The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australia’s largest and most representative business network, today paid tribute to the life and achievements of The Hon Robert (Bob) James Lee Hawke AC, GCL.
“Bob Hawke was a great leader of our country, a giant of industrial relations who prized consensus outcomes, an economic and social reformer and a man with whom so many Australians could identify and admire”, said James Pearson, CEO of the Australian Chamber.
“On behalf of the Australian Chamber, I offer our condolences to his wife and family.
“His leadership and collaborative approach saw important and long-lasting changes to the Australian economy and workplaces such as:
- The floating of the Australian dollar and significant reductions in tariffs, to allow Australian businesses to compete and prosper on their own merits rather than being protected by a fixed currency and tariff walls
- The introduction of enterprise bargaining, to allow employers and employees to build individual workplace environments that create the best outcomes for firms and the people who work in them
- The opening up of Australia’s financial sector to promote greater competition and provide greater choice to Australian consumers, both individuals and businesses
- Founding the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to promote the liberalisation of trade and investment and economic growth in our region
- The introduction of the Sex Discrimination and Affirmative Action Acts (now the Workplace Gender Equality Act), to allow women the same status and privilege as men in the workplace
“Mr Hawke’s vision as Prime Minister to begin the modernisation of our industrial relations system and move it from institutionalised conflict towards a culture of collaboration contributed to decades of growth and prosperity, to jobs for millions of Australians and to Australia rising to become a leading global economy.
“The man has gone but his legacy endures.”