The people of Australia will be going to the polls on December 10th in their fourth federal election in five years.
The people of Australia will be going to the polls on December 10th in their fourth federal election in five years. It has been called by the Prime Minister, Mr. Malcolm Fraser, who heads a right-wing coalition of the Liberal and Country Parties, which was elected in December 1975.
SYNOPSIS: According to the opinion polls, it is an election that few people in Australia really want. It need not have been held for another 12 months. The government say they want to consolidate their position with a new three-year term in the House of Representatives. The Labour opposition say the Government want to hold the election before the economic situation gets any worse.
The issues are largely domestic. In the rural areas, cattlemen are far from satisfied with the government's record. Now Mr. Douglas Anthony, leader of the Country Party is calling for a massive injection of government money to help beef producers
For townspeople, the main complaints and high prices in the shops; wages which they say have not kept pace; and the difficulty of getting a job. Mr. Malcolm Fraser is conducting his campaign largely on the government's record in the past two years in dealing with inflation and promoting enterprise.
Some of the young people are extremely hostile to the government's decision to export uranium. This produced some of the most violent street demonstrations since the Vietnam war. One state, Queensland, banned the demonstration. This rebounded against the government as interference with citizens' rights. It helped the swing towards Labour, now gathering momentum following the resignation of the treasurer, Mr. Philip Lynch because of allegation that he had made big profits from land deals while in office. Relations are still difficult between the Governor General, Sir John Kerr, and the Labour leader, Mr. Gough Whitlam. Sir John dismissed Mr. Whitlam as Prime Minister two years ago in controversial circumstances. Now he is under attack for allegedly backing Mr. Fraser's policies. Mr. Whitlam is accusing Mr. Fraser of provoking disunity in Australia.