MEMORIES: Retired politician Doug Anthony speaks about the day the Whitlam Government was sacked 30 years ago. Mr Anthony was t
MEMORIES: Retired politician Doug Anthony speaks about the day the Whitlam Government was sacked 30 years ago. Mr Anthony was t

Doug Anthony recalls the day Whitlam was dismissed



Doug Anthony recalls the day Whitlam was dismissed

HISTORY-MAKING: Gough Whitlam on the day his government was sacked by then Governor-General Sir John Kerr. That was 30 years ago yesterday.I was spat at, abusedBy LEONIE BRANN

AUSTRALIA was only a breath away from rebellion the day the Governor-General Sir John Kerr sacked the Whitlam Government, retired politician Doug Anthony said this week.

Describing the scene on the steps of the old Parliament House after the dismissal of the Whitlam Government 30 years ago, Mr Anthony, the then leader of the Country Party, said it was a day he would not easily forget.

"I was standing right there as Whitlam made his famous speech labelling Malcolm Fraser 'Kerr's cur'," Mr Anthony said from his Murwillumbah home.

"The public were inflamed and there was a riotous atmosphere in the air."

Mr Anthony said he feared for his safety as people reacted angrily to the dismissal.

He said there were thousands of people there.

"I started to get the feeling for the mood in the crowd, and it was starting to get ugly because most of the crowd were Labor supporters. I was frightened because the people had started to turn fanatical. It was a strange moment that could have gone either way," he said.

"Then people started to recognise me and I was showered with abuse and was threatened, so I moved back behind the main doors to Parliament House for protection."

Mr Anthony said it was the actions of his political contemporaries that stuck with him most from that day.

"Around the steps were crowded by staff members of Labour ministers who hurled abuse and even spat at me," he said.

But despite the bad blood of the past, Mr Anthony says the dismissal is now water under a very different political bridge.



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