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Archives for 2002

2002 Christmas Messages: Howard, Crean And Hollingworth

Prime Minister John Howard’s Christmas Message

HowardDec 24 – Christmas is a time for all of us to be thankful that we live in Australia with all that it has to offer. It is a time of hope and, for many, spiritual renewal.

Our thoughts go out, especially, to the families of the young and innocent who perished at the hand of evil in Bali. We feel for the citizens of other nations who have shared our loss and hope that memories of earlier times will help to sustain them all through their grief.

Equally, we celebrate the courage exhibited by the survivors and recognise the efforts of emergency personnel. [Read more…]

Queen Elizabeth II’s 2002 Christmas Message

This is Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Message to the Commonwealth.

This is the 50th Christmas Message, since the Queen ascended to the throne in February 1952. [Read more…]

Primary Votes In Victorian State Elections 1996-2002

The table shows the percentage of primary votes achieved by the major parties in state elections in 1996, 1999 and 2002. [Read more…]

British Reforms To Parliament’s Sitting Times

Sitting times for Britain’s House of Commons will change from early next year.

This article is extracted from The Backbencher email newsletter published by The Guardian.

The Guardian’s political editor, Michael White, hopes he is wrong to be sceptical about the reforms to parliament’s working hours.

Today was the last prime minister’s question time to be held at 3 o’clock. It’s difficult to remember now, but five or six years ago prime ministers used to arrive on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3.15pm for two sessions a week – two different accountabilities, as opposition and backbench MPs might put it. Tony Blair unilaterally changed it to one session of 30 minutes: the same amount of time but only one period of accountability. It annoyed quite a lot of people, but we have got used to it. [Read more…]

Victoria: State Of The Parties 1996-2002

This table shows the state of the parties in the Victorian parliament between 1996 and 2002.

The Kennett-led Coalition government won its second term in 1996. In 1999, Steve Bracks became Premier of a minority Labor government. In 2002, Bracks won the largest majority in the history of the Victorian parliament.

Victorian Parliament
Party Leg
42 43 44
36 35
7 6
Current: Majority Labor Government, first elected 1999
Premier: Steve Bracks


A Brief History of the Bracks Labor Government

The Bracks Labor Government took office in Victoria on October 20, 1999. The election of September 18 had resulted in the surprise defeat of the coalition government led by Jeff Kennett since October 1992.

BracksFollowing the general election, the ALP had increased its share of the seats in the Legislative Assembly from 29 to 41. The coalition parties had 43 seats and 3 more (Mildura, Gippsland West and Gippsland West) were held by independents.

A supplementary election was required in the electorate of Frankston East, caused by the death on polling day of the sitting member, Peter McLellan. McLellan had been elected as a Liberal, but had sat as an independent since 1997, following his resignation in which he cited concern at the direction of government policies, particularly in relation to changes to the office of Auditor-General. [Read more…]

ALP Proposes Office Of National Security

The ALP has proposed an Office of National Security to identify threats to Australia and direct Australia’s national security and intelligance effort.

The Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean, says the national security policy established during the Cold War “is no longer equipped to meet the threat now posed to Australia by global terrorism”.

Text of a statement released by Simon Crean, Leader of the Opposition.

A Federal Labor Government will establish an Office of National Security to identify threats to Australia and direct Australia’s national security and intelligence effort.

The Office will be headed by a National Security Adviser who will report directly to the Prime Minister, and take direct responsibility for the co-ordination of all national security and intelligence information. [Read more…]

Simon Crean’s Address To The National Press Club

This is the text of Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s Address to the National Press Club.

Text of Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s Address to the National Press Club.

CreanIt’s a shame this speech coincided with the Prime Minister’s XI cricket match, but by the size of our audience here today it looks like England batted first.

The first twelve months

It’s been a difficult twelve months – for me, the party and the nation.

But it’s been a tougher twelve months for Australian families.

I want to change things for them, and for the better. [Read more…]

Carmen Lawrence Quits ALP Frontbench

Dr. Carmen Lawrence, the ALP member for Fremantle, former Federal Minister for Health and Western Australian Premier, has resigned from the ALP shadow ministry.

LawrenceAnnouncing her decision at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Dr. Lawrence said had found that the shadow cabinet had “become incredibly conservative – timid, even.” She said was “not able to continue to support and defend policies which, in my view are devised with one eye on the polls, and another on media impact.”

Lawrence’s resignation coincides with the release of the party’s new policy on asylum seekers.

In a wide-ranging statement, Lawrence said she “hated” the ALP’s “acquiescence” on the Tampa issue in 2001. “It’s part of our task in politics to bring the Australian community with us and not to treat them as if they’re incapable of changing their views and in fact assuming that they’re terminally bigoted.”

Lawrence condemned the prevailing culture of the ALP, saying that she wanted to help “take back the heart and the soul of the Labor Party – away from those people for whom it’s good enough to get up in the morning just to think that we’re going to be slightly better managed on that day.” [Read more…]

Labor Releases Asylum-Seekers Policy

The ALP has released a new policy on asylum-seekers that aims to “smash onshore and offshore people smuggling rings” and proposes to station Federal Police officers in Indonesia.

Opposition Leader Simon Crean and Shadow Immigration and Population minister Julia Gillard released the policy. Its key feature is the establishment of a $600 million Australian Coastguard, described as “a cop on the beat 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.

In response to the policy, Dr. Carmen Lawrence, the shadow minister for indigenous affairs, the arts and the status of women, has resigned. The former premier of Western Australia described the ALP’s policy stance as “incredibly conservative and timid”.

The full policy document appears at the bottom of this page.

The Australian

Executive Summary of the ALP’s Asylum-Seeker policy.


The number one priority of the Australian Government is to protect Australia. Labor has a proud record of doing so and will always put protecting Australia first.

Labor will protect Australia’s borders with a $600 million Australian Coastguard, a cop on the beat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. [Read more…]