Today’s surprise resignation of popular Tasmanian Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein prompted laudatory tributes all around including from LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Equality Tasmania.
Premier Gutwein resigned after two years in the job. However, it was a long two years. Much of the time was taken up with managing the Tasmanian response to the COVID pandemic. Last year, the Premier collapsed in his office following a stretch of 46 days straight at work. He said earlier today that he now had ‘nothing left in the tank’.
“The past two years have delivered unforeseen challenges as we’ve navigated Covid-19.
“During this time I have quite rightly focused on everyone else’s family. I now want to spend some time focusing on my own.
“What I’ve found after the last two years especially is I have nothing left in the tank to give.
“Unless you can give 110% to the role of premier, you should not be doing this job. I can no longer give 110%.”
“We are sad to see Mr Gutwein resign because he has been an active supporter of inclusion and equality for LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians for many years.
“As an MP and Cabinet minister he voted for the legal recognition of same-gender couples and their families, for the principle of marriage equality, and for the expungement of criminal records from the time when being gay or trans was effectively criminal.
“As Premier he has overseen an increase in funding for LGBTIQ+ school inclusion programs and supported the largest ever survey of the state’s LGBTIQ+ community.”
Rodney Croome said Peter Gutwein opposed Claire Chandler’s Bill excluding transgender women from women’s sport. He also opposed the override of Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act by the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill.
Rodney Croome paid tribute to the Premier’s sympathetic and compassionate ear to survivors of conversion practices.
“As well as to survivors of non-consenting surgeries on infants and children with variations of sex characteristics.
“Mr Gutwein’s name proudly sits alongside the names of all those Tasmanians from across politics and the community who have contributed to a fairer and more inclusive Tasmania.
“We wish Mr Gutwein well in retirement and look forward to working with his successor to build on his achievements.”
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