12th August 1997
It is clear Japan has a considerable stake in Thailand and therefore it is in their interests to mobilise various aid organisations to bail out the Thai economy, but the benefit for Australia being involved is highly questionable.
It the Australian government can find $1.35 billion to loan Thailand then most Australians would question this happening at a time when many of our own people are in dire need of help.
Our own people suffer from continually growing unemployment with youth unemployment in particular at an all time high and many turning to substance abuse and crime. Despite these and many other local problems, our selectivity philanthropic government, that cannot create a single job, is going to make this huge loan which may never be repaid and simply quietly written off somewhere down the track.
All across Australia manufacturing is closing down and Australian jobs are being exported to cheap foreign workforces. The recent announcement of BHP’s impending closure in Newcastle drew no help of any consequence from the government but now they can find $1.35 Billion dollars to bail out a foreign country.
Our government has it all wrong and the Australian people have had enough of the government’s willingness to rush to the aid of foreigners while the plight of our own people is ignored.
This loan must be debated by the parliament. The decision cannot be made arrogantly by the likes of Costello and the cabinet and there must be full public disclosure of any pecuniary interests of those in government or the reserve bank who may have investments related to the issue.
These politicians / citizens of the world, must be made to stop noting themselves overseas and to start addressing the problems faced by the Australian people. With over 700,000 children living in homes where neither parent has a job, Australia cannot afford a loan to Thailand.”