Tasmanian Election: Declaration of Polls comes with Tributes for Former Premier Lara Giddings

The last of Tasmania’s Lower House MPs to be officially sworn in have paid tribute to former premier and Labor MP Lara Giddings.

The Declaration of the Polls ceremony for Denison and Franklin was held at Parliament House in Hobart.

Ms Giddings — who announced her retirement from politics last year — and her baby daughter Natasha were among the crowd.

Premier Will Hodgman, who received 27,000 first preference votes in Franklin, was among those who paid tribute to Ms Giddings.

He said she would be greatly missed in Parliament.

“Congratulations Lara on your greatest achievement … I wish you all the best in what is probably the most important job of all,” Mr Hodgman said.

Re-elected Labor member David O’Byrne described Ms Giddings as a “trailblazer”.

“I think the fact that we have a Parliament and a caucus in the Labor Party [that are made up] by a majority women is in no small part [due] to the trailblazing,” he said.

In Denison, Labor won two seats, with Scott Bacon re-elected along with newcomer Ella Haddad, who had the backing of the unions and ran a strong grassroots campaign, ousting colleague and Labor conservative MP Madeleine Ogilvie.

Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor won the third highest number of first preferences in the seat, after Liberal Elise Archer and Labor’s Scott Bacon, who received the highest number of first preference votes in the Hobart-based seat at 10,855.

Premier Will Hodgman leads the parliamentary meeting.

The Liberal party’s Elise Archer was re-elected and the party held onto its second seat, with Sue Hickey replacing Matthew Groom.

“My father said recently that I was on this journey since I was five, so I can’t imagine how mouthy or self-opinionated I was when I was five, but I can assure you I come to this Parliament as qualified as I can possibly be,” Ms Hickey said in her speech.

In Franklin, former Lara Giddings staffer Alison Standen helped Labor pick up a second seat.

The Liberals’ Jacqui Petrusma held onto her seat off the back of Mr Hodgman’s votes.

Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff, who was re-elected after a tight contest against the Liberals Nic Street, paid tribute to her political rival.

“I want to state how sorry I am publicly, at the expense of Nic Street being in Parliament. He was a really big heart,” she said.

Will Hodgman leads a liberal party meeting.The Greens are down to two members in Parliament, after losing Andrea Dawkins in Bass.

“I look forward to spending every ounce of my energy over the next four years letting people understand that we are living in real time climate change,” said Ms Woodruff.

State Parliament returns on May 1, and the cabinet reshuffle is expected to be announced on Tuesday.

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