Malcolm Fraser AC CH to present Earle Page College Politics Lecture

Published 14 July 2014

Former Australian Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser AC CH, will deliver this year’s prestigious Earle Page Politics Lecture at the University of New England in August.

Mr Fraser will address the question, ‘Should Australia be involved in a war that may be sparked by China and the United States?’

Earle Page Academic Master, Dr Amanda Kennedy described the engagement of Mr Fraser as guest speaker as the greatest coup in the history of the Earle Page College Politics Lecture.

Dr Kennedy said Mr Fraser would be able to share a unique insight, both into one of the most turbulent times in Australian political history, as well as the potential conflict between Australia-US and Australia-China relations.

“Malcolm Fraser has led a long, distinguished and certainly controversial career in Australian politics, and during retirement as a political commentator,” Dr Kennedy said.

“Certainly, there are few decisions as contentious as when Malcolm Fraser’s Liberals blocked supply for the Whitlam government, yet even in his earlier political career, Mr Fraser did not shy away from the difficult jobs.

“It was Mr Fraser as Prime Minister who refused permission for the aircraft carrying the Springbok rugby team to refuel on Australian territory, en route to their tour of New Zealand in 1981.

“As Minister for the Army, Mr Fraser was required to preside over Australia’s Vietnam conscription, and later, as Defence Minister during the height of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, Mr Fraser was one of Australia’s strongest advocates for the benefits of Australia’s alliance with the US.

“Yet in recent years, Mr Fraser has argued for greater independence from the US, in the interests of stronger relations with China – including authoring an informative book on the subject. Former Australia Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans, remarks that in this ‘fascinating book’, Mr Fraser ‘makes a passionate case that, in today’s very different world, the risk of Australia’s strategic dependence on Washington now far exceed any returns’.

“This is a wonderful chance for students and the community to explore an emerging political debate with a former Australian Prime Minister and highly regarded commentator,” Dr Kennedy said.

The 2014 Earle Page Politics Dinner and Lecture will be held at UNE on Wednesday, August 6. Members of the Armidale community are invited to attend the lecture, at Earle Page College, commencing at 8.00 pm.

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