Rudd, Hawke to miss Fraser state funeral

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Rudd, Hawke to miss Fraser state funeral

Bob Hawke (pic) and Kevin Rudd will miss the state funeral for former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.

Former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke will miss the state funeral for Malcolm Fraser due to commitments overseas.

Mr Rudd is sending a family member, believed to be his youngest son Marcus, to Friday's service in Melbourne in his place.

Mr Hawke is also unable to attend due to prior commitments overseas. In his case he is attending the annual conference in China of the Boao Forum for Asia, which he co-founded.

Former prime ministers Julia Gillard, John Howard and Paul Keating are expected to join Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the service.

Mr Fraser died on March 20, aged 84, after a brief illness.

His death five months after that of his great foe and later friend Gough Whitlam closes the most tumultuous chapter in Australian political history.

Mr Fraser, Mr Hawke, Mr Keating, Mr Howard, Ms Gillard, Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott all attended Mr Whitlam's state funeral in Sydney in November and were photographed together after the service.

Mr Fraser served as prime minister from November 1975 to March 1983, recording a landslide election win after being appointed caretaker leader following the dismissal of the Whitlam government on November 11, 1975.

His funeral service will be held at 11.30am at Scots' Church.