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Tasmanian State Elections

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Senator The Hon. V. C. GAIR

Leader Democratic Labor Party Phones: Canberra, 705 Ext. 523 Brisbane, 310101 Ext. 436


"The significance of the likely result of the

Tasmanian State Election is that it concludes a phase of

Australian political history which commenced in 195-57.

"In those years the A.L.P. embarked on a path of self-destruction: The Queensland A.L.P. Government, which

had occupied the Treasury benches for almost 40 years, was

destroyed by power-drunk union bosses; in 1965 the N.S.W.

A.L.P. Government was defeated; the Victorian A.L.P.

Government was rejected by the voters; an A.L.P. Government

in South Australia managed to enjoy only a brief tenure

before it also was defeated.

"The Tasmanian A.L.P. Government, which had

been in power for over 30 years, thought itself insulated

from developments on the mainland but i 'also has eventually

been caught up in the events stemming from the 1955-57


"If the A.L.P. Government is defeated in

Tasmania, the last remaining vestige of parliamentary power

has been stripped from the A.L.P.



"The A.L.P. has been out of power in the

Federal sphere for the past 20 years and there is no

likelihood of it, under its present composition or with

its existing outlook, of ever becoming the Federal


"The Queensland State Election will be

held on Saturday and it requires no prophet to predict

that the A.L.P. in Queensland will not succeed in defeating

the Coalition Government.

"All these undeniable facts must cause

concern to A.L.P. leaders and rank and file members, but

the problem is of their own making.

"Until the A.L.P. does away with a

gimmick approach to politics and repudiates its more extreme

left-wing members and associates, the public will continue

to reject it at State and Federal Elections.

The absence of an effective and acceptable

alternative Government is not a healthy situation in

Australian politics.

"It is not too late for the A.L.P. to rid

itself of the incubus of left-wing control but it will

require courage on the part of A.L.P. leaders. Many people,

however, have now come to the conclusion that its present

leaders, including Mr Whitlam, do nbt possess sufficient

courage or clear-sightedness to undertake such a cleansing



14th May, 1969.