“There is something very special, there is something unique about our nation and about being Australian and I commit myself and my future Government to the service of all of the Australian people.”

At the federal election on 2 March 1996, the Liberal-National Party coalition under Howard was swept into power with an enormous majority in the House of Representatives.

Claiming the government had been left with a ‘black hole’ of debt by Labor, he promised to reduce government expenditure by $8 billion over the next three years. This pledge was to continue guiding his government’s economic policies.