Paul Keating has renewed his attack on Bob Hawke during a speech at the launch of the Cabinet diaries of Gareth Evans.
Whilst Evans says in his book that Hawke was out of action for about a month in 1984 over his daughter’s drug addiction problems, Keating claimed that Hawke was “asleep” for about five years until 1989. Keating said Hawke failed to “nourish” the government with ideas and leadership.
Keating said Hawke failed to take a lead on Aboriginal land rights in this time: “Bob always cried for Aborigines but he wouldn’t do anything for them.”
Keating delivered a 55-minute speech that canvassed a wide range of policy areas during the period of the Hawke government from 1983 until 1991.
Evans, 69, was a Victorian senator during the Hawke government. He was Attorney-General during the government’s first term from 1983 until December 1984. He subsequently served as Minister for Natural Resources and Minister for Transport and Communications. Following the appointment of Bill Hayden as Governor-General in 1988, Evans served as Minister for Foreign Affairs until the Keating government was defeated in 1996.
Evans transferred to the House of Representatives as the member for Holt at the 1996 election and became Deputy Leader of the Opposition until the ALP’s defeat at the 1998 federal election. He retired in September 1999 and was succeeded in Holt by the current member, Anthony Byrne.
Evans’s book, Insider the Hawke Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary, is published by Melbourne University Press. Louise Adler, the CEO of MUP, also spoke at the launch.
- Listen to Paul Keating (55m)
- Listen to Louise Adler (5m)
- Listen to Gareth Evans (16m)