THE State Government has lost another minister, the fourth in about a year. Police and Emergency Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma is the latest to depart, citing the need to “spend more time with my family and provide extra support’’.
A recount will now be held for the seat of Franklin, with former Huon Valley Mayor Bec Enders the front runner. Braddon Liberal MP Felix Ellis has been named as the MP to replace her in the portfolios of Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Resources and Skills, Training and Workforce Growth.
In the past year, former premier Peter Gutwein and Health Minister Sarah Courtney have quit Parliament and Prosser MLC Jane Howlett resigned from Cabinet to sit on the backbench. Ms Petrusma left Premier Jeremy Rockliff to make the shock announcement and did not appear in front of media. In a statement she said her decision after 12 years in Parliament had been a challenging one.
“Being a Minister and a Member of Parliament is an incredible honour and privilege, however, there is no denying that the time required impacts your family,’’ she said in her statement. “I step down knowing that my portfolios and the electorate of Franklin will continue to be well served by a strong, united Liberal Government that I have been immensely proud to be part of.
“As a victim-survivor of family and sexual violence, responding to and the prevention of family and sexual violence was one of the strongest motivations for me becoming an MP. “I will continue to be a strong advocate and remain very committed to help drive further actions and change in attitudes and behaviours to eliminate family and sexual violence in Tasmania.’’ Mr Ellis is the youngest member of the Tasmanian Parliament. I got into politics to be able to serve my community and this is an opportunity to make a difference on the issues that matter to them,’’
Mr Ellis, who will be sworn in today, said. “I am delighted to be part of the Rockliff Liberal Government, which has a vision for Tasmania to be a place where everyone feels valued, included, encouraged and supported to be the best they can be. “This is a vision I share, and one that I will work hard to champion.”