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Video: Kennett's 'Commonsense Revolution' and the Melbourne Growth Machine - Speech by Dr Angela Munro

Video inside: The Kennett era in Victoria represented a neoliberal makeover of government, state and local. Swept to power during a global property collapse in 1992, the Liberal premier imposed radical and rapid transformation without electoral platform or forewarning. It was a classic case of the international phenomenon documented by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine. This talk focuses on the transformation of the core municipality of greater Melbourne – the Melbourne City Council in its historic context. It was disempowered and its citizens disenfranchised between 1992-9 to give the Growth Machine of property interests and state government free rein. That Machine emerged from the mid 1970s, being reinforced under the previous Labor government, 1982-92, as the manufacturing sector was phased out federally; cranes on the skyline was Premier Cain’s catchcry. Kennett capitalized on a political and institutional tradition in which property interests (entrenched in the Victorian Legislative Council) dominated from inception. Other Australian colonies were founded by government rather than land seekers.

This speech was given at the SPAVICTAS AGM at Ross House on 5 September 2015. The speech is based on Dr Munro's PhD, downloadable from http://www.canberra.edu.au/researchrepository/items/daa21f8b-4758-410c-954a-a6409d3fdaca/1/ as .pdf of 3.44MB. Dr Munro mentions, as a contrast to Kennett's notion of 'commonsense', Thomas Payne's book, "Commonsense", which was banned in Britain and became immensely popular. (Download a free copy here.)