Mr Hawke, who served as Australia’s prime minister from 1983-1991 and led Labor to four consecutive election victories, died aged 89 on Thursday.
In a December 2018 interview with The Courier Mail, Mr Hawke said he wasn’t sure if he’d still be alive to witness the outcome of the next federal election, to go ahead tomorrow.
“I’ve had my time, just stick around for a little while,” he said when asked what his plans were for the new year.
“It’s (health) been terrible.”
Speaking to the newspaper at Queensland’s popular Woodford Folk Festival, which he visited each year with his wife Blanche d’Alpuget, Mr Hawke said he wouldn’t deliver a speech at the event.
“I’ve sung my last song or last verse of Waltzing Matilda,” he said.
“That’s been done.”
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Mr Hawke’s comments came just a few months after he was rushed to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney with a case of “the wobbles”.
In May last year, Labor MP Chris Bowen told reporters in Canberra Mr Hawke had been admitted to hospital for a “relatively minor incident”.
“(In) what’s been called ‘the wobbles’, which I imagine when you’re 88 is something which would concern you,” Mr Bowen said.
“Most importantly, the entire Labor family, everyone in this building, wishes Bob the best.”
Following the incident, former Labor senator Sam Dastyari said there were concerns for Mr Hawke’s welfare.
At the time, Mr Dastyari told Sydney radio station KIIS FM he visited Mr Hawke on Anzac Day 2018 “for a few beers on the porch”.
“The reality is he’s 88, and when you’re 88 and get rushed to hospital, people are worried, and there is reason to be worried,” Mr Dastyari said.
“I was actually meant to be having dinner with Bob and Blanche at this great restaurant in Sydney on Saturday night.
“And Saturday afternoon, Blanche calls and says, ‘Look, Bob’s just not feeling up to it, can’t do dinner tonight and can we do it another time’.”
In a statement yesterday, Ms d’Alpuget said he died peacefully at home.
“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian — many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” the statement read.
“He died peacefully at home at the age of 89 years.
“I and Bob’s children, Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson, Louis, and his grandchildren, will hold a private funeral.
“A memorial service will be held in Sydney in coming weeks.
“Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and their governments modernised the Australian economy, paving the way for an unprecedented period of recession-free economic growth and job creation.”
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