Tassie Deserves More Representatives in Wake of Premier’s Shock Resignation

The Australia Institute Tasmania thanks Premier Peter Gutwein for his dedication and hard work over the last two years as Premier and 20 years as a Member of Parliament, including six of those as Treasurer.

“Premier Gutwein worked extremely hard during the COVID pandemic for Tasmanians and delivered a much greater level of support to its citizens in the vital first months of the pandemic compared to other states,” said Eloise Carr, Director the Australia Institute Tasmania.

“The Premier’s resignation demonstrates again that MPs workloads are too high.

“A cross-party parliamentary committee in 2020 recommended returning the state’s Lower House to 35 seats. The numbers in the Lower House were reduced by 10 in 1998 to the current 25.

“The Tasmanian lower house should be restored to 35 seats ahead of the next state election,” Ms Carr said.

“Increasing the number of politicians is never politically easy, but our democracy requires an adequate number of MPs to deepen the talent pool, share the work and keep MPs from losing touch with voters,” said Bill Browne, Senior Researcher at the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“The loss of three ministers since the start of the year shows that the small size of the House of Assembly has a human cost, as well as a governance one.

“The Australia Institute released its Democracy Agenda last week with a call for parliamentary and political reforms that would help improve Australian governance, including more parliamentarians. It builds on earlier research which found that more parliamentarians would deepen the ministerial talent pool and make MPs more responsive and locally focused,” Mr Browne said.