The 'Generous' Advice Tim Fischer Gave A New Politician About Surviving Politics
As tributes pour in for the late Tim Fischer, a politician has shared the 'generous' advice he shared with her at the beginning of her career about how to survive in the brutal bearpit of politics.
Fischer -- the former Member for Farrer, Nationals party leader and deputy Prime Minister -- died on Thursday, aged 73, from complications related to his leukaemia.
Politicians and dignitaries across the country were quick to pay tribute to the long-time respected Fischer, with the likes of current PM Scott Morrison calling him "a big Australian in every sense of the word. Big in stature, big in his belief, big in his passion, big in his vision for what Australians could achieve."
READ MORE: Former Deputy PM Tim Fischer Has Died
But one of the more touching tributes came from Victorian state politician Steph Ryan, a Nationals MP representing the seat of Euroa, who shared a letter she said Fischer sent when she was first elected.
She said the printed letter was the former deputy PM's "top 10 tips for surviving parliament", which he sent her five years ago -- well after he himself had left federal politics, in 2001.
Among the suggestions Fischer gave were some savvy political ones -- not to criticise towns just outside your electorate in case of a sudden boundary change, being nice to other nearby MPs, paying attention to local and national news -- as well as tips to maintain connections outside politics.
"On entering Parliament write down ten names of close non political friends you want to have still at the end of your career and if you have not had contact with them by Cup Day each year, you initiate contact to keep the friendship alive," Fischer wrote in the letter, as his number one tip.
"Pace yourself but yes you must follow the 24/7 news cycles".
Elsewhere, Fischer recommended how to be a good and useful MP by studying special interest areas and foreign countries. He also said that it was important to scour local news in the electorate, to find people who deserved some special congratulations.
"Individuals who have scored a mention in their newspaper for some good deed or some related item of public interest who in turn deserve a letter of commendation, personally signed by their local MP," Fischer wrote.
He signed off by recommending "enjoy it all".
His family have been offered a state funeral, which they have reportedly accepted.
Other Nationals MPs have paid tribute to the party's former leader.
"Enthusiasm was his trademark. Enthusiasm guided by a laser like compass of values," said fellow former party leader and deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, in a statement on Facebook.