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We're Back In The Game, Howard Tells Liberals

July 21, 2001

John Howard The Prime Minister, John Howard, has claimed that his government is "back in the game". He also spoke of the electorate focussing more on the choice before them as he addressed the NSW State Council of the Liberal Party. Whilst cautioning his party not to read too much into the Aston by-election result, the Prime Minister indicated that he believed the goveernment had recovered from its political slump earlier this year.

He said: "Now I think we are doing better essentially for three reasons. I think we are doing better because we have had the commonsense and the strength to be responsive to people’s concerns in a number of areas. I have never subscribed to this theory of politics in Australia that you never adjust your policies, you never fine tune them, you never change anything. I mean that is the language of my predecessor. That is the language of political arrogance to say to the Australian public everything we’ve ever done from the time we got in was one hundred percent correct the first time and how dare you suggest that we adjust any of our policies or show any degree of responsiveness."

Howard argued that there were a number of reasons why the government deserved re-election:

  • "No government has embraced more reform in five and a half years than this government. No government has tackled the big issues, no government has taken on board the need to reform those things that have been left unreformed for a generation. None has done it with more vigour or more energy than the present government."

  • "Another reason why we are doing better is that the Australian public has now seen through and beyond the temporary interruption to economic growth occasioned by the December quarter national accounts. And they now realise that the fundamentals of the Australian economy are the best they have been for a generation. And that those fundamentals have been made better and stronger and more durable and more lasting by the economic reforms that we have carried out."

Howard said that he was very proud of how his government had "delivered to the so called traditional constituency of the Australian Labor Party."

  • "Under this government the working men and women of Australia are better off than they were under the Hawke and Keating governments. The working men and women. The working men and women of Australia have higher wages because we have higher productivity. The working men and women of Australia have much lower interest rates because of our good economic policies. The working men and women of Australia have more jobs because we’ve generated more than 825,000."

Howard also argued that the government was back in the game simply because of the closeness of the election:

  • "As each month goes by and people realise that the next big political decision will be to choose the future government of this country they are beginning to realise there is a choice. It is not a question of kicking the government in the shins without any particular consequence other than to sort of get it out of your system because you are cranky about some particular aspect of what the government has done. And every government makes mistakes, every government upsets some section of the community if it tries to do something for the long term benefit of the nation. But as we get a little closer people are beginning to realise there is choice."

  • Read Howard's Speech In Full

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