SYDNEY (Reuters) – Former Australian deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, whose rural voter base was vital for the introduction of powerful gun management legal guidelines within the aftermath of the nation’s worst mass capturing in 1996, has died aged 73.
FILE PHOTO: Australian Commerce Minister Tim Fischer arrives for the second day of the 10th Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Assembly in Kuala Lumpur November 15, 1998. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Picture
Fischer was the quintessential, laconic rural Australian, all the time sporting a rabbit-skin Akubra hat. He described campaigning for elections as occurring the “wombat path”, a reference to the marsupial wombat that may be present in burrows dotted round farmlands.
“Tim Fischer was a giant Australian in each sense of the phrase,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated on Thursday in an emailed assertion.
“Massive in stature, large in his perception, large in his ardour, large in his imaginative and prescient for what Australians may obtain and massive in his view of Australia’s place on the planet. Tim Fischer will perpetually forged a giant shadow on our nation,” he stated.
Fischer, who as head of the agricultural Nationwide get together served as deputy prime minister from 1996 to 1999, died of leukemia, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported.
Fischer was first elected to the nationwide parliament in 1984 and after six years gained the management of the Nationwide get together, the accomplice to Australia’s foremost conservative Liberal Get together. Only one month into his management, the coalition was swept into energy after 13 years in opposition.
Though Fischer presided over a small variety of Nationwide lawmakers, his help to then Australian prime minister John Howard after the 1996 Port Arthur bloodbath in Tasmania state, the place 35 folks had been shot lifeless by a lone gunman, was vital.
Howard alienated a big a part of his conservative, rural base by introducing a gun buy-back scheme that confiscated practically 1,000,000 firearms, limiting the purchases of recent weapons and imposing powerful safety measures for storage.
Such was the depth of anger, Howard was pressured to put on a bullet proof vest beneath his swimsuit throughout speeches.
However Fischer supported Howard in staring down offended rural constituents, ultimately swaying rural voters.
Fischer surprisingly stop politics in 1999, earlier than returning to public workplace in 2008 as Australia’s first resident ambassador to the Holy See.
He retired in 2012.
Reporting by Colin Packham; Modifying by Michael Perry