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1982 Video Flashback: Fraser Challenged by Peacock; Cain Labor Government Takes Office in Victoria

This video is a recording of the ABC News in Melbourne on Thursday, April 8, 1982.

On that day, Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, in office for 6 years and 5 months, beat off a challenge from his former Foreign Minister, Andrew Peacock. Fraser defeated Peacock by 54 votes to 27 in the Liberal partyroom. Treasurer John Howard was chosen as deputy leader, replacing Phillip Lynch.

The challenge to Fraser had been brewing for some time but was brought to a head by the defeat of the 27-year-old Liberal government in Victoria on April 3. On this day, the John Cain ministry was sworn into office, the first Labor government since John Cain snr in 1955.

Watch the news item (8m):


Labor Governments Rare In Victoria

Steve Bracks will become a member of a small group of Labor Premiers of Victoria when he takes the oath of office on October 20.

Only 6 people – five men and one woman – have been Labor Premiers since Victoria achieved responsible government in 1856.

Labor governments have taken office in Victoria for a total of only 19 years, 3 months and 14 days during this century. [Read more…]


John Cain Draws A Line In The Sand In Speech To ALP State Conference

The Victorian Labor Premier, John Cain, was under siege in June 1990 as his government struggled under the weight of economic crises.

Cain had been premier for eight years, having won elections in 1982, 1985 and 1988. At the June State Conference of the ALP, he effectively drew a line in the sand over the party’s attitude towards his government. [Read more…]


John Cain Claims Victory In Victoria; Third Consecutive Win For Labor

This is audio of Victorian Labor Premier John Cain claiming victory in the 1988 state election.

Cain led Labor to its third consecutive victory, having previously won in 1982 and 1985. He stood down in 1990 and was replaced by Joan Kirner, who led the party to defeat in 1992.

Cain is Victorian Labor’s longest-serving Premier.

  • Listen to Cain (4m)

1988 Victorian State Election Count

These two videos contain the ABC’s election night coverage of the 1988 Victorian state election count.

The election was won by the ALP, delivering a third consecutive victory for Premier John Cain, against the Liberal Party’s Jeff Kennett.

The coverage is notable for the accurate predictions of Senator Robert Ray, the Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs in the Hawke government. Surrounded by defeated Liberals arguing they were still in with a chance, Ray was the first to predict that the Cain government would be returned with the loss of just one seat, Warrandyte.

The ALP won 46 seats to 33 for the Liberal Party and 9 for the Nationals. The Nationals lost one seat, Mildura, to the Liberal Party. [Read more…]


Neil Mitchell Editorial On The 1988 Victorian State Election

This is Neil Mitchell’s editorial on the 1988 Victorian state election.

Mitchell joined Melbourne radio station 3AW in 1987. In 1988, he hosted the drive-time show. He moved to mornings in 1990. Prior to radio, Mitchell had a career in print journalism. He was editor of the Herald from 1985 until 1987. [Read more…]


Kennett-Peacock Car Phone Conversation

Long before mobile phones became the ubiquitous accessory of the 21st century, a famous conversation took place between the then Leader of the Opposition in Victoria, Jeff Kennett, and his close friend, the former and future Federal Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Peacock.

The Victorian Liberals had performed well in a by-election on the evening of Saturday March 23, 1987. On his way home by car, Kennett rang Peacock. The call was intercepted by a man with a scanner. The conversation found its way onto the front pages of the newspapers and the Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, sacked Peacock from the shadow ministry. [Read more…]


John Howard Takes Liberal Leadership As Andrew Peacock Miscalculates

John Howard became leader of the Liberal Party for the first time at a bizarre meeting of the parliamentary party called to remove him as deputy leader.

The party meeting was called by leader Andrew Peacock in an attempt to remove Howard from the deputy leadership. Peacock had demanded an assurance from Howard that he would not challenge for the leadership but Howard refused to give one.

A contest between Howard and John Moore saw Howard re-elected deputy leader by 38 votes to 31. Peacock then resigned and Howard was elected leader, defeating Jim Carlton by 57 votes to 6. Neil Brown became deputy leader. [Read more…]


Celebrating The Hawke And Cain Labor Governments

The Victorian ALP held a function in April 1983 to celebrate the advent of federal and state Labor governments.

The Cain Labor government was elected on April 3, 1982. It was the first Labor government in Victoria since 1955 and had just celebrated its first anniversary.

The Hawke government was elected on March 5, 1983. It was the first federal Labor government since the dismissal of the Whitlam government on November 11, 1975.

For the first time since 1947, there was a Labor government in Canberra and a Labor government in Victoria.

To celebrate the occasion, and in recognition of Bob Hawke’s status as a Victorian member of Parliament, the ALP held a Gala Dinner Dance at the St. Kilda Town Hall on April 29, 1983. [Read more…]


Rupert “Dick” Hamer Announces His Resignation As Victorian Premier

Rupert “Dick” Hamer became Premier of Victoria on August 23, 1972, succeeding the long-serving Sir Henry Bolte.

He served as Premier for nearly nine years, winning elections in 1973, 1976 and 1979.

Hamer’s retirement came amidst political upheaval in the Liberal Party, but he maintained that he intended to retire in August 1981 anyway. [Read more…]