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Transcript of press conference, Expo 88 Site, Brisbane



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PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE, EXPO 88 SITE, BRISBANE 29 MARCH 1988 Febociv*^ E & E 0 - PROOF ONLY

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, at Wednesday's State Parliamentary meeting, do you hope that the issue of leadership of the State Party will be resolved?

PM: That's for the State Parliamentary Party to decide.

JOURNALIST: Is it a matter though that does concern you?

PM: I'm interested in the affairs and the welfare of the Party wherever it occurs in Australia. I'm interested here but it's a matter for them.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, the takeover's inquiry. How effective is that going to be?

PM: It's part of a normal process of Parliamentary Committees. We'll just see how it goes.

JOURNALIST: Not closing the door after the horse has bolted?

PM: What horses?

JOURNALIST: Do you intend to push ahead with the referendum proposal of one vote, one value?

PM: I've said that, I've made it quite clear, that this is an issue which I think needs to be considered. I'll be receiving a report from Mr Bowen in the near future about what he has in mind - that's his ministerial responsibility. Quite clearly, this is an issue which could well be on the agenda but it's a matter that will be decided in light of the discussions with the Attorney-General and then Cabinet.

JOURNALIST: Do you see that -PM: What about asking something about this beautiful place.

JOURNALIST: TV NZ - do you think Aboriginals have got anything to celebrate this year?

PM: Yes. They've also got something to remember. I've really got nothing to add to what I've said.

JOURNALIST: ?

PM: OK, I don't need a repetition of questions. It'd be a good idea if you'd let me finish my answer. I repeat what I've said before, and that is that Australians have no need for a sense of collective national guilt. What we should have is a clear understanding that we are celebrating 200 years of European settlement coming on top of 40,000 years

of Aboriginal culture and civilisation. What I hope is that 1988 will provide the time when, together, the non-Aboriginal Australian community on its part can recognise the obligations that we have to try and deal with

some of the injustices of the past, and on their part that the Aboriginal community will accept the integrity that the Australian community will have to try and achieve that. I've never been hung up on a word, whether you call it

compact, agreement, or whatever, the word is not important. What is important is that in this year we take the opportunity of remembering our obligations to one another.

JOURNALIST: ... this Expo will compare with previous Expos?

PM: I have no doubt that it will be the best Expo of all time. There's a great deal of credit to go to Sir Llew, Ned for the way in which, where over the years there've been some difficulties in the way, that we've stuck together, Federal Government, ... people, and it's now evident in the fact that you're going to have a record number of overseas

countries, a very significant number, over 30 corporations, this is going to be a great exhibition. As I said in my remarks before, it's not a trade fair, it's a time and

opportunity of coming together internationally to review our achievements as men and women around the world in the area of culture and technology, to create contacts which will last into the future. I think those who have been

responsible are owed a very considerable debt of gratitude, not just by the people of Queensland but particularly by the people of Australia. There is no doubt that in all the events of our bicentennial year, none will be more important

in a present and continuing sense than Expo 88.

JOURNALIST: Mr Hawke, on the matter of the protestors at the front. Is there any chance the Federal Government will be giving people who are displaced, because of Expo, compensation of any kind?

PM: You talk about displacement. I'm not sure what you mean by that.

JOURNALIST: People thrown out of their houses or their rent doubled or tripled.

PM: I don't accept that these sort of things have not been taken into account. I think they will be properly taken into account. When you are looking at the question of human progress, if you took the view that you never did anything at all if an individual or some people would be in some

sense discomforted, we'd still be living in a cave.

JOURNALIST: Did you talk to Mr Goss last week about leadership?

PM: He saw me, we discussed a number of matters, but as is appropriate in the discussions between the Prime Minister and a member of his Party which takes place in the Prime Minister's room, it's not appropriate, and I know you don't

think it is, that I should share those confidences with you as charming as you are.

JOURNALIST: How would you describe your relationship with the Ahern Government these days, the post days of Sir Joh?

PM: I must say that in all fairness that my relations with Mr Ahern are cordial and constructive.

JOURNALIST: Is it a lot better than what it was, the relationship between ... government?

PM: There was only one way wasn't there, and that was up.

ends