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Speech by Hon Andrew Peacock at the launch of the Moreton by-election campaign

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Leader of the Opposition


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The Liberal Party will retain the Electorate of Moreton. It will do so because it has policies which reflect the needs and hopes of the people of Moreton, and it will do so because, in Don Cameron, we have easily the best candidate.

Don Cameron is a proven achiever; a person who will work for the people of Moreton; a person who is known for his willingness to stand and fight for the needs of hie electorate.

At only 43, Don Cameron has a solid background of more than sixteen years in Parliament. Be w as, in fact, the youngest Queenslander ever to be elected to Federal Parliament.

Don will combine this Parliamentary experience with his close knowledge of the people of Moreton, After all, he has lived in Moreton, or within 800 metres of its boundary, for 41 years. He was raised in this electorate. His wife, Lila, has taught children in two of Moreton * s local schools. There is no doubt that Lila is a great asset to Don and they will make a great team working for the people of Moreton.

As a local ma n , a family man who has been actively involved in local issues, Don knows intimately the problems of this electorate. He understands fully the hopes and fears of the people of Moreton. They are the same hopes and fears he has for his own family and their future.

Don Cameron will be a fitting successor to Sir James Killen. Sir James has served this electorate with distinction as a senior Minister for eight years. He will be missed in Canberra as well as in Moreton.

Doug Anthony and I are here today urging your support for Don Cameron and thanking Jim and Joy Killen for their extraord­ inarily distinguished service to Moreton and Australia, Doug and I know what a great successor Don will be to Jim Killen.


In the present economic climate, any Party offering itself at an election must be judged on its commitment to jobs. Jobs for those out of work, and, just as important, job security for those presently in work.

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The Liberal Party has made its position clear. With around three-quarters of a million people out of work# with many hundreds of thousands more working under constant threat of retrenchment, we are facing not just temporary difficulties, not just some short­

term welfare problems, but a real and fundamental threat to our social fabric.

Jobs and more jobs is the overriding priority, and the path to secure long-term jobs is built on eight fundamental principles.

First, a wages policy that is a jobs policy through making industry more competitive.

Second, a reversal of the many thousands of regulations which shackle growth.

Third, an acceptance that it is profits which generate more investments and more jobs.

Fourth, a more positive attitude toward technological change.

Fifth, a genuine movement toward smaller government.

Sixth, a taxation policy which encourages thrift and maximises freedom of choice to spend the money you earn.

Seventh, a budgetary policy which aims at low real interest rates and maximum sustainable growth.

Eighth, governments providing a stable decision-making environment which encourages investors to make long-term decisions. .

These principles are fundamental to economic recovery. They are fundamental to Liberal policies. But. they play no part in Labor's decision-making process.

Labor's commitment to the electorate earlier this year was 500,000 new jobs in its first three years of office. After seven months all that has happened Is that unemployment has risen from 10.1 per cent to 10.4 per cent. Indeed, after seven months in

office, Labor has already given up on the unemployment problem. The Prime Minister is now concentrating on kibbutzes and communes; on ways of hiding our unemployed youth; on ways of simply compensating them for lost opportunities rather than creating


This by-election provides you, the people of Horeton, with an opportunity to tell the Labor Government in Canberra that you will not accept any more shirking of this basic responsibility to create jobs and get our country moving again. That you will not accept any further increases in taxation which stifle initiative and thrift, That you will not. accept further deals with the Unions at the

expense of Australia.


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On taxation, let us examine the record of Labor's first seven months in office.

In those seven short months Labor has abolished the Home Mortgage Interest Rebate despite a specific commitment that it would not do so; despite the enormous help it was providing to so many home owners.

Labor has abolished the Health Insurance Rebate despite a clear promise that it would be maintained until Medicare had come into being. ·

Labor has increased a range of indirect taxes and indexed them so that future increases will occur automatically every six months; despite the impact that this has on the standard of living; despite the potential it creates for increased wage

demands which can only lead to declining competitiveness and further job loss.

Labor has not implemented the immediate tax cuts that were promised, with the result that by early next year'ordinary working people on average weekly earnings will be paying 46 cents in every extra dollar they earn in tax.

Labor has introduced a new tax on superannuation payments which, together with associated moves to means test over 70's pensions and reintroduce an assets test on pensions, represents a vicious and discriminatory attack on elderly Australians - the most vulnerable group in the community - those lease able to adjust

their affairs.

All of these measures in just over seven months. Measures which have, taken money out. of your pocket and put it in the hands of the Federal Labor Government. Measures which have resulted in the average working man paying 38 per cent more tax this year than


Let there be no doubt that the Liberal Party on return to office will have no truck with this obsession with higher taxes. We will reverse Labor's heartless attack on the elderly because we will repeal Labor's savage superannuation tax and assets test

on pensions. We will get rid of these vicious and totally unjustified measures.

We will introduce instead a comprehensive set of policies which deal sensitively with the needs of those who are retired or retiring, and which meet the requirements of those who have attempted to provide for their own retirement,

Similarly, the next Liberal and National Party Government will move quickly to reduce personal income tax. Where is the incentive for initiative and enterprise for the man on average weekly earnings when almost half of every extra dollar earnt is

taken In tax? We believe in individuals spending their own income in the way that they choose; not the way the Government in Canberra chooses for them,

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But we will have to do much more than that. The tax slugs we have seen in the first seven months are just the beginning.

Labor's ideological commitment to big government has resulted in it having an absolute obsession with finding new and harsher ways of taxing people - of confiscating people's income and savings.

Let nobody be in any doubt. Labor is a big government Party and big government means big taxes, Existing taxes have already risen. New taxes will be dreamt up.

Already Labor has been talking about new resources taxes; new capital gains taxes; new gift duties; new death duties; new wealth taxes. Where will it all end?

And what could be covered by these new taxes? Not wealth and capital as you and I might understand it, but people's savings and investments; their bouses, and, most importantly, the years of hard work that may have gone into building up a small business.

That is what Labor is looking at taxing, and this at a time when we should be encouraging business, particularly small business, to reinvest in their operations; to create new activity; to create jobs.

The people of Horeton have an opportunity on 5 November to call a halt to Labor's tax ambitions.


You also have an opportunity on 5 November to call a halt to Labor's approach of giving in to Union demands. At a time.of the highest unemployment in the poet war years, Labor has given in to Union demands for a 4.3 per cent increase in wages this year and

full Indexation next year - a move which can only worsen the competitive position of Australian industry. At a time of poor business profitability particularly among email business, Labor is preparing to repeal the protection from secondary boycotts afforded by section 45D of the Trade Practices Act.

The Liberal approach is clear. We advocated a continuation of the wages pause at least until the end of this year because our wages policy is a jobs policy, We advocate the retention of section 45D to protect, business, particularly small business and

especially when they are not even involved In the dispute in question, .

Business Confidence

On 5 November you can arrest Labor’s indecisiveness which has been so damaging to business confidence.

On uranium, for example, the policy of the Liberal Party is clear. We advocate the mining and export of uranium for peaceful purposes. With the toughest safeguards in the world, we welcome new investment - new jobs - in the uranium industry.

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But the Labor Party has no policy on uranium at all, While the Prime Minister attempts to reassure the industry that the Roxby Downs development in South Australia will be allowed to proceed, some of bis colleagues are saying that it should not. And even if

Mr Hawke has his way in the Parliamentary Party, there is every prospect that he will be rolled at the Party's Federal Conference next June. .

And if this were not confusing enough, Labor is toying with a resources rent tax but does not know what will be covered or how it will work. That is the sort of policy vacuum that makes business planning impossible.

Freedom of Choice

The fifth of November will also be the time to arrest Labor's steady drive to eliminate freedom of choice particularly in education. A freedom that we have come to take for granted, but one that is now very much under attack.

Again the position of the Liberal Party is clear. We do not believe in governments taking decisions for people; by removing alternatives; by slashing available resources to non-Government schools.

We believe that each and every individual is the best judge of his or her own best interests; that everybody's view of the way to get ahead is different; and that everybody has the right to move in the direction that he or she chooses.

Specifically we believe in maintaining a choice in education, and our funding policy will make that choice a viable one.

But Labor is not committed to the maintenance of a real choice in education. Because of the massive political debt owed to the Australian Teachers' Federation - owed because that Union is Labor's largest single donor to the extent of three-quarters of a million

dollars - Labor has decided to dance to the tune of that particular Piper, and that will mean that we are all going to see our choices in eduation reduced.


The fifth of November will also be the opportunity for the people of Moreton to arrest Labor's desire to centralise decision­ making in Canberra.

The Liberal Party believes that local decisions should be made at the local level. This is an essential corollary of our fundamental belief in freedom of choice. Decision-making must be as close and relevant to individuals as possible; for without

such.devvlution there would be no checks and balances to guarantee individual freedom.

Labor has moved to use the expanded external affairs power in the Constitution to take over the traditional functions of the States - to centralise power in Canberra. -

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We have given a firm commitment that we will take positive steps to redress this situation, and no future Liberal and National Party Government will use the expanded external affairs power in a way which disturbs the balance of federalism.

Put simply, we believe the people of Queensland have a right to determine their own future - Labor does not.


The choices facing the people of Moreton then are very clear.

The Labor approach

- which is not genuinely attempting to create jobs and get unemployment down

- which has already led to higher taxes and will lead to new and higher taxes in the future

- which involves giving in to the Unions at every turn

- which results in a loss of business confidence with lost investment and job opportunities

- which means declining choices in education

- which includes the centralisation of power in Canberra,

or the Liberal approach

- an approach built on eight fundamental principles to restore economic growth and create jobs

- an approach which Includes lower personal income tax to restore the rewards for effort

- an approach which involves getting rid of Labor’s vicious superannuation tax and assets test and sensitively dealing with the needs of the aged

- an approach which Is balanced in its dealings with the Unions

- an approach which will give the go-ahead to the uranium Industry - create jobs and restore business confidence

- an approach which guarantees maximum freedom of choice in all aspects of government involvement, including education

- an approach ensuring that local decisions can be made at the local level.

That is the choice. If you want to get ahead - to secure a

better life for yourself and your family - give your support to the Liberal Party. Give your support to Don Cameron.

17th October, 1983.