Paul Keating
Overview
 
Paul John Keating was the 24th Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

, serving from 1991 to 1996. Keating was elected as the federal Labor
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 member for Blaxland
Division of Blaxland
The Division of Blaxland is an Australian Electoral Division in New South Wales. It is based in the western suburbs of Sydney, and includes the working-class suburbs of Bass Hill, Birrong, Carramar, Chester Hill, Condell Park, Fairfield East, Georges Hall, Guildford West, Old Guildford,...

 in 1969 and came to prominence as the reformist treasurer
Treasurer of Australia
The Treasurer of Australia is the minister in the Government of Australia responsible for government expenditure and revenue raising. He is the head of the Department of the Treasury. The Treasurer plays a key role in the economic policy of the government...

 of the Hawke
Bob Hawke
Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke AC GCL was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia from March 1983 to December 1991 and therefore longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister....

 Labor government, which came to power at the 1983 election
Australian federal election, 1983
Federal elections were held in Australia on 5 March 1983. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives, and all 64 seats in the Senate, were up for election, following a double dissolution...

. After becoming prime minister in 1991, he led Labor to its fifth consecutive victory at the 1993 election against the Liberal
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

-National
National Party of Australia
The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the The Country Party, but adopted the name The National Country Party in 1975, changed to The National Party of Australia in 1982. The party is...

 coalition
Coalition (Australia)
The Coalition in Australian politics refers to a group of centre-right parties that has existed in the form of a coalition agreement since 1922...

 led by John Hewson
John Hewson
John Robert Hewson AM is an Australian economist, company director and a former politician. He was federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia from 1990 to 1994 and led the party to defeat at the 1993 federal election.-Early life:...

. Many had considered this election unwinnable for Labor, mainly due to the effects of the early 1990s recession on Australia, as well as the longevity of Labor as the federal government.
Quotations

It really surprises me that some people in this party think we owe Westpac|Westpac something. Or the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group|ANZ Bank. Or the National Australia Bank|National.

Australian Labor Party|Australian Labor Party national conference, July 1984.

From this day onwards, Howard will wear his leadership like a crown of thorns, and in the parliament I'll do everything to crucify him.

On John Howard's stint as opposition leader, February 1986, doorstop at old Parliament House.

If this Government cannot get the adjustment, get manufacturing going again, and keep moderate wage outcomes and a sensible economic policy, then Australia is basically done for. We will end up being a third rate economy... a banana republic.

Speaking to John Laws|John Laws on Radio 2UE|Radio 2UE, May 14, 1986.

A dog returning to his vomit

An allusion to Proverbs 26:11, referring to Wilson Tuckey|Wilson Tuckey, 1990, after Tuckey repeatedly called out the name "Christine" in Parliament.

The Placido Domingo|Placido Domingo of Australian politics.

Self description, based on the assessment that Domingo's performances are "sometimes great, and sometimes not great, but always good". Press Gallery Christmas dinner, 1991.

It was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And our failure to imagine these things being done to us.

1992 The Redfern Speech, launching International Year of Indigenous Peoples

I would forbid him going going to the Senate, to account to this unrepresentative swill over there...

1993 Parliamentary speech referring to the Senate, in contrast to the House of Representatives.

Encyclopedia
Paul John Keating was the 24th Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

, serving from 1991 to 1996. Keating was elected as the federal Labor
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 member for Blaxland
Division of Blaxland
The Division of Blaxland is an Australian Electoral Division in New South Wales. It is based in the western suburbs of Sydney, and includes the working-class suburbs of Bass Hill, Birrong, Carramar, Chester Hill, Condell Park, Fairfield East, Georges Hall, Guildford West, Old Guildford,...

 in 1969 and came to prominence as the reformist treasurer
Treasurer of Australia
The Treasurer of Australia is the minister in the Government of Australia responsible for government expenditure and revenue raising. He is the head of the Department of the Treasury. The Treasurer plays a key role in the economic policy of the government...

 of the Hawke
Bob Hawke
Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke AC GCL was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia from March 1983 to December 1991 and therefore longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister....

 Labor government, which came to power at the 1983 election
Australian federal election, 1983
Federal elections were held in Australia on 5 March 1983. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives, and all 64 seats in the Senate, were up for election, following a double dissolution...

. After becoming prime minister in 1991, he led Labor to its fifth consecutive victory at the 1993 election against the Liberal
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

-National
National Party of Australia
The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the The Country Party, but adopted the name The National Country Party in 1975, changed to The National Party of Australia in 1982. The party is...

 coalition
Coalition (Australia)
The Coalition in Australian politics refers to a group of centre-right parties that has existed in the form of a coalition agreement since 1922...

 led by John Hewson
John Hewson
John Robert Hewson AM is an Australian economist, company director and a former politician. He was federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia from 1990 to 1994 and led the party to defeat at the 1993 federal election.-Early life:...

. Many had considered this election unwinnable for Labor, mainly due to the effects of the early 1990s recession on Australia, as well as the longevity of Labor as the federal government. The Labor government was decisively defeated, however, at the 1996 election by the Liberal-National coalition led by John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

.

Early life

Keating grew up in Bankstown
Bankstown, New South Wales
Bankstown is a suburb of south-western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Bankstown is located 20 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Bankstown.-History:Prior to European...

, a working-class suburb of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

. He was one of four children of Matthew Keating, a boilermaker and trade-union representative of Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic is a term used to describe people who are both Roman Catholic and Irish .Note: the term is not used to describe a variant of Catholicism. More particularly, it is not a separate creed or sect in the sense that "Anglo-Catholic", "Old Catholic", "Eastern Orthodox Catholic" might be...

  descent, and his wife, Minnie. Keating was educated at Catholic schools; he was the first practising Catholic Labor
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 prime minister since James Scullin
James Scullin
James Henry Scullin , Australian Labor politician and the ninth Prime Minister of Australia. Two days after he was sworn in as Prime Minister, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 occurred, marking the beginning of the Great Depression and subsequent Great Depression in Australia.-Early life:Scullin was...

 left office in 1932. Leaving De La Salle College Bankstown (now LaSalle Catholic College) at 15, Keating decided not to pursue higher education, and worked as a clerk at the Electricity Commission of New South Wales and then as a trade union research assistant. He joined the Labor Party as soon as he was eligible. In 1966, he became president of the ALP’s Youth Council. In the 1960s Keating managed ‘The Ramrods’ rock band.

Entry into politics

Through the unions and the NSW Young Labor Council, Keating met other Labor figures such as Laurie Brereton
Laurie Brereton
Laurence John "Laurie" Brereton , Australianpolitician, was a state minister, a federal member of cabinet, and kingmaker in the election of several Australian Labor Party leaders, including Paul Keating and Mark Latham...

, Graham Richardson
Graham Richardson
Graham Frederick Richardson , a former Australian politician, was a Senator for New South Wales from 1983–94 for the Australian Labor Party, a senior minister in Hawke and Keating governments, and is now a political lobbyist, public speaker, and media commentator. During his time in politics,...

 and Bob Carr
Bob Carr
Robert John "Bob" Carr , Australian statesman, was Premier of New South Wales from 4 April 1995 to 3 August 2005. He holds the record for the longest continuous service as premier of NSW...

. He also developed a friendship and discussed politics with former New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 Labor premier Jack Lang
Jack Lang (Australian politician)
John Thomas Lang , usually referred to as J.T. Lang during his career, and familiarly known as "Jack" and nicknamed "The Big Fella" was an Australian politician who was Premier of New South Wales for two terms...

, then in his 90s. In 1971, he succeeded in having Lang re-admitted to the Labor Party. Using his extensive contacts Keating gained Labor endorsement for the federal seat of Blaxland
Division of Blaxland
The Division of Blaxland is an Australian Electoral Division in New South Wales. It is based in the western suburbs of Sydney, and includes the working-class suburbs of Bass Hill, Birrong, Carramar, Chester Hill, Condell Park, Fairfield East, Georges Hall, Guildford West, Old Guildford,...

 in the western suburbs of Sydney and was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1969 election
Australian federal election, 1969
Federal elections were held in Australia on 25 October 1969. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia John Gorton with coalition partner the Country Party led by John McEwen defeated the Australian...

 when he was 25 years of age.

Keating was a backbencher for most of the period of the Whitlam Government
Whitlam Government
The Whitlam Government refers to the federal Executive Government of Australia led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. It was made up of members of the Australian Labor Party in the Australian Parliament from 1972 to 1975.-Background:...

 (December 1972 – November 1975), and briefly became Minister for the Northern Territory in late October 1975 which he lost when the Whitlam Government was dismissed by Sir John Kerr on 11 November 1975. After Labor's defeat in 1975
Australian federal election, 1975
Federal elections were held in Australia on 13 December 1975. All 127 seats in the House of Representatives, and all 64 seats in the Senate were up for election following a double dissolution of both Houses....

, Keating became an opposition frontbencher and, in 1981, he became president of the New South Wales branch of the party and thus leader of the dominant right-wing faction
Labor Right
The Labor Right, or Labor Unity in some State branches, or Centre Unity in NSW, is the organised faction of the Australian Labor Party that tends to be more economically liberal and socially conservative than Labor Left....

. As opposition spokesperson on energy, his parliamentary style was that of an aggressive debater. He initially supported Bill Hayden
Bill Hayden
William George "Bill" Hayden AC was the 21st Governor-General of Australia. Prior to this, he represented the Australian Labor Party in parliament; he was a minister in the government of Gough Whitlam, and later became Leader of the Opposition, narrowly losing the 1980 federal election to the...

 against Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke AC GCL was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia from March 1983 to December 1991 and therefore longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister....

's leadership challenges, partly because he hoped to succeed Hayden himself. However, by July 1982, as the leader of the New South Wales right-wing faction, he had to accept, at least nominally, his own faction's endorsement of Hawke's challenge. The formal announcement by Keating, as the faction leader, was actually penned by Gareth Evans
Gareth Evans (politician)
Gareth John Evans, AO, QC , is a former Australian politician from 1978 to 1999 representing the Australian Labor Party, serving in a number of ministries including Attorney-General and Foreign Minister from 1983 to 1996 in the Hawke and Keating governments. He was president and chief executive...

.

Treasurer: 1983–1991

Following the Labor Party's victory in the March 1983 election
Australian federal election, 1983
Federal elections were held in Australia on 5 March 1983. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives, and all 64 seats in the Senate, were up for election, following a double dissolution...

, Keating was appointed treasurer, a post he held until 1991. Keating succeeded John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

 as treasurer and was able to use the size of the budget deficit to attack the former treasurer, and question the economic credibility of the Liberal-National coalition. That the deficit had significantly blown out in the lead up to the election was not disclosed by the Liberal-National coalition government. The incoming Hawke Labor government only learned about the extent of the deficit when briefed by Treasury officials after the election. According to Bob Hawke
Bob Hawke
Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke AC GCL was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia from March 1983 to December 1991 and therefore longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister....

, the historically large $9.6 billion budget deficit left by the Coalition ‘became a stick with which we were justifiably able to beat the Liberal National Party Opposition for many years’. Although, as the former treasurer, Howard was ‘discredited’ by the budget blowout, he had argued unsuccessfully against Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
Malcolm Fraser
John Malcolm Fraser AC, CH, GCL, PC is a former Australian Liberal Party politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia. He came to power in the 1975 election following the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government, in which he played a key role...

, that the revised figures should be disclosed before the election.

Keating was one of the driving forces behind the various microeconomic reforms of the Hawke government. The Hawke/Keating governments of 1983–1996 pursued economic policies and restructuring such as floating the Australian dollar
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

 in 1983, reducing tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s on imports, taxation reforms, moving from centralised wage-fixing to enterprise bargaining
Enterprise bargaining agreement
Enterprise bargaining is wage and working conditions being negotiated at the level of the individual organisations. Once established, they are legally binding on employers and employees....

, privatisation of publicly-owned companies such as Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

 and the Commonwealth Bank, and deregulation of the banking system. Keating was instrumental in the introduction of the Prices and Incomes Accord, an agreement between the Australian Council of Trade Unions
Australian Council of Trade Unions
The Australian Council of Trade Unions is the largest peak body representing workers in Australia. It is a national trade union centre of 46 affiliated unions.-History:The ACTU was formed in 1927 as the "Australian Council of Trade Unions"...

 (ACTU) and the government to negotiate wages. His management of the Accord, and close working relationship with ACTU leader Bill Kelty
Bill Kelty
William John "Bill" Kelty, AC is an Australian trade unionist and a well-known figure in the Australian labour movement, who served as Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions from 1983 to 2000....

, was a source of tremendous political power
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

 for Keating. Keating was able to bypass cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 in many instances, notably in the exercise of monetary policy
Monetary policy
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability. The official goals usually include relatively stable prices and low unemployment...

.

In 1985, Keating championed introduction of a broad-based consumption tax
Consumption tax
A consumption tax is a tax on spending on goods and services. The tax base of such a tax is the money spent on consumption. Consumption taxes are usually indirect, such as a sales tax or a value added tax...

, similar to the goods and services tax (GST)
Goods and Services Tax (Australia)
The GST is a broad sales tax of 10% on most goods and services transactions in Australia. It is a value added tax, not a sales tax, in that it is refunded to all parties in the chain of production other than the final consumer....

 of the Howard government. During the 1984 election campaign, Hawke had promised a policy paper on taxation reform to be discussed with all stakeholders at a tax summit. Three options - A, B and C - were presented in the Draft White Paper, with Keating and his Treasury colleagues fiercely advocating for Option C, which included a consumption tax of 15% on goods and services along with reductions in personal and company income tax, a fringe benefits tax and a capital gains tax. Although Keating was able to win the support of a reluctant cabinet, in the face of opposition from the public, the welfare lobby, the ACTU, and the business community, Hawke intervened to drop the consumption tax. Many of the remainder of the reforms were adopted in the September 1985 tax reform package, but the loss of the consumption tax was a bitter defeat for Keating. However, he joked about it at the press conference saying, "It's a bit like Ben Hur. We've crossed the line with one wheel off, but we have crossed the line."

Keating's tenure as treasurer and prime minister is often criticised for high interest rates and the 1990s recession - the so-called "recession we had to have". Through the 1980s both the global and Australian economy grew quickly and by the late 1980s was overheating, with inflation around 8 to 10 percent. By 1988 the Reserve Bank of Australia began tightening monetary policy, and household interest rates peaked at 18 percent. It is often said that the Bank was too slow in easing monetary policy, and that this ultimately led to a recession. In private, Keating had argued for rates to rise earlier than they did, and fall sooner, although his view was at odds with the Reserve Bank and his Treasury colleages. Publicly, Hawke and Keating had said there would be no recession - or there would be a "soft landing" - but this changed when Keating announced the country was indeed in recession - "this was the recession we had to have" he famously added. According to Paul Kelly, "It was perhaps the most stupid remark of his career and it nearly cost him the prime ministership. However — it is largely true — the boom begat the recession." During the subsequent Howard Government
Howard Government
The Howard Government refers to the federal Executive Government of Australia led by Prime Minister John Howard. It was made up of members of the Liberal–National Coalition, which won a majority of seats in the Australian House of Representatives at four successive elections. The Howard Government...

 (1996–2007), Keating often criticised Howard for taking credit for the relatively good economic conditions Australia experienced over the latter half of Howard's time as prime minister, without acknowledging that the 1990s recession ended the inflation problem.

At a 1988 meeting at Kirribilli House
Kirribilli House
Kirribilli House is the official Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister. The house is located at the far eastern end of Kirribilli Avenue in the harbourside suburb of Kirribilli...

, Hawke and Keating discussed the handover of the leadership to Keating. Hawke agreed in front of two witnesses that he would resign in Keating's favour after the 1990 election. The Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the second-most senior officer in the Government of Australia. The Deputy Prime Ministership has been a ministerial portfolio since 1968, and the Deputy Prime Minister is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime...

, Lionel Bowen
Lionel Bowen
Lionel Frost Bowen AC , Australian politician, was a senior Labor Party figure, serving in the ministries of Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke...

, retired at the 1990 election, and Keating was appointed Deputy to Hawke. In June 1991, after Hawke had intimated to Keating that he planned to renege on the deal on the basis that Keating had been publicly disloyal and moreover was less popular than Hawke, Keating challenged him for the leadership. He lost (Hawke won 66–44 in the party room ballot), resigned as Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister, and declared in a press conference that he had fired his 'one shot'. Publicly, at least, this made his leadership ambitions unclear. Having lost the first challenge to Hawke, Keating realised that events would have to move very much in his favour for a second challenge to be even possible.

Several factors contributed to the success of Keating’s second challenge in December 1991. Over the remainder of 1991, the economy showed no signs of recovery from the recession, and unemployment continued to rise. Some of Keating’s supporters undermined the government. The Government was polling poorly. Perhaps more significantly, Liberal leader John Hewson
John Hewson
John Robert Hewson AM is an Australian economist, company director and a former politician. He was federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia from 1990 to 1994 and led the party to defeat at the 1993 federal election.-Early life:...

 introduced Fightback!
Fightback!
Fightback! was a radical economic policy package, 650 pages long, proposed by then Liberal Party leader John Hewson.-Key elements:The key elements of Fightback! were:...

, an economic policy package, which, according to Keating’s biographer, John Edwards, ‘appeared to astonish and stun Hawke’s cabinet’. According to Edwards, ‘Hawke was unprepared to attack it and responded with windy rhetoric’. After Fightback!, Keating ‘did practically nothing’ as Hawke’s support dwindled and the numbers moved in Keating’s favour. On 20 December 1991, Keating defeated Hawke in a party-room ballot for the leadership by 56 votes to 51.

Prime Minister: 1991–1996

Keating's agenda included making Australia a republic, reconciliation with Australia's indigenous population, and furthering economic and cultural ties with Asia. The addressing of these issues came to be known as Keating's "big picture." Keating's legislative program included establishing the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), a review of the Sex Discrimination Act, and native title rights of Australia's indigenous peoples following the Mabo High Court decision. He developed bilateral links with Australia's neighbours – he frequently said there was no other country in the world more important to Australia than Indonesia – and took an active role in the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region...

 Forum (APEC), initiating the annual leaders' meeting. One of Keating's far-reaching legislative achievements was the introduction of a national superannuation scheme, implemented to address low national savings. Keating introduced mandatory detention for asylum seekers
Mandatory detention in Australia
Mandatory detention in Australia concerns the Australian federal government's policy and system of mandatory immigration detention active from 1992 to date, pursuant to which all persons entering the country without a valid visa are compulsorily detained and sometimes subject to deportation.In the...

 in 1992. On 10 December 1992, Keating delivered a speech
Redfern Park Speech
The Redfern Park Speech was made on 10 December 1992 by the Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating at Redfern Park in Redfern, New South Wales...

 on Aboriginal reconciliation.

Most commentators believed the 1993 election was "unwinnable" for Labor; the government had been in power for 10 years and the pace of economic recovery from the early 1990s recession was 'weak and slow'. However, Keating succeeded in winning back the electorate with a strong campaign opposing Fightback and a focus on creating jobs to reduce unemployment. Keating led Labor to an unexpected election victory, made memorable by his "true believers" victory speech. After Keating, some of the reforms of Fightback were implemented under the centre-right coalition government of John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

, such as the GST
Goods and Services Tax (Australia)
The GST is a broad sales tax of 10% on most goods and services transactions in Australia. It is a value added tax, not a sales tax, in that it is refunded to all parties in the chain of production other than the final consumer....

.

In December 1993, Keating was involved in a diplomatic incident with Malaysia, over Keating's description of Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad
Mahathir bin Mohamad
Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad . is a Malaysian politician who was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister. His political career spanned almost 40 years.Born and raised in Alor Setar, Kedah, Mahathir...

 as "recalcitrant". The incident occurred after Dr. Mahathir refused to attend the 1993 APEC summit
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region...

. Keating said, "APEC is bigger than all of us – Australia, the U.S. and Malaysia and Dr. Mahathir and any other recalcitrants." Dr. Mahathir demanded an apology from Keating, and threatened to reduce diplomatic and trade ties with Australia, which became an enormous concern to Australian exporters. Some Malaysian officials talked of launching a "Buy Australian Last" campaign. Keating eventually apologised to Mahathir over the remark.

Keating's friendship with Indonesian President Suharto was criticised by human rights activists supportive of East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

ese independence and by Nobel Peace Prize winner, José Ramos-Horta (later to be East Timor's prime minister and president). The Keating government's cooperation with the Indonesian military and the signing of the Timor Gap Treaty
Timor Gap Treaty
Officially known as the Treaty between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia on the zone of cooperation in an area between the Indonesian province of East Timor and Northern Australia, the Timor Gap Treaty is a treaty between the governments of Australia and Indonesia...

 were also criticised.

Defeat

John Hewson was replaced as Liberal party leader by Alexander Downer
Alexander Downer
Alexander John Gosse Downer is a former Australian Liberal Party politician who was Foreign Minister of Australia from March 1996 to December 2007, the longest-serving in Australian history...

 in 1994. But Downer's leadership was marred by gaffes, and he resigned in 1995. He was succeeded by John Howard
John Howard
John Winston Howard AC, SSI, was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies....

, who had previously led the party from 1986 to 1989. Under Howard, the Coalition moved ahead of Labor in opinion polls and Keating was unable to wrest back the lead. The first warning sign came in March 1995, when Labor lost Canberra
Division of Canberra
The Division of Canberra is an Australian Electoral Division in the Australian Capital Territory. The division was created in 1974 from the southern half of the old Division of Australian Capital Territory...

 in a by-election
Canberra by-election, 1995
The 1995 Canberra by-election was held in the Australian electorate of Canberra in Australian Capital Territory on 25 March 1995. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of the sitting member, the Australian Labor Party's Ros Kelly on 30 January 1995...

. Later in 1995, Queensland Labor barely held onto its majority at the 1995 state election before losing it altogether in a 1996 by-election
Mundingburra state by-election, 1996
The Mundingburra state by-election, 1996 was a by-election held on 3 February 1996 for the Queensland Legislative Assembly seat of Mundingburra, located in the southern suburbs of Townsville...

 held a week after Keating called the 1996 federal election. Howard, determined to avoid a repetition of the 1993 election, adopted a "small target" strategy – committing to keep Labor reforms such as Medicare
Medicare (Australia)
Medicare is Australia's publicly funded universal health care system, operated by the government authority Medicare Australia. Medicare is intended to provide affordable treatment by doctors and in public hospitals for all resident citizens and permanent residents except for those on Norfolk Island...

, and defusing the republic issue by promising to hold a constitutional convention
Constitutional Convention (Australia)
In Australian history, the term Constitutional Convention refers to four distinct gatherings.-1891 convention:The 1891 Constitutional Convention was held in Sydney in March 1891 to consider a draft Constitution for the proposed federation of the British colonies in Australia and New Zealand. There...

. This allowed Howard to focus the election on the economy and memory of the early 1990s recession, and on the longevity of the Labor government, which in 1996 had been in power for 13 years.

At the 1996 election, the Keating Government was swept from power in a landslide, losing 29 seats and suffering a five percent two party preferred swing. Keating was the first incumbent Labor Party Prime Minister to lose an election in 46 years, the last being Ben Chifley
Ben Chifley
Joseph Benedict Chifley , Australian politician, was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. He took over the Australian Labor Party leadership and Prime Ministership after the death of John Curtin in 1945, and went on to retain government at the 1946 election, before being defeated at the 1949...

 in 1949. Keating immediately resigned as Labor Party leader, and resigned from Parliament a little over a month later, on 23 April 1996.

After politics

Since leaving parliament, Keating has been a director of various companies, including the chairman for the Corporate Advisory International section of Lazard
Lazard
Lazard Ltd is the parent company of Lazard Group LLC, a global, independent investment bank with approximately 2,300 employees in 42 cities across 27 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Central and South America...

, an investment banking firm.

In 1997 Keating declined to accept appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia. Other than Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

, he is the only former post-1975 prime minister not to hold the award since the institution of the Australian Honours System
Australian Honours System
-History:The Commonwealth of Australia, until 1975, used the Imperial or British honours system. Only a handful of peerages were created for Australians, some in recognition of public services rendered in Britain rather than Australia. Some hereditary peers and baronets whose titles derive from...

 in 1975.

In 2000, he published a book, Engagement: Australia Faces the Asia-Pacific, which focused on foreign policy during his term as prime minister. In March 2002, a Don Watson
Don Watson
Don Watson is an Australian author and public speaker.-Biography:Watson grew up on a farm in Gippsland, took his undergraduate degree at La Trobe University and a Ph.D at Monash University and was for ten years an academic historian. He wrote three books on Australian history before turning his...

-authored biography of Keating, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, was released.

During Howard's prime ministership, Keating made occasional speeches strongly criticising his successor's social policies, and defending his own policies, such as those on East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

. Keating described Howard as a "desiccated coconut" who was "Araldite
Araldite
Araldite is a registered trademark of Huntsman Advanced Materials referring to their range of engineering and structural epoxy, acrylic, and polyurethane adhesives. The name was first used in 1946 for a two-part epoxy adhesive....

d to the seat" and that "Howard ... is an old antediluvian
Antediluvian
The antediluvian period meaning "before the deluge" is the period referred to in the Bible between the Creation of the Earth and the Deluge . The narrative takes up chapters 1-6 of Genesis...

 19th century person who wanted to stomp forever ... on ordinary people's rights to organise themselves at work ... he's a pre-Copernican
Copernican Revolution
The Copernican Revolution refers to the paradigm shift away from the Ptolemaic model of the heavens, which postulated the Earth at the center of the galaxy, towards the heliocentric model with the Sun at the center of our Solar System...

 obscurantist
Obscurantism
Obscurantism is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known. There are two, common, historical and intellectual, denotations: 1) restricting knowledge—opposition to the spread of knowledge, a policy of withholding knowledge from the...

", when criticising the Howard government's WorkChoices
WorkChoices
The Workplace Relations Act 1996, as amended by the Workplace Relations Amendment Act 2005, popularly known as Work Choices, was a Legislative Act of the Australian Parliament that came into effect in March 2006 which involved many controversial amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996, the...

 policy. He described Howard's deputy, Peter Costello
Peter Costello
Peter Howard Costello AC is an Australian politician and lawyer who served as the Treasurer in the Australian government from 1996 to 2007. He is the longest-serving Treasurer in Australian history. Costello was a Member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1990 to 2009, representing...

, as being "all tip and no iceberg" when referring to a pact made by Howard to hand the prime ministership over to Costello after two terms. On Labor's victory at the 2007 election, Keating said that he was relieved, rather than happy, that the Howard government had been removed. He claimed that there was "Relief that the nation had put itself back on course. Relief that the toxicity of the Liberal social agenda – the active disparagement of particular classes and groups, that feeling of alienation in your own country – was over."

In May 2007, Keating suggested that Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, rather than Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, should be the capital of Australia, saying that:

John Howard has already effectively moved the Parliament
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

 here. Cabinet meets in Philip Street
Phillip Street, Sydney
Phillip Street is a street in the central business district of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. While the street runs from King Street in the south to Circular Quay in the north, the present street is effectively in two sections, separated by Chifley Square...

 in Sydney, and when they do go to Canberra, they fly down to the bush capital, and everybody flies out on Friday. There is an air of unreality about Canberra. If Parliament sat in Sydney, they would have a better understanding of the problems being faced by their constituents. These real things are camouflaged from Canberra.


Keating was critical of the then opposition leader (and later prime minister) Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

's leadership team. For example, before the 2007 federal election, which Labor won, he criticised the then opposition industrial relations spokesperson Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard
Julia Eileen Gillard is the 27th and current Prime Minister of Australia, in office since June 2010.Gillard was born in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales and migrated with her family to Adelaide, Australia in 1966, attending Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School. In 1982 Gillard moved...

, saying she lacked an understanding of principles such as enterprise-bargaining set under his government in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He also attacked Rudd's chief of staff David Epstein and Gary Gray
Gary Gray (Australian politician)
Gary Gray AO , Australian politician, is the Australian Labor Party representative for the Division of Brand in Western Australia in the Australian House of Representatives. Gray is currently the Special Minister of State and the Special Minister of State for the Public Service and Integrity.Gary...

, who was at that time a candidate for Kim Beazley
Kim Beazley
In the October 1998 election, Labor polled a majority of the two-party vote and received the largest swing to a first-term opposition since 1934. However, due to the uneven nature of the swing, Labor came up eight seats short of making Beazley Prime Minister....

's seat of Brand
Division of Brand
The Division of Brand is an Australian electoral division in the state of Western Australia. The division was named after Sir David Brand, a former state premier, and is a safe Labor seat held by Gary Gray who first won the seat at the 2007 federal election...

, to which he was elected in 2007.

In February 2008, Keating joined former prime ministers Whitlam
Gough Whitlam
Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC , known as Gough Whitlam , served as the 21st Prime Minister of Australia. Whitlam led the Australian Labor Party to power at the 1972 election and retained government at the 1974 election, before being dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr at the climax of the...

, Fraser
Malcolm Fraser
John Malcolm Fraser AC, CH, GCL, PC is a former Australian Liberal Party politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia. He came to power in the 1975 election following the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government, in which he played a key role...

 and Hawke
Bob Hawke
Robert James Lee "Bob" Hawke AC GCL was the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia from March 1983 to December 1991 and therefore longest serving Australian Labor Party Prime Minister....

 in Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia...

, to witness the parliamentary apology to the Stolen Generations.

In August 2008, he spoke at the book launch of "Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's Interrupted Revolution", authored by economist David Love. Among the topics discussed during the launch were the need to increase compulsory superannuation contributions, as well as to restore incentives (removed under Howard/Costello) for people to receive their superannuation payments in annuities.

Keating is currently a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the University of New South Wales
University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales , is a research-focused university based in Kensington, a suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

. He has been awarded honorary Doctorates in Laws
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

 from Keio University
Keio University
,abbreviated as Keio or Keidai , is a Japanese university located in Minato, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. Founder Fukuzawa Yukichi originally established it as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo . It has eleven campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa...

 in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, the National University of Singapore
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

, and the University of New South Wales
University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales , is a research-focused university based in Kensington, a suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...


Personal life

In 1975, Keating married Annita van Iersel
Annita van Iersel
Annita Keating van Iersel is the estranged Dutch-born wife of Paul Keating, the former Prime Minister of Australia.Born as Anna Johanna Maria van Iersel to a devout Roman Catholic family in Oisterwijk, Noord Brabant, Netherlands, she studied languages in Paris and London. She worked at KLM as a...

, a Dutch flight attendant for Alitalia
Alitalia
Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

. The Keatings had four children, who spent some of their teenage years in The Lodge, the Prime Minister's official residence in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

. They separated in late November 1998.

Keating's daughter, Katherine, is a former adviser to former New South Wales minister Craig Knowles
Craig Knowles
Craig John Knowles is a former Australian politician and member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1990 to 2005....

.

Keating's interests include the music of Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

 and collecting French antique clocks. He now resides in Potts Point
Potts Point, New South Wales
Potts Point is a small, densely-populated suburb of inner-city Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Potts Point is located 3 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney....

, in the Eastern Suburbs
Eastern Suburbs (Sydney)
The Eastern Suburbs is a general term used to describe the metropolitan area directly to the east and south-east of the Sydney central business district in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Eastern Suburbs can refer to the suburbs within the local government areas of Woollahra, Waverley, Dover...

 of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

.

See also

  • First Keating Ministry
    First Keating Ministry
    The First Keating Ministry was the 59th Australian Commonwealth ministry. It was led by Paul Keating of the Australian Labor Party, and held office from 20 December 1991 to 24 March 1993.-Cabinet:*Hon Paul Keating, MP: Prime Minister...

  • Second Keating Ministry
    Second Keating Ministry
    The Second Keating Ministry was the sixtieth Australian Commonwealth ministry. It was led by Paul Keating of the Australian Labor Party, and held office from 24 March 1993 to 11 March 1996...

  • Keating!
    Keating!
    Keating! is a musical theatre production which portrays the political career of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating. Keating was Prime Minister between 1991 to 1996; the musical follows him from his ascendancy to the leadership through to his eventual electoral defeat by John Howard...

     the musical
  • Redfern Park Speech
    Redfern Park Speech
    The Redfern Park Speech was made on 10 December 1992 by the Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating at Redfern Park in Redfern, New South Wales...


Further reading

  • Carew, Edna (1991), Paul Keating Prime Minister, Allen and Unwin.
  • Edwards, John (1996), Keating: The Inside Story, Viking.
  • Gordon, Michael (1993), A Question of Leadership. Paul Keating. Political Fighter, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Queensland. ISBN 0 7022 2494 4
  • Gordon, Michael (1996), A True Believer: Paul Keating, UQP.
  • Keating, Paul (1995), Advancing Australia, Big Picture.
  • Keating, Paul (2011), "After Words", Allen & Unwin, ISBN 9781742377599
  • Lowe, David (2008), Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution
    Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution
    Unfinished Business: Paul Keating's interrupted revolution is a non-fiction political book, by David Love. It won the 2009 Gleebooks Prize for critical writing.It is his account of the prime ministership of Australia of Paul Keating.-Bibliography:...

    , Scribe.
  • Watson, Don
    Don Watson
    Don Watson is an Australian author and public speaker.-Biography:Watson grew up on a farm in Gippsland, took his undergraduate degree at La Trobe University and a Ph.D at Monash University and was for ten years an academic historian. He wrote three books on Australian history before turning his...

     (2002), Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM
    Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM
    Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM is a non-fiction political book, by Don Watson. It won The Age Book of the Year.It is his account of the prime ministership of Australia of Paul Keating.-Reviews:...

    , Knopf.

External links

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