The controversial sacking of Angela Williamson from her role as government relations manager with Cricket Tasmania dominated the first Question Time in State Parliament following the winter break.
On Tuesday morning, Labor’s questioning almost exclusively revolved around the Williamson saga.
Ms Williamson was sacked in June, due to social media posts in which she was critical of the state government’s supposed inaction around the provision of abortion services in Tasmania.
She was forced to travel interstate earlier this year to terminate a pregnancy.
Ms Williamson has made an unfair dismissal complaint with the Fair Work Commission but, after not reaching a resolution at a hearing last week, signaled her intention to take the matter to the Federal Court.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson has copped heat over the Williamson affair, with Labor raising questions about his discussion with Cricket Tasmania chief executive Nick Cummins regarding Ms Williamson’s tweets.
Labor alleged Mr Ferguson may have erred in discussing Ms Williamson’s personal medical information with her employer.
Opposition justice spokeswoman Ella Haddad referred Mr Ferguson to Tasmania Police, but there were no grounds for investigation identified.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet also stated last week that a ministerial Code of Conduct investigation into Mr Ferguson was “not warranted”.
Opposition Leader Rebecca White lashed Mr Ferguson as she stepped up to the despatch box to deliver the first question of the week.
“You have proven to be a liability, your credibility is in tatters, your disgraceful conduct means Tasmanians can have no trust in you. Why don’t you do the honourable thing and resign?” Ms White said.
In a moment not without some irony, given the current turmoil in Canberra, Mr Ferguson responded to Ms White by claiming there was a “leadership crisis” in the Labor Party, presumably referring to the supposed leadership aspirations of Franklin Labor MHA David O’Byrne.
“The claim that I’ve been missing while Tasmanians needed leadership … that is a complete fabrication,” Mr Ferguson said, in response to Ms White’s claim that he had not done enough to address the meningococcal outbreak in Hobart’s northern suburbs.
Deputy Labor leader Michelle O’Byrne asked the minister if he was the first person to tell Mr Cummins that Ms Williamson had had a termination.
“I couldn’t know the answer to that question. At all times, [the government has] acted sensibly, kindly and encouraged resolution,” Mr Ferguson replied.
“The Labor Party has clearly run out of questions, it’s run out of puff. They’re clearly trying to escalate the situation where actually the government has tried to deescalate it.”
Meanwhile, Greens leader Cassy O’Connor raised the issue of proposed East Coast mega-development Cambria Green, which has become a flashpoint of community debate.
“Do you think Cambria Green represents sensible and sustainable development?” Ms O’Connor asked Premier Will Hodgman.
“Will you rule out giving it any legislative, financial or bureaucratic backing?”
Mr Hodgman said Cambria Green was largely a matter for the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council and that its fate would ultimately be determined by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.