We've always got time for our Gough

 Gough Whitlam during his Blacktown visit in 1972. Picture: Rick Stevens

Gough Whitlam during his Blacktown visit in 1972. Picture: Rick Stevens

Tributes are flowing following the death of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam this morning, aged 98.

''We mourn a loss to the nation but remain ever thankful for your dedication and achievements,'' federal Chifley Ed Husic wrote on his Facebook page.

Blacktown councillor Edmond Atalla added

''A legend in Australia’s history. He was the reason I and many others went to university. His legacy will live forever.''

Mr Whitlam regarded Blacktown as his "temple of victories".

April marked 40 years since the then-prime minister made his Labor policy speech just weeks before the double dissolution election.

It was the second of two famous speeches at Bowman Hall, following his party campaign launch in the lead-up to the 1972 election, which saw Labor elected for the first time in 23 years.

The It's Timely exhibition on show at Blacktown Art Centre was a collaboration of essays, press clippings and artworks inspired by Mr Whitlam's visits to Blacktown.

Artist Gary Carsley first approached the Whitlam Institute with the idea two years ago.

Mr Whitlam's son Antony opened the exhibition.

"It's a pleasure to come along to the celebrations," he told the Sun at the time.

"The first speech was an overwhelming, exuberant, vibrant and optimistic occasion.

"The second was characterised by a different mood, one of fierce intensity.

"There was a sense of resentment and hostility towards the opposition."

Mr Whitlam said his father was ''very enthusiastic'' when he told him about the commemorative exhibition in Blacktown.

Patricia Amphlett, whose stage name is Little Pattie, was another special guest and she sang three songs.

"The memories are flooding back," she told the crowd.

"I'm proud to be here still honouring and loving our Gough."

Liberal Blacktown mayor Len Robinson admitted he voted for Mr Whitlam in 1972 and 1974.

Gough Whitlam's son Antony opened It's Timely.

Gough Whitlam's son Antony opened It's Timely.

Artist Gary Carsley.

Artist Gary Carsley.

Little Pattie performed three songs.

Little Pattie performed three songs.

Gough Whitlam's son Antony opened the exhibition.

Gough Whitlam's son Antony opened the exhibition.

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