Media Release

The Hon Peter Walsh AO

MC 14/15

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

10 April 2015

Hayley and I were very sad to hear about the passing this morning of distinguished former Finance Minister and Western Australian Senator Peter Walsh.

As a real pillar of the reforming Hawke Labor Government, Peter Walsh made an outstanding contribution to our country.

He helped put Australia on a stronger, more solid foundation for the future, in particular by leading the charge as an effective Cabinet crusader against wasteful government spending.

When Australia in 1986 was confronted with a significant fall in our terms of trade, he led the charge in finding about $6 billion in savings in just one Budget – a massive and very challenging undertaking at that time.

In many ways Peter Walsh defined the role of a strong and effective Finance Minister and set the example which his successors in that portfolio have sought to follow ever since.

His 1995 book Confessions of a Failed Finance Minister remains the compelling manual of choice for any Finance Minister today.

As a migrant to Australia it was a real privilege for me to get to know Peter Walsh, through a mutual family friend, very soon after my arrival in Perth.

At those occasional private family get togethers we talked policy and politics long before I ever knew that one day I would end up serving, like him, as both a Western Australian Senator and Finance Minister. 

Peter always had strong views on the right way forward and he expressed those views very clearly, both privately and publicly.

As a former wheat and sheep farmer from Doodlakine and a true son of the Wheatbelt we enjoyed swapping stories about challenges and opportunities in rural Western Australia today.

My wife and I express our sincere condolences to Peter’s wife Rosalie, his daughters Karen, Shelley, Anne, Deborah and their families.

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

Stephanie Rowan - 0455 069 184

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Perth