Jeremy Rockliff (first row, third from right) and cabinet ministers.
Jeremy Rockliff's (front, 3rd from right) government will rule in minority with independent support. Image by Ethan James/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

Final minority Liberal government deal not yet signed

Ethan James April 12, 2024

A balance-of-power independent MP who intends to provide confidence and supply to Tasmania’s Liberal minority government says negotiations for a formal deal are ongoing.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff on Friday said independent MP and former Labor leader David O’Byrne had provided a written assurance of supply and confidence votes in parliament. 

The Liberals won 14 of 35 lower-house seats at the March 23 election, four short of the number required to govern in their own right. 

Three first-term Jacqui Lambie Network MPs earlier this week inked a deal to provide votes of confidence and supply in parliament in return for several measures.   

David O'Byrne
 David O’Byrne says no arrangements have been finalised for his support of a Liberal government. Image by Rob Blakers/AAP PHOTOS 

Mr O’Byrne said he was still in discussions with Mr Rockliff about the formation of the next government and ensuring Tasmanians have a functioning parliament.

“The public statement made by the premier (on Friday) more or less echoes the public statements that … (fellow independent) Kristie Johnston and I have made regarding supply and confidence matters without qualification,” he said in a statement. 

“Discussions are still ongoing and no arrangements have been finalised.

“I intend to provide supply and confidence to the premier and this government, in the absence of any other party putting their hand up and attempting to form a government.” 

The decade-long Labor opposition secured just 10 seats at the election and conceded they were unable to form government.

Mr O’Byrne said he provided a letter so the governor was aware of his public position prior to any arrangement being finalised.

“I want to be clear that I will not be signing up to any agreement that will limit my ability to stand up for what matters and fight for the better outcomes Tasmanians deserve,” he said. 

“The outcome of these negotiations will be made public once finalised.” 

Mr Rockliff earlier told ABC radio Mr O’Byrne had given a written guarantee but discussions were ongoing and he had not made any commitments in return for support. 

“We can now move forward … and have a parliament that is workable, that listens to everyone’s ideas (and) provides that certainty and stability that Tasmanians want,” he said. 

The incumbent Liberals suffered a 12 per cent swing against them at the election. 

Mr Rockliff promised a review into the financial modelling behind divisive AFL stadium plans in Hobart as part of the deal with Jacqui Lambie Network MPs Miriam Beswick, Andrew Jenner and Rebekah Pentland.