Australia

Leaders past and present pay tribute to former deputy PM Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer will be remembered by many. Source: AAP

Leading politicians past and present have paid tribute to former Nationals leader Tim Fischer at a state funeral in Albury.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison led tributes to Tim Fischer as past and present politicians from across the divide remember the revered former Nationals leader.

A hearty contingent of former prime ministers, ministers and MPs flocked to Albury for a state funeral to farewell Mr Fischer on Thursday.

The coffin of former deputy prime minister and national party leader Timothy 'Tim' Fischer.
The coffin of former deputy prime minister and national party leader Timothy 'Tim' Fischer.
AAP

"Tim was as big as Australia and he'll be forever remembered as that," Mr Morrison told reporters.

A train carried Tim Fischer and his casket to Albury ahead of his state funeral. https://t.co/UV2jwH9MeI

— Twitter Moments Australia (@MomentsAU) August 29, 2019

"I think it will be a fitting tribute to a great man, a good friend and we loved him dearly."

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he had spoken to Mr Fischer about a potential job if Labor had won the election.

"He was a great advocate of rail - there was no stronger advocate in this country," he said.

'He was a very honourable man. He stood up on issues like gun control and he had respect across the parliament."

Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd also paid tribute to Mr Fischer.

"He was an extraordinary Australian and from all sides of Australian politics, we mourn his passing," he said.

Packed inside service about to get underway ⁦@SBSNewspic.twitter.com/1hq8HywLQY

— Gloria Kalache. (@gloriakalache) August 29, 2019

Anthony Albanese says there was no stronger advocate for railway in this country ⁦@SBSNewspic.twitter.com/VSEab6pMzy

— Gloria Kalache. (@gloriakalache) August 29, 2019

Kevin Rudd has arrived at Tim Fischer funeral ⁦@SBSNewspic.twitter.com/v20fEjCwch

— Gloria Kalache. (@gloriakalache) August 29, 2019

Scott Morrison has arrived says Tim Fischer was bigger than Australia ⁦@SBSNewspic.twitter.com/Dh3UW1EYsX

— Gloria Kalache. (@gloriakalache) August 29, 2019

Nationals leader Michael McCormack has arrived at Tim Fischer’s state funeral says he was a very decent man who stood up for what was right ⁦@SBSNewspic.twitter.com/sobB0XfnNY

— Gloria Kalache. (@gloriakalache) August 29, 2019

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack remembered Mr Fischer as a man of decency and integrity.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny arrive for the State Funeral.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny arrive for the State Funeral.
AAP

"He was a man of honour and I think there are a lot of people alive today because of the gun laws he helped introduce," he said.

Mr Fischer, who was federal Nationals leader between 1990 and 1999, served as deputy prime minister to John Howard between 1996 and 1999.

Mr Howard said Mr Fischer's commitment to the coalition agreement had set an important blueprint for conservative politics.

"He was a great colleague and we formed a very close personal and political bond," he said.

Governor-General David Hurley and his predecessor Sir Peter Cosgrove both attended the service.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and senior ministers including Marise Payne, Simon Birmingham, Sussan Ley, David Littleproud, Darren Chester were there to celebrate Mr Fischer's life.

Former Nationals leaders Barnaby Joyce, Warren Truss, Mark Vaile and John Anderson were also among hundreds of guests packing the Albury Entertainment Centre.

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