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Mr Hawke's silence: the wider impact

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Leader of the Opposition



"The tragedy of the Government's self-made crisis over national security leaks is that the fundamental economic and social problems of Australia are being ignored", the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Peacock, said today.

"Mr Hawke and his Ministers are focussing completely on their own internal problems. They live in fear of where and when the next impropriety will be exposed.

"Mr Hawke could end the■crisis by an immediate full statement. This is a simple task for a Prime Minister who has nothing to hide. He chooses not to do it.

"Mr Hawke appears to place a higher priority on protecting his Party and his cronies than on working hard on the Budget, than on doing something about unemployment, and to doing something about keeping a few election promises.

"Instead of getting on with governing the country, Mr Hawke allows the speculation to drag on. He allows controversy to rage while Ministers parade themselves individually before the Royal Commission over the next

few weeks.

"Before his resignation, Mr Young was being used by Mr Hawke to fly kites on tax increases. This only resulted in greater uncertainty and fear in the Community.

"The controversy over Mr Young and the role of Mr Hawke and his Ministers in the Combe/Ivanov Affair is only widening the uncertainty.

"This can only destabilise the Government, it can only affect confidence in Australia and can only hurt every Australian".

Canberra, 19 July, 1983.