Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke dies, aged 89

Former prime minister Bob Hawke in 2018.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke in 2018.

FORMER Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died peacefully at his home at the age of 89.

In a statement, Mr Hawke's wife Blanche d'Alpuget said we had lost "a great Australian - many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era."

Mr Hawke led the Labor Party to a landslide victory in 1983 and became Prime Minister. He went on to claim election victories in '84, '87 and 1990.

"Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and their governments modernised the Australian economy, paving the way for an unprecedented period of recession -free economic growth," Ms d'Alpuget's statement read.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to Mr Hawke, saying the labour movement "salutes our greatest son".

"The Labor Party gives thanks for the life of our longest-serving prime minister and Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply," he said in a statement.

"The Australian people loved Bob Hawke because they knew Bob loved them, this was true to the very end.

"He was a leader of conviction - and a builder of consensus. But for Bob, consensus and co-operation never meant pursuing the lowest common denominator."

A memorial service will be held in Sydney in coming weeks.

Australian Associated Press