Essay on Gough Whitlam

Topics: Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, Australian Labor Party Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: September 19, 2010
Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam was a man who achieved many things during his time as prime minister, but was also the only prime minister to be sacked by the governor general in all of history. As well as outlining Whitlam’s significance and contribution to Australia, I will also recognise how he went wrong, and what he did that got him removed from parliament. Edward Gough Whitlam was born in 1916 in Melbourne. At 56, he became the 21st prime minister of Australia, which lasted for approximately three years, from 5th December 1972, to 11th November 1975. He entered parliament in 1952, when he was 36. It took him 20 years to become prime minister, but not after narrowly losing the 1969 election. He was the first labour prime minister in 23 years. The ALP party were fairly certain that they were, once again, not going to win the 1972 election. They were aiming their appeal at the traditional working class people, but to win the election, had to appeal to the middle class as well. Whitlam wanted to shift the control of the ALP from the Union officials to the parliamentary party, and he also wanted to give every party member a voice in the parliamentary conferences. After the close election, Gough Whitlam had a considerable amount of control in his party and in parliament. He introduced new laws, such as establishing an Australian Schools Commission for recognising the need for help and funding in state schools and universities, recognising aboriginal land claims, eliminating conscription and improving universal health care. The Whitlam government also introduced other policies after they had been in parliament for a while. The ALP introduced Legal Aid, University/College/TAFE fees, and the voting age was reduced to 18 years and funding to schools. One of the most recognised policies was demolishing the death penalty for federal crimes. This policy was a major breakthrough in society, and was introduced in 1973. The country was willingly behind it, and the bill passed...

Bibliography: * Brown, Wallace (2002), Ten Prime Ministers: Life Among the Politicians, Loungeville Books
* Lloyd, Clem (2008), "Edward Gough Whitlam", in Grattan, Michelle, Australian Prime Ministers (revised ed.), New Holland Publishers Pty Ltd.
* Cohen, Barry (1996), Life With Gough, Allen & Unwin
* http://virtaus4.tripod.com/volume6/prime_ministers/gough_whitlam.htm, Copyright Unknown
* http://whitlamdismissal.com/whitlam/ whitlamdismissal.com 1995-2010
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