Oakes in 2014
14 August 1943 |
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Laurie Oakes (born 14 August 1943, Newcastle, New South Wales) is an Australian political journalist, commentator, and media personality. Since 1966, he has worked in the Canberra Press Gallery, covering the Parliament of Australia and federal elections.
At the age of 25 he was the Melbourne Sun's Canberra Bureau Chief and while working for that paper he began providing political commentaries for the TV program, Willesee at Seven. In 1978 he began The Laurie Oakes Report, a televised political journal. In 1979 he joined Network Ten and worked there for five years. He has since written about politics for The Age in Melbourne and the Sunday Telegraph in Sydney. He has commentated for several radio stations.
In 1980 he obtained a draft copy of the Australian federal budget, before it was tabled in Parliament.
In 1997, Oakes used leaked documents to report on abuse of parliamentary travel expenses, which ended the careers of three ministers, several other politicians and some of their staff. More recently he used leaked documents showing the Rudd Government ignored warnings from four key departments about its Fuelwatch scheme.
Oakes has been a weekly contributor to various Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) owned media outlets, including the former Channel 9 television program, Sunday. He has also been a regular reporter for Nine News. He wrote a weekly column for The Bulletin magazine until it ceased publication in January, 2008. Oakes now writes for Sydney's The Saturday Daily Telegraph. He now presents politics for Weekend Today with hosts Cameron Williams and Leila McKinnon.
In a 2004 interview, Oakes said: "My personal politics are pretty much in the middle, I would think. I've voted both ways at various times. I don't know if perceptions about my politics influence whether people will be interviewed. [Paul] Keating used to boycott the program every now and again; not because he thought I was a Liberal but because he thought I wouldn't toe the line. Paul believed in rewards and punishment." Oakes's nickname was said by Mark Latham in his book The Latham Diaries to be "Jabba the Hutt". He has also been nicknamed the "Sphere of Influence" by Crikey.
In 1998 Oakes won the Walkley Award for journalistic leadership, and again in 2001 for television news reporting. He claimed the Gold Walkley in 2010 for his reporting of Labor leaks during the federal election campaign.
He delivered the 2011 Andrew Olle Media Lecture.
In 2014 it has been estimated that Laurie Oakes has gained an additional 10kg on top of his already large frame.
- The Making of an Australian Prime Minister (1973, co-author)
- Whitlam P.M (1973)
- Grab for Power (1974, co-author)
- Crash through or Crash (1975)
- How Will I Vote (1984)
- Power Plays: The real stories of Australian politics (2008)
- On The Record: Politicians, Politics & Power (2010)
- Remarkable Times: Australian Politics 2010-13 - What Really Happened (2013)
- Williams, Brett (December 2009). "To live and breathe politics" (PDF). Police Journal (Police Association of South Australia): 26–27, 47. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "2010-2013: A unique time in politics". 702 ABC Sydney. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "Laurie Oakes - Political Editor". 9 News. ninemsn. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Grattan, Michelle (19 August 1980). "Government orders Budget leak inquiry". The Age (Google News Archive). p. 1. Retrieved 23 February 2010.[dead link]
- Farr, Malcolm; Watts, Bradd (23 June 2008). "Federal police hunt for Laurie Oakes fuel leak source". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Interview with Laurie Oakes Steve Dow, Sydney journalist, 2 October 2005
- "Laurie Oakes wins the Gold Walkley". The Spy Report (Media Spy). 10 December 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Meade, Amanda (18 April 2011). "'Chuffed' Oakes to be inducted into the Logies hall of Fame". The Australian. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Oakes Report - ninemsn.com.au