Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein suddenly resigns saying he needs to ‘focus on his family’ in shock announcement coming weeks after he revealed he was sexually assaulted as a teenager
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has announced he is stepping down as the island state’s leader and is resigning from Parliament.
Mr Gutwein said it had been an honour to serve as the state’s Premier throughout the Covid pandemic but wanted to spend more time with his family.
‘First and foremost, I want to thank my family, my wife, my son, my daughter for their support and love,’ he said in his farewell speech on Monday.
‘It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as Tasmania ‘s 46th Premier. However, the time is now right for me to move on and to attend to other things in my life.
‘The past two years have delivered unforeseen challenges as we’ve navigated through Covid-19, and focus on rebuilding a stronger Tasmania.
‘During this time, rightly focused on everyone else’s family, are I want to spend some time focusing on my own.’
It comes less than a year after he won re-election.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has been in office since January 2020
Earlier this month, Mr Gutwein revealed he was a victim of child sexual abuse as a young man.
He said it occurred when he left school at 16 and one of his former teachers invited him over for a beer.
The candid comments were prompted after he was asked by the press about the behaviour of some of his Liberal Party members, who groaned while the state’s upcoming Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse was mentioned at Question Time.
The state’s opposition leader was recounting the suffering of a Tasmanian sexual abuse survivor at the time.
Later the survivor complained about the murmurs made and the premier responded by saying he had great empathy because he ‘had walked in their shoes’.
Mr Gutwein said that when he was 16 he ‘had been a victim of child sexual assault’, in the former teacher’s home.
‘Whilst I was there, they placed their arm around me and they grabbed for my groin, and they tried to get their hand down my pants,’ he told reporters.
‘Now I was big enough and strong enough to get them off me and to get away.’
He said he had reached out to the person who took offence at the groaning of government MPs, and hoped ‘they get in touch’.
‘I know what the loss of trust feels like, I know what the shame feels like.’
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Mr Gutwien (pictured with his wife, Amanda) said he was strong enough to flee the predator