|Paula Catherine Wriedt|
|Member of the Tasmanian Parliament
24 February 1996 – 18 January 2009
11 December 1968 |
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
|Spouse(s)||Dale Rahmanovic (divorced)|
|Children||Daniel (b. 2000), Amy (b. 2001)|
Paula Catherine Wriedt (born 11 December 1968, Hobart) is a former Australian politician. She was an Australian Labor Party member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, representing the outer suburban Hobart seat of Franklin. She was first elected to parliament in the 1996 election. Wriedt is the daughter of former state Labor leader and Whitlam Government Minister for Agriculture Ken Wriedt.
Wriedt was appointed Minister for Education in 1998, becoming the youngest ever female member of Cabinet in Tasmania. As Education Minister, in December 2000, she launched "Learning Together", a major policy on education, training and information provision for the state of Tasmania. Learning Together promised a complete overhaul of the state's education system, introducing the Essential Learnings Curriculum as a trial way to assess and teach students. Wriedt also funded the establishment of a number of child care centres co-located with government primary schools, and saw the raising of Tasmania's school leaving age from 16 to 17 years.
In 2002 she also became Minister for Women. In 2005, Wriedt initiated the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women to recognise the significant contribution that women have made to Tasmania throughout history.
In the 2006 Tasmanian state election Wriedt suffered a decline in her primary vote, almost losing her seat to Liberal challenger Vanessa Goodwin, after criticism of the government over the Essential Learnings Curriculum. After the election, she became Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, while David Bartlett assumed her Education portfolio. Following a cabinet reshuffle in January 2008, Wriedt was appointed Minister for Economic Development and Tourism.
On 31 July 2008, Wriedt was the subject of a comment, which some described as a "lewd" remark, made by Sam Newman on the Nine Network's AFL Footy Show. Wriedt appeared on the show to announce a A$4 million sponsorship deal for a Tasmanian AFL team bid. Wriedt described the remark as "stupid and inappropriate", and Newman apologised the following day.
The following week, on 4 August 2008, Wriedt was admitted to hospital after an apparent suicide attempt. Premier David Bartlett announced that she would require a period of treatment and recuperation, and that he would be temporarily handling Wriedt's ministerial duties.
On 6 August 2008, Wriedt released a statement acknowledging that she had been suffering from depression following the breakdown of her marriage to Dale Rahmanovic in February 2008 as a consequence of an affair she had with former chauffeur Ben Chaffey, which had commenced a year earlier. Chaffey commenced legal proceedings seeking an ex-gratia payment of about $150,000, claiming the fall-out from the affair had left him unable to resume his work duties. Chaffey was subsequently awarded $40 000 on 24 November 2008.
On 18 January 2009 Wriedt announced her retirement from the Tasmanian parliament, citing her ongoing battle with depression.
On March 8, 2017, during an International Women’s Day panel discussion on ABC Local Radio, Wriedt clarified that she was not a member of any political party, saying that after she retired from Parliament in 2009 she “did not receive a membership renewal form from the ALP, which I took as a message that I was no longer welcome”. She also mentioned that her more enduring friendships from her days in politics were “more from her former opposition colleagues”.
Wriedt was appointed executive officer of Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania in 2010.
- "Paula Wreidt". Parliament of Tasmania. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- "Cabinet Profile - Paula Wreidt". Tasmanian Government. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- Ward, Airllie (2006-06-30). "Bartlett Interview". Stateline Tasmania. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- "Wriedt wins in Cabinet reshuffle". The Mercury (Hobart). 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
- Denholm, Matthew (2008-08-05). "Stricken minister Paula Wriedt rushed to hospital". The Australian. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- "Footy show star Sam Newman in trouble". Herald Sun. 31 July 2008. Archived from the original on 5 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- Burgess, Julian (4 August 2008). "Paula Wriedt rushed to hospital". The Examiner. Retrieved 2008-08-04. Cite error: Invalid
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- "Legal threat, Facebook link to suicide attempt". The Mercury. 2008. Archived from the original on 10 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- "Government won't comment on Wriedt future". ABC News. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- "Tasmanian MP's suicide bid linked to work, personal strains". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Wriedt, Paula (6 August 2008). "Statement from Paula Wriedt". Tasmanian Government Media Releases. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- Denholm, Matthew (6 August 2008). "Paula Wriedt regrets 'hurt' over affair with driver". The Australian. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
- Stedman, Michael (2008-11-24). "Driver lover of Tasmanian MP Paula Wriedt gets $40,000 compo". news.com.au. Retrieved 2008-11-24.[dead link]
- "Tasmania premier sacks troubled minister". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- "Troubled Wriedt quits Tasmanian Parliament". abc.net.au. 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- Wriedt content with NGO role, 28 May 2010, ABC News