Government of Tasmania
The Government of Tasmania, also referred to as the Tasmanian Government, is the executive authority of the state of Tasmania, Australia. The leader of the party or coalition with the confidence of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of Tasmania, is invited by the Governor of Tasmania to form the Government of Tasmania. The head of the Government is the Premier of Tasmania.
Since the 2014 election, the Premier of Tasmania has been Will Hodgman, leader of the Liberal Party, who was re-elected at the 2018 election. Since that election, the current ministry of Tasmania is the Second Hodgman Ministry, formed on 21 March 2018 and comprising nine of the 14 Liberal members in both Houses of Parliament.
Tasmania is governed according to the principles of the Westminster System, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. Legislative power rests with the bicameral Parliament of Tasmania, which consists of the Governor of Tasmania, and the two Houses, the Tasmanian Legislative Council and the Tasmanian House of Assembly.
Executive power rests formally with the Executive Council, which consists of the Governor and senior ministers, and informally called the Cabinet. In practice, executive power is exercised by the Premier of Tasmania and the Cabinet, who are appointed by the Governor, but who hold office by virtue of their ability to command the support of a majority of members of the House of Assembly.
Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court of Tasmania and a system of subordinate courts, but the High Court of Australia and other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian Constitution.
The current ministry of Tasmania is the Second Hodgman Ministry, formed on 21 March 2018 and comprising nine Liberal members, all of whom sit in the House of Assembly:
Portfolio Minister Party affiliation Term start Term end Term in office
- Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
- Minister for Parks
- Minister for Heritage
- Minister for Trade
Will Hodgman MP Liberal 21 March 2018 incumbent 306 days
- Deputy Premier
- Minister for Education and Training
- Minister for Infrastructure
- Minister for Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Industries
Jeremy Rockliff MP Liberal
- Minister for State Growth
- Minister for Local Government
Peter Gutwein MP Liberal
- Minister for Health
- Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
- Minister for Science and Technology
Michael Ferguson MP Liberal
- Minister for Justice
- Minister for Corrections
- Minister for Environment
- Minister for Arts
Elise Archer MP Liberal
- Minister for Disability Services and Community Development
- Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
- Minister for Women
- Minister for Sport and Recreation
Jacquie Petrusma MP Liberal
- Minister for Resources
- Minister for Energy
- Minister for Building and Construction
- Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Guy Barnett MP Liberal
- Minister for Primary Industries and Water
- Minister for Racing
Sarah Courtney MP Liberal
- Minister for Human Services
- Minister for Housing
- Minister for Planning
Roger Jaensch MP Liberal
Tasmanian government agencies
The Tasmanian Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility. Each portfolio is led by a Secretary, who reports to one or more government ministers who is a member of the Parliament. As of April 2016 there were eight government departments:
- Department of Education (DoE)
- Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Department of Justice (DoJ)
- Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management (DPFEM)
- Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)
- Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE)
- Department of State Growth (DSG)
- Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF).
A range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.
The Government of Tasmania also owns and operates a number of state-owned companies:
- Aurora Energy: electricity and gas retailer.
- Forestry Tasmania: the manager of public forests and plantations for logging, sawmilling and woodchipping.
- Hydro Tasmania: a large generator of electricity, management of hydroelectric schemes. Also owns a mainland Australian energy retailer, Momentum Energy.
- Irrigation Tasmania: tasked with the planning, construction and maintenance of the Tasmanian Irrigation Schemes culminating pipes, dams and pumping stations.
- Metro Tasmania: a public transportation company, running busses in the metropolitan areas of the state.
- Motor Accidents Insurance Board (MAIB): public insurance resulting from car accidents.
- Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority: operates the tourism venture at Port Arthur, maintains the ruins of the gaol and historic site.
- Public Trustee: an independent trustee organisation.
- Tascorp: management of the other public companies’ finances and government investment.
- Tasmanian Rail: freight transportation, railway management.
- TasNetworks: electricity transmission and distribution.
- TasPorts: port management and stevedoring.
- Tasracing: the operator of Tasmania’s horse and dog racing venues, management of betting.
- TT-Line Company: operates the Bass Strait ferries.
Other levels of government
Federal representation of Tasmania
As a state of Australia, Tasmania is represented in the House of Representatives and Australian Senate. Tasmania has five representative in the federal House of Representatives in the divisions of Bass, Braddon, Denison, Franklin and Lyons. Tasmania also has twelve Senators in line with other states.
Local government in Tasmania
Local Government elections are conducted under the Local Government Act using the Hare-Clark voting system of multi-member proportional representation. Elections for Mayor, Deputy Mayor and half the councillor positions are held during September and October in each uneven numbered year.
Tasmania has twenty-nine local government areas. These include six cities (three in greater Hobart, one covering each of Launceston, Burnie and Devonport) and twenty-three municipalities. The largest council (by number of enrolled electors) is City of Launceston and the smallest council is Municipality of Flinders (which serves the Flinders Island and surrounding islands, and has just over 800 electors)
- List of Tasmanian government agencies
- Local government in Tasmania
- Government of Tasmania website
- The Constitution of Tasmania in AustLII (link ineffective)
- Constitution Act 1934 (Tas) as enacted