Reader Response

Misunderstanding about Labor’s business position I AM always interested in reading WA Business News, because I am keen to receive an independent view of business issues in this state. However, I do find it bizarre to read your editorial comment concerning “Labor party anti-capitalism” (WA Business News, February 16. This reflects the attitude of conservatives in the 1950s to the ALP. It is interesting to note that in the 1980s it was then treasurer John Howard who rejected the Campbell Report, refused to float the dollar, maintained high tariff levels, and rejected the modernisation of the Australian economy. It was John Stone, as secretary of the Treasury, who wrote a minute in opposition to floating the dollar. It was, of course, the ALP that put in place the market reforms that allow Australia to enjoy the level of prosperity that we now see. If it had not been for the courageous and bold reforms of Labor in the 1980s and 1990s our economy would not have survived the shocks of our recent past. You and your readers may also like to note part of our state platform, agreed unanimously by the 2005 ALP State Conference: “The Australian Labor Party recognises that modern societies are dynamic and changing, and that Western Australia must be integrated into an increasingly connected world. Not only is Western Australia an important state in the nation, we are a dynamic region in the world. “The Australian Labor Party also understands that Western Australia has a dynamic, free-market economy, where the private sector generates most of the wealth and creates most of the employment.” The Labor Party is pleased to have many members involved in successful careers in industry; to have the support of many small business people, and to have the respect and confidence of so many senior figures in Western Australian business. The Labor Party is not “anti-capitalist”. We are certainly pro-employee, but that doesn’t mean we are against others. Bill Johnston Australian Labor Party state secretary

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