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A Year After His Defeat, Malcolm Fraser Talks To Peter Couchman

This is a recording of Peter Couchman’s interview with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in 1984.

The date of the interview is unknown but I estimate it to be around one year after Fraser’s defeat in the 1983 Federal Election.

For filing purposes, I have dated it March 5, 1984, the anniversary of the election defeat.

The interview was conducted on Melbourne radio station 3AW.

  • Listen to Fraser’s interview (16m)

The Day After: 3AW Midday News Reports the Hawke Victory

This is a news bulletin reporting the election of the Hawke government in 1983.

The bulletin was broadcast on Melbourne commercial radio station 3AW at 12.00 noon on Sunday, March 6, 1983.

It was the day after Bob Hawke claimed victory in the March 5 election, bringing to an end the Fraser coalition government, which had been in office since November 11, 1975.

The ALP won a net increase of 24 seats to hold 75 seats to 50 in the House of Representatives. It won 53.23% of the national two-party-preferred vote, a swing of 3.6%, and 49.48% of the primary vote, an increase of 4.34% over its 1980 result.

Unfortunately, the recording cuts out at the 8-minute mark, but I assume it was a 10-minute bulletin. That, alone, is an interesting fact about a commercial radio news bulletin at that time, as is the level of detail in the bulletin.


John Howard Comments On The 1983 Election Defeat And His Leadership Ambitions

The day after the Coalition’s defeat in the 1983 federal election, the outgoing Treasurer, John Howard, commented on his leadership ambitions in the Liberal Party.

Howard was 43 years old. He had entered parliament in 1974 and served as a minister throughout the seven years of the Fraser government, notably as Treasurer between 1977-83. His rivalry with Andrew Peacock was well-established in 1983, although the full scale of the competition was not yet evident. [Read more…]


Derryn Hinch Suspended By 3AW After Breaking Election Blackout

Two days before the 1980 federal election, broadcaster Derryn Hinch was suspended by Melbourne radio station 3AW for breaking the blackout on electronic election coverage.

For many years, radio and television stations were banned from covering federal politics in the final two days from midnight on the Wednesday prior to election day. Political party advertisements were also banned. The ban did not apply to newspapers.

Hinch had consistently opposed the blackout. On October 16, 1980, with the ban in effect, he went on air at 8.30am, having earlier declared that he would break the blackout.

The broadcast had a 7-second delay. Management was happy to milk the occasion with little risk to the station’s licence.

In those days, Hinch had a daily segment called “What the papers say” in which he summarised the main stories from the daily newspapers. It was in this segment that he intended to break the electronic blackout by reading from the newspapers which were not affected by the ban.

  • Listen to the broadcast as it happened (5m)

3AW took Hinch off air but he returned the following week.

Some years later, the electonic blackout was repealed. Political advertisements remain banned in the final two days of an election campaign but there are no longer any restrictions on news and current affairs coverage of the final days of an election campaign.

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This picture was taken by Rennie Ellis in 1979. It shows Hinch with Playboy Playmate Allyson Best at the Hilton Hotel. It has nothing to do with the election blackout and is gratuitously reproduced here, probably in breach of copyright:

Derryn Hinch