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Archives for February 1983

Sir Les Patterson Comments On The Federal Election

This is the audio of Sir Les Patterson’s appearance on the Don Lane Show during the 1983 federal election.

Patterson, played by Barry Humphries, commented on the election and the general state of Australian politics. [Read more…]


How To Cast A Formal Ballot: 1983 AEC Advertisement

This is the audio of an Australian Electoral Commission advertisement for the 1983 Federal Election.

The advertisement deals with how to cast a formal ballot.

The 1983 election was the last before the introduction of above-the-line group ticket voting in the Senate. In 1983, every square had to be numbered on a Senate ballot paper. The national informal vote was 9.9%, one of the highest ever. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Advertisement: Malcolm Fraser, Andrew Peacock And Ian MacPhee

This is a Liberal Party advertisement broadcast on February 28, 1983, during the federal election campaign.

In retrospect, it is quite an interesting item. It features Malcolm Fraser, Andrew Peacock and Ian MacPhee.

Andrew Peacock returned to the Cabinet in 1982, following his resignation some months earlier. His attack on Fraser precitipated a leadership challenge that Fraser won easily. Peacock succeeded Fraser as leader after the 1983 election. [Read more…]


ALP Free-Time Election Advertisement: Bob Hawke

This is the audio of a free-time election advertisement for the ALP.

Broadcast on ABC television on February 23, 1983, the advertisement features the Leader of the Opposition, Bob Hawke. [Read more…]


Fraser Says Your Money Would Be Safer Under The Bed; That’s Where The Commies Are, Says Hawke

In the second-last week of the 1983 election campaign, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser ramped up the fear campaign against a potential Labor government.

In a famous statement, Fraser said that if a Labor government was elected, “people would be better off keeping their money under the bed”.

Hawke’s dismissive response was: “But you can’t put your money under the bed… that’s where the commies are.” [Read more…]


Doug Anthony: National Party 1983 Federal Election Policy Speech

This is the audio of National Party leader Doug Anthony’s policy speech for the 1983 Federal Election.

Anthony had been the member for Richmond (NSW), since succeeding his father in 1957. He was a minister in the final government of Sir Robert Menzies, as well as in the governments of Harold Holt, John McEwen, John Gorton and William McMahon.

He was Deputy Prime Minister under Malcolm Fraser and Minister for Trade and Resources between 1975-83. [Read more…]


Bob Hawke’s 1983 Federal Election Policy Speech

Bob Hawke formally launched his election policy speech on Ash Wednesday, February 16, 1983.

The news that day was dominated by coverage of the bushfires sweeping across South Australia and Victoria. Hawke and Fraser briefly suspended their campaigns in the aftermath of the destruction and loss of life.

Hawke had been leader of the ALP for just 13 days when he delivered the policy speech. The ALP easily won the March 5 election, ending Malcolm Fraser’s 7 years as prime minister.

The policy speech details much of the program that was to be enacted by the Hawke government over subsequent years, including the Prices and Incomes Accord, the Economic Summit, Medicare, pension increases and electoral reform.

  • Listen to Hawke’s policy speech (30m)
  • Watch Channel 9’s report of the speech:
  • Watch the ABC’s report of the speech:

Text of Bob Hawke’s 1983 ALP Election Policy Speech.

And the first pledge I now make, a commitment which embraces every other undertaking, is that everything we do as a Government will have the one great goal – to reunite this great community of ours, to bring out the best we are truly capable of, together, as a nation, and bring Australia together to win our way through the crisis into which the policies of the past and the men of the past have plunged our country.

For the facts are there – stark and grim – for every Australian to see. Seven years of Fraserism have produced:

The highest number of Australians thrown out of work in our history; and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression fifty years ago. [Read more…]


Malcolm Fraser’s 1983 Federal Election Policy Speech

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser delivered his policy speech for the 1983 Federal Election at the Malvern Town Hall on February 15, 1983.

Fraser was in his seventh year as prime minister. He had called an early double dissolution on February 3, the same day that the ALP replaced Bill Hayden as its leader with Bob Hawke.

Ten days after this speech, Fraser became Australia’s second longest-serving prime minister. He would subsequently lose this position to Bob Hawke, who would in turn lose it to John Howard.

The speech took place one day before the Ash Wednesday bushfires which swept through South Australia and Victoria. Fraser briefly suspended his campaign because of the bushfire disaster.

  • Listen to Fraser’s policy speech:

Text of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s 1983 Election Policy Speech.

Australians have never had a clearer choice than at this election. It is the Liberal Party that is preserving and building a free society. It is the Liberal Party that is working to fulfil the hopes of all Australians. It is the Liberal Party alone that can keep building for the future. We govern for all Australians whether their families have lived here for generations or only a few years. We encourage all Australians to contribute their best to the best nation on earth. [Read more…]


Norm Gallagher Jailed; Fraser Prepares For Policy Speech; Don Chipp’s Senate Campaign

This is Channel 7 News Melbourne from Tuesday, February 15, 1983.

The Secretary of the Builders Labourers Federation, Norm Gallagher, was jailed on this day. Look for a youngish Kevin Reynolds, decades before his run-in with Kevin Rudd.

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was in Melbourne, preparing for his election policy speech at the Malvern Town Hall. He appeared on talkback radio station 3AW with Derryn Hinch.

Elsewhere, Australian Democrats leader Senator Don Chipp was warning against giving Senate control to either the Coalition or Labor.

The news bulletin is read by Mal Walden, now with Channel 10.

The day after this bulletin was Ash Wednesday. Bob Hawke delivered his policy speech but bushfires were sweeping across South Australia and Victoria and the election campaign was about to pause.



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…]