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Monday, 14 September 1987
Page: 31


Mr BURR —I first met Bill Snedden in 1974 when I stood for the first time as a candidate for the Liberal Party. I well remember attending a public rally in Launceston where I was to meet for the first time the Federal Leader of my Party. I recall the trepidation I felt at meeting this great man, as I thought he was even at that time-the Leader of our Party. I was impressed with the way that he was able to put me and other new candidates at ease very quickly with friendship and warmth. He was able to talk our language. Although he was a man of great experience in the parliamentary scene and our Federal leader he was able to talk the same earthy language at our level and put us at ease very quickly. It took me a short time to realise that this was a man of great compassion and integrity. In all the years I knew Bill Snedden since that time I had no reason to change my opinion of him. Throughout his life he was a man of great compassion and integrity. That is how all of us, not only in this Parliament but throughout the country, will and should remember him.

My colleague the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck) said that Bill Snedden, of all the people in the Liberal Party, was the first to realise that Tasmania had a place in this nation and there was great potential for the Liberal Party to win seats there. Until 1974 all seats in Tasmania were held by the Australian Labor Party. But Bill Snedden realised that if we in the Liberal Party were to get into government we could win seats in Tasmania. He took a very keen and close interest in Tasmania. Bill Snedden, Peter Rae, Don Wing and Max Bingham transformed the political landscape in Tasmania. Bill Snedden was instrumental in doing that with the effect that by 1975 all Federal seats in Tasmania were held by the Liberal Party. Subsequently we went on to win State government as well. Bill Snedden was instrumental in turning around the political balance in that State. Albeit he lost the leadership of the Liberal Party he continued his very close interest in that State.

I am sure I speak for all of the many friends that Bill Snedden made over the years in Tasmania, both at the parliamentary and personal level, in passing on our condolences to his family and our respect for the man. We hope that we will retain that compassion for him and for the ideals for which he stood. Although Bill is no longer with us, we hope that he taught us something and that we will uphold his principles, for the time that we are able to, in this Parliament and in other places. He set standards, and I think it is incumbent on us as parliamentarians and as human beings to try to live by the standards that he set for us.