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Election Campaign Policy Launch Sydney Opera House



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PRIME MINISTER

EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY : CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY . j -ELECTION CAMPAIGN POLICY LAUNCH L - SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE - 23 JUNE 1987

Fellow Australians,

Never in peace-time has Australia's future depended so much on a single decision - your decision on the 11th of July.

Never have you, the Australian people, been called upon to make a more fundamental decision for yourselves, your families - your children - about the way you want your country to go - about what kind of a country you want Australia to be.

It is a decision about what kind of a people we are.

It is a decision about what kind of a nation we are going to be.

Are we to continue to unite together in the great task of national renewal, reconstruction and revitalisation, for which we have been working so hard together, and on which the success of our country depends? .

Are we to go forward with strength and stability - stability in government, stability in our society?

Or are we to take the other course, the path of our opponents - inflicting upon the nation itself all their own divisions, all their own disunity, all their own instability?

On behalf of the Australian Labor Party I ask for a resounding decision, a decision that will show the world just what kind of a people we are -

- a strong, united, stable, confident, forward-looking people

- responding to the leadership of a strong, united, stable, confident, forward-looking government.

We come before you as one, united team.

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We come before you with one pledge - that as one, united team, we will continue and intensify our undivided efforts in the task of national renewal and revitalisation of our - - economy, our industry, our society.

Fellow Australians, -_ This election is about our faith in Australia's future. It is about our faith in ourselves.

And it is about our belief and faith - my faith, our government's faith in the character and calibre of the ^Australian people. And it is a belief and faith based firmly 'upon -experience. ~ — / —

Four and a half years ago I pledged a Labor government to seek national reconciliation instead of confrontation and division - to create 500,000 new jobs in three years.

Our opponents said it couldn't be done. That was their —· judgement about the Australian people.

But together we did much better. We easily exceeded our target.

In four years, we have created 800,000 new jobs - and in the past six months alone - 100,000 new jobs. x

Two and a half years ago we called for a continuation of the economic restraint so necessary for the reconstruction of our economy and industry, which is the key to our future.

Our opponents mocked the concept of co-operation and ' restraint. They wanted - as they still want - a return to confrontation in industry. That was their judgement on the working men and women of Australia and the business

community of Australia. .

But, building on the basis of restraint and responsibility, we have saved the steel industry, transformed the motor vehicle industry, set about the reconstruction of Australia's entire manufacturing and services base.

Exactly one year ago I put to the people of Australia the greatest challenge of all.

I told you of the disastrous drop in the prices of our exports - a collapse in world trade that has now cost every Australian family $2,000.

I said then that this meant a year of the toughest decisions imposed in peace-time.

Our opponents said that the Australian people would never cop it.

They said the Australian people would never understand why the loss of $9 billion in our national income meant that we all had to adjust - that it was not just for the farmers and the other exporters to carry the loss - we all had to shoulder the burden.

We said we would not shirk the hard decisions needed to ensure a bright future for us in this generation and for our children in theirs.

I told you I would rather risk electoral defeat than take the soft options that would mean we mortgage our great ffuture. -

And it is because we backed our judgement of the Australian people - took the tough decisions, made the hard choices - that we can now stand before you, confident and proud of

what we have achieved together, but more important, confident and proud of the great things we can achieve together, for our families, our children, for our country, in the years ahead.

Yet our opponents, who are incapable of governing themselves, now seek to govern Australia on a grab-bag of contradictory proposals drummed up on the run - proposals

which could only have one result: They would wreck utterly the efforts we, the Australian people, have made .together over the last four years and in particular over the past year.

They have not only got their sums wrong.

They have got Australians wrong. '

Friends,

The real danger from our political opponents is this:

All that has been achieved by your restraint and responsibility would be wasted. The benefits you have foregone and the sacrifices you have been called upon to make would have been in vain.

It is only because we have made the tough decisions, and put them in place in the last Budget, the May Statement, and two successive Premiers' Conferences, that we can now give these undertakings:

Interest rates are again falling and under Labor will continue to fall.

Inflation is again falling and under Labor will continue to fall.

Employment is growing - at twice the rate of the rest of the Western world - under a government which has created 800,000 new jobs in four years; and under Labor, employment will continue to grow.

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In the completed Budget in September there will be no new taxes and no tax increases.

But we shall never jeopardise Australia's future by irresponsible promises.

We make our future undertakings on the firm basis of the achievable, the credible, the responsible.

And let me emphasise:

Everything in our program is affordable, achievable and •feconomically responsible. —

This Labor Government has achieved the most significant reform of the taxation system since Federation.

-And the fundamental reason why our our opponents could never achieve any tax reform in all their years in office is that they never had the courage to act against tax avoidance. -And they let it become Australia's biggest growth industry -

and that's the description given by their own Royal Commissioner.

We have smashed the tax avoidance industry.

We have cut out wasteful privileges and windfalls for the few.

That is why we are able further to reduce income tax. Following the first round of tax cuts in December, new tax scales will operate from 1 July, 1987. They will bring the top marginal rate down from the Liberal legacy of 60 per cent to 49 per cent.

And the rate for taxpayers on average earnings will have been brought down from 46 per cent to 40 per cent.

And it is because of our tax reforms that we are able to undertake that the September Budget will continue the full indexation of pensions.

This is what a Labor Government means for the next three years: genuine reductions in taxation, lower inflation, lower interest rates, higher pensions, more jobs.

Yet our opponents invite you to throw all this away, for a tax bribe nobody believes in - least of all, its discredited authors - and something which, if ever seriously attempted, would destroy the economy and rip apart the social fabric -

the basis of the Australian ideal of a fair go for all.

They invite you to turn your backs on the meaning of everything we have been able to achieve together over the past four years.

They invite you to turn your backs on the real meaning of Australia's future -

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- a future founded on the great ideals of fairness and justice in our society - a fair go for all.

Indeed, my friends, it is almost impossible to judge which is the more dangerous -- their economic vandalism,

- or the wholesale vandalism they propose against the social framework of this nation.

They have long been the parties of social division.

u Now they stand as the parties of -social devastation.

The whole basis of our call to the Australian people at the election in 1983 and again in 1984 was an appeal to this great truth about the Australian community - the truth that the legitimate aspirations of the diverse groups and

interests which go to make up the nation can best be -achieved, not by fighting each other, not by setting group against group, Australians against Australians, but by working together, recognising and respecting each other's

rights, fair expectations and fair hopes and aspirations.

That was the basis on which we sought a mandate and that was the basis on which the mandate has been twice given.

And it is on that basis - the people's response - the recognition of this great truth about Australia - that we have been able to fight back together against the huge difficulties imposed upon us by events abroad.

The toughness with fairness we have applied to the affairs of this nation and the response of the Australian people now enable us to set new goals - realistic, responsible achievable goals for Australia's future.

We seek to create an Australia where there are no second class citizens.

And we will achieve that only by refusing to accept - as a Government, as a society, as a people - second rate policies.

In this highly competitive world we cannot settle for the second rate in industry, in technology, in education.

We must continue - now as a matter of urgency - the work of modernising and revitalising our economy and industry, so that we can compete with the world - on the world's terms.

That is the only way we can restore and improve living standards for all.

The greatest resource in Australia is not something that we can grow or dig up from the soil. It is the capacity of its people, our great human resource. And above all - the resource of the future - the children of Australia.

For our next term, we are setting achievable new, goals for Australia's future in the world.

And at the head of those goals is the future of all our children.

So we set ourselves this first goal:

By 1990 no Australian child will be living .in poverty.

And to this end, my Government will establish a new program of family help - a program designed to lift more than 1 million Australian children into security and to help the more than half a million Australian families in greatest

need, the hardest pushed, the most disadvantaged.

Labor's new Family Allowance Supplement will be paid, to mothers, on the basis of family income and family size.

The Family Allowance Supplement will total $22 per child per week - with an extra $6 a week for children aged between 13 and 15. .

Where those families are in privately rented accommodation, they will also be eligible for rent assistance of $15 a week.

The Government will further recognise the special costs faced by families with children who are disabled. They will receive a Child Disability Allowance of $112 a month, free of means testing.

This government sets the welfare of the Australian family as its top priority.

But for us, the family is not about statistics and abstract averages. It is about real people and real needs.

Friends, it is just impossible, with any credibility, to proclaim concern for families and then proceed to smash every part of the social infrastructure that determines the welfare of Australian families. Yet that is the measure of

our opponents' hypocrisy.

For us, the family means jobs. It means bringing inflation down. It means housing. It means bringing interest rates down. It means child care. It means education. It means health care that every Australian family can afford.

We will continue to put the health of Australian families first. With the introduction of the Medicare program, Australia now has, for the first time, a fair, affordable and stable health insurance system covering all Australians.

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We will continue the work of improving Medicare, as a system of universal health insurance, and even more important, the fairest means of delivering the best achievable health care to all Australians.

Our opponents propose a return to the pattern of their years in Government, with five separate confused and confusing schemes in seven years. They propose to consign more than two million Australians to a life-time of insecurity in the face of ill-health.

They propose to tear Medicare apart.

You pay more - you get less." That's what they are about.

I ask for your renewed mandate for Medicare.

There is no more vital issue for the families of Australia.

We have boosted the purchasing power of the pension by eight per cent since coming to office - compared with a two and a half per cent decline during the Fraser/Howard years.

The next Labor government will take two further initiatives which ensure that temporary changes in circumstances will not lead to a loss of entitlement to fringe benefits or the

pension. The details of the measures are set out in the comprehensive Policy Statement I have issued today.

We have improved greatly the availability and quality of care for the aged and disabled at home. We are shifting the emphasis away from unnecessarily putting the aged in nursing homes and towards home and community care. And that's the preference our senior citizens themselves have expressed.

But X repeat - for us of the Australian Labor Party, our commitment to the families of Australia rests on our concern for their jobs, their housing, and the education of the children of Australia.

And we mean education for life.

So that no Australian child need go through life frustrated and diminished by not having had a chance to develop his or her full talents.

And by making sure that we do that, we will at the same time lay the strongest possible foundations for the challenging task ahead -. mobilising all the skills and talents of this nation

. harnessing the new technology to lift Australian industry into the 21st century

, making Australia more competitive in this tough and competitive world

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. placing Australia foremost in the ranks of the world community.

Our approach to education and industry policy is designed to build upon our strengths to enable us to capture a larger share of the most dynamic areas of world trade.

We are determined to give Australian children their flying start in life.

When we came to office, barely a third of our school children stayed on to Year 12.

We have boosted that proportion to half.

Our goal for 1990 is to have two thirds of our school children staying on to Year 12.

We will maintain the 8-year funding scheme for all schools, which has guaranteed unprecedented stability and security in " funding and planning for all schools - government and non-government.

But we are now taking major steps to ensure that training and the development of skills does not stop at the school gate.

And I now announce the initiatives foreshadowed in the May Statement.

A new skills training program will be introduced to upgrade the skills of Australia's workforce. .

Vocational training opportunities for young people will be expanded through continued support for apprenticeships and the introduction of a new youth training program for 15-20 year olds who have been unemployed for at least six months.

The adult training program will be restructured and . expanded.

Our ability to provide jobs for our people will depend increasingly on the competitiveness of our industry. This is the most urgent challenge we face.

The wage restraint exercised by the trade union movement coupled with the depreciation of the Australian dollar, has made Australian industry more competitive than in recent memory.

Under the Labor Government, Australian workers will continue to receive wage increases as large and as prompt as Australia's economic circumstances can afford. The Liberal/National Parties have opposed any wage rise in 18 of

the last 20 National Wage Cases stretching over a decade. Their policy now for Australian families is for a wage freeze.

There will be no wage freeze under Labor.

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Wage restraint and price restraint go hand in hand.

The continuation of our policies will reduce the inflation rate to seven per cent by Christmas and six per cent by £he middle of next year.

We will extend the already successful network of Price Watch Committees to every region in Australia.

We will continue to give the highest priority to housing.

We will continue our First Home Owners' Scheme which has Γ assisted nearly a quarter of a million young Australians to buy their own homes. — —

One of the few matters on which the warring factions of the Opposition agree is the total abandonment of Commonwealth responsibility for public housing.

And the only consequence which all their conflicting - policies have in common is that interest rates would go through the roof - a fact recognised by independent commentators, here and abroad.

And one of the most critical factors in this election is this: the return of our Government and the maintenance of our policies, is essential if interest rates are to continue to fall. -

But let's be very clear.

We can make all the right decisions about the economy, the right and responsible decisions about taxation, the right decisions about education, the right decisions for the security of the old, the sick, the underprivileged.

But in the end all that will be in vain if we don't live in a world at peace.

And under my Government, Australia will continue to make the maximum contribution towards ensuring a peaceful world.

And we have done that not by shouting, not by waving banners, not by bandying slogans - but by the hard, undramatic, grinding work, addressing ourselves to the real issues.

Our alliance relationship with the United States, whose close and constructive nature has been reaffirmed in the past two days, has given us a position of influence from which to work positively for peace.

As befits two great democracies, this fundamentally close relationship does not depend on absolute uniformity of views. For example, without calling into question the integrity of the United States in developing its concept of

space defence, we have made it quite clear that Australia will not participate in the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Our voice on the vital issues of peace is heard and respected in Washington, in Moscow, in Western Europe, in Beijing, in Tokyo and in the great region to which we - belong.

The prospects for real progress in disarmament between East and West are better now than for years. We can all take _ great encouragement and some pride from the likelihood of an agreement between East and West on intermediate nuclear arms

before the end of this year

- encouragement, because this will surely provide a 'T"-·- stepping stone towards cuts in strategic nuclear " · — weapons, . — - —

- pride, because Australia's voice has been at the forefront of those urging the super-powers towards meaningful negotiations.

I was gratified when the Secretary-General of the United - Nations Conference on Disarmament said to me in January this year that Australia now played a leading role for the cause of peace and disarmament and that those causes would be

better served if other countries followed Australia's example of strong political commitment and technical expertise.

We have taken the initiative to develop the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone. It is a testimony to our determination not to leave the great issues of peace and disarmament to the super-powers but to do what is within our capacity to

shape our destiny and to associate ourselves with the aspirations of our South Pacific neighbours.

Under Labor, Australia has been a leader at the United Nations in seeking to outlaw all nuclear testing by all states in all environments for all time through a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Such a Treaty is the first

requisite towards ending the nuclear arms race and ultimately ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

Side by side with our unremitting efforts for peace, we have firmly and faithfully discharged the first duty of any Australian Government - the defence of Australia.

We have embarked upon the largest defence capital program in Australia's peace-time history. We have set the course towards a decade of development, towards self-reliance in the defence and security of Australia.

And, for the first time in Australia's history, we are ensuring that the defence of Australia, through our defence-related industries, promotes the industrial and technological base of Australia in peace-time.

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And that is an outstanding example of our Government's fundamental approach - an integrated, comprehensive, coherent and consistent approach - with all sections of - industry, all departments and levels of government, making

the maximum contribution to our national goals.

My friends,

Now we are in mid-course - and we are on course.

Let's make absolutely sure that Australia is not blown off course.

'-Let's see it through. " - —

And let me emphasis this:

We of the Labor Government have never believed that sound economic management and the economic growth we have been able to achieve as a result, was the supreme end in itself.

We have never believed that the only values in life - in the life of our nation, in the life of our families - are the ones with the dollar tag upon them.

The matchless beauty of our land has a value beyond dollars and cents. That's why we stopped the Franklin Dam. That's why we have made mining illegal in Kakadu. It's why we are protecting the special forests in Tasmania. And that's why we will save the Daintree.

The enrichment of the arts and culture and leisure opportunities of our people goes to the very heart of our future together - our national identity - how we see ourselves, how the world sees us.

Above all, we of the great Australian Labor Party are deeply committed to our vision of a generous and open Australia, a fairer, more just Australia -— an Australia where true equality of opportunity for all is the reality for all - not just in education,

job-training and the development of skills, but in all the opportunities life in this abundant country can offer.

There are people from something like 130 lands in our country - all capable of making their contribution to the common good - the future we can all share.

With this rich diversity, we have at the same time a deep underlying unity and stability.

If we make sure that we keep hold of that unity and stability, then that is what is going to make Australia a truly great and unique nation.

Fellow Australians:

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We stand together on the threshold of the third century of one of the most remarkable experiments in nation-building ever attempted in the course of human history.

No beginning could have been more unpromising.

And sure, we have Australian achievements - splendid - achievements - to celebrate.

But we Australians have mistakes to rectify, amends to make and wrongs to put right if Australia is to achieve its full promise of what it can be and should be - simply the best and fairest nation on earthr

So let's use this election as a springboard to the future - towards the promise of the future.

* It is a promise of what can be achieved in our time, for this generation and for the generations to come ---- By a free, proud, independent, intensely individualistic, uniquely diverse people

-— Yet a united people

--- A people who want a fair go for themselves and

their families ,

--- But just as much, a fair go for all their fellow

citizens, for all their fellow Australians

--- For their own children, their own families - but for all Australian children, all Australian families

--- For all members of this great Australian family.

This is the promise of Australia.

This is the Australian vision.

This is the reality of the Australian dream.

Together, let us begin a new century of Australian achievement.

- A new century of opportunity - of even greater equality of opportunity for all.

- To make the best country in the world an even better, fairer Australia.

Australia will win through.

Let's see it through -

Together.

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INDEX

I. WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE OF THE .AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY 3

Fiscal Policy 4

Incomes and Prices Policies 5

Monetary Policy 6

Industry Policy 6

Trade Policy 8

"f·-· Primary Industry - 9

■:— =— -—--Resources and Energy — — ' 9

Transport 10

Tourism 10

Telecommunications 11

Human Resources 11

. education 12

. training 13

— . industrial relations 14

II. A CARING COMMUNITY, A MORE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, AND A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE 17

Social Security 17

. pensioners . 18

. families 19

. sole parents 20

. unemployment beneficiaries 20

Community Services 21

Health 22

Immigration and Ethnic Affairs 23

Veterans' Affairs 25

Housing 27

Aboriginal Affairs 27

Women 29

Young Australians 30

Fighting Crime and Injustice 30

Electoral Reform 32

The Environment and the Arts 32

Broadcasting 33

Sport and Recreation 34

Local Government and Regional Development 34 Territories 35

III. ENHANCING AUSTRALIA'S ROLE IN THE WORLD 37

Foreign Policy 37

Defence 39

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The Australian nation is undergoing its most sweeping : modernisation and reform since World War Two.

Under the policies of the Hawke Government, Australia is throwing off the lethargy of the last three decades, striving to regain the ground that we lost because of our inability to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing

world.

All aspects of our national life - our economic institutions, our workplace attitudes, our view of our place in the world - are being reshaped to meet the challenges of f the 1990s and beyond. —

All sections of the Australian community are being called upon to play a role.

All parts of the community have had their sacrifices to make - and the whole community will share the benefits of those sacrifices in the years to come.

As we prepare to celebrate next year the first two hundred years of European settlement, we will need all our resources of energy and imagination to build our prosperity for our third century.

That is why in this election campaign the Hawke Government is urging Australians to renew its mandate - so that the nation can continue to move forward with purpose.

The Hawke Government is saying: don't change horses in mid-stream. Don't risk wasting the ultimate recompense for which all our sacrifices have been made along the way.

This policy statement sets out the achievements we have made together as a nation over the past four years and the prospects awaiting us.

It shows the progress the nation has made and, just as important, it describes the policies necessary to continue that progress over the next few years - policies that a Labor Government will implement.

Look at the progress we have made so far.

In 1983 Labor promised to end the worst recession in 50 years, heal the divisions which were sapping the country of its energy and begin the long term task of economic reconstruction.

On each count Labor has delivered.

But national economic reconstruction became even more urgent when, through the course of 1985 and 1986, a collapse in the prices of our major primary exports inflicted on Australia a

massive national loss of some $9 billion.

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In 1985 Australia was running an unsustainably large current account deficit, leading to too rapid a build up of foreign debt. Australia had no option but to face facts and take

the necessary decisions to rebuild our national prosperity through trade and gradually reduce the current account deficit.

The Hawke Government is taking those decisions. As a result, progress is being made. But it is going to be a long haul. Labor has never pretended otherwise.

This document spells out in three sections the policies we r— will bring to bear to ensure the momentum of progress is -maintained. - - " — -

Working Together for the Future of the Australian Economy

- . Labor's approach to economic management will continue to promote investment in export and import-replacing industries, preserve our international competitiveness, reduce both inflation and interest rates and create permanent jobs;

. Labor's approach to education, training and industry policy will continue to help Australia build on our strengths and move progressively to capture a larger share of the newer, more dynamic areas of world trade.

Building a Caring Community, a More Democratic Society and a Better Quality of Life

. Labor's approach to social issues will continue to promote fairness and justice: because Australians believe in a fair go and a helping hand for those in need; and because national attitudes and practices can only be reformed adequately if the need for change is well understood and both the costs and benefits of

change are shared fairly;

. Labor is committed to constitutional, legislative and administrative reform to build a more democratic and efficient government;

. Labor will ensure that Australians continue to enjoy their natural environment, their cultural pursuits and their sporting activities.

Enhancing Australia's Role in the World

. Just as Labor is committed to building a society based on tolerance and fairness at home, so we will continue to use our influence to promote justice and peace in the rest of the world. Labor is committed to the cause of nuclear disarmament, without which there can be no

security and no permanent prosperity.

Labor offers the united team and the proven policies to build a better Australia.

Let's Stick tooether. Let's sen it thrntmh

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I. WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE OF THE

AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

The first task of economic management Labor faced in 1983 was to rescue Australia from its worst recession in fifty years. That has been achieved:

Almost 800,000 jobs have been created, predominantly in the private sector

- the average annual rate of increase has been four times that of our predecessors and twice that of the western industrialised countries;

. The unemployment rate is now just over 8 per cent compared to 10.5 per cent at about the time when Labor took office.

Those achievements are even more remarkable in the context of the massive 16 per cent decline in Australia's terms of trade since late 1984.

The traditional conservative response has been to shut the economy down and force economic adjustment through unemployment.

Labor did not choose that barren path: rather Labor has met the challenge with the far sighted policies which the people of Australia have come to expect from us. These policies are working:

. The current account deficit has declined substantially this year and is expected to improve further next year;

. Even though it was necessary to slow the growth of domestic demand a little in 1986 to support that adjustment, jobs growth has remained strong

- 100,000 new jobs were created in the last 6 months;

. Moreover the signs are now unmistakable that growth is picking up, in line with the improvement in the current account;

. Most importantly the external sector has accounted for virtually all of economic growth in 1986-87 - it is also expected to contribute substantially next year; and

. Investment, so necessary to sustain future living standards, is increasing.

The task of economic management in the third Hawke Government will be to build upon the progress made to date and bring to fruition Labor's efforts to reconstruct the

economy.

FISCAL POLICY

Labor has consistently pursued a responsible fiscal policy attuned to the needs of the economy. We inherited a Budget deficit which was an irresponsibly large 5 per cent of GDP. As a result of unprecedented fiscal restraint this has been

reduced to 1 1/2 per cent.

Labor will bring in a Budget deficit of less than 1 per cent of GDP in 1987-88. Because of the substantial savings measures already announced in the May Statement, that goal will be achieved without new taxes and without discretionary

increases in taxes. Labor will not increase the share of GDP .taken as tax revenue over the life of our next term.

Labor will continue to seek out and close off tax rorts. As part of its efforts to make the taxation system fairer and more efficient, Labor has conducted the most systematic crackdown on tax avoidance and welfare cheating ever

attempted. Those efforts will be maintained, not least by the reintroduction of the Australia Card legislation. When fully operational, that single piece of legislation will yield some $900m from tax evaders and welfare cheats.

Labor recognises that continued fiscal restraint is essential to reducing Australia's dependence on external financing. Labor will progressively reduce the Budget deficit as a share of GDP for as long as economic conditions

require it.

Accordingly, Labor does not enter this election campaign with an irresponsible package of unaffordable promises. Our new commitments are carefully crafted so as to target substantial benefits on those most in need. Labor's new policy commitments in this election campaign amount to $303m

in 1987-88, $469m in a full year. The details of these costings are at page 16. Labor will finance these commitments while achieving its stated fiscal objectives. The commitments costed on page 16 are the only undertakings

given in the campaign which require additional Budgetary resources. Any new policy introduced in future Budgets will be funded in the same responsible way that we have approached fiscal policy for our entire period in office.

Labor will not be returning to the major spending areas - health, social security, housing, education and defence - for new savings of any magnitude in the coming Budget. The

bulk of the necessary savings will be achieved from a range of smaller departments, from further Block scrutinies of public sector administration and from greater than expected savings from discretionary measures already taken to crack down on welfare cheating and tighten eligibility rules.

In particular, the number of unemployment beneficiaries has fallen sharply in recent weeks (each 5,000 reduction saves $30m in a full year).

Savings from these quarters could be expected to flow over into 1987-88 when, in addition, the Budget will benefit from the full year effect of measures already announced in the May Statement (of the order of $300m).

Although new policy will not be funded in this way, the fall in interest rates since the May Statement will also assist in reducing Budget outlays.

Labor has demonstrated our ability to take the decisions necessary to deliver an appropriate Budget. Unlike the Opposition, which is seeking spending cuts in the order of ^-$10 billion, Labor can finance its new policy commitments without recourse to horror measures, without recourse to new taxes and without jeopardising the economic strategy necessary to secure Australia's future prosperity.

INCOMES AND PRICES POLICIES

Labor has successfully ended the confrontation and division which tore at the national fabric under the last Liberal government - and would again if the Liberals were returned to office.

The result has been a massive 60 per cent decline in industrial disputation and an eight per cent fall in real unit labour costs. '

These achievements have underpinned the remarkable growth in employment which has occurred under the Hawke Government. They have also facilitated the major progress to date in reconstructing the Australian economy to make it more competitive and more attuned to the changing pattern of world trade.

Under Labor the inflation rate was halved within two years from the double digit level we inherited. It has recently accelerated as the economy has absorbed the inflationary surge induced by higher import prices following the depreciation of the currency.

However inflation is now headed downwards again and is expected to fall to 7 per cent by the end of 1987 and to about 6 per cent by mid-1988. As inflation is rising abroad the gap between Australia and our trading partners is

closing rapidly.

The third Hawke Government will continue to pursue wage policies consistent with sustained competitiveness and lower inflation. Under our policies Australian workers will continue to receive wage increases as large and as prompt as economic circumstances can afford.

Labor believes that a wage freeze is neither necessary nor desirable to achieve the goals of economic policy.

Labor has encouraged the restoration of profitability as the necessary condition for jobs growth and investment. But, consistent with the overall need for restraint, Labor has also taken active steps to contain excessive price rises.

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Labor established the Prices Surveillance Authority - its work is now being expanded. Labor has established a national Price Watch network, a system of community based committees to monitor and report on local supermarket

prices.

MONETARY POLICY

High interest rates have been required for some time, first, to attract the savings necessary to fund the current account deficit and second, to moderate domestic demand so as to ease the transition to a more trade-oriented economy.

'---Interest rates have fallen substantially over recent months. This reflects: declining inflation and inflationary expectations? the progress made in reducing the current account deficit; and the steps taken to support longer term adjustment through sustained fiscal restraint, wage moderation and reform of Australia's infrastructure.

— Labor will not ease monetary policy prematurely - that would only put recovery at risk. But interest rates will not remain a single point higher than they need to be for a single day longer than necessary. Labor will continue to pursue policies which will allow interest rates to fall

further. We note that representatives of the major banks expect the 15.5 per cent mortgage rate to fall in such a climate before the end of the year.

Taken together, Labor's fiscal, incomes, prices and monetary policies will maintain a climate which will foster economic reconstruction. ,

But Labor's approach is broader.

More than any previous Government, the broad macro-economic targets of the Hawke Government have been co-ordinated with the thrust of policies directed to rebuilding specific parts of the economy. We have replaced ad hoc and sectional policies with a clear strategy for the whole economy.

Trade, education, training and infrastructure policies have all been tied to the overall task of national reconstruction.

The result is that in an uncertain world, Australia now stands ready to meet the challenges being placed before us. We are capable at last of saying that we are on the right path to securing jobs and prosperity for all Australians.

INDUSTRY POLICY

Labor recognised, long before the recent disastrous fall in our terms of trade, that Australia's long term prosperity was at risk because of the inadequacies of our manufacturing and service industries.

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The Labor Government's industry and technology strategy is aimed at revitalising Australian industry and setting it on a new path of internationally-oriented growth.

Over the past four years Labor has:

. Begun to eliminate unnecessary regulation;

. Set about gradually reducing protection in our most insulated, least efficient industries;

. Reformed the taxation, education, training and financial systems; and _ ·

Already, substantial progress has been achieved. Employment in manufacturing has stabilised after years of decline. Real investment in industry has recovered from its slump of the early 1980s and is now growing. Manufactured exports are growing rapidly, while imports are slowing. Industrial

research and development in 1986-87 is expected to be three times its 1983-84 level.

Australian industries are starting to exploit the real opportunities flowing from the depreciation of the Australian dollar.

In its next three years in Government, Labor will build on the solid progress already made.

We will continue to encourage the emergence and development of new industries.

We will assist Australia's information industries to develop export strategies and we will promote international research co-operation and joint ventures.

We will continue to provide the 150 percent tax concession for research and development, as well as Grants for Industry Research and Development. These incentives are a major investment in the future world competitiveness of Australian

industry.

Our defence industry will facilitate industrial and technological advances with spinoffs in many other . industries, such as electronics, aerospace, software and vehicles. The building of the navy's six new submarines in Australia will bring major new technologies to Australian

manufacturing industry, provide thousands of jobs, and save Australia billions in foreign exchange.

The light patrol frigate program will transform the Australian shipbuilding industry. With eight ships to be built for our navy, and the prospect of at least four more for export to New Zealand, this project will give Australian

shipbuilders the steady workload they need.

Provided incentives to encourage innovation and competitive strength.

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Labor will create an Australian Research Council to further enhance the excellence and relevance of Australian research work. It will promote greater concentration and selectivity in new areas, and promote an intellectual skills base for

new industries. The new Council will absorb a number of existing research bodies, including the Australian Research Grants Committee.

Labor introduced the Management Investment Companies program. This has contributed to the rapid growth of a venture capital market in Australia, thereby supporting innovative, technology-based firms to start up, expand and -export. Labor is reviewing the current operation of the

ischeme to ensure it remains relevant to business needs.

During our third term, the Australian Industry Development Corporation will continue to give priority to assisting the transformation of Australian industry. Equipped with a larger capital base and fewer investment restrictions, the

AIDC has emerged as an innovative corporate financier providing long-term debt and equity finance to Australian businesses, both large and small.

TRADE POLICY

As industry strives for world competitiveness, the Government's trade policy will increasingly centre on policies to support Australian firms wishing to link into

world markets, and so further strengthen our industrial and export base.

Australia's trade opportunities have been constrained by limits placed on access to markets by some of our trading partners and by corrupted markets in agricultural commodities.

Labor's relentless trade oriented diplomacy is helping to overcome these problems and to open up new markets for our exports in the rapidly growing markets of our region.

Labor will continue to lead international efforts to reform world trading conditions, particularly those which govern agricultural trade. We will be building on the successes of the Cairns Group, a coalition of 14 fair trading

agricultural exporting countries formed last year at Australia's instigation. The Cairns Group has become a vital third force in world agricultural trade negotiations.

Labor recognises the special difficulties faced by new or small exporters or those seeking to break into new product lines or markets overseas. Labor will retain the Export Marketing Development Grants Scheme and the highly

successful AUSTRADE.

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PRIMARY INDUSTRY

Labor's policies for agriculture must be seen within our overall policy framework of enabling all Australian industries, including agriculture, to become internationally competitive. -

With the dollar no longer held artificially high, with containment of farm costs, and with streamlining of the marketing of farm produce, the competitiveness of Australian agriculture is now at an all-time high.

■-Labor will continue to pursue policies to maintain this - -newfound competitiveness. Our policies will also produce lower interest rates - a one percent fall in interest rates saves farmers $85 million per year.

But that competitiveness can be exploited to the full only if there is a reversal of the corruption of international agricultural trade. The Prime Minister has put a plan of - action to the leaders of the world's major producers. Labor

will build on this initiative and the momentum generated by our establishing the Cairns group, to press for early multilateral negotiations on the dismantling of agricultural trade barriers.

Labor will continue to develop and administer a range of special agricultural policies which are innovative, fair and stable. These include action:

. To contain and, where possible, reduce farm input costs;

. To improve agricultural marketing;

. To work with the fishing and forest industries to develop and implement plans for the sustainable management of fish and timber resources; and

. To work to improve the quality of life of all rural people.

The detail of Labor's Rural Policy will be released later this week.

RESOURCES AND ENERGY

Labor will continue to promote vigorous and balanced development of Australia's resources. Although competitive, export-oriented manufacturing and service industries must be encouraged, mining and agriculture will remain the backbone

of our export effort for many years to come.

We will maintain taxation arrangements which promote industry efficiency, competitiveness and profitability and ensure that the benefits of national resource exploitation are shared by all Australians. The Government will proceed with the profits based Resource Rent Tax for new offshore

oil fields.

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Labor will continue to promote an efficient and active petroleum exploration, production and refining industry, building on initiatives such as the recent crude oil excise changes. These are resulting in significantly greater

levels of petroleum exploration and development than were forecast earlier this year.

The Labor Government has decided to deregulate crude oil marketing completely from 1 January 1988. Refiners and all crude oil producers will be free to negotiate the quantities

and prices of crude oil they buy and sell, without Government involvement. The introduction of a free market is expected to result in a-fall in petrol prices in the order of 1.3 cents per litre. '

Wherever feasible, we will encourage the rapid expansion of minerals processing in Australia. This is a key ingredient in meeting Australia's long-term need to reduce our reliance on commodity exports. It will maximise value added to Australia's exports, boost employment opportunities, and

provide a foundation for other new downstream industries.

TRANSPORT

Reflecting their importance to our national competitiveness, Labor has begun a major overhaul of land and air transport in Australia. The major measures include the following:

. The two airline agreement will be replaced with a less regulated regime which will allow greater competition, better service, lower fares and access to more Australians; · ,

. Labor will continue its road upgrading program and will review the efficiency of program management and investment priorities - and we will complete the National Highway to a good all-weather standard;

. Labor will investigate, in consultation with the States, the viability of establishing a national inter-capital rail freight network;

. We will take further steps on the waterfront to improve the reliability and efficiency of labour, management, port administration and communication linkages with importers and exporters;

. Labor will pursue its policies of introducing modern vessels to the Australian flag that are efficient and competitive by world standards.

TOURISM

An essential part of economic reconstruction is the growth of service industries such as tourism.

As a result of Labor's policies, tourism is now our fastest growing industry. We now earn more from foreign tourists visiting Australia than Australian tourists spend abroad.

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Labor's policies have included the establishment of the Tourism Overseas Promotion Scheme (which allows operators to claim a rebate on promotional expenditure), the relaxation of Foreign Investment Review Board guidelines on tourist developments, an increase in the depreciation rate on

tourism-related construction and the decision to float the dollar.

Our goal is to attract five million international visitors in the year 2000, up from the 2.2 million expected in 1988.

Labor will make sure that our schools and institutions of ~ higher learning produce the-number of trained staff required ^ i n the years ahead. -

Labor will continue to pursue policies which maintain the competitiveness of our tourism-based industries - while also promoting Australia abroad as an unrivalled tourist

destination.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The telecommunications sector has a critical role to play in Australia's future - not just in the provision of basic domestic telephone services as efficiently and cheaply as

possible, but increasingly in state-of-the-art specialised services to business. <

Labor is committed to continued public ownership in the communications network and to ensuring that the network is responsive to the needs of users.

Under Labor, telecommunications has seen the introduction of the most advanced technical improvements. Above us, for example, two Australian owned and operated satellites are already in orbit, and a third is to be launched later this year. Below our feet, Telecom has commenced laying optical

fibre cable, which promises to bring staggering increases in service capability as well as massive cost efficiencies.

However, Labor will not rest on our laurels. In order that Australia achieve and maintain world competitiveness, the telecommunications system must provide the lowest possible tariffs. Also, business must have available to it, and the Australian telecommunications equipment industry must

provide, the most up-to-date and capable technology.

HUMAN RESOURCES

As well as continuing the reconstruction of the nation's industries and economic institutions, the third Hawke Government will build on its achievements in bringing out the best in the nation's greatest resource - its people.

Labor's policies on education and training are designed to ensure each individual has satisfying and productive life choices.

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. EDUCATION

Over the past four years the Labor Government has put in place education policies that will profoundly improve the future life chances of young Australians.

Improvements in the range and quality of courses offered at schools have encouraged young people to stay longer in our schools. Just over a third of our young people completed Year 12 when Labor came to office. By the end of this year we will have boosted that to half. And by the early 1990s we aim to have two-thirds of our young people staying on to f Year 12. _ __

The State aid debate has been buried by the Labor Government with the implementation of an eight year recurrent funding plan for schools. Recurrent funding per student for - government and non-government schools has increased on

average by 5.2 per cent a year in real terms between 1983 and 1987.

By next year, recurrent funding per student will have been increased by nearly 30 per cent in real terms since Labor came to office. Labor remains committed to providing assured levels of funding over the full eight years of the present scheme. The twelve category classification of non-government schools will be retained.

We have removed the financial incentive which tempted too many young people - especially those from poor families - to go on the dole rather than stay at school, go into training or get a job. .

Labor has reformed the income support arrangements for students to simplify procedures and clarify entitlements. Most importantly, however, education allowances have been increased and will reach parity with the unemployment benefit for all young people as of 1 January 1988. Indeed

this has already been achieved for people under 18 living at home. By 1988, student assistance for 16-17 year olds in low and moderate income families will have been more than doubled under Labor, from about $23 a week to $50 a week.

Labor has massively expanded the number of student places in higher education to cater for the increasing numbers of school leavers wishing to pursue university and college courses. We have created 36,800 extra tertiary places in

four years, compared with just 8,100 new places under the last four years of the previous Government.

An information campaign in 1987 and 1988 will emphasise the value to the student and the community of completing secondary education.

Curriculum reform to make higher secondary education more relevant to the world of work will be a high priority for Labor over the next term.

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We are determined to retain a substantial capital funding program, to improve school facilities in disadvantaged areas and to upgrade the standard of schooling available to all

Australian children.

We will maintain Special Purpose Programs for schools. These have established the Commonwealth at the leading edge of education innovation and reform.

Labor will seek to minimise the paper work burden on schools.

f'We will ensure an orderly growth in new schools, to make u sureboth that growing areas are adequately served with schools and to avoid unnecessary and expensive duplication of facilities.

We will continue to encourage movement towards a core curriculum, in which all students learn basic skills at primary school and follow a set of essential studies at - - secondary school.

Labor will continue to give high priority to students from ethnic communities through the National Language Policy.

Within the life of the next Hawke Government, we intend doubling the number of Aboriginal students who complete Year 12.

We are opposed to tertiary tuition fees.

Labor aims to develop links between industry and the.higher education sector.

We will continue to encourage tertiary institutions to market their services overseas on a full cost recovery basis.

. TRAINING

Labor has taken major steps to ensure that skills training does not stop at the school gate.

Accordingly, our labour market policies have increasingly focused on Australia's need for a skilled and trained workforce.

In particular we are providing training opportunities for disadvantaged jobseekers and young school leavers.

. Labor introduced the Australian Traineeship System in late 1985. It provides new vocational training opportunities for young school leavers in areas of the workforce not covered by apprenticeships. It is now

firmly established: some 10,500 traineeship positions have been created in a wide range of industries and occupations. Further substantial development of

traineeships is expected as the benefits of the new system become more widely recognised.

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. We are establishing a national network of Youth Access Centres (YAC's) to provide young people with a comprehensive information, counselling and referral service at the local level. The initial pilot

scheme of 37 YAC’s in 1986 will be extended to a national network of 100 by the end of 1987.

. The expansion of training opportunities is also occurring in apprenticeships. There are now 16,000 more apprentices being taken on each year than in 1983, an increase of 50 per cent.

However Labor is going further:

. Vocational training opportunities for young people will be expanded through continued support for apprenticeships, and the introduction of a new Youth Training Program for long-term and disadvantaged young people aged 15-20. The new program will double by mid

1989 the number of young unemployed people currently ' assisted through formal training places.

. Labor will restructure and expand the Adult Training Program to concentrate on short-term vocational courses for unemployed adults. The proposals will mean a 50 per cent increase in numbers assisted next year under this program. v

. A new Skills Training Program will be introduced to enable the Government to make a significant response to the increasing requirements for upgrading the skills of Australia's workforce at both occupational and industry

levels. .

Details are being announced separately by the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Ralph Willis. The new programs will be funded from within existing allocations, including additional resources earmarked for this purpose in

the May Statement. In conjunction with earlier initiatives this will mean that funds devoted to training by this Government will have doubled by 1987-88 compared to our first year in office.

. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

The Hawke Labor Government has achieved remarkable success in the field of industrial relations.

Time lost in industrial disputes has fallen by 60 per cent under Labor. At the same time real unit labour costs have fallen and jobs have increased rapidly.

This dramatic improvement in industrial relations has been the product of a marked attitudinal change by the industrial relations parties - especially through the Prices and Incomes Accord. The next Hawke Labor Government will continue to promote co-operation and consultation in

industrial relations rather than confrontation and provocation.

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Labor will continue to pursue a realistic and responsible wages policy within the framework of the centralised wage fixing system.

Labor has given particular emphasis to the need for productivity improvements at the workplace.

The Prime Minister convened a meeting of the peak employer and union groups last September at which it was agreed that each party should encourage the elimination of restrictive work and management practices.

^Labor will pursue this objective as forcefully as possible.

Similarly at an industry level, Labor has already ensured that the various industry packages - such as steel, motor vehicles and heavy engineering - focus attention on the need to address changes in work practices which can assist

industry development and restructuring.

Labor will finalise its policy on Industrial Democracy and Employee Participation for implementation next year. The objective will be to facilitate better industrial relations, easier introduction of new technology, development of a more

skilled and adaptable workforce, enhanced operational flexibility, and increased opportunity for employees to have more satisfying work.

Labor's National Occupational Health and Safety Commission will play an important role in creating a safer working environment through the provision of widespread access to comprehensive occupational health and safety information and

to adequate training.

The Government will introduce a revised Industrial Relations Bill. This will contain a package of legislative reforms designed to improve the effective operation of the federal industrial system for all parties. Existing legislation in

respect of secondary boycotts, access to common law and the scale of monetary penalties will be retained.

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' >; - NEW POLICY COSTINGS

1987-88 Full Year

FAMILY PACKAGE

1. Family Allowance Supplement . basic rate of $22 per week from 1 November 156 234

. teenage supplement of $6 per week from 24 December 37 69

2. Ease means test for Family Allowance Supplement from 1 November __ 39 65

3. Introduce uniform rent assistance ($15 per week maximum) from 1 November 10 15

4. Child Disability Allowance of $112 per month (non means tested) from 1 November 14 x 22

SUB- TOTAL 256 405

OTHER MEASURES .

5. Hospital waiting lists 25 25

6. National Language Policy 15 28

7. Women's initiatives . cancer screening 1.1 2

. education of girls 0.5 0.5

. domestic violence 0.2 0.7

8. Pensioner Earnings Credit ' 2.4 4.2

9. Introduce 3 months grace before cessation of entitlement to pensioner fringe benefits 0.3 0.6

10. Migrant settlement services 2.2 3

302.7 469

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II. A CARING COMMUNITY, A MORE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY AND A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE

The next Hawke Government will continue to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly throughout the community - just as it has ensured that the burden of sacrifice has been shared fairly in the past.

The necessity of the task of reconstructing the Australian economy was dramatically underlined in 1985-86 by the collapse in our export prices. Australia's national income and thus our living standards - were forced down.

But it is one of the proudest achievements of the Hawke Government that the burden of that decline in living standards has been borne fairly.

In making the necessary reductions in Government spending we have not reduced our commitment to the underprivileged - indeed at a time of unprecedented fiscal restraint we have been able to achieve real increases in the resources

available to meet pressing social needs, through a crackdown on welfare fraud and more effective targeting of Government spending.

Labor's new package of measures to begin eliminating child poverty is proof that the next Hawke Government will maintain its commitment to fairness and to extending with compassion special help to those most in need.

Labor has done more than any other Government to protect our natural heritage. We have enhanced our culture, boosted the resources and facilities available to the sports men and women of Australia and are providing more equal access to

the electronic media for all Australians.

At the same time, Labor is committed to constitutional, legislative and administrative reforms to achieve democratic and efficient government, a responsive national Parliament, strong effective criminal law, accessible and efficient

administration of justice and an adequate and flexible division of powers between Commonwealth, State, Territory and local governments. .

The next Hawke Government will have the honour of organising Australia's bicentennial celebrations. The event will offer us not just an opportunity to celebrate our achievements as a nation but also the responsibility to reflect on how we

can build an even better future.

SOCIAL SECURITY

The Labor Government seeks an efficient income security system which does not stifle initiative, does not promote apathy or greed, but rather gives adequate and well merited payments to the less well off members of our society.

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Labor has fairly and responsibly protected the living standards of pensioners, the unemployed, children and others in need. These policies are being progressively integrated . with our employment, training, taxation and housing

measures.

The social security system we inherited was weighed down by record levels of unemployment and entrenched poverty.

Labor has concentrated on needs-based welfare and has made real progress in reversing the neglect of the poor which characterised the previous seven years of conservative f :— government. -

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Some examples of changes in real disposable incomes of needy groups over the two periods are:

Coalition Government 1975-1983

Labor Governme 1983-196

Sole parent with 2 children -4% +10%

Married pensioner couple with 2 children -2% +8%

Long-term unemployed single adult Not renting privately -19% +21%

Renting privately -19% +33%

. PENSIONERS

When Labor came to office the pension was 22.7 per cent of average weekly earnings. We have lifted it to about 24.4 per cent of average weekly earnings.

The standard pension has increased by 8.1 per cent in real terms under Labor, compared with a fall of 2.5 per cent over the seven years of the previous Government.

Pensioners have already made their contribution to the national task of restraint by accepting a deferral of the indexation of their pension last year. Accordingly, despite the need to prune spending heavily in the May Statement, the

Government decided that the standard pension will be increased fully in line with price rises. And there will be no cuts to the pension in the next Budget.

A series of measures to address the problems of "poverty traps" will be introduced on 1 July 1987. These changes will mean that pensioners will be able to earn more private income each week before the pension is reduced. The income

test free area will be increased from $30 to $40 for single pensioners and from $50 to $70 for married couples; and the additional free area for each dependent child will be raised from $6 to $12 per week. Separate income test arrangements

for rent assistance will be abolished, giving about 300,000 pensioners up to $15 extra assistance per week.

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Labor will continue to promote financial security and dignity for elderly and invalid pensioners. We will continue to maintain the standard of living of pensioners by preserving the real value of pension payments. The target of 25 per cent of average weekly earnings remains our goal.

The next Labor Government will take two further initiatives to prevent sudden loss of benefits when pensioners' circumstances change:

. Labor will postpone the cancellation of fringe benefits until three months after pension entitlements end. This will assist pensioners who join the workforce for short --- -periods or receive payments which change because of

currency fluctuations or superannuation adjustments.

. Labor will introduce a system of earnings credit for pensioners. This will allow all pensioners to take casual employment without an automatic reduction in pension. The credit will accrue until a maximum of

$1000 is reached in each year.

Together these initiatives will cost $2.7m in 1987-88 and $4.8m in a full year.

. FAMILIES

Labor in Government has already taken major steps to tackle the great problem of children in poverty. We have already increased family payments to children in need by up to 70 per cent. However today Labor is going further. Labor

is proposing major reform of the income support regime for low income families. We pledge that by 1990 no child will need to live in poverty.

As a first substantial step Labor has today announced the introduction of a new Family Allowance Supplement. This will simplify and integrate existing programs, significantly increase payments available, and introduce a new allowance

for teenage children.

The maximum rates for assistance will be:

. $22 per child per week (an increase of $5 over the highest payment available under the current Additional Pension and Benefit and Family Income Supplement which it replaces);

. An additional payment of $6 per week for children between 13 and 15 years old.

Payments will normally be directed to mothers.

Full payment will be made where family income is below $300 a week (plus $12 per child), reducing with higher incomes. A family with three children under 13 will continue to receive some Family Allowance Supplement until family income

exceeds $456 per week. For families renting privately benefit will not cease until income levels are $30 per week higher. .

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Rent assistance of $15 per week will be extended to all eligible families renting privately on the basis of the same income test. This will provide an increase of up to $5 per week in rent assistance paid to unemployment beneficiaries.

Some 510,000 families and over 1 million children will benefit from the new Family Assistance Supplement. This includes 65,000 in private rental accommodation who will receive increased rent assistance.

In recognition of the special costs of families with disabled children, Labor will introduce a Child Disability Allowance of $112 per months to which no means test will ; apply. This will replace the present Handicapped Child

Allowance, which required arbitrary and inefficient distinctions to be made between levels of disability.

The details of the costings of these measures is on page 16.

, During Labor's third terra an adequate living standard for children will be achieved by:

. Raising child payments to ensure that total assistance per child moves from its current level of 11 per cent to at least 15 per cent of the combined married rate of pension; and

. Ensuring that the aggregate payments for older children attain a benchmark of 20 per cent of the combined married rate.

Labor intends, over the life of its next term, to amalgamate the Family Allowance Supplement with the existing Family Allowance system.

. SOLE PARENTS

Labor has initiated a number of measures which more specifically address the special problems of sole parents and their children.

Later this year Labor will introduce legislation to establish a Child Support Agency to collect maintenance payments from non-custodial parents. We have allocated funds in the May Statement to help create greater

opportunities for sole parents to participate in training and education.

. UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFICIARIES

Labor introduced indexation of the adult rate of unemployment benefit. Labor will seek to close the gap between the adult rate of unemployment benefit and the

pension level.

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Labor has taken a number of initiatives to assist young unemployed people. The new Job Search Allowance provides positive incentives to young people either to seek employment or to undertake training.

Funds have been earmarked in the May Statement to provide a structured program of counselling and assistance for those who remain unemployed for an extended period. Details are being announced separately by the Minister for Employment

and Industrial Relations.

Labor will improve access to the Department of Social Security for isolated and Aboriginal people in rural and "remote areas through greater co-ordination of government services in these areas and improved use of new technology.

In addition to improving the real levels of support to the needy, Labor has tightened social security administration against fraud and overpayments and introduced the first major review of social security in over forty years.

COMMUNITY SERVICES

At the time of the last election, Labor set out an agenda for change in the delivery of services to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in our society. The aged, people with disabilities, the homeless, families under

stress, had all suffered from many years of neglect and ad hockery.

The second Hawke Government established a new Community Services portfolio with a charter to coordinate and improve services to these groups. A great deal has already been achieved.

Labor has greatly improved the availability and quality of care for the aged and disabled at home. Funding for this purpose has nearly doubled in real terms.

We will maintain the momentum in our third term of office.

Under the arrangements we have already put in place there will be major advances in our next term, particularly in residential care for the aged:

. There will be greater financial protection for nursing home residents and the quality of life and care of residents will be improved;

. There will be a more equitable distribution of nursing home beds and allocation of funds between States and between individual homes in a State;

. There will be a greater variety in the types of

facilities providing residential care; and

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. Special services will be developed to meet the needs of particular groups such as people suffering from dementia, Aboriginals, people of non-English speaking background and people in rural areas.

Over the next three years, there will be a further shift in the balance between providing intensive care through nursing homes and providing appropriate home and community care and hostel facilities.

There will also be greater choice of care for younger people with a disability who now live in nursing homes or hostels.

Over the next three years the regional rehabilitation network will be completed. All major cities and provincial centres will be provided with Commonwealth rehabilitation services. Access to services for people with disabilities - - will be greatly improved.

By 30 June 1989, the cost-shared Supported Accommodation Assistance Program will be providing accommodation or re-establishment assistance each year for some 70-80,000

homeless people or people in crisis.

HEALTH

The Labor Government believes it has a responsibility to achieve better health for all Australians by ensuring universal access to health services and by actively promoting better health throughout the community.

Medicare has provided a better and fairer system of health insurance. Nearly two million Australians who previously had no health insurance cover have received coverage under Medicare. By using a health insurance levy which is related

to income - the Medicare levy - Labor's health insurance system is fairer.

Medicare means no Australian need ever fear being unable to afford medical or hospital treatment. It offers protection to pensioners, the chronically ill and the disadvantaged by ensuring access to free public hospital care and by allowing

direct billing for medical services.

Labor introduced a safety net provision to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This gives new protection to the chronically ill against the high cost of pharmaceuticals by setting an annual upper limit on expenditure for prescription drugs.

The Government has pursued the promotion of better health through information and education campaigns. We recognise the need to train health professionals better, to promote and fund public health and medical research, and to encourage the development of workplace and community

settings which promote improved health.

23.

We have set up the Better Health Commission and established the Australian Institute of Health. We have run education programs such as the "Life Be In It", "AIDS" and "Drug Offensive" campaigns.

We are providing $41.5 million over the next seven years to fund teaching, training and research in the public health area.

Labor will provide funds to State Governments so they can implement programs which will have a real impact on reducing public hospital waiting lists.

"--The ^hird Hawke Government will make available $25 million a year over the two year life of the Hospital Waiting List Assistance Program. This money will be provided to State Governments on a dollar for dollar basis, bringing the total

to $100 million.

The funds will be available to States to increase the number of nurses, thereby increasing their hospitals' capacity to provide surgery. They will be able to increase the number and quality of their day-care surgeries, which are

recognised as the most cost-effective way of treating many patients. Or they will be able to create wards or theatres specially dedicated to particular kinds of treatment, which will allow hospitals to provide speedier treatment, and which will thus shorten waiting lists.

IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS

Australia has been immeasurably enriched by the contribution of migrants to our national life. It is one of our nation's greatest achievements that people from a diverse range of backgrounds, race, religion and culture have been accepted as full partners in our national life.

The Hawke Government takes pride in the role of Labor Governments in the success of the migration program. The Chifley Labor Government began the migration program just

after the War. The Whitlam Labor Government expunged the last traces of discrimination from our migration policy.

The Hawke Government is totally committed to the concept of Australia as a truly multicultural society.

Labor believes all Australians, irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds, their cultural heritage or their linguistic tradition, should be able to exercise their rights and obligations as full and equal members of the

community. We believe multiculturalism is central to any commitment to social justice.

The Hawke Government has built an immigration policy which, through community consultation and careful planning, has steadily increased. Priority has been given to family reunion.

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Labor has established the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs to ensure issues of concern to Australia's ethnic communities are understood at the highest level of Government.

The next Hawke Government will concentrate on six major areas of activity:

. Implementation of the National Policy on Languages. We are already committed to an integrated package of initiatives which double the on-arrival component of the ESL program; provide substantial funding for community,

trade and Aboriginal languages; and tackle the problem ----- -of adult literacy. To meet the challenge we will spend an additional $15m next year, and $28m in a full year.

The Government is also committed to maintaining - sufficient levels of funding flows to general ESL programs in recognition of the special needs of people of a non-English speaking background.

. Production of a Green Paper on Immigration. This will examine all aspects of immigration policy including the points system. The Green Paper will be produced in consultation with the whole community.

. Extension of the access and equity strategy. All Commonwealth Departments and agencies will now be required to develop three-year plans of action to ensure that all Australians, irrespective of their ethnic origin, enjoy a 'fair go' in access to Commonwealth programs and services. .

. The Office of Multicultural Affairs will continue its key advisory and consultative roles. The Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs has been asked by the Prime Minister to translate the principles of multi culturalism into a series of long-term concrete

initiatives - a National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia.

. Cutting the delays and backlogs in the immigration appeals system. We will do this by increasing the Immigration Review Panel from 32 to 137 members and by setting up, for the first time, new Panels in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

. Finally, we will ensure that with a steadily expanding immigration program priority will be given to the reunion of families.

Labor stands for building a richly diverse but cohesive Australia in which every Australian, whatever his or her background, can enjoy a fair go. ,

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25.

VETERANS' AFFAIRS

We are all conscious of the enormous and continuing debt of _. gratitude we owe to the veterans' community. These men and women, many of whom sacrificed their health and well-being for this country, or who are the relatives of those who have

made the supreme sacrifice, have special needs which the Labor Government has long recognised.

But those needs are changing as the veterans' community ages. This factor is of prime importance in determining Labor's approach to veterans.

The future needs of the veteran community can be met only by a modern and efficient care delivery system.

By the year 2000 the number of veterans [and others] aged - over 75 who are in the Government's care will treble. They will comprise the vast majority of our beneficiaries. Our

Repatriation hospitals system will therefore have to place greater emphasis on long-term care and treatment, and to continue to make substantial investment in specialised equipment and training. Since 1983 the Labor Government has

invested $70 million in upgrading and expanding Repatriation hospitals to provide for these changes.

Labor is committed to continuing those repatriation hospital services.

One of the most important concerns of veterans has been to understand and have ready access to their entitlements. Labor has rationalised Repatriation legislation in the new Veterans' Entitlements Act. We have established a Monitoring Committee to keep the operation of the Act under

scrutiny and to ensure that it continues to provide an appropriate basis for the administration of veterans' programs. We will refer to that Committee the issue of higher compensation to 100 per cent General Rate pensioners whose disabilities have worsened after age 65 on retirement.

The Australian War Memorial will continue to receive the funds needed to enable it properly to fulfil its essential role of commemorating Australians who served and died in the defence of our country.

In a time of financial restraint, an indication of Labor's commitment to veterans has been the share of Government outlays directed to them. These have continued to increase over the last four years. Labor will maintain this ambitious program. A few examples are:

. Compensatory disability pensions will remain tax exempt and means test free and they will not be assessed as income in determining service pension entitlements;

. The Veterans' Childrens Education Scheme will continue to operate without means testing; and

26.

An expanded Repatriation Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre (RALAC) will be established in Albury as part of our continuing national improvement program in this field. (Funds will be provided from the proceeds of

sale of land at Kenmore Hospital in Queensland.)

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While we are obliged to apply to the DFRB superannuation the discount decision on superannuation paid to former Commonwealth employees on the grounds that all sectors have to share the cost of reducing Government expenditure and maintaining income restraint, the Hawke Government will

legislate to restore these pension levels as soon as economic circumstances permit.

Labor will take two further initiatives to assist veterans in the next Budget.

First, Labor has decided to extend full medical and hospital treatment to all returned servicewomen of the Second World War at a net cost of $0.7m in 1987-88 and $1.4m in a full year. This will benefit some 939 women not currently

eligible.

The extension has been granted at the request of the ex-service community to meet their wish that this group of women be compensated for the special disadvantages which they have suffered as a consequence of their war service.

In particular a 1985 DVA study showed that many in this group are now in most difficult financial circumstances resulting in part from discrimination in pay and conditions during their war service. Many are now elderly, alone and

in poor health.

The extension has been granted on the understanding that it is to reflect the special circumstances of this group of service women and is not to be taken as a precedent by other groups. Indeed the Government has received assurances to this effect from the RSL on behalf of the ex-service community generally.

Second, Labor will seek to provide special compensation, of $10,000 per person, to surviving Australian servicemen who were illegally interned in German concentration camps for a protracted period during World War II. The payment is to

reflect the fact that these POW's were detained illegally and subjected to brutal treatment very much harsher than anything permitted under the terms of the Geneva Convention. This will provide special recognition for a group of Australian servicemen not previously acknowledged by Australian Governments. Compensation will be provided on

the understanding that it reflects special circumstances and is not to be taken as a precedent.

With the changes already put in place, and the improvements planned for the future, veterans and their dependents will be guaranteed the secure and dignified life they deserve.

27.

We will maintain a separate Department of Veterans' Affairs. The Hawke Government has enjoyed a warm relationship with the veterans' community and is grateful for the constructive approach and close cooperation of the RSL.

HOUSING

Labor recognises that strong employment growth and lower mortgage rates are the greatest assistance we can give to the housing industry, the aspiring home owner and to those in need. _

ir— Labor's budgetary and wages policies have created the - — ■climate for home interest rates-to fall. Recent movements in interest rates indicate that the strategy is working. Banking representatives and the Housing industry Association

have foreshadowed continued falls in the interest rate regime.

The home ownership aspirations of all Australians were under jeopardy when Labor came to power in 1983. The Fraser/Howard years left housing industry activity at a 20

year low.

The prospect for families to own a home is much greater under Labor. Housing commencements have averaged 137,000 a year in Labor's first four years, compared with an average of 130,000 a year under the previous Government and just

105.000 in the last year of that Government.

Labor's widely acclaimed First Home Owners Scheme has assisted 250,000 people to buy their own homes.

Funds available for public housing have been increased by 42 per cent in real terms under Labor, to help provide homes for those who otherwise could not afford them. More than 52.000 new public rental dwellings have been built or purchased, and over 42,000 home loans have been provided to

low income households from these funds.

In March 1987, the Government announced a new housing package that involves continued strong support for public housing, increased assistance to first home buyers, maintenance of the 13 1/2 per cent ceiling on pre-April 1986

loans, and changes to savings bank regulations to release up to $900 million additional funds for home lending.

Labor has a continuing commitment to assisting Australians into their own homes, and to providing assistance to people in need. Housing will continue to be a priority for the third Hawke Labor Government.

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS

Labor will maintain a forceful Commonwealth presence in the field of Aboriginal Affairs. The Hawke Government will not abdicate its constitutional responsibilities in this area, but will continue to work with the States on a co-operative basis.

28.

Labor renews its commitment to the unique culture and heritage of the original Australians. A special effort will be made to ensure that Commonwealth programs are accessible to Aboriginal women.

Environmental health initiatives, targeted at reducing the inroads of so-called lifestyle diseases, will be given greater emphasis. These programs will be implemented wherever possible through community controlled Aboriginal

Medical Services.

In recognition of the crucial importance of education to the r~~future of Aboriginal people, we will aim to double the number of Aboriginal students who complete Year 12 within the term of the next Government. We will ensure that school

curricula continue to be developed which give due recognition to the contribution and role of Aborigines in Australian society.

Consistent with the recommendations of the Miller Report, Labor will continue to give greatest emphasis to programs which facilitate the economic development of Aboriginal communities. A start has already been made through, for

example, a major expansion of the Community Development Employment Program and the new Community Employment and Enterprise Development Scheme introduced by Labor in the last Budget. '

In the light of statistical evidence which demonstrates the very real shortage of adequate shelter in Aboriginal communities, the Government will continue to develop a range

of programs to meet their needs. .

In the area of land rights and heritage protection, Labor will continue to facilitate land transfers and land purchases in all States.

Continued support and encouragement for Aboriginal art, culture and heritage will be a prime focus of this Government's agenda in Aboriginal Affairs.

Australia's first Aboriginal owned and controlled commercial television station has been established, and there are now over 30 Aboriginal radio broadcasters. Labor will continue to support the involvement of Aboriginal people in broadcasting.

Labor will initiate a major effort to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prisons. The conclusions and recommendations of the recently initiated Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's Inquiry into Aboriginal/Police Relations will be considered, and

appropriate action taken at the earliest opportunity.

29.

WOMEN

Throughout our first two terms Labor has worked hard to make sure that all women in Australia have a say, a choice and a fair go.

Nearly 60 per cent of the jobs created under Labor have gone to women and girls.

Labor's child care policies have greatly enhanced the opportunities for women to participate more fully in the community at large. Labor will honour its pledge in the 1984 election to create anadditional 20,000 places.

Labor has created more child care places than in the previous history of Federation. Next year we will be funding 106,000 places, compared with just 46,000 when we came to office - an increase of 60,000 or 130 per cent.

Labor will continue to support adequate provision of child care facilities. We will be initiating consultations with interested people and groups to determine whether any changes need to be made to the current mix of places.

Payments under Labor's new package of measures for needy families normally will be received directly by mothers.

Our program of action for women will be informed by the views and aspirations of women across Australia. We are drawing up an Agenda for Women right up to the end of the century. Our objective is to improve the quality of life

for women who seek their fulfilment predominantly in the home, and for women who seek greater opportunity in the workforce.

In the comprehensive consultations we undertook in developing our National Agenda some issues were raised so often and with such consistency that they must be addressed immediately.

Domestic violence was the most prominent of those issues. We will mount a campaign over the next three years aimed at reducing the incidence of domestic violence in the community. Labor will fund a $1.5m education campaign to

promote community awareness of the problem, to develop police and other training material and to develop educational aids for use by teachers in schools. We want to see an Australia which is free from violence in the home and

we will make this issue a national priority.

The education of girls is also a central issue for women. Over the next two years we will spend $1 million on a project designed specifically to increase the number of girls taking maths and science subjects at the senior

secondary school level. Young girls will have increased opportunities to choose careers in areas where they have not been well represented before.

30.

The Government will strengthen its commitment to preventive health care by funding a feasibility study for national mammographic screening, and a cervical cancer screening service particularly for rural women. These initiatives will cost over $1 million in 1987-88, and $2m in the second year. -

It is the Government's intention that its Women In Sport policy, when finalised later this year, will provide a dynamic and flexible framework for future action and change.

YOUNG AUSTRALIANS

Major concerns of the youth of Australia are education and training and associated job prospects, peace and disarmament, the environment, the drug problem and culture. Young people are this nation's greatest asset - Australia's

future is in their hands.

Labor's education and training initiatives are outlined on pages 12-13. Our efforts in peace and disarmament are summarised on pages 37-39 and our environmental achievements

and objectives on page 32. Laborhas launched an offensive on drug abuse with the States.

Labor will continue to enrich the culture of young Australians. Australia has a vibrant and successful contemporary music industry, but there is also an untapped wealth of musical talent in young Australians which fails to

gain its just recognition and reward - not from lack of merit but from want of opportunity.

In partnership with the Australian music industry, Labor will set up a non-profit company to provide support for young Australian performers and technicians to develop their

talents. This will complement initiatives already taken by the music industry in conjunction with the Australian Trade Commission to encourage the export of Australian music.

FIGHTING CRIME AND INJUSTICE .

Australia needs strong and effective laws which provide for the prevention of crime, the protection of personal safety and the security of the community. Labor will also continue to negotiate bilateral treaties to ensure international co-operation in dealing with the investigation of criminal activity.

Labor will continue to develop safeguards for consumers while removing unnecessary constraints on business. Priority will be given to the recently announced initiatives on product safety, food and beverage standards and packaging

and labelling.

We will also implement changes to improve the efficiency of the Family Court and to enable matters to be dealt with more expeditiously. These changes will lessen the burdens on judges who have to deal with the complex personal and emotional issues which come before the Court.

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It has long been Labor Party policy that protection and enforcement of legal rights depends on ready access to effective remedies. The Labor Government will continue to provide an adequate forum for the review of Government actions by aggrieved citizens. Labor is examining ways to

streamline the procedures of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

We recognise that equality before the law is achievable only when all parties have access to an efficient system of legal aid. Labor will continue its efforts to ensure that an efficient system operates throughout Australia.

- in the near future the Labor Government will develop new directions in companies and securities arrangements which will best serve business, while protecting the interests of the wider Australian community. These arrangements will be

designed to overcome the administrative, jurisdictional and enforcement problems existing under the present system and streamline many of the unnecessary requirements imposed on

business.

The Labor Government is committed to continuing its initiatives in the area of law enforcement. We will provide adequate resources, equipment and legislative capacity so that the National Crime Authority, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Bureau of Criminal

Intelligence can continue their important work in tackling serious crime.

We will renew the mandate of the National Crime Authority beyond the June 1989 sunset clause in the legislation which established it.

Since the Hawke Government came to power the AFP's staff resources have been increased by 21 per cent (535 persons). This achievement has fulfilled the Government's 1984 election commitment to spend $10 million in recruiting a

larger force and $7 million on upgrading the AFP's computer capacity. A further three year resource programme will consolidate the Government's achievements in promoting the AFP as Australia's primary law enforcement agency. The Government will ensure that the AFP is given the facilities

to recruit the high quality staff required to carry out its sensitive investigatory tasks.

Labor created a new charter for the AFP to focus as top priorities on drug trafficking, organised crime and major fraud. This charter ensures that the AFP's resources are deployed on the highest priority tasks facing the nation in

its continuing campaign against major organised crime.

In its continuing efforts towards closer law enforcement co-operation with the States, Labor will continue to contribute its share to the funding requirements of the National Crime Authority and the national common police

services, particularly the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.

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A Coastal Protection Unit established within the AFP has responsibility for the co-ordination and administration of the civil coastal surveillance program. This has led to closer co-ordination with the Australian Customs Service, and better Commonwealth/State consultation to integrate

resources for surveillance and response. Labor will be conducting a follow-up review of its Civil Coastal Surveillance Program to ensure that it meets the nation's requirements in this important area.

Labor will investigate the establishment of a National Forensic Science Institute, as called for in the Report of the Morling Royal Commission.

Australia's approach to counter terrorism is now being conducted with unprecedented Commonwealth/State co-operation. Extensive crisis management machinery can now be activated in response to a terrorist incident anywhere in Australia.

The Government will continue to devote the necessary resources and attention to ensure that Australia maintains its preparedness to deal with terrorist incidents.

ELECTORAL REFORM

Labor has made substantial progress in electoral reform. Labor is committed to ensuring the greatest possible participation by Australian citizens in the political process and the fairest possible electoral system.

THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE ARTS ,

The task of protecting the environment imposes a heavy responsibility on the whole community. For Australians, that responsibility is a particularly important one since we have the good fortune to live in a country of unsurpassed

environmental magnificence. .

However, protecting the environment also requires us to find a delicate balance with legitimate economic interests. The Hawke Government can point with pride to the progress Australia has made in recent years in striking that balance

and in securing our environmental heritage.

The Labor Government stopped the Franklin Dam.

We will save the Daintree. We have decided to proceed immediately towards the nomination of the Wet Tropics of North East Queensland, which includes the Daintree Rainforest, to the World Heritage List.

Labor has extended the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from 14 per cent to 98 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef Region.

We declared Stage 2 of Kakadu National Park and have nominated it for the World Heritage List. We have made mining in the Park illegal. We are proceeding with declaration of Stage 3 of Kakadu National Park.

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The Labor Government has made it illegal to log the Lemonthyme and Southern Forests while a fair and open inquiry is held into whether there are viable alternatives to logging these and other environmentally sensitive areas.

. We have saved Shelburne Bay, on the Cape York Peninsula, from sand mining.

The Labor Government will not allow sand mining on Fraser or Moreton Islands.

We have nominated Uluru National Park for the World Heritage ir~List. _

The third Hawke Government will further develop environmental protection and understanding within the framework of the National Conservation Strategy for Australia. We will develop a national forest strategy agreed between governments, industry, unions and

conservationists.

Labor will complete the zoning plans for all areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

And we will introduce a program for the greater protection of endangered species.

Labor will maintain a high level of support for the arts and cultural activities.

Labor will maintain the Australian film industry at a high level of production. We will retain the Australian Film Commission and the Australia Council.

We will rationalise arts funding arrangements within the Commonwealth structure and with State and Local Governments to ensure the most effective and efficient use of government arts funds. And we will review the public library system in

Australia with a view to its full integration in a national information network available to all in the community.

BROADCASTING

The last two years have been perhaps the most important years for commercial broadcasting since the introduction of television. Despite strong opposition in the Parliament, legislation has now been passed which:

. Accelerates the spread of television services to the five million non-metropolitan Australians denied access to the services now available to the metropolitan counterparts;

. Ends cross-media monopolisation; and

. Allows non-metropolitan viewers to see the high quality local drama, sport, news and current affairs which is made possible by the superior resources of large networks.

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We have announced a program to increase substantially the number of FM commercial radio services, predominantly for regional and rural Australians, over the next three years. . This is the largest expansion of commercial radio since the

Second World War.

Whilst Labor has committed itself to this historic expansion of broadcasting services, the priority task now is implementation of the massive planning, technical and administrative program involved in getting these services to air. _

Labor proposes also to reform substantially the Broadcasting Act,,rendering this nightmarish piece of legislation simpler, easier to understand and administer and shorn of unnecessary burdens currently suffered by licensees and the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal.

SPORT AND RECREATION

- Labor's objective is to offer greater opportunities for more and more Australians of all ages and levels, including those living in rural areas, to get involved in sport and other satisfying recreational activities.

Investment in sport and recreation is an investment both in the well-being of the Australian community and in the nation's elite athletes. Good domestic competition will help them to attain world rankings and success in world class fields.

The Aussie Sports Program which the Government initiated last year is the first fully national developmental sports program for children in primary schools across Australia. This program has already involved over 2,000 primary schools

and encourages children to participate in a range of sports. We intend to extend Aussie Sports to secondary schools with a wider curriculum content.

Funds provided for sports development are also used to assist with the conduct of coaching clinics in country areas throughout Australia for a variety of sports.

Many of Australia's elite athletes come from country regions. Through the Australian Institute of Sport and the Sports Talent Encouragement Plan of the Sports Commission our high performance sports people will continue to receive

individual and team grants and scholarship assistance to help them achieve sporting excellence and world rankings.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Labor has put the relationship between the Commonwealth and Local Government on an historic new footing.

The Hawke Government is the first to appoint a Minister responsible specifically for the relationship with Australia's Local Government bodies.

35.

We have increased financial assistance to Local Government by nearly two-thirds. Almost $640m is being directed to Local Government this year - more than half of it in untied grants.

Under Labor, Local Government is being assisted through innovative and progressive programs in their important task of delivering grass roots services to all Australians.

The Labor Party recognises that Australians expect different levels of government to work in harmony and that they want to have a say in how their local community develops.

‘- W e will produce information-and analysis for monitoring and anticipating change at the local level so that government programs are appropriate to varying local conditions. The Office of Local Government will play a vital role in this - process.

Within the framework of Labor's rationalisation of the . public sector we will develop, in conjunction with the Efficiency Scrutiny Unit, an approach to devolving administrative functions to Local Government, and to

developing new inter-government agreements. These will encompass broad program purposes, financial arrangements, needs-based planning processes and performance measures.

The Government has announced the sale of several valuable office buildings in Sydney and Melbourne. Replacement buildings on less valuable sites will give considerable stimulus to the building and construction industry and

generate jobs.

TERRITORIES

The inclusion of health matters, schools (to college level), water supply, sewerage, drainage, roads and general works and maintenance responsibilities in the Territories , portfolio has resulted in better overall management of ACT

affairs. There will be a continued improvement in the co-operative delivery of these services.

Considerable improvements have also been made to assist the ACT economy grow and diversify. A restructured Canberra Development Board has been set up with substantial private sector involvement and impetus.

In placing the ACT on a comparable financial footing with the States and the Northern Territory, we have ensured that the ACT will be treated fairly, while recognising Canberra's role as the National Capital.

We will build on the initiatives taken in the community services area. Our recently established Community Services Council and our proposed Community Services Charter will become a guide to standards of delivery of services.

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Continuation of the broad thrust of reform, leading to a better co-ordinated ACT administration, will provide a sound basis for a Labor Government to hand over to the ACT citizens the responsibility to run their own municipal and

territorial affairs.

In respect of the external territories, future directions will concentrate on widening their economic base through the establishment of alternative industries and diversified developments (eg tourism), and improving financial and

management arrangements.

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III. ENHANCING AUSTRALIA’S ROLE IN THE WORLD

The next Hawke Government will renew its commitment to seeking a secure and peaceful world.

Our reputation as a society committed to the rule of law and to the democratic process will be steadily built both in our efforts within Australia and in the exercise of our influence abroad.

FOREIGN POLICY

’-Under Labor, the conduct of Australia's international affairs will continue to be marked by credibility, responsibility, self-reliance and self-respect.

- Whether it is in the United Nations where we recently completed a successful two-year term on the Security Council; in the Middle East, where Australian policy is ,- regarded as honest and fair-minded by Israelis and Arabs

alike; in the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, where we continue to speak out against abuses in a number of countries; or in the South Pacific Forum, where we are showing regional leadership in seeking to facilitate a

resolution of the crisis in Fiji, Australia has never stood higher in the councils of the world. Its credit and credibility are unsurpassed in our history.

Our alliance relationship with the United States is, as the talks the Government has had with Secretary Shultz and Secretary Weinberger over the last two days have confirmed, a healthy and constructive partnership of equals.

As befits two great democracies, the friendship and trust which we have built up enables us to differ honestly and without acrimony, as we have, for example, over the Strategic Defense Initiative. Our allies respect this

Government, because we respect ourselves. As we approach the 21st Century, the Australian/United State relationship will be a major force for stability in the Pacific.

All Australians can be very proud that the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament told the Prime Minister in January this year that Australia now playes a leading role for the cause of peace and disarmament and that those causes would be better served if other

countries followed Australia's example of strong political commitment and technical expertise.

Under Labor, Australia will sustain the unprecedented priority and effort it is devoting to these vital issues. Australians, particularly our young people, deserve no less. The idealism and enthusiasm shown by Australians during the

International Year of Peace last year served as an inspiration to all of us in public life to rededicate ourselves to this great, universal cause.

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The prospects for real progress in disarmament between East and West are better now than for years. Australia's voice has been at the forefront of those urging the super-powers towards meaningful negotiations.

Our strong alliance with the United States has given us influence with the Reagan Administration. At the same time, without compromising our Western political values and strategic interests, we have re-established sensible and

practical communication with the Soviet Union, without which no Australian Government can claim to have a viable policy on disarmament.

We.have taken the initiative to develop the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone. It is a testimony to our determination not to leave the great issues of peace and disarmament to the super-powers but to do what is within our capacity to

determine our destiny and to associate ourselves with the aspirations of our South Pacific neighbours.

Under Labor, Australia has been a leader at the United Nations in seeking to outlaw all nuclear testing by all states in all environments for all time through a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Such a Treaty is the first

requisite towards ending the nuclear arms race and ultimately ridding the world of nuclear weapons. The current relaxation in East-West tension will provide new opportunities to promote this important concept.

Under Labor, as Australia continues the historic restructuring of its economy, so our country will quicken the pace of its enmeshment in the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region, the fastest growing economic region

in the world.

We will seek to consolidate our co-operation with the great, modernising giant, China, with the economic super-power, Japan, now itself in a process of significant structural change, and with the ASEAN countries, one of the most

successful political and economic groupings in the world.

The dynamism of the Western Pacific poses far-reaching challenge and opportunities to Australia. Its emergence as one of the great new engines of the world economy is a reminder to us that we must develop complementary skills and

specialisations, and that we must facilitate investment and trade among the members of this vast region. We literally cannot afford to fail.

But the path we have set out upon in four years of Government - through the deregulation of our financial system, the development of such restructuring concepts as the car and steel plans, the dismantling of artificial

investment barriers - points the way ahead for Australia into the 1990s and beyond.

In international, as in domestic affairs, Australia under Labor will continue to take a principled stand against racism, discrimination and oppression.

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Over the next three years, Labor's emphasis on enhanced defence co-operation with the nations of the South West Pacific will be maintained through the Pacific Patrol Boat program and a range of defence co-operation activities designed to meet their specific security needs.

y Commitment to the security of South East Asia, particularly through the Five Power Defence Arrangement, will be reinforced after the phasing out of Mirages by regular rotational deployments of F-18's and F-lll's and other aircraft.

j~Ve will also continue Jto safeguard the conditions of ^-employment of our defence force personnel.

Over the next term of Government, we will establish the Defence Housing Authority to improve the management of defence housing and give service families greater choice.

And we will undertake a program to spend $750 million over ten years to build and refurbish defence houses.

We will reform service conditions to alleviate the special pressures that a service career places on families, and provide programs to give service families better educational and job opportunities.

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LABOR'S FAMILY ASSISTANCE PACKAGE

NEW ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE DURING 1987

FAMILY ALLOWANCE SUPPLEMENT

1. The current system of additional pension, additional benefit and FIS payments for children will be replaced by a uniform lout income family payment (Family Allowance Supplement or FAS) payable to working and pensioner

families on low incomes.

(a) The basic rate will be $22 a week per child (a $5

increase). This.new rate will be paid from November 1st 1987.

(b) A teenage rate will be introduced for dependent children 13 and over at the rate of $28 per w eek. The higher rate will be subject to the FAS income test. For a child aged 16 years or more, FAS will only be payable if AUSTUDY is

not paid for that child. This new rate will be paid from December 25, 1987.

2. The threshold for withdrawal of the Family Allowance Supplement will be $300 per week plus $12 per additional child. This threshold will be indexed in line with pension indexation increases. (By comparison the Family Income Supplement currently starts to be withdrawn when income exceed $257 pw).

UNIFORM RENT ASSISTANCE

Uniform rent assistance provisions will be introduced for all recipients of FAS (ie including low income working families with children) with a maximum rate of $15 per week and with no waiting period. At present low income

working families are not eligible for rent assistance, unemployment beneficiaries are not eligible during the first 6 months on benefits and then receive it at a — x maximum rate of $ 1 0 'per week). Subject to the income and

X rent test, these groups will now all receive $15 per w eek.

CHILD DISABILITY ALLOWANCE

The Handicapped Childs Allowance will be replaced by a non Income-tested payment called the Child Disability Allowance paid at the rate of $112 per month from November 1st, 1987.

FURTHER INCREASES DURING LABOR'S NEXT TERM

1. During Labor's next term, the basic rate of the family Allowance Supplement will be lifted to a level so that when family allowance for the first child is included, payments equal 15 per cent of the married rate of pension.

2. For teenagers (dependents 13 and over) the government will lift the cate of the Family Allowance Supplement so that, combined wi£h family allowance for the first child, total payments per child equal 20 per cent of the married pension rate.

C O M M O N W E A L T H P A R L I A M E N T A R Y L I B R A R Y c. I. s.

LABOR'S FAMILY ALLOWANCE SUPPLEMENT

RATES AND INCOME RANGES

Rates of Payment

Current Rates

____________ Child Aged ________

U p to 12 years 13 years or more

$/wk $/wk

17.00 17.00

Proposed Rates : - From Nov/Dec 1987 22.00 28.00

Threshold and Cut out Points

From Nov/Dee 1987

Current Arranoements Cut Out Points

No, of

Children Threshold Cut-Out Point Threshold

All

Children under 13

All

Children 13+

$/wk $/wk ' $/wk S/uik $/wk

1 257 291 300 344 356

2 257 325 312 ■-· 400 424

3 257 359 324 456 492

4 257 393 336 512 560

5 257 427 348 568 628

6 257 461 360 624 696

Not e : ' , '

1. The threshold is the income at which the payments start to be withdrawn "

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2. The cut out point is the income level at which the means-tested payment is zero.

3. For families who are renting privately the cut off points are $30 per week higher.

FAMILIES Wllti DEPENDENT CHILDREN

EXISTING WEEKLY PAYMENTS TO FAMILIES ON VARIOUS incomes

TOTAL FAMILY INCOME Weekly Annual ,

NUMBER OF CHIIDREN 2 3 4 5

UNDER >250

UNDER $13000 22,25 46.74 72.71 96.69 126.17

<-250 H3000 22.25 46.74 72.71 98.69 126.17 >260 H3520 20,75 45,24 71.21 97,19 124.67 •280 114560 10.75 35.24 61.21 87.19 114.67 :300 ■115600 5.25 25.24 51.21 77.19 104.67 ->320 iH6640 5.25 15.24 41.21 67.19 94.67 1340 H7680 5.25 12.74 31.21 57.19 84.67 ;360 H8720 5.25 12.74 21.71 47.19 74.67 1380 119760 5.25 12,74 21.71 37.19 64.67 1400 I120800 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 54,67 1420 l121840 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 44.67 1450 123400 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17 ;480 124960 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17 1500 1126000 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17 >550 128600 5.25 \ 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17 ;600 131200 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17 1>650 'P33800 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17Note} Existing payments to families with dependent children includecurrent Family Allowance payments plus additional payments to low Income families under the Family Income Supplement scheme.

FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AGED UNDER 13 * *** RENTING PRIVATELY ***

TOTAL WEEKLY PAYMENTS TO FAMILIES ON VARIOUS INCOMES RESULTING FROM IABOR’S FAMILY ASSISTANCE PACKAGE

TOTAL FAMILY INCOME I NUMBER OF CHILDREN Weekly Annual { 1 2 3 4 5

UNDER UNDER $250 $13000 42.25 71.74 102.71 133.69 166.17

:250 >13000 42.25 71,74 102.71 133.69 166.17

1260 H3520 42.25 71.14 102.71 133.69 166.17

>280 114560 42.25 71,74 102.71 133.69 166.17

>300 >15600 42.25 71.74 102.71 133.69 166.17

>320 >16640 32.25 67.74 102.71 133.69 166.17

>340 >17680 22.25 57.74 94.71 131.69 166.17

1360 >18720 12.25 47.74 84.71 121.69 160.17

>360 1 119760 5.25 37.74 74.71 111.69 150.171!400 1>20800 5.25 27.74 64.71 101.69 140.17 >420 I>21840 5.25 17.74 54.71 91.69 130.17 >450 I>23400 5.25 12.74 39.71 76.69 115.17 >480 j>24960 5.25 12.74 24.71 61.69 100.171>500 ;>26000 5.25 12.74 21.71 51.69 90.17 1>550 <>28600 5.25 · . 12.74 21.71 30.69 65.17 j>600 , !>31200 5.25 12.74 21.71 30.69 41.17 peso P33800 5.25 12.74 21,71 30.69 41.17Note; Total weekly payments include existing Family Allowance payments plus additional payments of $22 per week for each child aged under 13 and $15 per week rent assistance for families renting - privately. The additional payments are withdrawn by 50c for r each $1 that family income exceeds $300 (plus $12 per additional child). Additional payments therefore cease altogether when family income exceeds $374 per week for one child (add $56 to this limit for each additional child).‘ for^each “ ,0unt 0f "p to 56 per** Ji £mlll6e in private rental accommodation can estimate tne amount they will gain by subtracting $15 per week from the above amounts.