tas news 7sd pageheader 2019

Hodgman's legacy hailed


Prominent industry figures are hopeful Will Hodgman's replacement will be able to maintain the momentum, following news the popular Liberal Premier is quitting Parliament to spend more time with his family. 

The Tourism Industry Council says he's been a champion for the sector, restoring marketing funding and driving the state's biggest-ever visitor infrastructure project at Cradle Mountain.

'Will's passion and commitment to our industry was clear to all in the industry," said CEO Luke Martin. 

"He memorably flew up and back to Adelaide and Darwin for barely 24 hours to attend Australian Tourism Awards Galas, and only a few weeks ago before Christmas spent hours in industry workshops in Northern Tasmania listening to local industry stakeholders shape their vision for tourism over the next decade.

 "A grateful tourism industry wishes Will, Nicky and their family all the best for the future."

Michael Bailey from the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says other areas have benefited.

"The education statistics in Tasmania have improved markedly over that six years...his work in China and other countries has really seen a growth in trade; we now have a billion dollars a year in trade going direct to China, which is amazing," he said. 

"We not only saw a growth in business confidence to record highs, we also saw Tasmanian businesses remain the most confident in business policy of any in the nation. That's been the case since the government came into power." 

Politically, Mr Hodgman's departure leaves a big hole for the Liberals to fill in his seat of Franklin, where he polled nearly 2.5 quotas on his own at the 2018 election. 

Jeremy Rockliff, Peter Gutwein and Michael Ferguson are being touted as potential replacements; Mr Hodgman's colleagues will make their decision next week after he declined to endorse a successor. 

Image: Will Hodgman addresses Parliament (Alex Jackson)