Gough Whitlam Assess the contribution of Gough Whitlam to Australia’s post-war development Plan Introduction -Had a wide ranging reforming plan -Aimed more to change the social aspect of society than to solve Australia’s economic problems -In 1975, the Liberal Party blocked the supply bill to the Senate, eventually leading to Whitlam’s dismissal on the 11th November, 1975, by Sir John Kerr. However, even though the Whitlam government lost the next election, many felt that he made a significant contribution to social reform in Australia and to its modernisation.
Argument 1- Foreign Policy -Whitlam aimed for a foreign policy that was independent from Britain and the US. He wanted to develop that expressed Australia’s own interests. -He distanced Australia from the military driven commitments of the Vietnam War era, overcoming racism and changing our choices of allies, thus enhancing Australia’s national reputation that valued tolerance and fought for justice. -His policy- Wanted to recognise China as a Communist Party and their policies. He strived to get rid of anti-Communism, and allied with South-East Asian countries.
Broke free of the attitudes from the Cold War. Wanted a diplomatic relationship with Asia. Argument 2- Human Rights – He wanted to incorporate human rights and equality into Australian law. He supported initiatives, such as Aboriginal rights, workers rights and womens rights. -Brought in rights for Indigenous people- Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Rights in Federal Territories. The government had to pay funds to Aborginals needing legal support for land rights claims. Whitlam formally returned land to many people. -Increased the funding for Aboriginal affairs to $141 million. new policy of multiculturalism recognised the range of different cultures represented in Australia. Whitlam ended a number of discriminatory practices relating to immigration and citizenship. -The abolition of the White Australia Policy opened the way for a new immigration policy and improved relationships with Australian’s Asian neighbours -People applying for Visas to Australia did so on an equal footing, whereas before, the Australian government had given preference to tourists from Western Europe and North America. The Government encouraged support for migrants and established migrant education centres. -Benefits for women- Whitlam promoted equal opportunities for women within Australia. He appointed many women into parliament and abolished the difference in wages between males and females. -Removed taxes on the pill, began tutoring schemes to help migrant women learn English, gave single women money to help support their children. -Abolition of uni fees and increased spending on education -Introduction of Medibank Establishment of the Australian Legal Aid Office to provide legal representation for those who could not afford it -Establishment of the Trade Practices Commission and the Law Reform Commission. Argument 3- Legacy -many of Whitlam’s policies continue to affect Australia’s decisions and laws, such as decisions about immigration no longer being based on race, Australia actively promotes good relationships with China and South-East Asian countries. -We have grown increasingly independent of Great Britain, although not of the United States. Argument 4- The Economic Problems Whitlam was dismissed for mainly economic reasons, such as his incapability to keep unemployment and inflation rates down. -Funding Whitlam’s social reforms became hard to sustain amid those economic problems. If the government failed to cut back on spending, it risked losing lots of money and appearing ineffective in managing the economy. But if it cut back on its reform program, it risked not fulfilling its election promises. Continuing expenditure on social reform added heavily to the establishment of the world recession of the world economy. Conclusion- stuff