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Address by Ian Sinclair



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ADDRESS BY THE RT. HON. IAN SINCLAIR, MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS OFFICIALLY OPENING THE CONFERENCE OF ROTARY DISTRICT 975, ORANGE, 8.00 PM, SATURDAY, 24 MARCH 1981. '

Rotary is an organization which brings together action people - the doers in our community.

In its function as a service organization it affords men from

different occupations opportunities for companionship and for

service to the community.

If we analyse the nature of these opportunities, I think we can best do so by describing them as communications, a field

in which I, too, now have some involvement. .

Through my personal association with Rotary, I have an

appreciation of the contribution Rotarians make to the communities in which they live, and indeed to the nation at large. ,

Your RYLA scheme certainly provides a unique experience for

young people about to embark on their careers.

It provides an education in leadership,which I am sure stays

with them throughout their lives.

Your youth exchange programmes and your group exchange tours

extend Rotary contact internationally.

FAIM and the 4H programme are further international illustrations

of your contribution to the community.

As individuals you get out of Rotary· what you contribute.

* · . The most important part of any organization is your own local

c l u b . .

There you have intellectual exchange, companionship and a

meaningful vehicle for fulfilling the Rotary motto:

"Service above self".

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If Rotary is to serve, as the theme of this conference suggests^ your ability to communicate on the personal and organizational

level will be at considerable significance.

This subject, of course, is very dear to the heart of your District Governor. ' z

He had the distinction of bringing Australia closer to the world

through his responibilities in the Overseas Telecommunications

Commission.

I am delighted to know that through Rotary he so effectively

continues' to demonstrate his interest and involvement in the world around us.

OTC is of course,one of the areas which falls under my ‘

responsibility in the Ministry.

There are other areas within my Portfolio in which I know you have an interest, particularly telephone services, access to television and radio broadcasts, and maintenance and improvement of postal services.

The strongest message I received from one Grazier out west was:

"there are only three things I want: First, a telephone, second, a telephone that works, and third, a telepone that works

all the time."

On all my dealings with Telecom I emphasise the prime responsi­

bility has to maintain and extend the National Landline and

Microwave Network for Transmitting your messages and mine around

Australia. ' '

Through my own involvement as a Federal Member I am very conscious of the problems of telephone communications, telephone

reliability, and installation"costs in the outback.

In the business world there is the exciting dimension of the

new technology reflected by the many devices which can be

attached to the telephone.

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These range from videotex equipment which will enable the home television screen, by a small relatively economic attachement,

to provide an instant data record of a wide range of information

through to visual display units providing direct computer access.

In this area the Government is examining the degree to which private industry can supplement the services provided' by Telecom

and so extend their availability to the Australian Public.

J T . . .

Another area of interest is the extent of radio and television facilities and improvement to reception.

There is the introduction of FM services through the ABC commercial

and public broadcasting. .

Our own domestic satellite programme is another exciting project.

It will facilitate transcontinental transmission of visual, sound and data material. -

It will bring to Australia's airspace technology which, to date,

has largely been the province of the big league of the sputniks

and Apollo spaceships and the American Landings on the moon.

In the really remote areas, we are extending ABC television services to around 76 isolated locations across Australia through translators that relay programmes often using the

Intelsat Communications Satellite.

All those, the facilities and operation of Australia Post, and

the operation of Government itself should relate to the role of Government in our community.

In my portfolio, as indeed in Government, I see our responsibility

as providing the infrηΤΐΎU^tures~~so that the community itself

can*pursue its separate course.

Government, however, increasingly is encroaching on mqst areas

of our personal responsibility.

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11 is with this in mind that we have been examining the

Australian Tax system. . .

A truism is emerging through much of the debate about the size

and cost of Government - and that is, if you want to reduce the

cost of Government on the community by reducing taxation, then .

you need to cut Government expenditure.

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The climate for possible cuts in expenditure is certainly looking

better than for some years with the Government's record in getting below double digit inflation and the. increase in job opportunities.

At 9.31 Australia's inflation rate is the third lowest in the industrialised world and ther are now nearly 170,000 more'in the workforce than there were at the beginning of 1980.

There are also other signs indicating improved economic activity will continue. . '

The Government has been having a hard look at the tax structure

and it is this increased economic activity in which was found

the basis for not applying any new taxes in the coming years.

AS the Treasurer has, in fact, set down the reasons for the Government rejecting a broadly based indirect tax, resource ·

tax, and capital gains tax.

This means if we are to reduce personal income tax, the objective

we all share, we must now turn to reducing Government expenditure.

To achieve this, it is the demands which you, the community, put

on Government which must be contained.

The result will be more personal involvement in an array of ...— -­

community requirements. ' * .

Each of us has customarily turned to Government When service clubs,

charities and the churches have initiated worthwhile social endeavours

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In every field of our society, the involvement of Government

has grown, Not just at the Federal level, but also at

the .Statecand local,Government levels. ,'('v, ... . V > . t. . t . . * ** ·" ! '

cf·* V'·'·. i'. Ϊ» ‘ Λ-*. . .’vd ■ - ;V. ' - I . , a,. '-· . . r f· r ; 4 i . · / > < ■ r . 1 - · ; '

So, if we as citizens have expectations of reduced personal

income tax,-then our demands on Government will have to be ; ‘ . v.r < - v. , / . · 1

contained. ' , >· ‘ ' . —

The Federal Cabinet's Review Committe has been analysing areas where it' is believed Commonwealth responsibility need not

, continue tfo be exercised. · · ■ , . . · · . 1 '^7 i; - ' ■ · _ » . — . „ . < » » , · - ‘ » , j , · . ' ( , ■ «« * * ■ . . - ·â€¢ · ' 1 ' A similar examiniation,II believe, is necessary,at the state C o ‘ Government levely . 1 . . . .

There, the rate of growth of the bureaucracy has far out­ stripped the Federal Public Service.

Indeed, there is a direct contribution from your personal'

income tax to fund this growing bureaucracy.

Our tax Cuts must come from that area of your tax seconded for Federal responsibility.

The next phase'is to.encourage state Governments to pursue a similar course with respect to their share of your personal x tax.

Of course, this also might lead them to examine those regressive,

taxes such as payroll tax and land tax, which certainly do not

help" to generate employemeht opportunities.

Well you might'say, tax is a pretty dry old'subject for a Saturday

Afternoon. . ■ - ■

. * ' * ■ - - · ■ "

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Yet/ your presence at this convention demonstrates your concern

about the community at large. .

Yours involvement in Rotary means that you^see a wider horizon?

then that between your front road and the back fence.

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Service Clubs have been an important catalyst in formulating

public awareness and generating'action out of this. 1 ' ■ I ' 1 / . > ■ '

> ‘ ~ I ' ' - I ■ 1 , . " '

It is my hope that you continue to encourage individuals in

our community to become a little more self-reliant than the softness of this affluent generation would suggest.

In the 80*s development of our resources and the growth of our communities provide exciting opportunities for Australians.

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In fulfilling these, you as individuals and Rotary have an

exciting ■'"role to play. - ^

In this Government will play its part - hopefully not at a

cost which is so high that the benefits sometimes become illusory/ ^

" " ■ . . ■ ' t• · ’ >.< · • ' . .

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