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Hawke Government: 1990

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1990 newspaper clippings [Image Source: unknown]The fourth term of the Labor government was a period of transition, review and reflection with the beginning of the 1990s being something of a watershed. This is reflected in the governments changes to key personalities, the condition of the reform program and developments internationally. A period of consolidation rather than that of radical change became apparent. When the government announced on February 17 that an election would be held within a month, unemployment was just emerging as an issue. The rate of unemployment was around 6%, inflation 8% and official interest rates around 16%.

Despite a swing to the Coalition, the Labor Party again won the election. Labor won 78 seats, and the Coalition 69, with 1 Independent in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Labor had 32, Liberal 29, the National Party 5, the Australian Democrats 8 seats with 2 Independents.

Reforms introduced from 1990 to 1991 included another crucial change; the opening of Australia to competition in the telecommunications industry. As well, the reduction of all tariffs to five per cent and the phasing out of textile, clothing and motor vehicle protection was introduced and a ten year review of the public service was postponed.

An article in the Australian Financial Review the day after Prime Minister Hawke launched the ALP election campaign on March 8,1990 said that the December quarter national accounts, due to be released before the election were likely to reveal an economy slipping into a mild recession. The steady worsening of the recession into the one we had to have stated by Treasurer Paul Keating in November 1990 and the climb in the unemployment became a dominating feature in the economic environment of the 36th Parliament.


JANUARY

Bob Hawke [Image Source: unknown]China Policy

Following a Cabinet Review of Australias policy on China it was announced that the ban on ministerial visits to China had been lifted. The ban, which was imposed in July 1989 following the Tienanman Square, was the only restriction lifted. All other restrictions remained.

Govt lifts ban on visits to China by ministers by Keith Scott

Canberra Times, January 24, 1990.

Evans lifts China ban Tracey Austin

Australian, January 24, 1990.

Papua New Guinea

The government announced that it would provide Papua New Guinea with $15 million dollars to assist its police and defence forces, partly to allow them to respond to the rebellion on Bougainville. The aid foreshadowed after the Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum in Port Moresby on January 19, 1990 came despite Australian concerns over alleged human rights abuses by security on Bougainville.

PNG asks Evans for $20 million aid injection by Leonore Taylor

Australian, January 11, 1990.

Hawke pledges to protect Australians on Bougainville by Michelle Grattan

The Age, January 22, 1990.


FEBRUARY

New Zealand

Prime Minister Hawke and the prime Minister of New Zealand, Geoffrey Palmer, met in Auckland to begin discussions on how to develop the post Closer Economic Relations agreement relationship following the 1988 decision to bring forward free Trans-tasman trade in goods from 1995 to July 1, 1990. The leaders also discussed airline access to each countries domestic routes and driftnet fishing. Prime Minister Hawke announced that to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi, Australia would fund a South Pacific Oral History Archives.

Air-links next step in Aust-NZ trade talks by Anne Davies

Australian Financial Review, February 2, 1990.

Air NZ may win right to fly Australian domestic routes by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, February 3, 1990.

Soviet Premier

Visiting Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov met with Prime Minister Hawke in Canberra during his first visit to Australia. As well as economic matters, the two prime ministers discussed the Australian peace plan for Cambodia, Antarctica and political developments in the Soviet Union. A number of bilateral agreements, covering fishing rights, the sale of Australian commodities, uranium and the environment were signed during the visit.

Soviet PM brings fruits of perestroika to Asia-Pacific by Adam Shand

Australian, February 15, 1990.

Soviet premier to visit Australia by Anne Davies

Australian Financial Review, December 15, 1989.

Soviet PM to sign key agreements with Australia by John Helmer

Australian Financial Review, February 9, 1990.

Election Call

The Prime Minister ended months of speculation and announced that a federal election would be held on Saturday March 24, 1990. The timing was likely influenced by by a number of factors:

Hawke keeps early poll date open by Peter Logue

Australian, February 27, 1990.

Coalition blunders tempt PM to call snap election by Paul Kelly

Australian, February 15, 1990.

Stirrings that Hawke felt three days ago by Mike Seccombe

Sydney Morning Herald, February 17, 1990.

ALP Economic Statement

The Australian Labor Party released a major economic statement which included the details of the wage tax agreement between the ALP and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The statement which attempted to balance economic restraint with political generosity was based on a promise of $80.00 per week wage increase and lower taxes for lower and middle income earners.

Keating tax deal to hold wages by Geoff Kitney

Australian Financial Review, January 25, 1990.

Business falls in with Labors wage strategy by Pamela Williams

Australian Financial Review, February 13, 1990.

WA Inc clean up will help Hawke by David Lague

Australian Financial Review, February 19, 1990.

ALP risks all on wage case deal by Paul Kelly

Australian, February 20, 1990.

ALP Economic Policy

Prime Minister Hawke unveiled a 10 point plan which he said would underpin major, lasting economic reforms that would take Australia through the 1990s and into the 21st century. The Prime Minister admitted that some of the reforms in key industries would cause pain and controversy but called on the Australian community to share the burden of change.

Inspirational Hawke looks to 21st Century by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, February 23, 1990.

Hawkes ambitious 10 point plan by Paul Austin

Australian, February 23, 1990.

The Great Debate

The great debate on television between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Peacock, was light on specific policies and revolved around predictable statements on the economy, social policy and the environment. Most commentators concluded that the Prime Minister won on substance and Peacock on style.

Hawke scared of TV debate says Peacock by Glen Milne

Australian, February 7, 1990.

Hawke substance and the Peacock style acted out by Michelle Grattan

Age, February 24, 1990.

Hawkes do-or-die TV debate by Alex Mitchell

Sydney Morning Herald, February 25, 1990.

ALP-Road Funding

The Prime Minister announced that if re-elected his government would spend an additional $300 million dollars over three years to upgrade the nations roads. The upgrade program would concentrate on roads outside capital cities and particular roads would qualify on the basis of high cost benefit ratios.

Labor sells $300m blueprint for roads by Steve Burrell

Australian Financial Review, February 28, 1990.

Hawke fights off attack on $300m roads program by Michael Millett

Sydney Morning Herald, February 28, 1990.


MARCH

ALP Women

The Prime Minister announced that his government would spend an additional $70 million for women if it won a fourth term of government. Most of the funds would go towards a new national program for the early detection of breast cancer.

Hawke said his government would provide $3 million over three years to make school curriculum equally relevant to boys and girls. He said this would be one of the most extensive reforms of curriculum in Australia and would be carried out in cooperation with state and territory education ministers.

PM tells of extra $70 m for women by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, March 3, 1990.

Labor lures women with $70m by Michelle Grattan

Age, March 3, 1990.

ALP Policies

The Prime Minister announced the Australian Labor Partys policy for the election on 24 March, 1990. Hawke announced additional spending over 3 years of $776.2 million for education, science, child care, family services and urban transport. This brought ALP promises for the election to a total of $1434.6 million

Hawke no false hopes by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, March 8, 1990.

Hawke will offer help for suburbs by Michelle Grattan

Age, March 8, 1990.

Election 90

Age, March 9, 1990.

Hawkes plea for renewed mandates

Age, March 9, 1990.

Federal Election

The 1990 election was the Labor Government's and Bob Hawke's fourth successive electoral victory. No previous Labor government or Labor leader had enjoyed such political success. But the election was a close-run, decided on the preferences of minor parties such as the Australian Democrats and the Greens.

The election was Andrew Peacock's second as Liberal leader. He had returned to the leadership of his party following a coup against John Howard in May 1989. National Party leader, Ian Sinclair, had been deposed at the same time and replaced by Charles Blunt. Australian Democrats leader, Janine Haines, also failed in her attempt to capture the Labor-held electorate of Kingston in South Australia.

The Australian Labor Party was returned to government with a eight seat majority in parliament. Despite the number of major of economic and environmental issues raised during the campaign the main influence on the result were state issues and dissatisfaction with the to major parties.

Labor ahead in key seats by Mike Steketee

Sydney Morning Herald, March 24, 1990.

Hawke keeps the lid on by Michelle Grattan

Australian, March 23, 1990.

Labor hangs on to slim lead by Glenn Milne

Australian, March 26, 1990.

Hawke might limp in by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, March 25, 1990.

Hawke to rule on a tightrope by Michelle Grattan

Age, March 26, 1990.


APRIL

Fourth Hawke Ministry

The Prime Minister announced the Ministry for his fourth term. The Ministry included eight new ministers all appointed to the outer ministry. Only six of the sixteen senior ministers, including Hawke and Keating remained with their previous portfolios and Keating was appointed Deputy Prime Minister to replace Lionel Bowen.

Hawkes new ministry Editorial

Sydney Morning Herald, April 4, 1990.

Hawke shows faction who is boss by Milton Cockburn

Sydney Morning Herald, April 5, 1990.

New shape to Hawke ministry by Michelle Grattan

Age, April 3, 1990.

Liberal Leadership

Dr John Hewson defeated Peter Reith to be elected leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party to replace Andrew Peacock. Peacock had resigned from the position following the defeat of the Coalition at the election on March 24, 1990. Reith was elected deputy leader.

Winner Hewson sets his agenda by Andree Coelli

Canberra Times, April 4, 1990.

New faces at the top hearten the Liberals Editorial

Age, April 5, 1990.

Certificate as a nation

The Prime Minister announced on April 6 that the British government has agreed to make a gift to Australia of an original document containing our Australian Constitution. The document titled Commonwealth of Australia Act the British Act of Parliament was passed in 1900 which bought our nation into existence on January 1, 1990. The document which has been on loan to Australia since the Bicentenary is on display in Parliament House, is the British Governments own record of the Act. This is the first time that such a gift has been made to any country by the British Government and follows some six years of negotiations.


MAY

Parliament Opened

The Governor-General, Bill Hayden, opened the 16th Commonwealth Parliament, the fourth Hawke Labor Government. In is speech written by the government, the Governor- General pledged that the urgent and sweeping task of national reform would be continued. He said the main focus of macro-economic policy must be on improving Australias external accounts and reducing inflation.

Mateship rules on day one by Greg Sheridan

Australian, May 9, 1990.

Government confident on its track by Geoff Kitney

Australian Financial Review, May 9, 1990

TV and Radio Ownership

The government announced that it would legislate to limit foreign ownership of television and radio stations to twenty per cent. The legislation was designed to close a loophole in the existing legislation that allowed broadcasters to sell of up to 99.9 per cent to overseas investors through a series of holding companies.

Cabinet to look at knew TV equity by Tom Burton

Sydney Morning Herald, May 22, 1990.

Cabinet holds to tough TV links by Joanne Gray

Australian Financial Review, May 23, 1990.

Defence Forces-Women

The government announced that women in the Australian defence Forces would be allowed in combat related positions. The positions involved transport, communications, intelligence and medical evacuation. However, women would still be unable to fly aircraft or serve as front line troops. They would be able to serve on warships as soon as the necessary refits were completed.

Women allowed closer to combat by Tracey Aubin

Australian, May 31, 1990.

Defence force almost gives women equality by Mark Netherall

Age, May 31, 1990.

Wool-Floor Price

The government announced that it would reduce the floor price for wool from 870 cents to 700 cents, thus reducing the growers income by $1.4 billion in the next season. The move followed weeks of controversy in which the Australian Wool Corporation opposed a reduction in the floor price yet had been forced to purchase 90 per cent of wool at auction.

Farmers take wool fight to court by Paul Dowie

Australian, June 15, 1990.

Wool price scheme at breaking point by Cathy Bolt

Australian Financial Review, May 15, 1990.

Kerin gives woolgrowers last chance to avoid cut by Paul Cleary

Sydney Morning Herald, May 26, 1990.


JUNE

PM-Chinese and Cambodians

The Prime Minister speaking during a television interview stated that the 20,000 Chinese students in Australia before the Tiananmen Square massacre would be treated as a special category. This was reported as to agreeing to the granting of permanent residency for the students. At the same time the Prime Minister said that Cambodian boat people who had recently arrived in Australia were not political refugees and would be sent home. A week later the prime minister clarified the earlier statement and said the Chinese students would be allowed to stay for a specified period of between 6 months to ten years. During the period a judgement would be made whether China had returned to sufficient normalcy to allow returns. Hawke later said no one would be forced to return against their will.

Hawke discounts change in China stance by Greg Sheridan

Age, June 13, 1990.

PM: now students can stay forever by Tracey Austin

Age, June 15, 1990.

Hawke: I was right on Chinese by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, June 11, 1990.

Hawke moves to reassure Chinese on residency by Joanne Gray

Australian Financial Review, June 14, 1990.

Keating-Economic Policy

The Treasurer, Paul Keating, reaffirmed that the balance of payments would remain the central target of the governments economic policy. He suggested interest rates would fall when the trade balance improved. In doing so, he rejected a growing push by the Reserve Bank and others for a greater policy emphasis on inflation, and for interest rates to stay high for longer to reduce inflation.

Keating returns RBAs serve by Steve Burrell

Australian Financial Review, June 26, 1990.

Keating will keep rates low by Tom Burton

Sydney Morning Herald, June 26, 1990.

PMs 10 year plan for states by Michelle Grattan

Age, June 28, 1990.


JULY

New Zealand-CER

The Prime Minister of Australia met with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Geoffrey Palmer, in Canberra to celebrate the removal of all barriers to free trade between the two countries. The removal effective July 1, 1990 was five years sooner than envisaged when the Close Economic Relations agreement between the two countries was signed in 1983.

Integration with NZ, but not monetary union, PMs by Tom Connors

Canberra Times, July 3, 1990.

Woomera

The government rejected two tenders for the reopening of the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia on the basis that they do not meet the necessary, unspecified criteria. The government decided in 1989 to reopen the range to make better use of the facility which had lain idle for 20 years.

Government rejects Woomera proposals

Canberra Times, July 4, 1990.

Bob Hawke Prime Minister

On July 10, 1990 Bob Hawke became Australias second longest serving Prime Minister, replacing Malcolm Fraser who previously held the distinction. The longest serving Prime Minister was Sir Robert Menzies. Prime Minister Hawke had served 2679 days as Prime Minister on July 10, 1990.

Hawke reaches a record-and names his priorities by Hugh Lamberton

Canberra Times, July 9, 1990.

Hawke separating the man from myth by Michelle Grattan

Age, July 9, 1990.

The basis of Hawkes claim to greatness Editorial

Age, July 10, 1990.

Federal State Relations

The Prime Minister, speaking at the National Press Club announced an ambitious program for reforming relations between the Commonwealth and the States. Hawke announced a two phase program designed to improve the delivery of government services and eliminate costly duplication of services. The first phase would be to reach an agreement with the states and local government on more efficient ways to divide responsibilities, a special Premiers conference to be held in Brisbane in October as the beginning of the process. Hawke while emphasising that the Commonwealth had to retain of economic management offered to examine ways of changing the Annual Premiers Conference.

New glue needed between the states by Tom Connors

Canberra Times, July 24, 1990.

PM to urge cutback in Government duplication by Milton Cockburn

Sydney Morning Herald, July 19, 1990.


AUGUST

Defence Report

The Government released a report on the Australian defence services which recommended fundamental changes to the services. The review by Alan Wrigley, former Director-General of the Australian Intelligence Organisation said Australia got poor value for its $8 billion a year defence budget and suggested a major reform of Australias defence capacity. Instead of depending solely on a small, professional defence force, Wrigley proposed that Australia have a large well trained reserve force. Defence support activities should be devolved from uniformed defence force staff into the civilian public and private sectors. This would cut down on a duplication of jobs and support infrastructure, save a lot of money and be more in keeping with Australias real needs.

Report urges defence changes by Verona Burgess

Canberra times, August 2, 1990.

Garnaut backs PM on federal reforms by Mark Irving

Age, August 2, 1990.

Battle lines drawn on Wrigley arguments by Frank Cranston

Canberra Times, August 10, 1990.

South Pacific Forum

Discussions at the Forum between the Australian Prime Minister and the interim Prime Minister of Fiji, Ratu Sir Kamisese, saw Australia reverse its policy on the Constitution of Fiji. Hawke agreed that while the new Fijian Constitution was flawed Australia had to accept the reality that no other constitution was likely to be accepted in the near future.

Hawkes pacific trip may help heal French rift

Canberra Times, July 20, 1990.

Pacific rejects PM nerve gas plan

Age, August 2, 1990.

Hawke hammered at forum by Mary-Louise OCallaghan

Age, August 3, 1990.

Iraq Sanction

The government announced partial trade sanctions against Iraq and Kuwait following the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraq. The government banned oil imports from Iraq and Kuwait, froze Iraq assets which may exist in Australia, cancelled export licences for defence related sales and rejected a request to open an Iraq Airways office in Sydney.

Sanctions against Iraq could cost Australia $1bn by David Lague

Australian Financial Review, August 7, 1990.

Cabinet agrees to sanctions by Paul Downie

Australian, August 7, 1990.

Iraqi Conflict

Allegedly at the request of United State s President George Bush, the Prime Minister ordered three naval ships to join the international blockade of Iraq in he Persian Gulf. Two guided missile frigates, HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Darwin and the supply ship HMAS Supply were sent to the area. It was the biggest mobilisation of Australian servicemen on a foreign mission since the Vietnam War.

Hawkes decision on Gulf draws irrelevant responses by P McGuiness

West Australian, August 18-19, 1990.

Hawke orders ships to Gulf by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, August 11, 1990.

Uren attacks Hawke over Gulf by Jane Southward

Sydney Morning Herald, August 12, 1990.

1990-1991 Budget

August 21, 1990 and the Treasurer Paul Keating delivered his eighth budget.

Main points of the budget included

Policy indicators indicated:

Statistical summary included:

For the full budget details see: Keating, P J Budget speech 1990-1991 delivered on August 21, 1990 by the Honourable P J Keating MP, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia. Canberra, AGPS, 1990.

Keating slashes social welfare by Glenn Milne

Australian, August 22, 1990.

Keating offers nation a good recipe for recession by Kenneth Davidson

Age, August 22, 1990.

No trade off on rates and policy by Alan Wood

Age, August 22, 1990.

State Bank of Victoria

The Treasurer, Paul Keating and the Premier of Victoria Joan Kirner, announced that the Commonwealth Bank would purchase the debt ridden Bank of Victoria for $1.6 billion, the entire capital base of the bank. The sale was aimed at countering debts inherited from the State Banks former merchant banking wing, Transcontinental.

CBA set to buy Vic State Bank by Simon Lloyd

Australian Financial Review, August 22, 1990.

Victoria on the brink of meltdown by Alan Wood

Australian, August 27, 1990.


SEPTEMBER

Hawke PNG Visit

The Prime Minister, visiting Papua New Guinea, agreed to provide additional police assistance to PNG to assist in stemming a tide of lawlessness. The Prime Minister said Australia would not walk away from its commitment to PNG but would not interfere in its internal issues or tell its leaders how to react to issues.

Hawke bodyguard doubled for PNG visit by Peter Hatcher

Sydney Morning Herald, September 1, 1990.

Hawke has delicate task in his visit to neighbour by Don Woolford

Canberra Times, September 1, 1990.

Sale of the century by Nicholas Whitlam

The Bulletin, September 11, 1990.

Hawke Japan

The Prime Minister speaking in Tokyo after meeting with Japanese officials said Japan should assume superpower status and re-enter the world by taking an active military role beyond its shores. Something it had been unable to do since World War Two. He also called for the United Nations to recognise Japans new political status. He said this would mean a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

PM backs armed role for Japan by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, September 20, 1990.

House erupts as PM lashes Libs over Japanese by Jeremy Thompson

Canberra Times, October 10, 1990.

Hawke urges greater Japanese role in UN by Roy Eccleston

Australian, September 20, 1990.

Olympic Bid

Hawke Olympic cartoon [Image Source: Geoff Hook]The Prime Minister indicated that we must accept with dignity the verdict of the International Olympic Committee to award the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta. All associated with the Melbourne bid should be commended for the magnificent effort which was put into developing and presenting it. The Government has at all times been proud to be associated with the bid and has welcomed the bi-partisan support which came with it. Harking back on an earlier promise that No Australian child would be living in poverty by 1990, Prime Minister Bob Hawke reassures Australian athletes that his government will meet any funding shortfalls. Jeff Hook, 1990.


OCTOBER

Keating-Economic Policy

The Treasurer, Paul Keating, addressing the committee for the Economic Development of Australia, rejected calls for large reductions in interest rates and attempted to restore confidence and a longer term outlook to the economic debate. He said the economy was slowing in line with Budget forecasts. Keating also announced that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration would investigate the issue of whether the benefits of competition in the banking industry had been passed on to all customers. Keating was responding to a report he had called for from the Reserve Bank and Treasury, in September.

Treasurer turns screw on banks by Tony Wright

Canberra Times, October 5, 1990.

Keating to banks: cut your rates by Michelle Grattan

Age, October 5, 1990.

Banks bleeding customers: Keating by Geoff Kitney

Australian Financial Review, October 5, 1990.

NSW Forests

The Prime Minister announced details of a Commonwealth New South Wales agreement on logging of the national estate forests in New South Wales. The government agreed to protect 60% of the area, a loss of approximately 11.5 per cent of existing timber areas. The agreement created six new national parks but permitted logging in three contentious areas Coolangatta, Yowaka and Tantawangala.

Logging set to cause new split for Labor by Milton Cockburn

Sydney Morning Herald, October 3,1990.

Greens critical of forest package by Robert Garran

Australian Financial Review, October 9, 1990.

NSW forest deal upsets both sides by Helen Seidel

Canberra Times, October 9, 1990.

The Economy

The Reserve Bank of Australia reduced official interest rates by one percent to 11 percent. Many banks reduced their business interest rates as a result. The move came on the same day that the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Bernie Fraser, urged a change in economic policy to achieve further reductions in inflation. Fraser called for a new wage tax deal offering larger taxation reductions for wage restraint. The Reserves easing of monetary policy came a day after the Prime Minister conceded that high interest rates were squeezing individuals and businesses.

Worried government tries to talk down high A$ by Geoff Kitney

Australian Financial Review, October 10, 1990.

Prime Minister resists growing demands for interest rate cut by Tom Connors

Canberra Times, October 8, 1990.

Hawke unhappy with high currency by Laura Tingle

Australian, October 10, 1990.

Mandela Visit

Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress, met the Australian Prime Minister during a visit to Australia to thank the Australian people for their support of the ANC. During talks Mandela requested that Australia maintain the full range of economics and sporting sanctions against South Africa. Prime Minister Hawke urged Mandela to not only redistribute wealth in South Africa but also ensure that it remained a free market economy.

Sanctions must stay: Mandela by Paul Grigson

Sydney Morning Herald, October 24, 1990.

Mandela urges full sanctions by Greg Sheridan

Australian, October 24, 1990.

Keep sanctions until apartheid goes: Mandela by David Lague

Australian Financial Review, October 24, 1990.

Special Premiers Conference

The Special Premiers Conference on Commonwealth-State powers was held in Brisbane. The conference signalled the introduction of some major reforms including a Commonwealth commitment to reduced specific purpose, or tied, grants to the states thereby increasing the funds the States can spend at their discretion and the establishment of a task force to review taxing arrangements between the Commonwealth and the States. The conference failed to agree on the introduction of national education standards despite a Commonwealth commitment to loosen control over more than $1 billion of Commonwealth funding to the States. The Prime Minister used the forum to urge major constitutional changes, including the introduction of a four year parliamentary term.

PM plans green pact with States by Glenn Milne

Australian, October 18, 1990.

False dawn for new federalism by Paul Kelly

Australian, October 31, 1990.

Premiers to push for more power by Geoff Kitney

Australian Financial Review, October 3, 1990.


NOVEMBER

Hawke Warning

The Prime Minister and the Treasurer warned Cabinet to hold its nerve on economic policy and to resist pressure for panic moves to increase short term political support. Keating said that the Government had won two elections by sticking to a firm policy prescription and, that both politically and economically, it was not the time for turning away from that more than two years from an election.

The Prime Minister told the ministers that although in 1990 the Government had embarked on the most intense period of reform since its election in 1983 it had allowed to develop a public perception of a government which had run out of ideas and energy. He said that ministers had not worked hard enough on the political aspect of their jobs and had failed to sell effectively the Governments achievements to the electorate. He also criticised them for not being accessible enough to the media.

PM tells ministers to lit game as jobless fears rise by Glenn Milne

Australian, November 6, 1990.

History sated, Hawke shrugs off poll woes by Geoff Kitney

Australian Financial Review, November 2, 1990.

Child Poverty

The Prime Minister, who, during the 1987 election campaign said no child would live in poverty in 1990 (or need to according to the documents that supplemented the campaign speech,) admitted that child poverty was a difficult problem to solve. Hawke said the Government had established adequate income support levels which, according to the best advice available, was the single most effective way of helping those in need.

Child poverty a difficult problem to solve: Hawke

Canberra Times, November 20, 1990.

PM backs down on poverty

Australian, November 20, 1990.

Poor children are getting help says PM by Michelle Grattan

Age, November 20, 1990.

Hawke/Bush cartoon [Image Source: Geoff Hook]Agricultural Trade Subsidies

Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke realises the issue of agricultural trade subsidies is not going to go in Australia's favour as President George Bush's comments hark back to his famous 1988 "Read my lips... no new taxes" election promise. Jeff Hook, 1990.

The Iron Lady, Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announced that she would not be a candidate in the second ballot and therefore her term of office would come to an end. She supported John Major as her successor, and retired from Parliament at the 1992 election.