March 13th 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the 1993 federal election contest between the incumbent Paul Keating and John Hewson. In the lead up to the recession ‘we had to have’, John Hewson emerged as the leader of the opposition Liberal party. He set out early and launched his Fightback policy in late 1991 representing the Coalition’s new future policy direction.
We delved into the past and asked; How consequential was the race? Did Keating’s demolition of the Coalition’s free-market manifesto herald the demise of the reform agenda in Australia? And, did the “unlosable election” spell the end of political transparency?
Moderated by Tom Switzer. Our panel included: John Hewson, Former Liberal Opposition Leader 1990 – 1994 and Chair of ANU’s Tax and Transfer Policy Institute. Paul Kelly: Editor-at-Large with The Australian, author of The End of Certainty and commentator on Australian politics, public policy and international affairs. Miranda Devine: Columnist with the Daily Telegraph and former radio host on Sydney’s 2GB. Troy Bramston: Columnist with The Australian and author of Paul Keating: The Big Picture Leader.