Authorised by Chris StoneLiberal Party of Australia, NSW DivisionLevel 12, 100 William St, East Sydney, NSW 2011Phone: (02) 8356 0300
The Menzies Government rebuilt Australian freedom and prosperity after the Second World War, and laid the economic and social foundations that have made Australia one of the most successful democracies in the world since that time.The Menzies government also marked the beginning of one of the most successful periods for the Liberal Party at a federal level. Coming to power only a few years after the Liberal Party was formed, its founder – Sir Robert Menzies – led a government tasked with remaking Australia after the war. Robert Menzies was deeply committed to principles of individual freedom and opportunity, and he was determined that Australia would not go down the damaging road that Labor was planning (and that Britain had embarked on) with nationalisation of all major industries and government attempts to centrally plan the economy.
In Britain that strategy produced a long period of slow decline, only reversed in the 1980s. Thanks to Robert Menzies, Australia avoided that. He believed that people had to be rewarded for their efforts, that taxes should be kept down, and that the creativity of the individual, expressed within a framework of just and fair laws, would secure Australia’s future strength and prosperity. The prosperous and free Australia he left behind on his retirement proved that he was correct.The Liberal Party under Menzies also strongly resisted the efforts of the Communist Party of Australia (backed by the Soviet Union), with its base in the trade unions, to disrupt and weaken Australian industry and undermine Australia in the Cold War.
While Labor was consumed in its internal battles between the extreme Left and anti-communist elements, the Liberal Party stood firm in the defense of the democratic ideals on which Australia had been founded. The Labor Party split between the Left and anti-Communist elements in 1954, and the anti-communist Labor group became the Democratic Labor Party.The Menzies period is often recognised as a golden era in Australia’s history with widespread prosperity, a flourishing economy and work for all.
Some features of Australia under the Menzies Government include:
high living standards for all Australians and the level of consumer goods per head (cars, radios, etc) rose dramatically
the ratio of home owners rose from a little over 50 per cent to around 75 per cent of the population
great progress in industry, manufacturing output, primary industry production and mineral development
Australia achieved a position in the world’s top ten trading nations
consistent spending on defence programs
the arrival of 1 million immigrants in just 10 years
the introduction of new social security measures such as creating the pensioner medical and free medicines service
a dramatic expansion in education, with new universities in most states and the ending of the discriminatory funding policies for non-government schools
the introduction of needed improvements in the national divorce laws
The success of the Menzies government’s policies laid the foundations for the massive expansion in resource development and investment that occurred under the Liberal/National Party Coalition governments led by Harold Holt (1966-67), John Gorton (1967-71) and William McMahon (1971-72).The Australian economy and standards of living grew rapidly, and Liberals took the lead in recognising the rights of women and minority groups, including homosexuals and Aboriginal Australians.The strength of the economy enabled an increasing public and political concern with ‘quality of life’ issues. The Holt/Gorton/McMahon Governments delivered improved funding and services in traditional areas like health, education and welfare, while at the same time expanding Australia’s foreign policy and defence initiatives.
The White Australia policy was abolished under the Holt government, and Australia’s immigration placed on a non-dsicriminatory basis.The Holt government also initiated the abolition of the constitutional discrimination against Aboriginal people – with the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal rights recording a resounding victory. The government increasingly focused on the need to position Australia to take advantage of the rapidly changing world of technology, and established policies to promote energy conservation and environmental protection.With the growing threat of communist insurgencies in a number of Southeast Asian countries, the Coalition strongly supported the United States in resisting the attack by North Vietnam on South Vietnam, as it had done in relation to the US-led United Nations action in Korea in the 1950s.
While the US strategy was not successful in Vietnam, the resistance to the communist takeover was important in buying time for other countries to stablise and to defeat their domestic insurgencies, and a more peaceful region emerged. The communists began persecution of their political enemies in Vietnam, and in Cambodia engaged in an horiffic genocide.The Holt/Gorton/McMahon Governments provided the opportunity to consolidate the policy gains of the Menzies era.
Some of the features which highlighted this period of government include:
a boom in the construction of new homes and the commencement of urban and regional development programs
the introduction of the Department of Education and Science to take advantage of new technology
an increased emphasis on the development of Northern Australia with new railways, roads and ports
a rapid expansion and increased support for Australia’s growing tourism industry
a continuation of full employment, high growth rates, a doubling of exports and an explosion in the work force
changes to education such as the funding of a new teacher training college and the expansion of assistance to secondary schools for science labs
the establishment of the Aboriginal Affairs Office and the Council for Aboriginal Affairs<
additional social services – assistance scheme for pensioner health, increased funding to Meals of Wheels programs, the funding of housing support for young widows and expanded benefits for the disabled
the establishment of the Australian Council for the Arts and funding for the Australian Film and Television Corporation
greater conservation measures – a twelve mile fishing zone, the introduction of an Institute of Marine Science and conservation of the Gordon River
The Fraser Government came to power with a mandate to restore Australia’s economy after the disastrous mismanagement of the Whitlam Labor government.The Fraser government began the historic turnaround from the ‘big government’ approach of Whitlam to an era of liberal reform. Fraser argued strongly for a more limited role for government in economic life, wound back government spending, and restrained union power, while promoting individual rights and opportunities..The impact of the economic mismanagement of the Whitlam government was intensified by the fallout of the world oil shock, a prolonged record-breaking drought and unsettled world markets. Despite the volatile economic environment, the Fraser Government made hard decisions to ensure Australia’s future was secure.
Some of the features of the Fraser era include:
effective restraint of government spending
major new assistance for families
the introduction of far-reaching reforms to strengthen the Federal system
large scale investment and development projects, such as dams and roads
strong legislation to limit union power and secondary boycotts
major new developments in wages and industrial relations
a focus on assisting with employment schemes to encourage employment growth
laws to stop ‘bottom-of-the-harbour’ tax evasion schemes
greater flexibility in the management of the exchange rate
better training and assistance to sportsmen and women to help them compete at a world level
assistance to both large and small business through a series of government programs
strengthening the right of parents to choose the best school for their child
development of newly discovered mineral resources
a focus on conservation, the environment and the development of new national parks
welcoming refugees from Vietnam after the communist takeover
supporting more effective Western action to overcome the North-South divide between rich and poor countries
strengthening Australia’s defence forces
a strong stand against Soviet expansion of its activities into the Pacific and its invasion of Afghanistan
The Howard Government guided Australia through one of the most successful periods in the country’s history, helping to take Australia to the forefront of the world’s leading economies. Its economic policies rebuilt Australian prosperity after yet another period of Labor economic mismanagement (under the Hawke/Keating government), which had resulted in the worst recession (and highest unemployment) for 60 years.The Howard government’s policies enabled Australia to resist the impact of the Asian economic downturn, and restored effective full employment.The prudential supervision of the financial system put in place by the Howard government meant that Australia had no domestic sub-prime crisis. Strong financial institutions underpinned the economy when the global financial crisis occurred in 2008.
The Howard Government’s policy success was based on its firm commitment to Liberal values, and a commonsense approach to dealing with problems. John Howard described his philosophy as a combination of economic liberalism and social conservatism.The economic prosperity achieved by the Howard Government meant that people had more money to invest in savings for the future. Australia’s strong position also allowed the government to invest in new roads and rail, as well as in environmental projects throughout the country.
Some of the features of the Howard era include:
a focus on strong economic management with a commitment to surplus budgets and zero government debt
the strengthening of Australia’s national security through an increase in defence spending and a substantial boost to defence-ready troop numbers
record low levels of unemployment achieved by a freeing up of labour markets, a massive expansion in opportunities to acquire skills, and greatly improved job placement assistance for the unemployed – allowing workers to become less reliant on unions
record federal government funding into the education and health sectors
a major effort to overcome educational disadvantage (illiteracy and innumeracy), to increase school accountability, and strengthen the ability of parents to choose the best school for their child
encouraging one of the highest levels of private investment in education and training in the world
low interest rates, strong economic growth and lower taxation
unprecedented commitment to restoring and protecting Australian land, waters, vegetation and biodiversity
major improvements in protection of Australia’s national heritage
fostering pride in Australia’s achievements and resistance to the ‘black armband’ view of Australian history.
The Abbott Government was elected on a platform of building a stronger, more prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia. Following six years of chaos and mismanagement, the Abbott Government moved quickly to clean up Labor’s mess.
Some of the achievements of the Abbott Government include:
The repeal of Labor’s carbon tax, saving families $550 a year on average;
The repeal of Labor’s mining tax, restoring confidence to this important sector;
Stopping the boats and stopping the deaths at sea;
The conclusion of three free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea;
Rolling out the largest infrastructure investment in Australia's history - $50 billion to improve road and rail links, reduce travel times and support economic growth;
Ending five decades of indecision by approving a second airport for Sydney to be located at Badgerys Creek;
Delivering the lowest small business tax rate in half a century;
Beginning the task of Budget repair;
Legislating four tranches of national security legislation, to keep Australians safe;
Providing more resources for our security and law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism;
Establishing counter-terrorism units at all international airports;
Providing environmental approvals to 176 projects valued at more than $1 trillion;
Establishing the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption;
Scrapping Labor’s bank deposit tax, to protect the savings of hard-working Australians
Establishing the New Colombo Plan;
Establishing the Medical Research Future Fund; and
Committing to take an additional 12,000 refugees from the war torn Middle East.
Some of the achievements of the Turnbull Government include:
A strong record of jobs growth. In 2017, 403,100 more Australians found employment – at the rate of more than 1,000 new jobs a day. This was the most new jobs created in a calendar year on record.
Tax cuts for small and medium enterprises, helping 3.2 million businesses employing 6.7 million Australians to get ahead and create more jobs.
Extending the Instant Asset write-off, used by 300,000 small businesses each year to invest in new equipment and machinery.
An innovation and science agenda, which resulted in 3,000 new investments in over 300 early stage innovation companies.
Tackling union lawlessness, including restoring the ABCC (a tough building industry watchdog to tackle CFMEU thuggery), a ban on secret and corrupting payments between business and unions, and creation of a new Registered Organisations Commission to make unions as transparent to their members and the public.
A new National Energy Guarantee to deliver more affordable and reliable energy, plus enabling the largest renewable project in half a century Snowy Hydro 2.0.
Landmark reform of Australia’s competition law – to help small companies compete with big business.
The 2016 Defence White Paper which will secure Australia in the 21st century.
A defence industry plan, which included building 54 new ships and which backs local advanced manufacturing and create thousands of ongoing jobs.
Boosting resources for our security agencies (now co-ordinated by a new Department of Home Affairs), introducing numerous tranches of tougher anti-terror laws.
Continuing our strong border protection and overseeing the release of all children from onshore immigration detention (which compares with Labor’s record of 8,469 children in detention).
New laws to close loopholes for multinationals, which have resulted in an additional $4 billion tax raised from multinationals last year.
Legislating to implement the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and continuing our push to boost exports, with a new Free Trade Agreement with Peru.
Bringing our media laws into the digital age and ensuring local media outlets remain viable.
Banning excessive surcharges on credit cards to protect Australian consumers.
Implementing a record $75 billion investment in infrastructure, including congestion busting road and rail projects across Australia, along with important public transport projects, including the Gold Coast Light Rail, Sydney Metro and Melbourne Metro.
The abolition of Bill Shorten’s truck tribunal (the RSRT) which was putting owner-operator truck drivers out of business.
Legislation that protected volunteer firefighters from Victoria’s Country Fire Authority from hostile union takeover.
Landmark reforms to help working parents with child care, including abolishing the $7,500 cap for families (incomes up to $185,000) and a new Child Care Subsidy, which means around one million families will be better off.
A breakthrough agreement for schools funding, which replaces 27 secret deals and will provide needs based funding for all students and delivered an extra $23.4 billion, or an average 50% funding increase for the average student over a decade.
Better immunisations, including successful implementation of the No Jab, No Pay policy has result in 210,000 extra children being immunised in the first year. Further, all 12 and 13 year olds will now get free protection against HPV virus.
Taking action against domestic violence, with a record $275 million a year investment to improve frontline services; improve the legal system; ensure better, safer use of technology; and drive cultural change.
Authorised by Chris StoneLiberal Party of Australia, NSW DivisionLevel 12, 100 William St, East Sydney, NSW 2011Phone: (02) 8356 0300
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