TASMANIAN premier Peter Gutwein has today announced his intention to resign as premier of Tasmania and as a member of parliament. Mr Gutwein said that after the “unforeseen challenges” of the last two years, it was time to focus on his family.
State Opposition Leader and Member for Lyons, Rebecca White, thanked Mr Gutwein for his service to the people of Tasmania. “Mr Gutwein has served the people of Bass for 20 years. [He] has governed through some of the most difficult times as Tasmanian faced the scourge of COVID-19. I wish him and his family well for the future.”
Mr Gutwein’s statement in full: “I am today announcing that I will be resigning as Premier of Tasmania and Member for Bass. First and foremost, I wish to thank my family, my wife Mandy, son Finn and daughter Millie, for their support and love. No Premier does this job alone, and you have all been outstanding in your support, and Mandy for 20 years, you have allowed me the opportunity to serve Tasmania, at times at great sacrifice to our family, and I thank you for that.
“It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Tasmania’s 46th Premier, however, the time is now right for me to move on and to attend to other things in my life. The past two years have delivered unforeseen challenges, as we have navigated through COVID-19 and focused on rebuilding a stronger Tasmania. During this time I have quite rightly focused on everyone else’s family and I now want to spend some time focussing on my own.
“I sincerely want to thank all Tasmanians. I’m not a silver spooner, I come from a humble background and nothing has given me more pleasure than being able to support our community, especially those who, like me, come from less privileged backgrounds. Thanks to the broader Tasmanian community for the support and for working with me when it was needed over the last few years. Together we have saved hundreds, if not thousands of Tasmanian lives, and that is something that all Tasmanians should be very proud of.
“I wish to thank all of my colleagues for their incredible support and efforts over the past two years whilst I have been Premier – I could not have had a more supportive Cabinet and parliamentary team. Tasmania is in good shape and the team I leave behind has safe hands, a great depth of experience and importantly talent. I extend my deepest gratitude to the Liberal Party and to the people of Bass, who have enabled me this incredible opportunity and entrusted me to represent them in Parliament for the past 20 years.
“I would like to thank all my incredible staff both in the North and on level 11 in Hobart, especially Andrew Finch, who have all gone above and beyond in their roles to support our priorities as a Government. I leave with the comfort of knowing Tasmania is in far better shape than when we first came to Government in 2014. When I became Premier, I said I wanted to lead a Government of compassion and conviction, where Tasmanians – no matter their background or circumstance – could grasp the opportunities ahead. And whilst there will always be challenges, to have one of the fastest growing economies in the country, along with record employment and a budget that is in good shape as we come out of a worldwide pandemic, these are things that I am immensely proud of.
“I wish to recognise the efforts of the two Departmental Secretaries that I worked most closely with –Jenny Gale and Tony Ferrall – thank you. I want to thank all of the Tasmanian Government staff, who have demonstrated an ability to rise to the challenges of the pandemic, and swiftly scale programs to help Tasmanians and businesses at a time when it was needed most.
“I sincerely thank the COVID management team that I have worked very closely with, Darren Hine, Donna Adams, Katherine Morgan-Wicks, Dale Webster and especially Dr Veitch and his public health team of Dr Scott McKeown and Dr Julie Graham. Their work has been nothing short of outstanding. Our response to COVID was the best in the country, and by any measure it has worked. Tasmania emerged from a worldwide pandemic with a nation-leading economy. Jobs are at a record high and the unemployment rate at a near-record low. However, without doubt, the greatest highlight for me as Premier, has been the courage and compassion of Tasmanians. There is nowhere like here in the world, and the examples of common humanity and kindness I have witnessed over the past two years will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“I have advised the Governor of my decision, and I will remain as Premier until the party elects a new leader, which will take place at the end of this week. As I am also resigning as member for Bass, and given there will need to be a recount, I will be providing advice to the Governor to prorogue Parliament next week to allow this process to take place. The parliament will resume as quickly as possible after Easter and the days lost will be made up as quickly as possible.
Finally and once again and most importantly, I wish to thank my family. My wife Mandy, son Finn and daughter Millie, whose unwavering support and love have provided me with enormous strength. It is now my time to prioritise them. I know that I leave the State in a good place and with a team who can build on the foundations I have laid. Goodbye and thank you to all Tasmanians.”
So disappointing. So sad. Perhaps, so cowardly. I thought Peter would be strong and good for Tassie. THEN, he let in Covid. Many people lost their income. So much disruption. So many illnesses. So many deaths. NOW, he’s running away. You wanted the job, Peter. No getting off. There must be accountability!! No Pension, for starters. Comments?