The Defence Minister
Why is defence so toxic to its ministers? It should be an easy job to look good in – hobnobbing with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), managing weighty matters of national security and spending a lot of money. Of course the portfolio has an unparalleled capacity to shoot itself and its ministers in the foot, often over issues that are trivial in themselves. Smith will run into the usual defenc
The first boatpeople were South Vietnamese fleeing from the communist victory of 1975. Between 1976 and 1982, 2000 reached our shores. In order to stem the flow, the Fraser government accepted more than 50,000 Vietnamese from the archipelago of refugee camps in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Australians were easily panicked by the spontaneous arrival of a small number of boats.