Lara Giddings to step away from politics

RETIREMENT: Lara Giddings announces she will retire from politics at the next state election.
RETIREMENT: Lara Giddings announces she will retire from politics at the next state election.

Lara Giddings says she is proud of what she has achieved in Tasmanian politics, but it is her time to leave. 

The former premier and current Opposition Attorney-General will formally retire from Parliament and public life at the next state election, she announced on Sunday.

Ms Giddings’ political career spans more than two decades, starting when she was just 23 years old.

In 1996 she became the youngest woman ever to be elected into the Australian Parliament when she became a Labor MP for Lyons. 

In 2002, she made her return to politics and was elected as a Franklin Labor MHA, going on to win the seat in 2006, 2010 and 2014. 

In 2011, she became premier, the first female to ever do so in Tasmania. 

Looking back on her time in politics, Ms Giddings said she would be leaving with mixed emotions.

“This is a decision I made following the past election, but I felt it was important not to resign immediately after being re-elected,” she said. 

“I feel very happy and satisfied to come to the decision not to re-contest the next state election, but it also comes with a great sadness.

“There are many things I’d love to continue to be part of, but when I weigh them up against where I see my life going and where I see the Labor party going, I think the time is right.”

Ms Giddings said she was looking forward a quiet life. 

“This is my decision and my decision alone,” she said. 

“I don’t think you can ever take the politics out of Lara Giddings, it’s part of who I am, it’s my DNA.” 

Ms Giddings she would be happy to see former Labor MP David O’Byrne elected as he had “a lot to give to the state”. 

Opposition Leader Rebecca White said Ms Giddings had become a role model, not just for herself, but the wider community. 

“I know already we’ve got some outstanding people seeking to put their hands up, our pre-selection process is open at the moment, so we’ll be announcing those people in July,” she said. 

Government spokesman Rene Hidding said Ms Giddings would be leaving with a lot of experience. 

“She’s a young woman with a life in front of her with all the skills that she’s got as a former premier of the state,” Mr Hidding said. 

Ms White said Lyons Labor MHA David Llewellyn had not yet indicated to her that he would be seeking pre-selection.