i c recovery
aI ' v Cg 11 1.1 i pp) recz n r hIe t -CI1 ! D1 t.)
then u', ii rr'! Lns; ~ s ! orcu cn. ~ cc~ 1 '. E. er
t h Ce~-f t 1; L ( U
n j e y po : lh. e ) vc. t 1.1:
y" Y, E! or I' J, ri 1: 11 U r'pi
ii n -r 2; 1 L:

In one important area the Council is contribUtingq to the
implementation of policy the Affirmative. Action Program,.
The Business Council is pisaying a significant role in the
course of the Program through TLhe individual efforts of its
member 2-ompar ies who axe inVolved in -the. 12 months Pilot and
throLgh it-, reprEsEntation on the torking Party on
Affirmative Action Legis) otion. with Hr John Uhriig. I am
sure -the contribution of both will help the Government to
adopt a realistic and workable approach to the issue.
I also greatly appreciate the * contribution that the Business
Council and its m embers have already made to discussion on
matters that niust-be on the vgend2 of future policy reform
if we are to realise the great ambitions which we all share
for Australia. T wo major examplesi are your recent
submisssioi on taxation to the Econonic Planning Advisory
* Council, and your thoughtful contributions on industry
policy and business taxation this afternoon.
Ile both understand that there will always be some issue-s on
which our perceptions differ. In the end the Government,
elected by) the Australian people as final arbiter of the
national interest, must take responsibility for policy
d eci s i o n s.
But we will always make better decisions if we have access
to honest and careful advice of the kind that we heve
received on many issues from the Busir-. ess Council.
One important feature of our cons-ultative processes is the
way in whi ch they have been open to comamunity scrutiny : the
positions that the Business Council, other bus iness groups,
the trade union movcment and the Statc's have put to this
3overnment have been recleased for public scrutiny to a far
gre-ater degree than had ever previous~ jy been the case in
Australia. For its own part, the Government has exposed its
preliminary thinking on miajor policy issues well in advance
of final decisions, to facilitate wider public comment.
There are, of course, some types of information which cannot
properly -be placed immediately in the public sphere. B u t I
b r-1i e t Lha L w e h -3v decf in ed t hes e im j. t S mo re geCne rocusl Y to
the community interest in public disclosure than an)'
previous Government.
And thtic po I i c y ceci s i ons 1. hat1 have cear gad f rom the-
UconsulIt. et ive proueFS E-1-r'ef1l ct C. orcoln fo. r thc i der
c tnmn u ni ty i n t e rcst,,, b hey u; d t h tLhf c, grouu di. r cct I y
r c: p -c s oi r: d inr c o n s oIt tti rn v.

The re v as ey tens ive pub ! i c comment on t he Go vernment Is
consul tat ion w. i th the ACTU prior to the budget Wh Pt h as
received l ess comm-ient but which iE; I am sure appreciated by
most of you here today iJs the. 1arqe. amoui) t of time that I
personally have alloccted to fortmail P~ nd informal*. discussion
of policy with a wide rnnqeof.. bus. r-esss groups. B u t i t
wiould * be w-, rong to cone) ude that this close consul tat ion with
some of the stronger grusi orcomm-un[. tCy means that we
have disregarded other in'~ erests.
To make this point., I need on] ly Tefer to what has been done
by this Go\' crnmert in only 18 months to assist the genuine]), y
need), in our coimunity who are not represented directly by
business groups or-unions. The substantial increases in
real pensions, bene fits and servicesj to thc most needy
groups in our society, including pensioners with children,
pensioner renters, the single unienpJ eyed, benefici aries of
public housing and the aboriginal community, contrast with
real decline in the previous seven years.
The strong emnplosyment growth Which has accomnpanied the
implementation of our economic stratngy has made a
substantial contribution to the alleviation of the most
. mportant single cause of poverty in our soci ety to the
alloviation of both hidden and open unemnployment. There as
a lonfg way to go, and our emnphasis on li fting long-term
growth performance is directed very mufch to continuing the
recent progress.
The same point can be made by reference to the solutions to
entrenched -industry problems that have oeirged from our
-onsultat ive processes. The), have yielded substantial
benefits for the iiider economy arid society.
The major financial deregulation that: we have be
implementing over the past year ha) s been accom,, panie.' d by
intonse consul tation by the Treasurer, Paul Keaiting, and
myself, with !-elev; rlf. business and union grnups". There is
widespread agreement that the greatestA boneficiaries, are the
-many users of financial servi ces, arid the w'hole communi ty
through-the contribution that the financi a) reforms,, wil..
mnake to overall girowth per forrnnnccs.
Similarl y, the Steel niistry Plan emecrged fromi John
B~ ut ton's intnsc consultzat ions wiith !:; sincss, unionfs-Sta2tc
nyriienS and c-tcel users, aJ J. T. Ch CJiee itr) s t
thei hl cIt h o f the i ndu~ i ry Al) of throsc grep gree th 2t.
the~ hch riln) c, t! J r o i poL) stin,
hnC . ie o t feEt f I 1rt. of C) a Ip( Iao JIh ~ s i Zr v I o
h neu . : s o h1 -e C. Uo ti r thinoi

I bel ieve that the nei.-, oproach to motcr vehicle policy,
announced by John Rutton eerlier this year v~ i11 be similarly
success-ful encouraging more competitive industry,
prov* djing moi e secure umployment and investment
opportunities For those~ directily engvged in motor vehiclE:
production, and better vrehicles at. Aow-er' prices for
consumers than.-would have . been-avai] 3 able-. under the
arrangermenrts whichi we had inheritLed..
With iron ore an innovative integration of trade and
industrial relations policies, formally embodied in the Iron
Ore Industry Consu; l tativeu Council, the opening of which 1
attended in Karratha lost mi-onthI is hclpiriq to restore
dy,. ipnism to a major -Australian industry and region.
In the troubled coal industry last Friday tLhF Minister for
Resources and Energy Senator Peter W( alsh presided over a
meeting of the Austral ian Coal. Consultat ive Council. Th e
meeting arose out of the crisis precipitated by the
announcement of major retrenchments by comnpanies operating
on the South Coast of New South 1. ales.
F ortunately, we have been able to avoid the confrontation
which is currently stalling economic recovery in Britain.
The meeting was characterised by the will ingness of all
papties to e-. 2Dmane rationally the causes of problefms, and
the opportun LiCs-for strengthening the industry.
The Comnmonealth Governiienrt for its part is will ing to
c inne w it h an npePn min d all1 a s p ec ts o f , ts ow n p oIi c ies
whi ch bear upon the f ortunes of t he i. ndust r-
Thnre L! re good -rasons wIhy the consul La t ive processes wh ic h
we have sponsnred, and to which te CJ[ Sb u siness Council and aits
Umemibers are contributing SO much, have beenr yielding
favourable results not ontly for the pF3rtie-s motimized. ately
invol ved, but for the economy as v: hole.
There are always riany possible ra-sponses t-o an industry
prob) er, often %; ith vastly different -f m-p). iCatio0ris for th e
wide-r conmmunity, even vwhen they confer sirnilan ! short-tej-r-
1bone fits on onC or other of the rmost 5 ntor ost ~ d pirties.
100h c-f US carries commtnents to pai-ticrulor p c y
rcE1s. P Di: F i nt o d i~ Scnsa n 1of -rn i i dus r pro l3 0o n f
.1 ( G3e n S n iI SifC 0n ndU C! in1 FI ' LtdW) P!: e C
r-orf rinLt on, c-z cc oai ch oun Fi; i.. cd J-1 1CUr1 L111 tiail
p o Si ton. an d I n timc pore~~ E zm; oo ~ s hfr a"
o rn" r i Or-op ionc

B~ ut in an atmosphere of CC-o) e ration-and honest
conSultationl, a wider range of possib ' litdes is open to us.
We can each lake a longer-term v'i of issues. in this
erivi:, onment AL we i ecognise more clea:> Iy a re, I ity which
should be obvious to us all, hut-vhich isobscurcd in the
heat of conf rontstion. And this is the reality thfit u
l asting stable and sccure irolution a Solution ithat will
be free from recurrina industrial or-po). itical challengr'
must be sati sfactory for the wider community as well as for
each of the central parties.
This Government's1 docisions on economic policy have been
gUi ded by commi tments to consultCation and 2onsensus, to the
equlitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth,
and to thie achievement Of Sustained, st rong non-inflationary
growth. I hove alw-. ays seen these three commi tments as
intcr-r:. lated parts of the one great program.
No--progres's can be madc on any one of the three without
support froin the others
Without sustained, non-inflationary grovyth, there can be no
lastAing progress towards any other objective.
Wi thout sustained ilro'wth, high and risinrg unemployment must
increase the number of our people without empl oymnt and
1 ivinct in poveity. Vi thout sustained growi-th there will be
insufficient resources to provide adequately for Australians
in need.
But equally, only an) Australian society that is broadly
united on the great national goals, and which is seen by
most of its citizens as a fair society, twill embrace the
changes tthich are necessa-ry for sustai ned growth.
It is a particular task of national leadership, and one that
1 -as J me Mi ni Ste r 2r. hPpy to CC CePt, to infIlence the
at Litudos cf the Austral ian community on a range of i ssucc
that are import ant to growth.
I think that Australjia~ s under. stand much rm-ore clearly n v
that eighteen month-ago, thit we can achievct strong greft h
over long periodS Only it' We p) ut OUr resources Lo their r. cst
p Jod u Ct V C u ses. I think11 that it is rio more cluarl\
undervitcod thct productive use of our rusourcE-s r'ui~
acceptLance of a' o f donin-, jic srcz. r~ h. WZ
011' fZC~ ror. iY rp ly Ch rin( Iill" pat Cerfnu 0o' f o j i t rade1
IhJq i. ch vcIs o f i v c loe n i f r omi nai' d J c.
conf) I dCCt;' 0 eIi' Ll! i . bY n f~~~ fCI
prw.) cic C~ us, 0 U~ U. fow IcIILu. Yr: D V. C ' Y'r! d 02 . o t 1 V;

In the period immedintel' y hcad The greatest priority must
be to sustai n th, recovery. V~ c must ctrike the richt
bal ance between maint aining ndequpte qrowth in demand, end
evoiding ex. cessive p~ e as ures 2n f irancicaI markts Ph ile
keeping inrflation -on c dour w: ard pzth thrOUcgh the-continued
successful operction of the Prices end Incomus Accord
Virtual ly all observers nou agree that w-e found The right
fiscal arid monetary policy mix in the las; t financial year.
~ I-e believe that we have found the right policy settings
again this year.
tle are expecting a larger private sector contribution to
growth this year through increased consumption and
investment, and so judge it appropriate W~ moderate the
extent of fiscal stimulus. But we have avoided winding back
the fiscal stimulus so rapidly that recovery is undermined.
Thle July, retail sales figures announced yesterday, and the
revisions to earlier data, suggest that the grow~ th in
consumption is at least in line with the expectations that
we developed in the course of preparing the Budget. But we
are leaving nothing tc chance, and ltook forwarci to further
strengthening of private consumption fr oo November, as the
tax cuts arnd incroased social security payments begin to
influence spending patterns.
The ccntinucd crow: th in demFand associated with expansi on of
non-farm product by about 5 per cent this fi nancaial year,
t oge'ther with continuedt w. age m-, oderation within the Prices
and Incomes Accord, and lower i nflationary' expectat ions and
interest rates, shouldc support the higher levels of private
investment anticipated in the Budget.
Several key features of the Budget were designed to mai~ ntain
the u,, om-, e.-tum of pri vate inovestmnent growth that his been
indicatt~ d in the statist ics since early this year : the
large reduction in the budget deficit,* from 1" 05 per cent to
.3.3 per cent of CDP supported by the Stantes' agreemenit in
the Premiers' Conference and Loans Council t~ o restraints on
their osin borrow~ ing; and! he tax cuts i~ n support of the
Ac cordc.
Again lc-2ving nothinq to chance; we believe that the
bucL 3bun~: ~ a inpc wevi~ i help -sustain
recover), in private in', ncLm: ent in these mnt tcrs, wo hZ; v&
had buth short and loncg-Lerm ob j.: 2tivcs in: ninid. Eacch f
the bu-1get initi H? iven is 5unsi OL w ith ou: vi) can an
1 on o tia r husi s UI. ax ion ro~' Ihun omnpzany qr oup
t v a L i o i t i a t i a 1h n r o n r YP a J, n r r nl
I r :; idu~ i n o n r e s a At A 1 rua i 3 e dd c A iiL
'~ 2fI( 22 C xp1! ont~( e~ q. PQ 1y; v nqO not icur, f. yon~ vny
-bInI'LL aCd r L k! LO: 1 aCi C U o the

As I have said on several occasions, we will further exaine:
business taxation arrangements in the context of a taxation
reform package.
The continued strergtheninq of:-i-nvestm nt oriented -towards
production for the domestic market-. noy sceems likely to. be
joined late in the financial year by the return of
investment activity in the resources -sector. ' CRA's Channar
iron ore joint venture with China, the Portland and Bunbury
aluminium smelters and the Bunbury power station, and the
export phase of the Northwest Shelf Project, have all
emerged as substantial near-term prospects over the past
month or so.
I believe that there are excellent prospects for continued
good economic performance through the current financial year
a view that I am pleased to know is shared by many of you
here today.
This second year of strong growth with moderating inflation,
amidst increasing community understanding of the
requirements of long-term growth, and continued
strengthening of Australia's consultative mechanisms and
institutions, provides an ideal environment to intensify our
efforts to reform policy and institutions in many areas
important to long-term economic performance.
I wish to refer specifically to the general regulatory
environment, Federal-State financial relations and tax
reform, trade, and the relationship of our education system
and training programs to the demands of the labour market.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it includes some
of the main areas that have been the subject of widespread
public discussion, such as taxation reform, and others on
which Government policy development : is at an advanced stage.
I am convinced that after eighty four years of Federation,
we have accumulated an excessive and often irrelevant and
obstructive body of laws and regulations. We seek your
assistance in removing from this accumulation as many as
possible of those laws and regulations which serve no clear
and useful purpose. We see the removal of unnecessary
regulation as contributing significantly to improved
economic growth performance.
I am inviting the ACTU nd the Business Council to nominate
representatives to work wi th Governmrent off; i. ci ls on
priorities in the reform of busir esr s regul. ation.
' We will examinu critica) ly the whole range of business
regjul tion, most impo't. ntIy I it: I a view to assea silg its
contribution to lonu-terr grotll pir f) or; n rce

Ile will riaintain regulation kfhich upon careful analysis,
clearly prumntes economic e ff iciency or which is clearly an
effective means of achieving more equitable income
di stribution.
And we vwill abandon. regulation which fai-. s these tests.
Our reforms in the financial sector illus~ trate our approach
and demonstrate our commitment to the abandonment of
unnecessary regulation.
Where regulatory-~ reformn is required, we will ensure that
change is gradual when this is necessary to avoid placing
excessive adjustment burdens on individuals and groups
affected by change.' Anid concistently with our whole
approach to economic management, we will consult closely
with representatives of-groups that are affected by change.
In many areas, reform to promote economic gr owth will
require not increased or reduced regulation, but changes in
t) ie policy instruments that are used, and in policy
settings. This has been the experience with our major sectoral-reforms
in manufacturing industry. It is ccnsistent with the
approach that is emerging within the Australian"
Manufacturing Council and the Economic Planning Advisory
Council. Obviously Federal-State financial relations and the taxation
system are on any reform agenda. They are closely
inter-rel1ated. I hope that a review of the divi sion between
the Commonwealth anid the States of ta) xation revenues and
taxation powers through the year ahead will lead to reduced
reliance by the States on some of their more economnically
distorting taxes.
I have nade it clear that we do not see tax reform as a
means of raising the* overall level of taxation. But there
is widespread agreement within the Australian community
that we do not collect taxation reventie through the most
equitable and eft'icient means. 1he instruments through
which the conmuni ty cont ri butes a givyin amount of revenue is
a matter of considerable i mportance, ev~ n when thei-e is noD
change in the overall le( vel of taxation. Every hiker ' knoi. s
that the same weight can fel mouch liqhter i( i t is carriccI
Sn a nmore sensi ble way.
Unc theme of our program of reflorm i; that sustai nod trw
grou-th requi res Aust ralia Lo u~ crror-; plete use of*
ties for profi ta-Lcin 1C'rJtod ~ uC~ 1
Vest ain Poci fi rietgu'rcdtw ~ s
dynamic reginn of the uniderono; v.

At a Government level, we ha-ve I unched severa) init iati ves
% which are great 1) expanoi ng commerci al opportuni ties. The
success tie are having in developing co-operation with Chinj
on iron and steelI, and more broadly, is one importdnt
ex ampl1e.
My regional trade initiative is als,. o producing' valuable
r es ulIt s. The round of consultations it has generated on
issues likely to be involved in any future new round of
Multilateral trade neogtiations, has been greatly
appreciated by all countries concerned.
* We are establishing an Australian Co-operation œ. rnittee to
provide advice to'Government on economic relations with
. countries in our region.
On these matters, I shoulld record my appreciation of the
advice and assistance of a very great Australian, Sir John
Crawford, both before and after the time I became Prime
Minister. We have been careful to ensure that our domestic industry
policy decisions are consistent with our international trade
policy. This is supported by the widespread understanding~
that has developed within the community, that increased
protection does not provide efficient long--term. solutions to
industry problems.
In the development of closer trade ties with our region, as
in* most areas of economic life, Governr-. ent can do no more
than provide a framework of expended oppo rtunities. it
augurs well for Australia's economic prospects that the
private sector is providing* strong suIpport for our1 efforts
to expand Australia's Western Pacific Ii n k s. Never before
have Australians been so active in seeL.: ing opportunities for
international business co-operation, and this is being
rewarded with expansion of trade and investment.
1 believe that nothing is more iriportant ' to the
strengt hening of our long-term growth performance than the
expansion of our efforts in training, re-training and
education. Thi.'-is an area of special. Government
responoibility, but here, too, wc welcome guida-nce from
business the tr ade on ion.,, and he wi der c orion i ty. To ta I
expendituore on) training an-z: d education has been _, xppanded
consideraly in the rucent budget., vith sp~ eilu em. phaiss orn
inCrease-d par tic ipa ti on in relevant. educ a t ion.
But nececiiar) y these . Ltn'i., 01ra~-wftat\' Vm
Eat t a ( h Fv e r rm o re ip') r t0 11C e to thE-reuTc CiUalitv) C'
rd LJC3t. i o n ~ h S L 2 f-Ltrt e rs In . hjI: h r f. s: in11e1vi a. lI
hut there cz-n be na doubt ~ X Outnr eI erint
Steadily to ipr oe ~ c~

The Kirby Committec. is currently reviewing the whole range
of Government tVaininq programs. And w'e have esteblished
the Karme'~ Committee to review the quality of Australian
education, viith a special concern to improve the relevance
of the . education. process to employment -and future economic
opportunities. At the saime time, the Com~ monwealth Tertiary Education
Commission, under its now Chairman, Hugh Hudson, is
examining similar issues in higher edu) cation.
* The receipt of tt-e Hancock Committee Report will provide an
opportunity to review longstanding Australian labour market
institutions. Here, as elsewhere, we will be guided by
observable realities, and not by an a priori presumption
* that regulation in itself is either good or bad.
This is an area in which I have had unique opportunities to
observe the realities. This experience leads me to caution
against simple and glib proposals !-or radical reform.
-Proponents of radical deregulation must be able to explain
the Australia wage explosion of 1982-82, when the
centralised wage-setting arrangements w4ere in suspension.
They must he able to explain why real wages growth
currently so high in Britain, with higher unemployment, less
growth in employment, and less official labour market
regulation than in Australia.
None of this argues against intel ligent assessment of the:
Australian system with a view to im. proving further on the
good recent experience.
Vie can only maintain community support for long-term
structural reform in these 2nd other areas if we arc able
to sustain gur strong imacro-cconomice.-performance.
We recognise that we must further reduce the Commonwealth
budget deficit as privpte investment continues to strengtheni
in 1985-86 and beyond. Consistently with our com-mitmieni-t not
to increase the overall. level of taxation in the course of
taxation reform, we will achieve this* resu~ t by restral nizn
o utlay25s g row th1.
VWe %% ill cot-inue to i mplement monetar~ y pol icy to stJppO) tL
continued strcmug growth w~ i thout r'cco; Iuno-jIt jnr-g-in flutiona2ry
pressures. In the af't,-r!.-3th of the fl-3t mci uF the dolla~ r
I ast year, i( r-an be confident of deliverinq on th. is
commi t: ment
A nd a tn all CIS ' i1 continue to proil. Olc
unde-:! triridi n-omonq ; L the reecv;. rit pairtl. es on rntes of
incri; es tiunt orc cons>;! ten-rt with Ono curow" h vitho-, t
re8LtrC r ucr 0ir If) a t i c

There will come a time iihen continued strong growth vi1
justify some improvement in employment conditions beyond
wage indexation.
In thisregard, judgewents -ibout : the . vppropriate time and
scale of any productivity increasLes must-. depend on the
durability and strength of the r. ecovery,:. and above all on
developments in the labour market.
Obviously, the stronger the growth in employment, and the
larger and more rapid the decline in unemployment, the
better the case for productivity adjustments in one for. cr
another. I would want to see lower unemployment before te
took substantial steps in this direction, but obviously th'is
is a matter for discussicn amongst the parties when we alil
have better information much closer to the event, and
eventually for resolution before the Commission.
Mr Chairman,
It is a measure of our achievements in the past eighteen
months that the economic policy agenda is dominated by
long-terr issues of economic growth and economic reform.
And I use the term " our" in a genuinely plural sense.
It is the achievement of this Government that we have
provided the right direction at the right time. But our
current improved position is as much the achievement of thel
business and farming communities, the trade union movement,
the Australian Federation through the Premiers' Conference
and the whole Australian community.
The-economic and political stability of these past eiohteen
months have allowed the whole AustraYian people to lift its
sights to the great future which is now within our reach.
1 look forward to working with you for many years ahead, in
placing Australia firmly on a new path of sustained, strong
non-inflationary growth.
I am glad of the good company of the Business Council in
this great venture for Australia.
K r v t

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