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21 November 1991 REF: TRANSCR\sr\0001

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA

E & Ο E - PROOF COPY ONLY

SUBJECTS: Government assistance in launching ____________Coalition Tax Reform Package______

Journalist:

... (inaudible) ...

Hewson:

Oh no, we would obviously have preferred it not to have happened but it is good to see that the only time the Government has released any vision for this country in the last nine years was last night with our package.

Journalist:

Where do you think the leak came from?

Hewson:

Look, we don't know.

Journalist:

Will you investigate this?

Hewson:

Well, it is not much point spending time dwelling on it. It has come out. We knew we took a risk. We had six documents printed by five printers in a Labor town. It is a risk. But, you know, we are delighted that the debate is underway and

that we can now get on and sell our ideas and our vision for this country.

REF: TRANSCR\sr\0001 2.

Journalist:

It makes today's launch redundant though, isn't it?

Hewson:

Oh no, I think actually the Government's done us a favour in an ironic sense because they are going to guarantee us two days good press instead of just one so in that sense they have

probably blundered and it is good to have them on the team in that ...

Journalist:

Are you going to go into the lock up?

Hewson:

Oh yes. We may not lock you up. We will give you plenty of time though.

Journalist:

...(inaudible)... someone is dissatisfied with it.

Hewson:

No, I don't think that is the case. Look, there is I guess about 650 or 700 pages all up and you've got about 65 or 66 of them. So there is plenty of reading for you to do today. You don't need to be locked up to do it but you can have plenty of time to get on top of the document.

Journalist:

So who are you sheeting the leak home to, the Labor Party or the Government?

Hewson:

Look, we don't know. And it doesn't really matter. I mean, these sorts of things are important in Canberra, people get pretty excited. The rest of the country couldn't care less. They want to know what you are going to do.

Journalist:

But you were pretty excited yourself. I mean you have a briefing here this morning, and everyone is reading it on the front page of the newspaper.

REF: TRANSCR\sr\0001 3.

Hewson:

Well, as I say you still have about 600 other pages to read. So there is plenty for you to read.

Journalist:

We have the most important pages haven't we?

Hewson:

Are you sure about that?

Journalist:

There is no way it could have been leaked by a Liberal back bencher, hoping to do you a favour?

Hewson:

No, no. Not at all. We are pretty confident that the only copies that we had are still there.

Journalist:

What reaction are you expecting from the Premiers?

Hewson:

I don't know. I hope they come on side and we have a very genuine package as far as the Premiers are concerned. The payroll tax decision is a very important decision for Australia and very important for them and I think they are all on the record supporting the abolition of a payroll tax or a cut in payroll tax. The tax sharing proposal which they have picked up in recent days is pretty much what we proposed a year ago. So we have said to them that we are prepared to

talk about that. We think they should have a guaranteed share of tax income. Not a state income tax, but a tax share, so we have two very positive proposals for the Premiers and the

Premiers have been very genuine in recent days. They have put aside politics and tried to make some major change and in that sense we are happy to be part of that, and in Government we would certainly negotiate with them with on, not only payroll tax, but of course on tax sharing.

Thank you.