Image for Bartlett grabs the reins

ACCEPTING that a Greens strategic assessment (HERE) ensured he would stay Tasmania’s Premier, David Bartlett told a Media Conference minutes ago that it had been a “complex, tumultuous 20-odd days since election”.

“I’m very pleased ... I want this job. I’m very pleased the Governor has asked me to commission a government. It is a duty I take extremely seriously. My firm commitment is that I will do everything I can to make this work.” It was too important not to make it work;  jobs were at stake, the economy was at stake. His strong, firm and challenging response was to make it work.

He said he had kept his commitment to the Tasmanian people that in the event of a10-10 result and with the Liberals winning more overall votes his advice to “his excellency would be to give the Liberals the first opportunity to form government. He said Liberal Leader Will Hodgman “was unable to do so.” Now the responsibility rested with him: “That is exactly what I intend to do; I intend to make it work in the interest of all; for the four years. “It will be challenging, difficult, and we are in uncharted waters; my commitment is to make it work.”

He was questioned on his statement that he had no level of trust in Nick McKim: “How we will make this work is by building trust. It is a vital ingredient and something we must all work on. The building of trust will be at the centre of the delivery of stable government and making this work.” He would seek at all stages “to put the past behind us and build trust such that it can work”.

The caretaker Premier said he would like to recall Parliament “as soon as practicable to delivery certainty”. He was prepared to work with other parties and would do this on the floor of the house.

David Bartlett said it was time to get away from the old paradigms.  “It won’t work if we don’t get away from the old paradigms.” Liberal Leader Will Hodgman earlier had labelled David Bartlett and his government dishonourable and refused to give guarantees.

He would move a Motion of No Confidence when Parliament resumed.

Earlier Governor Peter Underwood invoked the constitional default position:  David Bartlett’s caretaker government must continue and the government be tested on the floor of the House of Assembly.

Commentator Academic Dr Richard Herr said the Bartlett government had now to work out some way to stability. This almost certainly would involve discussion with the Greens. Dr Herr reiterated that Labor needed to reassure the Tasmanian community, the business community and, the Federal Government.

“The real game begins today,” said Dr Herr.

Other reports: HERE