Premier of Tasmania, David Bartlett, resigns

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Premier of Tasmania, David Bartlett.
Image: Graeme Bartlett.

In an unforeseen decision, the Premier of the Australian state Tasmania has resigned as premier (and leader) of the governing Tasmanian Labor party. Bartlett announced his resignation at 3pm and confirmed it on the social-networking site Facebook, citing family reasons.

The statement said his seven-day week had meant he had no time to be a father to his young children, Matilda and Hudson: "Working seven days a week and wanting to be a better father for Hudson and Matilda has become incompatible as the children are growing up."

Set to take the reins is Deputy Premier Lara Giddings. Giddings has also received the support of the out-going Premier. "Lara Giddings will be an outstanding premier and will have my full support."

Bartlett, who was in a relatively new government, won office after a hung parliament in the 2010 elections with Labor and the Greens forming a minority government after three weeks. He had succeeded the also resigned Paul Lennon two years ago. He first entered government in 2004 after winning the seat of Denison.

Bartlett leaves the Labor party with opinion polls showing discontent with the government. Despite this, there was no chance of a leadership change so early after the election and Bartlett's position in the party was not under threat.