The Hon. Michelle O’Byrne
Member for Bass (Tas.)
The Hon. Michelle O’Byrne was an electorate officer to Senator Kerry O’Brien before she ran for the federal seat of Bass (Tas.). She entered federal politics at the age of 30 when she was elected in 1998 as the Australian Labor Party member for Bass in the House of Representatives.
In her first speech to the House, O’Byrne gave an outline of the issues relevant to her electorate that she wanted to tackle at the federal level, including family law and maritime issues. In her time in Parliament, O’Byrne proceeded to follow her plan. She campaigned to appoint a second Tasmanian-based Family Court judge to alleviate the long wait for trials experienced in northern Tasmania. She canvassed many maritime issues including encouraging the government to recognise the status of Australian Navy personnel who were involved in the Malayan Emergency of 1955 to 1960. She also moved a motion to provide university status to the Australian Maritime College and generally supported better maritime standards.
After she left federal politics in 2004, O’Byrne was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly for the state electorate of Bass in 2006 where she served in a ministerial capacity.