Vale Gough Whitlam, 98

Whitlam will be remembered in a private cremation ceremony and a public memorial service.

Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam has died, aged 98. A statement bearing the news was released this morning by his four children expressing their grief and admiration for the impressive man. Whitlam will be remembered in a private cremation ceremony and a public memorial service. Whitlam’s legacy The 21st Prime Minister of Australia held office for only three years, but in that time he left his mark on Australian politics. The Whitlam government was responsible for some of Australia’s most iconic reforms: establishing Medicare (then known as Medibank), removing God Save The Queen as the nation’s anthem, withdrawing Australia from the Vietnam War, returning Papua New Guinea to independent rule, and beginning diplomacy operations with China. Ongoing issues from the 70s include Whitlam’s environmental policies, including a block to oil drilling in the Great Barrier Reef, and the passing of the Racial Discrimination Act. During that time, however, the Whitlam government was embroiled in the Loans Affair scandal. The dismissal of Whitlam as Prime Minister by Governor General Sir John Kerr in 1975 remains one of Australian politics’ lasting controversies. The Labor leader’s election in 1972 ended 23 years of Liberal government. Parliament has been suspended today, and a statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott has instructed that all flags fly at half mast today, as well as on the day of Whitlam’s public memorial service. Publication by Tony Abbott. The death of Gough Whitlam: family statement. — Mark Scott (@mscott) October 20, 2014 Rest in Peace Gough Whitlam. The Prime Minister we had to have. — George Megalogenis (@GMegalogenis) October 20, 2014 “SA’s doing well with labour” Gough Whitlam, Don Dunstan in 1973. — Yvonne Thompson (@yvonnert) October 20, 2014 Telegram Gough Whitlam sent as Opposition Leader that led to him becoming first Australian PM to visit China @abcnews — Nicole Chettle (@nicolechettle) October 20, 2014 Publication by Bill Shorten MP.

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