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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 9755


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: 13/09/1995

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 9755

TEL i395~ J 18 : 6 NO.
J: Mr Keating, do you think the prosence of the French in the Soudli
Pacnc, is in any way delogitimised by thoir decision to resume nuclear
PM. I think that there has been a constructive rlationship between the
French) and the countries of the Soith Pacific Snd, I think, the rest of
us. I don't think. there is any doubt that the legitimacy of their presence
or the sincerity of thelii pitmence Is called inlto que~ 4ion by a scant
disregard for the opinions and the interests of peo* l who live inl the
Poiftl Pacific Islanders. But, that is not to make a coMment abotf
the French tonritodes, This h* 3 alway6 been a matter between the
poople who live there and France itself.
4: Prime Minister, what sort of statement would you be looking for out of
the Forum?
PM: I think one that contflues the themes of lost year. That is, where wo
are looking fur managing resources better I think, Sir Julius. has a
themne which is consistent with that and that i. P how to further develop
thm ea. sources, how to keep them sustainable and we are able to, I
think, record from Wat year some substantial and positive, changes in
transport, turning around some of the heavy airline deficits I made the
point year ago that thcre was more money lost in the airline deficits of
" h Pacific countries than there was in this aid whiich Australia and New
Ze$ iand had given to Pacific Island nations and Pacific nations. And.
we are seeing quite substantial and very pleasing changes in the
budgets of those airlines and the rationalisation of those services,
Fisheries we are sftking to Improve the lot of Pecific Island countries
In terrms of flsheries, the benefits available to them, the pnceA they
receive, Those are issues I have taken up with Japan, with Korea.
Logging we are working towards a togging or forest acmod ut this
meetting which began in Brisbane and I hope that we can come to a U 1' U

TEL 13ep. 9 1b No . UU l'U V-
point of isyreemeflt a~ QUt forest manggement on this occasion with the
sing~ ing of that 8cmord.
So, these are the things.
J* Haven't the Papua New Guinearis and the Solomon's kiiocked that
forestry code of conduct on the head?
PM, They are agreeing with it, I think, but they are saying well, I'm not
sure exactly what they are saying, but I think, in Papua New Guinea's
Case It Is saying that it hasn't got its own domestic process in place.
But, I would be very disappointed if we couldn't sign the accord up at
this meeting,
Ji: rrime Minister, you have ofered incentiveS to the Solomon Islands to
try and convince them to stop lowging arid they havenl taken those tip,
are you prepared yet to think about the big stick approach. withdrawing
PM-We are In a constructive, friendly relationship with the Woomon. Islands
and1, ot course, with Papua Now Guinea. Ono sooks to encourage
people to have, in this case, sustainable logging practicos, to help
where we can with sustainable logging processes and planning. I don't
necessarily belief that people always see your side of the arourrent
immediately. but we will keep wearing away at that as In t caso of the
J: Whet * bou Gordon Bilney's line, that the Goverment will be leak than
wilting in tho future to eoaist those counties that are squanden their
resources, just how tough is the Governiment prepared to be?
PM-I think It is a case of both a bit of push anid pull. We try to pull people
along hy encouraging them to do things and we try and push them
alon. But again, one does tt within the wrt of protocols of the
rolationshIps. ft Is called trying to be construcive I think.
J; Out is there point in continuing to give aid for sustainable forestry
projects to a country Mhat has anything but a sustainabhi; industry and
which is seeking to defer this code of conduct at the Forum?
PM; Are you speaking of the Solomons, in particular? Well. I mean, the
Solomnon Wsands does not have a sustainable rate of forestry exlractiori
ojr forestry management. That it, an issuo of concern to Us. Wip have
assisted them to understand or at least rneasuro teir forestry
resources and then to be able to plot som sort of chart of extraction
and oustainabilfty, What the indications give us is that It is
unsustainable. We lidve made those points. wh~ ether we continue to
give financial assistance lfo forestry Is something for us to dlatervnfe,
but obviously there gets to a point of where 11e returns are not worth it.

TEL: 13 ep j1: 86 y NO ' JU(
J: Just coming back to th point about the French test again, Prime
Minister, do yntu think fthre is anything more the Forum con
constructively do to argue the case against Padis?
PM: I think the value of the Forum IS for It to spak with one voice a$ the
voice of the Pacific. There is no otr meeting oa a group nf nations
this large or this representative that could say to President Chirac and
his govornment that this is a bad decision which we want reversed.
Thd value of it boing said in this Forum i3 that it is not simnply Australia
or Now Zealand, it is the Forum countries as a whole. So, rather than
now arguments, I think, the value is in the saying of it as a whole, as a
r~ rniuhity.
J. As Chairman of the Forum though. Australia h2S pW out a commnunique
with the Forum against the French testing, what is thi2 communique
that is Qoing to come out tomorrow, how is that going to be different?
PM: I think it will have a strono conderrination of the declsion of Mhe French
to lost, A condemnation of the decision to detonate the first b43st and
calling on the Government of Fran= e to desist. Now. again, Fran, ce Is a
sovereign country, but we will be at least saying that powerfully, I hope.
Xis there a danger that the fact that Australia is a member of this; rorum
could mean new accusations from France that we are gingering up the
Pacm against them?
PM: I think fth French are Worldly WleA. They know what peop think.
They know what thie geneful mood of the Pardfk is They don't like our
attue, but then we don't like theirs. And . I think, they kno& W most
people around here don't like theirl for this either. We wil be sAying
tt in spade: 3, I hope, in the next couple of duys.

Transcript 9755