Tony Abbott Ripped To Shreds Over Statement About Bob Hawke’s Death

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke makes a speech during the launch of his biography

Bob Hawke, former Australian prime minister, dead at 89

They're all moving messages about a man who was loved by the people for being a larrikin and a game changer.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Hawke had transformed Australian society and protected the environment, a reference to his government preventing the damming of a wild river in Tasmania state to generate electricity in a major environmental conflict in 1983.

"I don't think anyone who has been following me around the country for these last five weeks, five weeks ago thought this is where the election would be the day before". "He and Paul Keating internationalised the Australian economy", former PM Kevin Rudd said.

As Australia mourns the loss of one of our most beloved leaders - former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who died last night at the age of 89 - former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has offered his own deeply shitty statement.

Labor Leader Bill Shorten speaks to supporters ahead of today's Australian election. But the difference is within market researcher Ipsos Australia's 2.3 percentage-point margin of error.

Shorten invoked the memory of another Labor hero on Thursday when he made his final campaign pitch in the same western Sydney venue where party leader Gough Whitlam gave what has been remembered as his "It's Time" speech in 1972. "It's Time" was also the campaign slogan.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Hawke had "defined the politics of his generation and beyond".

"Through his many years in politics, he was a true and genuine friend of our leaders including successive prime ministers".

In this October 17, 1985, file photo, then Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, left, meets then Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Nassau, Bahamas.

Australia is one of a few countries that have made voting compulsory.

Voters are being urged to go out and vote if early ballots have not been cast - not least because there is $20 fine if you forget to.

Whoever wins - Liberal candidate Gladys Liu or her Labor opponent Jennifer Yang - will represent the country's first Chinese-Australian female member of parliament. Labor was formed by striking sheep shearers meeting under an Outback tree in 1891.

Online bookmaker Sportsbet is tipping a win for Shorten - paying just 1.14 Australian dollars ($0.78) for Labor to be "sworn in government". The conservatives have ruled for 47 of those years and have been led by the longest and second-longest serving prime ministers in Australian history.

The left-wing Greens, meanwhile, seem likely to benefit from voters wanting decisive action on climate change - which recent polls have shown is the number one issue for much of the population.

Shorten said that, if elected, his government would aim to cut carbon emissions by 45% from 2005 levels by 2030, with net zero emissions by 2050. He was a great Australian. His consensus-based approach to governance also won him admirers from across the Australian political spectrum.

At the global level, Hawke, along with then-French Prime Minister Michel Rocard, introduced a proposal that was adopted as the Madrid protocol, which unambiguously banned mining in Antarctica.

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