• Short Summary


    On December 1 Australia goes to the polls for a general election in which Prime Minister Bob Hawke's fledgling Labor Government seems almost certain to retain power.

  • Description

    1. VISNEWS SYDNEY & ARMIDALE: NOVEMBER, 1984: CU Hawke signing copies of book; meeting supporters (2 shots) 0.14
    2. CANBERRA: JULY 10, 1984: GV INTERIOR Hawke at Labor Party conference; walks to podium and addresses delegates; delegates look on (SOT) (7 shots) 0.52
    3. SYDNEY: NOVEMBER, 1984: GV & SVs Andrew Peacock arrives at rally; people cheering; supporters wave banners and flags; Peacock speaking (SOT) (6 shots) 1.47
    4. SYDNEY: NOVEMBER, 1984: CU & SVs Nuclear Disarmament Party badge; NDP members handing out pamphlets (2 shots) 1.53
    5. SYDNEY: NOVEMBER, 1984: SV INTERIOR NDP founder Dr Michael Denborough (2 shots) 1.58
    6. SYDNEY: NOVEMBER, 1984: GV & SVs People at opening rally for NDP; candidate, Peter Garrett speaking (SOT) (3 shots) 2.25
    7. SYDNEY: NOVEMBER, 1984: CU Democrat Party posters and booklets (3 shots) 2.32
    8. NOVEMBER, 1984: GV & CUs National Party candidate Ian Sinclair addressing meeting; speaking to supporters outside meeting (7 shots) 2.49
    9. VISNEWS LIBRARY: CANBERRA: JULY 10, 1984: SVs Demonstrators opposing uranium mining, wearing costume and gas masks; demonstrators inside Labor Party conference room sing protest song (4 shots) 3.03
    10. MUTE: DARWIN: JULY 15, 1984: GV Police escort truck carrying uranium products; woman demonstrators throws herself under truck 3.12
    11. SOUND: CANBERRA: JULY 10, 1984: CU Hawke speaking (SOT) 3.24
    12. CANBERRA: OCTOBER, 1982: GVs Unemployed people march on parliament; police guard at entrance (4 shots) 3.38
    HAWKE: (SEQ 2) "Never in the last decade and more, have has there been anything like the combination of favourable economic prospects that now exist. Consumer confidence at record levels, business confidence and business investment restored and growing by the month, the housing industry buoyant, manufacturing production rising, industrial disputes dramatically down, interest rates declining, employment up, inflation down."
    PEACOCK: (SEQ 3) "We are not merely reshuffling the cards in the pack, we're spelling out in what even media commentators are pointing out, are imaginative programmes and programmes that will work because they aim, not at some form of dole recycling where you come off the dole for three months and face the tragedy of re-entering it again, after that mere twelve weeks, but of training for the future, jobs for the future."
    GARRETT: (SEQ 6) "The Democrats have issues on a number of other things and we applaud their non-nuclear policies but we are a party which is primarily designed for people to be able to register their vote and their particular concern about the issue of nuclear disarmament and as it relates to Australia's future."
    HAWKE: (SEQ 11) "If you left the uranium in the ground, it would do nothing for the questions of peace and disarmament. That great mass of the australian people out there are wise: they are correct."

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved


    On December 1 Australia goes to the polls for a general election in which Prime Minister Bob Hawke's fledgling Labor Government seems almost certain to retain power. It will be the nation's second election in 21 months; its eighth since 1969. Some observers have labelled the election, which is 15 months early, a move to consolidate Labor's power at an opportune time, but the strength of the opposition will be a force for Labor to reckon with. The main opposition party, the Liberals, led by Andrew Peacock, the Nationals and the Democrats have so far failed to make any massive inroads into Labor strongholds. The new, single-issue Nuclear Disarmament Party is providing a new slant to the normally conventional Australian election style. Led by a rock musician, the party has attracted disgruntled Labor voters, with its platforms of nuclear disarmament, which it believes, over-rides all other issues. But the recent agreement by the USA and USSR to hold separate arms talks in Australia next year undoubtedly given the Labor Government a timely advantage.

    SYNOPSIS: Bob Hawke, capitalising on his long-standing popularity and Australia's booming economy, has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls. He has concentrated on a direct appeal to voters, successfully shrugging off opposition attempts to smear his government for being too soft on organised crime.

    At the Labor Party conference earlier this year, Hawke reflected justifiably, on his government's achievements:
    Andrew Peacock, a former Foreign Minister and now Liberal Party leader, has seen his own rating in opinion polls hit a record low of 32 per cent, compared to Hawke's 68 per cent. His Conservative coalition of Liberals and the National Party trails Labor markedly.

    A startling jump in support for the Nuclear Disarmament Party seems likely tow win a Senate (Upper House) seat in New South Wales.

    The party, likened to West Germany's Greens, was founded by Dr Michael Denborough just five months ago.

    Fronted by rock musician Peter Garrett, the NDP's potential for winning seats, will dent Labor's hope of gaining control of the Senate.

    Also on the side of alternatives are the Democrats. With five senators, the Democrats maintain an independent group in parliament to act as a check on the two main parties.

    The long run-up to the polls has high-lighted differences between the National and Liberal parties, with public bickering over whether they would block Labor's budget in the Senate. National leader Ian Sinclair has tried to make political capital out of a national scare over AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), saying Labor policies have encourage homosexual lifestyles.

    The burning issues for the two alternative parties and the left within the Labor Party are uranium mining, the presence of US communications bases and the entry of nuclear-powered vessels into Australian ports. The government supports continuation of all three. Hawke, a firm believer in nuclear disarmament, has however stepped up his campaigning on the pro-disarmament issue largely in an attempt to stop the flow of votes to the NDP. But on uranium mining he remains unequivocal:
    Bob Hawke took office in one of the most difficult economic periods in Australia's recent history. Labor's economic successes a re undeniable. Irs prices-and-income accord has helped cut inflation, create more jobs and spur one of the fastest growth rates in the industrialised world. Most significantly, floating the australian dollar and allowing foreign banks to trade helped the nation forge an even stronger economy. It's a record the opposition have had little success in tarnishing.


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