This is the text of Gough Whitlam’s speech to the Whitlam Institute on the 30th Anniversary of the Joint Sitting.
The Joint Sitting took place in August 1974, following the double dissolution election of May 18, 1974. It is the only joint sitting ever held under Section 57 of the Constitution.
The Whitlam Institute is within the University of Western Sydney.
Gough Whitlam’s speech to the Whitlam Institute on the 30th Anniversary of the Joint Sitting.
At 88 years of age I enjoy being invited to 30th anniversaries of events during the terms of my first and second Governments, which were elected on 2 December 1972 and 18 May 1974. In December 2002, the 30th anniversary of the election of the Whitlam Government was celebrated, Labor’s first election win for 26 years. In December 2003 the 30-year restriction on the release of the 1973 Cabinet Papers was lifted. I intend to survive for the release of the 1974 and 1975 cabinet papers. Today we remember the 30th Anniversary of the first and only Joint Sitting of Australia’s federal Parliament and the accompanying exhibition arranged by the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney.