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Election of Premier Gutwein

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 20 January 2020

Tags: Climate Change, Governance, Cabinet, Political Leadership

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The change of Liberal leadership - and consequently Premier - is an opportunity for the party to clean the decks and walk away from dangerous, divisive policy to genuinely be a government for all Tasmanians.

Under Will Hodgman as Premier, the Liberals have carved up our protected areas and gifted them to developers, set out to sell the Treasury Building, taken no meaningful action on climate change and threatened draconian anti-protest laws on young Tasmanians demanding action.

On the back of the gambling industry’s millions in political donations in the lead up to the last State Election, the Liberals plan to impose decades more of suffering through pokies harm.

As Treasurer, Peter Gutwein has been right in the thick of these policy failures. He has been an architect of the privatisation of public assets, and since becoming Treasurer, he’s never been that comfortable with accountability and transparency.

While it is our sincerest hope that the new Premier will take this opportunity to abandon the Liberals’ divisive and backwards policies, we believe it highly unlikely. After all, Peter Gutwein has been the face - and staunchest advocate - for many of these policies.

The election of Mr Gutwein is a chance to reinstate a Minister for Climate Change, and take real climate action - including protecting the 356,000 hectares of high conservation, carbon rich forests which lose their protection from logging in April this year.

We hope, in a time of climate emergency, Mr Gutwein will return to his original position on ending logging in old forests. He should also rule out any new coal mines in Tasmania.

It is critical we keep carbon in the ground - for Tasmania and future generations.

Tasmania needs a future-focused Premier - one that ensures no person is left in the cold and who understands the need for climate action.

We hope Premier Gutwein will look further than the financial bottom line, and listen to the island’s young people, demanding a fairer and safer future.