So Labor is about to have another leader whose work experience is limited to being a political operative. Lara Giddings is expected to be chosen tomorrow as Tasmanian Labor Leader and hence State Premier following the decision of David Bartlett to relinquish the posts.

23-01-2011 bartlettresignation

The prospective new Premier was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1996 at the age of 23. She was defeated in 1998 but re-elected in 2002. Between times Miss Giddings worked for the Tasmanian Premier as a speech writer and media assistant. Earlier she had worked as a Parliamentary research officer for the Member for Dunfermline East, Helen Eadie, in the Scottish Parliament

In an interview she gave to the Hobart Mercury back in December 2008 she suggested that concern for a family would not be relevant to her political career.

“I’m like a lot of Generation X women who are heading into their late 30s, are still single, whose biological clock is ticking away, and (who are) thinking I would like to have children one day,” Ms Giddings said.

“But if I suddenly said now I’m going to put myself in front of the Government (and resign to concentrate on my private life), this Government would fall over.

“Because this Government could not stand another minister walking away.”

Ms Giddings said she was not deeply ambitious and did not yearn to become premier.

Consequently, she expected to look again at her position in politics and the state of her private life in four years and to reassess then whether she wants to stay past the 2014 election.

“I would love to have children one day and that does play on my mind a lot,” said Ms Giddings, whose parents and older sister Sonya all live in Hobart after a childhood in New Guinea.

“But, while I do think about the future, it may be that I end up never having children.

“But it may be that with appropriate support around me I can have a family (and stay in politics) too.”

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Peter Fray
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