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Factions 3 - Australia 0

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

162/91 10 June 1991


Labor shows no signs of understanding that it is in government to take decisions in the best interests of Australia.

Reports in today's press that the three mines uranium policy is to be used by the pro-Keating forces to embarrass Prime Minister Hawke at this month's national ALP Conference indicate yet again that Labor will always put factional politics above good


Yet again, expediency and hypocrisy are the order of the day.

Last week, before his leadership challenge, Paul Keating saw no great need to extend uranium mining and exports beyond the current three (in reality two) mines.

This week, his supporters promote the issue not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is a convenient way to put pressure on the Prime Minister.

For his part, Mr Hawke has in the past described the three mines policy as "illogical", but now must go along with it to retain his support from the Left.

Both the Hawke and Keating camps are prepared to play internal Labor politics with the uranium issue instead of getting on and taking the decision to open up uranium mining, boost exports, improve our trade performance and lessen Australia's huge debt burden.

The same factional game is being played over other vital

development projects including Coronation Hill and the third Sydney runway.

If Mr Hawke has an ounce of leadership quality left, he should take a stand on uranium mining, Coronation Hill, the third runway and declare that these projects and others must go ahead without delay.

Sadly for Australia, this is not likely to happen and the Prime Minister will remain trapped - powerless to act - in the vortex of factional pressures.

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