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The House on Capital Hill

The House on Capital Hill

Edited by Julian Disney and J R Nethercote


Parliament House in Canberra is the home of the Australian Parliament where laws are debated and enacted. It is also the principal home of the Australian Government, especially the Cabinet and the Ministry. And it is the home of the Canberra Press Gallery which produces so much of what we read, hear and see on major national issues. Few, if any, other democracies concentrate so much national power in one building.

In The House on Capital Hill, leading politicians, public servants, ministerial advisers and journalists provide their own perspectives on what really happens in Parliament House. Each contributor speaks from close personal experience over many years, often in both the new House on Capital Hill and its predecessor beside Lake Burley Griffin.

Contributors include: John Kerin; Fred Chaney; Ian Sinclair; Michelle Grattan and Vince FitzGerald. There is also Gough Whitlam’s press secretary, Bob Hawke’s speechwriter; Paul Keating’s Mabo coordinator and John Howard’s then top Cabinet adviser.


Setting the Scene
Jenny Hutchison

Parliament House, Capital Hill, Canberra

The Politicians

Ten Years a Minister
John Kerin
Changes in the Ministry
Ian Sinclair
Life as a Shadow Minister: "Between the Idea and the Reality"
Fred Chaney
Parliament and Government: Striking the Balance
David Hamer
Parliamentarians, Econocrats and the People
John Langmore
The Opposition Member: Opportunities and Obstacles
David Connolly

The Staff

Advice on Public Policy: The Changing Balance between the Public Service and Political Advisers
Vince FitzGerald
Departments and Ministerial Offices: An Essential Partnership
Sandy Hollway
Ministers and Minders
Patti Warn
The Making of a Prime Minister’s Speeches
Stephen Mills
The Roles of Opposition Staff
Michael L’Estrange

The Media

The Press Gallery at Work
Mike Steketee
Sharing the Same Kennel: The Press in Parliament House
Michelle Grattan

Published June 1996
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862872233
Australian RRP $27.44
International Price $25.50
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Government / Political Studies

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