See for­mer PM in the flesh

Paul Keat­ing ap­pear­ance a rare op­por­tu­nity for Ip­swich res­i­dents

The Queensland Times - - NEWS - SE­NIOR MAT­TERS WAYNE McDON­NELL

THE Bill Hay­den Ora­tion, ini­ti­ated by Ip­swich MP Jen­nifer Howard, is an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to hon­our Mr Hay­den’s im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the pol­i­tics of Queens­land and Aus­tralia.

Bill Hay­den was first elected to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 1961 as the Fed­eral Mem­ber for Ox­ley, and re­mained in that role to 1981.

He be­came leader of the Par­lia­men­tary La­bor Party in 1977 and re­mained so un­til 1983 when Bob Hawke as­sumed the po­si­tion.

Fol­low­ing the 1983 Fed­eral Elec­tion Hay­den be­came the For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter un­der the prime min­is­ter­ship of Bob Hawke.

He was ap­pointed to the role of Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral of Aus­tralia in 1989 and con­tin­ued in this po­si­tion un­til 1996.

Each year a per­son who has served the La­bor move­ment is in­vited to speak at the Hay­den Ora­tion.

This year, the or­gan­is­ers are ex­cited to have Paul Keat­ing, the for­mer prime min­is­ter of Aus­tralia, de­liver the ad­dress.

Paul Keat­ing, one of Aus­tralia’s most in­flu­en­tial and im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, be­came Prime Min­is­ter in De­cem­ber 1991 and led the ALP to an his­toric fifth term of Gov­ern­ment in March 1993.

As Prime Min­is­ter he con­tin­ued his pro­gres­sive re­form pro­gram which in­cluded the es­tab­lish­ment of a Na­tional Train­ing Author­ity, a na­tional su­per­an­nu­a­tion scheme to re­dress low na­tional sav­ings and labour mar­ket and train­ing re­forms which ad­dressed Aus­tralia’s long-term un­em­ploy­ment prob­lems.

Other key achieve­ments of the Keat­ing Gov­ern­ment in­cluded the re­view of the Sex Dis­crim­i­na­tion Act, the his­toric Mabo leg­is­la­tion which recog­nised the land rights of Aus­tralia’s in­dige­nous peo­ple and the in­tro­duc­tion of leg­is­la­tion en­sur­ing pro­tec­tion of en­dan­gered species, and, raised pro­pos­als for con­sti­tu­tional re­form to make Aus­tralia a Repub­lic.

He fo­cussed Aus­tralian ex­ter­nal pol­icy to­wards the Asian re­gion and took an ac­tive role in the es­tab­lish­ment of APEC, the Asia Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion fo­rum. He also de­vel­oped strong bi­lat­eral links with Aus­tralia’s neigh­bours, es­pe­cially In­done­sia.

To this end Bill Hay­den and Paul Keat­ing had sim­i­lar con­cerns about im­prov­ing the daily lives of all Aus­tralians.

While Keat­ing went about im­prov­ing the labour mar­ket to re­dress long-term un­em­ploy­ment in the coun­try Hay­den, on the other hand, as So­cial Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter in the Whit­lam Gov­ern­ment, in­tro­duced the sin­gle mother’s pen­sion and Medi­care there­fore im­prov­ing the lives of sin­gle moth­ers and those with health is­sues.

As Prime Min­is­ter Keat­ing was ei­ther loved or loathed, yet the legacy of his eco­nomic and so­cial poli­cies still res­onates through gov­ern­ment today.

He was re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing the Aus­tralian Govern­ments first cul­tural pol­icy which em­pha­sised cul­ture’s im­por­tance to Aus­tralia’s na­tional iden­tity.

The pol­icy stressed the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of cul­tural ac­tiv­ity and the arts, some­thing gov­ern­ment’s today still take heed of when for­mu­lat­ing their bud­gets.

The 2017 Bill Hay­den Ora­tion is to be held in the J block au­di­to­rium at the Univer­sity of South­ern Queens­land in Ip­swich from 5.45-7.30pm. Tick­ets are $60. For more in­for­ma­tion email ip­swich­elec­toratesec@ gmail.com

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