David Bartlett

David Bartlett
David Bartlett
43rd Premier of Tasmania
In office
26 May 2008 – 23 January 2011
Preceded by Paul Lennon
Succeeded by Lara Giddings
Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly
for Denison
In office
1 April 2004 – 13 May 2011
Preceded by Jim Bacon
Succeeded by Graeme Sturges
Personal details
Born 19 January 1968 (1968-01-19) (age 43)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Larissa Bartlett (née Marris)
Children Hudson and Matilda Bartlett
Alma mater University of Tasmania
Profession Civil servant
Website www.davidbartlett.com.au

David John Bartlett (born 19 January 1968) is an Australian former politician in the state of Tasmania, serving as the 43rd Premier of Tasmania from May 2008 until January 2011. He was an Australian Labor Party member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly seat of Denison from 2004 to 2011.


Early life

He has been a resident of both Moonah and Mount Nelson. His education started at Mount Nelson Primary School, with secondary education at Taroona High School and Hobart College. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Graduate Diploma of Business in Professional Management at the University of Tasmania.[1]

Prior to entering parliament, he had a career in the information technology industry and the public sector, and served as the Manager of the Tasmanian Innovation Centre and as an advisor to former Tasmanian treasurer, David Crean.


He first entered parliament on a countback in 2004 after then Premier Jim Bacon resigned due to cancer. Bartlett was Deputy Premier of Tasmania from April to May 2008 and Premier of Tasmania from 26 May 2008, succeeding Paul Lennon.

Bartlett was re-elected in the 2006 election, receiving 12.97% of first preferences and topping the Labor vote in Denison; he was appointed Minister for Education and Skills in the Lennon Cabinet. As part of his parliamentary duties he serves on the Public Accounts Committee, the Environment, Resources and Development Committee and the Library Committee of Parliament.

On 10 April 2008 Paul Lennon announced Bartlett as the new Deputy Premier, replacing Steve Kons.[2]


On 26 May 2008 Lennon made the surprise announcement that he would resign that day as Premier. Bartlett was sworn in as Premier later in the day by the Tasmanian Governor, the Hon. Peter Underwood, having been elected State party leader by the caucus.[3]

During the March 2010 election campaign, Bartlett promised to resign as Premier if the opposition Liberal Party won more seats than the government,[4] and that a "back room deal with the Greens is a deal with the devil... I am not going to sell my soul for the sake of remaining in power".[5]

The seat results were 10 Liberal (38.99%), 10 Labor (36.88%), and 5 Green (21.61%), a hung parliament. With neither of the major parties able to win a majority, and neither willing to negotiate with the Greens, Bartlett went to Government House with a letter urging the Governor to commission a Liberal minority government. However, the Governor determined that Labor was in a position to offer more stable government than the Liberals.[6] Since he still held his commission as Premier, the Governor was of the view that Bartlett was obliged to test the support for his government on the floor of the House of Assembly.[7] Greens leader Nick McKim announced his party's support for Labor on matters of confidence and supply. A Labor-Green agreement with joint ministry arrangements eventuated, leading the Governor to re-appoint Bartlett as Premier in a Labor minority government.[8]

Bartlett said his minority government with the Greens was his biggest challenge of 2010: "I think the alternative would have been political chaos and parliamentary chaos, and that would be good for no-one. It had better work because with Tasmania facing hung parliaments and minority governments for the next decade or two as a regular part of our political landscape, we must find ways to make this work."[9]

Bartlett government achievements include the establishment of an integrity commission and introduction of freedom of information legislation, successfully lobbying for Tasmania being the first to receive the National Broadband Network rollout, and advocacy of Tasmania being the "national food bowl". However, education system reforms and forestry issues have been controversial for the government.[10]


Bartlett announced his resignation as Premier of Tasmania and Tasmanian Labor leader on Facebook on 23 January 2011, citing family reasons.[9][11] Deputy Premier Lara Giddings was sworn in on 24 January as the new Premier.[12] In the Giddings cabinet, Bartlett was appointed as Attorney-General and Justice Minister. He said he would remain in parliament but did not intend to contest the 2014 election.[9] On 11 May 2011, following the defeat of Labor's Lin Thorp in Legislative Council elections, he resigned from cabinet but said he would remain in parliament for some "months".[13] On 13 May, following pressure from within Labor and the Opposition, he quit parliament entirely.[14][15]

Private life

David Bartlett is married to Larissa, and has two children, Hudson and Matilda.[16]


  1. ^ David Bartlett – Premier of Tasmania, Australia
  2. ^ "David Bartlett appointed new Deputy Premier". ABC News. 10 April 2008. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/10/2213597.htm. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  3. ^ Neales, Sue; Worley, Mark and Matthews, Craig (26 May 2008). "Bartlett, Giddings new leaders". Hobart Mercury. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,23757967-921,00.html. Retrieved 26 May 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ Premier to resign if Liberals win more seats, ABC News (Australia), 16 March 2010.
  5. ^ Greens support Labor in Tasmania: ABC 8 April 2010
  6. ^ Hon Peter Underwood AC (9 April 2010). "The reasons of the Governor of Tasmania for the commissioning of the Honourable David Bartlett to form a government following the 2010 House of Assembly Election" (doc). http://www.govhouse.tas.gov.au/sites/default/files/speeches/Reasons_for_commissioning_Mr_Bartlett_to_form_a_government.pdf. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  7. ^ Tas governor explains why he chose Labor: The Age 8 April 2010
  8. ^ Ogilvie, Felicity: Governor's stinging rebuke for Bartlett, ABC News, 10 April 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Bartlett confirms resignation on Facebook: ABC 23 January 2011
  10. ^ Early exit is no magic solution: The Australian 24 January 2011
  11. ^ David Bartlett to quit as Tasmanian premier for family reasons: The Australian 23 January 2011
  12. ^ Giddings sworn in as Tasmanian Premier, ABC News, 24 January 2011
  13. ^ Tasmania in turmoil as Bartlett quits, ABC News
  14. ^ David Bartlett quits Tasmania's Parliament immediately, The Australian, 13 May 2011
  15. ^ Labor stalwart urges Bartlett's early exit, ABC News, 13 May 2011
  16. ^ Neales, Sue (8 December 2008). "Settling in to her role". Hobart Mercury. http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2008/12/08/43031_tasmania-news.html. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Paula Wriedt
Minister for Education (and Skills)
Succeeded by
Nick McKim
Preceded by
Steve Kons
as Minister for Infrastructure, Resources, Planning and Workplace Relations
Minister for Planning and Workplace Relations
Succeeded by
Allison Ritchie
as Minister for Workplace Relations
Succeeded by
David Llewellyn
as Minister for Planning
Preceded by
Steve Kons
Deputy Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Lara Giddings
Preceded by
Paul Lennon
Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Lara Giddings
Preceded by
New ministry
Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology
Succeeded by
David O'Byrne
Preceded by
Lara Giddings
Minister for Justice

Succeeded by
Brian Wightman
Party political offices
Preceded by
Paul Lennon
Leader of the Australian Labor Party in Tasmania
Succeeded by
Lara Giddings

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