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3XY broadcast - Sunday, 26 may 1985



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ANDREW P E A C O C K ^ Leader of the Opposition

3XY BROADCAST - SUNDAY. 26 MAY 1985 (Embargo 9.00 pm 26.5.8S

Only three months ago, the Labor Government made these promises.

It said it would create and maintain a

- 1 stronger, fairer and more equitable Australian society.1

It promised

- 'national reconciliation, recovery and . reconstruction.1 .

It claimed that

- 'the relationship between Australia and the United States under the ANZUS Treaty remains as firm as ever.1 :

Those were the Government's words on the opening of the 34th Parliament on February the twenty-first.

They were promises. ’ .

And they have been broken.

What is fair and equitable about a society in which a cruel Assets Test -

_ - hurts the elderly with a tax on their savings and their property.

Where is there reconciliation when

' - union bosses put a blockade on an Australian State, and a Government with the power to prevent them . refuses to do so.

. How can our relationship with one of our greatest friends and allies, the United States, remain firm when the Prime Minister himself admits that the ANZUS Treaty, the keystone of our national security '

■ - is no longer operative.

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Inquiries: 0 6 2 - 7 2 6 9 9 4

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The end of a Parliamentary session is a proper time to review what the Government has done, and not done, and what

- policies the Opposition has to create a real alternative. -

And at the end of this session, I have to say that what the Government has not done far outweighs what it has done.

In the past three months, we have seen a Government

- with no real sense of purpose of direction,

- causing severe damage to its credibility both at home and abroad,

- allowing the economy to stagnate,

- crippled by indecision,

- and divided within itself not only by its factions, but because it cannot release itself from the control of the trade union movement.

It is a Government in total disarray.

Look at the economy as only one example of its drift and lack of direction.

Despite the Treasurer's adoption of the jargon of economies, an examination of fundamental indicators, compared with the other eleven major O.E.C.D. countries, reveal this:

- Australia has the highest money supply growth;

- Australia has the second highest current account deficit; /

- Australia has the highest real interest rates;

- Australia has the second highest annual wages growth;

- , and Australia has by far the largest trade-weighted exchange rate deterioration in the last year.

The fact is that despite its rhetoric, the Government's economic credibility has been irreparably damaged by the judgement of the local and international financial community which has

- devalued the Australian dollar as a consequence of

- its devaluation of confidence in the Government itself.

The so-called tax summit is another example of drift and indecision.

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The Government, claiming that it should not pre-empt summit discussions, has no firm position.

The factions do, and they have noisily made them public.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions knows what it wants and what it does not want 1

- and what the A.C.T.U. wants is what all Australians will get because even when considerations of economic and social justice and fairness are taken into account the Government

- is not prepared to take the unions on about tax, any more than it was prepared to take the unions' on over the Queensland blockade.

Meanwhile, the fundamental task of an Opposition is not merely to negatively and continually criticise the Government but to advance positive alternative policies to those of a Government which is tired, and showing its age.

These are our commitments: .

- We will abolish measures such as the Assets Test, and . amend the lump sum tax on superannuation;

. We will curb union power by basic reforms to Australia's industrial relations processes;

- We will return to private enterprise those Government activities which can best be managed by it;

- We will, in everything we do, put personal freedom before Government intervention;

- Small Government before big Government; and

- We will not defer to any special interest group whether it be

- a big bureaucracy, big unions, or big business.

These are the Coalition's commitments.

And we will keep them.

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