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Posts tagged as “2004 federal election”

Michael Ferguson (Bass-Lib) – First Speech

Michael Ferguson was the Liberal Party member for the Tasmanian electorate of Bass. He was first elected in 2004.

Ferguson defeated Labor’s Michelle O’Byrne who had held the seat for two terms. The seat returned to the ALP at the 2007 election when Ferguson was defeated by Jodie Campbell.

Hansard transcript of Michael Ferguson’s first speech to the House of Representatives.

FergusonMr MICHAEL FERGUSON (Bass) (4.14 p.m.)—Mr Deputy Speaker, it does me good to stand in this chamber today. Yesterday I took the oath of office and humbly accepted my new role as the 12th member of the House of Representatives for the people of Bass. I appreciate very keenly the sense of responsibility, honour and duty to serve that that brings. Bass has always been an electorate that commands the nation’s attention. A Federation seat, it remains one of the litmus seats to watch at each election. Bass stretches from Greater Launceston and the Tamar Valley to Tasmania’s north-east and the Furneaux Group of islands. Bass is regional Australia. With its urban and rural areas and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, Bass boasts a diverse mix of industries, including textiles, boatbuilding, agriculture, forestry and value-added timber products, tourism, fishing and our local historic 1881 brewery, Boag’s, the makers of Australia’s best beer.

The Latham-Howard Handshake

On election eve, October 8, 2004, Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Mark Latham crossed paths in a radio studio and Latham aggressively gripped Howard’s hand in a less-than-friendly handshake.

The handshake may well have confirmed for many voters the doubts they had about Latham’s maturity and suitability for the prime ministership.

However, since the video only appeared on the Friday night before the election, you have to wonder how many people saw it. It’s not as if the footage had been shown repeatedly for weeks before polling day.

As time passes, many events develop a reputation as turning points. This may have been one but I doubt it.
Malcolm Farnsworth
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