SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Key quotes from former PM Paul Keating


* "(It is) the worst decision by an Australian Labor government since the former Labor leader, Billy Hughes, sought to introduce conscription to augment Australian forces in World War I."

* "For $360 billion, we're going to get eight submarines. It must be the worst deal in all history."

* "At the kabuki show in San Diego a day or so ago, there's three leaders standing there. Only one is paying. Our bloke, Albo. The other two, they've got the band playing 'Happy days are here again.'"

* "What's happened is that the military have overtaken the foreign policy - as a consequence, we're not using diplomacy. Running around the Pacific Islands with a lei around your neck handing out money, which is what (Foreign Minister Penny Wong) does, is not foreign policy. It's a consular task."

* "China is a lonely state. That's the truth of it. They would fall over themselves having a proper relationship with us. We supply their iron ore which keeps their really industrial base going, and there's nowhere else but us to get it."

* "This is a strange way to be defending Australia: have your submarines sunk on the Chinese continental shelf, chasing Chinese submarines."

* "The answer is in deep doo-doo, is where it leaves us. What will happen is we'll get sucked into the American control system." (On where AUKUS will leave Australia)

* "Anthony Albanese is running around now every second sentence he talks about ... sovereignty. He thinks if he drops the word in to enough sentences in an hour, it will actually happen. Our sovereignty is just being peeled away by all of this."

* "I'm not going to have Australia's long-term strategic interests compromised by rubbish in the Labor Party ... I would have expected (Anthony Albanese) from the left and Penny Wong from the left to have stood up with a position."