Subject: Launch of new mural by Scott Marsh depicting former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
NATHAN LENNON, HAWKE’S BREWING: I’m Nathan. I am one of the founders of Hawke’s Brewing Co, the brewing company that we set up with Mr Hawke a couple of years ago. Thanks everyone for being here today and I would particularly like to thank the Honourable Anthony Albanese here for taking the time so generously to come and help us launch this really beautiful piece of art and Albo, I know how fond Bob is of you and I am sure that he is very appreciative of you being here to celebrate this small but very sweet occasion.
I would also like to thank you Shannon and everyone at the Carlisle Castle Hotel. It’s an amazing pub and it is really a beloved pub within the community. It is really nice that we can get together to acknowledge an Australia icon who is really community minded himself and that is pretty much the reason that led us to another really special partnership with an environmental group called Landcare Australia.
And just on that and after we launch this, after we officially launch the mural, we will be putting on a charity keg inside for Landcare. It will be Hawke’s Lager and you can essentially pay what you want for your beer with 100 percent going back to support the Landcare community.
My final thanks goes to Scottie Marsh over here. There is so much great work of Scottie’s in particular around the Inner West and I think this piece is an absolute ripper mate. We are really, really proud of it. Thank you very much.
So why a mural of a bare-chested Bob Hawke holding a schooner in a small pair of shorts? Well because that’s just what Aussies do, right? Accountants do it, doctors do it, CEOs do it. Even PMs do it. Some do it better than others. Bob, we believe, is our greatest former prime minister not just because of the work that he did for the country, but also because of his ability to connect to us, the Australian people, his genuine ability to do that. He is real and he is really relatable. He has shown us time and time again that it really is the simple things in life about living in this country that are often the best, whether that is sitting on your patio doing a crossword or reading the paper or going to the Test at the SCG and watching the baggy greens. Or in this case grabbing a cold one on a sunny day, or not so sunny today, but on a sunny day and getting a few beneficial rays. Celebrating the simply things that make living in this country so special is just what we do as Aussies and Bob does it better than anyone we know.
That’s enough from me. I would like now to invite Albo to come forward and officially reveal the plaque that commemorates this mural and to say a few words after that. So over to you.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: I am very proud to have been asked to unveil this fantastic mural by Scottie Marsh. There are two things that in my view the Inner West is the best at in Australia. One is the arts. It is the centre of the arts community and that is a diverse community. We have actors, we have playwrights, we have people involved in the media. We have people involved in arts in all of its creative forms and one of the creative forms that is the most democratic I think is murals because they cost nothing to see, they are there, they are part of the community and Scottie has made a number of contributions. This is one of the ones that I could open. Not all of them perhaps would have been as uncontroversial as this, but I am very pleased to do so.
I am also pleased to be here at the Carlisle Castle. I used to live in Chelmsford Street for many years. I held my 40th birthday party here at this pub. I held drinks for a wake for my Mum here. This is a part of the community for locals and people who have been locals – I now live all the way at Marrickville. I have lived all over the world – Newtown, Camperdown and Marrickville, and the Carlisle Castle remains a favoured watering hole. It is one of those pubs of Sydney too that it is not on a main street. It’s part of the community. It has to be good to draw people into this community so I am very pleased to be here supporting the Carlisle and Hawke’s Lager.
I am a big fan of craft beer. The other thing that we are best at in Australia is craft beer. We have 16 craft breweries here in the Inner West. Now Hawke’s Lager isn’t one of them. It is brewed in the Hunter Valley. The craft brewery industry is growing with a new one opening every six days around Australia employing locals. Small business – putting things back into the community like Hawke’s Lager is through Landcare. It’s an incredibly vibrant, dynamic industry that is worthy of support and that is why I fought very hard for tax reform so that they could compete with the big guys, because the big difference between the big guys and the little guys is labour. It’s that simple. The craft breweries and small operators employ lots of people per volume and that is why in terms of competition it is important that the tax system actually recognises that and encourages the growth of this dynamic and fantastic small business.
Lastly, I do want to say something about my mate Bob Hawke. I love Bob Hawke. I had Bob Hawke launch my biography a couple of years ago and I was very proud that he did so. Bob Hawke was also the guest speaker at my 20th anniversary in Parliament because I think he is Australia’s greatest Prime Minister. He is Australia’s greatest Prime Minister because of the contribution that he made. There is a debate over all our Labor prime ministers, all of whom I support. But the difference with Hawke is that he showed you needed to be government for a number of terms in order to entrench reforms and yesterday we celebrated the anniversary of the creation of Medicare, created by Bob Hawke’s Government. Of course, it was created by Gough Whitlam originally as Medibank. But it was reversed because we didn’t have that long-term government. In order to really change the country, you need to entrench reforms and what we saw with many of the reforms that I was proud to be a part of under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard is that with the change of government they weren’t as entrenched as they could have been, including the superannuation changes and of course action on climate change.
When the government changes we do change the country. We will have an opportunity to change the country again in the next few months and I think that the task for Labor is to learn from what we did last time over six years of good government, but make sure that it is more like the Hawke and Keating governments which existed for over a decade. We saw the creation of a strong economy. We saw Medicare, compulsory superannuation. We saw the number of young people finishing school go from three out of ten to eight out of ten, a revolutionary change. We saw universities open up in terms of access to people from working-class backgrounds. We saw apprenticeships and trade support. We saw the social wage increase. We saw reforms to give greater moves toward gender equality. We saw the steps towards equality on the basis of sexuality. We saw reforms in terms of giving indigenous people rights and of course we saw extraordinary environmental reforms in terms of not just the Franklin Dam, saving Kakadu, putting in place a whole range of policies to make sure that the next generation had at least as good a quality of life as my generation has enjoyed and that is why long-term governments are important.
Hawkie – I saw him up at Woodford in January. He is in good form. He is a remarkable person who is still passionate about this country and I am sure he would have liked to have been here today and it says something about him that he has chosen Landcare as an appropriate charity to provide support for so that whilst having a cold one, you can actually help the environment and that is a good thing. So it is pro-jobs, pro-environment. Have a beer!
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.