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The Government's definition of the community: big business and unionised labour

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L eader of the O pposition



"Mr Hawke's description of the Summit participants as representing the 'great interests' of Australia explains why unionised labour and big business dominate the Summit," the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Andrew Peacock, said today.

"The Government sees the Community as big organised power groups. My definition of the Community is all Australians

"The reality is that the overwhelming majority of the Community consists of unorganised groups such as the unemployed, the aged, the young and women in general.

"Where is the Summit representation for these Australians? Mr Hawke stated today that the Government is already considering extending the means testing of pensions. There has also been speculation that means testing of

family allowances will be raised at the Summit as an option.

"Who will be heard arguing for the aged and mothers at the Summit? The domination of big business and unionised labour at the Summit is hardly likely to result in an equitable sharing of the burdens and benefits between

organised power groups and the majority of the Community.

"Governments are elected to represent the interests of all Australians and take the tough decisions on behalf of the total Community. Government is not about abdicating the responsibility for the tough decisions and passing it on

to a non-representative and non-elected talk-fest.

"I am all in favour of the Government consulting with key groups in the Community, just as the Liberal/National Coalition did when in Government, However, it is patently dishonest to portray these discussions as consultations with the Community," Mr Peacock said.

Canberra, A.C.T.

8 April 1983

P arliam en t H o u s e , Canberra, A.C.T. 2600