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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

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2007 Federal Election: Brave Predictions

This is a collection of media commentary during 2007 in which the writers make predictions about the federal election.

Judge for yourself how well they did…

Recycled, Rejected And Right Off The Rails

Yesterday, in the nation’s Parliament, with hardly a politician to be seen anywhere, we got some election realism. Three rows of recycling bins, whacking big green ones with yellow lids. More than 300 of them. Where? In the basement corridor of the ministerial wing. The bins seemed a more apt commentary than all the desperate, last-minute Coalition windbaggery going on around the nation on what is about to descend on the Prime Minister after 33 years in public life and almost 12 years remaking Australia in his own miserable, disfigured image. They arrived two days ago and whoever they’re for, 48 hours before a single vote is cast today, you felt [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…]

The Right Honourable Sir John Gorton GCMG, AC, CH

This is a brief biography of Sir John Gorton and comments about his life.


  • Prime Minister from 10 January 1968 to 10 March 1971.
  • Born September 9, 1911 at Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Educated Headford Preparatory School of Sydney Church of England Grammar (‘Shore’) School; Geelong Grammar School; Oxford University.
  • RAAF fighter pilot 1940-44. Severely wounded in place crash.
  • Member Kerang shire Council 1946-52, President 1949-50.
  • Joined the Country Party, but switched to Liberal Party.
  • Defeated for election to Victorian Legislative Council June 1949. Elected to the Senate December 1949. Re-elected 1951, 1953, 1958, 1964.
  • Minister for the Navy (1958-63), Minister Assisting the Minister for External Affairs (March 1960-December 1963), Minister-in-charge of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (February 1962-December 1963), Minister for the Interior (December 1963-March 1964), Minister for Works (December 1963-February 1967), Minister-in-charge of Commonwealth Activities in Education and Research under the Prime Minister (December 1963-December 1966), Minister for Education and Science (December 1966-February 1968), Leader of Government in the Senate (October 1967-February 1968).
  • Elected leader of the Liberal Party January 9, 1968, appointed Prime Minister January 10, 1968. Resigned from the Senate on January 31, 1968, to contest by-election for Higgins on February 24, 1968. Re-elected to Higgins 1969, 1972, 1974.
  • Lost 18 seats at October 25, 1969 general election.
  • Leadership ballot on March 10, 1971, resulting from resignation of Defence Minister Malcolm Fraser, tied 33-33. Gorton opted to vote himself out of the leadership, but was elected deputy leader and became Minister for Defence until August 12, 1971, when he resigned following publication of newspaper articles titled “I Did It My Way”.
  • Served as shadow minister for Urban and Regional Development, Environment and Conservation following election of Whitlam government in December 1972.
  • Resigned from Liberal Party November 1975, following coalition’s blocking of Supply. Stood unsuccessfully as independent Senate candidate in ACT at December 13, 1975 election.
  • Died May 19, 2002 at Sydney, New South Wales.

[Read more…]

Quotes From The 2001 Federal Election

This page provides a collection of extended quotations gathered during the 2001 Federal Election campaign.

The quotes cover the campaign period and the election’s aftermath.

How A Single-Issue Party Held Onto Power

We shall never know for certain that the Tampa would have been, by itself, sufficient to ensure the Howard Government a third term or whether it was the combination of the Tampa “crisis” and September 11 that the Howard Government required. What we do know, however, is that when the now retired Defence Minister, Peter Reith, suggested that al-Qaeda terrorists might be found among the Afghan and Iraqi asylum seekers on the leaky vessels travelling to Australia, a politically decisive connection between border control and the terrorist threat to Australia was conjured in the public’s mind. [Read more…]

ALP National Conference Begins In Hobart

The Australian Labor Party’s National Conference begins today in Hobart.

BeazleyThe conference is the supreme governing body of the party and consists of nearly 200 delegates from all States and Territories. It includes all the parliamentary leaders of the party around the country.

Full details of the Conference are available from the ALP’s web site.

The conference will write the party’s platform for the election due next year.

The conference comes amid criticism of Opposition Leader Kim Beazley’s leadership in the wake of the debacle that followed John Della Bosca’s public comments questioning the party’s “rollback” strategy on the GST.

The conference will also elect a new party president to replace Barry Jones. Della Bosca was originally the anointed candidate, but he withdrew following his comments on the GST. It seems likely that right-wing Victorian union leader Greg Sword will win the position. [Read more…]

The Hard Politics Of The GST

After a smooth start to the GST last Saturday, the real politics of the taxation reforms are beginning to take shape.

The political fallout is hard to predict. The ACCC has been inundated with questions and complaints since business opened on Monday, but public acceptance of the GST has been evident at the retail level.

In the coming weeks, employees all around Australia will receive their weekly, fortnightly or monthly pay packets and it is then that the real political contest will take shape as people weigh up their take-home pay gains against the losses of the GST.

Over the ensuing months, electricity, gas, telephone and credit card bills will also show the effect of the GST. [Read more…]

With One Week To Go, Republic Looks Doomed

With opinion polls putting support for a “Yes” vote in next Saturday’s referendum no higher than the mid-40s, and as low as the 30s, the republic debate is moving into top gear.

Monarchists today targeted Tasmania, where polls indicate the highest proportion of undecided voters.

On the republican side, former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, has been enlisted to campaign full-time throughout the last 10 days.

It is beginning to appear more likely, however, that the republic will be defeated.

Click here to read a devastating critique by Alan Ramsey from the Sydney Morning Herald that outlines how Howard has killed the republic.

1993 Federal Election: Final Day Video

The 1993 Federal election ended with uncertainty about the outcome.

Most commentators were pessimistic about Labor’s chances in the election. They foresaw an end to Paul Keating’s prime ministership and an unlosable election for John Hewson.

This video is an episode of the ABC’s Lateline on Thursday, March 11, 1993. Compered by Kerry O’Brien, it reviews the campaign and features a discussion between Sydney Morning Herald columnist Alan Ramsey, ANOP pollster Rod Cameron and social researcher Hugh Mackay.

The following videos are all from Friday, March 12, 1993. They show the emerging doubt as opinion polls began to show a comeback for the ALP.

The election eventually resulted in an ALP victory. Its primary vote increased 5.49% to 44.92%. Its two-party-preferred vote increased 1.54% to 51.44%. Keating improved his majority in the House of Representatives with a net gain of 2 seats, defeating the Coalition by 80 seats to 67, with 2 independents.

  • Channel 10 Melbourne News – 5pm:

  • Channel 9 Melbourne News – 6pm:

  • Alan Sunderland – SBS Dateline:

  • An embarrassing attempt at satire – not sure what channel this was on:

  • Clarke & Dawe on Channel 9’s A Current Affair:

  • The 7.30 Report: Paul Lyneham sums up and assorted commentators opine:


Malcolm Fraser’s Resignation Speech: “Disloyalty Intolerable And Not To Be Endured”

The Minister for Defence, Malcolm Fraser, resigned from Prime Minister John Gorton’s Cabinet on March 8, 1971.

FraserThe following day, Fraser explained his resignation to the House of Representatives. In his speech, he accused Gorton of disloyalty that was “intolerable and not to be endured”.

Fraser said of Gorton: “The Prime Minister, because of his unreasoned drive to get his own way, his obstinacy, impetuous and emotional reactions, has imposed strains upon the Liberal Party, the Government and the Public Service. I do not believe he is fit to hold the great office of Prime Minister, and I cannot serve in his Government.”

The next day, March 10, 1971, the Liberal Party held a leadership ballot. Gorton was challenged by his Foreign Minister, William McMahon. The vote was tied and Gorton surrendered the leadership to McMahon. In a remarkable development, Gorton was then elected deputy leader to McMahon and became Defence Minister until he was sacked later in the year.

Fraser returned to the Cabinet as Minister for Education and Science in August 1971. He became leader of the Liberal Party in March 1975 and became Prime Minister on November 11, 1975, following the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

Text of Malcolm Fraser’s speech to the House of Representatives.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER (Wannon)– Mr Speaker, I take it from what has been said by the mover of this motion that there is no need for me to ask for the leave of the House to make a statement concerning recent Press reports and concerning the office I held as Minister of State for Defence. I was surprised to learn on the morning of Tuesday, 2nd March, that a story had appeared in the Sydney ‘Daily Telegraph’ alleging principally that the Joint Intelligence Organisation had been ordered to report to me on Australian Army activities in Vietnam because I did not trust Army reports. Immediately I reached Canberra, on my own initiative and not at the direction of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), I drafted a reply denying the report and pointing out the function of the Joint Intelligence Organisation. I emphasised that JIO is not an intelligence gathering organisation. It assesses information given to it by the Services in Vietnam, principally by the Army, by the Department of Foreign Affairs and by South Vietnamese Government agencies. It has no officer or office in Vietnam. [Read more…]