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Articles Archive for September 2012

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[29 Sep 2012 | 2 Comments | 1,657 views ]

Much guff has appeared in some parts of the media about how, in this second volume of her biography of Gough Whitlam, Jenny Hocking has discovered that Sir Anthony Mason (then a High Court judge) was the shadowy third man who counselled then governor-general Sir John Kerr to sack Australia’s 21st prime minister.
In fact, the director of the Sydney Institute, Dr Gerard Henderson, revealed this decades ago – first in his column in The Sydney Morning Herald on January 8, 1994, and then later that year in his magisterial history …

Columns »

[22 Sep 2012 | One Comment | 2,450 views ]

SOME amazing things have been happening recently in Queensland. A little more than six months ago, the Newman government swept to office with a historic majority, devastating and humiliating the Labor government of Anna Bligh.
Informed commentators predicted the ALP would be in the wilderness for a generation as Bligh deserted the party and resigned from Queensland’s one-house parliament, forcing a by-election.
At the federal level, things looked extremely bleak in Queensland for the ALP. Indeed, polls indicated that Labor could lose all its federal seats in the state, including Kevin Rudd’s …

Columns »

[19 Sep 2012 | One Comment | 861 views ]

IN 1977 I was living in Brisbane. Under the remarkable coaching of tea-drinking Tom Hafey, my beloved team Collingwood had come from wooden spooners in 1976 to playing in the grand final.
How I would have loved to have been there (standing room was only two dollars).
For only the second time in VFL history, the premiership battle resulted in a draw.
I can still see ”Twiggy” Dunne at the 32-minute mark of the final quarter standing like an oak in a pack of seven and taking a mark Walter Mitty would have …

Reviews »

[15 Sep 2012 | 2 Comments | 921 views ]

THESE fine books are must-reads for anyone interested in the history of mining in Australia and the present resources boom.
As the nation and our various governments struggle with the effects of the mining bonanza – on workers, families and communities – it is useful to consider how past generations coped. Hence Erik Eklund’s history, which focuses on six Australian towns established during past minerals booms.
In the late 19th century Broken Hill in NSW, Mount Morgan in Queensland and Queenstown in Tasmania emerged. The company-dominated Mount Isa in Queensland was founded …

Columns »

[8 Sep 2012 | One Comment | 1,384 views ]

IN a desperate effort to hold off a leadership challenge from Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard has combined her ruthless disregard for the long-term future of the Labor Party with her ferocious desire for self-preservation, the now familiar hallmarks of her leadership.
The Prime Minister has demonstrated that she is prepared to break solemn promises, walk away from long-held principles and policies, do “whatever it takes” to cling to her job and thereby prevent a Rudd return.
There have been rumours for months that Rudd and his supporters have been making the case …

Reviews »

[1 Sep 2012 | One Comment | 1,905 views ]

A SOVIET-ERA medallion commemorating VI Lenin and the anniversary of the October 1917 Russian Revolution presented to a prominent Australian has recently been uncovered.
The proud recipient of the totalitarian bauble was former federal Australian Labor Party leader Arthur Augustus Calwell (1896-1973).
The medallion, given to Calwell in Moscow during a visit to Russia in 1967, is part of the official Arthur Calwell Collection housed at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra. The collection consists of objects donated by Calwell’s daughter, Mary.
Calwell entered federal parliament in 1940 …