Australian Politics Books

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

Login to enhance your shopping experience.

Login or Create an Account
free post
Main Menu
Online Store Menu
Quick Store Search

Advanced Search
Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.

Email a Friend

add to cart
The Costello Memoirs - Peter Costello with Peter Coleman USED

The Costello Memoirs - Peter Costello with Peter Coleman USED

The Costello Memoirs - Peter Costello with Peter Coleman

USED Hardback Book : .2008 edition in good condition

The Costello Memoirs is a frank and fearless look inside the engine-room of the Liberal Party and the Howard Government.

In a political career spanning eighteen years, Peter Costello, Australia's longest serving Treasurer, steered the Government through some of its greatest economic and political challenges, paying off Government debt, introducing the GST and fighting five elections.

What were the backroom deals that made the GST possible? How did Costello transform the Australian economy from Asia's 'white trash' into the economic powerhouse able to withstand the financial meltdown of the late 1990s?

What did Costello make of the Liberal Leaders he served with, and why did he find it so easy to trounce Labor's Shadow Treasurers?

For the first time, the facts about the McLachlan memorandum on the leadership transition from Howard to Costello are revealed. How-and why-did the Liberal Party pass up the chance to make generational change and revitalise a Government that was sliding into defeat?

The Costello Memoirs answers these questions, and charts the victories and defeats in one man's very public life.

About the Author Peter Costello

Peter Howard Costello (born 14 August 1957) is an Australian politician. He was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 1994 to 2007, and served as Treasurer of Australia from 1996 to 2007, making him the longest serving treasurer in Australian history. Costello was born in Melbourne into a middle class family of practising Christians He was the second of three children: his elder brother, Tim Costello, is a prominent Baptist minister and current CEO of World Vision Australia. Peter Costello was educated at Carey Baptist Grammar School and attended Melbourne's Monash University, where he graduated in arts and law.

During the 1980s, Peter Costello was a solicitor at law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, then became a barrister and represented employers in some of Australia's best known industrial relations disputes. In 1983 and 1984, Peter Costello represented the National Farmers' Federation in a case against the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU). The AMIEU was seeking a unit tally system to be set up in abattoirs in the Northern Territory. The dispute focussed on one abattoir Mudginberri which chose to fight the AMIEU claim. Ultimately the AMIEU claim was unsuccessful. Peter Costello became counsel to organisations representing small business and rose to prominence in the 1985 Dollar Sweets case, as junior counsel assisting Alan Goldberg QC, successfully representing a confectionery company involved in a bitter industrial dispute.

During his student years, Peter Costello was active in student politics as a socially radical Christian. For a time, he was an office-bearer of the Social Democratic Students Association of Victoria, an affiliate of the Balaclava Branch of Australian Young Labor. In 1977, Peter Costello was punched by a rival student politician, receiving mainstream media attention for the first time in his career as a result. After graduating, Peter Costello became more conservative but retained liberal views on some social issues. In 1984 he was a founding member of the H. R. Nicholls Society, a think tank on industrial relations. In the late 1980s, he was identified as part of the New Right movement,[4] which was organised to some extent in the H. R. Nicholls Society.

In 1990, having defeated the sitting Liberal member Roger Shipton in a preselection ballot for the safe Liberal electorate of Higgins, Peter Costello entered the House of Representatives at the age of 32. He was immediately promoted to the Opposition front bench and proved an effective debater against the Labor government of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. By 1992 he was shadow Attorney-General, and in 1993 he became shadow Finance Minister under Dr John Hewson. He was a strong supporter of Hewson's policy proposals at the 1993 elections, including the goods and services tax (GST).

Hewson's shock defeat at the 1993 election brought Peter Costello into consideration as a leadership contender. When Hewson was deposed as Liberal leader in May 1994, Peter Costello supported Alexander Downer for the leadership, becoming his Deputy Leader and shadow Treasurer. However, in January 1995, Downer resigned. Peter Costello did not seek the leadership, instead supporting John Howard. It was revealed in July 2006 that this was due to a December 1994 meeting between Howard, Peter Costello and Ian McLachlan during which Howard allegedly agreed to stand aside after one and a half terms as Prime Minister in return for Peter Costello's agreement not to challenge for the leadership. Howard denied that this was a formal arrangement.

Peter Costello became Federal Treasurer at age 38. He oversaw the return to and maintenance of federal budget surpluses, which enabled significant reduction in government debt. Inflation, interest rates and unemployment all fell and remained generally low during Peter Costello's term as Treasurer, although average household debt more than doubled. Tax reform became a major policy focus for Peter Costello. Although Prime Minister Howard promised during the 1996 election that he would "never, ever" introduce a GST, it returned as Liberal Party policy for the 1998 election. It was passed through the Senate with the help of the Australian Democrats. Until July 2005, Peter Costello's own agenda of labour market deregulation remained blocked by the government's lack of a Senate majority. In 1998, Peter Costello and wife Tanya, and Tony Abbott and his wife Margaret successfully sued author Bob Ellis for false statements he made about them in his book Goodbye Jerusalem.

Peter Costello supported the 1999 referendum to make Australia a republic. In February 2006, Peter Costello caused controversy during a lecture at the Sydney Institute when questioned about the government's refusal to legally recognise same sex marriage. He stated, "I think we do recognise the rights of gay and lesbian people in Australia. We do not criminalise [their] conduct or behaviour." He also pointed out that the law was changed in 2004 to recognise same sex couples with regards to superannuation. He stated that marriage should only be recognised between heterosexual couples. Also during the same speech, Peter Costello criticised "mushy misguided multiculturalism," warning immigrants that the acceptance of Australian values was "not optional."

Peter Costello expected to gain the Liberal leadership some time during Howard's second term as Prime Minister, as per Howard's alleged December 1994 offer. When this did not eventuate, he showed signs of frustration and was visibly disappointed when Howard announced, in July 2003, his intention to lead the government into the 2004 election. During the 2004 election campaign, Howard avoided saying whether he would serve a full term if re-elected, saying only he would remain as long as his party supported him. The government's subsequent success in winning control of the Senate raised further speculation that Howard would delay his retirement, and the prospect of a Costello leadership succession appeared to recede.

In July 2006, the alleged Costello/Howard succession deal of the 1994 deal was made public by Ian McLachlan. Peter Costello confirmed the incident had occurred and that he shared McLachlan's interpretation of events. Howard denied the claims repeatedly, stating the continued public drama displayed "hubris and arrogance" and that the leadership was the party room's to decide, not a prize to be handed over by leaders to successors. Despite tensions between the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, nothing further came of those events. Neither Howard nor Costello took any action to remove the other from office, or resign. However, on 12 September 2007, amid renewed leadership tensions and a series of unfavourable public polls, Howard confirmed he would step aside well into the next term, if re-elected, and that Costello would be his "logical successor".

A federal election was held on 24 November 2007. Exit polls of 2,787 voters by Auspoll, commissioned by Sky News, included a question on the statement "I don’t want Peter Costello to become Prime Minister". Fifty-nine per cent agreed, while 41 per cent disagreed.The Coalition lost the election.

The Costello Memoirs - Peter Costello with Peter Coleman


AUD 29.95

In stock

Use the form below to email a friend about this product.

All required fields are marked with a star (*). Click the 'Submit' button at the bottom of this form to proceed.

Email Addresses

Enter your email address.

Enter your friend's email address.


Enter a message to include with the product information.

Account Menu
Recently Visited Pages