Tasmania's pro-NBN Premier quits post

Tasmania's pro-NBN Premier quits post

Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, retires citing family reasons


Tasmania's Labor Premier, David Bartlett, has stepped down citing family reasons. Deputy-Premier, Lara Giddings, has his support to become the new Premier.

Bartlett was a strong supporter of the Federal Labor Government's National Broadband Network. He is also the Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology and lobbied hard to bring Australia's first NBN rollout to the southern state.

In another digital first, Bartlett announced his retirement to supporters using the popular social networking site, Facebook.

"I have decided to step down as Premier and Leader of the Labor Party. 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," he said in a statement on Facebook.

Bartlett staked much of his leadership on the successful implementation of the NBN in the State - a move which took a hit as the media revealed the relatively small percentage of sign-ups in the trial sites.

The lack of direct Tasmanian involvement in the project has also cost it local support. Bartlett was forced to look at a new corporate structure for the Tasmanian NBN in October 2010.

In August 2010, ARN exclusively revealed the Tasmanian NBN had dropped all board members appointed by Premier Bartlett.

Despite the State's apparent support for the NBN, State elections in 2010 saw Labor lose its outright majority. It was forced into a power-sharing deal with the Greens party that has seen his personal popularity fall.

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Tags NBNnational broadband networkDavid BartlettTasmanian PremierLara Giddings

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