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Nation mourns loss of reformer who modernised the economy

Image: Eva Rinaldi [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s longest-serving Labor prime minister, Bob Hawke, has died at his home in Sydney, aged 89 – just two days before an election that is likely to see Labor win office.

Political colleagues and members of the public have posted thousands of tributes on social media, recalling a prime minister who was generous, outspoken, a popular “intellectual larrikin”, and a master political strategist.

Those posting tributes include former prime ministers Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull; rock singer Jimmy Barnes; New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Indigenous politician Linda Burney and members of Australia’s Chinese community who were granted political asylum by Hawke after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

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