I welcome the response today of my colleague, the Independent Member for Lyons John Tucker, to Premier Rockliff’s outrageous ultimatum delivered last week.

I am pleased that John has joined me in rejecting utterly the Premier’s demand that we abandon our electorates and pledge only to serve the interests of the Liberal Party.

One of the reasons I made the decision to leave the Liberal Party and move to the cross bench, was because the Premier and his senior ministers insisted that I should always put the party’s interests above those of the people I serve.

That demand was not acceptable then, and it remains unacceptable now.

I serve the people of Bass. Not Jeremy Rockliff.

I will never serve as Jeremy Rockliff’s parliamentary lapdog and – given the string of policy failures his Government has delivered – I will certainly not be a rubber stamp for further policy failure.

I have made it clear that I want the Premier to govern to the end of his term.

There is much work to be done, most importantly in the response to the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into child abuse at the hands of Government employees.

The Premier’s response so far to the COI findings has been to close ranks and do everything in his power to protect senior bureaucrats under whom a culture of abuse was allowed to continue.

This must change. Accountability and justice must be delivered, and they must be seen to be delivered.

Victim survivors deserve nothing less.

Because of this, I have made it clear to the Premier that I am open to negotiating with him.

Unfortunately, I doubt very much the Premier’s claims that he does not want an election.

He claims he wishes to meet with us on Friday to negotiate. However, his office scheduled just 30 minutes for this meeting and set it up as a Webex meeting because the Premier is in Hobart.

Further, in a departure from our normal late afternoon meeting times, the Premier’s office has scheduled this meeting for 1.30pm: convenient timing for him to dominate the evening news cycle.

Despite our fear that the Premier has already decided to abandon his responsibilities and run to an election, using us as the flimsiest of pretexts, both John and I will attend the meeting in person, with the expectation that the Premier may yet prove to be a man of his word.    

Thursday February 8th, 2024

Tags: News