Election Speeches

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John Curtin – 1940

The country is at war.

The Commonwealth of Australia entered this war, not of any act of itself, but because Germany, pursuing a ruthless policy of aggression, forced war on the British Commonwealth of Nations. The entire guilt lies with Germany.

August 28th, 1940

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Arthur Calwell – 1961

Deeply conscious of the grave challenge of the future, Labor presents its well considered programme. We bear the same shield as did Scullin, Curtin and Chifley. We walk in their tradition. We are men of one allegiance only. We have never changed our name. We represent the Australian Labor Party, which is Australian because it is Labor, and Labor because it is Australian. Our flag is the Australian flag which we have never sullied and which we have never raised in an unworthy cause.

November 16th, 1961

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Andrew Fisher – 1913

During our period of office, we have seen increases in wealth in trade, in the areas of crops, in banking assets and banking deposits in savings, bank deposits in the number of depositors, in marriages, in births and in immigration. We have built, manned and equipped an Australian navy with our own money, and established an effective defence force.

March 31st, 1913

defence economy communications and technology federal capital federal-state relations foreign affairs health industrial relations infrastructure social security trade White Australia policy

Mark Latham – 2004

And as we look to the future of our children, let’s not forget the greatest intergenerational challenge of them all—saving our planet. Australia must play a role in the international struggle against global warming. Our national icons are at stake: The coral bleaching and destruction of the Great Barrier Reef; The flooding of Kakadu National Park with salt water. No responsible leader could stand by and watch these things happen.

September 29th, 2004

climate change economy education employment environment health social security

John Hewson – 1993

Tax reform is fundamentally important to what we’ve got to do in Australia. It’s fundamentally important to developing the productive culture that we need in Australia, it’s fundamentally important, not only to get people to work harder, to work overtime, to save, to build a business. Tax reform is absolutely fundamental.

March 1st, 1993

economy education employment health industrial relations social security infrastructure

James Scullin – 1934

It was persistently suggested at the last elections that, while the Labor Government was in office, bankers and financiers would not release money for enterprise, and that, with the removal of the Labor Government, millions would flow into industry and employment and prosperity would appear. Thousands of poor people, sorely tried by poverty, voted against their lifetime convictions, but they have had a sad awakening. I am confident that, on this occasion, they will assert their rights as men and women, and, by their votes, will transfer their power to a Labor Government with majorities in both Houses of Parliament. That power, in Labor’s hands, will be used with firmness and with justice. Democracy shall rule Australia, not a financial oligarchy.

August 15th, 1934

agriculture economy employment industrial relations infrastructure

John Howard – 2004

The greatest legacy that this Government has given the Australian nation over the last eight and a half years is the strongest, best performing economy that we have seen since World War II.

It has not happened by accident. It’s not a fluke. It’s not been done by signing pieces of cardboard. It has been done by hard work and difficult decisions. And again let me remind you, it’s been done in the teeth of tenacious opposition from the Labor Party to virtually every fundamental reform that we have tried to bring about.

September 26th, 2004

defence economy foreign affairs crime education family health

Joseph Lyons – 1937

This election is being held at a time when the international situation is most ominous. War and internecine strife are raging in Asia and Europe. Jealousy, suspicion and fear of the intentions of neighbouring nations threaten Europe. Parliamentary Government has been challenged and, in many cases, overthrown; the liberties of the people have been trampled underfoot.

September 28th, 1937

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Billy Hughes – 1922

We stand for the Empire; for a White Australia; for stable government by the duly elected representatives of the people. We set our faces resolutely against Government by secret juntas and forces outside Parliament. We are against Class legislation—whether it be in the interests of the Bolshevist or the Reactionary.

October 20th, 1922

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