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‘A great man, a reforming premier’: Tributes flow for former Victorian premier John Cain

Macquarie National News

Former Victorian premier John Cain has died at 88 years of age, after suffering a stroke.

Mr Cain became premier in 1982, breaking a 27 year streak of conservative rule.

He became Victoria’s longest-serving Labor premier, serving three terms from 1982 and 1990.

Mr Cain’s family released the following statement following his death:

“It is with great sadness we advise that John Cain passed away overnight.

John suffered a severe stroke on the 10th of December and was being cared for in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

We are grateful John enjoyed good health and remained very active prior to his stroke.

He is much loved and admired by his family and will be greatly missed.

A private funeral is being arranged in the coming days.”

Former Labor premier Steve Bracks, a protege of Mr Cain, said he saw him just weeks ago, at the re-opening of The Queens Hall at the State Library of Victoria.

Mr Bracks mourned the loss of Mr Cain, who he said played a revolutionary role for the Labor Party in Victoria.

“It’s a very, very sad loss. A great man, a reforming premier and somebody who brought credibility back to the Labor Party in this state, which we have used as a foundation ever since,” he said.

“I certainly mourn his passing.”

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Former Liberal premier Jeff Kennett, who ran against Mr Cain twice, said he was shocked by the news of the passing of his former opponent.

“He will be remembered, I think, fondly,” he said.

“He was always very, very serious, but he was always true to his own values and he fought for them very strongly.

“I didn’t agree with his politics all the time but he was a very good, decent individual.”

Mr Kennett called on the tennis community to pay tribute to Mr Cain, who was instrumental in spearheading the construction of Rod Laver Arena, at the upcoming Australian Open.

“I trust that he will be recognised properly and suitable at the forthcoming Australian Open, because without him, it’s quite possible Victoria would not still be hosting that particular event,” he said.

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Former Labor premier John Brumby said Mr Cain was a great driver of change, unafraid to “take on” the establishment.

“He was a great reformer and great moderniser,” he said.

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Macquarie National News