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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 (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, that was the clearest statement we have had from the Minister for Health on the situation in the child and adolescent mental health area of public policy. It is clearer than what we heard from the minister this morning during question time when he said that some of the new beds in the Royal Hobart Hospital will be mental health beds - some of them. I took note when you said that because we, through our questions, were seeking clarity.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak on the Disability Services Amendment Bill 2019. This was my first legislation as a minister, the Disability Services Bill. I am not aware if the minister is aware of the history -

    Mrs Petrusma - I was the shadow. We worked together on it quite well.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank the member for Franklin for bringing this matter of net debt on for the MPI debate today. Any state budget, and we have said this before, is a statement of values. It tells us everything we need to know about what the government of the day values and what it is prepared to prioritise.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN


  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, we brought this matter on as a matter of public importance debate today and we acknowledge the advice that has been received by the Speaker in relation to not reflecting on the vote.


  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

    Premier, 98 per cent of scientists globally have reached a consensus that we are in the grip of a climate emergency. This is a time in human history when strong ethical leadership is required.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, the Tasmanian Greens will be supporting the Working with Vulnerable People Amendment Bill 2014. It reflects the contemporary reality and certainly the move towards full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I rise to speak on Ms Standen's Notice of Motion Number 64 that relates to service providers who have fallen between the gaps in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    I listened very carefully to what the minister said and have the proposed amendments to Ms Standen's motion before me.

  • * Video of the full debate can be found here


  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank Dr Broad for a very thorough and well-argued contribution.


    Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Thank you to Ms Standen and the honourable member for Franklin for bringing this Matter of Public Importance debate on today. It is important that we acknowledge in this place that, right now, there are people who are so-called, sleeping rough, sleeping under bridges, crashing at their friend's houses, sleeping in shipping containers, caravans and in highly unaffordable and unsuitable accommodation.