Former Australian PM Bob Hawke passes away
May 16, 2019 | 2:40 PM
by Times News Service
Former Australian PM Bob Hawke.

Canberra: Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died at the age of 89.

A member of the Labor Party, he served as Prime Minister of Australia from 1983 to 1991, becoming the longest serving Labor PM in the process. He was also the leader of the Labor Party during that time.

A statement released by the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party said: “A giant of the Labor Party, and a man who shaped Australia into the modern nation it is today, with humility and fairness at the heart of all that he did. Thank you Bob Hawke. Rest in Peace.”

Other politicians and government representatives in Australia also passed on their condolences to Hawke’s family on his passing.

Senator Doug Cameron, the Labor Senator for the State of New South Wales, said: “My commiserations to Blanche and the Hawke family on the death of an Australian giant Bob Hawke. He did so much for working people and the country.”

In addition, Queensland Labor’s Russel Robertson and the candidate for Capricornia, said: “Bob Hawke was one of Australia’s greatest ever Prime Ministers. Our country would not be what it is today without him. He was also a legend of the labour movement who, even as his health failed, was fighting to get Labor across the line. My thoughts are with his family.”

Former Prime Ministers of Australia also passed on their condolences to Hawke’s surviving family. His successor as PM, Paul Keating, said he would never forget the lessons he learned from him.

“With Bob Hawke’s passing today, the great partnership I enjoyed with him passes too,” he said. “A partnership we forged with the Australian people. But what remains and what will endure from that partnership are monumental foundations of modern Australia. Bob possessed a moral framework for his important public life, both representing the workers of Australia and more broadly, the country at large.

He added: “He understood that imagination was central to policy planning and never lacked the courage to do what had to be done to turn that imagination into reality. And that reality was the reformation of Australia’s economy and its place in the world.”

In addition, ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who currently serves as the Federal Member for Warringah, added: “Bob Hawke was a great Prime Minister. In my judgement, he was Labor’s greatest Prime Minister. But his key achievements – financial deregulation, tariff cuts and the beginnings of privatisation – went against the Labor grain, as Labor’s more recent policy direction shows. You might almost say he had a Labor heart, but a Liberal head. Certainly, the coalition supported nearly all of his big reforms, helping to make his tenure a time of economic revitalisation.”

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