Remembering Frank Walker QC
I last spoke to Frank Walker about two weeks ago. I knew he was very sick and I wanted to see how he was travelling. But I had another reason too - an obscure legal question needed an answer. It concerned the NSW Constitution and the other silk I'd spoken to was of little help. So I gave Frank a call pretty confident that he'd have the answer.
When he got on the phone he sounded tired, but his voice still had that dark chocolate richness which had always given him an easy [...]
The 2001 Northern Territory Election
For Labor the 2001 Northern Territory election was always going to be an “It’s Time” campaign. The Territory Legislative Assembly was created in 1974, and it achieved self-government in 1978, but in the following 26 years Labor hadn’t come close to winning. In fact, in the first election in 1974 Labor failed to win one seat.
By 2001 though, things were definitely looking better for the Labor Party. While it still only held seven of the 25 seats in the unicameral [...]
SA 1997 Election: A Great Labor Comeback
The 1997 South Australian election produced one of the most remarkable results in Australian political history.
Labor had been decimated at the 1993 election following the collapse of the State Bank of South Australia. Its numbers crashed from 24 to just 10 in a lower house of 47. They were dubbed the Kombi van Opposition and some commentators predicted that the next Labor Premier was not even in the Parliament.
Mike Rann inherited the Labor Leadership in 1994 [...]
Upper Houses: Who Needs Them Anyway?
The farcical policy outcomes that sometimes result from having to do deals with minor parties were on display in the NSW Parliament last week.
In order to guarantee the passage of its controversial partial energy privatisation legislation, the O'Farrell government did a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party to allow recreational shooting in national parks. It is also considering making shooting a subject for study in NSW schools. These decisions were made in the face of [...]
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