Former prime minister Bob Hawke, who died on Thursday aged 89, has been remembered as a stand-out character and a great reformer by Wagga residents.
At Wagga's federal election pre-poll centre on Friday, even those who did not vote for Mr Hawke's Labor party recognised his qualities.
Bev Trahair, of Wagga, said Mr Hawke was a "great leader" during his time as Australia's 23rd PM from 1983 to 1991.
"I didn't agree with many of his policies and I have never voted for Labor in my life but he got what he wanted and he changed things," she said.
"He also changed a lot of minds."
Terry McInerley, of Wagga, did support Labor during the 1980s and said Mr Hawke changed Australia for good with Medicare and economic reforms.
"He pushed us forwards, he lifted Australia out of the doldrums," he said.
"He was also a character and a rogue but a lovable rogue.
"I supported all his policies."
Wagga City Council flew its flags outside the Civic Centre half mast on Friday as a mark of respect to Mr Hawke.
Former Labor candidate for Riverina, Glenn Elliott-Rudder, said Mr Hawke's connection with people and his ability to achieve consensus on difficult issues was unmatched by the nation's current MPs.
"Bob Hawke was one of those charismatic politicians that sadly we lack in the current parliament," he said.
"I think that's what made him stand out as such a great leader and prime minister, because of his personality and his ability to be comfortable in the company of workers and also in the boardroom with bosses.
"I think that was a fairly unique skill...and some of his greatest achievements were in restructuring the economy and meeting with union bosses to make sure that workers did not miss out on the benefits of the restructuring of the Australian economy."
Mr Elliott-Rudder said he did not have any hard data but he suspected that Mr Hawke's profile managed to win over some Riverina voters during the 1983 federal election.
Labor had one of its best results in the seat that year but lost to the National Party by a less than one per cent margin.
State Wagga MP Joe McGirr recalled meeting Mr Hawke at university.
"I was so chuffed he recognised the McGirr name and then later referred to me as 'my mate Joe'," Dr McGirr stated on social media.
"My thoughts go out to his friends and family."
Riverina MP Michael McCormack said he was "sad to hear" of Mr Hawke's passing.
"Our nation thanks him for his service. May he Rest In Peace," he stated.