You are here

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 (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I will not be speaking for long on this rubbish motion. It is Thursday, it is not private members' time, it is not Government private members' time, and we have a motion on the books which has no action attached to it and no tangibles for people who need housing. It is simply an exercise in self-congratulation.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Deputy Speaker, apart from being completely boring, that contribution from Mr Tucker failed to mention human beings. Failed to acknowledge that there are people right now sleeping on the Domain, sleeping in the rivulet, who are living in insecure housing, who cannot afford to pay their rent.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens - motion) - Madam Speaker, I move -

    That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent debate on the following motion: that the House condemns the Hodgman Liberal Government for its reckless mismanagement of wildlife in Tasmania that is driving species towards extinction.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    Today landmark human rights reforms, which your Government fought every step of the way and Labor now is sadly distancing itself from, come into effect and transgender Tasmanians are celebrating.

    Ms Haddad - How have I distanced myself?


  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Deputy Speaker, of course we will not be supporting this garbage motion either. It was not put forward with the intention of anyone but Labor supporting it. It is not an attempt to be constructive or collaborative or to advance policy interests in the interests of the people of Tasmania. It is nothing more than positioning and politicking. It is riddled with untruths, as was Ms White's speech on the motion.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, if you want a clear indication of how far Labor has fallen, that speech, delivered by so-called Dr Broad, a scientist allegedly, tells us everything we need to know -

    Dr BROAD - Point of order, Madam Speaker. I draw offence to the word 'allegedly'.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to say on this issue a pox on both your houses. At the federal level we have the Liberals and Labor lining up to entrench wages inequality in this country, hand massive tax cuts to the rich, do nothing about the fact that many corporations in Tasmania pay zero tax, and in the case of Labor, to pay lip service on the need to raise Newstart, which is $40 a day, an unsurvivable amount of money.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, it is almost an annual event to bring to the Government's attention that there remain a number of questions on the notice paper that date back many months. It is a responsibility of Government to answer questions on notice, preferably in a timely way. Timeliness is one issue but the fact that questions often do not get answered is the more serious issue.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to make a brief contribution on the Roads and Jetties Amendment (Works in Highways) Bill 2019, and to indicate from the outset that we will be supporting this legislation.


  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of Dr Woodruff and me, I also want to take a moment to reflect on the life of, and pay tribute to, Tim Fischer. When I was looking at the stories of Tim Fischer's life I felt nostalgic for a time in Australian politics where integrity, decency and humility were core to political purpose. They are the qualities Tim Fischer brought to public life.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Deputy Speaker, I was quite surprised not to hear my colleague, the member for Braddon, Ms Dow, talk about the Greens policy that was adopted at the Labor State Conference, which is the royalties for regions policy, formulated by former member for Braddon, Greens member for Braddon, Paul 'Basil' O'Halloran, which aims to return some of the profits from royalties from mining back into regional communities.


    Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I am quite pleased to see that the Heritage Tasmania staff are no longer in the Chamber being forced to sit here and listen to this debate instead of providing advice to the minister for Heritage on the bill that was to be debated at this point but has been bumped off so the Minister for Housing can score some political points.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, the day has finally arrived. We have been looking at the Notice Paper for months and months, looking at the Fruit and Nut Industry (Research, Development and Extension Trust Fund) Repeal Bill. It sat there for many months now, and finally the moment has arrived when we can debate this repeal bill.