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Burke damned out of his own mouth

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M e d ia R elea se

27 April 1991


John Hewson Leader of the Opposition


Brian Burke concedes in his interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, published today, that he has only been able to stay on as Ambassador to Dublin and the Holy See because of his special relationship with the ALP.

He says: "the commitment is much greater and that's why the Federal Government has stuck (to me) like it has. Any other Ambassador would have been ditched years ago in the face of that sort of thing."

Mr Burke is confirming that it is only because of his mateship with the Prime Minister and the New South Wales Right that he has kept his Ambassadors job.

The Opposition has been saying precisely this for months. We have been asking for Mr Burkes recall because his continued appointment as Ambassador while his involvement in WA Inc is under question is harming Australia's international reputation

and also because his pre-occupation with the Inquiry is not allowing him to perform his duties to the full extent necessary.

This is an untenable situation.

It is in the national interest that Prime Minister Hawke recall Mr Burke. Unless and until he does so Australians will

undoubtedly raise questions about the relationship between Prime Minister Hawke and Mr Burke.

The Prime Minister must act now. He must put mateship aside and show leadership. He must put the national interest first and stand down Mr Burke until the WA Inc Inquiry is resolved.

For further information contact: 2774022 or Tony Abbott 286 4457