Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey primed for Liberal candidacy in Denison

Alderman Sue Hickey
Alderman Sue Hickey

One of the state’s most prominent public figures has restated her intention to seek Liberal Party preselection at the 2018 state election.

Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey made the comments on radio on Tuesday.

The government welcomed the idea of Alderman Hickey running as a candidate in Denison, despite rumours that she would be made to run in Franklin instead.

Alderman Hickey and Denison Liberal MHA Elise Archer once had a public spat at the Taste of Tasmania.

Alderman Hickey had recently stood down as a Liberal Party candidate for the 2010 state election, while Ms Archer – then on the Hobart City Council – was standing for a seat in Denison.

It was reported at the time that Ms Archer supposedly took offence to Alderman Hickey remarking that there were too many lawyers standing as candidates.

Ms Archer is a qualified lawyer, which led political analyst Kevin Bonham to suggest she would be well-suited to the Attorney-General role, after acting Attorney-General Matthew Groom resigned from Cabinet on Saturday.

Also a Denison MHA, Mr Groom said he had decided to retire from politics for family reasons and would relinquish his ministerial portfolios immediately.

Premier Will Hodgman is now tasked with orchestrating a Cabinet reshuffle, complicated by the absence of Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said he was “heartened” by the news that Alderman Hickey was seeking Liberal preselection.

“She’s been very good for [Hobart], she’d be very good for the Liberal Party and, importantly, for the state if she decided to stand,” Mr Gutwein said.

The treasurer described the 2009 altercation between Alderman Hickey and Ms Archer as “water under the bridge”.

But Denison Labor MHA Scott Bacon said it had led to a “long-running feud … that looks like it’ll continue well into the future”.

Alderman Hickey was contacted for comment.