Richard Carleton: From The Dismissal To Beaconsfield

Richard Carleton, one of Australia’s best known journalists, has died, aged 63.

Richard Carleton on November 11, 1975Carleton was attending a media conference at the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania. Following a question to mine manager Matthew Gill, Carleton walked away and collapsed. He died shortly afterwards. Channel 9 tonight broadcast Carleton’s last report on the man-made causes of the mining disaster.

Carleton’s is one of the faces in the famous Dismissal picture of Gough Whitlam on the steps of Old Parliament House on November 11, 1975. [Read more…]


Peacock Moves Against Howard; Murphy Sentenced

On September 3, 1985, Federal Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock called a special Liberal Party meeting to vote on the deputy leadership.

It was a fateful move. In his attempt to remove his deputy, John Howard, Peacock miscalculated badly. Howard was re-elected, Peacock resigned the leadership and Howard was then elected leader.

The first two video clips show how Channel 9 and the ABC reported the news. [Read more…]


John Howard Hosts Midday Show

The Midday Show was one of Channel 9’s biggest success stories in the 1980s.

Originally known as The Mike Walsh Show, the program was rebadged in 1985 and hosted by Ray Martin for the next eight years.

On August 30, 1985, Deputy Liberal leader John Howard guest hosted the show, in place of Ray Martin.

Amongst others, he interviewed Richard Carleton and Laurie Oakes. The video below includes those interviews.

Four days after this program, Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock called a Liberal Party meeting to remove Howard from his position. Howard was re-elected, Peacock resigned and Howard became leader of the Liberal Party for the first time.

  • Watch Howard host Midday (22m)

 


Leaders’ Debate: 1984 Federal Election

The two major party leaders met in a televised election debate on November 26, 1984, five days before the election.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke (ALP) debated Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock (Liberal) in a debate moderated by Ken Randall, the president of the National Press Club.

A panel of journalists asked questions: Michelle Grattan, Robert Haupt, Richard Carleton, Peter Bowers, Laurie Oakes and Ken Begg. [Read more…]


Sir Billy Snedden Retires From Parliament; Asserts Tradition Of Former Speakers Departing

Sir Billy Snedden resigned from the House of Representatives on its first day of sitting, following the 1983 election that brought the Hawke government to power.

SneddenSnedden had been Speaker of the House since 1976, following the appointment and subsequent election of the Fraser government.

He did not contest the election for a new Speaker when the House met for the first time on April 21, 1983. He told the House that he supported the tradition of former Speakers leaving the Parliament when they left the Speakership.

Snedden was first elected to Parliament in 1955 as the member for Bruce. He was Attorney-General under Prime Ministers Sir Robert Menzies and Harold Holt, between 1964-66. He was Minister for Immigration between 1966-69, Minister for Labour and National Service 1969-71, and Treasurer 1971-72. He became leader of the Liberal Party after its defeat in 1972 and led the Coalition to another defeat in 1974. In November of that year, his leadership was unsuccessfully challenged by Malcolm Fraser. He was defeated by Fraser in a second challenge in March 1975. [Read more…]


The ‘Blood On Your Hands’ Interview: Bob Hawke And Richard Carleton

This is the famous ‘blood on your hands’ interview with Bob Hawke and Richard Carleton on the night Hawke became leader of the ALP.

It was Hawke’s first major television interview after becoming leader, following Bill Hayden’s resignation earlier in the day.

The interview was on the ABC’s Nationwide program. Nationwide was the successor to This Day Tonight (TDT) and the forerunner to The 7.30 Report and 7.30. [Read more…]


Fraser Calls Early Election As Hawke Replaces Hayden

At the time, it was described as the most dramatic day in Australian politics since the Dismissal of the Whitlam government.

HaydenRumours abounded on the morning of February 3, 1983 that Bill Hayden’s leadership of the ALP was under threat from Bob Hawke. Speculation had also begun that Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser might call an early election.

I was attending the funeral of the Victorian state Labor member for Springvale, Kevin King. There was an air of expectation as Labor notables and party activists mingled outside after the service. Some not-so-discreet preselection lobbying was underway but many of us were interested in events further afield.

In Brisbane, the ALP’s National Executive was putting Bill Hayden to the sword. Back at the funeral, one Victorian MP told me of a cryptic conversation he’d had with Bob Hogg, the Victorian ALP’s State Secretary. This was a time before mobile phones, the internet and continuous news. Political information passed around like Chinese whispers. As the funeral finished, we still weren’t sure if Hayden had gone, and then people who’d turned on their car radios reported stories that Fraser was on his way to see the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen. [Read more…]