Andrew Peacock was a great Australian and a treasure of the Liberal Party.
He was one of our greatest Liberals who helped shape Australia and the Liberal Party over three decades.
Andrew Peacock served in Parliament for over 28 years and was a Minister in the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments; and led the Liberal Party to two elections. After his service in Parliament, he served as Australia’s Ambassador to the United States.
During his time as a minister, Andrew Peacock held the Army; External Territories; Environment; Foreign Affairs; Industrial Relations; and Industry and Commerce portfolios.
He was Minister for the Army during part of the Vietnam War. A difficult portfolio in the most challenging of times.
As Minister for External Territories, he built a close relationship with Michael Somare, and was instrumental in gaining Australian acceptance for Papua New Guinea Independence.
His bonds with Papua New Guinea were such that he visited PNG over fifty times in his career. In honour of this work, Papua New Guinea awarded Andrew Peacock the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu making him an honorary chief.
He was a distinguished Minister for Foreign Affairs who built deep relationships across the region. He was vocal in his denunciation of the Pol Pot regime in Kampuchea, despising what he called that “loathsome regime”.
As Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Peacock led the Liberal Party in the 1984 and 1990 elections. In both elections he picked up seats against a popular prime minister, but not enough to win Government.
As Australia’s Ambassador in Washington, he used his enormous personal skills to strengthen the close relationships with our most important strategic ally.
He had a long career in the Parliament, entering it at the age of 27. He followed Sir Robert Menzies as Member for Kooyong. These were big shoes to fill, but he was not daunted and filled them in his own way.
Andrew was known as the “colt from Kooyong”, a term which did not do justice to his thoroughness, intellect and capacity to make friends far and wide.
Andrew had a rich life outside politics. He had a lifelong love of horse racing and the Essendon Football Club. His love of his daughters was a mainstay of his life. In later life, his wider family also brought him immense happiness.
To his wife Penne and his family, Jenny and I extend the sympathies of the Government and the Liberal Party.
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