Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Speech to the Adelaide Press Club



Download PDFDownload PDF

Em Ιο . *·

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER,

THE HON. E.G. WHITLAM, Q.C., M.P.,

TO THE ADELAIDE PRESS CLUB,

ADELAIDE, 24 APRIL 1974

South Au s t r a l i a i s in d e e d a lucky St a t e . You have

two Labor Go ver nm en ts - one i n Ad e l a i d e , one i n Ca n b e r r a .

Nowhere e l s e has t h e r e been g rea ter co- o p e r a t io n and

UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE STATE AND NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS.

NOWEHRE ELSE HAVE THE PEOPLE BENEFITED AS PROMPTLY AND

MARKEDLY FROM THAT S P IR IT OF CO-OPERATION. THE FRUITS OF IT

CAN ALREADY BE SEEN HERE IN THIS STATE, IN THIS C IT Y . ΪΗΕ PROMISE

IT HOLDS FOR THE FUTURE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA IS RICH AND EXEMPLARY.

HOW STRANGE IT IS THAT OUR OPPONENTS SHOULD ACCUSE US OF

SPURNING AND ANTAGONISING THE STATES. ΪΗ Ε TRUTH IS THAT NO

n a t io n a l Go vernm en t has d e p e n d e d more on t h e co- o p e r a t io n of t h e

St a t e s for t h e suc cess of i t s pro g ram s . I t could not be o t h e r w is e .

Ye t no Go vernm en t has had a harder t a s k i n p e r s u a d in g some of th e

St a t e s to j o i n us i n our plans for the b e t t e r m e n t of th e p e o p l e .

South Au s t r a l i a i s one of t h e s h i n i n g e x c e p t io n s to t h a t r u l e . .

I a s k you t h i s : i n a l l our d e a l in g s w it h t h e St a t e s , what has t.

b e e n the o b j e c t of our m i n i s t r a t i o n s an d s u p p l i c a t i o n s ? Not to

TAKE THEIR MONEY, NOT TO TAX THEM, NOT TO RESTRICT THEIR GROWTH

OR THEIR RIGHTS OR OPPORTUNITIES. OUR OBJECT HAS BEEN SIMPLY TO

GIVE THEM MORE MONEY, TO AUGMENT THEIR RESOURCES, TO OFFER THEM

CO-OPERATION AND AID IN THE ESSENTIAL TASK OF RENOVATING THEIR

SERVICES AND DEVELOPING THEIR C IT IE S AND TOWNS. ΪΗΑΤ HAS BEEN OUR

SOLE POLITICAL OBJECTIVE.

...72

- 2 -

I t was an o b j e c t iv e end or sed by t h e v o t e s of t h e Au s t r a l ia n p e o p l e .

Ye t c o n s t a n t l y we are t o l d t h a t t h e n a t io n a l Go v e r n m e n t i s a t t a c k in g

t h e St a t e s e r o d in g t h e i r r i g h t s . What n o n s e n s e ! Wh a t h y p o c r i s y !

I STATE AS A SIMPLE FACT THAT UNDER THE PRESENT LABOR

Go ver n m en t t h e St a t e s ha ve n ever been b e t t e r o f f . Th ey ha ve

NEVER HAD SUCH AMPLE FUNDS AT THEIR DISPOSAL.

I CAN SIMPLY SAY THAT THE STATES HAVE NEVER HAD

i t so g o o d . At t h e Pr e m ie r s Co n fe r e n c e i n J une l a s t y e a r t h e

Au s t r a l ia n Go vernm en t a g r eed to p r o v id e t h e St a t e s w it h a d d i t i o n a l

GENERAL REVENUE ASSISTANCE TOTALLING $31.5 M ILLIO N . THAT WAS IN ( A D D IT IO N TO THE RECORD SUM OF $1/853,050,000 THAT THEY WERE ALREADY

DUE TO RECEIVE. OUR BUDGET AUGMENTED THE STATES' FINANCIAL

RESOURCES IN EVERY FIELD OF GOVERNMENT A C T IV IT Y . W e HAVE MADE SPECIAL

GRANTS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF. W e HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY

GENEROUS IN OUR FLOOD RELIEF AND NATURAL DISASTER PROGRAMS.

Wf. HAVE ALMOST DOUBLED FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR GOVERNMENT AND NON­

GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS. WE HAVE OFFERED SPECIAL FUNDS FOR GROWTH

CENTRES, FOR URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT, FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROJECTS.

IN SOME CASES WE HAVE GIVEN THE STATES MORE MONEY THAN THEY HAVE

BEEN ABLE OR WILLING TO SPEND. THE ASKIN GOVERNMENT IN NEW

South Wa l e s , for e x a m p l e , has s t i l l not s p e n t or a n no unc ed any

i V

PLANS TO SPEND, THE $ 4 M I L L I O N MADE AVAILABLE TO kH# BY THE ,

Au s t r a l i a n Go v e r n m e n t t o b u i l d a new h o s p i t a l a t We s t m f a d.

Ye t i n t h e f a c e o f o u r u n p r e c e d e n t e d g e n e r o s i t y w h a t i s t h e

REACTION OF THE NON"LABOR PREMIERS? I t IS TO BLEAT AND CAVIL

ABOUT CENTRALISM AND STATE RIGHTS. Bo YOU WONDER THAT IT IS Λ

p l e a s u r e for me to come to South Au s t r a l i a ? ,

1 /

. . , / 3

- 3 -

S o u t h A u s t r a l i a h a s s e t a n e x a m p l e o f p r o m p t a n d r e a d y

CO-OPERATI ON WI TH THE AUSTRALI AN GOVERNMENT I N IMPLEMENTI NG A

WHOLE RANGE OF PLANS FOR THE B E N E F I T OF THE PEOPLE OF T H I S S T A T E .

T he r e s u l t s o f t h a t c o - o p e r a t i o n a r e b e s t s e e n i n t h e a t t a c k o n

LAND P R I C E S , THE UPGRADING OF URBAN TRANSPORT AND STATE RAILWAYS

AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL GROWTH CENTRES. MOREOVER, ON A

PER C AP I T A B A S I S , SOUTH AUST RA LI A HAS B E NE F I T E D MORE THAN THE

l a r g e r S t a t e s f r o m A u s t r a l i a n G o v e r n m e n t f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e .

T o t a l p a y m e n t s t o t h e S o u t h A u s t r a l i a n G o v e r n m e n t i n 1973/74, for

ALL PURPOSES AND INCLUDING THE STATE'S LOAN COUNCIL PROGRAM,

ARE ESTIMATED TO TOTAL ABOUT $503 M ILLIO N. THIS REPRESENTS ABOUT

$413 PER HEAD OF POPULATION, COMPARED WITH AVERAGE PAYMENTS TO ALL

St a t e s of ab o u t $337 per h e a d . (I have p r o v id e d a s e p a r a t e

STATEMENT GIVING DETAILS OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE TO

South Au s t r a l i a . ) . .

Today I want to d e a l b r i e f l y and s p e c i f i c a l l y w it h t h r e e

areas of co- o p e r a t io n t h a t are c e n t r a l to my Go v e r m e n t ' s

a m b it i o n s for a l l Au s t r a l i a n s . T here i s f i r s t t h e q u e s t io n of

land p r i c e s . T he cost of land i s t h e most im p o r t a n t s i n g l e facto r

IN THE COST OF HOUSING AND THE GREATEST SINGLE IMPEDIMENT TO THE

PROPER HOUSING OF OUR PEOPLE. I n MY POLICY SPEECH 1 MADE A SPECIFIC-

PLEDGE THAT WE WOULD WORK TO SET UP LAND C O M M IS S IO N 'S IN EACH

St a t e . Th e i r p u r p o s e was t o buy s u b s t a n t ia l t r a c t s of land i n new

AREAS BEING OPENEI) UP FOR HOUSING AND TO LEASE OR SELL THEM AT

COST AS FULLY,HOUSING BLOCKS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA IS THE FIRST STATE

to s e t up a Land Co m m is s i o n by a g r e e m e n t w i t h my Go v e r n m e n t .

The f i r s t a g r e e m e n t was s i g n e d on 11 March by t h e Au s t r a l i a n

and South Au s t r a l i a n Go v e r n m e n t s . I t w i l l l e a d to a v ig o r o u s

ATTACK ON THE BURDEN OF LAND PRICES IN A STATE WHOSE OWN GOVERNMENT

HAS ALREADY DONE MUCH TO STABILISE THESE PRICES AND GIVE THE POTENTIAL

HOME BUYER A FAIR GO.

Co n t r a s t t h i s r e s p o n s e w it h t h e a t t i t u d e of Si r Ro b e r t As k i n i n ,

New South Wa l e s . New So u t h Wa l e s has t h e f a s t e s t g r o w in g la n d

p r i c e s i n Au s t r a l i a . Ye t Si r Ro b er t has r e f u s e d t o c o- o p e r a t e

w it h us i n a Land Co m m is s i o n and has r e f u s e d to u s e t h e g r e a t

POWERS AT HIS DISPOSAL TO HOLD DOWN PRICES, PARTICULARLY THE PRICE

of l a n d. The same Pr e m i e r , a t t h e St a t e e l e c t i o n s i n 1 9 / 1 ,

PROMISED TO HOLD A ROYAL COMMISSION INTO PRICES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.

Th a t p r o m is e has n e v e r b e e n h o n o u r e d. Ye t he had t h e g a l l to

ANNOUNCE, DURING HIS ELECTION CAMPAIGN LAST NOVEMBER, THAT IF

RE-ELECTED HE WOULD SET ASIDE $10 MILLION FROM LOAN FUNDS TO BUY

LAND TO BE RESOLD TO HOMESEEKERS AT SUBSIDISED PRICES ON EASY TERMS.

OF COURSE HE WOULDi THE MONEY FOR THAT PROMISE HAS BEEN DIRECTLY

PROVIDED BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FOR THIS SPECIFIC PURPOSE.

I t was p r o v id e d to f i l l a g a p in g need w h ic h S i r Ro b e r t ' s Go v er n m en t

HAS SINGULARLY NEGLECTED DURING ITS LONG PERIOD IN OFFICE.

My second e x a m p le i s urban p u b l ic t r a n s p o r t and r a il w a y s . '

M y Go ver n m en t i s c o m m it t e d to u p g r a d in g t h e s ta n d a r d of p u b l i c

TRANSPORT IN OUR GREAT C IT IE S . WE SEEK AN END TO ANTIQUATED

ROLLING STOCK,AND INADEQUATE BUS AND TRAM SERVICES THAT BLIGHT THE

DAILY LINES OF SO MANY OF OUR PEOPLE. ONCE AGAIN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

HAS SHOWN THE WAY. THIS STATE HAS SIGNED AN AGREEMENT WITH THE

Au s t r a l ia n Go v e r n m en t p r o v id in g for g ran ts for p u b l ic t r a n s p o r t

i n Ad e l a i d e . Under t h e a g r eem en t South Au s t r a l i a w i l l g e t '·

$ 4 ,0 4 0 ,0 0 0 i n 1 9 / 3 - / 4 w it h a f u r t h e r $ 5 .7 3 m i l l i o n i n 1 9 / 4 - / 5 .

S i m i l a r l y , we h a v e o f f e r e d to r e l i e v e t h e St a t e s of t h e c r i p p l i n g

FINANCIAL BURDEN OF RUNNING THEIR RAILWAY SYSTEMS. SOUTH

Au s t r a l ia has co- o p e r a te d w it h us in d e t a i l e d s t u d i e s of how t h e

South Au s t r a l ia n r a il w a y s , w it h t h e e x c e p t io n of suburban ■

R AI L W A YS , CAN BE TRANSFERRED TO THE A UST RALI AN GOVERNMENT. ?

- 5 -

M y t h i r d e x a m p l e i s i n growth c e n t r e s . W e made $33 m i l l i o n

" a v a il a b l e to t h e St a t e s for growth c e n tr e s i n t h e 1973-/4

Bu d g e t . Of t h a t i t was in t e n d e d t h a t $ 1 .2 m i l l i o n would be for

t h e South Au s t r a l i a c e n i k c of Mo n a r t o , Fo l l o w in g r a p id pr o g ress

i n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e c e n t r e , t h e So uth Au s t r a l ia n Go v er n m en t

r e q u e s t e d a f u r t h e r $7 m i l l i o n for Mo n a r t o . W e have ag r eed to

MAKE T H I S SUM A V A I L A B L E . W e HAVE AGREED TO PROVIDE $1.6 M IL L IO N

for South Au s t r a l i a as p a r t of our n a t i o n a l program t o overcom e

THE BACKLOG OF SEWERAGE I N OUR MAJOR C I T I E S .

- 6 -

All t h e s e are c lea r and p r a c t ic a l e x a m p l e s of programs

DESIGNED TO BENEFIT THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE IN BASIC/ EVERYDAY

PROBLEMS. T he PEOPLE WANT THEM, THEY VOTED FOR THEM, THEY

EXPECT US TO CARRY THEM OUT. YET WHAT IS THE ATTITUDE OF OUR

OPPONENTS, THE LIBERAL-COUNTRY PARTY OPPOSITION, TO OUR POLICIES?

They g i v e vague a s s u r a n c es t h a t our s o c i a l and w e lfa r e programs

would not be c u t . They s i m p l y say t h a t t h e y would cut BACK T 'r

RATE OF GROWTH. .

I t i s e x t r a o r d in a r il y d i f f i c u l t to e x t r a c t from t h e o p p o s i t i o n

ANY CLEAR STATEMENT OF WHAT PROGRAMS THEY WOULD STOP, WHAT

IN IT IA T IV E S t h e y would c u r t a i l , i n t h i s m y s t e r io u s pro ces s of

CUTTING BACK THE RATE OF GROWTH. WOULD THEY CUT BACK ON OUR

VASTLY INCREASED PROGRAMS FOR EDUCATION WITH ALL THEY IMPLY FOR t

our c h i l d r e n' s f u t u r e? No, says M r. Sn e d d e n ; y e t t h e L ib e r a l s

OPPOSED THESE VERY MEASURES ONLY S IX MONTHS AGO WHEN THEY CAME

BEFORE THE PARLIAMENT. WOULD THEY CUT BACK ON OUR WELFARE AND

SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAMS? No, SAYS M r. SNEDDEN; THOUGH THEY

WOULD HAPPILY REDUCE THE BOLE FOR THOSE UNFORTUNATES WHO WOULD

BE THROWN OUT OF WORK. WOULD THEY CUT BACK OH OUR PLANS TO

RENOVATE THE C IT IE S AND IMPROVE. URBAN TRANSPORT? No, SAYS Mr .

Sn e d d e n , So where would t h e i r e c o n o m ie s i n Pu b l ic s p e n d in g come

from? That i s one of t h e g r e a t unanswered q u e s t io n s i n t h i s

c a m p a ig n . They want to s p e n d more on d e f e n c e , more on s u b s i d i e s ,

MORE ON SUPERPHOSPHATE BOUNTIES, MORE ON A"CATEGORY SCHOOLS.

I a s k a l l Au s t r a l ia n s to r e f l e c t on one of t h e s t r i k i n g f a c t s

OF THIS ELECTION. FOR THE PAST 17 MONTHS WE HAVE BEEN REGALED

WITH TORRENTS OF RIGHT-WING RHETORIC ABOUT THE EVIL DEEDS AND

PURPOSES OF THE WHITLAM GOVERNMENT. W e HAVE BEEN WARNED OF THE

DIRE CONSEQUENCES OF ALL WE HAVE DONE. THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE

HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO AN UNCEASING CAMPAIGN OF LIBERAL-COUNTRY

Pa r ty propaganda about t h e d r a s t ic and t e r r i b l e p o l i c i e s of t h e

Labor Go v e r n m e n t . Ye t when we come to an e l e c t i o n , how d i f f i c u l t

IT IS TO DISCOVER ANYTHING THAT THEY PROMISE CATEGORICALLY TO

u n d o ! There ar e a few t h i n g s , of c o u r s e , and I s h a l l d e a l w it h

them in a m o m en t ; b u t look a t t h e whole range of i s s u e s of

SUBSTANCE, THE GREAT IN IT IA T IV E S WE HAVE UNDERTAKEN IN SOCIAL

REFORM AND FOREIGN POLICY AND SEE HOW BLANDLY THEY NOW ACCEPT

t h e m !

- / - .

Wi l l t h e y a b o l i s h t h e Au s t r a l i a n Sc h o o l s Co m m i s s i o n? No.

Wi l l t h f y d i ·:.;a n t l e our s o c ia l w e lfa r e p o l i c i e s ? To. T i l l t h e y

R E F i L . t Y O R?· C O G N I S E C H I N A ? No. W l L . 1. T H E Y R E S T O R E C O N S C R I P T I O N ? .

No. Wi l l, they a b o l is h the Pr i c e s J u s t i f i c a t i o n Tr i b u n a l , which

Mr . Sn eb den was s n e e r in g l y d e s c r i b i n g o n ly w eeks ag o· a s t h e

"Pr i c e s Ex e m p t io n Tr i b u n a l "? No . Wi l l t h f y d is m a n t l e t h e

I n d u s t r ie s As s i s t a n c e Co m m is s io n w h ic h t h e Co u n tr y Pa r t y fo u g h t

TO THE LAST DITCH IN PARLIAMENT? No. WlLL THEY IMMEDIATELY

REDUCE INTEREST RATES, THE SAME INTEREST RATES THAT Hr . SNEDDEN

WAS DESCRIBING ONLY WEEKS AGO AS INTOLERABLE AND OPPRESSIVE? Jo.

Wi l l t h e y r a is e t a r i f f s and make t h e co st of im p o r t e d goods dearer

for t h e Au s t r a l ia n p e o p l e , dea r er for t h e farmer and t h e c o n su m er ?

No, OF COURSE NOT I '

- 3 -

T h e L i b e r a l s w i l l n o t o n l y p r o m i s e a n y t h i n g t o g e t b a c k i n t o

POWER; THEY W I L L TOLERATE A N Y T HI NG . THEY W I L L TOLERATE AND

SMUGLY ENDORSE THE VERY P O L I C I E S THEY WERE DENOUNCING AND

TRADUCING WHEN WE ALONE HAD THE COURAGE TO CARRY THEM OUT. .

T h e r e i s a s e n s e i n w h i c h i t c a n b e s a i d t h a t t h e L i b e r a l s s

d o n ' t p a r t i c u l a r l y c a r e w h a t p o l i c i e s t h e y a d o p t t o w i n p o w e r .

T h e y d o n ' t c a r e how t h e c o u n t r y i s r un p r o v i d e d t h e y a r e r u n n i n g ι τ ί

I d o n ' t w a n t t o p r e t e n d f o r a m o m e n t t h a t i t w o u l d m a k e no

D I FF ER E N CE I F THE CONSERVATI VE FORCES OF T H I S COUNTRY WERE

RETURNED TO POWER. O r COURSE I T WOULD. T H E I R VAGUE AND EMPTY

PROMISES WOULD BE REVEALED FOR WHAT THEY ARE - A CAMOUFLAGE, A

SMOKESCREEN FOR A SAVAGE ATTACK ON THE L I V I N G STANDARDS OF THE

A u s t r a l i a n p e o p l e . E v e r y r e s p o n s i b l e e c o n o m i c c o m m e n t a t o r i n t h i s

COUNTRY RECOGNISES THAT M r . SNEDDEN' S PLANS TO OFFER $ 6 0 0 M I L L I O N

I N TAX CUTS AND REOPEN A U S T RA LI A TO A FLOOD OF FOREI GN MONEY .·

WOULD BE GROSSLY I N F L A T I O N A R Y . H e DENOUNCES I N F L A T I O N AND HE

PROMISES I N F L A T I O N . Ϊ Η Ε VERY MAN WHOSE DI SASTROUS BUDGETS OF ' . h

1971 AND 1972 SOWED THE s e e d s of i n f l a t i o n i n t h i s co untry now

BIDS TO INCREASE IT WITH ELECTORAL BRIBES. I DON'T BELIEVE THE

p e o p le of Au s t r a l i a w i l l be b r ib e d w it h t h e i r own m o n e y . I d o n ' t

BELIEVE THEY ARE READY TO FORGIVE THE MEN WHO GAVE AUSTRALIA, IN

THEIR LAST YEAR OF OFFICE, MASSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT, A SICK ECONOMY,AND f

A PALTRY GROWTH RATE OF 2 PER CENT. I DON'T BELIEVE THEY ARE :

READY TO TRUST THE MEN WHO HAVE PROVED AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT THEIR ·>

ONLY REMEDY FOR INFLATION - THE ONLY REMEDY THEY KNOW AND UNDERSTAND

IS TO THROW THOUSANDS OF AUSTRALIANS OUT OF WORK AND BRING OUR ’ j;

FACTORIES AND INDUSTRIES TO A STANDSTILL. W e 'L L HAVE NONE OF i t i

We ' v e r e s t o r e d f u l l e m p l o y m e n t i n t h i s . c o u n t r y. We w i l l keep

FULL EMPLOYMENT. .

- 9 -

I S A I D THERE WERE SOME T H IN GS THAT THE L I B E R A L S WOULD

CHANGE I F THEY CAME TO POWER, FULL EMPLOYMENT I S ONE OF THEM.

B u t l e t u s l o o k a t t h e t h i n g s t h e y h a v e a l r e a d y p r o m i s e d t o d o .

You WILL SEE A CLEAR AND SIMPLE PATTERN IN ALL OF THEM. THEY

ARE NOT POLICIES TO BENEFIT THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE AS A WHOLE,

OR EVEN A SUBSTANTIAL SECTION OF THE PEOPLE. THEY ARE DESIGNED

TO BENEFIT THEIR FRIENDS, THEIR WEALTY BACKERS, OR A

PRIVILEGED MINORITY. WHEREVER YOU FIND ’ A SPECIFIC LIBERAL PROMISE

- AS D ISTINCT FROM A VAGUE CATCHPHRASE - THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF IT ;

THOSE ARE THE BENEFICIARIES. LOOK AT THEIR RECORD OF REAL PROMISES:

TO RESTORE PER CAPITA GRANTS TO THE WEALTHY SCHOOLS THAT DON'T

NEED THEM; TO RESTORE CONCESSIONS AND INCENTIVES TO MINING

COMPANIES WHO HAVE REAPED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM AUSTRALIA'S

NATIONAL RESOURCES; TO RESTORE UNNECESSARY SUPERPHOSPHATE V '

BOUNTIES AND RURAL SUBS EDIES AT A TIME WHEN RURAL INDUSTRIES ARE

BOOMING AS NEVER BEFORE; TO REMOVE RESTRICTIONS ON ΤΉΕ INFLOW .

OF FOREIGN CAPITAL AND MAKE IT EASIER FOR OVERSEAS INTERESTS TO

t a k e over Au s t r a l ia n i n d u s t r i e s . .

T hose are t h e r e a l p r o m is e s , the c o n c r e t e p r o m i s e s , of

OUR OPPONENTS. THOSE ARE THE PROMISES THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE

MUST WEIGH IN CHOOSING BETWEEN A RETURN TO YESTERDAY'S RULE

AND A CONTINUATION OF THE VIGOROUS AND FRUITFUL PLANS FOR AUSTRALIA'S

PROGRESS EXAMPLIFIED SO V IV ID L Y HERE IN YOUR GREAT C I T Y , YOUR GREAT

St a t e of So u th Au s t r a l i a .