Tasmania’s Speaker Sue Hickey, who sensationally ascended to the position three years ago, won’t be re-endorsed by the Liberal party for the next state election.
Ms Hickey ran as a Liberal at the 2018 poll but voted with the Labor and Greens opposition to claim the Speakership over the government’s preferred option.
She has voted with her party colleagues on matters of supply and confidence but has crossed the floor on some issues.
Premier Peter Gutwein told Ms Hickey on Sunday she will not be endorsed for the next poll, which is due by March 2022, as she does not have support across the wider party.
Ms Hickey said the decision is symptomatic of a Liberal party unable to accommodate strong women of independent thought.
“I strongly support what I believe are true Liberal ideals, such as promoting small business and providing increased opportunities for the community,” she said in a statement.
“But at the same time, I believe we should provide the necessary services and support for those who are vulnerable and in need.”
Mr Gutwein said the state government needs to operate as a strong team.
“Each Liberal government member must work as part of that team to serve the people of Tasmania whilst upholding the values, principles and policies of the Liberal party,” he said in a statement.
Ms Hickey said while the Liberals may not have been happy with how she assumed the Speakership, she always acted fairly and in line with proper processes and requirements.
“I have always supported the Liberal government in matters of confidence and budget supply, as well as commending Premier Gutwein particularly for his handling of the COVID-19 emergency,” she said.
The Liberals have 13 seats in the state’s 25-seat lower house.
Ms Hickey, former Hobart mayor, said she would now “consider her position” but intended to continue serving in the parliament.
She was one of two Liberals elected in the Hobart seat of Clark, which is also represented by an independent and Labor and Greens MPs.
“This is a challenging time for the Liberal party and its supporters,” Ms Hickey said.
“It appears that the men in dark suits are firmly in control and there is no place for small ‘l’ Liberal women who refuse to kowtow or be subservient to the dominant males.”