Paul Keating is an ex-politician of Australia who became the 24th Prime Minister of Australia. Paul Keating remained in office from 1991 to 1996 and is noted for his legislative achievements. He gained prominence on becoming the Treasurer in the Hawke government. Paul Keating was defeated at the 1996 general election by the current Prime Minister, John Howard.
Paul Keating was born on 18 January, 1944 at Sydney, New South Wales and grew up in Bankstown, an industrial suburb. He is the eldest child of Matt and Min Keating. Paul Keating studied at the Catholic School, De La Salle College and later studied at the Belmore and Sydney Technical Colleges. He left his college studies at the age of 15 and joined the Australian Labor Party. He did clerical jobs before joining the Federated Municipal and Shire Council Employees’ Union, which is the trade union of local government representing the workers. Paul Keating became the industrial advocate of this labor union and also headed a rock band, the Ramrods during his free hours.
Paul Keating became a member of the House of Representatives on 25 October 1969 for the Blaxland, Sydney seat. He continuously won this seat for the consecutive 10 general elections. He became a minister in E. G. Whitlam’s Australian Labor Party or ALP government and held the position of Minister for Northern Australia, only three weeks prior to the dismissal of the government by the Governor-General. While remaining in the opposition party from 1975-83, Paul Keating was the ALP spokesman for different portfolios which include- Minerals and Energy (March 1976-November 1980), National Development (December 1977-November 1980), Resources and Energy (November 1980-January 1983), Agriculture (January 1976-March 1976), Northern Australia (March 1980-November 1980) and Treasury (January 1983-March 1983). From 1979 to 1983, he acted as the president of ALP’s New South Wales branch.
Paul Keating became Treasurer in the 1983 government led by Bob Hawke. He held this office for 8 years and 3 months, one of the longest tenures held by a Treasurer. After assuming the post, he tried to deregulate the Australian economy and won much critical acclaim for his policies. However, Paul Keating was severely criticized after the stock market crash in the year 1987. He also held the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Commonwealth-State Relations from April 1990 to June 1991. He was therefore responsible for connections between both federal and state governments.
Paul Keating became the Prime Minister after defeating Hawke, although he did not receive the support of left parties. He again led the ALP towards victory in the general elections held on 13 March 1993. He worked with renewed vigour and tackled many national issues. However, the rising unemployment rates, high interest rates, foreign debt became major issues which brought the downfall of the ALP and eventually led the coalition government of Liberal-National Party to win the election. After his defeat at the general elections of 1996, Paul Keating gave up his post of Labor leader and left the parliament. He even took retirement from active social life and rather shifted his focus towards developing his business plans.
On the personal front, Paul Keating is married to Anna von Iersel since 1975 and the couple has four children.