The first stage of the Mitchell Freeway was completed in 1973: in Perth, this meant that we lost the 19th century Pensioner Barracks but kept the Arch. A new Torana cost up to about $3000 in 1974. Fifteen-year-olds in 1973 no longer had to sit the Junior Examinations. Civil marriage celebrants were licensed from 1974. All migrants could now apply for citizenship. Racial discrimination became illegal in 1975. That year, 53.66% percent of us voted against daylight saving, with many of the higher no votes coming from regional areas. The Family Law Court was established in 1976, prompting a rapid increase in the number of divorces. Changing fashion and music choices often left older generations aghast: males still had to wear a tie to the office, and many kept to their suits, but ties started to get wider and brighter and looked awkward over the new ‘body shirts’. Older women often kept to their stilettos and practical ‘court’ shoes. Almost all women wore stockings, at about 60c a packet. It was getting expensive to buy lunch at work: ‘stagflation’ entered the economic vocabulary at this time, with high inflation and rising unemployment contributing to the reality that a litre of milk cost 19c in 1970 but would be over 60c by the end of the decade. ULP was 9c/L in 1970, but 30c/L in 1980: oil prices globally tripled between 1973 and 1979. A glass of beer cost 75-80c at the pub. At work, clerical workers mostly used index cards and ledgers for records, and offices still had a typing pool, but something was emerging that would move from industrial to domestic use over the next decades: the first commercial microprocessor (4-bit Intel 4004) was followed by the 8-bit Intel 8008 in 1972 and the Intel 8080 in 1974. The digital age was just around the corner.


Bruce Marshall JP


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Ralph Thomas JP
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