BREAKING: Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke dies, aged 89
Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died at the age of 89.
His wife Blanche d’Alpuget has released a statement announcing his passing.
“He died peacefully at home a the age of 89 years,” she wrote.
“A memorial will be held in Sydney in coming weeks.”
Current Labor leader Bill Shorten, aiming to become Prime Minister himself in two days, paid tribute via Twitter.
“The labour movement salutes our greatest son,” Mr Shorten wrote.
“Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply. May he rest in peace.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Hawke “defined the politics of his generation”.
“Bob Hawke was a great Australian who led and served our country with passion, courage, and an intellectual horsepower that made our country stronger.
“He was true to his beliefs in the Labor tradition and defined the politics of his generation and beyond.
“He had a unique ability to speak to all Australians and will be greatly missed.
“My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Bob’s widow Blanche and his family. May he Rest In Peace.”
Full statement from Blanche d’Alpuget :
“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era.
“He died peacefully at home at the age of 89 years.
“I and Bob’s children, Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson, Louis, and his grandchildren, will hold a private funeral.
“A memorial service will be helkd in Sydney in coming weeks.
“Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and their governments modernised the Australian economy, paving the way for an unprecedented period of recession-free economic growth and job creation.
“Bob’s consensus-style approach of bringing together the trade union movement and the business community boosted job opportunities while increasing the social wage through Medicare and extra financial support for low-income families.
“Together with his highly talented Cabinets, he foresaw the Asian Century and position Australia to take full advantage of it through a program of sweeping economic reforms.
“Among his proudest achievements were large increases in the proportion of children finishing high school, his role in ending apartheid in South Africa, and his successful international campaign to protect Antarctica from mining.
“He abhorred racism and bigotry. His father, the Reverend Clem Hawke, told Bob that if you believed in the Fatherhood of God then you must also believe in the Brotherhood of Man. “Bob would add today the Sisterhood of Women.
“Bob was dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues.
“We will miss him.”