Statement by the Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, and the Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Brisbane, 3 June 1987
(Chapter 10, p. 137)
The Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and the Federal Opposition Leader, Mr. John Howard, in Brisbane today announced their joint determination to defeat the Hawke Labor Government and seek the election of a Liberal/National Government on July 11.
At a meeting in Sir Joh’s Brisbane office today, the two leaders agreed that any important variations between their basic policies for Australia’s economic recovery could be resolved cooperatively, and translated into urgent legislation, immediately after a new conservative Government was sworn in.
Mr. Howard and Sir Joh, in a joint statement from their meeting, stressed that the crisis facing Australia demanded the differences in the policies of the two parties should not be allowed to stand in the way of defeating the Hawke Labor Government.
Mr. Howard praised the achievements of Sir Joh and the Queensland Government in leading the fight to redress the imbalance of trade union power in Australia, and also stressed his agreement with the essential need for low tax policies to form the basis of the thrust for a new Liberal/National Government.
“Australia is confronting an economic situation and outlook to which, it is clear, the failed policies of the present Labor Government provide no answer,” the statement said.
“Three major changes are essential to restore the Australian economy: get interest rates down, get taxes down, and get trade union power down.
“With the Australian economy at a halt and the international economic outlook threatening, Australia is already labouring under a mountain of international debt whereby the Hawke Labor Government has already deeply mortgaged the futures of our children and our grandchildren.
“Under these circumstances we call upon all concerned Australians to join the offensive against the Hawke Labor Government on July 11,” the statement said.
The leaders said there was an overwhelming need for the conservative interests in Australia to reinforce their campaigns to do everything possible to defeat the Labor Party in the forthcoming election.