Stewart West was a cabinet minister in the Hawke Labor Government during the period 1983 to 1990.
He served as Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Minister for Housing and Construction, and Minister for Administrative Affairs.
Stewart West was elected as Federal Member for Cunningham at a by election in 1977 after the death of Rex Connor – himself a cabinet minister in the Whitlam Government.
He retired from Federal Parliament at the 1993 election.
He was a lifelong trade unionist and President of the Waterside Workers Union prior to his election to Parliament.
Stewart West was a man of principle – resigning his cabinet appointment because he disagreed with a cabinet decision to sell uranium to France in 1983. He was subsequently reappointed to cabinet by Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.
He was instrumental in the environmental campaigns to save the Franklin River in Tasmania and Kakadu in the Northern Territory.
Stewart West was aware of the election of the NSW Labor Government on the weekend.
He was surrounded by family and friends.
We extend on behalf of the Illawarra Labor Party and labour movement our sincerest condolences to Stewart’s wife, Mary, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.