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Cabinet papers: Gulf war boosts Hawke’s popularity

Guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney leaves Sydney for the Persian Gulf in 1991. Photo: National Archives of AustraliaAs his government’s stocks declined Bob Hawke’s personal popularity as leader soared when he took Australia into the First Gulf War in the Middle East.
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He led his cabinet into an early commitment to support a US-led blockade of Iraq in August 1990 and three months later dispatched two more Australian guided missile vessels to the Persian Gulf.

On January 17 Mr Hawke received a phone call from US President George Bush and subsequently issued battle orders for Royal Australian Navy ships in the Gulf.

In a briefing last month before the National Archives of Australia release of the cabinet papers, Mr Hawke acknowledged taking Australia into battle was very much against traditional Labor opposition to the Vietnam War.

“But this was a case where people listened to argument and we had the advantage of the close personal relationship I had with George Bush snr,” Mr Hawke told journalists and academics.

He recalled the US President had phoned in the early days of trying to organise an armed response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and told him Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney​ was a reluctant starter because he did not wish to risk wheat sales to the Middle East.

“I said, ‘George you leave Mulroney to me’,”  going on to explain the Canadian had given him fine support when he led the Commonwealth fight against apartheid. “I rang Brian … and said ‘Hey Brian what’s this crap I hear from George that you’re not coming aboard. We’ve got a bloody big wheat trade too. He said, ‘OK Bob, we’re in too.”

The cabinet was advised that the “situation in the Middle East has the potential to disrupt global economic activity” and it was a necessary campaign.

Coming under a United Nations Security Council resolution, but with the protection of US forces, Australian assets had optimal security and a manageable expenditure of resources while also appearing as a “strong partner” in applying “international pressure” to a tyrant.

The cabinet was advised that Mr Bush might have a broader range of objectives in “restoring security and stability in the Persian Gulf” than Australia necessarily endorsed.

The First Gulf War locked down several marked transitions in international security soon after the end of the Cold War, particularly in terms of a new preparedness for international (essentially Western) intervention in “peripheral” states. The consequences, ranging from effects on the health of personnel to the mobilisation of anti-Western feeling, would be enduring, but were not foreseen at the time.

Mr Hawke recalled advising Mr Bush not to push on to Baghdad because it would break trust among the allies.

He said the US President agreed with him.

“Unfortunately his son did not inherit his good sense in these matters,” Mr Hawke said. “The second [Gulf War] was arguably the most massive strategic and diplomatic blunder made by any American administration.”

Mr Hawke said China had exhibit an interest in the Middle East and he believed China and the US should sit down together and agree on a process to try and secure a resolution.

“The simple fact is that the Palestinians and the Arab states do not trust America,” he said.

“But if the US and China worked together the chemistry will change. You’ve got to think outside the box on this issue. It’s been going on for so long. And while that’s there, it will continue to be a source for terrorist organisations.”

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

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Cabinet papers: War, a leadership challenge and the ‘Granny Killer’ collared

Then prime minister Bob Hawke and treasurer Paul Keating on June 29, 1990. Former Victorian premier Joan Kirner in March 1990.
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A sandbag wall on the outskirts of Nyngan during the 1990 flood. Photo: Jack Picone

The partying 1980s came to a screaming halt when booming house prices in Sydney and Melbourne sagged under the weight of an 18 per cent interest rate that also turned the Hawke government’s glory days into a distant memory.

And just as recession bit deep, Australia was fleetingly distracted by war.

But the First Gulf War, even though there were marches nationwide demanding the withdrawal of troops from Kuwait, did little to disguise an economic downturn in NSW and especially Victoria, where postwar industries that had thrived were suffering as tariffs fell and protected industries went to the wall under Labor’s workplace reforms. Somebody called Victoria “the rust bucket state”. The name stuck. Many citizens fled to the promise of Queensland.

State governments were hit as financial institutions paid the price of staying at gaming tables too long. In the bush, sheep farmers were devastated by the end of protectionism as the wool reserve price scheme was abandoned, buried under a stockpile of wool so massive that it threatened to overwhelm the entire Australian economy. Wheat farmers fared little better as boom turned to bust and many were caught with properties that banks had encouraged them to buy and falling prices made it impossible to service loans.

Paul Keating seemed the only one who had not noticed when he famously declared in November 1990 that Australia was experiencing “the recession we had to have”.

In contrast to the ’80s, Bob Hawke’s popularity was falling but the day after the Reserve Bank shaved the rate back to 17 per cent in February 1990 he saw his moment and called a March 24 election.

Hawke sneaked back, thanks to opposition leader Andrew Peacock’s failure to impress against the Hawke/Keating juggernaut and Labor’s astute manipulation of the hopes and dreams of conservationists.

One of the first thank you calls Hawke made as he prevaricated on claiming victory at Melbourne’s Hyatt Hotel was to the Australian Conservation Foundation head Phillip Toyne, a useful ally in landing the Green vote.

Labor won an unprecedented fourth term but suffered a 6 per cent swing. Peacock, however, only managed to pick up 1 per cent while the Nationals lost three points. Much of the swing went to the Australian Democrats. It also helped install independent Ted Mack in Joe Hockey’s old seat of North Sydney.

Peacock was history. Ten days after the election, the Liberals elected John Hewson leader.

Earlier, in Western Australia, Labor’s Carmen Lawrence became Australia’s first female premier as a precursor to the establishment of the WA Inc royal commission into the activities of Brian Burke, Alan Bond, Laurie Connell and Co.

Six months later, in August, Victoria followed suit with Joan Kirner replacing John Cain as Labor reeled from the collapse of Tricontinental, a State Savings Bank of Victoria subsidiary, that caused the parent bank to be sold to the Commonwealth Bank. The SSB’s $1.345 billion loss was the largest in Australia’s corporate history.

In South Australia, the State Bank needed a $2.4 billion government bailout. Victoria’s biggest building society, Geelong-based Pyramid, also collapsed with debts over $3 billion. Kirner introduced an unpopular universal 3c a litre fuel levy to bail out Pyramid investors who lost money chasing higher returns.

In May 1991, Nick Greiner’s ruling Liberal/National coalition was forced into minority government with the support of four independent MPs after a state election resulted in a hung parliament.

But Labor’s ongoing federal leadership battle was the main soap opera.

In June 1991 journalist Laurie Oakes revealed that Hawke had given an undertaking to Keating in 1987, the “Kirribilli agreement”, to hand over the leadership after the 1990 election. With Hawke’s stonewalling exposed, Keating challenged. Unsuccessful, he headed to the backbench. But with John Hewson’s relaunched “Fightback!” economic policy tearing the ground from beneath Hawke, Keating challenged on the final sitting day of Parliament before Christmas and became Australia’s 24th prime minister.

Away from overt politics, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was founded and the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommended changes to the way Aborigines were dealt with in police custody.

In the media: rule changes allowed Kerry Packer to redeem the Nine Network for $250 million from Alan Bond (having received $1 billion from the Perth businessman in 1987 Packer graciously backed Keating in the subsequent federal election); the John Fairfax Group was placed in receivership; Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror and Melbourne’s Herald and Sun News-Pictorial merged; and AARnet, the academic and research network and the first step of the internet in Australia, was established in 1990 by the CSIRO and universities.

Floor trading ended at the Australian Stock Exchange, domestic aviation’s two-airline policy and one and two cent coins were all abandoned, the Queen reportedly asked that Australian citizens no longer be nominated for British Imperial honours, the Australian republican movement was launched and Nyngan was inundated.

In February 1990 the “Granny Killer” John Glover was arrested after terrorising Sydney’s North Shore for 14 months where he murdered six women. In August 1991, Wade Frankum killed seven people, mostly women, in a shooting and knifing spree in Strathfield Plaza in western Sydney before turning his gun on himself. Twelve people died in a fire at Dungog’s Palm Grove Hostel, the former Queensland police commissioner Terry Lewis was sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption and the perjury trial of his boss, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, a former Queensland premier, ended in a hung jury.

In sporting endeavours, surfer Pam Burridge won a world title, walker Kerry Saxby broke her 26th world record, the Australian media’s affair with Lisa Curry annoyed New Zealanders at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games and the Victorian Football League transmogrified into the Australian Football League. Collingwood won its first grand final, in 1990, since 1958.

Joan Sutherland gave her final performance at the Sydney Opera House. The younger crowd’s hits included Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinead O’Connor), U Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer), Vogue (Madonna), (Everything I Do) I Do It for You (Bryan Adams) and I Touch Myself (Divinyls), while hit films included Pretty Woman, Home Alone, Godfather III, Point Break and The Silence of the Lambs.

Among deaths were author Patrick White, former governor-general Sir John Kerr, historian Manning Clark, Russian defector Vladimir Petrov, former Victorian premier Henry Bolte, large Queensland politician Russ Hinze, murdered surgeon Victor Chang, businessman Robert Holmes a Court, boxer Jimmy Carruthers and Collingwood champion Darren Millane.

Women were permitted to do combat-related duties in the defence forces, London Bridge on Victoria’s scenic west coast collapsed and Australia’s population reached 17 million.

In January 1991 someone bombed an Islamic mosque in Sydney’s west.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

Families and pensioners to feel the pinch of new laws from January 1

Paper tickets for ferries, buses and trains to be phased out. Photo: Dallas KilponenFamilies and pensioners need to be prepared for a raft of legal and policy changes kicking off on January 1, including cuts to government subsidies and the phasing out of paper tickets for buses, trains and ferries. First home buyers grant slashed
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From New Year’s Day, those looking to get a foothold in the Sydney property market have a smaller incentive to buy a new house or apartment.

The Baird government will slash the First Home Owners Grant for new homes by a third, from $15,000 to $10,000.

Western Sydney postcodes made up the top 10 suburbs to benefit from the grant last financial year, with Spring Farm, West Hoxton, Werrington, St Mary’s and Liverpool the top five. Postage stamp price hiked to $1

Postage stamp prices will skyrocket in 2016. Photo: Phil Carrick

Australia Post was granted approval to increase the price of regular postage stamps from 70 cents to $1 back in November by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The price hike was brought in as the postal service grapples with falling revenue amid the dwindling demand for “snail mail”.

While many of us may not send too many letters any more, the hike is predicted to have a big impact on small business owners. Crackdown on under-quoting

But new measures aimed at cracking down on agents underestimating the selling price of properties will be welcome news for home buyers. Agents can be hit with a fine of up to $22,000 if they breach the new laws kicking off on January 1. ‘No jab, no play’ policy bites

Meningococcal vaccination being administered.

For parents of small children, the federal government’s “no jab, no play” policy will also begin. Aimed at increasing vaccination rates, the policy strips families of unvaccinated children of thousands of dollars a year in childcare rebates and the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement.

Experts have said the policy targets people registered as conscientious objectors, accounting for about 1.77 per cent of children, but will do little to capture the further 7 per cent of children whose vaccinations are not up to date for other reasons. There are exemptions for those who have a medical reason. Paper tickets phased out

Out the door: TravelTen tickets won’t be sold from January 1.

Commuters will have to make the leap to the Opal electronic ticketing system, if they have not already. The NSW government will stop selling a raft of paper tickets for trains, buses, ferries and light rail, as it continues the rollout of the Opal card. Tickets that will no longer be sold include the popular pensioner excursion tickets, TravelTen tickets for buses and Family Funday Sunday tickets.

Pensioners and seniors need to sign up for the Gold Opal card to take advantage of the same discounted fare as the pensioner excursion ticket, or face a fee hike. Fares on the Gold Opal are capped at $2.50 a day.

The only paper tickets that will continue to be sold are single or return tickets, to cater for tourists and infrequent users of public transport. Age pension income test

In another change for pensioners, the income test for the age pension will be tweaked for retired Commonwealth and NSW public servants and retired employees of large companies who also receive funded defined benefit superannuation pensions.

A new 10 per cent cap on income received from those defined benefit pensions will apply to Centrelink’s income test, which may affect retirees’ eligibility for the age pension. Veterans affairs’ pensions and military defined benefit income streams are not affected by the change. One year left of HECS-HELP discounts

Uni students who opt to pay their fees upfront – either in full or in sums of $500 or more – have one year left to take advantage of the 10 per cent discount. Those who opted instead to defer their fees and sign up to a HECS-HELP loan can also avail themselves for the next 12 months of the 5 per cent “bonus” which applies when they make voluntary repayments of $500 or more.This reduces their remaining debt by 5 per cent of the repayment amount.

From January 2017 both types of discount will be cut, under changes initially proposed by Labor and re-introduced by the Turnbull government. Paid parental leave

Paid Parental Leave changes are still up in the air. Photo: Stocksy

Parents should keep an eye on mooted changes to paid parental leave, which would take effect from July 1, if they pass the Senate. The Turnbull government is attempting to “reconfigure” unpopular changes to paid parental leave announced in the May budget, which would have prevented mothers using the Commonwealth PPL scheme when they could access an employer scheme.

A compromise would see all new mothers receive 18 weeks of paid parental leave. If they had an employer scheme covering them at their full wage for less than 18 weeks, they would be able to claim government payments at the minimum wage for the balance of the period.

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The Sydney houses where authors and poets lived and worked

Miles Franklin winner Jessica Anderson wrote Tirra Lirra by the River and The Impersonators at 117 Macleay Street, Potts Point. Photo: Steven Siewert Ethel Turner wrote Seven Little Australians while living at 1 Werona Street, Killara. Photo: Wolter Peeters
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Literary duo Marjorie Barnard and Flora Eldershaw lived at 22 Orwell Street, Kings Cross. Photo: Steven Siewert

Poet Dorothea Mackellar’s childhood home was at 10 Dunara Gardens, Point Piper. Photo: Steven Siewert

Peter Carey. Photo: Steven Siewert

When Ethel Turner was told she would be moving to a new home on Sydney’s north shore, the avid diarist wrote: “We have decided to go to Lindfield. I have named it the Sepulchre but Mother objected so I shall call it the Catacombs”.

Despite her initial trepidation it was while living at “Inglewood”, a square house with a long balcony and verandah, surrounded by towering gums and wattles, that Ethel wrote one of the country’s most well-known books, Seven Little Australians.

The bush setting undoubtedly influenced the novel, which has been in print continuously since it was published in 1894 and has sold more than 2 million copies in English.

But today you could walk by Ethel’s childhood home (1 Werona Avenue), which has been rezoned to Killara and renamed Woodlands, and find no hint of its significant links to this classic Australian novel and its author.

While London has its famous blue plaque scheme, many Sydneysiders would during their daily commutes unknowingly pass by the houses and apartments where some of the country’s greatest writers lived and wrote.

There is the one-bedroom flat in the art-decor Cahors building (117 Macleay Street, Potts Point) where Miles Franklin winner Jessica Anderson wrote Tirra Lirra by the River and The Impersonators.

Or the two-storeyed stuccoed brick house (10 Dunara Gardens, Point Piper), where poet Dorothea Mackellar – who penned the now immortal line “I love a sunburnt country” – spent her childhood.

Cavendish Hall (2 Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay) was the home of one of Australia’s finest poets, Kenneth Slessor, and where he began to write his famous elegy to his drowned friend Five Bells.

And there’s the Kings Cross apartment (22 Orwell Street) where the literary duo Marjorie Barnard and Flora Eldershaw, who penned Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow under the literary name M. Barnard Eldershaw, lived together after fleeing their families.

The only comprehensive guide to literary landmarks in Sydney is Peter Kirkpatrick and Jill Dimond’s now out of print Literary Sydney: a Walking Guide to Writers’ Haunts and Other Bookish and Bohemian Places.

Dr Kirkpatrick, a senior lecturer in Australian literature at the University of Sydney, said knowing where writers lived and wrote provided insight into how the city influenced their work, and in turn, how their work has influenced understandings of the city.

“It is important because it’s how we understand who we are,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

“Why would you read Australian literature? For all sorts of reasons but certainly one of them would be to have some understanding of where we come from and what that means, what the landscape and the environment means.”

But discovering where writers had lived in Sydney was not a simple process. Dr Kirkpatrick and Ms Dimond had to scour postal and phone directories, old rare books and library archives. They also had to contend with street names and addresses that had been changed over time or had been incorrectly recorded.

“There are a number of Australian authors who still lack good standard biographies and even those there are, aren’t necessarily interested in the specifics of place,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

During the course of their research, the pair discovered that many of the literary landmarks in the CBD had been demolished in the high-rise boom of the 1960s and 1970s and most of the remaining ones were in private hands, with no plaques or memorials to mark their literary links.

The closest Sydney probably has to London’s blue plaque scheme is the “Sydney Writer’s Walk” which consists of a series of brass plaques, baring the names of writers, embedded in the footpath around Circular Quay.

But the authors commemorated are not all Sydneysiders and have, in some cases, tenuous links to Australia. They also have not been updated since they were first installed nearly 25 years ago, incorrectly suggesting that several writers including Judith Wright, Ruth Park and Morris West are still alive.

Woollahra Council also has a plaque scheme – into which Christina Stead’s childhood home (14 Pacific Street, Watsons Bay) was recently inducted – but it is not specific to novelists and only a handful are added each year.

While writers’ houses have become key sites for tourists visiting England and America, you can count on one hand those that have remained open to the public in greater Sydney.

There is May Gibbs’ Nutcote house museum in Neutral Bay. Eleanor Dark’s family home Veruna is a writers’ retreat in Katoomba and Christina Stead’s childhood home Lydham Hall is a council-owned museum in Rockdale. Artist and writer Norman Lindsay’s house in Springhood is also open to the public, although the emphasis is on his artwork.

That is not to say there have not been attempts to preserve more houses of writers.

There was a two-year battle over Patrick White’s bungalow cottage “Highbury” (20 Martin Road, Centennial Park), where the nobel laureate lived and wrote from 1964 until his death in 1990.

The National Trust lobbied federal, state and local governments to buy the house and convert it into a public literary centre, museum or venue where artists could stay and write.

But the state heritage listed property was sold at auction to an investment banker for an estimated $3.2 million in 2005.

Nearly a decade on, the trust’s former NSW director, Elsa Atkin, still considers it one of Sydney’s greatest losses.

“To win the Nobel prize is a huge thing and not to in any way acknowledge Patrick White is a very sad reflection on us as a nation,” Ms Atkin said.

“We lost a really wonderful opportunity to do something. It would have been something Australia could have been proud of but money won out in the end.”

The home of May Gibbs (5 Wallaringa Ave, Neutral Bay), who wrote and illustrated Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, was close to becoming apartment blocks before some high-profile campaigners, such as Dame Joan Sutherland and Patrick White, convinced the council to pay about $2 million for it in 1990.

The museum is run by a charitable trust and has one full-time staff member. Curator Stephanie Lake said about 6000 people visit the museum the year, with 60 per cent from Sydney.

Doctor Kirkpatrick, however, was less enthusiastic about turning writers’ homes into museums.

“The sort of writers’ museums you see in London I find are dead, airless spaces. They are just empty rooms, with cabinets full of bits and pieces of stuff, usually not terribly interesting, associated with the writer,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

Dr Brigid Magner, a lecturer at RMIT University who is writing a book on literary tourism in Australia, said the high price of real estate in Sydney could be why there are fewer writers’ houses preserved as public spaces.

“I think that is a big problem because real estate is so much and the public bodies like councils just feel like they can’t justify spending $2 million on a house that is going to be a heritage property,” Dr Magner said.

If money can not be outlaid to purchase the property, heritage listings can also preserve a house to some extent by adding stringent controls and processes for any proposed redevelopments.

Patrick White’s Highbury house, Ethel Turner’s Woodlands and Christina Stead’s Woollahra property are all on the state heritage register.

But there can be reluctance on the part of owners to have their property heritage listed out of fear it would make the property more difficult to renovate and to sell in the future.

“I think there really has to be people who are in positions of power who believe in the value of it – there has to be that sort of will to keep these cultural places,” Dr Magner said.

“It seems like you have to have a passionate group of locals to lead a campaign, there has to be someone who is going to bequest the house or a resident who cares.

“You have to have luck, serendipity.”

Dr Kirkpatrick’s top picks from Literary Sydney: a Walking Guide to Writers’ Haunts and Other Bookish and Bohemian Places:103 Moncur Street, Woollahra: Barbara Baynton lived here from 1890 to 1903 and wrote her short story collection Bush Studies.9A Wharf Road, Birchgrove: Peter Carey lived here when he first came to Sydney in 1974, the year his first collection of stories The Fat Man in History was published.Cavendish Hall, 2 Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay: Kenneth Slessor lived here between 1931 and 1935 and started “Five Bells”.124 Chelmsford Street, Newtown: Henry Kendall here lived when his first book, Poems and Songs, was published in 1862.154 Probert Street, Newtown: Henry Lawson lived with his wife Bertha Bredt here during the early days of their marriage in 1898.

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Cabinet papers: Terrorism seemed a long, long way away

Australian Protective Service officers patrolling Sydney International Airport. Photo: Wade LaubeThe cabinet security committee was briefed in June 1990 on a decline in the incidence of “terrorist attacks relevant to Australia”.
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Nevertheless, the world was getting smaller and even though the usual suspects had lost “traditional support from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe”, the cabinet was warned of a rising threat from “Iran and allied Islamic groups” such as the Abu Nidal Organisation.

“Australia has been relatively untouched by international terrorism,” the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation said in a briefing paper.

“The reasons for this include Australia’s distance from the Middle East and the other advantages of its geography, which deter terrorist travel and allow some control of entry. Also, Australia does not have the background of political and economic involvement in the Middle East which in other countries, particularly Western Europe, has led to a high volume of Middle Eastern entry.”

However, the Islamic groups were particularly active in Asia, where they tended to “conduct attacks in ways and places which reduce the risk of danger to themselves” by choosing objects of symbolic and destabilising value: diplomats, officials and aircraft. But the cabinet judged there was no need to keep the ADF at a high level of readiness to respond to terrorist attacks on Australia’s oil rigs and gas installations.

The government revamped warnings and responses to threats to commercial aviation but decided to charge airlines the costs of Australian Protective Service staff at airports.

Iranian students were still welcome at Australian universities but ASIO advised their presence needed careful “monitoring”.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

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Cabinet papers: Playing catchup on PayTV

The introduction of Pay TV to Australia was promoted in terms of greater local production. Photo: Louise KennerleyAustralia was the only major English-speaking nation that did not have Pay TV services and the Hawke government was anxious to catch up.
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Communications Minister Kim Beazley presented a discussion paper to the cabinet in December 1990. It offered a vision of “convergence” in information and entertainment systems that “will see … these services … become little more, conceptually, than electronic books, magazines and newspapers”, open to individual choice and no longer defined by the “scarcity” that underpinned the dominance of the media owners of the past.

Heroically, Mr Beazley urged the introduction of pay television as a “catalyst to local production”.

He said Pay TV would provide a low cost choice to consumers for quality in-home entertainment and education and information services. Its introduction was to be financed by higher income groups. “Pay TV is part of an evolution of in-home entertainment services in the Western world that is increasing economic welfare by expanding the range of choice in these services,” Mr Beazley said.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

Cabinet papers: Shopping mall massacre triggers tighter gun laws

Police guard bodies at the site of the Milperra Massacre where six people died on September 2, 1984. Photo: Bruce Miller A victim’s car at the scene of the Hoddle Street massacre in Clifton Hill, Melbourne on August 9, 1987.
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Two months after Wade Frankum killed seven women in a shooting and knife rampage in Strathfield, Sydney, the cabinet agreed in October 1991 to what were then sold as stringent new national gun controls.

They included bans on the private sale of self-loading military-style weapons made at the Small Arms Factory in Lithgow and the repeal of the Australian Rifle Club regulations in place since 1903.

The proposals also followed a spate of multiple shootings including the 1984 Milperra massacre and the 1987 massacres in Hoddle Street and Queen Street, in Melbourne.

Justice Minister  Michael Tate told the cabinet that the Commonwealth had to take a firm lead in proposing a national uniform strategy to control the availability of firearms.

“The principle underlying the Commonwealth paper is that the possession of firearms is not a right but a conditional privilege, and that the contribution of firearms to the risk of violent death demands a substantially more rigorous approach than has prevailed hitherto,” Senator Tate said.

“Shooters’ organisations may criticise tightened controls. Other groups may criticise controls as insufficient. In both cases the point is to be made that controls are principally matters for the states/territories to determine.”

Later that month a special meeting of the Australian Police Ministers’ Council pushed through new national uniform gun laws.

But firearm laws in Tasmania and Queensland remained relatively relaxed for some guns.

That changed when Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 23 others at Port Arthur five years later and then prime minister John Howard introduced far tougher national laws that some Americans see as admirable as they suffer regular mass shootings.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

Cabinet papers: Recruiting to cover the loss of defence personnel

A graduating ceremony of Army Reserve Officers at Royal Millitary Collage Duntroon in Canberra. Photo: Chris LaneThe Hawke government cut armed services personnel so deeply that it was forced to recruit 4100 men and women as “Ready Reserves”, a term, regarded with disdain by regulars, which the cabinet had engaged a firm of consultants to come up with as “an appropriate marketing name”.
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In May 1991 the cabinet approved a Defence shake-up that involved axing 10,000 regulars and contracting support services out to civilian industry.

The new recruits could be drawn from either former permanent or current reserve members, of trained standard, or new enlistees who would undergo about 12 months’ full-time training. Experienced personnel could serve part-time for five years while newcomers were to be taken on for one-year full-time and four years part-time.

Defence Minister Robert Ray told the cabinet that military exercises had “confirmed the need for greater numbers of army and air force combat personnel for the conduct of protracted and widespread operations in the North”.

“The corresponding reduction in permanent force strength may draw criticism on the basis that it degrades Defence capability and the new scheme may be considered to reduce the status of the current reserves,” Senator Ray said.

“Defence commentators should welcome the scheme as responding imaginatively to strategic, societal, economic and demographic realities.”

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

Cabinet papers: How the deaths in custody royal commission changed policy

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Robert Tickner. Photo: Michael Bowers The Mabo case legal team: solicitor Greg McIntyre, barrister Ron Castan, Eddie Koiki Mabo and barrister Bryan Keon-Cohen at the High Court in 1991. Photo: Mabo: Life of an Island Man
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Ninety years after federation the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody changed the way that government shaped policies affecting Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Robert Tickner told the cabinet in early April 1991 that it faced a “critical” moment in the development of Aboriginal affairs policy – one in which “some action, albeit minimal” might be sufficient to “reassure the community that the government is serious” about these matters. “Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders,” he said, “are experiencing for the first time the opportunity to determine funding and policy directions.”

More pointedly, he cautioned that “a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (70 per cent are under 30 years of age)” were looking for “a continuing government commitment to deliver social justice”.

Four months earlier, the cabinet was advised, for example, that there was a chronic “deficiency in information on the efficiency and effectiveness” of 64 health centres after ministers agreed to establish them to better address infant mortality, tuberculosis and leprosy.

Treasury and Finance pointed out that until the priorities for such programs was established, their performance could not be assessed.

The royal commission report, released in April 1991, found that “the immediate causes of the deaths do not include foul play, in the sense of unlawful, deliberate killing of Aboriginal prisoners by police and prison officers” but its 339 recommendations helped drive planning and policy and addressed the impasse suggested by the Treasury and Finance criticisms.

The royal commission hearings had highlighted the shameful treatment of Indigenous Australians and the cabinet had moved to head off the growing furore by 1990, establishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. As the royal commission report release date neared a Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation was announced.

The council – comprising 25 prominent Australians, half of whom would be Indigenous – also had a role in advising ATSIC on the “development or delivery of socioeconomic development programs” which would dispel, rise above or bypass entrenched racism in Australia.

In August 1991 the cabinet agreed on first priorities in “law and justice, health worker training, [and] Aboriginal participation in developing, interpreting and using health indicators”. Symbolically, the cabinet also agreed to “move quickly on legislation against racial vilification and to the proposed accession to the Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights”.

It was to be another four years before the racial hatred provisions were added to the Racial Discrimination Act, but the protocol was ratified in September 1991.

In May 1991 the cabinet was briefed on the progress of the case that Torres Strait Islander Eddie Mabo had brought before the High Court. The justices, the cabinet was advised, were “likely to be sympathetic to arguments in support of recognition of some form of land rights” in the form of native title, but the nature of those rights, and the “fiduciary relationship” they might establish between the government and Indigenous peoples, was unclear.

On that basis, the cabinet agreed that the Commonwealth should not participate in the case: to do so would send unhelpful signals. Judgment in Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) was not delivered until June 1992.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

Cabinet papers: New over-the-horizon radar system flies

The cabinet gave the go-ahead for construction of Australia’s powerful Jindalee over-the-horizon radar system (JORN).
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The military system is based at Laverton in Western Australia and Longreach in Queensland and is designed to provide 24-hour all-weather detection of surface vessels and low flying aircraft across the northern approaches to Australia at a range of up to 3000 kilometres.

In a redacted submission, Defence Minister Robert Ray told the cabinet in November 1990 that the over-the-horizon radar system was essential for Australia’s defence.

Telstra, in association with GEC-Marconi, became the prime contractor for the $970 million project in June 1991.

Curiously, JORN was unable to provide any analysis or detect any sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 after it disappear in March 2014, reputedly somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

The over-the-horizon system is kept under wraps but wags at the time of the aircraft’s disappearance suggested the radar system was probably busy looking for asylum boats.

Cabinet records release

Cabinet records for 1990 and 1991 held by the National Archives of Australia became eligible for access from January 1, 2016. Information about the cabinet records, lists of the documents and copies of key cabinet documents, including selected submissions and decisions, are available on the Archives’ website (naa.gov备案老域名). Click on the “Collection” tab, then “Popular research topics”, then “Cabinet”.

Requests for access to records not already released may be made via RecordSearch on the Archives’ website.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.