Photo: Parliament of Victoria


Sir Rupert “Dick” Hamer was elected Premier of Victoria after the retirement of Sir Henry Bolte in 1972

Hamer’s Government from 1972 to 1981 ushered in a new era for the arts and culture in Victoria.

The most notable achievements of his Government were: 

– abolishing gender discrimination in the Victorian public service in 1973;

– introducing random breath tests for drivers. Opposed By Labor. The result was a fall in the states road toll from 938 to 657 in four years;

– repealing Victorian laws against homosexuality;

– beginning the second stage of the Victorian Arts Centre, the first stage having begun under his predecessor, Sir Henry Bolte;

– producing a bike plan to build on the success of the Yarra bike path;

– purchasing land for metropolitan parks, using planning powers to enable the preservation of open space and protecting the Yarra River;

– commencing work on Newport D gas fired power station;

– completing the Westgate Bridge;

– beginning construction of the Thompson Dam;

– completing the Greenvale Reservoir in 1971, the Cardinia Reservoir in 1973 and the commencing the building of the Sugarloaf Reservior which opened in 1981;

– introducing the Historic Buildings Act,and;

– selecting Portland for Alcoa’s Aluminum smelter in a region crying out for jobs.

Sir Rupert Hamer died in 2004.

Digital by James Hammon