Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Hawke fails on commonwealth/state financial relations

Download PDFDownload PDF

John Hewson Ι^^ιηΓιτδ R b i baqth Leader of the Opposition

5 November 1991 253/91


Mr Hawke has ruled out all options for the future of

Federal/State financial relations except more centralisation.

After giving only short or one-word answers to my three Questions in the Parliament today, Mr Hawke finally succumbed to pressure and tried to explain his position only to admit total defeat in an area he had once thought would be historic and his monument.

His lame duck answer was that he had ruled out all other options and that he did not know what proposals the Premiers may put at the Special Premiers' Conference in Perth later this month.

What he did know for sure, was that Caucus would not let him

discuss the options of State income tax, a guaranteed share of funding, or return of excise powers to the States.

The glorious rhetoric about leadership and vision which Mr Hawke paraded when the Special Premiers' Conference process began, has been lost in the grubby politicking of the Member for Blaxland's leadership challenge.

The natural preference of the left wing is clearly more

centralisation and more control by Canberra, all in the name of accumulating more money for more bureaucrats to spend on more of their favourite projects. Look no further than Brian Howe's Mad Cities Fantasy.

The squirming and turning of Mr Hawke cannot hide the reality that the process of reform of Federal/State financial relations has been crippled by his lack of leadership.

Whatever the merit of the various proposals, the Premiers and the States deserve better than to be mere pawns in Labor's selfish leadership struggle.

The one million unemployed rightly feel deserted by this

Government, more interested in their own jobs than they are in running the country and creating new jobs for our unemployed.

For further information - 06/277 4022