News

View Transcript

Australia's 21st prime minister Gough Whitten has died at the age of 98678 we are standing by for a live conference from the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten.

Amelia what is the latest from Canberra.

We are seeing members of the Labor Party gathering in the caucus room waiting to hear from Bill Shorten.

Has already spoken this morning.

He said that the Labor Party has lost a Giant and Australia has lost a legend with the death of Gough Whitlam.

He said Mr Whitlam redefined Australia.

Mr Whitlam's vision and ambitous offered Australia a new sense of what it means might be and the country is different because of him.

I spoke to Labor front becher, Anthony Albanese in the corridor a short time ago.

He said that the great legacy of Gough Whitlam is Australia can be defined as pre-Whitlam and post Whitlam.

And deputy Labor leader, Tania Plibersek was in the corridors.

We do have a grab of what she had to say.

Australia has lost a great man today, a great Labor leader who was a great prime minister.

Gough Whitlam left a lasting legacy for Australia.

He made his impact on our high system, lowering the voting age, introducing laws to give Aboriginal people access to the land.

We mourn today.

You mentioned.

Thank you.

That legacy is evidence here at Parliament House this morning.

Both parliament in the House of Representatives and the Senate has been suspended for the day as a mark of respect.

The prime minister has also ordered that flags be flown at half-mast, both today and on the day of Mr Whitlam's public memorial service of the we have seen people on both side of politics say very kind words about Gough Whitlam.

It's because of the reform that he brought to Canberra, it was not just within the Labor Party, he did change Australia, especially in terms of social reform with Ian verse Al healthcare, Universal education and bringing our troops home from Vietnam.

It was all very swift but of course, his time in power was very brief and although his dismissal is often what he is remembered for, those four years that he was the leader of our country were momentous in what was achieved.

Social media plays a big role in everything we do these days.

Our politicians have been taking to Twitter inform pass on their comments and their memories of this past leader.

That's right.

We have heard from a lot of state leaders actually Anna Bligh in Queensland was saying that Gough Whitlam changed the country and changed her life.

We also heard Jeff Kennett, the former leader of Victoria who is a liberal paying his respects to Gough Whitlam.

So now it's more a waiting game to hear the current leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten speak to the faithful here in Canberra to hear what he has got to say on what is a very sad day for Australian Labor.

We have had prime ministers in the big chair for longer who haven't had such an impact that he had in the short years from 1972-1975.

You ran through a couple of those big achievements and the high impact.

Is there one they are talking around Canberra, one momentous occasion?

Well, it depends on how you look at it.

In terms of the Labor Party, you could look at Medibank or make being university education free.

And although both of those measures have been changed since, it really shaped the Australia we have today.

And the social measures that we have today.

But it's also the way that Gough Whitlam came to power.

He came to power after 23 years of liberal government.

So for the Labor Party, he is seen as a sort of hero who ended that drought and finally got a Labor government back into power, albeit for a short time.

He had that amazing campaign of It's why time with people wearing T shirts and singing and the television commercials.

It changed the way we campaigned in Australia and brightened things up and made it a more exciting thing.

Federal politics to the masses.

We are still standing by waiting to hear from Bill Shorten.

Thank you, Amelia for those thoughts.

Woe will return to Canberra shortly.