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Prime Minister outlines his vision for Australia at his 10th anniversary dinner in Sydney.

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This transcript has been prepared by a source external to the Department of the Parliamentary Library.


It may not have been checked against the broadcast or in any other way. Freedom from error, omissions or misunderstandings cannot be guaranteed.


For the purposes of quoting verbatim from a transcript, it is advisable to verify the transcript against the broadcast.





Friday 3 March 2006

Prime Minister outlines his vision for Australia at his 10th anniversary dinner in Sydney


TONY EASTLEY: As he celebrates his 10 years in power, the Pri me Minister is determined not to be seen as a man looking in the rear vision mirror, but as a leader in the driver's seat with his eyes firmly fixed on the road ahead. 


Much of his speech at a 10th anniversary dinner in Sydney last night was spent outlining future challenges, such as global security, sustainable natural resource management and social cohesion. 


Karen Barlow was there for AM


(sound of protesters chanting "Johnny Howard has to go") 


KAREN BARLOW: Hundreds of demonstrators angered by the Federal Government's industrial relations reforms choked parts of Sydney's centre, just as the city's workers started their evening rush home. 


(sound of protesters chanting "What do we want? Workers' rights! When do want them? Now!") 


With police helicopters hovering overhead, the protest moved to the hotel where the $250-a-head dinner was being held for about 1,000 Liberal Party faithful and prominent business figures. 


PROTESTER 1: Choke on your lobster! 


PROTESTER 2: Howard sucks. 


KAREN BARLOW: However, they decided to leave before the Prime Minister arrived, leaving him to receive a very different welcome inside the hotel. 


(sound of applause) 


Flanked by his wife Janette Howard, and the Treasurer Peter Costello, John Howard walked into one of the night's several standing ovations. 


The timing of the occasion was not lost on him. 


JOHN HOWARD: I think it's about 10 years almost to the minute since we were able to officially claim victory in the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney on the 2nd of March, 1996. 


KAREN BARLOW: But Mr Howard used last night's speech to look to future Australian challenges. He says there are five main ones. They are: global security, economic reform, a growing and ageing society, sustainable resource management and national unity. 


Of all of them, Mr Howard says national unity or social cohesion is the greatest challenge. 


JOHN HOWARD: We need to find innovative ways to break the vicious cycles of poor parenting, low levels of education, unemployment and health problems that can afflict some individuals and communities. We need to find ways of restoring order to zones of chaos in some homes and communities - zones of chaos that can wreck young Australian lives. 


KAREN BARLOW: John Howard also highlighted threats to national security. 


Mr Howard cited global terrorism, weapons proliferation and a rebalancing of power between India and China. 


JOHN HOWARD: We live in a world where the most serious threats to Australia come from state weakness rather than from state strength, because the problem of weak and failing states lies at the core of our global engagement. 


TONY EASTLEY: The Prime Minister John Howard speaking there at last night's gala dinner, ending that report from Karen Barlow.