Lang Hancock, “Lang: Why Joh should be PM,”
Sunday Times (Perth), April 19, 1987, p. 9.
WA multi-millionaire Lang Hancock has come out publicly to throw his support behind Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Canberra crusade.
“Joh, Australia needs you,” he says in an appeal to the Premier through this article in a Brisbane Sunday newspaper.
And he raised the likelihood that as Prime Minister, Sir Joh would go ahead with a rail line across northern Australia, linking WA’s iron ore with Queensland’s coal.
He said Sir Joh was a forthright man who was not afraid to embrace far-reaching schemes to benefit Australia.
Mr Hancock said he did not own an iron ore mine or a steel mill. The proposed line was not his reason for backing Sir Joh.
If Sir Joh has a weakness it is, according to Lang Hancock, his loyalty to some undeserving friends who let him down when the crunch came.
There has long been speculation that Mr Hancock is prepared to donate up to $5 million to Sir Joh’s campaign.
Reasons why I believe Australia would be better off with Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen as Prime Minister can be grouped under three headings.
First, the sterling character of the man. Second, Australia’s desperate need of a firm and fearless leader. Third, the nature of the Opposition to be overcome to set Australia back on the right path.
Simply changing the government will get us nowhere.
Over the past 30 or 40 years, each succeeding government has vied with another in squandering taxpayers’ money and buying votes with all forms of morale-sapping handouts.
Governments with lack of responsibility borrow even more money to squander in a frantic effort to get re-elected.
The consequence of such a procedure manifests itself in a headlong rush to socialism, to such an extent that Australia is economically constipated through endless laws and regulations passed by the three levels of government and 11 houses of parliament, all restricting individual initiative and stifling job-creating industries.
In the midst of this mess there has blossomed a gradual usurpation of power from the elected government by some of the more militant trade union leaders who have defied successfully every leader except Joh.
It is obvious if the present Government took the necessary steps to save our country, it would be voted out of office.
On the other hand, I do not believe the Liberal Party is likely to win an election with its present leader because, rightly or wrongly, he was branded architect of the despicable retrospective legislation of the Fraser government.
Even if the Liberals did win, however, it is certain they would not arrest the forward march to socialism because, of the two parties throughout their history, the Liberals have been the instigators of most of the socialist legislation with which we are today plagued.
Consequently, our only hope seems to be to elect a new and fearless leader who has the guts to act, regardless of the outcome of the ballot box.
In other words, we must have Joh for Prime Minister because he will not be worried about being re-elected, because he will only need a few months in office to bang through the few simple reforms necessary.
To initiate a flat rate of income tax across the board; to return the power, usurped by unions, to the elected government; to eliminate tariffs that are killing farmers; to return power to the States and kill off the dead hand of Canberra, and in general return to simple free-market principles.
Joh is a man of simple, forthright, honest character who is not afraid to embrace far-reaching, imaginative schemes.
I speak with first-hand knowledge of this visionary aspect of his character because of the ready manner in which he embraced the idea of a northern, east-west railway connecting the coal to the iron and the iron to the coal with a steel mill at either end.
Some nincompoops say it is my railway and my reason for supporting Joh. Surely, it is Australia’s railway, steel mills, coal and iron mines that will benefit. I have neither a coal nor an iron mine of my own.
I support Joh because of his ready attitude to help people in distress.
I support Joh because he does not stand on ceremony or protocol, but will get out like a travelling salesman anywhere in the world to sell Queensland products.
This is the man we all need to represent Australia. We need a man as Prime Minister, who, despite all forms of character assassination and innuendo thrown at him by cowardly ink-slingers who try to denigrate him from the security of their back room dens without facing the man in public, still holds his head high and is admired for doing so by all decent-minded Australians.
If Joh has a weakness, it is in showing compassion to people who are not worthy of his support, or loyalty to some friends who have traded on that loyalty and let Joh down when the crunch came.
Joh — Australia needs you!
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