Biographical entry: Keating, Paul John (1944 - )

18 January 1944
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Paul Keating was leader of the Labor Party of Australia from December 1991 to March 1996, serving as the 24th Prime Minister of Australia for the duration of his party leadership.


As Treasurer for the Hawke government Keating was a driving force behind various economic reforms. The Hawke/Keating governments of 1983 to 1996 pursued economic policies such as floating the Australian dollar (1983), reducing import tariffs, moving from centralised wage-fixing to enterprise bargaining, privatisation of publicly-owned companies such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank, and deregulation of the banking system.

As Prime Minister, Keating's agenda included reconciliation with Australia's indigenous population, furthering economic and cultural ties with Asia, and the introduction of a national superannuation scheme. He also (unsuccessfully) championed making Australia a republic and, in 1992, oversaw the introduction of a new Migration Reform Act which legislated the mandatory detention of asylum seekers.

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