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Fightback1. One Nation and the media



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ALEXANDER DOWNER MEMBER FOR MAYO SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

PIGHTBACKl. ONE WATTON AND THE MEDIA

(extract from speech to Rostrevor Branch of the Liberal Party).

Liberals should be very wary of the ABC in particular and the Australian media in general. Whenever an election approaches the Canberra Press Gallery is bombarded with quotes from Liberals by the National Media Liaison Service - a euphemism

for the ALP - and they tend to latch on to the line pumped by ALP staffers. No-one does that more enthusiastically than the ABC.

At the moment, Labor are in overdrive trying to get the media to focus on the Coalition rather than the ALP and in

particular to try to find divisions in the Coalition. For some reason, the Canberra media always give a difference of view - albeit inadvertent - more coverage if it comes from the Coalition than from Labor. Events of the last 24 hours have proven that.

There are two aspects of the Canberra media in particular that we need to watch at present.

First, they are focussing enormous attention on the GST - one aspect of Fightback1. Fightbackt is a program for the future - at present it is not government policy. What needs to be at the centre of public debate is One Nation - Keating's grand plan for Australia launched last February and in full

swing since then.

Labor's scare stories about Fightback! are just that - scare stories.

One Nation has been put to the test. But where is the media analysis of it?.

What we know about One Nation is that:

. more people are out of work now than when it was

introduced;

. its economic forecasts have been proven to be a

complete hoax and even the Budget projections made in August are coming apart;

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 Telephone (06) 277 4145 Facsimile (06) 277 2143 After Hours Telephone: (08) 339 5152 or (06) 286 1504 COMMONWEALTH P A R L I A M E N T A R Y LIBR A R Y

MICAH

. the funding for rail and road projects has been grossly bungled and has now had to be diverted;

. the recovery that One Nation was meant to inspire has dropped dead: in the last week we have learned that retail sales are falling, the housing recovery has come to an end and consumer confidence has collapsed;

. above all in the nine months since conception, the One Nation statement and its father, Mr Keating, have given birth to the highest unemployment rate in sixty years.

Now how is it the media think Fightback! - which hasn't been introduced yet - is the story?.

The second point I want to make is that the ABC and other media always refer to the Coalition's GST policy, not to Fightback!♦ 1 wonder why.

Of course the GST is a 15% tax on goods and services and on its own is unlikely to be popular.

But by referring - as Labor would want - always to the GST the point is conveniently lost that the GST is the means to reduce income taxes by a third, the doubling of Family Allowances, the abolition of our outrageous Sales Tax system, the job- destroying Payroll Tax and the fuel excise.

Labor's agenda is simplet forget the economy and One Nation and talk about the GST.

At the moment, the ABC in particular and the media in general are complying.

19 November 1992