Bob Hawke dead: Peter Malinauskas, SA Labor leader pays tribute


Australia has lost a “giant of our nation,” South Australian Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas says.

Mr Malinauskas has paid tribute to former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who died aged 89 today.

“This is a significant moment,” he told The Advertiser.

“Bob Hawke was probably one of the greatest Prime Ministers, if not the greatest Prime Minister, in the post-war era.

“Today isn’t just the Labor Party and the Labor movement that mourns but also a whole nation.”

Mr Malinauskas described Mr Hawke as “a Prime Minister not just loved for who he was but also loved for what he did”.

“Medicare and massive improvements in public education; the delivery of a social wage through the Accord; rising wages for everybody not just a few; (and) huge achievements in the environment are the hallmarks of his leadership,” he said.

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media_cameraBob Hawke served as Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991.

Mr Malinauskas said Australia was “a fairer country today, with a more inclusive society, because of Bob Hawke”.

“His zest for life and passion for the Labor movement was utterly infectious,” he said.

“As a young person meeting Bob Hawke, I was inspired not just by him but by his optimism for a fairer country and the importance that the Labor movement plays in delivering that.”

Mr Malinauskas said he aspired to lead like Mr Hawke.

“His style of consensus leadership by bringing people together, unions working with business, business working with unions, engaging with non-government organisations and building consensus is a style of leadership that not just I aspire to but I believe a lot of people should aspire to,” he said.

Labor MPs took to Twitter this evening to pay their respects.

Tom Koutsantonis said “we have lost a giant”.

“God rest Bob Hawke, a man who loved and served Australia like a loyal son,” he wrote.

“Always devoted to fairness, equity and the rights of working men and women.

“He changed Australia forever for the better and his legacy will outlast us all and hopefully guide us forward.”

Stephen Mullighan reflected on being five years old when Mr Hawke became Prime Minister.

“Bob showed us what collegiate, pragmatic and determined political leadership can deliver for our country, and all of us continue to benefit from his time as PM,” he wrote.

Mr Hawke was born in Bordertown, in South Australia’s southeast.

He went on to become Labor’s longest-serving prime minister

He is the longest-serving Labor Party Prime Minister, serving from 1983 to 1991.

Originally published as Malinauskas pays tribute to a ‘giant of our nation’



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