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Job summits, unemployment



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COMMONWEALTH parliamentary library MICAH

Leader of the Opposition

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19 June 1992 REF: TRANSCR\0497\BQ

DR JOHN HEWSON, HP TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP INTERVIEW AFTER BAN'S JOB SUMMIT - MELBOURNE

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SUBJECTS: Job Summits, Unemployment

Jrnlst:

Do you think summits like this serve any useful purpose?

Hewson:

I think they serve two purposes - they focus public attention on the issue and when the Government has been trying to down play unemployment and say it's not as big a problem as we think it is, these summits show, privately run summits, show that that is wrong. Secondly, I think, they give people a chance to be heard. There is a lot of anger and frustration because people can't get

their ideas through to Government. And I think it is very v important, as we're seeing here today, that people are either phoning in or people in the audience are making points that we should all listen to, sift through, some good ideas, some bad

ideas. But it's very important that people in my position and others get out and actually see these circumstances first hand and I have constantly spent a large part of the last two and a half years, since I became Leader, getting out and talking to people at the coal face of the problem. And I think it is good that 3AW or other organisations that are running these summits will raise the profile of the issue in the way they have.

Jrnlst:

What was the message in there this morning?

Hewson:

Well the concern that nobody is getting on with it. The policy solution still exists, they are available and it is a question of political leadership. Joan Kirner is in Government, she could do something about it. Keating is in Government, he could do

something about it, but his hands are tied, his deal with Bill Kelty that's stopped him or whatever it is. That's the

ridiculous thing. And Keating having created the problem he is

Parliament House. Canberra, A.C.T. 2600 Phone 2774022

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now trying to look like he is interested in solving it, but of course, he is only interested in saving his own job.

Jmlst:

Do you think he should have been here today?

Hewson :

He definitely should have been here. He never turns up in a head to head contest with me anywhere, I challenge him to a debate and I thought this would be a great opportunity for a debate today. It didn't occur, he didn't arrive, but in the election campaign

he is ultimately going to have to debate and that's the best way, I think, to give the electorate the chance to hear all the alternatives and for him to explain why he created the problem and has done nothing about it.

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