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Fixing the Four Year Term?

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Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Level 17, 8 Chifley

8-12 Chifley Square (enter via Hunter St)

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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"In no democracy other than Australia are election dates so frequent and unpredictable. The capricious timing of elections engenders public cynicism and political instability. They should be fixed at four years." Gough Whitlam[1]

Whitlam Institute

With a Private Members Bill before the House and recent statements of support from across the political spectrum, the concept of Fixed Four Year Terms for the Australian Parliament continues to be part of the national agenda. All states and territories bar one have made this change, yet there is no resolution in sight for the federal sphere.

Fixed four year terms – are they as logical and straightforward as they seem? What are the real or perceived obstacles, and how can they be overcome? The Whitlam Institute will host a compelling debate to bring new focus and clarity to this issue.

Whitlam Institute Chair the Hon. John Faulkner will moderate a stimulating panel discussion, with well-informed supporting and dissenting voices, to explore the virtues and hazards of Fixing the Four Year Term.

With thanks to our generous hosts Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Drinks and light refreshments available from 5.30 pm, formalities commence at 6.00 pm.

Elizabeth Proust

Elizabeth Proust is one of Australia’s leading business figures, and has held leadership roles in the private and public sectors in Australia for over 30 years. Chairman of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Nestle Australia and the Bank of Melbourne, Elizabeth is involved in a range of arts, charitable, university and business boards. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010.

Paul KellyPaul Kelly is Editor-at-Large on The Australian. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of the paper and he writes on Australian politics, public policy and international affairs. He is a regular television commentator on Sky News and author of eight books including Triumph and Demise, on the Rudd-Gillard era, and The March of Patriots, a re-interpretation of Paul Keating and John Howard in office.

George WilliamsProfessor George Williams AO is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers, having worked for many years as an academic and as a barrister. He is the Dean, the Anthony Mason Professor and a Scientia Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales. George is a public commentator on public law issues, including a regular column in the Sydney Morning Herald.

John FaulknerThe Hon. John Faulkner was a Labor Senator for New South Wales from 1989 to 2015, and held a number of ministries in that period, including Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories and Minister for Defence. He served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1996 to 2004. He has also been National President of the ALP, a member of its National Executive and Assistant General Secretary of the New South Wales Branch.




[1] Speech by the Hon. Gough Whitlam AC QC at ANU Law Faculty Dinner, 11 November 2000

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Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Level 17, 8 Chifley

8-12 Chifley Square (enter via Hunter St)

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

View Map

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