PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7907

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: 16/02/1990

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 7907

A6 / 0
PRIME MINISTER
FOR MEDIA 16 FEBRUARY 1990
This morning I called upon the Governor-General and
recommended that the House of Representatives be dissolved
with a view to an election for the House of Representatives
and half the Senate being held on Saturday, 24 March 1990.
The Governor-General has accepted my recommendation.
This election comes after the expiry of a full term of the
current Parliament. With the exception of the 1984 election
which restored the necessary synchronisation of the two
Houses of Parliament, the elections I have called as Prime
Minister have been at full term.
Elections are the key to our democratic system. They
perform the vital task of choosing a Government for the
future. So I call upon all Australians to participate fully in the
forthcoming campaign, both by thinking carefully about the
issues that are at stake for the nation, and by exercising
your democratic right to vote.
The election on 24 March will resolve a basic question of
vital importance to us all as individuals, as families and
as a nation as we enter the 1990s.
That question is, whether we continue forward as a
community, creating a fair society, an efficient and
productive economy and a healthy environment for ourselves
and our children or whether we turn the clock back to the
days of entrenched privilege, lost opportunities and
environmental degradation.
At the outset of the 1990s, Australians face a very clear
choice. The comparisons between Labor and the conservatives
are stark.
Australians can decide to continue along the path of steady
reform, so our country can be equipped to take full
advantage of the exciting challenges of the twenty-first
century. Or we can choose, under the conservatives, to sacrifice the
opportunities and squib the challenges of the future, in a
self-destructive and traumatic re-run of the failures of the
early 1980s.

It is my most profound conviction that Australia's
Government must continue to be a Government for all
Australians a Government that will defend and enhance the
real interests of the Australian nation.
I seek re-election for a full fourth term as Prime Minister
because I know that only Labor can provide such a
Government. As the campaign progresses, my Ministers and I will be
announcing a range of initiatives that will'demonstrate our
capacity to build such an Australia through the 1990s.
These initiatives will be progressive and practical, they
will be relevant to the needs of Australians in the 1990s,
and they will be fully funded.
Next week the Treasurer, Mr Keating, will be revealing
details of the next round of wage increases and any tax cuts
negotiated between this Government and the trade union
movement. This announcement will demonstrate anew our capacity to
secure the long term interests of Australian families and
individuals, and to do so in a way that best ensures the
well-being of the national economy.
Our political opponents have hastily cobbled together an
industrial relations platform that would remove from the
hand of the Federal Government the means to achieve such an
outcome. That policy failure, and the essentially unfair commitment
to abolish the capital gains tax, coming on top of their
health fiasco and their $ 6 billion in unfunded pledges,
demonstrate comprehensively that the Opposition has no
legitimate claim to exercise the responsibility of national
Government. So, too, does their philosophy of development
at any price, which would bequeath to our children a barren
legacy of a degraded environment.
After seven years of Opposition, they still have failed to
develop workable and effective alternative policies.
That failure of course reflects their failure at the level
of leadership.
They remain the disunited band that was defeated in 1987.
Their fatal flaws, if translated to Government, would cost
the Australian people dearly.
I believe that Australians, when they look closely at the
records and qualifications of the two main political
parties, will conclude that Australia needs a continuation
of the stability and commonsense policies Labor has
delivered so far.

Even those who wish to exercise their right to support
independent candidates still have the responsibility, under
our preferential system, of choosing a Government.
They should recall that only a Labor Government united,
stable has the breadth of concern that can truly encompass
the aspirations of all Australians.
Labor has proven that, for all the economic difficulties we
face, it is possible to harness the skills and commitment of
the whole community so as to advance our collective wellbeing.
And we have shown we will stand firm against those who would
harm or undermine that collective well-being.
On the international stage, through the Cairns Group and our
new forum for Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation, through
our initiatives to protect Antarctica and to eliminate
chemical weapons, and through our efforts to find a solution
to the tragic conflict in Cambodia, Australia under Labor
has been a creative and responsible leader in economic and
political causes of profound importance for the 1990s.
We simply cannot afford to slip back to the inflexibility
and short-sightedness that still characterises the outmoded
mindset of the Coalition parties.
We know that these have been difficult times for many
Australians, and we acknowledge the hardship that is being
experienced. But there are no easy solutions just the promise that with
a continuation of sensible policies and of committed hard
work, national and individual economic conditions will
gradually improve.
As they improve, we will have the knowledge that they will
be permanent improvements, because we will have made the
right choices and done the hard work to guarantee
sustainable prosperity for the future.
And in the meantime, the Australian people know that Labor
will not sacrifice for short-term political gain the values
that are essential to our national interest stability;
national self-confidence, growth that is ecologically
sustainable, prosperity that is fairly shared.
For the 1990s, Australians need and deserve no less.

Transcript 7907