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administrative skills were starting to look tarnished. From the stories in the press, and the gossip in the pubs and clubs, it might have been thought that there was a different set of rules which were applied when judging the reputation of reformist governments.

A sustained campaign to blame the Wran government for its failure to come to terms with corruption was under way. The latest Leader of the Opposition, John Down, displayed a crusading zeal for comating organized crime. He was one of the younger, "small l" Liberals, who was not tainted by any legacy from the Askin years.

Dowd was under pressure from the "big end of town" -- the captains of industry who stood behind the Liberal party. They were much more cynical about manipulating the issue of corruption for their own ends. Their strategy was simple -- throw as much mud as possible, and some of it will stick.

At long last, in November, 1982, the "Freshwater" was finished. Tom Webster and I travelled by the evening train to Newcastle to join her on the delivery voyage. Tom was worried about becoming seasick. We spent an hour searching Newcastle for an all-night pharmacy to get him some preventive pills. Eventually we were able to buy a supply, and walked back along the dark streets for a few hours sleep in our motel.  

A special 6am breakfast was served in a dockyard

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