Plans afoot for Hawke's childhood home

Election promise for Hawke Museum in South Australia


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Labor has promised $750,000 to turn Bob Hawke's childhood home into a museum.

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LABOR has promised to provide up to $750,000 to buy Bob Hawke's childhood home in South Australia and turn it into a museum.

Labor made the promise last week to honour the former prime minister's life and achievements, if it wins the 2019 election. Mr Hawke died on Thursday, aged 89.

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Hawke House, in Bordertown, has been for sale for several years with an asking price of $295,000. It is privately owned and rented to Uniting SA, which runs disability and community services through the building.

Tatiara District Council Mayor Graham Excell said he saw only positives in the proposed project.

"I don't see any political motive with the project. You can see throughout history how governments tend to look after houses of former prime ministers," Mayor Excell said.

"We have the Hawke Gallery based at the Tatiara Civic Centre and as a town we are very proud of being the birthplace of a former prime minister."

Labor leader Bill Shorten spoke to Mr Hawke some time ago, and said he was "genuinely flattered" about the party's proposal.

Mr Shorten added that Mr Hawke had been a great conservationist himself and the project was a great way to preserve "a small piece of history".

"His leadership helped to preserve Kakadu, the Daintree and the Franklin for future generations," Mr Shorten said in a recent interview with The Australian.

"This is a modest act of conservation compared to those great deeds, but it speaks for the respect of history. 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."

Labor's election commitment would see the house bought and renovated as a museum and gallery to celebrate Mr Hawke's life and educate Australians about democracy, civics and citizenship.

Border Chronicle

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