I am writing to you in relation to negotiations with New Zealand concerning the possible agreement on Closer Economic Relations.
With negotiations on these issues at an advanced stage, one of the considerations we have to bear in mind is not only the attitude of our own manufacturers and other industries in relation to the proposal, but also the attitude which might be adopted at the end of the day by the States-in particular New South Wales and Victoria.
I believe that the responses from those States concerning the proposals, which I attach for ease of reference, do suggest that the present proposals would not be acceptable without major political argument in Australia. I drew Mr Muldoon's attention to these issues in discussion in Brisbane on 8 October 1982.1 I would therefore ask that the positions adopted by the States be taken into account in further negotiations with New Zealand so that political disputation may be avoided in Australia.
I am copying this letter to our colleagues the Ministers for Primary Industry and Industry and Commerce.
[NAA: A1313/113, 82/2989, ix]