Jim Bacon

Last updated

Jim Bacon

41st Premier of Tasmania
In office
14 September 1998 21 March 2004
Deputy Paul Lennon
Preceded by Tony Rundle
Succeeded by Paul Lennon
Leader of the Opposition
In office
14 April 1997 14 September 1998
Premier Tony Rundle
Preceded by Michael Field
Succeeded by Tony Rundle
Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly for Denison
In office
24 February 1996 21 March 2004
Preceded by Julian Amos
Succeeded by David Bartlett
Personal details
Born(1950-05-15)15 May 1950
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died20 June 2004(2004-06-20) (aged 54)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Political party Labor

James Alexander Bacon, AC (15 May 1950 20 June 2004) was Premier of Tasmania from 1998 to 2004.

Premier of Tasmania head of government for the state of Tasmania, Australia

The Premier of Tasmania is the head of the executive government in the Australian state of Tasmania. By convention, the leader of the party or political grouping which has majority support in the House of Assembly is invited by the Governor of Tasmania to be Premier and principal adviser.


Early life

Bacon was born on 15 May 1950 in Melbourne; [1] his father Frank, a doctor, died when Jim was twelve, leaving him to be raised by his mother Joan. He was educated at Scotch College and later studied politics at Monash University, but did not graduate. At Monash Bacon was a Maoist student leader. [2] Bacon moved to Western Australia and, after going back on the job as a labourer, became an official of the Builders Labourers Federation, which then sent him to Tasmania as an organiser. He later became leader of the trade union movement as Secretary of the Tasmanian Trades & Labor Council.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Scotch College, Melbourne school in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Scotch College is an independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys, located in Hawthorn, an inner-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Monash University public university based in Melbourne, Australia

Monash University is a public research university based in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1958, it is the second oldest university in the State of Victoria. The university has a number of campuses, four of which are in Victoria, and one in Malaysia. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in Prato, Italy, a graduate research school in Mumbai, India and a graduate school in Suzhou, China. Monash University courses are also delivered at other locations, including South Africa.

Having abandoned communism and joined the Labor Party, Bacon was elected to the House of Assembly in 1996, representing the Hobart-based seat of Denison. He became leader of the Tasmanian Labor Party in 1997 and narrowly won the state election in 1998, defeating the Liberal Party government under Tony Rundle. It was the first Labor majority since 1982. His government was re-elected in 2002 in a landslide victory for his party.

The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) was founded in 1920 and dissolved in 1991. The CPA achieved its greatest political strength in the 1940s and faced an attempted ban in 1951. Though it never presented a major challenge to the established order in Australia, it did have significant influence on the trade unions, social movements, and the national culture.

The Australian Labor Party , commonly known as Tasmanian Labor is the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party.

Hobart City in Tasmania, Australia

Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. With a population of approximately 225,000, it is the least populated Australian state capital city, and second smallest if territories are taken into account. Founded in 1804 as a British penal colony, Hobart, formerly known as Hobart Town or Hobarton, is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. Prior to British settlement, the Hobart area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe. The descendants of these Aboriginal Tasmanians often refer to themselves as 'Palawa'.


Bacon's time in office was said to have been hugely successful, for the state economy as a whole, for his popularity with the people of the state, and also for tourism with the introduction of two more Bass Strait ferries, and beginning a ferry run between Devonport and Sydney. (However, the Sydney service has since proven unsuccessful and was discontinued in 2006 due to the majority of New South Wales people not wanting to drive into the heart of Sydney.) He controversially appointed Richard Butler to the office Governor of Tasmania in 2003. One of the Bacon Government's most notable achievements was to wipe out a $1.6 billion state net debt in only six years. Other achievements included huge increases in tourist numbers, leading social policies, partnerships between state and local governments, turning Tasmanian Government entities, such as Hydro Tasmania, into profit-generating businesses (one of the election-winning strategies was to propose this as opposed to selling them), bringing two Australian Football League (AFL) clubs to play regular home and away matches in Tasmania (Hawthorn Football Club and St Kilda Football Club) and improving the general feeling of confidence in individuals and businesses within the state of Tasmania.

Bass Strait ferries

Bass Strait Ferries have been the ships that have been used for regular transport across Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria, as well as the various attempts to link Tasmania with Sydney. Historically, some regular shipping services in the twentieth century linked Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart with the Bass Strait ports: Launceston's various port locations, Devonport and Burnie. The distinction between coastal shipping and Bass Strait ferry has been blurred at times.

Devonport, Tasmania City in Tasmania, Australia

Devonport is a city in northern Tasmania, Australia. It is situated at the mouth of the Mersey River. Devonport had an urban population of 23,046 at the 2016 Australian census

Richard William Butler AC has served as an Australian public servant, a United Nations weapons inspector and the Governor of Tasmania.

Last year

On Friday 13 February 2004, Bacon received the diagnosis that he was suffering from inoperable lung cancer. [1] On 23 February 2004, he subsequently announced that he would take a four-week leave of absence from his role of Premier so that he could explore treatment options. After news that he had little time left, Bacon stood aside as Premier in March 2004, [1] to spend whatever time was left to him with his family and friends. Paul Lennon, who had been Deputy Premier, succeeded Bacon to become Tasmania's 42nd Premier.

Paul Anthony Lennon is a Labor Party politician. He was Premier of Tasmania from 21 March 2004 until his resignation on 26 May 2008. He was member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly for the seat of Franklin from 1990 until officially resigning on 27 May 2008. He left office abruptly after his preferred premier rating fell to 17%, largely as a result of perceptions of corruption in his government's fast-tracked approval of the Gunns Bell Bay Pulp Mill proposal, which had effectively bypassed normal planning procedure.

Bacon, a 35-year smoker, died as a result of his cancer on 20 June 2004, [1] at Calvary Hospital in Hobart. A state funeral was held on 24 June; [1] many state and federal politicians (from both major parties) attended, including Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, all the state Premiers, Opposition Leader Mark Latham, former Opposition Leader Simon Crean, and former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

Calvary Hospital is a Catholic not-for-profit private hospital, located in Lenah Valley, Hobart, Tasmania.

State funeral Public funeral ceremony held to honour people of national significance

A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honour people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition. Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning after the family of the deceased gives consent. A state funeral will often generate mass publicity from both national and global media outlets.

John Howard Australian politician, 25th Prime Minister of Australia

John Winston Howard, is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. He is the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister, behind only Sir Robert Menzies, who was in office for over 18 years. Howard was leader of the Liberal Party from 1985 to 1989 and from 1995 to 2007.

Honours and legacy

In 2001 Bacon was awarded an honorary citizenship by Xi Jinping, governor of Fujian Province. Bacon had first visited China while at university. [3]

He was posthumously awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from the University of Tasmania in August 2004.

His appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia was announced in June 2005 but made effective from 13 May 2004. The Order of Australia is not awarded posthumously, but Bacon had been nominated before his death. [4]

The Jim Bacon Foundation was established in his honour to "provide practical support and financial assistance to cancer patients and their families by making funds available to organisations that offer cancer treatment and palliative care services". The Foundation was absorbed into the Ricky Ponting Foundation in May 2013. The State Government will continue to fund the $30,000 Jim Bacon Memorial Scholarship at the University of Tasmania. [5]


Jim Bacon had four sisters: Jenny, Wendy, Janet and Mary.

Bacon had a twenty-year partnership with Lynnette Francis, and they had two sons, Mark and Scott. Scott Bacon was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly at the 2010 state election.

Later Bacon married Honey Hogan, who had been a croupier and the public face of Australia's first casino: Wrest Point Hotel Casino when it opened in 1973. That marriage gave him a stepson, Shane.

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The Jim Bacon Foundation is a philanthropic organisation based in Tasmania, Australia. It provides practical support and financial assistance to cancer patients and organisations that support them during their treatment. It also offers three scholarship through the University of Tasmania which are granted to students studying fine arts, political science or the care and treatment of cancer.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "BACON, James Alexander". The Parliament of Tasmania from 1856. Tasmanian parliament-parliament.tas.gov.au. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. "Jim Bacon addresses student protesters, with Albert Langer". Monpix. Monash University.
  3. "Welcome, Mr President". The Mercury. November 18, 2014.
  4. It's an Honour
  5. "Jim Bacon cancer fund winding up". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Field
Opposition Leader of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Tony Rundle
Preceded by
Tony Rundle
Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Paul Lennon
Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Field
Leader of the Labor Party in Tasmania
Succeeded by
Paul Lennon