AustraliaWe're poorer for Hawke's death: Keating
Bob Hawke, Australia's 23rd prime minister, dies aged 89
Bob Hawke, Australia's 23rd prime minister and former Labor Party leader, has died at the age of 89. "Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply," he said. "May he rest in peace." Mr Hawke's famous political rival, Paul Keating, who took over as prime minister and Labor leader after a 1991 leadership spill, said the pair enjoyed a "great partnership" and "the country is much the poorer for Bob Hawke's passing".
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Australia is much poorer for the death of former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, says his one-time treasurer and successor Paul Keating.
Mr Hawke died aged 89 at his Sydney home on Thursday, his wife Blanche d'Alpuget confirmed.
Together, Mr Hawke and Mr Keating transformed Australia's economy, negotiating an accord with unions to reduce strikes and restrain wages, floating the dollar and deregulating the financial system.
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The pair also overhauled the tax system, slashing tariffs and introducing enterprise bargaining.
Mr Keating on Thursday evening issued a statement describing the legacy of his partnership with Mr Hawke as "the monumental foundations of modern Australia".
He also said the two of them had delighted in supporting Bill Shorten last week, with Mr Hawke, of course, hoping for a Labor win in this weekend's federal election.
The duo's relationship was tested when each, with a trusted witness, signed the secret Kirribilli House pact in late 1988 where Mr Hawke promised to hand over to Mr Keating after the 1990 election.
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As prime minister for almost nine years, Bob Hawke brought in major economic and environmental reforms that endure to this day. Take a look at some of the major moments from the Labor giant's time in office. Credit Cards Are Now Offering 0% Interest Until 2020 Find out more on Finder Ad Finder.com.au 1. Floating the Australian dollar Often described as his most significant legacy, Mr Hawke's newly elected government floated the Australian dollar on the global currency market in 1983.
He reneged and after one failed attempt, Mr Keating toppled him in December 1991. It was the first time Labor had voted out a serving prime minister.
But the pair made amends, jointly backing Mr Shorten for Saturday's election.
"With Bob Hawke's passing today, the great partnership I enjoyed with him passes too. A partnership we forged with the Australian people," Mr Keating said.
"But what remains and what will endure from that partnership are the monumental foundations of modern Australia.
"In what was our last collaboration, Bob and I were delighted to support Bill Shorten last week in recounting the rationale we employed in opening Australia to the world.
"Bob, of course, was hoping for a Labor victory this weekend. His friends too, were hoping he would see this.
"Bob possessed a moral framework for his important public life, both representing the workers of Australia and more broadly, the country at large.
Bob Hawke dead at 89: The Labor leader no-one could ignore
In Bob Hawke — 23rd prime minister, true moderniser and Labor giant — Australia found a political leader the likes of which we'd never seen before. It was 1958 when Bob Hawke — lawyer, Rhodes Scholar, larrikin and record-holding beer drinker — found himself at a crossroads. He threw in his PhD scholarship and headed to his first full-time job at the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The plan was to show off his legal skills in a fight for higher wages. The following year Hawke had his wish. He was promoted to a central role in the annual wages case being heard by the national wage tribunal.
"He understood that imagination was central to policy-making 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 society and its place in the world.
"No one will miss Bob more than his wife, Blanche, who very sweetly, attended his every need, particularly in these later years.
"His children, Susan, Stephen and Rosslyn loved their father and were deeply committed to the precepts of his public life.
"Bob's death will be an enormous loss to them and their children, of whom, he was eternally proud.
The country is much the poorer for Bob Hawke's passing."
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Bob Hawke was 'more than prepared' for death, Blanche d'Alpuget says.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke did not vote in the federal election before his death last week at the age of 89, his wife Blanche d'Alpuget has revealed. "He decided he wasn't going to postal vote. He was going to go up in his wheelchair and vote, but he didn't get there," Ms d'Alpuget tells 7.30 in her first interview since Mr Hawke's death. Given the result of the election, she said it was "probably a good thing that he died when he did". Asked if Mr Hawke knew how much the public loved him, Ms d'Alpuget said: "I think he probably did, but he never spoke about it. "I think he did.
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