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Archives for May 1996

Australia And The USA – A Vital Friendship: Speech By Alexander Downer

This is the text of a speech given by Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, to the Australian Centre for American Studies, in Sydney.

Speech by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.


DownerI am very pleased to accept the Australian Centre for American Studies’ invitation to speak about the Government’s approach to Australia-United States relations.

Since the Centre was launched by President Bush in January 1992, it has been an invaluable asset in the Australia-United States relationship. [Read more…]

Sen. Stephen Conroy (ALP-Vic) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech of Victorian ALP Senator Stephen Conroy.

Conroy was appointed to the Senate on April 30, under Section 15 of the Constitution, to fill a casual vacancy created by the resignation of Senator Gareth Evans. His term will expire on June 30, 1999.

Conroy, 33, is a former research assistant to Senator Robert Ray and a superannuation officer with the Transport Workers’ Union. He is a member of the ALP’s right-wing Labor Unity faction.

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Stephen Conroy. [Read more…]

Anthony Albanese (ALP-Grayndler) – Maiden Speech

Anthony Albanese was first elected to the Sydney seat of Grayndler at the 1996 federal election.

  • Listen to Albanese’s maiden speech (22m)
  • Watch Albanese (22m)

Hansard transcript of Anthony Albanese’s Maiden Speech to the House of Representatives.

AlbaneseMr ALBANESE (5.00 p.m.) —I am very honoured to enter this chamber as the representative of the Australian Labor Party for the electorate of Grayndler. I would like to sincerely thank the electors of Grayndler for showing confidence in my ability to represent their interests. I would also like to thank the over 1,000 party members in Grayndler who worked so hard during the election campaign to ensure the seat remained with Labor. I believe that my campaign team, led by the best young campaign director in the country, Tim Gartrell, was second to none. [Read more…]

Howard Proposes Tighter Gun Control Laws And Gun Buy-Back Program In Response To Port Arthur Shootings

On the fourth sitting day of the 38th Parliament, the new Prime Minister, John Howard, signalled his coalition government’s intention to strengthen gun control laws.

HowardThe policy was a response to the Port Arthur shootings of April 28, 1996.

In a ministerial statement to the House of Representatives, Howard said: “The government is strongly of the view that we need effective, uniform legislation. We need to achieve a total prohibition on the ownership, possession, sale and importation of all automatic and semi-automatic weapons.”

Howard also proposed a six-month gun amnesty “during which people will be invited to surrender their guns and full and proper compensation will be paid”. He said the cost of the compensation would be borne by the entire community. [Read more…]

1996 Federal Election: Two-Party-Preferred Statistics

The 1996 election produced the third largest majority ever for a government in the House of Representatives.

The new coalition government led by John Howard won 94 seats in the 148-seat lower house. The ALP won 49 seats, a loss of 31. There were 5 independents elected: 3 ex-Liberal members, 1 ex-Labor member and Pauline Hanson. Hanson won Oxley as a disendorsed Liberal candidate.

The overall swing against the ALP was 5.06%, with every part of the country swinging to the coalition. The largest swing was 8.65% in Queensland. The smallest swing was 1.50% in Victoria.

There were swings against the ALP in 140 electorates. The biggest swing was 12.68% in the Queensland electorate of Fadden. The smallest swing to the coalition was 0.10% in the Victorian electorate of La Trobe.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote only in Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

The election reduced the ALP to a “south-east triangle” of seats in Victoria, and New South Wales, the party winning 36 of its 49 seats in those two States, and most of those in Sydney and Melbourne.

The ALP won only 2 seats in Queensland and South Australia, 3 in Western Australia, 3 in Tasmania (the only State where it won a majority of seats) and all 3 seats in the ACT.

Two-Party-Preferred Statistics 1996
House of Representatives – Summary
State ALP Votes ALP % L/NP Votes L/NP % % Swing To ALP
New South Wales 1,734,777
Victoria 1,388,142
Queensland 765,019
Western Australia 437,694
South Australia 391,516
Tasmania 159,853
Australian Capital Territory 105,323
Northern Territory 42,003
Total 5,024,327


Source: Australian Electoral Commission publications


Electoral Margins Following The 1996 Federal Election

The state-by-state tables on this page show the margins in every House of Representatives electorate following the 1996 federal election.

All results tabulated below are March 2, 1996 general election results. The swing required for the incumbent member to lose is based on Australian Electoral Commission figures. [Read more…]

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja (Dem-SA) – First Speech

This is the text of Senator Natasha Stott Despoja’s First Speech to the Senate.

Stott Despoja was appointed to a South Australian casual vacancy in November 1995. She replaced a former leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator John Coulter. At 26, she was the youngest woman ever to sit in the Australian Parliament.

Stott Despoja was elected in her own right in 1996 and 2001. She was leader of the party in 2001-2002. The Democrats were in decline at this stage and did not win any seats at either the 2004 or 2007 elections. When Stott Despoja and three others finished their terms on June 30, 2008, thirty years of parliamentary representation of the Australian Democrats came to an end. [Read more…]