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A Labor government's approach Macquarie broadcast no. 1



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TEXT OF BROADCAST BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, MR WHITLAM, ; __________ FOR MACQUARIE NETWORK : MONDAY, I MAY 1972 _______

Good evening. The management of the Macquarie Network believes that it's in the public interest that I, as the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, should have the opportunity to talk to you briefly each week at this time on aspects of current

affairs. I welcome this opportunity.

Within a few months - 7 at the outside - all of us, as citizens of Australia, will be called upon to make a crucial decision. Ve shall be deciding who should govern us for the subsequent 3 years. Under our system the choice we shall make is, in effect, betxveen the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal-Country Party coalition.

The choice really boils down to this; because these are the only parties which can elect members to the House of Representatives and . which can form governments. The choice is so important - for our families, our country's future - that itIs very necessary that the Australian people should have as much information as possible about

the policies being put forward by the competing parties. In the coming weeks I hope to explain exactly what a Labor Government would mean to Australia, what changes we would bring about, what my hopes for our country are.

* In this initial broadcast I just want to make a very general statement about the approach to the affairs of our nation which a Labor Government would bring. Ve of the Labor Party have an enduring commitment to a particular view about society. And it's

this. In modern countries opportunities for all citizens - the opportunity for a complete education, the opportunity for dignity in retirement, the opportunity for proper medical treatment, the opportunity to share fully in the national wealth and resources, the opportunity for decent housing, the opportunity for civilised conditions in our cities and towns, the opportunity to preserve.and promote the natural beauty of the countryside - these opportunities

can be provided properly and justly only if governments help to provide them. Governments are not something alien - they are the community itself acting through its elected representatives.

The truth is that nowadays even the richest man cannot educate his family, keep his family healthy or fully enjoy the nation's cultural and recreational resources without help from the community. . Less and less does a person's income alone determine the opportunities

available to him and his family. More and more these things are ยท provided and decided by the community - by governments. And increasingly in Australia it is the national government which has the power and resources to initiate those opportunities. .

And, further, we believe that when government makes opportunities for any of its citizens it must make them equally for all its citizens. Ve are all diminished as citizens when any of us are poor. Poverty is a national waste as well as an individual waste. Ve are all

diminished when any of us are denied proper education. The nation is the poorer - a poorer economy, a poorer civilisation - because of this human and national waste. So the Labor Party's policies focus on the question of equality - equality of access to the nation's

opportunities.

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In the weeks to come I hope to try to explain how this general proposition would, be applied by a Labor Government in specific terms. It's true that a diminishing proportion of .

electors have lived under a Federal Labor Government and we can expect in the coming months a great deal of misrepresentation about life under the very great governments led by Curtin and Chifley. But there is one crucial aspect where the approach of a Labor Government in the 170s will differ very vastly from those governments

in the '40s. They were times of war. They were times beset first . . by the problem of the war itself and then perhaps the even greater problem of post-war reconstruction. Necessarily they were times of scarcity. We now are much more concerned with the creation of

opportunities than with the imposition of restraints. Within Australia today we do not have to plan to ration scarcity but to plan the distribution of abundance, not to restrict shares but to secure

a fairer share for all. .

So this is our aim, our ideal. I believe we can put Australia on the road towards achieving it - with your help. .