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Cabinet Papers From 1982-1983 Released

Cabinet papers from 1982, the final full year of the Fraser coalition government, and 1983, the first year of the Hawke Labor government, have been released.

The papers were formerly released under the thirty-year rule, but this has been reduced to twenty years. Until 2020, two years of Cabinet documents will be released each year. [Read more…]

Sir Zelman Cowen, Governor-General After Kerr, Dies, 92

Sir Zelman Cowen, 1919-2011Sir Zelman Cowen, Australia’s 19th Governor-General, appointed by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in 1977, has died, aged 92.

Sir Zelman died last night, on the 34th anniversary of his swearing-in as Governor-General.

He held the position from 1977 until July, 1982.

Appointed to succeed Sir John Kerr, the man who dismissed the Whitlam government in 1975, Sir Zelman is credited with restoring confidence in the position of Governor-General. “Confidence in the office needed to be restored,” said Malcolm Fraser.

Fraser was the only prime minister during Sir Zelman’s time as Governor-General.


Zelman Cowen contributed to Australia as a lawyer, an academic, administrator and governor-general.

He accepted the role of governor-general at a difficult time. Confidence in the office needed to be restored. [Read more…]

1980 Cabinet Papers Released

The 1980 Cabinet Papers of the Fraser Government have been released by the National Archives of Australia.

The Liberal/National Party coalition government was in its fifth year in office. It won its third and final election on October 18.

The Fourth Fraser Ministry after being sworn in by the Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowan

The Cabinet papers are released under the 30-year-rule. This has now been reduced to 20 years, to be phased in over the next ten years with two years of documents to be released each year. Because of the workload involved in the releases, Cabinet documents from 1981 will be released periodically during 2011. [Read more…]

Dan Tehan (Lib-Wannon) – Maiden Speech

This is Dan Tehan’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives as the Liberal member for Wannon.

An electorate in south-western Victoria, Wannon is a Federation seat that includes towns such as Warrnambool, Ararat, Hamilton, Maryborough, Portland and Terang.

Tehan won 57.29% of the two-party-preferred vote. He succeeded David Hawker, who held the seat since 1983. Hawker succeeded the former prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, who held Wannon from 1955 until 1983.

Tehan, 42, worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade between 1995 and 1998. He was diplomat between 1999 and 2001, before becoming an adviser to Minister for Trade and the Deputy Prime Minister. He was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Small Business and Tourism in 2006-07. He was Deputy State Director of the Victorian Liberal Party in 2008-09. [Read more…]

1975 Cabinet Papers Released

The National Archives of Australia has tonight released Cabinet documents from 1975.

The documents cover the period of the Second Whitlam Government until its dismissal on November 11, 1975, and the First and Second Fraser Governments from November 11 and December 22. [Read more…]

Sir Rupert Hamer, Former Victorian Premier, Genuine Liberal, Dies, 87

Sir Rupert Hamer, Premier of Victoria from 1972 until 1981, died at his home in Melbourne on March 23, 2004.

HamerA major condolence debate took place in the Victorian Legislative Assembly this week.

Extraordinarily, only one member of the House of Representatives, Petro Georgiou, the member for Kooyong, rose to pay tribute to one of the great Liberal figures of the past half-century.

In the Senate, an Australian Democrat, Lyn Allison, moved a condolence motion that was passed without debate.

It is difficult to imagine the Howard government adopting such a stance if the deceased Premier had been a right-winger of the ilk of Henry Bolte. This theme was explored by Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald. [Read more…]

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…]

Malcolm Fraser: The Past We Need To Understand

This is the full text of the Fifth Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, presented by Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia.

Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, by Malcolm Fraser.

I acknowledge the Larrakia people who are the traditional owners of the land on which this University stands. I thank the representative of the Larrakia people, Mr Bill Risk for the welcome that has been expressed.

I also acknowledge the representatives of the Gurindji people, particularly those who have travelled a considerable distance to be here for this afternoon’s launch of the spectacular banner project which tonight forms the backdrop to this lecture which honours the memory of the great Gurindji elder, Vincent Lingiari.

I also take the opportunity to thank the Centre for Indigenous Natural and Cultural Resource Management and the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for the invitation to deliver this 5th Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture and I acknowledge the continuing support of the Northern Territory University for this valuable historical lecture series. [Read more…]

Fraser Attacks Howard Over Reconciliation

Former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has attacked the Howard Government’s policies on Aboriginal Reconciliation.

Delivering the Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture in Darwin, Fraser called for a bill of rights and said the Australian government had failed in its duty of care to the Aborigines involved in the stolen generation case thrown out by the Federal Court earlier this month. [Read more…]

Alan Hughes: The Federal Election Of March 1983

This is an article reviewing the 1983 Federal Election by Dr. Alan Hughes of the University of Melbourne.

The article first appeared in the April 1984 edition of the Journal for Students of HSC Politics. [Read more…]