1990 and 1991 – Hawke government

Swearing in of the Fourth Hawke Ministry at Government House, April 1990. (NAA: A13966, 900078)

The year 1990 started with the Third Hawke Ministry, which served until the general election on 24 March 1990. Following a win at the general election, the Fourth Hawke Ministry was sworn in on 4 April 1990, and served until Paul Keating made a second Labor leadership challenge and won (56-51) on 19 December 1991.

1990 – 1991 Cabinet records

Submissions

Most Cabinet business is conducted on the basis of formal submissions. As far as possible, submissions are circulated to all ministers before meetings. 

Cabinet submissions once lodged may be withdrawn by their originating department or Minister. This could happen because:

  • they were overtaken by events (such as a forthcoming election)
  • the length of time that had elapsed since lodgement without being listed for consideration indicated that the matter was not a priority, or
  • the Cabinet Office returned them as they did not comply with technical requirements (for example, there had been inadequate consultation).

In such cases all copies, other than a master copy retained by the Cabinet Office, were required to be returned to the originating department. Withdrawn submissions are not always found in the folders of submissions but can usually be found in the relevant Cabinet Office file.

During 1990 and 1991, the Hawke Cabinet considered 553 submissions.

A change in Cabinet Office management procedures, introduced with the swearing in of the Second Hawke Ministry in December 1984, saw submissions and memoranda combined into a single series. While still being identified as either a 'submission' or a 'memorandum', papers were controlled within a single sequential numbering system. Rather than commencing with '1' this new series commenced with '1962', which was the first number after allowing for the combined total of numbers used for the issue of submissions and memoranda through the life of the First Hawke Ministry. This series is registered by the National Archives as A14039.

Memoranda

Cabinet memoranda provided a means – other than a formal Cabinet submission – by which a minister could, with the prior consent of the Prime Minister, place a matter before Cabinet. 

Cabinet was concerned that the submission should remain the main vehicle by which matters were placed before it. Cabinet memoranda, though, would allow for the presentation to Cabinet of supplementary or other factual information not contained in an original submission, or additional information on a matter specifically called for by Cabinet. 

Memoranda were in a format specifically prepared for presentation to Cabinet, and included recommendations, making it more straightforward for Cabinet to reach a decision. They were registered and copies retained by the Cabinet Office. Where a memorandum resulted in a decision by Cabinet, a copy of the decision is attached to the memorandum. 

Memoranda considered by the fourth Hawke ministry are held in series A14039.

During 1990 and 1991 the Hawke Cabinet considered 520 memoranda.

Decisions

Cabinet decisions are the essential documented output of the Cabinet process and record the course of action to be taken on a matter following deliberation by Cabinet. 

Although much Cabinet business was conducted on the basis of submissions or memoranda, the Prime Minister could decide to raise, or allow a colleague to raise, a matter without formal documentation. In such cases, the Cabinet decision is the only formal record of such deliberations. Even after the introduction of the Cabinet memoranda process many decisions continued to be made with no supporting documentation. 

As with submissions and memoranda, Cabinet decisions were allocated a unique number in sequence. Where a decision was made as a result of Cabinet deliberation on a submission or memorandum, a copy of the decision is held with this document. However, it was not uncommon for decisions to be made with no supporting documentation and these are referred to as 'decisions without submission'. 

During 1990 and 1991 the Hawke Cabinet made 1086 decisions without submission or memorandum. 

Cabinet decisions are the outcomes of the deliberations of Cabinet. The series of decisions of the Hawke Cabinet (A13979) contain both the decisions made on a submission or memorandum and those made without a submission or memorandum.

Cabinet Office files

Cabinet Office files contain the originals of the submissions, memoranda and related decisions. They also contain departmental advice and exchanges between officials and ministers not included in the formal Cabinet papers. There is a Cabinet Office file for most submissions and memoranda. 

Files for the Hawke Cabinets in 1990 and 1991, which are held in series A11116, have numbers beginning with the prefix 'CA' and are often referred to as 'CA files'. 

CA files of interest from 1990 and 1991 can be identified through the Archives' collection database, RecordSearch, where an application for access can also be submitted online.

Departmental records

The detailed background papers and earlier drafts of the Cabinet papers can be found on the files of the department that sponsored each Cabinet submission. These papers reveal the detailed deliberations of the Public Service on the topic, and often include the opinions and guidance of the responsible minister. Records can be identified through RecordSearch.

Collection references

Background to 1990 and 1991

The media briefing on the Cabinet records featured two speakers, former Prime Minister Mr Robert (Bob) Hawke AC and Professor Nicholas Brown. They provided context and insights into the issues, events and personalities of 1990 and 1991.

Bob Hawke AC

The Hon Bob Hawke AC was born in South Australia in 1929. After completing his education at the University of Western Australia (degrees of Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts [Economics]) in 1953–55, he studied at Oxford University under a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Letters. 

In 1956 he returned to Australia to take up a research scholarship at the Australian National University, and in 1958 became Research Officer and Advocate with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). He was ACTU President from 1970 to 1980. During this time, he was also President of the Australian Labor Party (1973–78). 

In 1980 he was elected to the Federal Parliament, and in February 1983 became the Leader of the Opposition. He led the Labor Party to victory in the general election in March 1983 and, in winning three successive elections, became Australia’s longest-serving Labor Prime Minister. He ceased to be Prime Minister in December 1991 and resigned from the Parliament in February 1992. In August 2009 Mr Hawke was given National Life Membership of the Australian Labor Party. 

His post-parliamentary career has included Adjunct Professor in the Research Schools of Pacific Studies and Social Sciences at the Australian National University, Honorary Visiting Professor in Industrial Relations at the University of Sydney, Membership of the Advisory Council of the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, and Chairman of the Committee of Experts on Membership of the Education International. 

He is an Honorary Fellow at the University College of Oxford and holds honorary degrees from the University of Western Australia, Nanjing University of China, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of New South Wales, University of South Australia, Macquarie University, Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law, Oxford University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Rikkyo University, Tokyo. 

Mr Hawke was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1979. In 2009 he was awarded by the Papua New Guinea government the highest award for non-citizens, the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL). In 2012 Mr Hawke received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from the government of Japan. 

Current honorary positions include Member of the Advisory Council, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney; Member of the Council of Advisers of the Boao Forum for Asia; Member of the International Advisory Council of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue; Chairman of The Hawke Research Institute Advisory Board at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia; Member of the Advisory Board, Deliberative Issues Australia; and Patron of Indigenous Engineering Aid.

Professor Nicholas Brown

Nicholas Brown is a professor in the School of History, College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University.

He has published extensively in Australian political, environmental and social history, including, most recently, A History of Canberra (Cambridge, 2014) and, with Susan Boden, A Way Through: The Life of Rick Farley (NewSouth, 2012). He has chapters in The Cambridge History of Australia (2013) and A Companion to the Australian Media (ASP, 2014).

In 2002 to 2004 he was Keith Cameron Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin, and prior to that worked in the departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is currently Head of the School of History and collaborating in an ARC-supported biographical study of the Australian economist Sir John Crawford.

Cabinet members and committees

The year 1990 started with the Third Hawke Ministry, which served until the general election on 24 March 1990. Following a win at the general election, the Fourth Hawke Ministry was sworn in on 4 April 1990, and served until Paul Keating made a second Labor leadership challenge and won (56-51) on 19 December 1991.

Following the election held in December 1984 a change in Cabinet office administrative practice saw the two forms of papers in which matters could be placed before Cabinet – submissions and memoranda – managed within a single record series (A14039). The two formats – the submission which was the detailed and formal information paper, and the memorandum, a briefer document often used to place supplementary or updated information on a subject before Cabinet – were retained, although they were now issued and controlled under a single sequential numbering system.

The practice of Cabinet consisting of some but not all members of the ministry was continued by the Hawke government. A change introduced after the 1987 election saw the departments of state re-organised into 17 'super' portfolios, with the minister of each being a member of Cabinet. All ministers who were not in Cabinet had responsibilities as a junior minister within one of 17 larger departments.

Members of Cabinet during 1990 and 1991 are listed below.

Cabinet ministers

The following table lists the Cabinet ministers in government in 1990 and 1991 referred to in the selected Cabinet documents. Further details about the records collections of Commonwealth persons held by the Archives can be found by selecting the links in the following lists.

NameRole
Hawke, The Hon Robert James LeePrime Minister
Keating, The Hon Paul JohnDeputy Prime Minister (to 3 June 1991)
Treasurer (to 3 June 1991)
Button, Senator the Hon John NormanMinister for Industry, Technology and Commerce (to 4 June 1991)
Evans, Senator the Hon Gareth JohnMinister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Blewett, The Hon Dr NealMinister for Trade Negotiations (to 1 February 1991)
Minister for Trade and Overseas Development (from 1 February 1991)
Willis, The Hon RalphMinister for Finance (to 9 December 1991)
Treasurer (from 9 December 1991)
Duffy, The Hon Michael JohnAttorney-General
Dawkins, The Hon John SydneyMinister for Employment, Education and Training
Beazley, The Hon Kim ChristianMinister for Transport and Communications (to 9 December 1991)
Minister for Finance (from 9 December 1991)
Vice-President of Executive Council (to 1 February 1991)
Kerin, The Hon John CharlesMinister for Primary Industries and Energy (to 4 June 1991) Treasurer (from 4 June to 9 December 1991) Minister for Transport and Communications (from 9 December 1991)
Howe, The Hon Brian LeslieMinister for Community Services and Health (to 7 June 1991)
Deputy Prime Minister (from 3 June 1991)
Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services (from 7 June 1991)
Richardson, Senator the Hon Graham FrederickMinister for Social Security
Vice-President of Executive Council (from 1 February 1991)
Ray, Senator Robert FrancisMinister for Defence
Hand, The Hon Gerard (Gerry) LeslieMinister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs
Kelly, The Hon Roslyn (Ros) JoanMinister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories
Cook, The Hon Peter Francis SalmonMinister for Industrial Relations
Bolkus, Senator the Hon NickMinister for Administrative Services
Crean, the Hon Simon FindlayMinister for Primary Industries and Energy (from 4 June 1991)

Cabinet committees

The following abbreviations refer to the Cabinet committees in 1990 and 1991. They may follow a decision number, which occurs in the list of submissions, memoranda and decisions, indicating the committee of Cabinet that made the decision.

Cabinet committeeAbbreviation
Ad Hoc CommitteeAd Hoc
BudgetB
Economic PolicyEP
Expenditure Review (and Augmented Expenditure Review)ER (or ERC) (AER)
General AdministrativeGA
LegislationLEG
MinistryM
Parliamentary BusinessPB
RevenueREV
SecuritySEC
Social JusticeSJ
Structural AdjustmentSA
Sustainable DevelopmentSD

It was usual for decisions made by an Ad Hoc Committee to bear the suffix 'Ad Hoc'.

Key people

The following table lists the key people in government in 1990 and 1991. Other figures from the period may be identified by consulting the Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia 2014.

NameRole
Ayers, TonySecretary, Department of Defence
Baldwin, the Hon Peter JeremyMinister for Employment and Education Services (to 7 May 1990)
Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services (from 7 May 1990)
Bannon, Dr JohnPremier of South Australia (1982–92)
Beazley, The Hon Kim ChristianVice-President of Executive Council (to 1 February 1991)
Minister for Transport and Communications (to 9 December 1991)
Minister for Finance (from 9 December 1991)
Beddall, the Hon David PeterMinister for Small Business and Customs
Bilney, the Hon Gordon NeilMinister for Defence and Science and Personnel
Blewett, The Hon Dr NealMinister for Trade Negotiations (to 1 February 1991)
Minister for Trade and Overseas Development (from 1 February 1991)
Blunt, CharlesLeader of the National Party of Australia
Brown, the Hon Robert James AMMinister for Land Transport
Button, Senator the Hon John NormanMinister for Industry, Technology and Commerce (to 4 June 1991)
Cain, JohnPremier of Victoria (1982–90)
Codd, MikeSecretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Secretary to Cabinet (1986–91)
Cole, AnthonySecretary, Department of the Treasury (1991–93)
Collins, the Hon Robert Lindsay AOMinister for Shipping (to 7 May 1990)
Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support (from 7 May 1990)
Crean, the Hon Simon FindlayMinister for Science and Technology (to 4 June 1991)
Dawkins, The Hon John SydneyMinister for Employment, Education and Training (to 7 May 1990)
Duffy, The Hon Michael JohnAttorney-General
Evans, Senator the Hon Gareth John

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Fatin, the Hon Wendy FrancesMinister for Local Government
Field, MichaelPremier of Tasmania (1989–92)
Fischer, Timothy AndrewLeader of the National Party of Australia (1990–99)
Follett, RosemaryChief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
(1991–95)
Free, the Hon Ross VincentMinister for Science and Technology (from 4 June 1991)
Goss, WaynePremier of Queensland (1989–96)
Griener, NickPremier of New South Wales (1988–92)
Griffiths, the Hon Alan GordonMinister for Resources
Hand, The Hon Gerard (Gerry) LeslieMinister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs
Hawke, The Hon Robert James LeePrime Minister
Hayden, The Hon William (Bill) GeorgeGovernor-General of Australia (1989–96)
Hewson, John RobertLeader of the Opposition (1990–94)
Higgins, ChristopherSecretary, Department of the Treasury (1989–90)
Howe, The Hon Brian LeslieDeputy Prime Minister (from 3 June 1991)
Minister for Community Services and Health (to 7 June 1991)
Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services (from 7 June 1991)
Humphries, The Hon Benjamin CharlesMinister for Veterans' Affairs
Kaine, TrevorChief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (1989–91)
Keating, Dr MichaelSecretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (1991–96)
Keating, The Hon Paul JohnDeputy Prime Minister (to 3 June 1991)
Treasurer (to 3 June 1991)
Kelly, The Hon Roslyn (Ros) Joan

Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories

Kerin, The Hon John CharlesTreasurer (from 4 June to 9 December 1991)
Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (to 4 June 1991)
Minister for Transport and Communications (from 9 December 1991)
Kirner, JoanPremier of Victoria (1990–92)
Lawrence, Dr CarmenPremier of Western Australia (1990–93)
McLeay, the Hon Leo BoyceSpeaker, House of Representatives (1990–93)
Perron, MarshallChief Minister of the Northern Territory (1988–95)
Ray, Senator Robert FrancisMinister for Defence
Richardson, Senator the Hon Graham FrederickVice-President of Executive Council (from 1 February 1991)
Minister for Social Security
Rose, AlanSecretary, Attorney-General's Department
Sibraa, Senator the Hon Kerry WalterPresident of the Senate (1987–94)
Simmons, The Hon David WilliamMinister for the Arts, Tourism and Territories
Staples, The Hon Peter RichardMinister for Housing and Aged Care (to 7 May 1990)
Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services (from 7 May 1990)
Tate, Senator the Hon Michael CarterMinister for Justice and Consumer Affairs
Tickner, the Hon RobertMinister for Aboriginal Affairs (to 19 December 1991)
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (from 19 December 1991)
Willis, The Hon RalphMinister for Finance (to 9 December 1991)
Treasurer (from 9 December 1991)
Woolcott, Richard Arthur ACSecretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1988–92)

Cabinet historian's selection

Below is a list of key Cabinet records selected by the Archives' visiting consultant historian Professor Nicholas Brown. The documents have been selected from the submissions and memoranda of the Hawke Cabinet (series A14039).

Those records not available, as well as the related Cabinet Office files for the Hawke Cabinet (series A11116), can be identified using RecordSearch, where an application for access can be submitted online.

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbol
Submission – Developments in the USSR and Eastern Europe – Decision 135181990A14039, 6937
Memorandum – Restructured assistance for the unemployed – Decisions 13560/ER(Amended) and 136481990A14039, 6950
Memorandum – Economic and regulatory measures for ecologically sustainable development: strategies – Decisions 13847/SD and 138621990A14039, 7128
Submission – Asylum claimants – Decision 13886(Amended)1990A14039, 7148
Memorandum – Program Review - Medium term outlays management - Health savings – Decisions 13954/ER and 143191990A14039, 7151
Memorandum – Furthering State involvement in microeconomic reform – Decision 138651990A14039, 7152
Memorandum – International terrorist threat to Australia – Decision 13904/SEC1990A14039, 7162
Submission – National Housing Strategy – Decisions 14332/SJ and 143491990A14039, 7342
Submission – Sale of Australian Airlines and partial sale of Qantas – Decision 144091990A14039, 7425
Submission – Wool Reserve Price Scheme – Decisions 14428 and 144421990A14039, 7443
Submission – Overview of five review papers for programs on housing, health, disability services and aged care – Decision 145041990A14039, 7473
Submission – Aboriginal reconciliation – Decision 147491990A14039, 7655
Submission – Commonwealth-State agreements - forest industry resource development and conservation – Decision 147721990A14039, 7675
Submission – Review of labour market and training programs – Decision 149021991A14039, 7748
Submission – Economic outlook and strategy – Decision 14881/ER1991A14039, 7754
Submission – Commonwealth initiatives to ‘Build Better Cities’ – Decisions 15027/SJ and 150501991A14039, 7815
Submission – Commonwealth drought policy – Decision 152071991A14039, 7960
Submission – Response to Resource Assessment Commission (RAC) inquiry into use of resources of Kakadu Conservation Zone – Decision 153151991A14039, 7994
Memorandum – Discussion paper - second carrier selection process - carriage of pay television services – No decision1991A14039, 8255
Memorandum – Negotiations for a convention on climate change – progress report – Decisions 16125/SD and 161441991A14039, 8486

Cabinet records withheld from public access

A small amount of material contained in the Cabinet records has been withheld from public access. The following table indicates whether a document is partially released (noted as 'OWE' – open with exception) or wholly withheld (noted as 'CLOSED') and the reasons for exemption from public access under the Archives Act 1983.

Information has been exempted under different categories of section 33 of the Archives Act 1983 because its disclosure:

  • would damage Australia's security, defence or international relations – s33(1)(a)
  • would breach a confidence shared by a foreign government, an authority of a foreign government, or an international organisation with the Commonwealth government – 33(1)(b)
  • would unreasonably disclose information about the personal affairs of a person – 33(1)(g)
  • would be privileged from production in legal proceedings on the ground of legal professional privilege and its disclosure would be contrary to the public interest – 33(2).

Budget

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Memorandum 7140 - New policy proposals for the 1990–91 Budget - overview - Decision 13850/ER1990A14039, 7140OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 8423 - Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) - revenue sharing - No Decision1991A14039, 8423OWE 33(2)(a)(b)

Defence

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Submission 7350 - Nuclear non-proliferation and the Fourth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) - Decision 143371990A14039, 7350OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7398 - Middle East deployment - implementation - Decision 143901990A14039, 7398OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7415 - Middle East deployment - implications of United Nations Security Council Resolution 665 (UNSCR 665) - Decision 144011990A14039, 7415OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7651 - Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) - No Decision1990A14039, 7651OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7674 - Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) - Decision 147741990A14039, 7674OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7912 - Kurdish relief arrangements - Australian Defence Force contribution - Decision 151501991A14039, 7912OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 8192 - Threats against civil aviation - Decision 158871991A14039, 8192OWE 33(2)(a)(b)

Environment

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Submission 7994 - Response to Resource Assessment Commission (RAC) inquiry into use of resources of Kakadu Conservation Zone - Decision 153151991A14039, 7994OWE 33(2)(a)(b)

Foreign affairs

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Submission 7250 - Papua New Guinea (PNG) - Australia's policy approach - Decision 140261990A14039, 7250OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7601 - Australia-Taiwan relations - Decision 146581990A14039, 7601OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7913 - Australia-Iran relations - control of Iranian students in Australia - No Decision1991A14039, 7913OWE 33(1)(a)

Indigenous affairs

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Submission 7481 - British atomic tests - personal compensation for aboriginals - Decision 145491990A14039, 7481OWE 33(1)(g)

Security and intelligence

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Memorandum 7154 - Finance report on the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) budget and forward estimates for the period 1990-1991 to 1993-1994 - Decision 13899/SEC1990A14039, 7154OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7156 - Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) - resources for new activities - Decision 13901/SEC1990A14039, 7156OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7159 - Telecommunications interception technology - Decision 13903/SEC1990A14039, 7159OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 7160 - East European intelligence services' threat to Australia - an update - Decision 13906/SEC1990A14039, 7160OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 7161 - The security implications arising from the entry to Australia of Iranian students - Decision 13907/SEC1990A14039, 7161OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 7162 - The terrorist threat to Australia - Decision 13904/SEC1990A14039, 7162OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 7644 - Offshore Counter-Terrorist (CT) capability review - Decision 14730/SEC1990A14039, 7644OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 7648 - SCIS [Secretaries Committee on Intelligence and Security] report to Ministers on the activities of the intelligence and security agencies 1989-1990 - Decision 14726/SEC1990A14039, 7648OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 7870 - Australia's Internal Security Environment 1990-1991 - Decision 15191/SEC1991A14039, 7870OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 8054 - Finance report on the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) budget and forward estimates for the period 1991-1992 to 1994-1995 - Decision 15322/SEC1991A14039, 8054OWE 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 8055 - SCIS [Secretaries Committee on Intelligence and Security] Working Group report on the Gulf Crisis - Decision 15323/LEG1991A14039, 8055OWE 33(1)(a)
Submission 8057 - Changes to rules on foreign signals intelligence and Australian persons - Decision 15325/SEC1991A14039, 8057OWE 33(1)(a)

Wholly withheld

Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number and control symbolReason for exemption from public access under the Archives Act
Submission 7155 - Title exempt - Decision 13900/SEC1990A14039, 7155CLOSED 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 7642 - Title exempt - Decision 14727/SEC1990A14039, 7642CLOSED 33(1)(a)
Memorandum 8056 - Title exempt - Decision 15324/SEC1991A14039, 8056CLOSED 33(1)(a)

Further information

Personal records

The Archives also holds collections of personal records deposited by people who have been closely associated with the Australian Government in an official capacity, such as governors-general, prime ministers and ministers. These records may include official Commonwealth records as well as private or personal records. Commonwealth records in these collections are subject to the access provisions of the Archives Act 1983. From 1 January 2016 records created in 1990 and 1991 will enter the open access period. Access to non-Commonwealth records in personal records collections is determined by the depositor.

The Archives holds personal records collections deposited by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, as well as other members of Cabinet. Further details about the personal records collections of Commonwealth persons can be found by selecting the links in the lists of Cabinet ministers and Key people of 1990 and 1991.

The National Archives and the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library at the University of South Australia hold extensive collections of Bob Hawke’s personal records. Custody is divided between the National Archives and the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Library, with the Archives holding official records created by Bob Hawke as Prime Minister and Member of Parliament. From 1 January 2016 official records in the Hawke collection held by the Archives created before the end of 1991 will enter the open access period.

The Archives' Australia's Prime Ministers website also provides information about the careers of Australia’s prime ministers and is illustrated with unique records and photographs from the Archives’ collection.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2016