Cassy O'Connor

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Cassy O'Connor
MP
Minister O'Connor.jpg
Constituency Denison
Greens Member for Denison
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 July 2008
Preceded by Peg Putt
Secretary to Cabinet
In office
21 April 2010 – 11 November 2010
Minister for Human Services
In office
11 November 2010 – 17 January 2014
Preceded by Nick McKim
Succeeded by Rebecca White
Minister for Community Development
In office
11 November 2010 – 17 January 2014
Preceded by Nick McKim
Succeeded by Lara Giddings
Minister for Climate Change
In office
12 May 2011 – 17 January 2014
Preceded by Nick McKim
Succeeded by Lara Giddings
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
In office
12 May 2011 – 17 January 2014
Preceded by Nick McKim
Succeeded by Lara Giddings
Personal details
Born (1967-04-01) 1 April 1967 (age 47)
Canberra
Nationality Australian
Political party Tasmanian Greens
Spouse(s) Steven Lees (1st)
Nick McKim (2nd)

Cassandra (Cassy) Stanwell O'Connor (born 1 April 1967 in Canberra, ACT)[1] is an Australian politician, who has been a Tasmanian Greens member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly since 2008, representing the electorate of Division of Denison.

One of two Greens in the eight member cabinet, O'Connor was Minister for Human Services, Community Development, Climate Change and Aboriginal Affairs in the Bartlett and Giddings cabinets from 2011 until 2014.[2]

Background[edit]

The daughter of a former ABC foreign correspondent, O’Connor spent her childhood in India, Singapore, Japan, Canberra, Brisbane and Stradbroke Island, Queensland, before moving to Tasmania in 1989.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Prior to entering Parliament, O'Connor worked as a television news journalist and a political staffer in the Keating Government for former Justice Minister and Federal ALP member for Denison Duncan Kerr and later for Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and Tasmanian Senator Christine Milne.[citation needed]

She also became well known in Tasmania as the face of the "Save Ralphs Bay" campaign. This community campaign began in March 2004, when Sydney-based developer Walker Corporation announced its intention to construct Tasmania's first canal housing estate in the Ralphs Bay Conservation Area east of Hobart.[3][4] In June 2010 the legal confirmation of the Ralphs Bay Conservation Area as being 171 hectares came into effect, therefore preventing Walker Corporations proposed canal housing estates.[5]

O'Connor addresses media, Hobart, March 2006

Political career[edit]

O'Connor finished second on the Tasmanian Greens Denison ticket in 2006 with 3.6% of the primary vote. She received 70% of Tasmanian Greens Leader Peg Putt's preferences and eventually reached almost half a quota before being excluded. She first won the seat of Denison on a countback of votes on 21 July 2008 after the sitting member and leader of the Tasmanian Greens Peg Putt resigned earlier in the month.[3]

Cassy O'Connor was re-elected at the 2010 election, receiving the highest number of first preference votes in Denison with 16.2%.[6]

On 19 April 2010, Labor Premier David Bartlett appointed Ms O'Connor as Secretary to Cabinet. In November 2010 she was promoted within the Bartlett cabinet, holding two portfolios. O'Connor and Nick McKim are the first Greens in Australia to hold Cabinet positions.[7]

In 2011 O’Connor was given full Ministerial responsibility for Human Services, Community Development, Aboriginal Affairs and Climate Change. Elements of Community Development include Multicultural Affairs, Seniors, Women, Youth and Gambling. Her colleague Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim MP is now Minister for Education, Sustainable Transport, and Corrections and Consumer Affairs.[8]

On 16 January 2014, Premier Lara Giddings announced that the power sharing arrangement with the Tasmanian Greens was over, and that O'Connor and McKim would be replaced by Labor MPs, effective 17 January. She said that the ALP would not govern with Greens in the cabinet in future.[9]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2009, O'Connor confirmed she was in a relationship with fellow MP and leader of the state Greens party, Nick McKim.[10] She was previously married to Steven Lees and has four children born prior to the relationship with McKim.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parliamentary library profile, Parliament of Tasmania
  2. ^ Brown, Damien (11 November 2010). "Bartlett's new Cabinet". The Mercury (News Limited). Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "New member for Denison". ABC News. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  4. ^ "Convincing win to O'Connor in recount". The Mercury. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-08-04. [dead link]
  5. ^ Ralphs Bay Conservation Area (Clarification) Act 2006 cited in: "Media Release: 171 Hectare Ralphs Bay Conservation Area Comes Into Effect Today". Tasmanian Greens. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Division of Denison - first preference figures". Tasmanian Electoral Commission. 
  7. ^ "Greens, Bartlett reach last-minute compromise". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 20 April 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  8. ^ [1] Tasmanian Greens Media release
  9. ^ "Giddings removes Greens from Tasmanian Cabinet". Radio National. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Peter Wels (2009-07-04). "Green MPs pair off". The Examiner. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  11. ^ "Cassy O'CONNOR MP - Electorate: DENISON - Inaugural speech". Parliament of Tasmania. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nick McKim
Minister for Human Services
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Rebecca White
Minister for Community Development
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Lara Giddings
Minister for Climate Change
2011–2014
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
2011–2014