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Transcript of doorstop, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra



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PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ACADEMY, CANBERRA - 2 SEPTEMBER 1991

E & Ο E - PROOF ONLY

JOURNALIST: Does a national service training scheme have merit?

PM: I wasn't convinced by the proposition but if the RSL wants to send us a submission on it we'd, of course, do them the courtesy of looking at it.

JOURNALIST: Will there be a showdown in Caucus tomorrow over Medicare ...

PM: I wouldn't have thought so, no.

JOURNALIST: How are you going to convince people in your own Party and the doctors that it is a viable proposition?

PM: Time and the merit of the argument.

JOURNALIST: Has Simon Crean got enough runs on the board, do you think, to run if at any stage you should decide to retire?

PM: I don't want to go to what is now, I think, something like a reportedly three month old conversation. But the Labor Party does have the great advantage that when some considerable time down the track I do retire, it's got a considerable reservoir of talent upon which to draw.

JOURNALIST: How will Australia be helping Papua New Guinea with security, Prime Minister?

PM: Well we have made it clear over a period of time that we are prepared to help them. What we started last year was a discussion process in which they were to look at the way in which the totality of the money which is spent on defence

and security may best be prioritised, if I can put it that way, in terms of internal law and order considerations. They have been working on that and they've come to the conclusion that that's where the priorities should be. They

are going to, in what we've recognised in the agreement that we signed together today, was that they would now draw up a specific and integrated plan of action which will embrace a number of proposals and once they've done that, we will then

look with them at the way in which we, in our payments, can assist them to give effect to that integrated plan of action.

• / >

Λ 2

JOURNALIST: Why did we reject: the idea of a formal treaty?

PM: It wasn't necessary and in the end they didn't think it was either.

JOURNALIST: Were you worried about Indonesian reaction at all?

PM: No.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, can I just ask why it is, you believe, Senator Ray thought it necessary to canvas the question of Mr Crean?

PM: I don't know. You would have to ask him. I wasn't party to the conversation.

ends