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Transcript 8753

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P .J. KEATING MP, DOORSTOP JOHN CURTIN HOUSE, CANBERRA 4DECEMBER 1992

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 04/12/1992

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 8753

PRIME MINISTERI
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE lION P. J. KEATING, MP
DOORSTOP, JOHN CURTIN HOUSE, CANBERRA, 4 DECEMBER 1992
E OE PROOF COPY
J: What do you think of Jeff Kennett's plan to put industrial relations on the
Premiers' Conference agenda?
PM: We are not superstitious, we'll have anything on the agenda they want on the
agenda.
1: Will you put it at the top now?
PM: And we are quite happy to discuss these details with State governments, but
we intend to go ahcad with our agcnda.
J: What about John Fahcy's threat to boycott.
PM: I didn't hear him say that, but boycott what?
J: Boycott the Premiers' Conference.
PM: John has got to decide whether he is a Prcmier or whether hc is a court jester
and if hc wants to bc in the game that's wvhere the mecting is, he can be there
if he wants to.
J: Are you coniccrned about the atmosphere at thc Premiers' Confercnce given
those comments?
PM: It's all vcry good for John Fahey to say that it's not co-operative. Three
weeks ago lie was standing in Sydney on his way to Acapulco attacking
John Dawkins over loan raising from Victoria which had nothing to do with
him whatsoever. lie has not behaved like Nick Greiner's behaved, hc's into
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every argument around the place and then he wants to talk about cooperation.
J: Given that are you concerned about the atmosphere of the Conference?
PM: Not at all, no, no, not a bit.
J: Prime Minister, how concerned are you that John Halfpen~ ny intends to
continue industrial action in Victoria?
PM: The. Commonwealth's legislation will give access to the federal jurisdiction
for people registered under state awards and that will deal with the problem
of the decline of the a wards system in Victoria, but it won't deal with a
recalcitrant government in a position of conflict with its own employees.
One will never solve those issues from Canberr a.
J: So it's all right for unions to continue protest thcre whatever the effects on
the federal economy?
PM: No, no just get this right. If Mr Kenncett wants to decimate the school
system and the hospital system he has to wear the public consequences of
that. In just the samc way Nick Greiner had to wear it in schools in NSW,
you can't expect magic and people to lay down in the face of a government
which is just tak ing no heed of community attitudes.
J: Mr Kennett says that Mr Halfpenny is giving you a two finger salute.
PM: I haven't even spoken to Mr Halfpenny about this matter, not once, not at
any stage. This is simply a mattcr that the Kennett government had no
mandate whatsoever to destroy the awards system, none. This government
had a very clear mandate in 1990 not just to maintain the award system but
to maintain minimum rates, we are in there to protect that mandatc and if Mr
Kennett wishes to go his way then the Commonwealth is just doing what I
think is both sensible and reasonable to restore confidence in Victoria and to
see our national recovery going. I noticed today in today's press that the
Japanese economy is in negative growth for two quarters. There's the
United States limping along, the second largcst economy negative growth,
we are growing at two per cent, we are on the way. Jeff Kennett and his
mates want to put us back.
ENDS
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Transcript 8753