Mr Reith served as minister for industrial and workplace relations, small business, and defence under John Howard.
Former deputy leader of the Liberal Party Peter Reith has died aged 72 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr Reith, who was the former member for Flinders, served as minister for industrial and workplace relations, small business, and defence under John Howard.
He was deputy leader of the party from April 1990 to March 1993.
He died peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, his family said.
Mr Howard led tributes to Mr Reith, saying he was a “great warrior for the Liberal cause”.
Peter Reith has died aged 72. Source: ABC
“Amongst many things, he was responsible for the long overdue reform of the Australian Waterfront,” Mr Howard said.
“However contested the outcome of the 1998 Waterfront Dispute may have been, it was undeniable that world ranking productivity replaced ruinous behaviour which severely damaged some of the most productive businesses in Australia.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said Mr Reith’s “political legacy is extensive”.
Peter Reith with Prime Minister John Howard
“He was an architect of pivotal workplace reform which put the interests of employers and employees first.”
Mr Reith leaves behind wife Kerrie, and four sons Paul, Simon, David and Robert.
Ian Hanke, a former staffer for Mr Reith, said on behalf of the family: “It is with deep sadness that we confirm that following a brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease Peter Reith died peacefully on the afternoon of 8 November 2022.
“We are proud of his many achievements and his lifelong commitment to public service. A beloved grandfather, father, husband, brother, friend and respected colleague. He will be dearly missed and always cherished.”