THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BLAIR
STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF BILL HAYDEN
Bill Hayden was one of the greatest Prime Ministers we never had!
A humble man from a working-class background, he went on to become a giant of the Labor Party and one of the greatest politicians of his generation.
Australia has him to thank for Medicare’s forerunner, Medibank, for the single mother’s pension and for promoting greater representation of women in the Labor Party.
Bill Hayden was a selfless team player, and servant of the Australian people and our party.
He dedicated his life to public service first as a police officer, then a Member of Parliament and finally as Governor-General.
In a distinguished career, Bill Hayden served as Treasurer and Minister for Social Security in the Whitlam Government, and then Opposition Leader, before serving as Foreign Affairs Minister in the Hawke Government.
Indeed, as Opposition Leader following the Whitlam years, he rebuilt the modern Labor Party, putting in place reforms that allowed subsequent Labor governments – and the country – to succeed.
He was my first Federal Member and served as the Member for Oxley for 27 years. Later, he and his wife Dallas became my constituents and long-term Somerset Region residents when they moved to Bryden in my electorate after Bill's retirement from public life.
Most importantly, Bill was my mentor and my friend. He was a source of sage advice. He was a great Queenslander and a great Australian who changed our party and our country for the better.
I will miss you Bill. My deepest condolences to Dallas and all the family.
Vale Bill Hayden.