Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

18 February 2016

Will Hodgman, Premier

Ministerial Changes

Following the retirement of Paul Harriss, I will today recommend Ministerial changes to the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM.

This change is an opportunity to draw on the depth of experience within our strong and united Tasmanian Government team.

These changes include appointing Adam Brooks MP as the Minister for Mining, Building and Construction, and Racing. The Treasurer and Minister for Planning and Local Government Peter Gutwein will be appointed the Minister for Forestry.

Adam has long been a champion for Tasmania’s North-West and West Coast, has practical experience in the mining industry and understands the workers and families it supports. This makes him ideally placed to deal with the mining sector through the challenges the current markets present.

Adam is also well qualified to take on the new portfolio of Building and Construction, which will include the responsibility and oversight of the building and construction industries, Workplace Standards and Worksafe.

Building and construction is a key strength in Tasmania's economy, employing more than 16,000 people, and the Government is determined to support its continued growth.

With regards to forestry, the further revival of the industry will now be led by Peter Gutwein. Wood and woodchip exports have increased by 100 per cent since the election, but there is a lot more work to do.  Peter spent three years in Opposition as the Shadow Minister for Forestry, where he developed our plan to rebuild the industry.

In addition, Peter has a proven track record in terms of both budget management and implementing planning reforms, and is very well qualified to complete the task of putting Forestry Tasmania on a sustainable footing; and resolving the southern residue issues.

Other Ministerial changes include moving the responsibility for Consumer Affairs and red tape reduction to Adam Brooks. Guy Barnett, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, will also be appointed the Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business.

One of the strengths of both the Liberal Party and this Government is that we have a Parliamentary team made up of members from all walks of life and business. In this regard, it is well known Adam has a number of business interests related to the mining sector.

Adam has agreed to divest himself as soon as practicable of any interests which may give rise to a real or perceived conflict of interest. He has already taken steps to resign directorships of companies with which he is involved and has removed himself from any operational involvement with those companies and their administration immediately.

I have sought the advice of the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Greg Johannes, on these matters and as a result a protocol has been developed in consultation with the Solicitor General and other Heads of Agency to manage any possible conflicts of interest. In the interest of full transparency and public probity I am today releasing the six-point protocol and correspondence to Adam outlining my expectations.

I congratulate Adam and Peter on their new Ministerial responsibilities and look forward to continuing to work hard as a Government to deliver better outcomes for Tasmanians.

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