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There were rumours of Fraser going to the polls early. The Labor Federal Parliamentary Executive was meeting in Brisbane. The Franklin Dam controversy was reaching a climax, and Frank Walker had asked me to join a group who were flying down to to Tasmania to help the "greenies" there. We were due to leave early on the Tuesday morning.

By 5pm, the definitive news had come through: in Brisbane, Hawke had replaced Hayden as Federal Leader of the ALP; and simultaneously in Canberra, Fraser had announced a snap election, to be held on March 5.

The Tasmanian trip was cancelled. Coombsie would leave his practice at the Bar to run his campaign from my office in Manly. I would be rostered to help answer the phones at ALP Head Office. State Parliament was resuming. And Donna was leaving next week.

Coombsie was enjoying himself. He was more gregarious than I was, more at home in the pubs and clubs. We did the rounds of most of the local watering holes together. He assured the publicans that the Federal ALP would not bring in a beer tax if it won office; and I tried to justify the Wran Government's introduction of random breath testing.

For this campaign, Coombsie took over chairmanship of the policy committee and Rod Power was hi campaign

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