An Article by Matthew Knott about Malcolm Fraser

20 Mar

Malcolm Fraser was planning to start a new political party before his death

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who died on Friday, was in the process of setting up a new political party that would have advocated scaling back Australia’s military ties to the United States.

Mr Fraser, who led the Liberal Party from 1975 to 1983, quit the party in 2009, shortly after Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull as leader. He campaigned for Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young at the last election because of her stance on asylum seekers.

With an election due in mid to late 2016, Mr Fraser’s new party could have potentially run candidates at the next election.

Mr Fraser, who died aged 84, would not have led the party but would have driven its policy agenda. Fairfax Media understands Mr Fraser had developed a written draft policy platform for the party that included:

ending Australia’s close military alliance with the United States
a closer relationship with South-East Asian nations
ending the offshore processing of asylum seekers
stronger anti-corruption and transparency laws
tighter regulation of the sale of arable land
Mr Fraser discussed the party with confidants late last year.

In his last book, Dangerous Allies, published last year, Mr Fraser argued that Australia should become a “strategically independent country” and that the ANZUS Treaty with the United States was possibly the biggest threat to Australia’s security.

“If a war between China and the United States were to occur with a continuation of current policies, it would be very hard, if not impossible, for Australia to become involved,” he wrote.

Mr Fraser advocated closing down the US military base in Darwin and the Pine Gap communications facility

Mr Fraser had been a staunch defender of the US alliance during the Cold War but changed his view radically in his later years.

Mr Fraser was also deeply unhappy with the tough asylum-seeker policies of both major parties, including the use of mandatory detention and the offshore processing of asylum seekers.

Last year Mr Fraser tweeted in support of the creation of a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

As prime minister, Mr Fraser introduced several measures to increase transparency of government decision making. These included the creation of the Commonwealth Ombudsman in 1977 to handle complaints about government agencies. He also introduced Australia’s first freedom of information laws and created the Australian Human Rights Commission.

8 Responses to “An Article by Matthew Knott about Malcolm Fraser”

  1. The Emu March 21, 2015 at 12:10 am #

    One of his greatest achievements was the creation of the Commonwealth Ombudsman in 1977 to handle complaints about government agencies.

  2. aussieian2011 March 21, 2015 at 12:27 am #

    That man was dangerous, every politician is dangerous

    • auntyuta March 21, 2015 at 6:16 am #

      What about democracy, Ian? Is it dangerous, to have a democracy? I think very right wing (or left wing) parties are dangerous!.

  3. giselzitrone March 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    Wunsche dir liebe Ute ein schönes Wochenende lieber Gruß und eine Umarmung.Gislinde

    • auntyuta March 22, 2015 at 5:53 am #

      Thank you! Hugs and best wishes for you, dear Gislinde! Yours, Uta 🙂

  4. stuartbramhall March 22, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    I was pleased to hear a report on the BBC that Fraser supported the Australian Green Party’s position on immigration.

    • auntyuta March 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

      I know that he was very upset about Australia’s treatment of the “boat” people. He said we cannot deny these people proper human rights.

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