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Prime Minister's address to Gold Coast Liberals, Turf Club, Gold Coast, Queensland



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PRESS OFFICE TRANSCRIPT

PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS TO GOLD COAST LIBERALS, TURF CLUB, GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND

I am delighted to be here again to support Peter White, because I am quite certain that he is going to be a very good Member ,

indeed for this particular electorate. I think he has ^

demonstrated his capacity for that. He has demonstrated his willingness and determination to support my Government - the Fraser/Anthony coalition - very strongly indeed.

He knows and understands the local interests, the local needs of this electorate. He will be able to put that into the wider perspective, and I am quite sure make a contribution to the better government of Australia. So, Peter, I am delighted, and Tamie is also, to be here today in support of what I am certain

is going to be a successful campaign.

When I am say I am certain that something is going to happen in relation to campaigns, it is beginning to be just a little bit of a track record, even though sometimes polls and sometimes even an odd journalist have had a contrary view. Didn't they have

a contrary view before the last Federal election? But who right in the result. I have the feeling, in all my instincts, that Peter is going to win this electorate very well indeed.

That takes work. It does not mean anyone can sick back traces over this next week. It takes work and dedication and commitment, and belief that Peter is going to be the best Member for this part of Australia. I am certain that he will be.

I would like to thank the Turf Club for allowing us to have this function here. They have asked me to come to the Prime Minister's stakes on 20 May. I got that invitation about 10 days ago, and I have got an invitation to do something else in another part of Australia on the same day. Now, whether it is possible to fit them both in or not I do not know, but I will be looking at-that very

closely indeed. -

There is one rumour that I want to put at rest. I was a bit late

up here this morning because we had a local fog. We were told that there could not possibly be a fog thi-s morning in Southern Victoria because yesterday was hot. It was about 43° or 44 . We were told that this was going to last - on the new scale, not

the old one - and we were told this was going to last a couple of days. Well, it changed sometime during the night. I am afraid it is that that led to the rumour that my good friend Joh sent the fog down. What I wanted to say is that that rumour is entirely false. The fog was due to natural phenomena, and not

to the good offices of the Premier of Queensland.

Ladies and gentlemen, why Liberal? That is a serious question, and it is an important question. We are an Australia-wide party. I believe, further, that we are the only party that represents all interests, all groups, throughout Australia. It is possible

to represent sections of the Australian community well, but at the same time, it is the Liberal Party's task to represent all

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sections fairly and responsibly. I believe the Liberal Party has discharged that responsibility in a way that no other Party has in all the history of Australia. It is not just that. It is a question of the philosophy of the Liberal Party; freeing the

energies, the enterprise, the initiative of the Australian people. Where else can you see a better example of that than on the Gold Coast. Five or six years ago things were starting to look a little bit difficult, even on the Gold Coast. They were vastly

difficult in many other parts of Australia. But now there is enthusiasm, there is energy, there is confidence that the Gold Coast is moving ahead strongly. I know there are problems with^-'/ Telecom, but that is because you have confounded all their esfimates of the additional demands for their services which are now - .

about two or three times what they had estimated on the basis of past performance. So the problems are the problems of success, and certainly it is Telecom's job to overcome and get on with their plans. If they do not do it, Peter will be on

their backs to see that they do, I have not the slightest doubt.

But what you do see on the Gold Coast, in the electorate bf McPherson, is an example of what we are seeking to achieve for all Australians, and I believe with a fair measure of success, a Party that is concerned for people, wherever they may be, whoever, whatever they are. That pre-emininently is the basis of Liberal philosophy - the concern for people.

I do not think many people in this electorate would regard the Labor Party as a credible alternative. There has been a bit of talk about taxes, and they want higher and higher taxes. They triedto suggest that they did not really want all those wealth taxes

and capital gains taxes during the last week of the last election. But the Labor leader in Victoria only a few weeks ago came out and said 'it is very wrong that we haven't got Labor's wealth tax introduced'. Well, he just being plain and open and honest about what they would really like to do. One of the things that did

surprise me was when Glen Sheil came out and supported Labor's capital gains tax - not on a family home, but on all the rest. Because Joh has been taking so much credit for getting rid of death duties - and he only just got in ahead of the Federal Government in relation to that because we abolished death duties

as soon as we were in power and able to do so; he was in power

a bit earlier than we were and I think that is probably why he was ahead - but then it is odd for him to support Glen Sheil in death duties on the levy, which is what capital gains taxes are. So, I know they have tried to backtrack a little bit from

that. But the Labor Party in the last election tried to pretend that it was reasonable, moderate, and they always do in opposition. Except that there was a rare example of openness and plainess and honesty when Bill Hayden ten days ago, when he said "we are a

socialist party. We have got to proclaim our socialism. No more of these half measures. Let's go full blooded for the socialist alternative. And we haven't had the support of the people of Australia", he said "because we have tried to suggest that we are

a pg.le shadow of some conservative party". Well, if Bill Hayden wants to go to the people of Australia on a full blooded socialist platform, openly proclaimed, well then let him. But I would not think he would have a seat left in the State of Queensland

including his own. I am not quite sure that that would realTy be " to the advantage of democracy because it is a good thing to keep him there so that we can be told from time to time what Socialists

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are and what Socialists might want to do. I suppose in a sense, one or two of you might think that there are other options in this particular election, between the Socialists and Peter White, but there are not really you know.

There has been a lot of talk about lower taxes and smaller and efficient administration. There was an interesting report in one of the weekend newspapers which was quoting again my good friend Joh, saying that he was the only person and

the only Premier that has administered his State economically ^ - this was the thrust of it - and kept taxes low and the administration low and lean and efficient. Well, in 1968, when Joh first became Premier of a very great State indeed, there " were 83,000 Public Servants. By 1980 how many do you think

that had grown to? To about 90,000, 100,000, or 150,000 - because that is what it has grown to: 150,000, or one short of that. Over the last five years while our Public Servants have reduced in number by 10,000 Joh's have gone up by 14,000. Which is

the lean administration? Which is the efficient administration? Which is the administration that is really working for tax cuts? Because there is only one way, ladies and gentlemen, that you or anyone else in this State, around Australia, can have tax cuts

that are meangingful and that is if Governments are prepared to spend less money, less of your money, so that you have more of it to spend for yourselves.

Again, a couple of things - and I hope I will be forgiven by Joh when he comes to the Premier's Conference for taking these figures out - but he said one or two things and he provoked me. It is

very rare because I am a very hard person to provoke, but I thought you would be interested. In 1968 he spent for every citizen of this State $222 a head. In 1979 he spent just short of $1,000 for every citizen. Now, if he had just maintained expenditure on a per capita base in real terns - not spending

less, but keeping it level - the same amount in real terms taking account of the expanding, growing population in Queensland. If he had done that, there would be $780 million which he could return to Queenslanders every year in tax cuts. Because his expenditure

in real terms has gone up 55%, because the population has gone up more the expenditure has gone up overall more than ±hat. But if he had held it level on the real terms for 1968 levels, _ $780 million there would be available to be returned to all the people of Queensland in tax cuts. I do not know why you do not go out and ask him for it, because he obviously wants to reduce your taxes but it has escaped his attention that he has the

capacity to reduce your taxes just as much as we have a capacity to reduce your taxes. If you put it in another way, if he was not collecting that $780 million extra in tax, it would be equivalent to $27 a month for every man, woman and child in the State.

So which administration, which Government, is the one that is trying to run its affairs leanly and efficiently so that taxes can- be kept at a minimum? There is another thing of course. I have just been given a document which is signed by every Premier

- Joh, the Socialists, Charles Court, the lot, that order does not mean anything particular - but one thing you can be sure^of, they are not asking for less money, they are asking for more.

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If people want tax cuts, why don't they ask me for less. Why don't they ask me for less. When Premiers come to Canberra for a Premier's Conference, it does not matter what item it is in, they never get enough money. If I was to Say "yes", or if

the Treasurer was to say "yes" to the requests of every Premier I can promise you there would be no point in paying income tax, we would just get your employers to pay your wages straight to the Commonwealth or to the State Government. There would be no ,

point in going through the intermediary of the person who is ^ earning the money, because that is what it would take. So somebody has to be the custodian of economic responsibility, and also of your pockets so far as Government is concerned. *

On the flat rate tax proposal, I think it is a bit selfish to ^

make the poorer pay for the richer. I will be asking to Joh to make sure - well, I am going to assume, that Queensland's share of the lower taxes that would come out of that would be $500 million less in tax reimbursement grants every year,. I have got to say it is nice to know that I have at last converted Joh and is going to accept, in fact, ask me to give him $500 million

less than last year. Don't anyone think that I am joking, because I am entitled to believe what a Premier says if I want to. That $500 million less might be for real.

But ladies and gentlemen, I think this is on the froth - the froth and the bubble of this election. It has been an interesting debate. It has been debate that has amused the journalists and I hope amused other people, but it is not the serious part of what it is all about. It is doing a sideshow to a significant extent. My guess is that the people of McPherson will understand that it is a sideshow and know that

it is not for real.

But what is it all about? After five years, Australia is growing in confidence and capacity and strength. The individual initiative and energies of the Australian people are being harnessed to build a greater country, and you can see it on every sign on the Gold Coast as people build and create something for the

future. This has come about because we have got inflation down below that of most countries around the world, because we have- contained at least Commonwealth Government spending - and sometimes it has hurt in doing it - because we have established the

conditions in which there is going to be strong economic growth in Australia where many other countries overseas are standing . still. It is easy perhaps to get a trading country like Australia moving forward if the rest of the world is growing strongly;

economies growing, trade growing. But that had not been the circumstance. Other economies are shrinking. World trade is not buoyant. Australia, under our policies, has been going against the tide. While other countries are producing less, Australia

is doing much better. That is as a result of the policies we have pursued. There are benefits in that. Employment is up. It*is up 40,000 in Queensland alone and much more in the rest of Australia. That provides resources to help people in need.

It provides facilities for the aged, and there are 12 great new . projects either completed over the last few years or planned · . for the electorate of McPherson alone. It has enabled us to

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provide greater assistance to the young. A growing country, a growing economy, coupled with expenditure restraint, offers the only sane and sensible way of being able to reduce taxes. I ami quite sure that you all understand that.

I think what you want to try and do is to have it understood that in the Liberal Party we offer something more than the nuts and bolts of a policy, something more than a sound economy that enables you to run your businesses and make a profit in an ;

honourable way. We have a philosophy, a vision of Australia, an, ,/"1 idea of what it is all about, a concern for every man and woraaiv^ in this country. We offer a way of life as well as a standard _

of living. I think that needs to be understood. A way of life that offers a better future for all people in this country. At what has happened over the last few years Australia has become regarded around the world as a beacon of what sensible Government

can achieve, what an imaginative and energetic people can achieve because one without the other is useless. The responsibility that both have shown is now seen in the general respect which people have for Australia. If people doubt what we have done, I just want

them to take advantage, as I said during the election, of cheap air fares and go to America or go to Britain or Italy or France, and see the difference between those economies, those countries, and Australia. I have no doubt that everyone wants us to know that our decisions are well thought-through, that they are consistent,

that they are decisions, they are policies, that were not designed just for an election or a by election, not designed for a week or a month or six months, but they will be consistent, that they will apply and be relevant for this year and for the next. They are

judged against our philosophy. .

I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that we have come a long way over the last five years, that is a great deal that remains to be done in building a better Australia, in creating a country which really is an example to the world, not just in economic performance, not just in physical achievements, but in the kind of concern that Australia shows for every person within the society the kind of

opportunities that are made available, and the compassion we demonstrate as a community and as governments, for those who require special help. There is much that we can all do, as.I know many of you work for, in achieving those objectives. -

Peter White will be a very able Member for this electorate. It is a great trust for any person to be representing come tens of thousands of Australians and their children in the Federal Parliament. It is a great trust. It is not something to be taken lightly. It is something to be taken seriously. It is something to be worked at.

It is something to be cherished. I know Peter will respond to it in the way that you would respect. You will have a chance to have a responsible voice in the Fraser/Anthony Government, through Peter White. I believe that the electors of McPherson - I am quite

sure that they are going to be wise enough to take that opportunity because he is far the best voice offering, and far the best Party offering in this particular by election. I would like to thank you all for coming along tonight, and I am going to look forward to the

votes being counted, as I believe, on Saturday.

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