It is with great sadness that we come to terms with the passing of the Hon Tim Fisher AC (3 May 1946 – 22 August 2019). Tim represented our neighbouring federal electorate of Farrer from 1984 until his retirement in 2001. He will be remembered as a family man, farmer, Vietnam War veteran, state and federal Member of Parliament, federal Minister, Nationals leader (1990-2001), and Deputy Prime Minister (under John Howard 1996-1999). He remained a driving force of the National Party until his final days.

Tim was deeply respected by all sides of politics, and will be remembered within the National Party as wise, friendly, and thoughtful. Everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Tim, either professionally or socially, will understand that Australia has just lost one of its best. In an era where integrity and ethics are often questioned, we can look back on Tim’s life in the absolute knowledge that it was a life lived in the very best way possible. Tim epitomised everything it means to be a great Australian, and he was a true champion for regional Australia.

Tim will be remembered for his service, his leadership, his loyalty, and significant achievements like the completion of the long-mooted Adelaide-Darwin rail link, and firearm law reform in the wake of the Port Arthur Massacre. What the National Party will most remember Tim for is his unfailing optimism for the potential of our regional and rural communities here in Victoria and right across regional Australia.

My thoughts go to Judy and the boys (Harrison and Dominic), and all of Tim’s extended family and friends. I hope they are strengthened in this difficult time by the outpouring of love coming from the Australian community.