AUSTRALIA’S first female prime minister Julia Gillard says Margaret Thatcher created history in the United Kingdom with her stronger leadership.
Baroness Thatcher, 87, died following a stroke on Monday.
She was British prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
“Her service as the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom was a history-making achievement,” Ms Gillard said in a statement from China on Monday.
“Her strength of conviction was recognised by her closest supporters and her strongest opponents.
“I extend my sincere condolences and those of my fellow Australians to her family and friends.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Baroness Thatcher was one of the greatest British prime ministers and one of the most significant world leaders of our times.
“She was the first female prime minister of Great Britain and ranks with the greatest of prime ministers because of the quality of her leadership and the impact she had on Britain and the wider world,” he said in a statement.
Mr Abbott said Baroness Thatcher arrested the decline of Britain and gave her nation new confidence.
“She ensured the British people no longer simply dwelt on the glories of the past but could enjoy a strong and prosperous future,” he said.
Fellow Liberal politicians expressed their condolences on social media site Twitter.
“Very sad news about the passing of Margaret Thatcher, a great leader + statesperson whose policies led2greater freedom+prosperity 4UK+world,” Victorian Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg said.
South Australian senator Simon Birmingham said she inspired many to believe in the power of markets.
“Margaret Thatcher left a giant legacy by demonstrating that free enterprise is the best means to increase opportunity for all. Vale,” Senator Birmingham said.
South Australian MP Jamie Briggs said the former UK leader had a profound impact in her nation and overseas.
“Vale Baroness Thatcher, a defender of freedom, a leader who helped reverse the creep of socialism at home and abroad, may she rest in peace,” he said.
Queensland Liberal National Party MP George Christensen said she was a role model of Australian politicians.
“We could only have wished for a first Australian female PM of the calibre & conviction of Margaret Thatcher. RIP The Iron Lady.”
Penny Wong agreed that she was a woman of history.
“Margaret Thatcher. Regardless of political difference, a woman who made history. Her determination and toughness were legendary,” she tweeted. –AAP