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Jeff Kennett Dumped From Liberal Leadership In Victoria

Last updated on January 27, 2024

The Victorian Opposition Leader, Jeff Kennett, was replaced as Liberal Party leader on May 23, 1989 by Alan Brown.

Kennett had been leader since November 1982 and had lost the 1985 and 1998 state elections to the ALP’s John Cain.

The challenge to Kennett in 1989 came just two weeks after the federal Liberals had replaced John Howard with Andrew Peacock.

Kennett chose not to contest the leadership when it became clear he had lost party support. Alan Brown and Roger Pescott were elected as leader and deputy.

Kennett returned to the leadership in 1991, after staging a counter-coup against Brown. He subsequently won the 1992 state election against the ALP’s Joan Kirner and was Premier for seven years. Brown served as Transport Minister before being appointed Agent-General.

Like Kennett, Howard returned to the federal leadership in 1995, won the 1996 election against the ALP’s Paul Keating and was prime minister for 11 years, 9 months.

This video is the Channel 9 News on Wednesday, May 23, 1989. It reports on the Victorian situation and the aftermath of the Peacock coup in Canberra.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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