Former Australian PM Malcolm Fraser dies
Updated: 2015-03-20 09:00
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who led the country from November 1975 to March 1983, has died at 84, his office announced on Friday. [Photo/Agencies]
SYDNEY - Former Australian prime minister Malcom Fraser who led the country from November 1975 to March 1983, died at 84, his office announced on Friday.
"It is with deep sadness that we inform you that after a brief illness John Malcolm Fraser died peacefully in the early hours of the morning of 20 March 2015," the statement said.
"We appreciate that this will be a shock to all who knew and loved him, but ask that the family be left in peace at this difficult time."
Fraser entered politics at the age of 25, winning his first seat for the Liberal Party in 1955. He became Liberal leader in March 1975 and was appointed caretaker prime minister on November 1975 after governor-general Sir John Kerr dismissed the Whitlam Labor government.
He won the election in December that year and won two subsequent elections before being defeated by Labor under Bob Hawke in 1983.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Fraser was a "giant of Australian politics".
"He made a significant contribution to public life in this country. With the passing of Gough Whitlam, it really is the end of a political era," she said in a statement.