REVEALED: Tasmania’s new Premier revealed
A new Liberal Party leader has emerged after one candidate pulled out of the race for Premier ahead of a vote of Liberal MPs in Hobart today.
Peter Gutweinis expected be sworn in as Premier this afternoon after Michael Ferguson withdrew from the contest, which was to be decided at a midday vote.
Jeremy Rockliff will fill the post of the Deputy Premier.
Mr Ferguson arrived at the executive building just after 11.30am and gave no hint what was to come except to say the Liberal Party "was united".
In a statement, Mr Ferguson said it was his position to do what was "best for our party, the Government and most importantly the Tasmanian people".
"I have been speaking with my colleagues over the weekend about the leadership of the Liberal Party and have decided to not stand as a candidate," it read.
"Elise Archer joins me in wanting our new leadership to be elected unopposed.
"Peter Gutwein and Jeremy Rockliff have made significant contributions to Tasmania in their Parliamentary careers and they will be a strong and dependable leadership team.
"We respect them.
"They will have our full support."
Mr Ferguson said it was his and Ms Archer's intention to continue to work as members of the Liberal team.
There were two candidates for the leadership position: Treasurer Peter Gutwein and Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff and Attorney-General Elise Archer were standing for the deputy roles.
Today's announcement was brought about by the sudden resignation of Premier Will Hodgman after nearly six years in the job.
Mr Gutwein will be sworn in by Governor Kate Warner.
A cabinet reshuffle is expected later this week.
A recount will determine who fills Mr Hodgman's parliamentary seat of Franklin.
MORE TO COME
WHO IS THE NEW PREMIER?
* Was Treasurer and Minister for the Environment, Parks and Heritage
* First elected to state parliament in 2002 in the northern seat of Bass
* Has overseen a period of economic growth in Tasmania, but also rising net debt
* Before politics held senior management positions in financial services in Europe
* Is a qualified black belt instructor in taekwondo
* Married with two children, aged 55