Election Speeches

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Kim Beazley – 1998

There is no one magic source for that security and opportunity. It is not good enough to mouth assurances that they will somehow magically trickle down from on high, or emerge out of some soulless economic machine. If a tax looks like it is going to hurt, that is because it will. Governments cause pain frequently enough, even when they don’t mean to, and there is no mystical virtue in accepting pain for pain’s sake.

September 23rd, 1998

economy education employment

Robert Menzies – 1954

We believe in the individual, in his freedom, in his ambition, in his dignity. If he becomes submerged in the mass, and loses his personal significance, we have tyranny. And because of this, we believe in free enterprise; not enterprise free of social obligation, but free enterprise in the sense that it embraces free choice, reward for effort and skill, encouragement to grow and be self-reliant, and strong.

May 5th, 1954

communism economy social security agriculture defence employment foreign affairs industrial relations infrastructure socialism

Malcolm Fraser – 1977

Our policies have given people the confidence and incentive to invest in Australia’s future. Australia is ready to go with six thousand million dollars of development in coal, iron ore, bauxite, alumina, petroleum and nickel, in manufacturing industry, in construction and retailing.

November 21st, 1977

economy agriculture arts defence education foreign affairs health immigration Indigenous affairs infrastructure social security trade water

William McMahon – 1972

Let me now speak about the Australia of today. It is a country of the young. Every second Australian is under 29. This means that most of the problems of our country are those of growth… The growing up of so many young Australians, better educated, more independently-minded, national in outlook, and determined to play a more independent role in world affairs.

November 14th, 1972

defence economy education employment foreign affairs health immigration infrastructure social security trade women

Frank Tudor – 1919

The Government had done nothing to deal with industrial unrest. Immediately Labour was returned to power it would deal with the root of all the trouble by seeing that the people of this country were not exploited by unscrupulous men who made the necessities of life so difficult to obtain.

November 5th, 1919

government administration industrial relations social security economy

Gough Whitlam – 1969

We make these assertions: Firstly, that Australians should not be deprived of opportunities which citizens of every comparable country enjoy. Secondly, there is every reason why Australia, wealthy and well-endowed, in many respects incomparably so, should be giving a lead to other nations in the equality of opportunities and the quality of the opportunities we make for our own citizens and in the help we can give to others. Twenty years ago, Australia was indeed a pioneer and a leader; now we lag behind. It is not for lack of resources; it has been for lack of resourcefulness on the part of a national leadership, bogged down in its own past, shackled by the dogmas of an outdated, doctrinaire philosophy.

October 1st, 1969

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James Scullin – 1934

It was persistently suggested at the last elections that, while the Labor Government was in office, bankers and financiers would not release money for enterprise, and that, with the removal of the Labor Government, millions would flow into industry and employment and prosperity would appear. Thousands of poor people, sorely tried by poverty, voted against their lifetime convictions, but they have had a sad awakening. I am confident that, on this occasion, they will assert their rights as men and women, and, by their votes, will transfer their power to a Labor Government with majorities in both Houses of Parliament. That power, in Labor’s hands, will be used with firmness and with justice. Democracy shall rule Australia, not a financial oligarchy.

August 15th, 1934

agriculture economy employment industrial relations infrastructure

Paul Keating – 1996

We are very much aware that the great progress we have made in the last three years—the unprecedented economic growth, the low inflation, the lowest level of strikes since 1940, the huge growth in jobs, the growth in exports and productivity—has not translated automatically into material benefits, or a greater sense of security among many Australians. But that is not an argument for throwing out the policies which have given us strikingly good results.

February 14th, 1996

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Andrew Fisher – 1913

During our period of office, we have seen increases in wealth in trade, in the areas of crops, in banking assets and banking deposits in savings, bank deposits in the number of depositors, in marriages, in births and in immigration. We have built, manned and equipped an Australian navy with our own money, and established an effective defence force.

March 31st, 1913

defence economy communications and technology federal capital federal-state relations foreign affairs health industrial relations infrastructure social security trade White Australia policy

John Howard – 1987

The program I put down and talked about tonight does offer a different way of doing many things. It’s built on giving people incentive is built on less government and lower taxation. But above all, it is built upon my unshakeable belief that if you give Australians the right encouragement and the right incentive, they can lick anything.

June 25th, 1987

economy employment family government administration health industrial relations