13 March, 1993, Bankstown, Sydney, Australia
Paul Keating was the 24th Prime Minister of Australia. See his entry at Museum for Australian Democracy. He was not expected to win the 1993 election. An opposition to a goods and services tax was the cornerstone of his campaign.
Well, this is the sweetest victory of all – this is the sweetest. This is a victory for the true believers, the people who in difficult times have kept the faith and to the Australian people going through hard times – it makes their act of faith all that much greater.
It will be a long time before an Opposition party tries to divide this country again. It will be a long time before somebody tries to put one group of Australians over here and another over there.
The public of Australia are too decent and they are too conscientious and they are too interested in their country to wear those sorts of things.
This, I think, has been very much a victory of Australian values, because it was Australian Values on the line and the Liberal Party wanted to change Australia from the country it’s become – a cooperative, decent, nice place to live where people have regard for each other.
And could I say to you that I wanted to win again, to be there in the 1990s to see Australia prosper, as it will.
The thing is, I said to the Australian people “we’ve turned the corner”. Can I say now, after the election, let me repeat it: we have turned the corner. The growth is coming through. We will see ourselves as a sophisticated trading country in Asia and we’ve got to do it in a way where everybody’s got a part in it, where everyone’s in it.
There’s always cause for concern but never pessimism and Australia, wherein for the first time in our history, located in a region of the fastest growth in the world, and we’ve been set up now, we are set up now as we’ve never been set up before to be in it, to exploit it, to be part of it.
It offers tremendous opportunities for Australians and now we have to do it, and we have to do it compassionately.
I give an assurance to the people that this victory won’t go to the heads of the Government of the Labor Party. We’ll take it seriously, we’ll take it thankfully, and we’ll do a great deal with it.
The people of Australia have taken us on trust and we’ll return that trust and we’ll care about those people out there, particularly the unemployed – we want to get them back to work.
If we can’t get them back to work immediately, as sure as hell we are going to look after them. We are not going to leave them in the lurch. We are not going to leave them in the lurch and we are going to put our hand out and we are going to pull them up behind us.
And we are going to move along. This country is going to move along together. We have such enormous opportunity. This world recession is now starting to dissipate; we’ve made the break out of it. America’s started to turn – it won’t be that long before the Japanese economy starts to turn, and hopefully we’ll be away and running in the nineties in a low inflationary period of prosperity.
I can assure you the Government will now be redoubling its efforts to be as good a government as you hope and expect we can. To be as conscientious with this Mandate as we possibly can be, to give it our every effort, our every shot, to see that we recover quickly and we get going and we put this recessionary period behind us and we get this country of opportunity off and running.
But keeping the opportunity for everybody – keeping those great nostrums of access and equity. Getting people into the game. The policies of inclusion. The policies of One Nation. And that’s what it’s got to be about.
[Keating] So can I say again, this is a tremendous victory. It’s a tremendous victory for all those who have imagination and faith. The people who believe in things, who are not going to let good beliefs be put aside for essentially miserable ideas to divide the place up.
I mean, I think the Australian people have always had such remarkable sense to spot the value and to cut their way through it.
Now part of this victory is our…part of it is them spotting what they think were the dangers in the Liberal Party’s policies. What I hope is that the next election the victory is 100 per cent due to the good government of Labor.
Now, I’d like to start thanking some people and the first person I’d like to thank is my wife, Annita, who has helped me right through the campaign. Thank you.
And can I also say, can I give an extra special note of thanks to the women of Australia, who voted for us believing in the policies of this Government.
I want to pay particular thanks also to – good on you mate – I want to pay particular thanks to the architects of this victory, my personal staff. Don Russell, Mark Ryan, Don Watson, my press secretaries and the rest.
And most particularly to those people in the Labor Party who have never lost faith, never lost heart, and are there at the polling booths to work and to fight for the good thing. Thank you. The people who never give up but are always there no matter how heavy the travails may be. To you I say thank you very, very much indeed.
Thank you again and thank you for believing.
But could I most particularly, and again finally, thank the Australian people without whose faith and decency and commitment to what’s fair and what’s reasonable and what is decent in this country, without those conscientious judgements this victory could not have been consummated and put together. Thank you.
And I conclude on this note, to say we thank you, we appreciate it, we won’t let you down. Thank you.