Sunday, June 30, 2013

Home rules

So the real wonder of blogging on home affairs and territories is how I managed to avoid noting there was a Minister named Howse in the Home Affairs portfolio.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It comes with the Territory

I kind of got stuck after Home Affairs. It was easy to leave transport since the portfolios for rail (1916) and road (1928) evolved over time and were not intrinsic to the parent portfolio. Territories, even though they were only separated out after years, relate this same notion of managing physical locale. Before hopping on to the next designated portfolio earmarked by our federation founders, it seemed a fair subcategory to focus on. The only issue is that there have been 36 ministers for Territories and many of them are repeats of names we've seen much of recently (in this blog) and serving the same short terms. Indeed, while documenting the further tasks of a Gorton or Whitlam, there are repetitions of Home itself.

So, as compromise (we may list those Territory watchers at a later date - sorry Christmas Island), I've decided to list the shorter list of specific territory ministries.

Minister for the Capital Territory

Kep Enderby
Gordon Bryant
Reg Withers
Eric Robinson
Tony Staley
Robert Ellicott
Michael Hodgman

Minister for the Northern Territory

Kep Enderby
Rex Patterson
Paul Keating
Ian Sinclair
Evan Adermann
Bob Collins
Ben Humphreys
Gary Gray

Except only Enderby, Patterson, and Adermann were known by that title. Patterson, Keating, and Sinclair were introduced as Minister for Northern Australia. Collins and Humphreys were Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Northern Australia (sharp-eyed readers will see where this is going) and Gray has been first Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Northern Australia under Rudd, and Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia under Gillard. What the status quo is on appointing for points north now that Rudd is again Prime Minister is unknown at this stage

Not wishing to extemporise, the reduced role is a reflection of the Northern Territory's increased autonomy. It's just interesting that there's still this vestige of commonwealth control, albeit exerted on a less localised basis.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Home again

In thinking about home affairs, be they paired with the territories or the environment, or replaced by the interior, I am sensing a great deal of conflict in the national debate.

Sometimes it's not possible to leave the world around you out of your blog, and it is my best guess that the idea behind 'home affairs' is protection of the land we find ourselves in. As it transpires, parliaments across the world have their own Home Affairs, so it must mean something.

Such a catch-all has had to change with the times. It does to remember that there would have been state departments of industry, primary or otherwise, all taking care of a smaller population than we have a century on. Home was cosier, if you will. But across a great expanse, as this is Australia.

If I'm not mistaken, modern Minister for Home Affairs has ASIO in his field of responsibilities.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Home Affairs

Being Minister for Home Affairs in the early years of federation meant doing everything that was based in the interior; the opposite of External Affairs if you like. The people who held this position were high in the ministry but stayed for only a year: Sir William Lyne, the anti-federationist NSW premier; Sir John Forrest the premier of one side of the country.

Lee Batchelor, Dugald Thomson, Littleton Groom, Thomas Ewing, John Keating, Hugh Mahon and George Fuller were crushed under the weight of their portfolio and quickly slammed the door behind them. They were expected to administer the Territories: ACT and Northern Territory in their spare time while handling transport and immigration, agriculture and industry, and so on.

Who could stay a goodly term in Home Affairs if not the well moniker-ed King O'Malley who didst endure three years of doing a bit of everything. Or telling other people to.
And returned to see out the first incarnation of Minister for Home Affairs. Joseph Cook and William Archibald  returning to the single year pattern in between.

This was not the last of Home Affairs as portfolio, but, when Fred Bamford of the National Labor Party (in this, different to an earlier - and later - Australian Labor Party) took the keys, it was to Home and Territories, and would remain so from 1916 to 1929 when it slid on its slippers and resumed its former mantle. Still there were eight Ministers for Home and Territories during those thirteen years:
Paddy Glynn
Alexander Poynton
George Pearce
William Glasgow
Charles Marr
Neville Howse
Aubrey Abbott

Arthur Blakely made it to Home Affairs 1929-32, during the Great Depression. The department was still known by this name when Archdale Parkhill took over but he became Minister for the Interior, and the name Home Affairs would not appear again for another forty five years.

the Interior

Archdale Parkhill
Allen Fairhall
Gordon Freeth
John Gorton
Doug Anthony
Peter Nixon
Ralph Hunt
Lance Barnard

Home Affairs (and the Environment)

Robert Ellicott revived the Home Affairs title in 1977. In 1981, the Environment was appended. There were another three coalition Ministers and one Labor minister who bore this title, before it was again returned to Home Affairs. The four after Ellicott were Michael MacKellar, Ian Wilson, Tom McVeigh and Barry Cohen.

back Home

Robert Ray
Bob Debus
Brendan O'Connor
Jason Clare

Playing favourites

It is now a decade since I started down the path of whimsy; creating the revolving hyperlink or rotating hyperlink, whichever you fancy.
I still wanted to hook a theme on this and decided on 'favourite'. What I liked about it at the time is that it gave me enormous scope and would stay positive in the main.

Throughout the ten years I have devoted to this madcap pursuit, I have veered between the physical property and its attributes. But rarely beyond that. The very stars in the cosmos are linked to us and we are part of the whole existence, so it's not like this was a terrible restriction.

I don't want to delve too much in the concentrated candour that involves an exercise of this kind so I'll share the cream of the link crop.

I found rooves and rooftops yield different results.
 I noticed how some took off in odd directions and how others pierced the depths. There was the blatantly commercial and the cold and clinical. And the best kind of sites that highlighted the essence of the idle topic.

After covering the environment both natural and built and all manner of creature therein, I have only just come lately to the arts. It took some constraint, being of that tradition, but I wanted to deal with the real, and avoid too much editorial intervention where my own proclivities were concerned.

There were two items that caused commentators to state aloud that it was pointless to have favourites: dams and vestibules.
There were many things too mundane to even be worth including. This happened, strangely and fortuitously, the first time in Europe, where access to one's blog is impeded. I did 'light' of all things; full of meaning both literal and lyrical and yet nothing. So, while on the subject, I flicked to bulbs (we were in Holland after all) and still no good. So this was the only time the actual change wasn't made. I figured that having gone through the exercise was enough.

The most dramatic favourite was the cupboard under the stairs.