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Parliament should sit this Friday

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John Hewson Leader of the Opposition M e d i a R e l e a s e

292/91 30 December 1991


Mr Keating should keep Parliament sitting on Friday for a full- scale debate on the economy.

All Members and Senators will be in Canberra this week to hear President Bush address the Parliament on Thursday. It makes sense to get extra value out of this special sitting of the

Parliament by devoting Friday to a full debate on Australia's pressing economic problems.

Mr Keating - who delivered the recession Australia had to have - must be prepared at the earliest opportunity to explain his plans for getting us out of the mess his policies created.

He should be ready for it - he's had six months on the backbench to think about more than just how to get rid of Bob Hawke.

Treasury forecasts, reported today, that high unemployment will persist for longer than was anticipated in the Budget underscore the need for urgent action by the Federal Government.

The Coalition Parties have presented our "Fightback" economic reform package - we now want to know whether the Keating

Government has any economic strategy of its own.

The legitimacy of the Keating regime can only be tested in a Federal election - which Mr Keating should call at the first opportunity - but a full-scale debate this Friday would at least reveal whether he is honest enough to admit and face up to the realities of our economic circumstances and whether he has any

idea about how to get Australia out of the worst recession in sixty years.

If Mr Keating declines to take the debate, we can only draw the conclusion that he is not ready or able to govern.

He got his job by knifing Bob Hawke - the million unemployed now want to know what he's going to do about their jobs.


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