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Archives for 1977

Malcolm Fraser’s Remarks On Winning The 1977 Federal Election

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser won his second election victory on December 10, 1977.

Fraser’s government was returned with a majority only slightly smaller than its record 1975 victory. The government retained control of the Senate. [Read more…]


Whitlam Steps Down As ALP Leader

Gough Whitlam announced he would step down as leader of the ALP on the night of the 1977 Federal Election.

Counting of votes in the election showed that the ALP had experienced a defeat similar to 1975’s disastrous result.

Whitlam appeared briefly in the Tally Room and announced that when he called the new Caucus together to elect an executive he would not be a candidate for the position of leader. [Read more…]


National Party – Richmond (NSW) Doug Anthony How-To-Vote Card

This is the how-to-vote card for Doug Anthony, the member for Richmond, in the 1977 Federal Election.

Anthony had been the member since 1957, having succeeded his father. In 1977, he was leader of the National Country Party and Deputy Prime Minister in the Fraser government.

He held the seat until his retirement in January 1984, following the coalition’s defeat in 1983. [Read more…]


Tom Uren And Don Dunstan Address ALP Election Rally At Monash University

ALP Students at Monash University held an election rally for Labor candidates in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs on December 1, 1977.

The rally was addressed by the South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan, and the former Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam government, Tom Uren.

The event was organised by the Monash ALP Club and held at the Robert Blackwood Hall. It was hosted by the new state Leader of the Opposition, Frank Wilkes. The ALP candidate for Bruce, Peter Burke, and the candidate for Hotham, Tony Ross, also addressed the rally. [Read more…]


Gough Whitlam Policy Speech: 1977 Federal Election

This is the audio of Gough Whitlam’s ALP Policy Speech for the 1977 Federal Election.

It was Whitlam’s last election as leader of the ALP. He announced his intention to relinquish the leadership on election night, as the result became clear. He retired from parliament in July 1978. [Read more…]


Sir John Kerr Drunk At The Melbourne Cup

In 1977, the Melbourne Cup, the so-called “race that stops a nation”, was stopped in its tracks by a drunken appearance from the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr.

Just two years since the dismissal of the Whitlam government on November 11, 1975, Kerr presented the Cup to the connections of Gold and Black. The horse was trained by Bart Cummings and ridden by John Duggan. [Read more…]


Fraser Calls An Early 1977 Federal Election; Whitlam Responds

Malcolm Fraser called an early federal election at the end of 1977, just two years into his first term as prime minister.

FraserFraser’s announcement of the December 10 election was made in the House of Representatives on October 27.

In 1975, Fraser had won the largest majority of any government in Australia’s federal political history. As of 2013, no government has ever gained a larger majority.

However, the 1975 election was a double dissolution in which the terms of senators were backdated to July 1, as prescribed by Section 13 of the Constitution. As a consequence, a half-Senate election had to be held by May 1978, whereas the House election wasn’t required until the end of 1978. Indeed, the House election could have been delayed until early 1979.

Since Senate elections can be held anytime in the 12 months leading up to the expiry of senators’ terms, Fraser chose to hold the Senate election at the end of 1977 and held a House election simultaneously, a year earlier than required. In this way, he avoided separate House and Senate elections. [Read more…]


Against Poverty – Frank Wilkes Delivers The Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture

A few months after becoming Victoria’s ALP Leader of the Opposition, Frank Wilkes delivered the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture at Monash University.

WilkesThe lecture, titled Against Poverty, was delivered on Monday, October 17, 1977.

Wilkes had been the ALP member for Northcote since 1957, since succeeding the former Labor premier, John Cain, Sr. Wilkes defeated Cain’s son, John Cain, Jr., for the Northcote preselection.

Wilkes became leader of the ALP in 1977, after Clyde Holding relinquished the position in order to enter federal parliament as the member for Melbourne Ports. Wilkes led the ALP into the 1979 election, winning an additional 11 seats but falling short of victory. He resigned the leadership in 1981 and was replaced by John Cain, Jr., who had been elected as the member for Bundoora in 1976. [Read more…]


Sir John Kerr Booed By Crowd In South Australia

This is audio of the reception Governor-General Sir John Kerr received from a crowd in South Australia.

My records failed me on this occasion and I don’t know the precise date. I have dated it August 1 for filing purposes.

This event took place around 18 months after Kerr’s Dismissal of the Whitlam Government on November 11, 1975.

Kerr retired at the end of 1977 and died in 1991.

  • Listen to Kerr and the South Australian crowd

So Sing It Loud – National Party Queensland Song

This is a 1977 recording of “So Sing It Loud”, the song of the National Party of Australia – Queensland.

The recording was made from a 45rpm record (of the thin, cheap and bendable variety) produced by the party during 1977. The record and its cover are shown below.

The National Party’s federal leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Doug Anthony, is shown on the cover, with his wife, Margot, and the Premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. [Read more…]