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Richard Carleton: From The Dismissal To Beaconsfield

Richard Carleton, one of Australia’s best known journalists, has died, aged 63.

Richard Carleton on November 11, 1975Carleton was attending a media conference at the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania. Following a question to mine manager Matthew Gill, Carleton walked away and collapsed. He died shortly afterwards. Channel 9 tonight broadcast Carleton’s last report on the man-made causes of the mining disaster.

Carleton’s is one of the faces in the famous Dismissal picture of Gough Whitlam on the steps of Old Parliament House on November 11, 1975.

Film of the scene on the Parliament House steps following Whitlam’s dismissal show Carleton rolling his eyes as Whitlam describes Fraser as “Kerr’s cur”.

Richard Carleton and Gough Whitlam, circa 1972-75

Carleton is also remembered for his confrontation with Bob Hawke on February 3, 1983. In a dramatic day, Hawke replaced Bill Hayden as ALP leader and the Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, called a snap election. Carleton asked Hawke how it felt to have “blood on his hands”. A month later, Hawke led his party into government.

  • Feb 03, 1983: The Blood On Your Hands Interview – This is the famous interview involving Richard Carleton and Bob Hawke, just hours after Hawke ascended to the leadership following Bill Hayden’s resignation.
  • February 1976: Listen to Richard Carleton from 30 years ago. In the aftermath of the Dismissal, he addressed a seminar for the Victorian Association of Social Studies Teachers on politics and the media.
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Malcolm Farnsworth
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