25 February 2019

Will Hodgman, Premier

Rene Hidding has advised me today of his intention to retire from Parliament.

Rene has been a long serving Member of Parliament and a hard working representative of his community. He has delivered a lot for the electorate of Lyons and that will be remembered. He has made a significant contribution to the Parliament and my Government as a senior Minister and team member.

I encourage everyone to show sensitivity and caution around these circumstances and allow proper process to take its place. Mr Hidding is entitled to the presumption of innocence and he has strenuously denied the accusations.

All parties in this situation have the right to expect these matters are dealt with by the appropriate authorities and that is exactly why I wrote to the Police Commissioner on Saturday.

I have made enquiries of my office and the Liberal Party in relation to any knowledge of this matter prior to the article being published on the weekend and am advised that no allegations of this nature have been raised with the Government, or the Liberal Party.

My office received an anonymous call earlier this month alleging that a formal complaint to police had been made against “a current Minister”. No further detail was provided as to either the subject of the complaint or the nature of the complaint. Advice was sought which confirmed that Police would investigate any formal complaint they received.

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission will conduct a recount to fill the vacancy caused by Mr Hidding’s resignation as a Liberal member for Lyons.