Tasmania creates history, elects first female premier

Posted By: Ani
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Hobart (Tasmania), Jan.24 (ANI): Tasmania's first female premier, a career politician, has revealed what it felt like to be the youngest woman to be elected to an Australian parliament as a 23-year-old in 1996.

During her first press conference as premier today, Lara Giddings, 38, revealed a three-year-old's fear of a "bad man" led her into politics.

"(In) 1975, and a dramatic political event occurred in Australia with the dismissal of the Prime Minister. My mother, a very passionate Labor supporter ... was so upset she went to bed, literally, I think, for a week," she said.

"So as a little three-year-old, I'm obviously wondering what's gone wrong that my mum's so upset, and in my own analysis, I decided that Mr. Fraser must be a 'bad man'. And what do bad men do? They kill little children. So my mother very quickly said, 'No, no, no Lara, he doesn't kill little children, he just wouldn't hold your hand to cross the road.

"To me that sums up why I am a member of the Labor Party ... It is about helping people cross that road."

During the conference, Giddings who takes over from David Bartlett, was asked about her own family commitments, as a single woman.

"If I had the choices, it might be an issue for me, but I'm yet to find that man," she said.

"For some reason men in politics seem to have a bunch of charisma and women drop around their feet. I haven't noticed that so much for me and men. I am hopeful that one day I will meet that right man and will have a very happy life partner."

Giddings said she had never actively pursued the role of premier, but denied she was a reluctant leader.

"I had no intention of doing anything of the old politics of stabbing my leader in the back," she said.

"One of the beauties of today's historic moment of having the first female premier in Tasmania is that there is not one drop of blood on the floor."

Ms Giddings becomes Australia's fifth female premier, after Carmen Lawrence (WA), Joan Kirner (Victoria), Anna Bligh (Queensland) and Kristina Keneally (NSW) - all Labor.

Australia now has female premiers in three states, a female prime minister, Julia Gillard, and female governor-general, Quentin Bryce.

Born in Goroka, Papua New Guinea to Australian parents in 1972, Giddings spent much of her childhood outside of Australia.

Her father was a land court magistrate, and her mother set up a rehabilitation organization. (ANI)

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