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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, it has been interesting listening to this debate this morning, which is a Liberal matter of public importance debate, after around 20 minutes of question time was dedicated to Dorothy Dixers and the best the member for Braddon can come up with as a topic is infrastructure and jobs.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

  • Ms O'CONNOR - I rise to speak on the Estimates for the Minister for Resources with specific reference to the forestry portfolio because Dr Woodruff was at the table and did a great job scrutinising this minister's maladministration of the minerals part of her portfolio.

  • Ms O'CONNOR - Mr Deputy Chair, I rise to make a brief contribution on the transport and infrastructure and defence industries, as well as Trade sections of this minister's portfolio. As I was having the soul-crushing experience of sitting at the Estimates table across from the Treasurer, I did not have the pleasure of scrutinising the Education minister's budget.

  • Ms O'CONNOR - I want to talk to you about a horse, minister. I rise to speak specifically about the minister's animal welfare responsibilities and the response to information we put to the minister in the closing hours of Estimates last Thursday relating to the death of a horse at the Brighton training tracks on the night of 31 May. The question is, what happened to that horse?

  • Ms O'CONNOR (Clark) - Mr Deputy Speaker, here we are again in this House, on this day, debating one of the most critically important issues confronting this parliament and the entire state of Tasmania.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

  • Ms O'CONNOR - I thank Ms Standen for her contribution. It was, as ever, well considered and very informative.

  • Ms O'CONNOR - Mr Chairman, again, this year the most mindnumbingly frustrating and dishonest Estimates session from my point of view was with the Treasurer. If you want one example of why this Treasurer holds the public's right to know in contempt it is what Mr Bacon was saying about the expenditure review committee of Cabinet.

  • Ms O'CONNOR - Chair, I rise to make a 10-minute contribution on the Premier's Estimates. Again, the Estimates' experience this year, as it has been ever since the Liberals took office in 2014, was frustrating, limiting and, by design, not intended to provide information to opposition members who are asking the questions.

  • Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN


  • 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.