Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Summary of speech by the Acting Prime Minister



Download PDFDownload PDF

t l 7

PRIM E MINISTER

FOR MEDIA SUNDAY 13 JULY 1980

SUMMARY OF SPEECH BY THE ACTING PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON. MR PHILLIP LYNCH, AT THE INDI/MURRAY AREA CONFERENCE OF THE LIBERAL PARTY AT BENALLA, VICTORIA

The latest OECD economic outlook provides . clear evidence of the success of the Government's policies. Australia's inflation rate is lower and its growth performance better than most other developed countries. There has been a significant improvement in the international competitiveness of Australian industry.

This is very gratifying. But even more important are the exciting prospects seen for Australia. With its great energy and other resources, Australia's economic prospects are outstanding among the OECD countries.

Our task is to ensure that we realise the promise which our great natural resources provide. They offer us the prospect of higher living standards and more leisure- which we all want. But we will have

to earn them.

Excessive wage increases or shorter working hours - which are simply another name for higher hourly . wage rates - ahead of increased productivity could undermine this prospect. They would inevitably generate higher

rates of inflation and reduce the competitiveness and profitability of our industry.

. Industrial unrest directly disrupts production, reduces profitability and makes Australia an unreliable source of supply.

Inflationary wage increases and industrial unrest will also make it difficult for Australia to attract the very large amounts of capital it will require to realise its resource potential. They will create uncertainty about the costs of projects and the time

they will take to complete, and indeed about their ultimate economic viability. The risks for investors could simply be too great. We have to avoid this.

The way to achieve higher living standards is not to chase the mirage of ever higher money wages. They simply generate higher prices and there is no real benefit to anyone. Nor will higher living standards be produced by strikes and other industrial measures which reduce production. But if we avoid excessive wage increases and disruptions to production, we can be certain

that we will achieve the higher standards of living to which we all aspire.