THE independent member for Lyons in the Tasmanian Parliament, John Tucker MHA, will miss the next sitting of the House of Assembly because of a spinal injury. In a statement earlier today, Mr Tucker said he had been in hospital for the past week, receiving treatment for a bulging disk in his back. His sprawling electorate includes the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands.
The injury was excruciatingly painful and had immobilised him for several days. “While thankfully I am now on the mend and have been released from hospital today, doctors have advised that I must have a long, slow recovery to avoid further long-term spinal damage.
“This means that I must rest for at least the next eight weeks and in particular I have been advised I must avoid extended car travel or sitting for long periods. That in turn means I will need to take a break from my parliamentary duties,” he said.
The injury comes after Mr Tucker had renal colic only a few weeks ago, causing him to miss one day of the last sitting week. “This is a separate issue. It was not caused by any specific action. I simply woke up with a bad back and things went downhill from there. The closest that we have come to identifying a cause is repetitive strain injury from a lifetime of working on the farm, followed by long days and nights at the wheel since I have been in parliament,” he said.
Mr Tucker said he would look into whether a formal leave of absence from parliament was necessary, but for the moment he has negotiated with the other independent members to avoid any disruption to the numbers in the chamber.
Mr Tucker thanked everyone who has offered support over the last few days. He asked for understanding in that he may be difficult to reach even on the phone because at least for the next few weeks he will remain incapacitated for extended periods.
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