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»IT*S TIME.,., If

NOTES OF A SPEECH LAUNCHING THE 1972 CAMPAIGN FOR THE ELECTORATE OF HOLT (VIC.) BY THE LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MR. E.Cr. WHITLAM, QC, MP, AT DANDENONG TOWN HALL, WEDNESDAY 16 FSB. 1972

1. The Australian people now know two things about the McMahon

Government. It will deliberately create unemployment to keep

wages down. It will deliberately provoke industrial discord in

the hope of ruling the nation by division. It's time this

Government the most maladroit, mischievous government since

federation - was brought to book. .

2. It's time Australia had a Government with a mandate to govern.

The Gorton Government survived the 1969 election by the narrowest

of margins. The promises on which it scraped heme have been scrapped.

What happened to the Gorton promises? - the kindergortons, nursing

home care insurance, the Rural Finance Insurance Corporation, the

joint Commonwealth-State action on the nationwide survey of educational,

needs, portability of Commonwealth public service superannuation,

emancipation of Queensland1s aborigines, the National Film and

Television Training School, the. continental shelf legislation, ’

3. The McMahon Government has declared war on the wage and

salary earners of Australia. What is the basic cause of industrial

unrest which stretches across the whole range .of callings and

occupations? It is the profound conviction on the part of wage

and salary earners that they are not getting a fair share of the

wealth that their own country provides and that they produce.

When the Liberals came into power, wage and salary earners shared

more than 68>o of the national income. Now they receive less than

62?$ of the national income yet wage and salary earners are now a

higher proportion of the population than ever before.

Wages are to be repressed by the bludgeon of unemployment.

Prices and profits are to remain untouched, The whole tax

structure is weighted against the lower and middle income earners.

The national health scheme favours only the fortunate,. the .

fortunate in health and wealth. It ’s time to restore the fairer

distribution of the nation’s wealth. v . "■·â– â– '·

4. It’s time Mr. McMahon heeded the words of his own predecessor.

When Mr. Gorton announced measures to combat what he regarded as

serious inflation when it was running at the rate of 7$ a year,

not the present 9.2$, he said "To increase indirect taxes at this

time would therefore be to further increase prices in ah effort

to reduce demand in an area where demand is not excessive, and

by adding to the Consumer Price Index it would quite possibly

stimulate an inflationary psychology". More to the point.it’s

time for an Australian Labor Government which will move away from

inequitable and inflationary indirect taxes. ; .

It*s time to establish a parliamentary committee authorised to

investigate key price rises - a mere 200 or so companies determine

prices in Australia. If that committee found that price rises

were unjustified or clearly against the national interest then ;

the Australian Labor Government would use its subsidies, tariffs,

tenders, contract and purchases to discourage the price increase.

Yesterday’s 5.3$ increase in steel prices - the third in 2 years -

is a clear example of how key producers in Australia are able to

go it alone, to increase their prices at will, without consulting

any government and without considering the public interest.

Yet the steel price rise was announced 24 hours after Mr.

McMahon had donated $8 million to 3.H.P, by restoring the

investment allowance. .The Commonwealth may have limited .

constitutional powers t o .control prices but it has carrots

and sticks for judicious and timely use. It *s time· they were

used.,. · ' _ "

5. Wages and profits are cnly one component of the nation's

wealth. A family’s standard of living increasingly is determined

not just by its income but by the services which only the .

community can provide. We rivet inequality for life on our . y

children at the very beginning of their lives at the pre-school

level. It is a basic tenet of the Liberal Party philosophy that

the primary role of public investment is to support private

enterprise and that the serving of public needs is only a secondary

role of public investments Therefore we have :

A shockingly inadequate public transport system desperately

short of resources, yet taxpayers money being poured into

servicing privately operated motor industry by way of '

expenditure on freeways;. For example, the several thousand

million dollar transportation plan approved for Melbourne

makes only a token provision for public transport, . · ; . ;

We have our public hospitals desperately short of resources

and facing imminent bankruptcy yet alongside· them we have

chains of privately owned hospitals: nursing homes, and homes

for the aged, being run at handsome profits with the help of

government subsidies. \ ’ .

Ve have urban development and decentralisation crippled

for lack of funds because of the refusal of the Federal

Government, to accept any responsibility in this area,

Itrs time Australians recognised that a government which cheats

on public investment is cheating the nation and particularly

its children of their true national heritage. V

6. It*s time Australians were enabled by their governments

to have a fair share in ownership and control of their own

nation’s resources. The Commonwealth decides in.what quantities

and oh what conditions money and materials leave our shores.

So ultimately, the Commonwealth can determine to what extent

and in what fashion overseas interests will extract, process

and market· this nation’s wealth. . '

It’s time the Commonwealth exercised its powers to safeguard

that wealth. It’s time the Commonwealth as a shareholder on ;

behalf of the Australian community, itself participated iti the * · . ’ ·. ■ ' ■ . " ■ ‘ . ‘ ■ · i · ■ · ' ■ ■ ' .·â– '■■ ‘ " ■ ' " ·

the discovery, development and processing of Australia’s resources.