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Archives for August 1983

Paul Keating Delivers His First Budget As Treasurer In The Hawke Government

The Hawke Labor government was elected on March 5, 1983. Its first Budget was delivered five months later on August 23 by the new Treasurer, Paul Keating.

KeatingAlthough Keating was only 39 years old, he was serving his 14th year in Parliament. It was his seventh term as a federal member. This was the first of 9 Budgets he delivered before becoming prime minister in 1991.

Parliament was not telecast in 1983. Keating’s Budget speech was delivered in Old Parliament House and was only heard by people who tuned to the ABC’s second and third radio networks, known today as Local Radio.

The speech was more detailed than the generalised and political summary that takes place now. It took Keating 73 minutes to deliver his speech, compared to the allotted 30 minutes today.

The Opposition Leader at this time was Andrew Peacock, who had been in Parliament since 1966. Peacock succeeded Malcolm Fraser as leader of the Liberal Party after the election defeat in March. The Speaker of the House was Dr. Harry Jenkins, the Labor member for Scullin. His son, also called Harry, succeeded him in Scullin in 1986 and also became Speaker between 2008 and 2011.

  • Listen to Keating’s Budget Speech (73m)
  • Listen to an extract of Keating’s Budget lockup briefing to journalists (3m)

Hansard transcript of Treasurer Paul Keating’s first Budget speech to the House of Representatives on August 23, 1983.

Mr KEATING (Treasurer)(8.00) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

In doing so, I present the Budget for 1983-84. [Read more…]