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'Election ready' opposition shadow cabinet announced

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A new shadow cabinet has been unveiled which the State Opposition hopes will take it to the upcoming state election. 

Opposition Leader Rebecca White has held on to the Health portfolio despite taken being elected party leader just months ago. 

But Ms White would not commit to staying on as Health Minister if she leads the party into Government. 

"We have a wealth of experience in the Labor Party," she said.

"If we are lucky enough to win the election, whenever it may be, I will always have a strong interest in the health portfolio.

"[But] I will have a number of members of parliament in the Labor Team who are capable of being the Minister for Health."

Me White has, however, passed on the Mental Health portfolio to the party's newest MLC Sarah Lovell who was elected in May. 

Ms Lovell also takes on the Small Business and Workplace Relations portfolios.

She said she was looking forward to the challenge of the mental health role would bring.

"We're seeing more and more, particularly over the last week or so, that the crisis in our health system has spread to mental health.

"We've had mental health patients waiting in the emergency department for 80 hours to access treatment."

Another relative newcomer, Shane Broad, was handed another of Ms White's portfolios, Primary Industries and Water.

He also takes on the Infrastructure and Mining jobs.

"I haven't been in Parliament for years and years but I'm willing to work as hard as I possibly can to make these issues around [these portfolios] and bring them to the fore.

Scott Bacon has picked up Energy and Advanced Manufacturing, also formerly Ms White's responsibility.

Reshuffle evidence of 'opposition in chaos'

The Government was quick to point out it was the third shadow ministry unveiled in the past six months and was a sign of a party "hopelessly split and riven with disunity".

Government frontbencher Michael Ferguson said "who knows how long this one will last".

He also noted that outspoken MP Madeleine Ogilvie had lost the Workplace Relations portfolio.

"Tellingly, Madeleine Ogilvie has been punished in response to speaking out against the union bosses by having responsibility for small business taken off her, and given to the unionist Sarah Lovell," he said.

He was also skeptical about Ms White's comments about retaining the health portfolio if she were to win Government.

"Tasmanians are none the wiser as who would be Health Minister in a Labor-Green minority government because it is inconceivable that Bec White would retain the portfolio in government."

"Equally, Tasmanians have no idea who would be Attorney-General given Lara Giddings is not re-contesting, nor who will be Forestry Minister when David Llewellyn goes.

"Presumably it is being set aside for Cassy O'Connor."

 

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