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States should be outraged by commonwealth cover-up



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Senator Jim Short b* Deputy Leader o f the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for/Finance ^ MEDIA

& > r e l e a s e :

Assisting the Leader on Commonwealth/State Relations

SMF 95/92

STATES SHOULD BE OUTRAGED BY COMMONWEALTH COVER-UP* * -ยท ._ -The Shadow Minister assisting .the Leader of the Opposition on Commonwealth- State relations, Senator Short, said today that the States should be outraged by Treasurer Dawkittf deliberate failure to play fair and keep all parties to the Commonwealth-State relationship adequately informed of what is going on.

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In trying to hide the truth about Victoria's illegal breach of the global limits from the other States and the public. Mr Dawkins has put, at, risk the trust, and confidence which is so vital if Commonwealth-State relations are to be conducted in a manner consistent with the needs of the entire nation. .

By siding with Victorian Labor, Mr Dawkins has effectively defrauded every other State and Territory. What is more, he has deceived the citizens of Victoria by trying to manipulate the election results.

To suggest, as Commonwealth officials arc reported to have done in this morning's press, that the cover up on the borrowing broach was necessary or "the trust between States and the Commonwealth would have evaporated" is completely to invert the truth.

How can lies and deceit be necessary to maintain trust?

To suggest, as was also reported in the press this morning that "the Federal Treasurer has a limited capacity to prevent the States from being fiscally irresponsible" is also completely untrue. Mr Keating, as Treasurer, showed in 1988 how powerful the Commonwealth can bo - "you over-borrow, and we'll cut

your grants". The power of tho purse strings is ultimate power if you want it to be.

It is no good, Mr Dawkins. How can the States ever trust you again? Tho only way to restore faith in the vital Commonwealth-State relationship is for the Treasurer to go - now.

30 October 1992 Canberra Contact: Rod Woolley (03)650 3482