*Pic: ABC News: Scott Ross. Sue Hickey (black and white top) is led into the chamber by Greens leader Cassy O’Connor and Labor’s Rebecca White, as Premier Will Hodgman (front left) looks on.
First published April 1
Former Hobart lord mayor Sue Hickey is Tasmania’s new Speaker after a shock move which stunned her Liberal colleagues saw her elected with Labor and Green support ahead of former minister Rene Hidding.
The speakership is a prestigious parliamentary position that the Liberal Party had set aside for Mr Hidding.
He gave up his ministerial portfolios in readiness to take on the role, after Premier Will Hodgman announced him as the Government’s nominee for the position in March.
Ms Hickey is a recent addition to the Liberal team, winning the seat of Denison at the March 3 state election.
But in a move that blindsided many today, Labor Opposition Leader Rebecca White nominated Ms Hickey for Speaker, a move backed by the Parliament’s two Greens MPs.
The election was conducted via a secret ballot, but with Labor and the Greens making up 12 votes in the chamber, one Liberal vote would have been needed to elect Ms Hickey.
When the result was announced, Ms Hickey had 13 votes to Mr Hidding’s 12 …