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Paul John Keating
Transcript of Paul John Keating
Paul Keating grew up in Bankstown, a working class suburb of Sydney . He was one of four children born to Matthew Keating, a boilermaker and trade union representative of Irish Catholic descent. His siblings include Anne Keating, a company director and businesswoman. Leaving De La Salle College, now known as LaSalle Catholic College, at the age of 15, Keating decided not to pursue higher education, and instead worked as a clerk at the Sydney County Council.
Retirement and Later life
In 2002, Keating's former speechwriter and adviser, Don Watson, published Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM. The book first drew criticism from Keating's estranged wife, Annita Keating, who said that it understated her contribution, a complaint Watson rejected.Keating himself was so unhappy with the book that it brought the two men's friendship to an end. Their antagonism has crystallised, in part, around the authorship of the Redfern Speech, which Watson claimed for himself in Recollections of a Bleeding Heart and elsewhere, crediting Keating only with reading his text unchanged. Keating has disputed this account.
On 20 December 1991, following his successful leadership challenge, Keating was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia. Keating's legislative agenda included making Australia a republic, reconciliation with Australia's indigenous population, and furthering economic and cultural ties with Asia. The addressing of these issues came to be known as Keating's "big picture." Keating's legislative program also included establishing the Australian National Training Authority. On 10 December 1992, Keating delivered the notable Redfern Speech on Aboriginal reconciliation.
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Member of Parliament
Paul met Labor figures such as Laurie Brereton, Graham Richardson and Bob Carr. He also developed a friendship with the old New South Wales Premier Jack Lang. In 1971, he succeeded in having Jack re-admitted to the Labor Party. Using his extensive contacts, Paul Keating eventually gained the Labor endorsement for the seat of Blaxland in the western suburbs of Sydney and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1969 when he was 26 years old.
Following Labor's victory in the 1983 election, Keating was appointed Treasurer of Australia by Prime Minister Bob Hawke - he would hold that post until 1991. Keating succeeded John Howard as Treasurer and was able to use the size of the budget deficit that the Hawke Government inherited to question the economic credibility of the Liberal-National Coalition. According to Bob Hawke, the historically large $9.6 billion budget deficit left by the Coalition . He became treasurer on December 19th 1991.