Tasmanian Labor leader gives shadow health job to newcomer over veteran David O’Byrne
Tasmanian Opposition lLeader Rebecca White says her new shadow cabinet demonstrates Labor can transition into government. (ABC News: Rhiana Whitson)
Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White has unveiled her shadow cabinet, giving the health portfolio to a relative newcomer over former government minister David O’Byrne.
Labor has 14 members in Parliament after gaining three Lower House members in the March poll.
Ms White was the shadow health minister in the last term of government, but has handed the reins of her pet portfolio to Sarah Lovell, who was elected to the Upper House seat of Rumney last year.
“I want to be able to present a team in Tasmania that we can demonstrate can transition into government,” she said.
“Health remains my number one priority, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate for the premier also be the minister for health.”
The appointment of Ms Lovell to the health portfolio comes despite Mr O’Byrne, who has given an undertaking that he won’t challenge Ms White’s leadership, stating on election night he would like the health portfolio.
Former infrastructure minister Mr O’Byrne, who was re-elected after losing his seat in the 2014 election, will serve as the shadow minister for infrastructure and transport, and energy.
“I’ll do whatever Bec asks me to and that remains my answer,” he said.
Mr O’Byrne said he was happy with his new roles.
“Infrastructure first and last mile, how we move freight and produce around Tasmania, how we support exporters, when you look at the planning rules, when you look at energy.”
Mr O’Byrne was asked on election night which position he would like in the shadow cabinet.
“I think health is one of the key issues, when you look at health and housing across the community.”
Leader takes on Canberra
Ms White has given herself the job of shadow minister for several portfolios including federal-state relations, trade and investment, tourism, the arts and Aboriginal affairs.
Ms White said it was important for the leader for take on the role of federal-state relations, a portfolio that is not mirrored in the Government’s frontbench.
“We need a champion for Tasmania who is going to stand up for Tasmania in Canberra and make sure we get out fair share.”
Scott Bacon will continue as shadow treasurer and Michelle O’Byrne as deputy leader.
Newly elected Denison MP Ella Haddad, who unseated conservative Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie, is the shadow attorney-general.
Ms Haddad said she would use the role to focus on preventative justice.
“So we can try to start looking at true Labor policies to support people who find themselves in the early stages of the criminal justice system.”
Liberals sworn in
Premier Will Hodgman’s new Cabinet was sworn in at a ceremony at Government House in Hobart.
The event was officiated by Governor Kate Warner and attended by family and Liberal staffers.
Mr Hodgman said the Liberals had achieved a lot over the past four years.
“But as I’ve always said the best days are ahead of us, we’ve got the plan and the team to deliver it,” he said.
Mr Hodgman was keen to talk about Ms White’s shadow cabinet, accusing her of not being serious about health.
“Every time you hear Rebecca White she says the health system is in crisis … yet she’s dumped the portfolio.”
Labor shadow cabinet
- Labor Leader
- Shadow minister for federal-state relations
- Shadow minister for trade and investment
- Shadow minister for tourism, hospitality and events
- Shadow minister for arts and creative industries
- Shadow minister for Aboriginal affairs
- Deputy Labor leader
- Shadow minister for education and early years
- Shadow minister for innovation and the digital economy
- Shadow minister for equality and women
- Shadow minister for prevention of family violence
- Shadow treasurer
- Shadow minister for racing and gaming
- Shadow minister for multicultural affairs
- Shadow minister for community development
- Shadow minister for primary industries, fisheries and water
- Shadow minister for resources
- Shadow minister for police, fire and emergency services
- Shadow minister for economic and regional development
- Shadow minister for employment, training and skills development
- Shadow minister for small business
- Shadow minister for veteran’s affairs
- Shadow attorney-general and shadow minister for justice
- Shadow minister for consumer affairs
- Shadow minister for environment, parks and heritage
- Shadow minister for climate change
- Shadow minister for health and preventative health care
- Shadow minister for ambulance services
- Shadow minister for mental health and substance use
- Shadow minister for workplace relations
- Shadow minister for Infrastructure and Transport
- Shadow minister for Energy
- Shadow minister for Local Government and Planning
- Shadow minister for Sport
- Leader of opposition business in the house of assembly
- Shadow minister for housing, disability and ageing
- Shadow minister for child safety
- Shadow minister for corrections
- Shadow minister for youth affairs
- Leader of opposition business in the legislative council
- Assistant shadow minister for traffic and transport