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Archives for 1988

John Cain Claims Victory In Victoria; Third Consecutive Win For Labor

This is audio of Victorian Labor Premier John Cain claiming victory in the 1988 state election.

Cain led Labor to its third consecutive victory, having previously won in 1982 and 1985. He stood down in 1990 and was replaced by Joan Kirner, who led the party to defeat in 1992.

Cain is Victorian Labor’s longest-serving Premier.

  • Listen to Cain (4m)

1988 Victorian State Election Count

These two videos contain the ABC’s election night coverage of the 1988 Victorian state election count.

The election was won by the ALP, delivering a third consecutive victory for Premier John Cain, against the Liberal Party’s Jeff Kennett.

The coverage is notable for the accurate predictions of Senator Robert Ray, the Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs in the Hawke government. Surrounded by defeated Liberals arguing they were still in with a chance, Ray was the first to predict that the Cain government would be returned with the loss of just one seat, Warrandyte.

The ALP won 46 seats to 33 for the Liberal Party and 9 for the Nationals. The Nationals lost one seat, Mildura, to the Liberal Party. [Read more…]

Neil Mitchell Editorial On The 1988 Victorian State Election

This is Neil Mitchell’s editorial on the 1988 Victorian state election.

Mitchell joined Melbourne radio station 3AW in 1987. In 1988, he hosted the drive-time show. He moved to mornings in 1990. Prior to radio, Mitchell had a career in print journalism. He was editor of the Herald from 1985 until 1987. [Read more…]

Categories Of Informal Voting – 1987

The table below shows the different categories of informal voting in the 1987 Federal Election.

The Australian Electoral Commission conducted a study of every informal vote cast in the election and came up with these statistics.

The figures show that nearly half of all informal votes were the result of some kind of incorrect numbering. This suggests that these informal votes were accidental. Similarly, another quarter of all informal votes contained ticks and crosses, suggesting confusion about the voting system.

Blank ballots and those with writing on them made up 26% of informal votes. These are most likely to have been deliberate.

Categories of Informal Voting
House of Representatives – 1987 (%)
State Blank Writing/Scribble Ticks, Crosses, etc Defective Numbering


Source: Australian Electoral Commission publications.


New Parliament House Opened By The Queen

New Parliament House was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on May 9, 1988.

The building’s opening occurred during Australia’s bicentenary year. Construction of the new Parliament House began in 1981, at the initiative of the Fraser government.

The building replaced the provisional Parliament House which was opened by the Queen’s father, the Duke of York and later King George VI, in 1927, also on May 9.

Earlier, the first sitting of the Commonwealth Parliament took place on May 9, 1901, in Melbourne.

These are some videos of the opening ceremony. They formed part of the ABC’s live broadcast of the occasion:

  • Former minister in the Whitlam government, Fred Daly, is interviewed about the new Parliament House:
  • The Queen arrives for the opening and ceremonially unlocks the doors to new Parliament House:
  • Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s speech:
  • Opposition Leader John Howard’s speech:
  • The Queen officially opens Parliament House:
  • Speeches from the House Speaker, Joan Child, and the Senate President, Kerry Sibraa. The Queen meets official guests and then departs:

John Howard Comments On Death Of Sir William McMahon

Sir William McMahon, Australia’s 20th Prime Minister, died on March 31, 1988, at the age of 80.

McMahon served as the Liberal member for Lowe between 1949 and 1982. He was a long-serving minister, having assumed office under Robert Menzies in 1951. He was Treasurer in the governments of Harold Holt (1966-67) and John Gorton (1968-69). He was Minister for Foreign Affairs under Gorton (1969-71). He replaced Gorton as prime minister in March 1971.

McMahon was defeated by Gough Whitlam and the ALP in 1972, ending 23 years of coalition government. [Read more…]

Fairfax Media Charter Of Editorial Independence

This is the Charter of Editorial Independence adopted by staff of Fairfax media.

Between 1988 and 1991, the Charter was adopted by staff at Fairfax’s major publications, including The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review. [Read more…]

NSW Premier Barrie Unsworth Concedes Defeat In State Election

This is NSW Premier Barrie Unsworth’s concession in the 1998 state election.

Unsworth replaced Neville Wran in 1986. Wran won office in 1976 and then won landslide re-elections in 1978, 1981 and 1984.

  • Listen to Unsworth

1988 NSW State Election: Liberal Party Advertisement

This is the audio of a Liberal Party advertisement for the 1988 NSW State Election.

The advertisement featured a Liberal Party version of “Whinging Wendy”, the star of the ALP’s 1987 Federal Election advertising.

The election saw the defeat of the 12-year-old Labor government, originally led by Neville Wran. The new Liberal Premier was Nick Greiner, who defeated the ALP’s Barrie Unsworth. [Read more…]

Bob Hawke’s 1988 Bicentenary Australia Day Address