Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
The new Gutwein Cabinet is a mixed bag.
While we are pleased the critical Health portfolio has been placed in the hands of the Deputy Premier, it needs real investment to deliver the health care Tasmanians expect and deserve.
Given the years of underfunding and failing to reform Health, Mr Rockliff will need to be a tough negotiator at the Cabinet table as we head towards the State Budget.
We hope the Premier’s reduced portfolio load will mean he can now focus on budgeting for the people who need it most, including the 120 000 Tasmanians living in poverty and those struggling to find or keep a home.
While we welcome both Housing and Children being stripped from the hapless Roger Jaensch, it’s disappointing to see the Housing portfolio included in what looks a lot like construction portfolio. It’s an unfortunate reminder of the Liberals’ failure to see the human face of homelessness and housing insecurity.
As the Commission of Inquiry opens for submissions, we hope the new Minister for Children and Youth will make the real changes needed to ensure Tasmania is Australia’s safest state for children and young people.
We strongly urge Minister Courtney to do what her predecessors failed to do and close Ashley Youth Detention Centre.
Having a Minister responsible for both Parks and Fire Mangement should see the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area prioritised in a time of climate crisis.
We also trust the reappointment of the deserving and hard-working Jacquie Petrusma to Cabinet will be another opportunity for change.
Unlike her tone deaf predecessor, we hope Minister Petrusma will understand the EOI process for development in Parks and public protected areas is extremely unpopular amongst Tasmanians, who want an end to the EOI process.