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Transcript of interview with Mal Walden, Channel Ten News



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION |

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH MAL WALDEN, CHANNEL TEN NEWS, 24 JULY 1996

E & O E - PROOF ONLY

Walden: Good morning Mr Beazley. Are the flood gates about to open on industrial unrest.

Beazley: No, I don't believe the flood gates are about to burst on industrial unrest because I think the situation left by the previous Labor Government has inherent strengths in change of attitude. But clearly this Government's industrial legislation and this Government's overall attitude is such to maximise provocation of the Australian workforce. And in those circumstances you can expect at least some

return to the days when they were last in office where levels of industrial unrest were a real cause for concern.

Walden: How would you then, as a Labor Government, have handled the unions? Would you have given in to their demands at all?

Beazley: No, we looked upon our roles as Government in industrial relations situations as not there necessarily taking sides but there to be, if necessary, if a major national issue arose, an honest broker. Either that or out of the system. We thought in the system we had a strong independent umpire, in the case of the

Industrial Relations Commission, and that therefore, by and large, the system would work itself. But where Government intervention is required it was to be a broker to be prepared to enter into negotiations. Mr Reith still thinks he's in Opposition. And so he, there's always two sides to an industrial dispute, but he will take only one.

Walden: There have been claims this morning that the Government is cutting Research and Development funding with claims that under the Labor Government it was a billion dollar rort. Was it?

Beazley: Well I remember when we made some adjustments to it which the Opposition, now Government have subsequently supported in order to assist in paying for an industrial package of innovations that we brought forward. The suggestion was made that we were crimping, in some way, an important benefit for

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

industry in order to pay for an uncertain possibility in Government supported R&D. So the Opposition took a different view at that point in time. But we would take the view that if there is anywhere in the taxation system, there is any rorting, ramping or whatever then we'd oppose it.

Walden: Thanks Mr Beazley.

ends