PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7678


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: 12/07/1989

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 7678

JULY 1989
JOURNALIST: Do you support the Treasurer's move to ban the
officials from Treasury and the Reserve Bank from talking to
Moody's? PM: I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet. I've been
dealing with international matters. I'll no doubt hear from
Paul about this. I'm sure he had very good reason for doing
JOURNALIST: But you weren't aware of it before it happened?
PM: Look you ought to know by now you've been watching me
for six years I don't sit over every Minister in the
discharge of his portfolio responsibilities, that's why
we've got a good Government. I trust the Ministers, they do
a first class job. I don't sit there watching every move
they make, Why should I?
JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, are you concerned that the latest
Morgan Gallup poil shows your personal popularity has
dropped 4% and Mr Peacock's has risen 4%?
PM: I know whose rating I'd rather have, both in terms of
popularity and in terms of preferred Prime Ministership.
You didn't mention that, Why not? Leave him behind a
country mile on that.
JOURNALIST: Are you disturbed by the backbenchers'. meeting
tomorrow to talk about mortgage relief?
PM: I don't get disturbed by backbenchers' meeting. Why
should I? I mean if your a Liberal Party leader or a
National Party leader that's when you've got to be worried
about your backbenchers' meeting. I don't have to worry
about mine meeting.
JOURNALIST: You support their meeting then?
PM: Of course. It's a democratic country.
JOURNALIST: Prime minister, do you want the issue of southeast
forests solved before your environment statement, even
if that means confronting New South Wales?

PM: talk with my two ministers about that. I've asked
them to be looking at it over the last week or so. I'm not
making any comment about that until I have a chance to talk
to them.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister do you think the travel overseas
in the last month and a half has had a -impact on the
Government's standing with the electorate?
PM: I don't know. It's impossible to tell. But the only
important response to that question is that what I've been
doing has been important for the present and future welfare
of Australia. I mean just look at the issues. As far as
the trip to Europe and North America was concerned, the
centrally important issue on that of course was the
international trading environment question. There's no
doubt that on that issue I was able to advance our interests
wherever I went. That's going to mean that not only for the
present but more importantly for the future, better
possibilities not merely for Australian farmers but for the
whole Australian economy. It would have been a dereliction
of duty on my part if I hadn't been there advancing
Australia's cause on those issues. on this two days I've
been away or three days there and back in the South
Pacific Forum no-one is going to question surely the
necessity of maintaining and improving relations with the
countries of the South Pacific. All the things we discussed
there were of intrinsic importance. Of course in regard to
driftnet fishing we have now been able to initiate a move
there which I believe, will lead to not merely a regional
ban on driftnet fishing but I think that will be the lead to
a more extensive and I hope global ban on fishnet fishing.
Now that's something which is again important for Australia,
important for the region and important for the world because
if we don't move on this issue we will be sitting back idly
and witnessing the obliteration of a fundamental resource.
Now you only have to have that exposition from me to know
that what I've been about is important. It would be a very
churlish interpretation which put it in any other light?
JOURNALIST: But while you've been away, for example John
Button has been his characteristic self and being very
honest in saying that in his own Party he's failed in his
Ministry? PM: That is a total misrepresentation. You don't think
that while I'm away I don't read the transcripts and find
out what's happening. That's a total misinterpretation of
what he said. He didn't say he'd been a failure.
JOURNALIST: inaudible
PM: No, no, no, no. Don't misinterpret what Button has
said. He's referred to a disappointment in terms of the
reaction of industry to some extent. But he hasn't said
he's been a failure.

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, how worried are you by events in
Papua New Guinea in the last week?
PM: You can't help but be worried about events in Papua New
Guinea. There've been another three civilians killed there
and that is disturbing. I've had the opportunity on this
visit of course of having fairly lengthy discussions with
the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, as well as
being kept informed by our own resources. One must be
worried and one can only hope that with the action that the
Government of Papua New Guinea is taking now under the
Declaration of the State of Emergency that they will be able
to bring that insurgency in Bougainville under control and
get the mine open because you've got to realise that that
mine provides the best part of 20% of the Government's
revenue. They can't go on indefinetly suffering that
haemorrhaging of revenue.

Transcript 7678