- Jan 26: In the aftermath of the Tampa/September 11 election, asylum-seekers continued to be a major issue. The Federal Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, commented on the detention system.
- Jan 29: President George W. Bush gave his first State of the Union address to a joint session of the United States Congress.
- Feb 12: The storm was about to break, but on this day, the Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, gave his first speech opening the Federal Parliament.
- Feb 13: Following the elections, the South Australian House of Assembly was hung. In a decision that outraged the Liberals, Peter Lewis, the independent member for Hammond, announced that he would be supporting the ALP, giving it a majority and the ability to form government. Lewis was formerly a Liberal MP.
- Feb 15: As information continued to trickle out about the Children Overboard affair, the former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, commented on the allegations.
- Feb 15: With Peter Reith retired from the Parliament, the government seemed happy to both defend Reith and allow him to take the flak for Children Overboard. As always, John Howard chose his words carefully.
- Feb 19: Extracts of John Howard’s Press Conference On The Latest Children Overboard Allegations
- Feb 20: Air Marshal Angus Houston’s Remarks About Reporting To Peter Reith On Children Overboard.
- Feb 20: Air Marshal Houston’s Report Of Peter Reith’s Response
- Feb 20: Admiral Chris Barrie, Chief of the Defence Force, Backs Howard.
- Feb 25: In a humiliating backdown, Admiral Chris Barrie recanted his earlier statements about the Children Overboard affair. Listen for Laurie Oakes’ question at the end about whether Barrie felt like a dill.
- Feb 20: Queensland Premier Peter Beattie On Whether Hollingworth Should Resign.
- Feb 21: Peter Beattie Calls On Howard To Dismiss Hollingworth.
- Feb 21: John Howard’s Press Conference In Support Of The Governor-General.
- Feb 21: Simon Crean’s Press Conference Calling For The G-G To Be Sacked.
- Feb 21: Hollingworth’s Statement and Apology.
- Feb 25: Howard Comments On Cabinet’s Discussions About Hollingworth.
Governor-General Hollingworth Under Attack
- Mar 02: Queen Elizabeth’s Opening Address At CHOGM.
- Mar 02: Howard’s Opening Speech At CHOGM.
- Mar 03: Paul Keating attacks Howard over his handling of the Hollingworth matter.
- Mar 30: John Howard Pays Tribute to the Queen Mother, following her death at the age of 101.
- Mar 30: The Queen Mother on Australia.
- Mar 30: British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the Queen Mother
- Apr 01: Prince Charles On His Grandmother, the Queen Mother.
- Apr 04: Howard Announces Limited Support For Stem Cell Research.
- Apr 05: Howard & Premiers At COAG On Stem Cell Research.
- Apr 08: Queen Elizabeth II on her mother.
- Apr 09: Dr. George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, eulogises the Queen Mother.
- Apr 11: High Court Justice Michael Kirby jokes about recent events.
- Apr 12: Treasurer Peter Costello on Border Protection and the Budget.
- Apr 12: Ron Walker on how the Liberals will handle the leadership question.
- Apr 12: John Howard Comments On The Liberal Party Leadership.
- Apr 13: Howard on the likelihood of public support for 4-year parliamentary terms.
- Apr 13: Ron Walker arguing the case for 4-year parliamentary terms.
- Apr 14: John Howard on terror and Defence.
- Apr 17: John Howard discusses the road rules on leadership and crossing the road.
- Apr 18: Leesa Meldrum discusses what a court decision on granting single and lesbian women access to IVF treatment means to her.
- Apr 25: Anzac Day Service: Bruce Ruxton, John Landy, Tony Charlton, The Last Post.
- Apr 25: The Last Post.
- Apr 29: Justice Michael Kirby on the media’s coverage of the Courts. – Read Kirby’s speech here.
- Apr 29: The lady’s not for abdicating…The Queen vows to remain on the throne.
- Apr 30: Princess Anne defends her mother and praises the Queen’s caring nature.
- May 03: Mark Latham comments on the Liberal Party and Tony Staley, and calls on the Labor Party to “muscle up”.
- May 06 Tony Abbott on Latham.
- May 06 Peter Costello on Latham.
- May 06: Peter Costello comments on privatising Telstra, in the light of calls by Mark Latham for promoting share ownership amongst Australians.
- May 06: Paul Keating comments on leadership at the launch of Don Watson’s book Confessions of a Bleeding Heart.
- May 07: Alexander Downer talks about Australia’s reputation in the world and criticises Simon Crean’s attitude to the American alliance.
- May 10: As speculation about the Liberal Party leadership swirled this week, following a series of articles in rival publications touting the views of the Howard and Costello camps, the two men danced warily around the media. Howard talked of the old song On a clear day,
and later commented on the public’s attitude to their leaders.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, was defending Howard,
whilst the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean was needling Costello about a possible challenge.
- May 13: In the leadup to the Budget, Peter Costello talks about how hard he works
and the Shadow Treasurer, Bob McMullan, muses on the viability of a Costello prime ministership.
- May 14: Peter Costello’s Federal Budget Speech to the House of Representatives.
- May 16: Simon Crean’s Speech in Response to the Budget.
- May 17: Controversy raged in the United States about reports that the White House had intelligence warnings of possible hijackings prior to September 11. President George Bush indignantly asserted his lack of knowledge
and was supported by Vice-President Dick Cheney,
whilst down the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Senator Hillary Clinton was asking questions about just what the President knew and when he knew it.
- May 22: On his second visit to China, John Howard discussed the nature of Australia’s bilateral relationship with China.
- May 22: Bob McMullan, the ALP’s Shadow Treasurer, addressed the National Press Club on the Federal Budget, describing it as pedestrian and unimaginative.
- May 27: The House of Representatives paid tribute to the late Sir John Gorton, Prime Minister from 1968 until 1971, who died on May 19. The condolence motion was moved by John Howard
and seconded by Simon Crean.
The Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, also spoke,
as did the Deputy Opposition Leader, Jenny Macklin,
the Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock,
and the Shadow Treasurer, Bob McMullan.
- May 27: Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge were committed for trial on electoral fraud charges relating to the registration of One Nation in 1997. Hanson protested her innoncence and called on the public to attend the trial and judge for themselves.
- May 29: Don Watson, former speechwriter for Paul Keating, addressed the National Press Club about his book on his experiences with the former Prime Minister, Recollections Of A Bleeding Heart.
- Jun 03: The month began with Archbishop George Pell’s press conference at which he defended himself against charges of covering up sex abuse allegations.
- Jun 09: In 1955, a sixteen-year-old John Howard appeared on a popular radio quiz show compered by Jack Davey. Demonstrating a cheeky sense of humour and a vivid imagination when he didn’t know the answer, Howard walked away with a mountain of soap, the only prize awarded to contestants at that time. This recording has just been made available.
- Jun 12: Visiting Washington to be elevated to the position of Chairman of the International Democratic Union, John Howard delivered an effusive speech to a Joint Sitting of the US Congress, attended by 35 of the 535 members of the two chambers.
- Jun 13: John Howard visited President Bush At the White House. Article here.
- Jun 17: Perhaps unaware of the old adage that if you can remember the 60s you weren’t there, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party, John Anderson, delivered a critique of the 1960s to a conference of his party, decrying the loss of traditional family values.
- Jun 19: “Dirty” Simon Crean called on John Howard to “make my day” over speculation about a double dissolution election.
- Jun 20: Following an intense debate between moderates and conservatives in the coalition parties, the Prime Minister, John Howard, announced the government’s support for the establishment of the International Criminal Court.
- Jun 25: Arriving at Parliament House, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, leader of the Australian Democrats, commented on the leaked letter from Meg Lees.
- Jun 25: In response to a question in the House of Representatives, Alexander Downer responded to President Bush’s statement on the Middle East.
- Jun 26: Mark Latham was the subject of pious hypocrisy in the House of Representatives over comments he made describing John Howard as an “arse-licker”.
The attack on Latham was led by Tony Abbott, with some help from Howard.
- Jun 27: As Parliament recessed for the winter break, John Howard lauded his government’s attitude to Question Time in the House of Representatives.
- Jul 01 – The month started with the Minister for Workplace Relations, Tony Abbott, saying that a bad boss is better than no boss and comparing bad bosses to bad fathers. He later “clarified” his comments.
- Jul 01 – Cheryl Kernot launched her new book, Speaking For Myself Again, and said that she still had a Labor heart.
She also talked about what went wrong after her defection from the Australian Democrats to the ALP in October 1997.
- Jul 02 – Meanwhile, John Howard had jetted off to Europe for a two-week trip that some observers saw as a lap of honour before retiring in 2003. In Germany, he was questioned about his policies on immgration and asylum seekers
and about refugees in general.
Another issue on his trip was the question of European Union agricultural subsidies.
- Jul 03 – Back in Australia, the SIEVX affair kept humming along as retiring Chief of the Navy, Admiral Chris Barrie, lashed out at suggestions the Navy had allowed people to die.
- Jul 03 – Laurie Oakes revealed that Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans had once had an affair and the media went into an orgy of hand-wringing about the ethics of publishing details of private lives, although, as Barrie Cassidy pointed out, they still managed to meet their deadlines. In London, the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, kicked the story along by demanding that Evans and Kernot explain themselves.
- Jul 04 – In Europe, John Howard refused to comment on the Kernot-Evans affair.
So did Natasha Stott Despoja, who also worried about the effect it would have on women’s involvement in politics.
- Jul 05 – The National Party leader, John Anderson, said he would resign if his party didn’t lift its performance in the next election, a risky comment for a party that keeps losing parliamentary members. Anderson commented on the party and on the proposed sales of Telstra.
- Jul 06 – Back in Europe, John Howard met with the Pope and discussed kangaroo meat.
- Jul 09 – In the aftermath of corporate fiascos such as the Enron and WorldCom collapses, President Bush delivered a speech on corporate responsibility. Its impact was lessened by allegations about his own corporate activities.
- Jul 09 – Still in Italy, John Howard was hugged by Silvio Berlusconi, the owner of the second largest media conglomerate in Europe and the richest man in Italy. In his spare time, and when he’s not being prosecuted by corporate regulators, Berlusconi plays at being Prime Minister.
- Jul 10 – It took a week, but Kim Beazley finally got around to commenting on Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans, pointing out that if they’d known about the relationship it is unlikely she would have been encouraged to switch parties.
- Jul 10 – On the last day of his European trip, John Howard attended a ceremony at the Menin Gate where the names of thousands of dead Australian soldiers are inscribed on the walls. He spoke of “the terrible battles of 1917” in a speech at Ypres Town Hall.
- Jul 12 – Addressing the Western Australian Fabian Society, Mark Latham delivered a call for the ALP to ‘modernise’. During the course of the speech, he described Liberal Party branch meetings as ‘blue rinse bitch sessions’
and delivered a critique of Peter Costello.
- Jul 16 – As the Tasmanian State election drew to a close, the hapless Liberal leader, Bob Cheek, delivered what turned out to be a prophetic statement about Tasmania remaining with Labor. Unfortunately, Cheek made his gaffe in the presence of John Howard.
- July 20 – A landslide victory to the ALP in the Tasmanian election saw the Greens increase their vote and the Liberals decimated. The Opposition Leader, Bob Cheek, conceded defeat, describing the result as a “debacle” and a “disaster” for his party.
The Premier, Jim Bacon, claimed victory for the second time, ensuring his government will remain in office for at least eight years.
- Sep 11 – On the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US, President George W. Bush addressed the nation from Ellis Island, New York.
- Sep 12 – The former Democratic Governor of Texas, Ann Richards, defeated by George W. Bush in 1994, appeared on Larry King Live and made some damning comments about the Bush Administration’s approach to a possible war with Iraq.
- Sep 12 – Following an announcement by John Howard that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, would make a statement to Parliament, prior to a full parliamentary debate, the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, commented on the government’s handling of the issue.
- Sep 17 – The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, delivered a parliamentary statement on Iraq
The Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean, responded to the statement, as divisions within the ALP intensified over the issue.
- Sep 24 – As talk of war aimed at achieving “regime change” in Iraq continued, and as pressure intensified on the United Nations Security Council to issue an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, addressed the House of Commons on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
There were responses from the Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan-Smith
and the Liberal-Democrats leader, Charles Kennedy.
Shortly afterwards, John Howard, on another London trip, met with Blair and then spoke to the media outside 10 Downing Street.
- Sep 25 – The Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, addressed the National Press Club and discussed the funding and organisation of sport in Australia.
- Sep 25 – Following the Federal Government’s termination of Allan Hawke as Secretary of the Defence Department, the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, directed a question in the House of Representatives to the Acting Prime Minister, John Anderson.
- Oct 03 – Senator Robert C. Byrd, who has served for 44 years in the United States, spoke out against George W. Bush’s “bellicose” and hasty approach to war with Iraq, claiming it was influenced by the looming congressional elections.
- Oct 04 – In Australia, where few members of Parliament have had the courage to speak out in such forceful terms as Byrd, the Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, appeared to side with John Howard in a speech in which he discussed the concept of a just war.
- Dec 25 – Australia’s absentee Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, delivered her annual Christmas Day message to the Commonwealth.