News State Tasmania News Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein to quit politics
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Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein to quit politics

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Premier Peter Gutwein will quit politics. Photo: AAP
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Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has announced his shock resignation from politics.

Mr Gutwein, 57, said at a snap media briefing on Monday afternoon the “time is right” to pursue other interests.

“I’m announcing today that I’ll be resigning as Premier and as member for Bass,” he said.

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as Tasmania ‘s 46th premier. However, the time is now right for me to move on and to attend to other things in my life.”

Mr Gutwein said the past two years had “delivered unforeseen challenges” as the state had endured the pandemic.

“During this time, I rightly focused on everyone else’s family. Now I want to spend some time focusing on my own,” he said.

Mr Gutwein’s shock announcement came less than a year after he led the Liberal Party to a historic third term in Tasmania after calling a state election more than a year ahead of schedule.

He was first elected to the northern Tasmanian seat of Bass in 2002.

After a spell as state treasurer, he took over as Premier in January 2020. His predecessor, Will Hodgman, had resigned less than a week earlier, declaring the “time is right … for new leadership” in his own surprise announcement.

Mr Gutwein has been an advocate for action on climate change and also a supporter of child abuse survivors. Less than a month ago, after shocking scenes on the floor of the Tasmanian parliament when the Labor opposition quoted an abuse survivor, he revealed he was also the victim of sexual assault as a teenager.

On Monday, he thanked all Tasmanians for their support.

“I’m not a silver-spoon, far from it. I come from a humble background and nothing is given me more pleasure than been able to support our communities, especially those who like me come from less-privileged backgrounds,” he said.

“I wish to thank all of my colleagues for their incredible support and efforts of the last two years while I’ve been Premier. I could not have had a more supportive cabinet and more parliamentary team.

“Tasmania is a good shape and the team I leave behind is in safe hands, and a great depth of experience and important talent.”

Mr Gutwein he will remain as Premier until the Tasmanian Liberals elect a new leader later this week.