Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Speech to the Federated Municipal and Shire Council Employee's Union



Download PDFDownload PDF

^O -ylcsc e-V -^ t) V'0O(p/»v

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER, MR E .6. WHITLAM, Q .C ., ΙΊ .Ρ .,'-

TO THE FEDERATED MUNICIPAL AND SHIRE COUNCIL EMPLOYEES' .UNION ' ( * * 9 ' · · . 26 MAY 1975

No g r o u p o f A u s t r a l i a n e m p l o y e e s h a v e h a d g r e a t e r

R E S P O N S IB IL IT IE S IMPOSED UPON THEM THROUGH THE P O LIC IE S

o f my Go v e r n m e n t t h a n e m p l o y e e s i n l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t . Eq u a l l y ,

no g r o u p o f Au s t r a l i a n e m p l o y e e s h a v e h a d t h e i r o p p o r t u n it ie s

MORE ENHANCED THAN THOSE EMPLOYED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

I n a c c e p t in g y o u r IN V IT A T IO N I ACKNOWLEDGE T H IS , ACKNOWLEDGE

OUR DEBT AND AFFIRM OUR MUTUAL OPPORTUNITIES. ΪΗ Ε PO LIC IE S

of t h i s Go v e r n m e n t c a n n o t s u c c e e d w it h o u t y o u r c o- o p e r a t io n .

I n a v e r y ' r e a l s e n s e , l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t e m p l o y e e s

ARE THE FR O N T-LIN E TROOPS IN OUR BATTLE TO PROMOTE THE

QUALITY OF L IF E IN A U S T R A LIA 'S C IT IE S AND REGIONS, AND TO

PROMOTE EQUALITY BETWEEN REGIONS. FR O N T-LIN E TROOPS MUST, ;

OF COURSE, EXPECT TO COP A GREAT DEAL OF THE FLAK. We CAN

A L L A N TIC IP A T E IN THE COMING MONTHS A STRENGTHENING OF THE

ATTACK ON THE GROWTH OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR, ON THE SO-CALLED

BLOATED BUREAUCRACY, THESE ATTACKS ALWAYS HAVE ONE AIM -

TO D IV ID E THE COMMUNITY, TO B U IL D UP RESENTMENT AGAINST

PUBLIC I N I T I A T I V E S / TO DEPICT THE WORKFORCE AS BEING COMPOSED

OF TWO. MUTUALLY HO STILE SECTORS - THE WORKERS VERSUS THE

DRONES. For t h e p u r p o s e o f t h a t p a r t ic u l a r e x e r c i s e ,

THOSE PA ID BY GOVERNMENT - FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL - ARE :

DEPICTED AS THE DRONES. T H IS COMPARTMENTALISATION IS

ESSENTIALLY PH O N EY .. I t IS IM PO SSIBLE, IN TERMS OF PRODUCTIVITY

OR SOCIAL WORTH, TO DRAW A D IS T IN C T IO N BETWEEN EMPLOYEES IN

THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND THOSE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. .

- 2-

Ec o n o m ic a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y , t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r a n d

THE PUBLIC SECTOR ARE INTERDEPENDENT, No MODERN COMMUNITY

CAN SENSIBLY OR MEANINGFULLY DRAW A SHARP D IS T IN C T IO N

BETWEEN THE PRIVATE OR PUBLIC PROVISION OF GOODS AND

SERVICES, WHOEVER PRODUCES OR PROVIDES THEM. I n MODERN

COMMUNITIES, THE PROVISION OF SER VIC ES, EVEN MORE THAN

THE PRODUCTION OF GOODS, DETERMINES THE REAL LEVEL OF

A c o m m u n it y ' s WELFARE AND A f a m i l y ' s STANDARD OF L IV IN G , . ‘

An d INCREASINGLY THOSE SERVICES MUST BE PROVIDED BY THE

COMMUNITY IT S E L F , OR THEY W IL L NOT BE PROVIDED AT A L L .

Who w o u ld now a r g u e t h a t t h e p r o d u c t io n o f p r i v a t e c a r s .

WAS A MORE ACCURATE OR MORE RELEVANT MEASURE OF • x . ' ■ ·

PROSPERITY THAN THE QUALITY OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT? WHO ■

WOULD NOW ARGUE THAT A SUBURBAN HOME STOCKED WITH .

EVERY G LITTER IN G MODERN APPLIANCE WAS SATISFACTORY IF * IT '

LACKED THE B A S IC AMENITY OF SEWERAGE? "

I SET OUT THE B A S IS OF AN APPROACH IN THE

POLICY SPEECH OF 1972 IN THESE TERMS: '

" E v e n - t h e m o s t e n l ig h t e n e d a n d e q u a l a p p r o a c h

TO SO CIAL WELFARE CAN ONLY SCRATCH THE SURFACE OF THE

BASIC PROBLEM OF EQUALITY AND W ELL-BEING OF MOST OF OUR C IT IZ E N S ,

W e c an d o u b l e a n d t r e b l e s o c i a l b e n e f i t s , b u t we c a n n e v e r

MAKE UP THROUGH CASH PAYMENTS FOR WHAT WE TAKE AWAY IN

MENTAL AND PHYSICAL W ELL-BEING AND SO CIAL COHESION THROUGH

THE BREAKDOWN OF COMMUNITY L IF E AND COMMUNITY ID E N T IT Y ,

*

, , , Λ .

-Ξ­

Ι INCREASINGLY, a c i t i z e n ' s r e a l s t a n d a r d o f l i v i n g , t h e

HEALTH OF HIMSELF AND H IS F A M ILY , H IS C H ILD R EN 'S ;

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT, H IS

ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT OPPO RTUNITIES, H IS A B IL IT Y TO

ENJOY THE N A TIO N 'S RESOURCES FOR RECREATION AND CULTURE,

H IS A B IL IT Y TO PA R TIC IPA TE IN THE DECISIONS AND ACTIONS

OF THE COMMUNITY ARE DETERMINED NOT BY H IS INCOME, NOT

BY THE HOURS HE WORKS, BUT BY WHERE HE L IV E S , TH IS

i s w h y ‘ L a b o r b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e n a t io n a l g o v e r n m e n t m u s t

INVOLVE ITSE LF DIRECTLY IN C IT IE S AND CENTRES WHERE ·

MOST PEOPLE L I V E , "

. Λ . ' '

Th e m a j o r in s t r u m e n t fo r t h e p r a c t i c a l im p l e m e n t a t io n

OF THAT PHILOSOPHY IS LOCAL GOVERNMENT, WHAT IS NOW

UNDERWAY IS A TRANSFORMATION OF THE ROLE OF LOCAL '

GOVERNMENT AND CONSEQUENTLY A TRANSFORMATION OF THE ROLE '

OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES. D O N 'T FORGET - AND DON'T

LET THE PUBLIC FORGET - THAT WHEN BUSINESS, AND THE PRESS

ATTACK THE BUREAUCRACY, THEY ARE NOT JUST AIM IN G AT THE

Ca n b e r r a p u b l ic s e r v a n t s ; t h e y ' r e a i m i n g a t y o u a n d y o u r

FELLOW-MEMBERS AS WELL. I n FACT IN 1974-75 THE FASTEST-

GROWING SEGMENT OF THE PUBLIC WORK-FORCE WAS NOT THE

F e d e r a l p u b l ic s e r v ic e - b u t e m p l o y m e n t t h r o u g h l o c a l

GOVERNMENT, THE GROWTH OF THE FEDERAL PU BLIC SERVICE

WAS THE LOWEST OF THE THREE - FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL,

. . . / 4

F e d e r a l e m p l o y m e n t fr o m Ma r c h 1974 t o Ma r c h 1975

INCREASED 4 .8 PER CENT, STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT

BY 6 .4 PER CENT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT BY

11.4 PER CENT. I SHOULD POINT OUT THAT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FIGURE S IG N IF IC A N T L Y REFLECTS THE OPERATION

o f t h e Re g io n a l Em p l o y m e n t De v e l o p m e n t Sc h e m e . T h e

FIGURES DO, HOWEVER, EXPLODE THE MYTH OF UNCONTROLLED

GROWTH OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVIC E. . _ " ' ·>

I SHOULD FURTHER POINT OUT THAT ONE OF THE

MAJOR FACTORS DETERMINING THE RATE OF GROWTH OF

t h e F e d e r a l Pu b l i c S e r v ic e i s t h e n e e d t o r e c r u it

■ Λ . ■ '

STAFF TO. PLAN AND OPERATE PROGRAMS DIRECTLY RELATED

TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT A C T IV IT IE S . T H IS GOES MUCH

FURTHER THAN THE CREATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ·

Ur b a n a n d Re g io n a l De v e l o p m e n t a n d t h e C i t i e s

Co m m is s io n a n d t h e new in v o l v e m e n t o f t h e Gr a n t s

Co m m is s io n in r e g io n a l a f f a i r s . A g r e a t n u m b e r of

F e d e r a l De p a r t m e n t s a r e now w o r k in g d ir e c t l y w it h \

St a t e a n d l o c a l g o v e n m e n t t o d e v e l o p a w h o l e .r a n g e

OF NEW LOCAL PROGRAMS; INCLUDING SO CIAL SECURITY,

He a l t h , Ed u c a t io n , La b o r a n d I m m ig r a t io n , Ab o r i g i n a l

A f f a i r s , T o u r is m a n d Re c r e a t io n , T r a n s p o r t , a n d

Ho u s in g a n d Co n s t r u c t io n . .

- 4-

, . . / 5

»

- 6 -

T h e g r e a t o b j e c t i v e h a s b e e n t o e x p a n d o p p o r t u n it ie s a n d .

EQUALISE OPPORTUNITIES BETWEEN REGIONS, ΪΗ Ε MAJOR

INSTRUMENT IN T H IS TASK IS THE GRANTS COMMISSION. T H IS

YEAR $56 M ILLIO N . HAS BEEN MADE AV A ILA B LE TO 806 LOCAL

GOVERNMENT AU THO RITIES UNDER RECOMMENDATION MADE BY THE .

Co m m is s io n .

I M EN TIO N ,BR IE FLY SOME OTHER NEW PROGRAMS WHICH

DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY PROVIDE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR

YOUR MEMBERS. . . <

Last year we provided $28 m il l io n under.our

NATIONAL.SEWERAGE PROGRAM. T H IS YEAR THE ESTIMATE IS

$108 M IL L IO N AND THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO TOWNS

WITH A POPULATION OF MORE THAN 10,000. ·

.... For THE. F IR S T TIM E WE HAVE MADE URBAN LOCAL

ROADS E L IG IB L E FOR F IN A N C IA L ASSISTANCE FROM THE

A u s t r a l ia n Go v e r n m e n t . \

Thirteen area improvement programs costing $14 m il l io n

ARE NOW O P E R A T IN G ,'

The Department of Tourism and Recreation and

other Au str alian Departments such as Department of Urban

and Regional Development are consulting at local level on

THE RECREATIONAL NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE.

. » . . . /

- 7 -

Our Grants program has made a start towards meeting those

needs, W e have t h is year ALLOCATED $2,25 M IL L IO N FOR

gra' nts for local to u r is t attractions and f a c i l i t i e s , W e . .

ARE ESTABLISHING ADVISORY COMMITTEES FOR CONSULTATION WITH

LOCAL GOVERNMENT, REGIONAL TOURIST ORGANISATIONS AND

INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES TO PLAN REGIONAL TOURIST DEVLEOPMENT.

W e h a v e e x p a n d e d t h e p r o g r am o f l o c a l o w n e r s h ip of

AERODROMES,

* · 1

L ocal government has p a r t ic ip a t e d in the in t e r im

PROGRAM FOR PRE-SCHOOL AND C H ILD-CARE SERVICES, ABOUT

HALF OF THE 122 C A P IT A L PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN THROUGH OUR

CHILD-CARE PROGRAM WERE SPONSORED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT BO D IES, ' ■ · Λ . ·

W e have made a v a il a b l e more than $3% m il l io n

IN DIRECT GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AU THO RITIES FOR ·

ABO RIG INAL ADVANCEMENT IN THE PAST YEAR. MOST OF THAT :-

WAS ALLOCATED UNDER THE SP E C IA L WORK PROJECTS SCHEME

ADMINISTERED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT A U TH O R ITIE S ,

We h a v e c o o p e r a t e d c l o s e l y w it h l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t

THROUGH THE CREATION OF THE REGIONAL COUNCILS FOR SOCIAL

DEVELOPMENT IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AUSTRALIAN

Assistance Pl a n . .

»

- 8 -

Th e l e g i s l a t i o n fo r t h e h o s p i t a l s a n d h e a l t h

SERVICES COMMISSION PROVIDES FOR THE COMMISSION TO :

MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON F IN A N C IA L ASSISTANCE TO BE MADE

AVAILAB LE BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT TO LOCAL > ; I . . ' · ' ·

GOVERNMENTS AFTER CONSULTATIONS WITH THE STATES. ΪΗ Ε

COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAM AND THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH,

ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG DEPENDENCY PROGRAM, BOTH INTRODUCED

IN 1973, PROVIDE FOR DIRECT GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

ORGANISATIONS. LOCAL GOVERNMENT NOW HAS AN OPPORTUNITY

TO PA R TIC IPA TE DIRECTLY IN THE PROVISION OF A WIDE RANGE

OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES AND F A C IL IT IE S AT THE COMMUNITY

LEVEL, WHERE IT S P A R TIC IP A TIO N CAN BE MOST EFFEC TIVE.

- 9 -

T h ro ug h a l l t h e s e a n d o t h e r p r o g r a m s , we a r e

S TR IVIN G TO EXPAND AND EQUALISE OPPORTUNITIES FOR A LL

REGIONS AND AS BETWEEN REGIONS. I t IS NOT ONLY A MATTER '

OF IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF L IF E FOR A LL C IT IZ E N S , FOR

A LL PEOPLE L IV IN G IN A U S TR A LIA , WHEREVER THEY L IV E IN

A u s t r a l i a - t h o u g h t h a t i s t h e b a s i c a i m . T h e s e p r o g r am s

W IL L IN E V IT A B LY PROMOTE THE OPPORTUNITIES OF YOUR

MEMBERS, NOT JUST FOR EMPLOYMENT, BUT FOR MORE REWARDING,

MORE S E L F -S A T IS F Y IN G EMPLOYMENT. WHEN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

WAS TREATED AS THE CINDERELLA OF GOVERNMENT, WHEN

LOCAL GOVERNMENT WAS POORLY FINANCED AND LOWLY REGARDED,

A L L THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH I T , AND EMPLOYED THROUGH I T ,

PA ID A PRICE - IN SALARY AND WAGES AND IN PUBLIC

e s t e e m . T h i s i s n o t e n d e d y e t : t h e r e i s . s t i l l a

LONG WAY TO GO. KL)T U N T IL LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS A

GENUINE, A FULL AND COMPLETE PARTNER IN THE FEDERAL

SYSTEM,. THOSE EMPLOYED AT THAT LEVEL W IL L SUFFER..

.......... .....Th e f a c t i s t h a t St a t e a n d l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s h a v e

BEEN LOUSY EMPLOYERS. T H IS IS THE P R IN C IP A L REASON WHY

MOST STRIKES - THE MOST FREQUENT S T R IK E S ; THE WOR?T

S T R IK E S , THE LONGEST STRIKES - OCCUR IN THE GREAT SERVICE

INSTRUM ENTALITIES AND AMONG EMPLOYEES UNDER THE GREAT

PUBLIC A U TH O R ITIE S , STATE OR LOCAL. I n R A IS IN G THE

LEVEL AND PRESTIGE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SEMI-GOVERNMENT

A U TH O R ITIE S , THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT HOPES, NOT ONLY

TO PROMOTE THE Q UALITY OF AUSTRALIAN L IF E , BUT TO MAKE IT

POSSIBLE FOR THOSE PUBLIC AUTHO RITIES TO G IVE TH EIR OWN

EMPLOYEES AS GOOD CO ND ITIO NS, AS GOOD REMUNERATION, AS

GOOD OPPO RTUNITIES, AND AS GOOD A CHANCE FOR A DECENT,

F U L F IL L IN G OCCUPATION,# ^ § #| | X t ^P L O Y E E S IN ^A U S T R A LIA *