Selected Audio Clips From The Constitutional Crisis

These audio clips cover some of the key moments of the constitutional crisis from October 15 through to November 12, 1975.

All of these clips appear on individual posts that provide more detailed information on the events in question.

The clips are provided here for quick access.

  • Oct 15: Fraser’s Announcement – Malcolm Fraser announces the coalition will block Supply – October 15, 1975 – This was the beginning of the constitutional crisis. Fraser’s announcement came on the day that nearly all of the nation’s newspapers called on the government to resign.
  • Oct 15: Whitlam Stands Firm – Whitlam made a nationally televised address to the nation, condemning the Opposition’s stand and describing the Senate as “tainted”.
  • Oct 16: Reaction to the Blocking of Supply -‘AM’ – The reaction to the planned blocking of Supply and predictions about the outcome of the looming crisis.
  • Nov 03: Fraser Offers a Compromise – Malcolm Fraser offers a compromise – 3 November 1975 – Nearly three weeks into the 1975 constitutional crisis, the pressure was building on the Opposition to pass the budget bills. In this announcement, Fraser offers to pass the bills provided an election is called by May 1976.
  • Nov 11, 3pm – Whitlam Moves No-Confidence in Fraser – Following his dismissal by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, at around 1.00pm on Tuesday 11 November, Whitlam returned to the House of Representatives and listened as Fraser announced that he was now Prime Minister. This no-confidence motion against Fraser was carried by the House.
  • Nov 11, 3.00-4.00pm – It was unusual in 1975 for live broadcasts to take place. This recording of the ABC’s radio coverage represents an unique moment in broadcasting history as regular programming was pushed aside in favour of coverage of the dismissal.
  • Nov 11, 4.00-5.00pm – As the crisis unfolded, it is interesting to hear the reactions from political figures of the time, including the President of the ACTU, Bob Hawke, and the Federal Treasurer, Bill Hayden. Both men went on to lead the Labor Party. Hayden became Governor-General in 1989.
  • Nov 11, 5pm News – Commercial radio also reported the Dismissal without any of the quality of the ABC’s broadcasts. 3DB operated in Melbourne on the 1026 frequency, now used by the ABC’s Parliamentary News Network.
  • Nov 12, The Morning After – ABC Radio “AM” is now in its sixth decade on air. It’s coverage the morning after the Dismissal is a radio classic.
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