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Lionel Bowen, Whitlam Minister, Deputy PM To Hawke, Dies At 89

Lionel Bowen, a minister in the Whitlam government and Deputy Prime Minister under Bob Hawke, has died, aged 89.

Bowen was Deputy Prime Minister for the first three terms of the Hawke government from 1983 to 1990. He was Minister for Trade in 1983-84 and Attorney-General from 1984-90.

Lionel Bowen at the first meeting of the Hawke Cabinet in 1983

Bowen was one of the original Whitlam government ministers, serving as Postmaster-General between 1972-74. He was Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister between 1973-75.

He served as Minister for Manufacturing Industry for the last five months of the Whitlam government and was widely regarded during that time.

LionelBowen’s parliamentary career began in the NSW Legislative Assembly. He represented the Randwick electorate from 1962-69.

He was the federal member for Kingsford-Smith in Sydney from 1969 until his retirement in 1990.

As Attorney-General in the Hawke government, Bowen sponsored the four unsuccessful referendums in 1988. These sought to introduce 4-year terms for the Australian parliament, to entrench fair elections at the Commonwealth, State and Territory levels, to recognise local government, and to enshrine a variety of rights in the Constitution.

Bowen served in the Australian Army during World War 2.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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