Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
Following comments by Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Kate Warner, on the weekend, you issued a statement saying you had spoken to the Governor and that she had your Government's support. Your federal colleague, Senator Eric Abetz, was less supportive in his comments. Can you reassure Tasmanians that in your conversation with the Government you did not issue any riding instructions to Her Excellency? Will you now voice support for Tasmania's Governor in what she said about the importance of speaking up against racism and intolerance? do you agree it is so important that Australians who oppose Pauline Hanson's views stand up and be counted?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I affirm, as I have done publicly, that the Governor retains my full support. I do not think it will come as a surprise to Tasmanians to hear me say that. She was my appointment and is doing a tremendous job as governor and also as an ambassador and active participant in Tasmanian community life, with Mr Warner. Tasmanians are very grateful for their contribution thus far.
It will come as no surprise that I and my Government do not support the views of Pauline Hanson with respect to this matter. That is not to say Ms Hanson should not be entitled to express those views. We are currently debating freedom of speech. We have a government that wants to expand the rights of people -
Greens members interjecting.
Madam SPEAKER - Order. That debate will occur later.
Mr HODGMAN - It is about ensuring these freedoms are protected and in this instance expanding those rights. Members opposite want to deny a right to free speech to certain members of the community.
Needless to say it is a serious matter when a member of parliament calls for the Governor to resign or consider her position. It was entirely appropriate that discussions between myself and Her Excellency take place, as they typically do on a regular basis because the Premier is the principal or chief adviser to the Governor. It has been made clear by Government House that the Governor does not intend to make any further comment with respect to this matter.
I think all members would agree it is very important for the operation of our democracy that these matters not stray into the political arena. It is disappointing that the member who has asked the question would try to politicise this matter.