Paul KeatingTo People
Entering Parliament as Member for Blaxland at the age of 25, Paul Keating became treasuer of the Hawke Government in 1983 for 8 1/2 years. During this time he warned Australia it could become a "banana republic" and that the country facing "the recession we had to have". In 1991 Keating became leader of the Labor Party and two years later beat Dr John Hewson to become Australia's 24th prime minister. His achievements include the handing down of the Mabo case in 1993 making way for significant Indigenous land rights legislation and rights reform. He also launched Creative Nation, promoting the idea that the arts leads to economic prosperity, signed an APEC free trade agreement and an historic security agreement with Indonesia president Soeharto. Keating was prime minister for two terms and was beaten in the 1996 election by John Howard.