Malcolm Fraser: His life and times in dot points

FORMER Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was a giant in Australian politics, both physically and in his legacy.

Standing almost two metres tall, photographs with colleagues show him towering above them.
 

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He was detested by the left after he took power following Governor-General John Kerr's dismissal of Gough Whitlam's Labor government.

Later in life, he would come to distance himself from the party he once led to power, publicly criticising Prime Minister John Howard and later Tony Abbott's treatment of asylum seekers.

He resigned from the party in 2009.

He leaves behind wife Tamara or "Tamie", who he married in 1956, and four children Mark, Angela, Hugh and Phoebe.
 

Gough Whitlam as he labels the incoming Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser as
Gough Whitlam as he labels the incoming Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser as "Kerr's cur".

 

THE KEY DATES:

  • MALCOLM Fraser was a Liberal Prime Minister of Australia from November 11 1975 to march 11, 1983.
  • He took power after Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in November 1975,  then won the largest majority in Australian political history at an election a month later.
  • He lost power to Labor leader Bob Hawke in 1983 after calling a snap election and retired from politics soon after.
     

WHILE IN POWER:

  • He was active in foreign policy and human rights, actively fighting South Africa's policy of apartheid, even refusing to allow a plane carrying the Springbok rugby team to refuel on Australian soil during their 1981 tour to New Zealand.
     
  • He recgonised Indonesia's invasion and control of East Timor, while granting asylum to refugees who fled.
     
  • The Fraser Government included the first Aboriginal federal parliamentarian Neville Bonner.
     
  • Under Fraser, 200,000 Asian migrants came to Australia between 1975 and 1982 -- including 56,000 Vietnamese refugees. That figure includes about 2000 asylum seekers who arrived without documents by boat.
     
  • The SBS -- or Special Broadcasting Service) was created while Mr Fraser was PM.
     

 

LATER LIFE

  • Despite serving as a Liberal PM, Mr Fraser was openly critical of the government led by former political colleague John Howard, particularly on his policies on asylum seekers.
     
  • He would later rally against the Howard Government's policies on sending troops to Iraq, and its handling of David Hicks' imprisonment in the United States.
     
  • He resigned from the Liberal Party after Tony Abbott was elected as party leader in 2009, saying, "The party was no longer a liberal party, but a conservative party".
     
  • Showing the gulf between his views and those of his former party, Mr Fraser publicly endorsed Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
     
  • In late February, he wrote an opinion piece for The Monthly magazine criticising the Abbott Government for attacking Australian Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs instead of considering how it was treating children in detention centres.
     
  • He was active on Twitter, his final post calling for a "new vision on China".
     

 



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