Paula Wriedt rushed to hospital

TASMANIA'S Minister for Economic Development and Tourism Paula Wriedt has been rushed to hospital by ambulance with an undisclosed medical emergency.Premier David Bartlett told a media conference late this afternoon that he would be taking over Ms Wriedt's portfolios but would not elaborate on her condition.``I have spoken with a member of Paula's family this afternoon and I need to inform the public of recent events.``Paula was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital by ambulance a short while ago as a result of an undisclosed medical emergency.``I'm not in a position to speculate on the nature of her admission however I have received news that she will require a period of treatment and recuperation.''Mr Bartlett said that it was clear that in the short term Ms Wriedt would be unable to perform her duties as a minister.He said she needed to focus on getting well and his first and only priority in these circumstances was her health and well-being and that of her family.Ms Wriedt's family is also expected to make a statement.Ms Wriedt was in Melbourne last Thursday to announce a $4 million sponsorship deal with confectionary company Mars for the Tasmanian AFL team bid.The announcement descended into controversy when the Footy Show's Sam Newman made comments about Ms Wriedt after news of the sponsorship was presented on the Nine Network's popular television show.Newman contacted Ms Wriedt on Friday to apologise and expressed his regret for his comments.Ms Wriedt said she had received numerous messages expressing disgust at what Newman had said.First elected to State Parliament as the member for Franklin in 1996, Ms Wriedt was appointed to State Cabinet in 1998 as Minister for Education. She was Tasmania's youngest ever female Cabinet Minister. In 2006 she became Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment and earlier this year took on Economic Development and Tourism following a reshuffle of portfolios.Ms Wriedt is mother of two young children.Her father, Ken Wriedt, was a Labor Senator and served as Primary Industry Minister in the Whitlam government, later entering State Parliament and serving as a minister and Labor leader.FULL TEXT OF THE PREMIER'S STATEMENT ON PAULA WRIEDT:The Deputy Premier and I are here to make a short statement and we will not be taking questions afterwards. I have spoken with a member of Paula Wriedt's family this afternoon and I need to inform the public of recent events. Paula was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital by ambulance a short while ago as the result of an undisclosed medical emergency. I am not in a position to speculate on the nature of her admission. However, I have received advice that she will require a period of treatment and recuperation. It is clear that in the short-term, Paula will be unable to perform her duties as a minister. She needs to focus on getting well, with the support of her family and friends. My first and only priority in these circumstances is Paula's health and wellbeing and that of her family. I will not speculate on any other matters. In the interim, I will be undertaking her portfolio roles. I have offered Paula?s family my personal support and that of the Government. I will respect their right to make a decision on further comments regarding her condition. I would appeal to the media to show appropriate restraint. My thoughts, and those of all Government MPs, are very much with Paula. I understand Paula's family will make a statement in due course.

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