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Cassy O'Connor MP

Greens' Leader | Member for Denison

SHADOW PORTFOLIOS

Leader of Greens' Business | Treasury | Employment and Economic Development | Human Services | Aboriginal Affairs | Forests | Resource Management | Infrastructure and Transport | Climate Change | Women | Heritage | Young Tasmanians | Multicultural Affairs | Sport and Recreation

 

Cassy O'Connor MP is the Leader of the Tasmanian Greens and our MP for Denison. She supports creating a prosperous, low-carbon economy powered by renewable energy, and is a passionate voice for people with disabilities, refugees, children and marginalized Tasmanians.

ABOUT CASSY

A former journalist and community activist, Cassy O’Connor is passionate about Tasmania’s special places and its people.

To become the Tasmania we are capable of being, we must look after our most vulnerable citizens with far more heart – the young Tasmanians who sleep on the streets at night; the children of poverty and addiction; the elderly, alone in their homes; ageing carers; old and new Tasmanians, exposed to racism as a result of their perceived difference; and Tasmanians living with mental illness, with physical, or intellectual impairment.

Cassy was born in Canberra and raised in South East Asia and on Stradbroke Island in Queensland. She moved to Tasmania in 1989 and worked as journalist and political advisor. She also found time to have four beautiful Tasmanian children.

Cassy became a community activist in 2004 as the public face of the campaign to protect the Ralphs Bay Conservation Area at Lauderdale from a Gold Coast-style canal housing estate. She is determined that community and conservation should come first in Tasmania.

Cassy was first elected to Parliament in July 2008 as the Greens member for Denison on count-back following the resignation of long serving Greens Member and Leader Peg Putt. On 19 August 2008, Cassy became the first person to be sworn in as a Member of the Tasmanian Parliament outside Hobart, during the Launceston sitting of State Parliament.

After being soundly re-elected at the top of the Denison poll in March 2010, Cassy became the first Greens' female MP nationally to secure a Cabinet position, when she was made Cabinet Secretary in the Labor-Greens power-sharing minority government. After a Cabinet reshuffle, Cassy then became the first Greens' female MP to become a Minister, when she was sworn in as Minister for Community Development, Aboriginal Affairs, Climate Change, and Housing.

Cassy is focussed on about working hard to support vulnerable Tasmanians.

In her inaugural speech made in Launceston in 2008, she called for tripartisan support for the Parliament to formally acknowledge the terrible wrongs of the past and to apologise to the victims of Willow Court and the Royal Derwent, and to their families. Cassy is determined to see that the word 'sorry' is said.

Cassy is committed to policy reform that protects the rights and meets the needs of Tasmanians with disabilities and their families.

In Parliament

  • [6.05 p.m.]
    Ms O'CONNOR (Denison - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Speaker, I wish to share 
    with the House a really fantastic group of students, their teacher and 
    Holly Sluiter [TBC] from the Salvation Army and Communities for Children 
    who came along on Monday to present to me some of the work they have been 
    doing on community safety. They came to my office having been to see my 
    colleague, Mr Bacon, and giving a similar presentation to him. Certainly 
    the students from East Derwent Primary School and everyone who worked with 

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.06 a.m.]
    At this moment there are more than 600 desperate asylum seekers on Manus 
    Island being denied food, water, shelter and safety by your federal 
    colleague, Peter Dutton, who has repeatedly demonised and mischaracterised 
    them and continues to lie about their circumstances. Tasmanian Greens 
    Senator, Nick McKim, is on Manus Island, bearing witness -

    Members interjecting. 



  • Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for ENVIRONMENT and PARKS, Ms ARCHER

    [10.46 a.m.]
    Cruise ships berthing in Hobart increased from 32 to 48 last season and 
    are expected to exceed 60 this year. The majority will use heavy fuel oil 
    known as bunker fuel. Bunker fuel is the sludge that remains at the 
    bottom of a barrel of crude oil. It contains concentrated sulphur and 
    heavy metals, outputting sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, 

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.38 a.m.]

    Your answer to the Greens' first question was typically evasive.  Why did the Tasmanian Liberal Party, which you lead, accept $30 000 from foreign donors after ASIO's warning to your federal counterparts?  Do you support the state Liberals' decision to accept this money despite ASIO's warning and security concerns?  What do you believe the Yuhu Group billionaire founder Mr Huang Xiangmo expects from your party in return for his investment?

    ANSWER

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.09 a.m.]
    The entire country now knows a bad law brought in by your Government has led to a landmark High Court decision affirming the right to peaceful protest, the right to stand up to protect the environment. Environmentalists and unionist all over Australia are thanking you for giving Bob Brown and Jessica Hoyt the opportunity to affirm this fundamental right and freedom of political expression in our democracy.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.36 a.m.]
    In a massive slap in the face to your Government, the High Court has just ruled in favour of former Greens leader Bob Brown's challenge to your Government's draconian antiprotest laws. The High Court has determined that your Government's Workplace (Protection from Protestors) Act violates the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution. Your efforts to silence dissent and peaceful protest in Tasmania are in breach of the Constitution.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.13 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for INFRASTRUCTURE, Mr HIDDING

    [3.22 p.m.]

    Can you explain why a decision was made to rip up a significant section of the Hobart rail line at Macquarie Point?  Why is your Government so apparently anti-light rail to the extent you rarely speak of it, have made no submission to the federal government to fund it, and are now ripping up rail tracks in Hobart?  Were you informed of the removal of these tracks before they were pulled up, or is it the case, as it seems today, that you were the last to know?

     

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for ENVIRONMENT and PARKS, Ms ARCHER

    [2.58 p.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for HUMAN SERVICES, Mrs PETRUSMA

    [2.46 p.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.53 a.m.]

    You promised Tasmanians you would not sell off their assets.  You also told them yours would be an open and transparent government.  Can you explain why the company your Government sold the 29 000 hectares to did not register with ASIC until two months after final bids for the plantation were due?  In the interests of transparency will you now release all details of your Government's role in the privatisation of 29 000 hectares of public land?

     

    ANSWER

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.21 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.08 a.m.]

    Shortly after coming to office in April 2014 you stated publicly:

    Let me be clear:  we will not be selling any Government or public owned assets other than the Aurora retail book which the former government put up for sale and which we have supported. 

    Other than that, we will not be selling anything and that is part of the commitment we took to the last election.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for RESOURCES, Mr BARNETT

    [10.27 a.m.]

    Now it has been confirmed that you are flogging 29 000 hectares of Tasmania's public plantation estate at a loss, and effectively sold all that land through a 99-year lease -

    Members interjecting.

    Ms O'CONNOR - Who will be here in 99 years?

    Madam SPEAKER - Order.  The member will ask her question.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for RESOURCES, Mr BARNETT

    [10.09 a.m.]

    You have announced that 29 000 hectares of publicly owned plantation has been sold to a private company for $60 million.  In a 2012 letter, the Auditor-General confirmed it costs around $350 000 per hectare in public funding to establish Forestry Tasmania's plantations.  This put the actual cost of establishing the public plantations you are flogging at a conservative estimate of $101 million.  On the evidence, Tasmanian taxpayers have been ripped off to the tune of $40 million.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.59 a.m.]

    As you are aware, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is sending out postal votes for the survey on marriage equality because Prime Minister Turnbull did not have the courage to allow for a free vote.  You have said, very quietly, that you will be voting yes.  Why are you not being out and proud on this issue and standing by LGBTI -

    Members interjecting.

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