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Archives for May 2002

John Gorton Memorial Service; Howard Speaks, Hughes Excoriates Fraser

This is audio from the memorial service held for the former Prime Minister, Sir John Gorton.

Gorton died on May 19, 2002, at the age of 90.

The first clip features Prime Minister John Howard.

The second clip is from barrister Tom Hughes, who served as Gorton’s Attorney-General from 1969 until 1971. It contains an excoriating attack on former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, the man who resigned as Gorton’s Defence Minister in March 1971, precipitating Gorton’s downfall. [Read more…]


Paul Foley: Ambassador To East Timor

Paul Foley, a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been appointed Australia’s first Ambassador to East Timor.

The appointment was announced today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

Text of media release by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

FoleyI have today announced the appointment of Paul Foley as Australian Ambassador to East Timor.

East Timor’s independence ceremonies on 20 May 2002 were a moving celebration of East Timor’s entry into the community of nations. I was delighted to be present with the Prime Minister and a broad delegation of Australians to witness the birth of a nation. [Read more…]


Unfair Dismissal Laws A Blot On The Escutcheon Of Small Business: Howard

In an address to the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia in Canberra last night, the Prime Minister, John Howard, returned to the issue of the unfair dismissal laws, describing them as “a blot on the escutcheon of small business”.

HowardHe urged small business to lobby other parties in the Senate and promised that the government would resubmit the laws if they are rejected by the upper house.

Howard’s comments indicate that the government is preparing the ground for a double dissolution election trigger over the coming year.

In his speech, Howard said: “I want to assure all of you that we will not weaken or tire in our efforts to secure the passage through the Senate of further reforms of the unfair dismissal laws. They remain to me one of the great blots on the escutcheon of small business. I hold strongly to the belief that if we could get rid of the restrictions we’re trying to get rid of we would see more jobs generated in the small business community. There is no reason, according to our current advice and according to current economic indicators, there is no reason why unemployment in Australia can’t fall to a figure approaching six per cent by the end of this year. [Read more…]


Don Watson Addresses Press Club On Keating Book

Don Watson, former speechwriter for Paul Keating, has addressed the National Press Club about his new book on his experiences with the former Prime Minister.

Watson’s book is titled: Recollections Of A Bleeding Heart. [Read more…]


Voters And The Franchise: The Federal Story

This is a paper about the voting franchise at the Federal level in Australia since 1901.

Written by Jennifer Norberry and George Williams, the paper was published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library as part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations. [Read more…]


Cosgrove Appointed Chief Of Defence Force

In the aftermath of the “children overboard” affair, the government has announced a shake-up of the Australian Defence Force which promotes Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove to Chief of the Defence Force and sees the departure of two key players in the ‘children overboard’ affair.

The Australian Defence Force is headed by a Chief from one either the Army, Navy or Air Force. Each of the services also has a Chief.

Cosgrove, who first came to public prominence for his role in leading the peace-keeping mission in East Timor, is currently Chief of Army. He is to be promoted to the rank of General and become Chief of the Defence Force. He replaces Admiral Chris Barrie, who is to retire. [Read more…]


John Gorton: Condolence Speech by Simon Crean

This is the text of the speech by the Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean, on the Condolence Motion for the late Sir John Gorton in the House of Representatives.

  • Listen to Crean’s speech (6m)

Speech by Opposition Leader Simon Crean on the Condolence Motion for Sir John Gorton.

GortonI support the motion moved by the Prime Minister and on behalf of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party I want to express our deep condolences on the death of Sir John Gorton. He was a great Australian.

He was a man who loved his country deeply, and served the nation magnificently in both peace and war.

Sir John did not have the benefit of a close family upbringing. In fact his background made him tough, it made him independent and it also made him determined to enjoy life. He did it his way. [Read more…]


Hanson And Ettridge Committed For Trial

Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge have been committed for trial on electoral fraud charges relating to the registration of One Nation in 1997.

Hanson protested her innoncence and called on the public to attend the trial and judge for themselves.

  • Listen to Hanson (51s)

John Howard’s Address At The State Funeral Service For Alec Campbell

A State Funeral Service for Alec William Campbell was held at The Cathedral Church of St. David, in Hobart, today.

Campbell died on May 6, 2002. He was 103 years old and the last surviving Australian participant in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 in World War I.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, addressed the funeral service.

A document prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the State Funeral is shown below. [Read more…]


Alec Campbell, Gallipoli’s Last Survivor, Farewelled

Alec Campbell, the last known Australian participant in the Gallipoli campaign of World War I has been farewelled at a State Funeral in St. David’s Cathedral in Hobart.

CampbellCampbell died last week, aged 103.

Tributes were given by the Prime Minister, John Howard, the Premier of Tasmania, Jim Bacon, and members of Alec Campbell’s family.

Around the nation, a minute’s silence, largely organised by talkback radio comperes, was observed in public places, worksites, schools and on radio and television.

Campbell was 16 years old when he enlisted as Private No. 2731 in the 15th Batallion of the first Australian Infantry Force (AIF) in 1915. Like many others, he falsified his age. He arrived on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey on November 2, in the last months of the protracted, and ultimately futile, battle that had been waged there since the dawn landing on April 25, 1915. Six thousand Australians and New Zealanders had already died there. ‘The kid’ carried water and ammunition to the soldiers at the front. Becoming ill with typhus, mumps that developed into Bell’s palsy, and other illnesses, he was evacuated from Gallipoli during the allied withdrawal in December 1915. [Read more…]