The Twenty-Eighth Parliament was dissolved after only 18 months as a result of the controversy over the appointment of the DLP Senator Vince Gair as Australian Ambassador to Ireland.
The subsequent announcement by the Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Snedden, that the coalition parties would block the goverment’s Supply Bills in the Senate caused Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to respond by calling a double dissolution election for May 18, 1974.
- Listen to the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, David Smith, read the dissolution proclamation on the steps of Parliament House at noon on April 11, 1974:
By PAUL HASLUCK, the
Governor-General of Australia
WHEREAS by section 57 of the Constitution it is provided that if the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously:
AND WHEREAS the conditions upon which the Governor-General is empowered by that section of the Constitution to dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously have been fulfilled in respect of the several proposed laws intituled-
- Commonwealth Electoral Act (No. 2) 1973
- Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973
- Representation Act 1973
- Health Insurance Commission Act 1973
- Health Insurance Act 1973
- Petroleum and Minerals Authority Act 1973
NOW THEREFORE, I Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck, the Governor-General of Australia, do by this my Proclamation dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives.
(L.S.) Given under my hand and the Great Seal of Australia on 11 April 1974.
By His Excellency’s Command,