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1986-87 Hawke Government Cabinet Papers Released

Cabinet Papers from the Hawke government’s second and third terms of 1986-87 have been released by the National Archives.

Hawke Cabinet

Former Senator Gareth Evans, a Cabinet minister of the time, described the Hawke government, then in its fourth and fifth years, as a “government pretty much at the top of its form”. [Read more…]

Gareth Evans Maintains The Rage

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Sir John Kerr was the worst of Australia’s Governors-General and his legacy was to delay the emergence of an Australian republic, former Labor minister Gareth Evans will tell a seminar today.

Professor Evans will say that Sir John, who dismissed Gough Whitlam from the prime ministership, had a “catastrophic” tenure.

It was not marked by dignity, competence or effectiveness. He showed “far less dispassionate non-partisanship than any politician incumbent of the office [of Governor General].”

Professor Evans, Chancellor of the Australian National University, will open the seminar on “Values and Visions of Australia’s Governors-General,” at ANU. [Read more…]

Gillard Releases National Security Strategy

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has released the government’s National Security Strategy.

The Security Strategy document appears at the end of this page.

In a speech at the Australian National University, Gillard said the strategy “highlights the dramatic economic and strategic shift towards the Asia-Pacific region and provides a blueprint for national security over the next decade”. [Read more…]

Beazley Comments On Kernot-Evans Affair

The former Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, has commented on reports of the Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans affair.

Beazley said he did not know of the relationship. He pointed out that if the ALP had known, it is unlikely Kernot would have been encouraged to switch parties. [Read more…]

Laurie Oakes, Cheryl Kernot And The Unreported Story

For some years now, Australian media outlets have refused to report widespread rumours concerning the private life of Cheryl Kernot.

This claim is made by Laurie Oakes in an article in today’s edition of The Bulletin.

Oakes refers to the publication this week of Kernot’s book, Speaking For Myself Again, a title the veteran Canberra journalist says should be Making Excuses For Myself Again.

[Read more…]

Laurie Oakes Reveals Kernot-Evans Affair; Crean Demands Explanation

Laurie Oakes has revealed that Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans had an affair in the 1990s, around the time that Kernot gave up the leadership of the Australian Democrats and defected to the ALP.

Kernot was an Australian Democrats senator from 1990, until her resignation and defection in 1997. She was the party’s leader from 1993, until her defection. She went on to win the Queensland seat of Dickson in 1998 but was defeated in 2001.

Gareth Evans was a Labor senator from Victoria from 1978 until 1996. He was a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments between 1983 and 1996, holding a number of portfolios, notably Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1988 until 1996. He moved to the House seat of Holt in 1996, when the ALP went into opposition, and became deputy leader of the ALP.

Oakes reported the Kernot-Evans affair in his weekly column in The Bulletin. The media immediately went into an orgy of hand-wringing about the ethics of publishing details of private lives, although, as the ABC’s Barrie Cassidy pointed out, they still managed to meet their deadlines.

In London, the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, kicked the story along by demanding that Evans and Kernot explain themselves.

In Europe, John Howard refused to comment on the Kernot-Evans affair. [Read more…]

Whoops… Gareth Evans Booked for Drink Driving

Gareth EvansFormer Foreign Minister and Deputy Opposition Leader, Gareth Evans, was booked for exceeding Victoria’s drink driving laws last night.

Evans registered 0.074 when stopped in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. He was given an on-the-spot fine of $300 and had his licence automatically suspended for 6 months.

Evans is due to take up a new appointment as Chief Executive of the International Crisis Group early in the new year. Presumably, he will not need a driving licence in Brussels.

The Forgotten Poll: By-Election in Holt

Largely overlooked in today’s focus on the two referendums is the by-election in the Dandenong-based federal electorate of Holt.

The by-election has been caused by the resignation of Gareth Evans who recently failed in his bid to become Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

The Labor Party holds Holt with a margin of 15.11%. Gareth Evans secured a primary vote of 59.78% at the October 1998 election. He obtained 65.11% of the two-party-preferred vote.

The Liberal Party is not contesting the by-election.

A.L.P. Releases A Draft Preamble To The Constitution

The Federal Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, today released the ALP’s draft of a preamble to the Constitution.

Gareth EvansThe preamble was written by the former Attorney-General and Foreign Affairs Minister, Gareth Evans.

Evans reportedly consulted with Aboriginal groups, the Australian Republican Movement, the Constitutional Centenary Foundation and Federal Finance Minister, John Fahey, before releasing the draft preamble.

The referendum on the preamble will be held in November this year, in conjunction with the referendum on the republic. [Read more…]

Gareth Evans: Politics And The Media Circus

This is the full text of a speech given by Gareth Evans, then Deputy Leader of the Opposition, to the Australian Institute of Political Science (AIPS) 65th Anniversary Dinner in Sydney.

Gareth EvansThe organisers of tonight’s 65th Anniversary Dinner were on to something in making the specific theme of this evening the relationship between politics and the media. We needed something to divert us from the orgy of self-congratulation in which Institute members would otherwise have indulged, and this topic was well calculated to provide it.

I don’t want to spend much time making self-evident points about the inherent importance of the media to the political process – although this is the soothing and stroking part that won’t get me into any trouble! Whether we like it or not – and most political practitioners have very mixed views on the subject, probably varying with the number of bruises we are currently nursing – it’s impossible to imagine a democratic polity being conducted in this or any other country around the world without the media. [Read more…]