Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has dropped a bombshell by announcing (on Facebook, if you please) that he will relinquish the leadership, citing family reasons. Bartlett plans to remain in parliament and cabinet for the remainder of the current term, but will not contest the next election. Deputy Premier Lara Giddings has Bartlett’s full support to succeed him, but the ABC reports former deputy Bryan Green is believed to be another potential candidate. Green however is carrying weighty baggage from the previous term, when he resigned over the granting of a building accreditation monopoly to a company part-owned by former Tasmanian and Queensland (respectively) Labor ministers John White and Glen Milliner. He was tried twice on charges of conspiracy and attempting to interfere with an executive officer, both of which ended in hung juries. The leader and deputy leader positions will be determined at a caucus meeting tomorrow. The new Premier will be the fourth since Labor came to power in 1998, following Jim Bacon, Paul Lennon and David Bartlett.
UPDATE: Channel Ten has reportedly reported that Bartlett likely faced a leadership challenge from Giddings if he did not go quietly.
UPDATE 2: Kevin Bonham relates in comments that Giddings has been elected unopposed, with Green back as deputy.
45 comments on “David Bartlett resigns”
A reminder to keep this thread for discussion of the Tasmanian situation. Please direct more general political discussion to the Essential Research poll thread.
You may want to integrate EMS poll details into your intro commentary:
Very minor correction: John White is a former Tasmanian government minister.
Honestly, I think that this is the best thing for Tas Labor. Bartlett really tied his hands by being so adamantly against forming government with aid from the Greens, then accepting said government.
A new leader (especially set up as him leaving on his own decision) gives Tas Labor the opportunity to reconnect with voters and especially left wing voters.
Should be interesting to watch. No doubt the Libs will paint this as a divided government that’s going through Premiers (a la NSW.)
It’s becoming a well worn path for Labor. If in doubt through the Premier (or Prime Minister) out – and install a woman in the hope the electorate will be ‘civilised’ and not inflict the electoral punishment that might have been becoming a male.
Hello, Joan Kirner, are you there?
[John White is a former Tasmanian government minister.]
Old “Slippery Giddings” . Ha ! Northern Tasmanians won’t forget how she appeared at a “save the Launceston general hospital” rally and (to cheering) promised that a recent $10m health grant would all be spent in the north.
The next day, safely back in Hobart, she announced that in fact half would be spent in Hobart.
Giddings was also the force behind the absolutely looney “Essential Learnings” education fiasco from which the education system has yet to recover. Fourteen years of Labor education tinkering has firmly planted the dunce’s crown on Tasmania. Thanks for your part in that Lara.
I’m also always concerned when a leader has no direct experience of raising a family, private enterprise or small business. In short Giddings knows SFA about the real world, only the weird, cloistered world of politics.
Combine that with the insular, plodding intellect of the Tasmanian ruling class and we’ll be lucky if she can reach even the foothills of mediocrity.
I was unaware Lara Giddings was ever education minister?
I doubt a change of leader will change much significantly. The problems for Labor with people associated with the forestry industry will not go away, especially so soon. They might win some voters back temporarily but i doubt would change much long term.
[I’m also always concerned when a leader has no direct experience of raising a family, private enterprise or small business. In short Giddings knows SFA about the real world, only the weird, cloistered world of politics.]
I’m sorry, Smithee, but that is an absolutely ridiculous statement.
Are you suggesting that unless you run a small business and have children that you don’t have enough life experience to be able to run a government? If you think about it, you could pretty much apply that logic to any profession.
What about the coistered world of the law? Or medicine? Or science? Or academia? Or, for that matter, the far more cloistered world of farming, where some people pretty much never leave their properties and spend hours every day out in the paddocks either by themselves or surrounded by livestock? Yeah, that really equips you for running a government on behalf of the 99% of your constituents who don’t live on a farm too.
Running a business is not the be all and end all of life experience and neither is having children. Some of our best politicians have been those who have dedicated themselves in one way or another to social and/or political professions prior to formally entering politics – and some of our worst politicians have come from business.
Bottom line is you can’t generalise, and you shouldn’t.
[Bottom line is you can’t generalise, and you shouldn’t.]
Nicely crafted smackdown, chinda
shopkeepers are the blight on society, not the solution
So chinda63 you think someone with no experience of family or business is in a good position to develop policy for families and business – which is after all a large part of government ? Thinking here of healthcare, education, welfare, vocational training, tax reform etc
Giddings has experience in only one thing: politics. That means her only special subject is spin.
Doesn’t sound like a recipe for good government to me. But I’m happy to be enlightened, exactly what talents will Giddings bring to the job ?
Of cause some of our worst politicians would come from business…. and some of the worst have no background at all except for being a celebrity …. for example Mr Don’t burn the Midnight Oil, is probably the worst minister in Australian political history.
As for running a small business, it might not be the be all and end all of society … but small business employs a majority of Australians, and you will find one at every store. The most important thing small business will teaches you is how to run a budget. How to ensure costs are not blown out etc. Which is what a lot of our politicians does not understand
I am always concerned that ALP leaders are supposed to be utterly spotless but liberal leaders can lead us into illegal wars and get the media cheer squad to help them.
How about the whiners just stop whining about all the premiers over relatively trivial nonsense and look at the alternative party, they are useless.
Especially in Tassie where they hardly hold a federal seat of any kind. A couple of senators is all.
It would be nice if the parliament represented something approximating a cross-section of the careers and life experience of society. Sort of the idea of a Representative Democracy. Not sure how the media or most people would handle it, since we judge and expect from politicians something else… …mostly someone to blame these days.
Interesting discussion on the background of politicians, a subject on which I have a few thoughts.
Under separation of powers, we have the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One profession has an absolute monopoly on one of these arms, the judiciary. That same profession is heavily over represented in the legislature and the executive, no matter what party is in government.
This is what I see as needing redress.
I am finding myself having to agree totally with what you have said!
How ironical it is that SA, the first Australian colony to give women the right to stand for parliament, will soon be the only state or territory not to have had a female leader.
Isobel Redmond will probably rememdy that – if the Libs don’t dump her in the meantime.
[So chinda63 you think someone with no experience of family…]
Was Lara Giddings hatched from an egg?
[So chinda63 you think someone with no experience of family or business is in a good position to develop policy for families and business…]
And by this logic, a man has no place developing policy for women, a person born in Australia has no place developing policy for immigrants and a civilian has no place making defence policy.
Etc etc etc.
Is it your wish that politicians be as average as possible to be, as much as possible, all things to all people? A Vote 1 Ordinary campaign, then?
[…small business employs a majority of Australians…]
Oh dear, another childless, marriedless female leader, is she faithless and partnerless as well?
How long before we hear Tony Abbott’s:
BLAME THE PM!!!!!!
Giddings elected Labor leader unopposed confirming she will be the next Premier.
Sigh. Liberals are predictable. None of you had even heard of Giddings yesterday, now she is your sworn enemy. Your partisan rancor is blatant.
And nobody cares that you think she is inexperienced. Experienced is acquired through many ways. They didn’t just thaw her out yesterday. Subject of your regular wet dreams, John Howard was, on paper, completely inexperienced. Yet, you guys have canonised him as the greatest leader of all time.
The real issue is she isn’t a Liberal and doesn’t have a dick.
[The real issue is she isn’t a Liberal and doesn’t have a dick.]
Well said, TSOP!
Richard Farmer at The Stump: “Labor turns to another career politician without real world experience”.
Just throwin’ it out there …
Bryan Green is back as deputy. It’s a bit tempting to read between the lines on this one and suggest that it was a payoff for not standing for the top job, but I think it’s more likely Green was seen as a necessary balancing choice for regional, image and gender reasons.
@ dovif #12
I can assure you, the worst minister in Australia’s political history is not Peter Garrett.
But definitely in the top three was Rex Connor.
He was a small businessman AND a farmer.
Not that I’m generalising.
To Speak to the Pebbles, #21
How wrong you are on Howard.
He was around for a long time with a record prior to being PM. Including with Frazer
Don’t you remember the Lazarus with a triple bypass?
Here is a short cut the the book that bares his name!
The fact that Garrett oversaw 2 of the worst disaster of the ALP government, was with BER and ETS the main reason Rudd was turfed
Who managed to not read any report, paid for by his department, and in relation to the only 2 things he was looking after.
He was a disaster
From what I’ve read of her employment history, Lara Giddings has as much experience ‘in the real world’ as Tony Abbott.
[The real issue is she isn’t a Liberal and doesn’t have a dick.]
Comment of the month, Pebbles.
Ok, so which jurisdiction has had both Labor and Liberal female premiers/chief ministers?
[Ok, so which jurisdiction has had both Labor and Liberal female premiers/chief ministers?]
Also, ACT, NT, Tas and NSW have all had both parties led by a woman at one point or another.
well in Byron Bay we have Queen, Governor General, Prime Minister, Governor, Premier and Mayor .. all women…… we are so better off
[It’s becoming a well worn path for Labor. If in doubt through the Premier (or Prime Minister) out – and install a woman in the hope the electorate will be ‘civilised’ and not inflict the electoral punishment that might have been becoming a male.
Hello, Joan Kirner, are you there?]
Very unfair to judge on one piece of anecdotal evidence. Now if you pointed out that Labor had installed Carmen Lawrence, Joan Kirner, Anna Bligh and Kristine Kenneally all in similar circumstances, then you might conclude a pattern is forming 🙂
As for the “Stop The Spinsters” argument, meh, who cares? We don’t look into the personal background of married politicians with families, which is probably fortunate for many. Tony Abbott is married with children, and it hasn’t enabled him to work out how to balance his budget, while he has cheerfully used his own daughters as political props. It means nothing.
#21 TSOP “Your partisan rancor is blatant”
the age quoted the new TAS premier as saying she stayed in bed for a week after Whitlam was sacked in 1975 and only can out when her Mother said “the liberals won’t kill little children they just won’t hold your hand when you cross the road”
So who are the REAL haters???
[the age quoted the new TAS premier as saying she stayed in bed for a week after Whitlam was sacked in 1975 and only can out when her Mother said “the liberals won’t kill little children they just won’t hold your hand when you cross the road”]
That’s not correct. Here’s the actual quote:
[Ms Giddings, 38, who became Australia’s youngest-ever woman MP at the age of 23, said her Labor outlook dated back to when her mother, a committed ALP supporter, was so upset about the 1975 Whitlam dismissal that she went to bed for a week.
Then a toddler growing up in Papua New Guinea as the daughter of a magistrate and a teacher, Ms Giddings said she had to be reassured that the Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, wouldn’t harm little children.
”My mother very quickly said, ‘No, no, Lara, he doesn’t kill little children, he just wouldn’t hold your hand if you crossed the road.’ And to me that sums up why I am a member of the Labor party. It is about people. It is about helping people across that road.”]
Clearly it was Giddings’ mother and not Giddings who went to bed for a week.
Also see http://www.news.com.au/national/tara-giddings-makes-history-as-tasmanias-first-female-premier/story-e6frfkvr-1225993851268 for a slightly more detailed version of this colourful story.
[the age quoted the new TAS premier as saying she stayed in bed for a week after Whitlam was sacked in 1975 and only can out when her Mother said “the liberals won’t kill little children they just won’t hold your hand when you cross the road”
So who are the REAL haters???]
The people who act like a bunch of angry hornets because a woman is in charge. Not someone who makes a tongue in cheek analogy about the Liberals’ general “personal responsibility economically, by strict legislated standards socially” ideological outlook.
Of course, add bully to the list of charges. That’s right, throw whatever you want out, get called out on it and blubber like a two year old. Typical bully mentality.
Oh and with a moniker of “biasdetector” you can add self-righteous and fraudulent.
I see that your entrenched point of view is so deep that if some would questioned it you feel the need to labeled them a bully.
It is hardly a tongue in cheek comment if you have to be reassured and I quote directly now.
“Ms Giddings said she had to be reassured that the Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, wouldn’t harm little children.”
Clearly Ms Giddings needed the reassurance why?
Because they are HATERS.
PS nothing to do with being a woman.
PPS Haters feel the need to label when their tightly held/delusional views are questioned
Sometimes labels, especially when observing personality types, is necessary. Also “HATERS” is a label.
And give the fake indignation a rest, Princess.
“And give the fake indignation a rest, Princess.”
and point proven
Give me a break.
No, I am not being drawn into a debate with an ideologue. I am above that.
[Clearly Ms Giddings needed the reassurance why?]
What’s wrong with “because she was three years old and something had frightened her mummy” as an explanation? Her third birthday was three days after the Dismissal.
I reckon I harboured only marginally less silly concerns about Joh at at least twice that age!
Straight in at the deep end for our new Premier with news breaking today that her government has been buying electricity from Queensland instead of buying it from the local supplier (who as far as residents and small businesses are concerned is a monopoly, and an increasingly expensive one). The least pro-coalition of the Greens, Kim Booth, was not impressed and the Liberals were having a field day.