Former prime minister Paul Keating is about to visit Ipswich.
Former prime minister Paul Keating is about to visit Ipswich. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

'Hero to some, pariah to others': Keating to talk in Ipswich

HIS tumultuous rise and subsequent tenure as Australia's 24th prime minister made him a hero to some and a pariah to others.

While Paul Keating's infamous "recession we had to have" quote still resonates almost 30 years on, many decisions made during his time had a major impact on the everyday lives of Australians.

Never a man to mince words, Mr Keating has remained an important public figure long after he surrendered leadership to John Howard in 1996.

Ipswich will see the former PM in the flesh when he delivers the 2017 Bill Hayden Oration, honouring Mr Hayden's contribution to politics and political discourse in Australia.

Member for Ipswich and founder of the Hayden Oration Jennifer Howard said Mr Keating's address would be a unique opportunity to gain insight and perspective from one of Australia's most influential and important political figures.

"Much like Bill, Paul Keating was concerned with improving the daily lives of all Australians and this is evident in his social and economic reforms, like compulsory superannuation, financial sector deregulation and floating the dollar, engaging with Asia and encouraging the passage of Indigenous land rights legislation and the reconciliation between Aboriginal and other Australians," Ms Howard said.

"He supported reform of vocational education and training, and introduced policies encouraging economic competitiveness and was responsible for developing the Australian Government's first formal cultural policy, Creative Nation, which emphasised culture's importance to national identity, and also stressed the economic potential of cultural activity and arts."

Improving the lives of Australians was also a key driver for Mr Hayden.

He was appointed Minister for Social Security after the 1972 election, and introduced the single mother pension and Medibank, the precursor to Medicare and Australia's first system of universal health insurance.

The Bill Hayden Oration is on Friday September 29, 5.45-7.30pm, in the J Block auditorium at USQ Ipswich.

For more information email ipswichelectoratesec@gmail.com or phone 0412160645.



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