PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8996


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: 10/10/1993

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 8996

11. Oct. 93 8: 29 No. 001 P. 01/ 10
J: Mr Keatin& do you think your isiz to West= ui Australia has achieved
PM; I think so. I think, amoWt other thin& i I bad a chance to talk to the public and
to talk to my own Party last night at a very large fncdon, and to run rough
the big issue. I had a ' ezy good talk to Carmn LAwrence as well as the
Premier and so, I think it has been wothwble. I also bad the pleasure this
morting of being involved with the Royal Flyiig Doctor appeal
On otto of the major issues between us that I si! oke to Premier Court about
yesterday we should correct the impression in Western Agauab that this is a
matter between the Cozmnonwealth Gvonvxwtnt and the State Govenunen;
that this is a maner which the Comtnwealth Governmenw is ying to push
onto the State Government. Thau is not so. Ttis is a matter of mstalihn law.
This is a matter of the High Court of Autrali dcidin8 that thee is a native title
in the common law. And the Western Aura! ian Government has got to come
to tmswith dat Thve gotd toe d de wbal: 1hey want to do about that.
We're saying that what we have is a scheme, te best possible scheme to deal
with it And tostay out of it sirmly mea u grt eat uctainty would obtain
in Western Australia. So, this is notia soxt of igassic Commonwealth/ Stue
matter of Perth verua Canberm This is Paet versus the igh Co4IT of
Austraa. This is what this is and I think all Weiten Australians should
ndersmand this. That the problems that c= ariSe from this because of the Sawe
Govenmentrs iansienee with the Ibh Crnt decision with the dccision of
the highest court in our land. Now what Im trying to do is to fnd a solution for
verybody in tha decision. And it's not Canbffm seeking to impose anmhing
an the State, but the State in avmyu4eal way not recognisiig die
supremracy and prniacy of the High Court of Australia.
I: Inaudible..

PM: Wel4 I di inre Praier knows that hcan go onaboftand nojoinxthe
Commonwealth and other states in this remember there are othe Coalition
govmrments involved in ts, these discussions. He can not join them but how
does he resolve the problem for Western Australian people? How does he
resolv the problem for the Western Austaia ri~ itin industry, the W4: stcn
Australian pastoral industry, for the Western Aiztraian Ab~ original co! munity,
for the Western Australian people? I mean, tis is somethng I have arrived
here saying " Look Permier, I have a scheme hetea which I think will work for
you here, well. Now, why don't you sit down orid talk to us about this scheme?
But if you don't want to talk at all, the Froh Court's decision is going to stand.
But what would happen is there would be nio ceitainty of title for the big mining
operations some of them aud for pastoral ltases arid it is up to the Premier
to get a soluton.
MrC1 ourt sems to think though. that ther could be a High Court challenge to
your legislation. He has not riled tha out this mlomni&
PM: Yes. but the 9i4h Court is not going to challenge its own decision.
1: On Land administration on the States right.
PM! This is not a matter of States rights. This is a matter of the rogts of Aboriginal
people who are Zvennativetifle inthe common law. This is therghrt of
Abofignal people im thii country who our highv,; cowlt has * ven a nativ ttl
inthe connonaw and no appeal othe Ith C,) isgoing to get ovcr that
principal fact. Now, whatwve wil tyand do isI. gislatea scheme that ataf
makes it work. It has become very bard going comning over to a state sTaIg
" Look here we are to help yoo. Here is the Cozamonwealth, government and
other states with a scheme to help you out of the hole you are and the state
saYiIIg " No. no, we don't want to be he~ pe& We; will take mayhem instead."
There miust be a scheme of arrangement for Wc-aen Australia or otherwise,
Aborigina people will just take their land claims to the High Court.
J: Has anythng changed as a result of your weeken d visit here?
PM: WelI dre Premierknow ft besa g ot dIoea l wi he national
goverment. That this idea that it is sort of Wes tern Australia versus the rest of
Austa. ia not just Canberra but every other State -reafly is not very
J: But Mr Court argues that Western Australia is the s= at most affocted by this
decision and tft it really doesn't malter int other states like Virton; A.
TiEiL:. Oct. 93 8: 29 No. 001 P. 02/ lU

TEL: 1I. Oct. 93 8: 29 No. 001 P. 03/ 10
PA; It will matter less in Victoia but it MUl matter gratly in Queensland. It wMl
matter substantiafly in South Australia. It is not a matter of whether the High
Coutt under our Contitution enjoys sovureignty in these matters. it Ias decided
there Is a natie tifle in the commoni law. If Abo riginal people cAn mount a
native title clam. on land which is now Crowni lAd that land will become native
tite land.
Now, there is nothfing that the Premier can do atbout that other than to work out
how he wishes to run the state. It is no good sa5i4 " We are affected more." It
is not a matter of who is affected more. It is a ftatter of whether the decision is
right; and whether tho-th ' Jm1a AyVm1-t1A a Tt ink itil
the fight decision, so now an! or us Piave got to nmaie it wontK im not me r tr y
and push something down t Premies nieck I am invitin him into a scheme
of arrangement which is good for Western AustialiA, good for Australimn
J: Do you find M~ r Courfs position ftustrating?
PM; 1 Whnk that you can run this argument for Ion enough., that this is a matter for
the people of Perth and Western Australia versus, the rest of Au~ tra~ ia. Unti the
people of Perth and Western Australia understand that the Prcemier is running
Them up a blind alley, that there is a Hig Court Jecision and it is the law of % he
land all this land including Western Australia and it has to be dealt with.
And the onlcheeodeal w it isthe onewichs in the hands of the
federal government.
J: Are you disappointed that some of the Abongic s you met with~ yesterday ane
sayn that the meeting acieved nothing?
IM: If you get ten Aboriginal people together and say what was thc outcome of the
meeting you will get ten different anwers most likely. And you wil never get
unanimnity. But, again, there is I think a much be ttr understanding and some
very positive responses to the discussions I had. I don't know that a lot of
Aborigina people particularly from the outstations really understand what Mabo,
means to thein and when they have tho opportumity of talking to somebody lie
me and have it explained to them some things become more clear. Now the
Aboriginal community has got its professional, cynics thc same as the non
Aboriginal community but so wbat

Transcript 8996