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9 December - Bob Hawke, put Australian politics on its ear.

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9 December - Bob Hawke, put Australian politics on its ear.

Unread postby Max ADU » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:52 pm

Australian Birthday Today - Robert James Lee Hawke AC GCL, born 9 December 1929, Bordertown, South Australia, is a former Australian politician

Bob Hawke.jpg

Bob Hawke was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia and theLeader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991.

At age 15, he boasted that he would one day become Prime Minister of Australia and joined the Labor Party in 1947

His academic achievements were complemented by setting a new world speed record for beer drinking; he downed 2 1/2 pints - equivalent to a yard of ale - from a sconce pot in eleven seconds

Hawke suggested that this single feat may have contributed to his political success more than any other, by endearing him to a voting population with a strong beer culture.

Hawke began work at the ACTU, he became responsible for the presentation of its annual case for higher wages to the national wages tribunal

Hawke’s success and prominence in his role as an ACTU advocate was elected ACTU President in 1969.

Notably, Hawke was opposed the Vietnam War, but was a strong supporter of the US-Australian alliance, and also an emotional supporter of Israel.

After a decade as President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, he entered the House of Representatives as the Labor MP for Wills at the 1980 federal election.

Politician ran in the family with his uncle,Albert Hawke, was Labor Premier of Western Australia between 1953 and 1959, and was also a close friend of Prime Minister John Curtin

Three years later he led Labor to a landslide victory, and was sworn in as Prime Minister. In total, he led Labor to victory at four federal elections in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990, thus making him the most successful Labor Leader in history.

Watch on youtube.com
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According to political commentator Paul Kelly,
"the most influential economic decisions of the 1980s were the floating of the Australian Dollar and the deregulation of the financial system"


Among other reforms, sold off the state-owned Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the tax system was reformed, with the introduction of fringe benefits tax and a capital gains tax and dismantling of the tariff system.

Hawke was eventually replaced by Paul Keating in 1991. He is, to date, Labor's longest-serving Prime Minister and Australia's third-longest-serving Prime Minister.

Hawke was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1979 and in 2008 was made Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu, the highest Papua New Guinean honour available to non-Papua New Guinean citizens, entitling him to be referred to as "Chief"
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