Rene Hidding

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Marinus Theodoor "Rene" Hidding (born 5 February 1953) is an Australian politician. He is currently a Liberal Party member for the Division of Lyons in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. From 2002 until 2006 he was also leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania.

Hidding immigrated to Tasmania from the Netherlands in his youth. He was educated in Launceston at Riverside High School and Launceston Matriculation College where he gained an Associate Diploma Business (Real Estate).[1] He was a self-employed businessman (his companies included Hidding Trading Pty Ltd, Hiddings Mitre 10, Hiddings Building Services, Span Truss Systems and Hiddings Joinery) before entering politics, when he sold his business to Gunns Limited. He was an Alderman on the Launceston City Council from 1985 to 1992. He was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate for the Australian House of Representatives seat of Franklin in 1993.

In 1996 Hidding was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly for the multi-member seat of Lyons. Between 1996 and 1998 Hidding held junior positions in the government of Tony Rundle, including Secretary to Cabinet, Deputy Chairman of Committees and a member of the Cabinet Budget Committee.

After the Liberals lost office, Hidding was elected to the Opposition front bench as Deputy Opposition Leader in 1999 and in August 2002 he was elected Leader of the Opposition. He is also Shadow Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage and Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy.

At the 18 March 2006 state election, Hidding failed to defeat the incumbent Australian Labor Party government led by Paul Lennon. Despite an increase in the Liberal Party's primary vote, the Opposition failed to make any gains in terms of seats. Hidding declined on election night to speculate on whether he would continue as Opposition Leader. Twelve days later, on 30 March, the day that final election results were known, Will Hodgman was unanimously elected by the party as their new leader. [2]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Bob Cheek
Opposition Leader of Tasmania
2002–2006
Succeeded by
Will Hodgman