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Transcript of news conference, CSIRO facilities, Parkhurst



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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MiCAH

PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT OF NEWS CONFERENCE, CSIRO FACILITIES, PARKHURST - 4 DECEMBER 1991

E & OE - PROOF ONLY

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, BoD Carr's come out and he's described the Canberra ... as a ... on the GST. How do you

respond to that?

PM: Well he's wrong. You have had the opportunity of being around today. Do you think it was fumbling?

JOURNALIST: He says you should have been in the supermarket campaigning with the increase of goods to families in their shopping trolleys.

PM: Well look I don't really want to get into a public bruhaha with Bob Carr. He'll do his job and I'll do mine. But I simply make the point that I've taken the first opportunity that I can to get out of Canberra and come up here into North Queensland, you've had the opportunity of

seeing me out in the shopping malls and at lunch with a cross-section of the community. I just ask you to make your judgement about how you think we've gone?

JOURNALIST: Well you're out in rural Queensland, one of the concerns is with sales tax and other imposts on the transport industry.

PM: They ought to be concerned too because they've been sold a dummy by the National Party which is supposed to represent their interests. The only thing that they had going in any way in this so-called package was the suggestion that they'd get lower freight, lower fuel costs and of course what has happened now is that they've said yes they are going to have.road user charges to pay for all the

roads in Australia, they won't do it by way of fuel tax so that means that there'll be a massive increase in registration charges. They've been sold a pup by the National Party and farmers increasingly will say to Mr Fischer and his colleagues, we don't want any part of this. The proposition is that they were, you know, going to get this increase in GST on the things they pay but that would be offset by reductions in income tax. The unfortunate fact

is that today many farmers because of the collapse in international prices they won't be paying any income tax, they won't be getting reduction in income tax but they're going to get hit with a whack, a massive 15 per cent

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increase in all the goods they pay. They have been sold a pup.

JOURNALIST: So your Government won't be adopting the ... recommendations ...?

PM: Well we've made our position perfectly clear. I've stated it ... at the Premiers' Conference. What we would be doing in regard to any question of charges would be by way of an offset on excise, it wouldn't be an imposition on top of it. We've made it quite clear. This mob have got lost on it. What they were trying to kid the people with,

they're going to get a reduction in the cost of fuel and a reduction in freight because of the removal of excise taxes but they forgot to tell the people what would be the cost impact of the massive increase in registration charges. We've made our position quite clear.

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, don't you think it's strange that Bob Carr is coming out and saying you're going to lose the next election if you don't do something pretty drastic in addressing the GST?

PM: I don't need to be told by Bob Carr how to conduct my affairs. I mean, that's quite clear. I simply put it back to you. You've had the opportunity now of seeing me going around the country up here and you know for a fact that we have been extremely effective with the people, the small

business community.They were there in massive numbers today. They listened, they heard and I think they were persuaded. Now I'll get about my task of going around Australia and telling the people and persuading them. I'll do that job,

let Bob get on with his.

JOURNALIST: Will you be chatting to Mr Carr about his comments?

PM: No.

JOURNALIST: That comes hot on the heels of Wayne Goss also saying that you should put forward, you know, a similar package or a positive package. Do you think that, sort of, all this mounting criticism means that you should be doing something?

PM: I know what I'm doing. We're doing it effectively and as I say we're not in the Oakleigh Plate, a sprint, we're in the Melbourne Cup and when we get to the winning post, the election in '93, we will win by the length of the straight. So I will do that. My Ministers will do that and I suggest with the greatest friendliness to my State colleagues they go about their business doing their job, winning their elections.We111 win ours.

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, this visit to Central Queensland is not to shore up the vote for Queensland, to shore up the vote for the Labor colleagues like Mr Hawke -

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PM: Mr Hawke that's Mr Wright.

JOURNALIST: inaudible

PM: There is a similarity - nice curly hair too. Of course, we'll help to shore up his vote. But he will win, if I can say so, in his own right. This -JOURNALIST: But you're not here getting his vote for any

leadership?

WRIGHT: He's got mine.

JOURNALIST: ... shoring up the others?

PM: ... I mean, ...

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, you’re in the beef capital. International trade is a big factor affecting our producers at the moment. Will you be driving home the message to President Bush about the US meat import war and other ...?

PM: We sure will. President Bush knows that he's going to have some very direct conversations with me about the practices of the United States and the whole of the area of agriculture and rural products. We've made our position very clear to him in the past. He knows that I'll be

talking about that when he's here.

JOURNALIST: When will the Federal Government give the Australian public a package that they can weigh up against the Fightback package? ... the two packages. When is the Federal Government -PM: I wished you'd - you weren't at the lunch today?

JOURNALIST: No.

PM: No. Well it’s a pity you missed a very good address and you missed there the opportunity of hearing the total answer to that question. We are not in the business of inventing a package. What they have done is perpetrate a

hoax. A hoax which will mean a massive impost upon the ordinary people of this country which will make them worse off and a comparatively few people at the top of the income range, like myself and John Hewson, better off. What I have pointed out is that we were going on with the business of government. We're out of the recession. We're coming into

recovery, economic growth, we're now in the most competitive position we've been in in the post-war period. We're having massive increases in the competitive area of manufactured exports, these things are happening. We are producing for Australia the results. What I'm about is two things.

Demolishing this hoax upon the people of Australia that's involved in the Hewson package and going on with the business of providing government. I don't have to provide something which is intended to rival this magic pudding. Magic puddings are hoaxes of the Opposition.

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JOURNALIST: I'm just wondering in regard to your touring a CSIRO facility here. CSIRO funding has gone back in the last few years -PM: n o it hasn't. It's gone up very significantly. What

you don't understand is that if you look at the earlier period there had been in the early stages a very significant increase in funding ... capital purposes. Once those capital works were done there wasn't the same need for those sorts of increases. But in the recent budgets we've further

increased the allocations and most recently in ray November Statement I provided another $10 million in fact for capital funds for the CSIRO. We're very proud of what they're doing and we're increasing their capacity to get on and do the

job?

ends