MEDIA RELEASE: HONOURING THE HAWKE LEGACY BY PRESERVING HAWKE HOUSE
BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
AND ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BARKER
HONOURING THE HAWKE LEGACY BY PRESERVING HAWKE HOUSE
A Shorten Labor Government will provide up to $750,000 to purchase and renovate Hawke House, the birthplace of Bob Hawke.
The funding will be used to transform the Bordertown property into a museum celebrating Bob’s life and achievements, Australian democracy and civic life.
As prime minister, Bob was a brilliant consensus-builder and a great conservationist, whose leadership helped preserve Kakadu, the Daintree and the Franklin for future generations.
Preserving Hawke House is a modest act of conservation compared to those great deeds, but it acknowledges the legacy Bob has left on the nation.
This is about preserving a small piece of the past, for a man whose time in government did so much to shape Australia’s future.
Hawke House was built in 1884 by the National Bank and operated as a bank until the branch was closed in June 1895.
It was a private home until 1897 when it was bought by the Congregational Church for £420 to be used as a manse. The home has been for sale since 2015.
The Museum of Australian Democracy is considered the most appropriate agency to manage the property, similar to how it manages the operations of Old Parliament House. We will review the resourcing of the Museum of Australian Democracy to ensure it can meet its existing obligations and that the management of the property is world class.
This announcement comes after Gough Whitlam’s house of birth in Kew was demolished in May 2016, which led to widespread community concern that important parts of Australia’s history were being lost.
Labor’s proposal would ensure our democratic history is preserved, promoted and celebrated, just like it is at the Chifley Home in Bathurst.
Labor would consider similar investments for birthplaces properties or long-term residences of other former prime ministers.
Currently, community outreach services and a Centrelink office are based at Hawke House. Our announcement comes with a guarantee these services will not be affected by honouring their current lease arrangements and providing support to relocate their services within Bordertown.
SATURDAY, 11 MAY 2019