Kennett Dumped As Liberal Leader; Peacock Coup Still Dominates Canberra Politics

The Victorian Liberal leader, Jeff Kennett, was dumped in a partyroom ballot on May 23, 1989.

Kennett had been leader since 1982. He had lost two elections in 1985 and 1988.

He was replaced by Alan Brown. Roger Pescott was chosen as deputy.

Brown and Pescott did not make it to the next election. Kennett was reinstated as leader in 1991. He won the 1992 election and served as Premier of Victoria until 1999. [Read more…]


Sack Call On Liberal Plotters

In May 1989, a well-planned coup toppled John Howard and re-installed Andrew Peacock as leader of the Liberal Party.

The week after the leadership change, the main organisers of the challenge appeared on the ABC’s Four Corners program to explain and gloat about how they overthrew Howard.

John Moore and Wilson Tuckey were the main spokesmen for the plotters. [Read more…]


Peacock Defeats Howard In Surprise Challenge; Nationals Replace Sinclair With Blunt

The Liberal Opposition leader, John Howard, was replaced by Andrew Peacock on May 9, 1989, in a surprise leadership challenge that also led the National Party to replace Ian Sinclair with Charles Blunt.

The challenge to Howard was hatched in almost total secrecy. Peacock defeated Howard by 44 votes to 27.

The week after the leadership change, the anti-Howard plotters appeared in a remarkable Four Corners program on the ABC and detailed how they removed Howard.

Peacock had been leader of the Liberal Party between 1983 and 1985, until he was replaced by John Howard after a misjudged attempt to remove Howard as deputy leader. Howard led the Liberal Party to defeat against the Hawke Labor government in 1987.

Sinclair became leader of the National Party in January 1984, following the retirement of Doug Anthony. First elected to Parliament in 1963, Sinclair had been a minister in the Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments. [Read more…]


John Kerin Comments On Leadership Changes In the Coalition

This is an audio clip of John Kerin joking about leadership changes in the coalition parties.

Kerin was the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy in the Hawke government.

He remarks came in Question Time on the day the Liberal Party replaced John Howard with their former leader, Andrew Peacock, and the National Party replaced Ian Sinclair with Charles Blunt. [Read more…]


How Much Does A Leadership Change Cost?

Following the dual change of leadership in the Liberal Party and the National Party, the Hawke government minister Senator Robert Ray had some fun in Senate Question Time about the costs involved.

Earlier in the day, the Liberal Party toppled John Howard from the leadership and replaced him with his predecessor, Andrew Peacock. Simultaneously, the National Party overthrew Ian Sinclair and replaced him with Charles Blunt.

Ray was the Minister for Immigration, representing the Minister for Administrative Services. He was asked a Dorothy Dix question by the ALP’s Senator Bob McMullan about the administrative costs of the leadership changes. [Read more…]


Howard Questioned Over His Loyalty To Peacock

In this audio clip, John Howard is asked if be will loyal to Andrew Peacock, the re-instated leader of the Liberal Party.

Howard was replaced in a surprise partyroom challenge. He had been leader since since he replaced Peacock in 1985. [Read more…]


Peacock And Blunt Announce Their Leadership Positions To The House of Representatives

In this audio clip, Andrew Peacock and Charles Blunt announce their leadership positions to the House of Representatives on May 9, 1989.

Peacock reclaimed the leadership he lost to John Howard in 1985 at a surprise partyroom challenge.

Blunt replaced Ian Sinclair in a National Party challenge on the same day. [Read more…]