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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 question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.12 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.30 a.m.]
    Today, you, the Leader of the Opposition, Ms White, and I will join Aboriginal community leaders and people from all over the state at the historic launch of the Reconciliation Panel of Tasmania. I am sure we can all agree the establishment of this panel represents an important opportunity for healing and to improve outcomes for Tasmania's Aboriginal people.

    In an open letter made public today 20 respected Tasmanian writers, historians and publishers state:

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.32 a.m.]
    We have just heard the Minister for Human Services try to justify not telling parliament the truth over the wellbeing of 11 at-risk children -

    Members interjecting.

    Madam SPEAKER - Order. The member will be heard in silence.

    Ms O'CONNOR - The evidence is there in black and white, in the form of emails between the Minister's office and the department.

    [10.11 a.m.]
    Tasmanians now know as a result of the ABC obtaining leaked departmental documents you misled parliament over the wellbeing of 11 children who had been placed with Safe Pathways last year.
  • Energy Efficiency - Tasmanian Homes


    Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN


    [10.09 a.m.]

    Yesterday the Minister for Energy revealed your Government's grand plan to make Tasmanian homes more energy efficient.  It is - wait for it - a Harvey Norman-style line of credit with a credit card scheme administered by Westpac that will potentially leave Tasmanians $10 000 in hock to a major bank and, at the end of three years, facing high interest rates and soaring credit card debt.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.14 a.m.]
    Yesterday you announced a temporary portfolio reallocation and a highly unusual hiving off of responsibility was noted. For the first time that we know of Crown Land Services has been taken away from the Minister for Environment and Parks. Was the decision to relieve the Minister, Mr Groom, of his responsibility for Crown Lands -

    Government members laughing.

    Madam SPEAKER - Order. Members on my right will come to order immediately.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.39 a.m.]
    Can you understand why a growing number of Tasmanians are suspicious and worried about the cavalier way your Government is trading in public assets at the behest of private developers? Communities from Swansea to Stanley, Table Cape, Boat Harbour and Wynyard are faced with losing their treasured coastal crown land places to private developers who are having the red carpet rolled out by your Office of the Co-ordinator General.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.14 a.m.]
    Your Government's growing reputation for arrogance and secrecy reached a new low last week with your Treasurer effectively telling the Public Accounts Committee, and by extension the people of Tasmania, that he is not answerable to them. Why is your Government being so obstructive and secretive over the decision to sell the Tamar Valley Power Station? Why is it prepared to face a charge of contempt in order to withhold the truth?

    [10.34 a.m.]
    In a public statement yesterday, head of the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, Terry Edwards, stated in relation to his members:

    What is very clear to us is that they will not accept wood from these contentious forests.

    [10.13 a.m.]

    [10.10 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
    [10.14 a.m.]

    [10.26 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
    [10.35 a.m.]

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
    [10.22 a.m.]

    Can you understand why an increasing number of Tasmanians believe your Government has declared war on the environment and Tasmanians determined to protect it? Is picking fights and ignoring community concerns over high conservation value forests, fish farm expansions, development in wilderness areas and the cable car, to name a few, the core of your election strategy?

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    [10.10 a.m.]
    People on the east coast are asking why is your Government so prepared to 
    pollute the near-pristine waters of their east coast. As Minister for 
    Tourism you must know these clear waters and beautiful beaches are 
    increasingly a magnet for visitors, including those who come to Tasmania 
    by cruise ship. Over the past summer the Greens understand eight cruise 
    ships pulled up at Wineglass Bay, in a national park, yet not a single 
    dollar flowed to the local economy as a result.