Tasmanian Times

Charles Wooley

Sue Hickey: ‘You are in the Liberal Party, not the Labor Party’

First published May 2

Will Hodgman’s look of shock in Parliament was stark proof that he had forgotten LBJ’s salty aphorism about potential enemies; that it is better to have them, “inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”

That is exactly what his star-recruit, former Miss Tasmania and much more recently former Mayor of Hobart, Sue Hickey has done this week.

The Premier who had campaigned during the recent election that he would govern only in majority now needs to make up his mind if he really meant that.

Better a flighty bird in the hand perhaps than the huge uncertainty of sending Tasmanians back to the polls.

The people will resent another campaign and resentment almost always tells against the government of the day.

Will Hodgman’s troops don’t have much appetite for another fight while Rebecca White’s will enter the fray with the enthusiasm of an army with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

There is after all only one seat in it and in our political history two successive Liberal victories was remarkable. Three really would be pushing the electorate’s fickle friendship.

Why did the Premier allow his star-recruit to be made into a woman scorned? Why did he so soon allow a new ally to be turned into an enemy?

You can bet he was over-ruled on an earlier promise which had left Sue Hickey in no doubt that she would step straight into the Ministry.

It was part of the package. Given her background in local Government, Housing would have been a natural fit and she couldn’t have done a worse job than the present inexperienced incumbent.

Hickey would have been all over the homeless in the camping grounds and more importantly be seen to care on all news media.

She is nothing if not the most effective self-publicist. What else would we expect from the founder of a PR company called ‘Slick Promotions”.

This week she is the best-known politician in Tasmania and we already know what she stands for: self-interest, self-promotion and the political talent for seizing the opportune moment. In politics that’s all you need to know.

We might hope that in her position of great power she might also stoop to do some good.

In a recent party meeting she asked about the elephant in the showgrounds, “What are we doing about this homelessness problem?” Came this telling snaky retort from a hostile female cabinet minister, “You are in the Liberal Party, not the Labor Party.”

Oops, best keep that under wraps!

No one outside the conservative Cabinet really believes that even the undeserving poor, let alone their children, should winter under canvas.

Tasmanians have no fondness for ideological extremism of either the right or the left but over many years they have shown a fondness for independents.

Hickey’s enemies on the prevailing right of the Parliamentary Liberal Party are crying treachery and they have every reason to do so. But it does seem now the lady is not for turning.

She will not attend party meetings and when necessary will exercise her speaker’s casting vote “on the merits” of the issue.

The Liberal Government has shot itself in the foot. Speaking of which they might as well now not bother introducing their amended gun laws.

And what might happen if Labor and the Greens were to introduce laws to exclude poker machines from suburban hotels?

As for the lack of transparency surrounding a certain cableway, the game has changed.

A house of cards is falling down and who knows how they might be re-dealt? Well, Sue Hickey presumably.

*Charles Wooley is a legend of Australian journalism, partly through his history with Sixty Minutes. His columns on Tasmanian Times are HERE

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

ABC: ‘Hobart former lord mayor Sue Hickey swoops on Speaker role, blindsiding Liberal colleagues’

Jim Playsted: Sue Hickey: Nothing to fear from these women … … Far from being cast as a ‘rogue rebel’ as characterised in today’s Mercury – only those with poorly conceived proposals or mischievous intent have anything to fear from Speaker Hickey …

Examiner: ‘In politics nothing happens by accident’

Advocate: Tasmanian politicians cannot fill out disclosure forms properly

Advocate: New Speaker Sue Hickey is using former senior public servant Mervin Reed for advice

Advocate: ‘Stay true’: Former Speaker Page’s advice for new Speaker Hickey

Examiner: OPINION: Déjà vu, as female MPs forge a new path forward

Andrew Wilkie: The Proof’s in … Tasmanian government incapable of safeguarding animal welfare The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will discuss the Tasmanian Government’s pattern of incompetence or disregard when it comes to animal welfare, as evidenced by there now being at least four unresolved instances of animal cruelty …

David O’Byrne: Whodunnit: Could the most out of touch Liberal please stand up? A quote from an article by respected journalist Charles Wooley sums up the Liberals’ attitude towards the housing crisis and homelessness in Tasmania. The article details concerns raised in Cabinet about the growing number of homeless people seeking refuge at the Hobart Showgrounds, which led to a “snaky retort” from a “hostile female Cabinet Minister” who said: “You are in the Liberal Party, not the Labor Party.” …

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. TGC

    May 9, 2018 at 12:11 am

    #62 … “Rats! they worried the dogs and killed the cats …”. Liberal dogs/Labor cats?

  2. William Boeder

    May 8, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    #62 … Good comment Richard. I am now wondering if the townspeople of Hamelyn had a large proportion of Liberal people answering to the name of Abetz.

  3. Richard Kopf

    May 8, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    As I see it, the Libs would not have won their one-seat majority if Sue had not been in the Liberal team. I will assume that substantial promises were needed to woo the high profile Mayor of Hobart into discarding her status and recompense as Mayor, and stand for the Liberals – more that offering a backbench apprenticeship to achieve this outcome, I feel sure.

    I am reminded of the old German fable, The Pied Piper of Hamelin Town.

  4. Brian P. Khan

    May 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    T.G.C … Give a thought for Mark Shelton former speaker who was rewarded with strong support for the work in his electorate of Lyons at the recent election and deserved re-appointment.

    Had he been nominated for speaker and defeated Labor and Greens would have felt the full wrath of the electorate.

    For Hidding wanting his position opened the doors to what eventually was the result. Was it the Abetz factor which called the tune?

    P.M. Turnbull could well say, using the Mc.Cain Logo, Eric you have done it again.

  5. Leonard Colquhoun

    May 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    “#58, #56 … Off the top of my head, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and Revolution by the Beatles”.

    And off mine, the Anglo-British ‘Glorious Revolution’ in 1688-1689, and the mid-1970s Iberian revolutions which ended their two fascist dictatorships almost bloodlessly.

    With a bit of a stretch, I’d add two successful ‘restorations’: the Augustan ‘restoration’ of the Roman republic in the 20s BCE, and the Meiji restoration in mid-1800s Japan.

    It’s taken three decades for China to recover from the Maoist revolution which began in 1949, and it’ll be very interesting to see how Xi’s version of ‘gleichschaltung’ turns out. Russia (quite apart from the other 14 ex-SSRs) is nowhere near any meaningful recovery from its seven decades of Marxist / Leninist / Stalinist revolution – and you could understand how some reckon it never will. (But ‘never’ is like ‘inevitable’.)

    The latest victims of the insanity of revolution are the poor buggers in Venezuela, where there’s no dunny paper and the currency is worth less than a single dunnyroll – and much too crinkly for comfort!!

  6. Cameron

    May 6, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    TGC, if I thought evidence meant anything to you, I’d make the effort. But let me adopt your approach – anything goes, until someone asks for accountability, at which point everything becomes a lefty conspiracy.

    It’s almost boring, really. Almost.

  7. Wining Pom

    May 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    #56 … Off the top of my head, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and Revolution by the Beatles.

  8. TGC

    May 6, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    And by the way – the young woman in the lead photo bears a resemblance to a recent photo of Tasmania’s new Speaker.

  9. TGC

    May 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    #55 … So in that respect as in many others, Sue Hickey may break with tradition. Won’t that be refreshing?” But if she doesn’t – bitterly disappointing?

    As with many others, #55 is just looking for ‘revolution’ in politics as if that will have the subsequence of a better political environment. And because #55 is an ‘evidence based’ creature, it’d be useful to have examples of ‘revolution’ having only positive outcomes.

    As in so many scenarios, ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’!

  10. Cameron

    May 6, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    #46 … Nicely dodged. You specifically stated in an earlier post that Liberals could vote against their party in parliamentary votes.

    As I suspected, this is not an easily verifiable claim. You certainly don’t see much revolt in the party these days, even around the policy table.

    In my memory, Liberals voting against the party has never happened in the Tasmanian parliament. Hidding would certainly have never contemplated it, had he been elected Speaker.

    So in that respect as in many others, Sue Hickey may break with tradition. Won’t that be refreshing?

  11. Leonard Colquhoun

    May 6, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    My Google search of [hung parliament in Westminster systems] produced a precise Wikipedia outline of the basic points. The most detailed offering (see below) was much more informative, and (my guesstimate) is that most of it (mutatis mutandis) applies to our parliaments.

    In practice the chances of a parliament where each of our major parties has an equal number of seats are at very long odds, as pointed out in the Wikitionary article.

    More e-digging may reveal clearer information.

    Link – https://web.archive.org/web/20100404000508/http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/content/131/hung-parliaments-what-you-need-to-know

  12. Tim Thorne

    May 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    #52 … I’m not sure how, with a House consisting of two equal parties or blocs, one would even get as far as electing a Speaker.

  13. Leonard Colquhoun

    May 5, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    #51 and #50 … The problem with an even-numbered House is the increased likelihood of a tied result” -but, under our Westminster arrangements, the first order of business is the election of a Speaker, which turns an odd numbered chamber into an even numbered one.

  14. Tim Thorne

    May 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    #50 … The problem with an even-numbered House is the increased likelihood of a tied result.

    Hare-Clark elections for the LC would destroy the fiction that it is a House of Review, because they are designed for party politics. Single member electorates have inherently a greater chance of being less democratic, so are less suited to providing appropriate governments.

    Preferential voting saves us from the worst aspects of this as exhibited in the U.K. for example, and in the gerrymandered electoral districts of many states in the USA.

  15. Leonard Colquhoun

    May 5, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    One observation which seems not to have been posted: the mathematical inconvenience of having an odd-number of seats in a parliament.

    And another: parliaments with fewer than 40 seats, with a ensuing government of 20 MPs, are too small for a cabinet AND a backbench. Whichever way MHA Hickey swings, there will be only 13 government MPs to ‘do’ government.

    Would We the People be better off with at least a 30-member House? (Note, however, that the next tally – 35 – will give us another odd-numbered House, hence my use of 40 above.)

    Would it be better if the House had, say, 34 / 36 / 38 single-member electorates (which would delink it from the number of federal House of Representative divisions) and Hare-Clark was used for the Council?

  16. Keith Antonysen

    May 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    #47, Robin … I fully agree with you about Michael Hodgman> he was an extremely friendly man. It did not matter about the politics people subscribed too, he would speak with all. I have witnessed such behaviour from Michael.

  17. William Boeder

    May 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    How sad it is that poor photogenic Will not have the support of Sue Hickey and her cavalcade of supporters. It can be said that Sue well may be more popular with the people of Tasmania than ever Willie-boy Hodgman could possibly be.

    Will and his fiddlers of the truth bunch of snarks deserve to be gazumped when they attempt to grease some new legislation that will only benefit he, his party, then his alleged Kleptocrat Exclusives.

    Oh, have a nice day Trevor.

    I’ve had a repeat read of Robert Hughes diligently researched and authored book “The Fatal Shore” which provides a well-referenced history of Tasmania’s soon to become the ruling oligarchy of self-centered bastards that ruled during the particularly humble and harsh beginnings of Van Dieman’s Land armed with their lust for cruelty and inhumane treatment ever so frequently delivered upon the early transported convicts from both England and Ireland.

    My reading of the early Administrators or Secretaries, then later appointed Lieutenant Governors to rule over Tasmania’s increasing volume of transported convicts in the harshest manner conceivable, say during 1810-1840 era, vividly displays how the haves and have-nots were subject to the whims of those mentioned in the above.

    Therefore based on my re-reading of this line of history, I am able to claim that the people of Tasmania today are almost subject to the same hateful disdain by this State’s current (Rulers) State Liberal leadership as was this State’s state of affairs during that former era of the early 1800s.

    An interesting snippet was the time served ticket-of-leave recipients, as well as the lowly regarded convicts, where those among them that were sentenced to ball and chain road work gangs et al were once referred to as “the excrementitious mass’ of people. So much for the Liberal party agendas and attitudes that prevail to this very day.

    I did fancy the term given by John Hawkins to depict Tasmania’s Liberal party, Erichus erichus, which sounds more like a band of no-hoper Weasels who live by their lies and stealth undertakings.

    I long for the day that The Liberal party in Australia is revoked of all its authorities that allow this mob of nogoodniks to challenge or contest for the leadership of both our State’s as well as the national leaderships.

  18. Robin Charles Halton

    May 5, 2018 at 12:42 am

    #44 … Simon sar, you have not a clue what you are talking about. From time to time in the past 40 years or so I have bumped into Michael Hodgman around town. I have never voted for him or suggested he would make Premier or anything like that!

    I just knew him as a likeable larrakin for which he was. Our conversations were mainly about seafaring and naval reserve training activities. It was sad to see him struggling along Campbell St leaning on a fence to catch his breath and heavily wheezing as he was suffering from the advanced stages of emphysema while coming to the Royal to visit a dear friend of his.

    Get your facts straight before you start mouthing off about a character who served the State and sadly is now dead.

  19. TGC

    May 4, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    #45 … Well, as you know, there have been many occasions over “the last ten years” when a Liberal MP has strenuously argued against a proposed policy move within the Party room, and as you also know succeeded in having a policy withdrawn or significantly changed.

    Within Labor there’s just the ‘policy platform’ controlled externally, and ”Shut Up’ is the Banner.

  20. Cameron

    May 4, 2018 at 10:59 am

    TGC, #39 … “Or in the event of a tie, Hickey can vote however she likes.” She – or any other Liberal could always do that – only Labor – and maybe the Greens – Caucus.”

    Liberals could always do that? You really are firing off the jokes, aren’t you?

    But let me take you seriously for just a moment–what the heck, I can live dangerously.

    List five times in the last ten years a state Liberal MP has voted against the party.

  21. simon sar

    May 4, 2018 at 3:46 am

    #36 The father sucked you in good and proper. Ask anyone who knew him well and they will tell you he was a disloyal gladhander that could not be trusted. Yes, he was a character – but that is where the merit ended. He fooled you – but I suspect that wouldn’t be hard. He made a career out of people like you.

  22. valerie monaghan

    May 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Great observation by RJ Halton (#36) about Michael Hodgman.

  23. mike seabrook

    May 3, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Where are trust, truthfulness and loyalty requirements when swearing on the Bible – by the way, whose fictional writing was that?

  24. TGC

    May 3, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    #30 … “Savvy, articulate and intelligent, she stood to make a contribution to the common good through the exercise of power.” And she will continue to do that in the Party room!

    #39 … “Or in the event of a tie, Hickey can vote however she likes.” She – or any other Liberal could always do that – only Labor – and maybe the Greens – Caucus.
    #38 … “Look at the context in which this occurred and see why people like it.” Context doesn’t come into it – you are applauding the principle of independence from Party domination.
    #40 … “Let’s step back from Hickey’s behaviour for a minute – Hodgman promised, repeatedly, stable majority government. His party did not win enough seats to make that a reality – even if Hidding had been the Speaker, there would be technically no majority for them on the floor (although Hidding would have been more likely to support them when his vote was needed. ” Quite so – but I especially liked “behaviour”

  25. Cameron

    May 3, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    TGC, scramble around on the deck of the Titanic all you like. Here’s the straight bat: Hodgman and was played like a sucker, the Liberal Party has been profoundly humiliated, and governance in this state may well be better as a result. I know it’s very hard for you to see that, because you’ve swallowed the ‘stable majority government’ mantra hook, line and sinker.

    Let’s step back from Hickey’s behaviour for a minute – Hodgman promised, repeatedly, stable majority government. His party did not win enough seats to make that a reality – even if Hidding had been the Speaker, there would be technically no majority for them on the floor (although Hidding would have been more likely to support them when his vote was needed – no such guarantees from Sue, of course).

    But please, keep banging on about it. The whole thing is very amusing, and you’re helping.

  26. Wining Pom

    May 3, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    #35 .. losing “the bat and the ball”

    Definitely some ball tampering going on.

  27. Robin Charles Halton

    May 3, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    #30 … Correction John, Will’s father Michael was never Premier of Tasmania despite his 44 years in politics. Personality wise Michael was the complete opposite to Will who is not friendly in public – in fact he often appears “embarrassed” when out and about.

    Michael’s father was ultra friendly, and a good bloke who had an extraordinary manner when speaking with people on the street ad hoc!

    We had spoken together on the street on a number of occasions outside the Royal Hobart Hospital when waiting for my wife’s end of her nursing shift. At the same time Michael was, almost on a daily basis, visiting a friend..

  28. Teresa Maddox

    May 3, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    In their desperation to get elected, the Hodgman government used Sue Hickey’s high profile and popularity, as well as some dubious other measures, to get themselves over the line by [i]one[/i] vote. To show their appreciation she was denied a ministry!

    The Parliament had enough confidence in Sue Hickey to give her the role of Speaker by [i]one[/i] vote, and more than likely without any help from the Libs. This is democracy in action regardless of party politics!

    This is a reminder to our politicians that they should not take their positions for granted, despite where they think their loyalties should lie.

    They are only [i]one[/i] vote away from losing “the bat and the ball”! Could this mean that the rest of us might end up winning the game?

  29. Mark Temby

    May 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    It’s hard to see this as anything but a battle of ambitious egos, factions and leadership. The Christian Right under Abetz is being challenged. Hickey was seen as a highly popular politician. It would be reasonable to surmise lesser politicians within a faction squeezed Hickey out of contention in any Ministry. Hickey now has a leadership position of Parliament and not just a Ministry within a government. It’s a platform from which Hodgman and his merry band of men should be duly nervous.

  30. Wining Pom

    May 3, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    #32, just about every media outlet suggests that, but that would have been a mistake on Hodgman’s part, so you say it can’t be true.

  31. TGC

    May 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    #29 … “But, a politician gets a promise of a minister-ship .. and then doesn’t get it. A broken politician’s promise ”

    Did Sue Hickey tell you that? Or are you ‘guessing’in her favour?

  32. Robin Charles Halton

    May 3, 2018 at 11:01 am

    All the way with soon to be “Premier” Hickey as Will is not expected to survive his full term constantly in tears with the Speaker frowning on him continually.

    As he gets his marching orders, he may be faced with an offer of a consular position in London.

    I can visualise the antics, the Speaker pointing Will to the exit door, Out!

    In summary someone has to make a go of running the State, Hodgman cant seem to get on top of things, he simply does not expose the talent as a doer!

  33. John Hawkins

    May 3, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Sue Hickey was never going to be a backbencher alongside the likes of Shelton.

    Savvy, articulate and intelligent, she stood to make a contribution to the common good through the exercise of power.

    She was always going to be a threat to the likes of Premier Hodgman because his father was Premier.

    Connections, influence and threats – but never merit, is the way of things in Tasmania.

    The Liberals took the thirty pieces of silver in surrendering the high moral ground to the gambling lobby which bought them power, but only just, at the last election.

    It was power, but not absolute power, and Hodgman, like TGC, is not streetwise.

    The Liberals never saw Hickey as a threat if she was spurned, and have been blown out of the water by their own hubris.

    Hickey is now all powerful, with the casting vote in a hung Parliament to control the legislative agenda for Tasmania.

    I have high hopes that we will turn the corner and that the Parliament by force of circumstance will now work for the common good.

  34. Wining Pom

    May 3, 2018 at 2:56 am

    … 26 comments and 6 of those from TGC. I guess his party falling apart is a concern while the rest of us are indeed falling apart. Gosh my knee hurts from slapping.

    But, a politician gets a promise of a minister-ship .. and then doesn’t get it. A broken politician’s promise – and a politician gets upset ?

  35. TGC

    May 3, 2018 at 12:05 am

    #26 … “That would be fantastic, TGC.” See what I meant by “scatterbrained”?

    And #10 will now accept all legislated outcomes because of “The fact that proposed legislation will now have to be actually debated and voted on, based solely on its merits, is a good thing.”

    A debate in which Sue Hickey will not be involved will not have any input, being Speaker, as with President of the Leg Council – it has its restrictions. Bet most of youse didn’t realise that.

  36. Simon Warriner

    May 2, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    It is bordering on hilarious to see Trevor the “thinker” emoting all over this subject. Any more of it and I might just have to buy his local Depends franchise to cash in on the demand he alone is creating.

    Face it Trevor, if there were no party politics this storm in a teacup would not be an issue at all.

    Frankly the descent from Mt Hubris by the Libs has been side splittingly funny – and Hidding loosing his oversized pension – truly priceless.

  37. Pete Godfrey

    May 2, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    #23 … That would be fantastic, TGC.

    Then we would get legislation that was not written by the proponents, and we would have genuine debate in parliament, and cooperation too.

    First good idea I have heard from you.

  38. TGC

    May 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    #24, #21 … “Sue Hickey was elected to represent those who voted for her …” which, I have no doubt, she will do much more conscientiously than others who choose to represent their wealthy and privileged mates.

    Joke eh? Sue Hickey has no “wealthy and privileged mates”? Come off it sport – Sue Hickey is more ‘up-market’ than most of the rest of what was once her team. Sue Hickey is not that far behind the Labor mob in this regard.

  39. Snowy

    May 2, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    #21 … “Sue Hickey was elected to represent those who voted for her …” which, I have no doubt, she will do much more conscientiously than others who choose to represent their wealthy and privileged mates.

  40. TGC

    May 2, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    The effusive #15 is short-sighted! One Party elected person abandons ship and everyone falls over themselves to praise the initiative/courage/common sense ‘A new beginning for politics in Tasmania’ type of thing.
    But – what if all 25 Party elected Members did the same and ‘went their own way’?
    Please scatterbrained TTers – don’t respond with ‘that’d be brilliant’!
    For a change – “Think”!

  41. Ros Barnett

    May 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    This is going to be Quite Interesting.

    Six months or a year from now, when we have all calmed down a little, and parliament has been muddling along, Hickey will be hitting her straps as speaker. Her experience as Mayor should make her confident and competent in that role. No one will be taking her for granted. Can we hope for an improvement in the quality of legislation brought to the house, and in the level of debate?

  42. TGC

    May 2, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Sue Hickey was elected to represent those who voted for her – as a Liberal candidate – in the Parliament.

    By happenstance, she is now given another role in that Parliament – but that should be seen as ‘additional’ to the basic role to which she was elected.

    Sue Hickey now says something like “I will continue to support the government into which I was elected but will not necessarily always give my approval to individual pieces of policy.” Furthermore “I will not sit in on any meetings of my Party.” I feel she should forgo that part of the salary associated with being a Liberal member representing Denison and just get by on the Speaker’s salary.

    Those who elected her must have hoped she might have used her role within the party meetings to influence outcomes with a view to benefiting policy decisions. Sue Hickey has declined to do that – rather, she will make up her own mind without any debate/consultation/input from her fellow Party members. Sue Hickey may not even have to declare why she formed the opinion she has about a policy matter – she just has to say “No” or “Yes” when the vote is called.

    She owns the bat and ball, and will take it home whenever she wishes.

  43. stephen menadue

    May 2, 2018 at 3:10 am

    If Sue Hickey can be an instrument in redirecting history to possibly get rid of the pokies, i will be the first to hurrah and huzzah and say “Put out the pork barrel”- despite being against that.

    To see the pokies gone I would wear the label of “turncoat” for a season.

    Would pressure now be the right thing for the pokies and homelessness issues? Let’s hope the Labor party can find a gold-plated “dessert” for the honourable member to sway her. That’s not forgetting that another chance at a vote is a chance to solve these two particular issues (as well as others) assuming that Labor really has the “balls”.

  44. Emmanuel Goldstein

    May 2, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Yet another politician with no sense of loyalty or duty.

    Breaking ranks, turning coat and voting with the Opposition on the first day in chamber.

    At the very least the speaker accurately represents her constituency.

  45. John Hawkins

    May 2, 2018 at 12:26 am

    To Trevor Cowell, aka TGC …

    [i]”Labor has ‘Rats’ – not sure of the Liberal equivalent – and the Greens just have ‘disillusioned.’”[/i]

    Cowell, the Liberals are blessed with the plague rat introduced from Europe – Rattus rattus, better known here in Tasmania as Erichus erichus.

    The native Tasmanian Swamp rat is a well known vegan, reputed to like green grass and sedges.

    The Tasmanian Water rat possesses webbed feet and an orange to red belly, and it is common.

    I hope this helps.

  46. mike seabrook

    May 2, 2018 at 12:01 am

    will she call an expenses and purques audit of all in parliament

  47. Alan Mason

    May 1, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Well said #15.

    There might be hope in the state of Denmark yet …

  48. Chris Sharples

    May 1, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Black Swans like David Walsh and now this latest promising move from Sue Hickey make me think there’s growing reason for hope in Tasmania. Ever since the Lake Pedder days (and before) its been obvious the state is mostly run by an old boys club situated in the big end of town, who play Will and his predecessors as they see fit…

    But they’ve never had things all their own way (thanks largely to the Greens, which explains why the conservatives hate them so viciously), and after the last state election when the big end played their cards so blatantly on the billboards I wonder if they didn’t just go a bit too far?

  49. Robyn

    May 1, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    By next week we should see how fair dinkum Hickey, the Greens, and Labor, actually are!

    Unbelievably, Hodgman has been ignoring (yes, ignoring) a Petition with over 1,250 signatures demanding Legislative changes that would help save the lives of Tasmanian workers.

    It’s time to see some long overdue justice and fairness from the Tasmanian Government! There are no excuses now! Labor, the Greens and Hickey have the power to do the right thing by Tasmanians, if they choose to!

  50. Nigel Crisp

    May 1, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    #4 … Jack I couldn’t agree more, and what’s the bet Will and the Libs promised Sue the world to stand in the first place, then dropped her like a hot potato when the mood suited them?

    In my book it just shows poor leadership on Will’s part, and it shows the Liberals for the incompetent rabble they are with an election bought and paid for by their donors, and these idiots still manage to cock it up.

    What has truly made my day is the proper shafting of that bumbling idiot, Rene Hidding who, if the rumour is correct, was planning on retiring early anyway and topping his super up with the nice little earner as Speaker. Surely with the numbers now so low, he’ll have to serve out his full term?

    The Mercury’s editorial today (2nd May) rabbits on about the need for “certainty” and “stability” .. when all along those attributes have got us to where we are now, with a bunch of neo-liberal incompetents without a decent policy to bless themselves with.

    Well done Sue, your independence could be a breath of fresh air.

  51. Cameron

    May 1, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    It seems from the outset that Sue was probably not going to play by the party rules–so why did they accept her nomination, or preselect her or whatever the process is?

    Was her ‘star candidate’ status bright enough to blind the Lib powers that be?

    At any rate, she’s reminded the Old Boys Club what democracy actually looks like–you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d long forgotten.

    Still pissing myself laughing, 24 hours later.

  52. philll Parsons

    May 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    #1 and #9 … Will knew Hickey wanted a Ministry (or he was more somnolent than usual) but to show his strategic foresight he was unable to work out the possibility of a ‘rogue’ Hickey.

    The Budget is safe and so the government can put up sensible measures, but it can forget the crazy unevidenced ideological stuff from the nutjobs worried about paedophiles, mandatory sentences and ensuring guns for all (my deliberate exaggerations).

    If Will goes to the people because Parliament is working in the interests of Tasmanians, he will get a salutary lesson in how petulance and bottom lip curl are unpopular among voters.

    The ‘minority’, that some are trying to convince us has arrived, will either morph into a reality with an early election – or the pokies industry will spend twice as much to get the same result.

  53. Cleaver

    May 1, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    The fact is people are allowed, and at times expected, to change their minds.

    If, once inside the tent, Sue realised she had in fact been sold a pup, and that cabinet was a morality free zone, why not decide to exit?

    The people of Denison, me included, voted for candidates like Sue based in large part on what skills/experience they would bring to office, and not simply because their campaign signs were blue.

    The lesson here for the government is that if you treat people in a shoddy manner they will either push back or simply leave.

    The fact that proposed legislation will now have to be actually debated and voted on, based solely on its merits, is a good thing.

  54. TGC

    May 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Listen (Read!) you guys- and guy.eses! The fact is this, and from which there is no escape ..

    Sue Hickey accepted nomination as a candidate for the Liberal Party at the last election – she chould (should?) have run as an ‘Independent’ of some sort – but that’d be a bit risky (as she realised) whilst being in the Liberal camp (not a hope standing for Labor/Greens-then) gave some certainty of scoring a seat.

    But she curled the lip at not getting a senior Ministry and couldn’t believe her luck when Labor/Greens suggested something like .. “How about Speaker? We can guarantee you the job.” This why her acceptance of the nomination was ‘instantaneous’.

    Labor has ‘Rats’ – not sure of the Liberal equivalent – and the Greens just have ‘disillusioned.’

  55. Teresa Maddox

    May 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    What a bombshell for the government .. it was beautiful to watch this unfold! The old boys club was shaken to the core.

    Hopefully, Sue Hickey does Tasmania proud and votes against this government’s agenda of not using proper process to pass controversial legislation.

    Only time will tell.

  56. Snowy

    May 1, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    #1, “… who will be Sue Hickey’s nominator(s) for the next State election?” She could nominate herself as an Independent if the Libs chose not to endorse her.

    She has a strong enough popular profile to pick up many voters in Denison who could not bring themselves to vote for her under the Liberal banner this time around.

  57. john hayward

    May 1, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    By most accounts, Hickey is indeed slick and energetic, qualities notably scarce in the Tas Libs. Self interest they have in plague proportions.

    Let’s hope that Rene’s supporters are vengefully fractious at their loss, for the good of society.

    John Hayward

  58. John Biggs

    May 1, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    “we already know what she stands for: self-interest, self-promotion and the political talent for seizing the opportune moment.” A Little harsh, Charles, given what else you say about her? Hodgman and his boyz shutting her out when she would have been terrific in
    Housing espec. as that poor fool Jaensch is flailing around getting nowhere. But it could also be that she joined up in good faith, but Hodgman’s behaviour towards the end of the election campaign and immediately after (e.g. “I have a mandate for all those 200 policies I haven’t yet announced” and the real doozy “when corporate or other interests hand over cash to a political party they are entitled to expect that it will act in their interests.”) not to mention her possible disgust at the way the Libs accepted blood money from pokie operators.

    There is a strong case that Sue is acting honourably when she saw what a rat’s nest she’d hooked up with. And if TGC or whoever else says in that case she should resign… Well, hasn’t she? Only Will still insists she’s still a Liberal.

    The Libs have a tendency to enact extreme legislation on the run. Now they’ll have to slow down to a reflective walk and that can only be a good thing.

  59. Jack Nimble

    May 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    The best outcome for Tassie politics in many years, I just hope Sue keeps her word and votes on the merits of policy put forward by the Libs and not the tired old toe the party line bullshit, don’t fold Sue, Tassie needs you.

    J B Nimble

  60. cait

    May 1, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Truth in politics!! Yeah! (well sort of)

    At least she’s representing herself, rather than those pushing shady deals from the backrooms of power.

    It’s ironic that the huge public face of the pokies push has been potentially trumped by one private decision!

  61. Russell

    May 1, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Ha ha, some people don’t like being dictated down to in the Party system.

    Hopefully this is a sign of the political system changing for the better.

  62. TGC

    May 1, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    The ‘Hickey heist’ has opponents of the Liberals in Tasmania- make that opponents of the Liberals- almost apoplectic with excitement: and a coup de’tat it may well prove to be.
    There is now a new Labor/Green accord supported by Sue Hickey now a creature of that accord- owned by it and ultimately inclined towards it.
    Immediacy is one thing- but four years will slip by pretty smartly and who will be Sue Hickey’s nominator(s) for the next State election? or even an earlier one if this ‘arrangement’ doesn’t succeed in giving a four year government.
    Further- just imagine if the ‘boot’ had been on the other ‘Left’ foot and this had been Labor putting up its choice for Speaker but gazumped within its own ranks- the ‘gazumper’ would be expelled from the Party immediately- Labor’s attachment to the democratic process only extends so far!-
    For Sue Hickey her only ‘punishment is that she will now be the Member for Coventry- a constituency of one.

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