Tributes for Australia's 23rd Prime Minister, Bob Hawke have flowed in from Dawson candidates following his death Thursday.
Tributes for Australia's 23rd Prime Minister, Bob Hawke have flowed in from Dawson candidates following his death Thursday.

Dawson remembers 'best Labor PM of the modern era'

TRIBUTES for Australia's 23rd Prime Minister have flowed in from Dawson election candidates.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke died peacefully at home Thursday, aged 89.

The four-term Prime Minister changed the face of Australia, making radical policy choices including introducing Medicare, introduced the Sex Discrimination Act, founding the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and floating the Australian dollar.

But the popular politician was also described as a 'larrikin leader'.

While his policy achievements have created a lasting impact on modern Australia, he will be fondly remembered for holding the world record of sculling a beer more quickly than anyone and campaigning for Advance Australia Fair to become the national anthem.

Despite standing on the opposite side of the political divide, Dawson MP George Christensen spoke passionately about Australia's former leader.

Mr Christensen said it was a "great shame” to lose Mr Hawke.

"He was the best Labor Prime Minister of the modern era,” he said.

"It's a terrible time for the nation.”

He said it was a testament to Mr Hawke's character that there was such an outpouring of respect from both sides of politics.

"He was a larrikin and a bit of a legend,” Mr Christensen said.

"He will be remembered for his heart.”

Mr Christensen said he regretted never having had the opportunity to meet the former Prime Minister.

He extended his sympathies to Mr Hawke's wife Blanche d'Alpuget, and the many friends and family who would be mourning his loss.

Labor candidate Belinda Hassan said the nation had suffered a great loss.

"It's devastating to lose such a great man,” Ms Hassan said.

Bob Hawke's enduring reputation for fighting for healthcare access, women's rights, indigenous rights and his campaign against racism had made him a "legend within the Labor party”, she said, and her campaign today was a fight to "carry on his legacy”.

Independent candidate Lachlan Queenan said it was a time to "reflect on the life of a great Australian leader”.

"He was a personality and a character. He enriched the lives of all Australians”, Mr Queenan said.