Dock workers at Newcastle, Australia, threw tomatoes and food containers at Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser as he arrived at the wharf to board the Royal Yacht, Britannia.
Dock workers at Newcastle, Australia, threw tomatoes and food containers at Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser as he arrived at the wharf to board the Royal Yacht, Britannia. The Prime Minister and Mrs Fraser were due to travel to Sydney with the Queen and Prince Phillip, who are touring all Australian states.
In a rowdy demonstration, the dockers clashed with police as missiles were hurled at the Prime Minister's car. The Dockers were protesting against the Federal Government's attitude in refusing financial support to the Newcastle shipping industry and placing orders for new vessels in Japan. Thousands of men in the shipping and allied industries stand to lose their jobs as a result.
Mr Fraser's car sped through a heavy police guard and police slammed a huge gate behind the vehicle, shutting out 500 yelling demonstrators. One man tried to grab the car's door handle but a policeman threw him away.
Two life-sized bodies, labelled Fraser and Kerr (an effigy of Australia's governor general) were hunt from the end of a high crane and a flag of "independence" with the insignia of the Eureka Stockade was raised above the docks (The Eureka Stockade incident, in the gold mining days, saw miners slaughtered as they attempted to stage a mini-revolution against what they claimed was an abuse of power by government. The uprising was crushed by troops)
Outside the wharf area the demonstration continued for more than half an hour with the crown yelling abuse and chanting "Bring him out, bring the mongrel out".
When the Prime Minister arrived he held a hastily-arranged conference with dockyard leaders who asked him what he intended to do to aid the industry. Mr Fraser replied that the government was making efforts to curb inflation and improve the national economy, which would help men of the dockyard.
Amid cries of "arrogance", the dockers hurled missiles at the car and scuffled with police until the Royal Yacht pulled out from the wharf.