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Don Chipp, Founder Of Australian Democrats, Dies At 81

The former Liberal minister and founder of the Australian Democrats, Don Chipp, has died in Melbourne, aged 81.

Don Chipp, Australian Democrats founderChipp was born on August 21, 1925. He was elected as the Liberal Party member for the House of Representatives division of Higinbotham at a by-election on December 10, 1960. The division was renamed Hotham in 1969. Chipp held the seat until the 1977 elections.

Chipp was appointed Minister for the Navy by Prime Minister Harold Holt on December 14, 1966, a position he held until dropped by Prime Minister John Gorton on February 28, 1968. Gorton brought Chipp back to his government as Minister for Customs and Excise on November 12, 1969. Chipp held this portfolio until December 5, 1972, following the defeat of the William McMahon coalition government. [Read more…]


Democrats’ Leadership Contest Causing Bitterness

The battle between Australian Democrats Leader, Senator Meg Lees, and her challenger, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja, has grown increasingly bitter following an intervention by the party’s founder.

Former Senator Don Chipp, who founded the party in 1977 and served as its leader until 1986, on Sunday called for the Democrats’ membership to elect the 31-year-old South Australian senator.

Chipp claimed that it was possible that One Nation might control the balance of power in the Senate after this year’s federal election. He argued that this could only be resisted by a revitalised Australian Democrats led by Stott-Despoja.

Lees must go, Chipp argued, to save her party and to save Australia. [Read more…]


1984 Post-Election Analysis: McMullan, Henderson And Butman

The document shown here provides an analysis of the 1984 Federal Election from the perspectives of operatives from the ALP, Liberal and Democrats

The booklet was originally produced by the Victorian Association of Social Studies Teachers (VASST) and reproduced by the Correspondence School.

The ALP perspective is provided by Bob McMullan, the National Secretary of the ALP. Later, McMcullan became a federal Labor senator (1988-96) and MP (1998-2010). He served as a minister in the Keating government (1993-96).

The Liberal perspective is provided by Dr. Gerard Henderson, senior advisor to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, John Howard. [Read more…]


Final Television Broadcasts: 1983 Federal Election

This is the audio of the final television broadcasts by the major political parties for the 1983 Federal Election.

Each broadcast was shown on the ABC as part of its statutory requirement to provide time to the parties during an election.

They were shown on the Wednesday night before the election, a few hours before the electronic blackout on election material. [Read more…]


Don Chipp On His Faith In Bob Hawke

This is audio of an interview with the Australian Democrats leader, Senator Don Chipp, during the 1983 federal election campaign.

Chipp, a former Liberal who established the Australian Democrats in 1977, discusses his faith in ALP leader Bob Hawke. [Read more…]


Norm Gallagher Jailed; Fraser Prepares For Policy Speech; Don Chipp’s Senate Campaign

This is Channel 7 News Melbourne from Tuesday, February 15, 1983.

The Secretary of the Builders Labourers Federation, Norm Gallagher, was jailed on this day. Look for a youngish Kevin Reynolds, decades before his run-in with Kevin Rudd.

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was in Melbourne, preparing for his election policy speech at the Malvern Town Hall. He appeared on talkback radio station 3AW with Derryn Hinch.

Elsewhere, Australian Democrats leader Senator Don Chipp was warning against giving Senate control to either the Coalition or Labor.

The news bulletin is read by Mal Walden, now with Channel 10.

The day after this bulletin was Ash Wednesday. Bob Hawke delivered his policy speech but bushfires were sweeping across South Australia and Victoria and the election campaign was about to pause.



Don Chipp Resigns From The Liberal Party

Don Chipp, the member for Hotham, announced his resignation from the Liberal Party to the House of Representatives on March 24, 1977.

ChippChipp was the Liberal member for Higinbotham from 1960. The seat was renamed Hotham in 1969.

Chipp served as a minister in the Holt, Gorton and McMahon governments from 1967 until the Coalition was defeated in 1972. He became identified with the “small-l liberal” grouping in the party. As Minister for Customs and Excise, Chipp’s attitude to censorship cemented his reputation as a small-l liberal.

Despite being a shadow minister during 1972-75 and a minister in the Fraser caretaker government following the Whitlam Dismissal, Fraser dropped him after the 1975 election. [Read more…]