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Melbourne, 24 September 1999: transcript of doorstop interview [Victorian election result, East Timor, football grand final tips].



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

 

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP - MELBOURNE, 24 SEPTEMBER 1999

 

E & OE - Proof Only

 

Subjects: Victorian election result, East Timor, Football Grand Final tips

 

JOURNALIST:

 

What kind of message do you think this result is sending to the Victorian people?

 

BEAZLEY:

 

Well look, I think one of the problems that we have had for the last week is that everybody has been worrying about Jeff's psychological condition. How is Jeff taking it? You know, what is Jeff up to? It really rather misses the point and the point is this - there are an awful lot of Victorians who believe - and the objective reality suggests - they are doing it tough. And that's the lesson that we need to be starting to take out of this Victorian election. While the economy is batting along all right the bulk of Australian families are bringing their kids up in family incomes of less than $60,000 a year. So you charge them more for their services, charge them more for the education of their kids, create worries for them on their streets in relation to law and order, then people react and ask for Government to do its job. Now Steve Bracks had a solution and therefore he did well.

 

JOURNALIST:

 

What do you think of Jeff's apology?

 

BEAZLEY:

 

Well, it is a bit like the apology from A Fish Called Wanda wasn't it? He was sort of hanging him out the window by his heels and he was saying - I apologise for the Crimean War, I apologise for the First World War and so on. I think more than Jeff's apology, we also actually need a performance and the problem that we have got is that if Jeff is returned we have a Premier who is not the least bit committed to dealing with the sorts of problems and services that the Victorian people are feeling. So, I think the Victorian electorate gave themselves a chance and the majority of them supported the need for a change of Government. I just hope the opportunity arises in the final stages of the count for that to occur. I just ought to say a few things about Timor, I think. Firstly, I am still worried that the Defence Minister seems to be in a state of denial about the needs for additional forces, the need of the troops that are there to be rotated in a more acceptable way. The Defence Minister must now look at all aspects of conditions for recruitment of reserves, and for reserves who decide that they are prepared to go into the full time services for a short period of time to deal with this particular crisis. Their industrial conditions have got to be improved; their guarantees of employment have got to be improved. We are putting forward constructive suggestions as to how that might be achieved. It is a pity that our ready reserve scheme was not persisted with because that would have solved many problems. But nevertheless, we now have to deal with the real situation we confront. We must be getting ourselves into a position where those who agree to sign up for a period of months or years do so without threat to their employment and those who are going to train for service with the Australian reserve forces do so without it being a problem for their relationship with their employers.

 

JOURNALIST:

 

Tips for the weekend?

 

BEAZLEY:

 

Well, I am with the Kangaroos. I can't be with Carlton, not after Kevin Sheedy's marvellous statement about John Elliott when he said - that John Elliott was one of the reasons that you have Labor Parties , and apart from that I think Simon Crean deserves a break and as a strong supporter of the Kangaroos I couldn't be other than with him.

 

JOURNALIST:

 

And the rugby league?

 

BEAZLEY:

 

I think St George-Illawarra will win the rugby league on the weekend. I think, though the two teams contesting are a complete surprise and it has gone very much against the form of the home and away games probably St George will have the greater finals experience to carry them across the line.

 

ends

 

 

md 1999-09-27  09:36