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Archives for November 1997

John Howard’s Address To The Nation On Wik

This is Prime Minister John Howard’s Address to the Nation on the Wik native title issue.

  • Listen to Howard’s Address (9m)

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard’s Address to the Nation on Wik.

Good Evening. Tonight I would like to talk to you about striking a fair and decent balance in this very difficult debate about Wik or Native Title. You all know there has been a lot of debate and a lot of differences of opinion but I think we all agree on one thing and that is the sooner we get this debate over and get the whole issue behind us the better for all of us. [Read more…]

Auditing The Backbones

The Victorian Liberal Party’s Parliamentary wing wimped it again today. The bloated backbench failed yet again to stand up to the Kennett government’s moves to butcher the office of the Auditor-General. Once more, the brave boys and girls bowed down in a terrible conflict of fear and ambition. Reports of a party-room revolt have clearly been greatly exaggerated.

Of course, the brave Roger Pescott resigned from Parliament last week, citing the changes to the Auditor-General’s office and the leadership style of the Premier as reasons. Roger had been a very public and vocal critic of the moves, hadn’t he? Roger had spent months working within the party to change the legislation, hadn’t he? Roger is a man of great political principle, isn’t he?

Roger Pescott was first elected to Parliament in 1985, having defeated Labor’s Doug Newton in the Mount Waverley-based seat of Bennettswood. Within two years, he came within one vote of defeating Kennett for the Liberal leadership, losing by 24 votes to 23. In the internecine and byzantine world of Liberal Party politics, a world where political debate and philosophical discussion is secondary to settling old scores, Roger went on to trounce Kennett and become Deputy Leader to the hapless Alan Brown in 1989. He returned to the fold in a deft bit of political footwork in 1991 that helped return Kennett to the leadership. He served without distinction in a minor portfolio between 1992 and 1996. According to newspaper reports, he wrote to Kennett indicating he no longer wished to serve in the ministry. It was a classic case of jumping before he was pushed. [Read more…]

Vote For A Real Republic!

My ballot paper for the Constitutional Convention has arrived, but the thought of voting for Steve Vizard, Lindsay Fox and the egregious Mary Delahunty is just too much. As for Eddie McGuire, well, it is more than a game. So what is a committed republican to do?

Sure, it’s important not to frighten the horses. And it’s important to present an image to the community of a broadly-based movement of ordinary Australians committed to having a resident for president. Maybe when they see their favourite television, sporting and business personalities running on the Australian Republican Movement ticket the ordinary voters will say to themselves: “If Eddie and Poppy and Mary and Steve and Lindsay think a republic is a good thing, it must be okay”. [Read more…]

The Axemen Cometh

This article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on November 1, 1997.

It has stood the test of time as an insight into the Howard government’s approach to the public sector.

After serving as head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Max Moore-Wilton went on to be chairman of the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited.

Text of article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

They call him Max the Axe – and a lot more that’s not printable. With the help of other like-minded men, John Howard’s chief bureaucrat is radically changing the philosophy and practice of Australia’s public sector – and the role government plays in our lives. JODIE BROUGH and MICHAEL MILLETT report.

On his first day as the chief executive officer of the Maritime Services Board, Max Moore-Wilton drove into the building’s underground car park. There he encountered a uniformed man who stopped him from parking in the space closest to the lift. [Read more…]