> Tasmanian MP Jacquie Petrusma resigns from state parliament, fourth exit from ministry this year

Tasmanian MP Jacquie Petrusma resigns from state parliament, fourth exit from ministry this year

Tasmanian Police Minister Jacquie Petrusma is resigning from state parliament for “personal and family reasons”, Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced.

Ms Petrusma, who also holds the fire and emergency management, prevention of family violence, and parks portfolios, has been in state parliament since 2010.

She is the fourth Tasmanian minister to quit Cabinet this year — following Sarah Courtney, Jane Howlett and former premier Peter Gutwein.

Mr Rockliff said Ms Petrusma informed him of her decision to end her 12-year political career yesterday, while she was still on leave.

“Jacquie is stepping down to spend more time with her family and I wish her the very, very best, and I thank her sincerely for her hard work and her dedication,” Mr Rockliff said, fronting a press conference by himself.

A woman speaking, standing slightly side on to the camera
Jacquie Petrusma is the fourth Cabinet minister to resign since February.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

The Premier deflected questions about government instability, instead saying it would be an “opportunity to refresh and bring new people into our parliamentary Liberal team”.

Mr Rockliff said he had had no indication Ms Petrusma was intending to quit before yesterday.

“It is a tough gig, being a member of parliament … families wear the brunt of that sacrifice.”

Premier Will Hodgman announces new domestic violence plan
Ms Petrusma (left) has worked on the prevention of family violence for years, announcing in 2015 a new domestic violence plan with then-premier Will Hodgman and Rosie Batty.(ABC News: Stephen Smiley)

Mr Rockliff said Ms Petrusma had been “an absolute trooper” over the past 12 years.

“I’m sad to see Jac go, she’s been fantastic to work with, fun to work with and she’s demonstrated enormous dedication and commitment to her electorate of Franklin but also the ministerial portfolios that she has held over the course of the last eight years,” he said.

Not the first time Petrusma has quit ministry

Opposition Leader Will Hodgman and Liberal Human Services spokeswoman Jacquie Petrusma.
Jacquie Petrusma with former premier Will Hodgman.

Ms Petrusma was promoted to Will Hodgman’s cabinet following the Liberals’ 2014 election victory, but was dumped from the human services portfolio in a reshuffle after the 2018 election.

She resigned from the frontbench entirely in 2019 due to health issues, stemming from problems with a cochlear implant.

She returned to the ministry following last year’s state election.

Braddon MP Felix Ellis will be promoted to Cabinet as Police Minister, with ministers Jo Palmer and Roger Jaensch to take on her other portfolios. 

A recount will be held in the seat of Franklin.

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