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Transcript of doorstop interview: Fairbairn RAAF Base, Canberra: 20 May 1993



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PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON P J KEATING, MP DOORSTOP, FAIRBURN RAAF BASE 20 MAY 1993

E&OE PROOF COPY

Mr Keating, do you regret the media headlines that ..... over in New Zealand over this social security business?

PM: If I got into the business of regretting what the Australian media does I would be on my knees every day of the week praying for you.

Do you expect a hostile reaction over there?

PM: No. I am looking forward to the visit. This is the country that has been traditionally nearest to us. We have got a lot of common, not just cultural but economic links, and it is a timely visit and I am looking forward to it.

Were you pleased to see the New Zealand Ambassador here saying that they haven't been pulling their weight, they really needed to sort of get down to.. on social security?

PM: Social security is just one issue. It is an issue that has been on the table for a while and requires some attention, but it has got to be ranked and prioritised with other issues, and there are others of similar rank.

J: Is their quick response on the social security matter though, any indication that they might quicken their responses in other areas?

PM: Well we have a lot of matters under discussion all the time and like two mature countries we advance them appropriately by discussion, Minister to Minister and then Prime Minister to Prime Minister. So, one of the things I will be discussing with Mr Bolger is his recent trip to North Asia. For instance, how both Australia and New Zealand can integrate our economies with the Asia-Pacific economies, how we can further integrate our two economies, the

COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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continuing development of CER, Closer Economic Relations. These are issues which are, if you like, on the agenda most of the time, but we keep advancing them in particular ways. This gives us an opportunity to do this again.

What's your reaction, Prime Minister, to the Pearce Report?

PM: I will talk about that when I come back.

ENDS