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Bill Hewitt interviewed by Lindsay Marshall and Malcolm McMillan in the Decades of Division oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 4764992
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Hewitt, Bill, 1930-, Interviewee
Online Access
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2009 
2 sound files (ca. 164 min.) 

Decades of Division oral history project.

Technical Details

Mode of access: Online. 


Bill Hewitt discusses his family history; early working life; his interest in and involvement in politics; the Communist Party; state ownership in Queensland; Ned Hanlon; Vince Gair; State Labor Party governments; Labor Party split and election of Coalition Government (1957); Premier Frank Nicklin's government; relationships between Country/National Party premiers and Liberal Party deputy premiers; Jack Pizzey; Tom Hiley; 1960 election; election campaigning; Jim Killen; running for Chatsworth at 1966 election, maiden speech; Mike Ahern; Joh Bjelke-Petersen; the level of scrutiny of government; his role as Chairman of Committees (1975-1980); Gordon Chalk; impact of electoral system on the Liberal Party; background to three-cornered contests; benefits of electoral system to country people; redistribution and the "Porter plan" (1971); quality of political candidates and contraction in membership numbers in political parties; formation of the Liberal National Party (LNP); Liberal Party rank-and-file agitation to dominate Coalition; talents of National Party organisational wing and comparison with Liberal Party organisation; comparative financial strengths of Liberal and National parties and merger process to form LNP

Hewitt speaks about the alternative to LNP for disaffected Liberal Party members;the quality of Labor Party leaders; Tom Burns; the Whitlam Government; Ed Casey; Keith Wright; Independent MPs in state parliament and the role of party politics in federal and state parliaments; conflict between Coalition Government parties; the impact of 1957 Labor Party split; the importance of party organisations; National Party's approach to environmental and heritage issues; street marches; Russ Hinze; cabinet processes and quality of departmental heads; alternative National Party leaders; Bert Milliner; Charles Porter; Bill Knox; Cabinet solidarity within the Coalition government and events leading to 1983 Coalition split; Terry White; Don Lane and Brian Austin; John Herron; turnover of Liberal Party state directors; Liberal Party performance since major losses at 1983 state election; views on fixed-term elections and long-term governments; Joh for PM campaign after the 1986 state election; outcomes of the Fitzgerald Inquiry and views on post-Fitzgerald politics; advice to young people considering a political career and views on life expectancy of governments.


This interview is part of a joint project between the Queensland Chapter of the Don Dunstan Foundation and the National Library of Australia.

Recorded on 21 and 23 December 2009 at Camp Hill, Qld.

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (7 p.) and uncorrected transcript (typescript, 87 leaves) 
Subjects Hewitt, Bill, 1930- -- Interviews.  |  Politicians -- Queensland.  |  Queensland -- Politics and government -- History.
Occupation State and Territory politicians.
Other authors/contributors Marshall, Lindsay N. (Lindsay Neil), 1956-, Interviewer  |  McMillan, Malcolm, 1949-, Interviewer  |  Don Dunstan Foundation. Queensland Chapter  |  National Library of Australia

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Details Collect From
ORAL TRC 6150/2
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 6150/2 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 6150/2 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Special Collections Reading Room

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