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Crisis Management - The Howard Government Experience, 1996-2007

Crisis Management - The Howard Government Experience, 1996-2007

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National Press Club

16 National Circuit

Barton, ACT 2600

Australia

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Analysing the crises within the Howard Government era and their management.

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Was the Howard Government crisis prone?

The Howard Government faced several crises in its eleven years in office, from the beginning of the ‘war on terror’, through the (almost simultaneous) collapse of Australia’s second airline, Ansett, to the scandal of the Australian Wheat Board’s dealings with Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein and the waterfront struggles of Australia’s stevedoring companies against union control.

How did the Howard Government respond to the crises it encountered; how did it ‘frame’ these crises for public understanding and support; what role did the media play in explaining particular crises and critiquing Government’s responses; how were the Government’s responses evaluated – by it and its critics - after each crisis had passed; was there a pattern from which we can learn to better inform contemporary government responses to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and those that lie in wait?

These questions will focus the presentations and discussion at the John Howard Prime Ministerial Library’s 2022 annual conference.

Speakers are former Howard Government ministers, academics, media commentators and crisis management experts and include Mr Paul Kelly, The Honourable John Howard OM, AC, The Honourable Mal Brough, The Honourable Adjunct Professor Richard Alston AO, Dr Paul Barnes, Dr Scott Prasser and Mr Peter Jennings.

DAY 1

1000-1030 Registration

1030-1045 Welcome - Professor David Lovell + Professor Emma Sparks

1045-1115 Keynote Address - Mr Paul Kelly

1115-1130 Morning tea

1130-1220 Theme: Pressing Practical Problems

Managing the budget/deficit crisis or an opportunity to prune public spending - Mr Saul Eslake

Waterfront crisis: efficiency crisis or union bashing - Professor Shaun Carney

1220-1240 Interview with Mr Howard - The Hon. John Howard OM, AC & Professor Tom Frame AM

1240-1330 Lunch + book launch

1330-1500 Theme: Pressing Practical Problems

The refugee crisis: or playing the populist card - Professor Pene Mathew

Terrorism crisis: or cosying up to the Americans - Professor David Kilcullen

Indigenous child abuse crisis: or avoiding the responsibility of reconciliation - The Hon. Mal Brough

1500-1520 Afternoon tea

1520-1545 Theme: Pressing Practical Problems

The leadership crisis: or a failure to manage succession - Professor the Hon. Richard Alston AO

1545-1635 Theme: Persisting Policy Problems

Banking crisis: an issue in the making - Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin

COVID-19 response: what have we learned - Professor Peter Collignon AM

DAY 2

0930-1020 Theme: Persisting Policy Problems (cont)

Royal Commission, Inquiry/reports: Did they make a difference? - Dr Scott Prasser

Howard Government: a new approach to media management - Dr David Marshall AM

1020-1035 Morning tea

1035-1150 Theme: Managing Crises

National Security Committee of Cabinet: did it provide a consistent response? - Mr Peter Jennings

Do governments learn? - Dr Paul Barnes

The Prime Minister’s Office: anticipation, coordination or spin doctors - Emeritus Professor James Walter

1150-1230 Wrap up and close

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National Press Club

16 National Circuit

Barton, ACT 2600

Australia

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