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Asian successes a lesson for Australia



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ASIAN SUCCESSES A LESSON FOR AUSTRALIA

The Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Mr Ian McLachlan said today the development of Asian countries provided Australia with the proof of gains from economic growth and the means by which it could be achieved.

Speaking to a lunch at the Asia-Pacific Profiles Conference, Mr McLachlan said the lesson of their success applied as much to Australia as the many still underdeveloped nations in the world.

'Australia is fortunate enough to be located in a region which is forecast to have a population of 4.5 billion people in 40 years time and it is ironic that our geographical location, once considered a hurdle we would never overcome, is now regarded as a national asset,' Mr McLachlan said.

'We certainly are in the right place at the right time, but to utilise these advantages, we must become more outward oriented and measure our performance against the rest of the world, not just those we have devised ourselves.

'It is nonsense to suggest that we are going to beat the West Indies after we have been practising against Kangaroo Island,' Mr McLachlan said.

He said the suggestion last week by the Minister for Employment, Education and Training that Australia should draw on the Japanese 'model' of co operation to support an extension of 'Accord style' economic direction in Australia was ironical.

'The Accord preserves - indeed is the last gasp of a system of industrial relations which has done more than anything else to destroy any sense of common purpose in Australian workplaces.

'Mr Dawkins confuses a genuine spirit of co operation based on an expectation of mutal gain with neatly devised and bureaucratic solutions which pay scant regard to the needs or desires of the community,' Mr McLachlan said.

'If a Government tries to manage the whole process from the centre it will not promote mutual wealth creation, rather division and squabbling over shares of a gradually diminishing economic pie.'

Mr McLachlan said the Coalition was determined to unleash the industrial revolution waiting to happen in Australia so that it could make a full contribution to the region and take full advantage from its beneficial location.

Further information: Ian McLachlan, telephone, 06 277 2039 15 April 1991

COMMONWEALTH j PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH