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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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Top 10 Great Labor Speeches

Troy Bramston discusses ten great speeches from Australian Labor history.

Bramston is the author of a new book, The True Believers: Great Labor Speeches That Shaped History, published by The Federation Press.

The video appears on The Australian’s website today.


ACTU Congress Pays Tribute To Bill Kelty

Bill KeltyThe triennial Congress of the Australian Council of Trade Unions has paid tribute to the work of its former Secretary, Bill Kelty.

At a dinner in Sydney, former Prime Minister Paul Keating led the tributes.

Kelty was ACTU Secretary from 1983 until 2000. Throughout the Hawke/Keating governments, he was pivotal to the operation of The Accord with the union movement.

Kelty’s work with the government on superannuation reforms, wage fixing, tariff reductions and other issues was vital to the economic reform and social legislation of the 1980s and 1990s. [Read more…]


Let’s All Drink To Bob Hawke

The YouTube video below shows 82-year-old former Prime Minister Bob Hawke downing a beer at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

It brought to mind a 1975 ditty by Paul Jennings, a well-known impressionist of the time.

In 1975, Hawke was the President of the ACTU. He didn’t reach the House of Representatives until 1980. He was Australia’s third longest-serving prime minister from 1983 until 1991. [Read more…]


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…]


After Four Years, Labor Is Still Buying Time

The Labor Government celebrated four years in office on Thursday with a manoeuvre that all but guaranteed it will serve a full term.

AnniversaryAs it embarks on its fifth year in office, Peter Slipper’s defection has enabled Julia Gillard to fulfil one of the most important goals of a prime minister: to insulate her government against sudden threats and extend its longevity.

The means may make some pall but the ends are delightful for a government living on the edge.

But not much else has changed. Only the madly optimistic believe Labor will make it to a sixth birthday.

Of all Australia’s federal governments since World War I, only those led by Scullin (1929-32) and Whitlam (1972-75) failed to make it to four years, although death and party-room coups meant the prime ministerial baton was often snatched from one leader and deposited with another. Only Scullin, Whitlam, Fraser and Howard led their parties to victory and then back into opposition. [Read more…]


The Future of Trade Policy in an Uncertain World: Emerson

The Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, has delivered a speech on trade in which he reasserted the Labor Party’s commitment to free trade, open markets and competition.

Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson

Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson

Addressing the Lowy Institute, Emerson said the Labor Party’s guiding philosophy of economic reform “has been a commitment to markets and competition”. He said the “presumption must be that competition is good, more competition is better and markets are better than governments in allocating scare resources”. [Read more…]


Julia Gillard’s Campaign Launch Speech

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has formally launched her campaign for Saturday’s election with a policy speech in Brisbane today.

The campaign launch was introduced by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. She was followed by Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke. [Read more…]


Paul Keating’s Letter To Bob Hawke On Blanche D’Alpuget’s Biography

This is Paul Keating’s letter to Bob Hawke regarding Blanche D’Alpuget’s biography of Hawke.

The letter was sent on July 12, 2010.

10-07-12_keating-letter-to-hawke


Hawke-Wran Review Of ALP Published

A report by former ALP Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, and former NSW Premier, Neville Wran, into the structure of the ALP has been released today.

A statement issued by the two men said: “The recommendations are geared towards making the Party more participatory and democratic, more attractive to potential members, and more in step with the attitudes and aspirations of the Australian electorate.”

Hawke and Wran said: “The Report is the result of a rigorous consultation program spanning nine months and involving more than 2000 branch members who attended Party forums in every state and territory. We also met with community leaders, Premiers and Chief Ministers, past and present members of parliament, national union leaders, women’s groups and academics from around the country.

“The Report is now in the hands of the ALP National Executive, who are expected to appoint a Rules sub-committee to turn the recommendations into proposed rule changes. These will then be debated at the Special National Conference announced by Simon Crean and to be held in Canberra 5-6 October this year.”

02-08-09_hawke-wran-review


Wills By-Election Campaign Begins

Bob Hawke was the Labor member for the Melbourne electorate of Wills from 1980 until his resignation on February 20, 1992.

In this ABC News report on February 23, we can see that the major political parties were quick to begin their campaigns for the by-election.

The by-election was held on April 11, 1992. It was won by Phil Cleary, an independent. Cleary is the only non-Labor member to have held the Coburg-based seat since it was created in 1949.

Cleary’s election was declared void by the High Court on November 25, 1992 on the grounds that he was still an employee of the Victorian Education Department at the time of his election, in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution. He was re-elected at the 1993 Federal Election but was defeated in 1996.

The video features Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe and Opposition Leader John Hewson.