17 May 2019


The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia today mourns the loss of Bob Hawke whose record on the environment continues to enrich the lives of Australians.

“Bob Hawke has been described as Australia's first Prime Minister for the environment and his conservation record justifies that mantle,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.

Under his leadership, some of Australia’s most important natural treasures were protected. His record includes:

  • Saving the Franklin River from being dammed to conserve the grandeur of this wild river
  • The historic handback of Uluru to Traditional Owners
  • Global leadership to halt mining exploitation in Antarctica, the last great wilderness on Earth
  • Protecting the ancient Daintree Rainforest from logging
  • Expanding Tasmania's World Heritage Area
  • Banning uranium mining at Jabiluka, Kakadu

“Visionary and bold at the time, the significance of these decisions to the Australian people and our natural environment has only grown,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“Bob Hawke changed the perception of environmental protection from a fringe issue, to a centrepiece of what good governments do. He set the benchmark for all future prime ministers."

“He made courageous decisions because they were based on science and the right thing to do."

“He put the Australian people, our Nature and future generations at the heart of decisions."

“WWF-Australia pays tribute to Bob Hawke’s vision and leadership, and pass on our condolences to his family,” Mr O’Gorman said.