The Courier-Mail, October 7, 1980, p. 3.
A “FIRST” in the Federal election build-up was claimed last night by the Progress Party.
The three-minute speech which officially launched the party’s campaign in Brisbane was claimed by the leader, Mr Viv Forbes, as the shortest on record.
Nearly 50 people in the Adventurers’ Club at Kangaroo Point heard Mr Forbes reiterate the main points of the party’s 1977 election campaign, and suggest they “take it as read.”
He said the program talking about the growth of the public sector and noted that the average Australian working man supported a wife, two children and three bureaucrats.
During the Whitlam years, tax had almost doubled from $7,934 million to $14,084 million a year, and more than doubled again in five years of Fraser Government to $31,796 million.
The party saw virtually no difference between the government coalition and Labor, he said.
Mr Forbes, 41, a mineral economist, said he believed that major tax cuts of $1,300 million from the budget could control inflation.
Simultaneous devaluation of the dollar and dropping tariffs would help employment and make no difference to manufacturers, who were paying highly for imported raw materials.
“We are not prepared to say things that are popular if we think they are wrong,” Mr Forbes said.
The party will field 2 Senate and 10 House of Representatives candidates for the federal election. In 1977, it fielded 12 Senate and 44 House of Representatives candidates.
He said: “We don’t offer any special favors to big business or privileged positions for unions. Our message is to the consumers — the ordinary people.”
To reach the ordinary people in Sydney and country areas in his campaign, Mr Forbes will be relying on meagre resources.
Party literature and bumper stickers and even a specially made record are sold, not given away. And the campaign is partly aimed at building up a national network of support over the next five years — for future election campaigns.
[Note from Economics.org.au editor: Above the text is a large picture of Forbes speaking, with a caption reading: “PROGRESS PARTY Leader, Mr Viv Forbes, giving his policy speech at the Adventurers’ Club, Kangaroo Point, last night — with a candle ready at his left elbow in case of blackouts.”]
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