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Speech to the Institute of Company Directors luncheon, Melbourne

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Thank you so much all of you for coming - so many of you -and also to those who wanted to come.. .well, it's nice that they tried and I appreciate the turnout. The Institute of

Directors has always been very kind to me, they've always come with members and guests in very large numbers. I had the privelege of speaking to this Institute first about ten years ago, and I've had nothing but good associations with the Institute over that decade and I hope to keep the association up and I thank David very much for his point about the business community of Melbourne.

I don't accept the media's easy view that the business community is disaffected with the Government or that the business community's allegiances are so easy for people in the media to get a fix upon. I tend to think that most people want to get on with it to make their businesses work and they're interested in the policies of the Government of

the day, as the Government of the day has to be interested in them - which of course we are...........

..We've now got a tremendous opportunity in the Asia-Pacific. We're in not just the fastest growing part of the world but, in strategic terms, one of the quietest parts of the world and one of the most harmonious parts of the world and where we're now running a debate ourselves within APEC

( Asia Pacific Economic Co- operation) of developing freer trade mechanisms within the area to lift the prospects and velocity of trade over the region. That, I think, offers Australia an opportunity it's never had before. We've never been part of a rapidly growing region before let alone the

fastest growing region in the world. We are that now, we have the respect and interest of major countries in the region like Japan and China, we've got the United States on the verge of being heavily involved in APEC and leading a

trade liberalising agenda in the region. COMMONWEAELTH PARLIAMENTARY MICAH


If we do what we must do to maintain this competitiveness, to take the opportunities, to take the opportunities up, to give ourselves an industrial relations system which works efficiently and practically and works well, that lets us develop and build on our great changes in the eighties in education and research and development and in product

innovation - if we do these things and at the same time keep our head and our heart together where we run a compassionate society, where we care about those less well off, where we don't try and straighten people up, where we give them protection with health and social security and we don't consign people to the dustbin of unemployment.., if we

take the view that all members of Australia are entitled to a place in this society then as a community we'll advance at a rate and a pace that I think a lot of countries will

envy...because we have values here that many countries don't have and we've got to protect them, nurture them, jealously guard them and make sure there is always a political

majority there for any party that believes in them. So this is the challenge for the Government and its a challenge for business as well and one that I hope and look forward to with great pleasure.

I certainly take this view - the changes of the eighties were not Just changes accomplished by the Government but by the community at large and by the business community in particular. We look forward to you to lead that change. We'll be there with you, we'll be working with you, you have our confidence. We've got the recession - in terms of growth

- behind us. The aftermath, the effects are still there but the opportunities abound. We want to get on with it, we want to keep the pace of reform going. Thankyou.'