Rewards for strong polling

SEVEN North and North-West Liberals will today  be elevated to cabinet or other top roles as the regions benefit from strong electoral support.

The Hodgman Liberal government was propelled to a landslide victory on March 15 when 10 of its 15 seats came from the North and North-West.

This morning Will Hodgman will announce 12 senior leadership roles for his new government - include nine ministers, two parliamentary secretaries and a whip - at Hobart's Parliament House.

Seven of those jobs will go to North and North-West members.

Peter Gutwein in Bass will be Treasurer and Jeremy Rockliff in Braddon will be Deputy Premier.

Of the other positions,  Hobart-based Pembroke MLC Vanessa Goodwin will be Leader of the Government in the Legislative Assembly, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Corrections.

Other roles present an interesting challenge for Mr Hodgman.

The key job of health may not go to the pre-election spokesman Mr Rockliff, whose farming background in a rural seat may favour him for the primary industries role.

Guy Barnett (newly elected in Lyons and former senator) or returned Bass MHA Michael Ferguson (a former teacher, federal member for Bass and education spokesman) both have qualities needed to be health minister - able to weather critics and navigate bureaucracy.

If Mr Ferguson takes on health, someone else will be given education, where he has performed strongly and the Liberals have promised significant change.

Former leader and Lyons veteran Rene Hidding may get infrastructure, after being Opposition spokesman for a long time. Transport could be added to that.

In the Hobart seat of Denison, energy spokesman Matthew Groom could get the energy job in government because of his background in the sector.

Lyons MP Mark Shelton is the former Meander Valley mayor, so may become local government minister.

Electoral Commissioner Julian Type yesterday returned the election writs to Governor Peter Underwood after declaring the poll in the final two electorates - Franklin and Denison.

But he still has unfinished business.

The commission is investigating possible breaches of section 196 of the Electoral Act, that permission must be granted by a candidate for their name or image to be used in election advertising.

The Palmer United Party is a high-profile subject of investigation but the commission is looking at five matters - two PUP, two Liberal and one involving the abortion debate.

Mr Underwood will swear in the new cabinet at Government House tomorrow. 

Jeremy Rockliff

Jeremy Rockliff


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