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Material drawn from the archival collection may contain terms that reflect authors’ views, or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded, but which may not be considered appropriate today. These views are not necessarily the views of the National Archives of Australia. While information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in historical context.

Cabinet records created in the year 2001 became available to access on 1 January 2022.

These records offer an insight into John Howard's second term, and part of his third term, as prime minister.

Some of the big issues Cabinet discussed in 2001 were:

  • unauthorised arrivals
  • the September 11 terrorist attacks
  • relations with Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and the Solomon Islands
  • the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
  • environment and resource policy, mining and Kakadu
  • rural and regional infrastructure
  • the Centenary of Federation
  • the HIH Insurance collapse
  • the Tampa crisis
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, reconciliation and health programs
  • free trade agreements
  • welfare reform.

Where can I find the 2001 Cabinet records?

The 2001 Cabinet records are in these series:

Find out about the difference between submissions, decisions and files

Can I read all of the 2001 Cabinet records?

All of the Cabinet records from 2001 are now eligible for access under the Archives Act. Like all Commonwealth records, we need to examine Cabinet records before making them available to the public.

Many Cabinet records from 2001 have already been examined and digitised. You can view digital copies of these records in our RecordSearch database.

If the Cabinet record you want is not available online, you can usually still access it:

  • If the record has a status of ‘open’ or ‘open with exception’, you can request a digital copy or view the original record for free in our Canberra research centre.
  • If the record is ‘not yet examined’ or ‘closed’, you can apply to have the record examined for access. If we approve its release, the record's status changes to ‘open’ or ‘open with exception’ and it becomes available to view. 

Background to these records

Dr Chris Wallace has provided an insight into the 2001 Cabinet papers.