Giant of Australian politics Bob Hawke dies
Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died at the age of 89.
His wife Blanche d’Alpuget released a statement on Thursday, saying he died peacefully at home.
She confirmed she would hold a private funeral with his children Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson, Louis, and his grandchildren in Sydney, as well as a memorial service in coming weeks.
“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” she said.
“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.”
Opposition leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to Mr Hawke, saying the labour movement “salutes our greatest son”.
“The Labor Party gives thanks for the life of our longest-serving prime minister and Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply,” he said in a statement.
“The Australian people loved Bob Hawke because they knew Bob loved them, this was true to the very end.
“He was a leader of conviction – and a builder of consensus. But for Bob, consensus and co-operation never meant pursuing the lowest common denominator.”
Mr Shorten is expected to hold a media conference later on Thursday night.