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Prime Minister's duplicity revealed



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edia Ian Mr.T a n h la n

Shadow M inister for Industry and Commerce

28/92

PRIME MINISTER'S DUPLICITY REVEALED

The Prime Minister had made a desperate and blatant run for votes in the Wills by­ election by appearing to change his Government's position on protection, the Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Ian McLachlan said today.

"He is the man who has said 'protection under whatever guise, whatever it's called ends up being protection and we have had 40 years of going backwards under this kind of policy'.

"He is the man who in London in 1989, endorsed Professor Ross Gamaut's report, by saying that 'it would be a desirable position th at all trading barriers be removed'.

"And on a Sydney radio station on 14 March, 1991, the Prime Minister said 'at the end of the phasing which is 1997 and 2000, we will have removed tariffs altogether.'

"In fact, he has boasted that he was the only man who could bring protection down, that he wouldn't buckle at the first whiff of grapeshot.

"But at a tyre factory in Wills yesterday, at the first puff of smoke in the first by­ election - the Prime Minister's first electoral test - he went to rubber."

Mr McLachlan told Federal Parliament the Government's industry policy was a monumental failure which had produced one million unemployed.

"Business in this country today has reached a level of desperation which is unequalled since the Second World War.

"Just this morning, the car industry told me 'the Government has not moved anywhere on economic reform.'

"Instead they have got union control, microscopic productivity increases, no attitudinal changes and as a result, businesses with less and less ability to offer jobs.

"The Government has killed some of these industries because it has reduced assistance across the board without tackling reforms which would have reduced their costs.

"Business has told the Prime Minister what has to be done but he lacks the will to take the tough decisions.

"And yesterday, when the pressure was applied in a tyre factory in Wills, the Prime Minister revealed that he was prepared to lie in a ditch for a vote," he said.

Further information: ___

Ian McLachlan Telephone: 06 277 2039

COM Μ Ο N WEA LTH P A R L IA M E N T A R Y L I B R A R Y MiCAH 26 March 1992

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EPBS

ieating gives thumbs up to Garnaut reformProm LAURA TINGLE in London and PAUL AUSTINTHE Garnaut report's radi­ cal recommendation oi the abolition of industry protec­ tion by the turn of the cen­ tury was yesterday endorsed by the Treasurer. Mr Keating — an endorsement the Prime Minister. Mr Hawke, lias refused to give. Mr Keating told The Aust­ ralian in London it would be a “desirable position that au trading Darners be removed”. "The Government is com­ mitted to making Australia part of the world, a competi­ tive trading entity," he said.Abolishing tariffs by the year 2000 was an objective.This contrasts with Mr Haw­ ke’s formal response to the Garnaut report on Wednesday in which he said he was sympa­ thetic to the pivotal recommen­ dation on industry protection, but refused to commit the Government.Mr KeatingMr Hawke said only that Cabinet's powerful Structural Adjustment Committee would consider the recommendation.“It will, very significantly, consider carefully and in de­tail the step th a t Dr O am aut describes as 'the most Impor­ tant single step' — the aboli­

tion of all Australian protec­ tion by the beginning of the next century,’’ Mr Hawke said.

“I can say a t the outset that this recommendation is one with which I have consider­ able sympathy. .

“Our Industries can only be internationally competitive exporters if their cost struc­ tures are not inflated by

domestic protection, and if they operate domestically at world prices/’ Mr Hawke on Thursday took exception to media reports th at his response to the Gar- naut report was coot and

disappointing. He told Parliament:

“Anyone who suggests we should have already made up our minds o n . . . the proposal

to abolish all tariffs by the Continued - Page 5

Keating approves trade reform From Page 1 beginning of next century sim­ ply doesn’t understand how ef­ fective reform Is achieved.”

The 339-page report on rela­ tions with north-cast Asia, com­ missioned by Mr Hawke last year and written by hts former eco­ nomic adviser, JDr Rosa Garnaut. said Australia could boost exports 'to the region by $20 billion a year

If we abolished industry protec­ tion and deregulated coastal shipping, the waterfront and

aviation. Mr Keating In London this week repeatedly attacked pro­ tectionism as the source of pro­ blems in our corporate sector, which he criticised for Us slow response to economic reforms.

He said the fact the economy had not responded better to

Changed Government policies “attests to the quality of our business people and the morbid culture of 40 years of Liberal

Government, protectionism and the insidious cancer of protec­ tionism’’. “If the private sector of

Australia was just half as en­ trepreneurial a* the Govern­ ment, we wouldn’t have a cur­ rent account deficit,” he said.

"I mean if there is any sloth­ fulness in Australian policy, or Australian commerce, it is not on the part of the Government,

It’s on the part of business.” Mr Keating said many Aust­ ralian business people “wouldn’t get going in a barrel of yeast”.

Earlier he told a London busi­ ness lunch: “A great problem Australia has Is basically its

management structure, and par­ ticularly its middle manage- moot. "It’s riot up to scratch and

th a t’s why wc want to see more investment In Australia from abroad and particularly from

Japan where management tech­ niques and management sys­ tems offer countries like

Australia a lot.” 1 Mr Keating said Australia still did not have the export culture it should. Exports were regarded as “the fruit for the sideboard” rather than the sideboard itself.

His message to British

Investors was th a t the current account problem was a function of an investment boom which in the long term would enable Aus­

tralia to rc-equip its industrial base.