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ACTU should look to Coalition policy for jobs

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Media Release

Ian McLachlan

Shadow M inister for In dustry and Commerce



ACTU President, Martin Ferguson, has finally agreed with the Coalition that reducing tariffs without tackling other domestic reforms was having a disastrous effect on the Australian economy, the Shadow Minister for. Industry and Commerce, Ian McLachlan, said today. ' - ' : " ' .

"In calling for an 18 month pause in reductions to tariffs, the ACTU has admitted what the Coalition has said all along - that the Government either can't or won't make the changes which will enable industry to survive reduced tariffs.

"On March 12 last year, I pointed out in response to the Prime Minister's industry statement that the Government could not undertake tariff reductions without domestic reform.

"More than 12 months and 100,000 job losses later, the ACTU has come to the same conclusion. ยท

"Now the ACTU apparently has come to the same obvious conclusion but of course it cannot bring itself to admit the part it has played in holding back the much- needed comprehensive reform program including industrial relations changes which m ust accompany tariff cuts."

Mr McLachlan said that slowing the rate of tariff reduction was not the answer because tariffs for one industry merely added to the costs of others.

"What we do need is immediate cost-reducing reforms and a change in attitude which recognises th at unless we become more productive Australian industry won't stand a chance.

"The fact that Paul Keating is ever so slowly stealing bits of Coalition policy, the latest being its tentative moves towards privatisation in aviation and more competition in pay television, demonstrates that we have the right policies for Australia.

"Unlike Paul Keating, we also have the will and determination to implement them as soon as we get into government.

" If the ACTU is really interested in creating jobs and viable manufacturing industries in Australia, it should publicly support the Coalition's industry reform package," Mr McLachlan concluded.

Further information:

Ian McLachlan Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Telephone: 06 277 2039


1 June 1992