*excerpt from Premier’s speech to Liberal Campaign Launch 18 April 2021
My colleagues and friends,
Throughout the last 12 months and especially during the early part of last year, like you all I had doubts and I had fears.
Like you early last year all I was worried for my family, I was concerned about what the future held.
But what worried me most was the fact that we had an older more vulnerable population and that if this virus got loose on our shore the consequences would be devastating.
There’s no doubt, the past 12 months has been the most extraordinary and difficult time that most of us have had to endure in our lifetime.
The things that I have asked Tasmanians to do as Premier have been among the hardest things I have ever had to do.
Closing businesses, restricting movements, telling loved ones they had to stay apart at the very time they longed to be together, affected me deeply.
Much was made of when I shed a tear in Parliament after shutting down thousands of businesses and putting tens of thousands out of work.
I am not a person who wears their emotions on their sleeve.
I cannot cry on command.
The enormity of those decisions was not lost on me and nor will they ever be.
We closed two hospitals, confined our staff and their families in their homes, effectively cancelled last Easter, stopped people from using their shacks and policed our community’s movements with helicopters.
We closed our borders – and kept them closed for eight months, despite pressure to open them, including from the Leader of the Labor Party.
Having to tell people they couldn’t travel back to Tasmania for the funeral of a family member was quite simply, gut-wrenching.
There are phone conversations I have had with people that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Believe me the tears I shed in Parliament were not the only ones I shed last year.
But those decisions, no matter how hard, were necessary to keep us safe.
As difficult as this was at times, to keep Tasmania safe I’d do it all again in a heart-beat if I had to.
I know our response hasn’t been perfect every single time.
But I assure you, that each and every decision that we made as a Government – and each and every decision I have made as Premier, was and will continue to be made through the lens first and foremost of:
“Will this help keep Tasmanians safe?”
In two weeks, we will all cast our votes.
So I say to Tasmanians, when you decide who you’ll be voting for, please consider the following question:
Who do you want sitting in the Premier’s chair when the next big challenge comes?