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Cassy O'Connor MP

Greens' Leader | Member for Clark (formerly Denison)


Leader of Greens' Business | Aboriginal Affairs | Animal Welfare | Community Development | Education, Skills and Training | Employment, Trade and Economic Development | Federal State Relations | Forests and Mining | Human Services | Infrastructure, Transport and Population | Parks, Public Lands and Heritage | Primary Industries | Sport and Recreation | Tourism and Hospitality | Treasury | Workplace Relations


Cassy O'Connor MP is the Leader of the Tasmanian Greens and our MP for Clark. 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.


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

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—
    (1) Notes with disappointment that the recent report of the Auditor-General on Park Management had a number of troubling findings, including:—

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—
    (1) Agrees that the Hare-Clark electoral system is the fairest, most representative and
         democratic electoral system in the modern world.
    (2) Notes that Hare-Clark has served Tasmania well since 1909.
    (3) Further notes that Tasmanian Liberal Party members have voted to abolish Hare-Clark.
    (4) Recognises this is because the system is too democratic for some.

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—

    (1) Notes the release of the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO's "State of the Climate
    Report" for 2016.

    (2) Acknowledges that the report notes extreme heat events have already increased in
    duration, frequency and intensity and it documents Tasmania's average temperature
    has already increased from half a degree since 1910, with parts of the East Coast
    having warmed a full degree.

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—

    (1) Understands that public transport is a critical issue for many disadvantaged

    (2) Congratulates Metro Tasmania on their 2.2% increase in passenger numbers, as
    reported in their 2016 Annual Report.

    (3) Acknowledges TasCOSS' submission to the government's Draft Transport Access
    Strategy, which calls for the following reforms to make transport more accessible for
    Tasmanians in need.

    (4) Notes that TasCOSS raised key priority areas, such as:—

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—

    (1) Congratulates the ACT Government on their decision to hold Australia's first public
    holiday that recognises our First People, 'Reconciliation Day'.

    (2) Recognises that Australia Day is a deeply distressing commemoration for many in
    the Aboriginal community, and is also known as 'Invasion Day'.

    (3) Notes that many non-Aboriginal Australians also do not feel like celebrating on 26
    January because it is a date that divides, rather than unites us.

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—

    (1) That in May, 2013 the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere reached
    400 parts per million for the first time in millions of years.

    (2) Tasmania was one of the last places on earth to reach 400 parts per million for the
    first time in May, 2016.

    (3) In September, 2016, during a month where greenhouse gas concentrations are usually
    at their lowest, the global concentration was still 400 parts per million.

  • Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—

    (1) Notes with heavy hearts the recent Australian Council of Social Services' 'Poverty in
    Australia' report that states 13.3% of Australians live below the poverty line.

    (2) Understands that 731,300 Australian children are assessed as living below the
    poverty line, which is 17.4%, a 2% increase since 2003/4.

    Forestry - Ministerial Statement

    [11.23 a.m.]
    Ms O'CONNOR (Denison - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I give 
    notice that on tomorrow I shall move -

    That the ministerial statement on forestry delivered yesterday is a sham.

    It is a sham because it misleads Tasmanians over the alleged need to allow 
    loggers into 357 000 hectares of high conservation value forest. It 
    misleads Tasmanians over the fact of ongoing subsidies, because it is a 


    [10.29 a.m.]
    Forestry Tasmania is almost two years behind schedule on achieving forest 
    stewardship certification, a goal that appears to be disappearing out of 
    reach for FT under your policy. Can you please tell the House whether FT 
    has provided any advice on the impact of your cynical, political move to 
    open up the moratorium forests to logging? Have the FSC auditors been 
    informed of the plan to log forests set aside for reserves? If so, what 

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN 

    [10.14 a.m.]
    I did not see you in the Chamber for Mr Barnett's ministerial statement 
    yesterday, but we know that the plan to let loggers into 357 000 hectares 
    of high conservation value forest has your blessing. How can you 
    countenance allowing loggers into these forests of global significance, 
    treasure troves of biodiversity and habitats for threatened species? In 
    an age of accelerating climate change, where deforestation in places like 


    [10.29 a.m.]
    In its advice to you tabled yesterday, the FT board makes it clear they 
    cannot meet the stated objectives of your Government and also fulfil their 
    legal obligation under the GBE Act to operate commercially. The board 
    makes a number of recommendations that would enable it to operate 
    commercially, including winding back the minimum saw log quota, 
    recalculating sustainable yield, enabling more access to private forests, 


    [10.10 a.m.]
    You are threatening to allow loggers into the 400 000 hectares of high 
    conservation value forests that were independently verified and set aside 
    under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. In its advice to you, as the 
    Treasurer tabled yesterday, the Forestry Tasmania board makes no mention 
    of the moratorium forests, making a lie of your original statement in 
    Parliament that it was on the basis of advice from FT that the Government 


    [10.21 a.m.]
    Does it concern you there is a provision in the Police Offences Act which 
    effectively makes criminals of the destitute and homeless, who feel they 
    have no choice but to resort to begging to survive? Are you aware that 
    according to the Australian Lawyers Alliance, two people have been 
    prosecuted under this law in the past six months, facing fines, which they 
    will never be able to pay, of up to $800? Do you support this harsh law, 

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.08 a.m.]
    Following comments by Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Kate Warner, 
    on the weekend, you issued a statement saying you had spoken to the 
    Governor and that she had your Government's support. Your federal 
    colleague, Senator Eric Abetz, was less supportive in his comments. Can 
    you reassure Tasmanians that in your conversation with the Government you 
    did not issue any riding instructions to Her Excellency? Will you now 


    [10.20 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.04 a.m.]