Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Statement on the passing of John Button.



Download PDFDownload PDF

The Hon Simon Crean MP Minister for Trade

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Media contact: David Walker 0407 133 020

Departmental (02) 6261 1555

SC027 8 April 2008

STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF JOHN BUTTON

I am deeply saddened by the passing of John Button, former Industry Minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments and a great figure in Australia’s economic evolution in the 1980s and 1990s.

Australia was incredibly fortunate to have John Button as Industry Minister at the time when the nation was embracing globalisation and engaging positively with the world economy.

John Button pursued two great policy programs: the lowering of the tariff wall and, at the same time, the encouragement of Australian firms to become export-ready and internationally competitive. He understood the need to get the balance right. He brought to the task great strategic drive and insight.

John also played a key role in modernising the Labor Party in the 1970s, contributing to the election of the Whitlam Government and later the Hawke and Keating Governments. He continued a keen interest in ongoing reforms to the Labor Party. These were also vital steps towards modernising the Australian economy.

I served with John in the Hawke and Keating Governments as a colleague, and was proud to count him as a friend.

I will greatly miss John’s candour, quirkiness and incisiveness. My thoughts are with his family.