Bob Hawke is being remembered as the greatest Labor Prime Minister Australia has ever had.
The country is mourning the death of the Labor legend, who passed away peacefully on the Thursday aged 89.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the labour movement has lost its greatest son.
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“Bob Hawke loved Australia and Australia loved Bob Hawke. But his legacy will endure forever,” Mr Shorten said.
“He brought people together, he brought Australia together, he modernised our economy, he transformed our society, he protected our environment.”
Current Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailed his contribution to public life, his passion and courage.
“But it was his ability to connect with everyday Australians – with a word, with that larrikin wit, with that connection and an understanding of everyday Australian life that we will most remember Bob Hawke.”
Former Prime Ministers have also joined the chorus of tributes.
Paul Keating, who toppled Hawke in 1991 and only recently mended their relationship, says Australia is much poorer for his death.
“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 in a statement.
“But what remains and what will endure from that partnership are the monumental foundations of modern Australia.”
John Howard, a long-time political foe of Hawke saw he was undoubtedly a “very fine Prime Minister”.
“He was the best prime minister of the labour movement in Australia’s history. I would rank him at the top of the list as far as Labor prime ministers were
concerned,” Mr Howard told the ABC.
Julia Gillard described him as the greatest peacetime leader Australia has ever had.
Malcolm Turnbull said Australia is a better place because of him, describing him as a great Australian, Labor leader and reforming Prime Minister.
World leaders have also paid their respects with former US President Bill Clinton tweeting that he always liked and admired Bob Hawke for his progressive record and great sense of humour.
The labour movement salutes our greatest son.
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. pic.twitter.com/NzKwxW1e4X
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) May 16, 2019
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.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) May 16, 2019
Bob Hawke was the greatest peacetime leader Australia has ever had.
As a teenager Bob inspired me, as a PM he guided me.
I will miss him. I wish so very much that Bob had been able to see one more election day.
My condolences to Blanche, his children and grandchildren. pic.twitter.com/4wPHdIeBUZ
— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) May 16, 2019
Farewell Bob Hawke a great Australian, Labor leader and reforming Prime Minister. Australia is a better place because of him. Lucy and I send our love and condolences to Blanche and all of his family.
— Malcolm Turnbull 💉💉 (@TurnbullMalcolm) May 16, 2019
Australia has lost a great Prime Minister, a man of the people.
I was proud to know him. https://t.co/l2kjOG0zUe
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) May 16, 2019
Tonight we have lost a much loved former Prime Minister and legendary Australian with the passing of Bob Hawke. My thoughts are with his family.
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) May 16, 2019
Even though I never had the chance to serve with him, I always liked and admired Bob Hawke for his progressive record and great sense of humor. My thoughts are with his family and the people of Australia.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) May 16, 2019
R.I.P Bob Hawke. A great Labor Prime Minister. A great Australian.
“A working class hero is something to be” pic.twitter.com/cBGMKQxTPx
— Jimmy Barnes (@JimmyBarnes) May 16, 2019
There was only ever one Bob Hawke.
Vale Hawkie 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/Yy6gXm2NGM
— FOXSportsAUS (@FOXSportsAUS) May 16, 2019