Who is Tasmania's new Premier Peter Gutwein?

RETHINK: Peter Gutwein in 2002 broke ranks with his party and called for the Liberals to rethink its forestry policy. Picture: file

RETHINK: Peter Gutwein in 2002 broke ranks with his party and called for the Liberals to rethink its forestry policy. Picture: file

Tasmania's new Premier Peter Gutwein is the first Launceston-based leader in 38 years.

The Bass MHA was sworn in as the state's 46th Premier by Governor Kate Warner on Monday.

Mr Gutwein, 55, was born in England and raised in Nunamara near Launceston.

He attended Myrtle Park Primary School, Queechy High School and Deakin University in Melbourne where he gained a Diploma of Financial Planning and post graduate qualifications in business administration.

Before entering politics, Mr Gutwein worked in senior management positions in financial services across Australia and in Europe.

His association with the Liberal party began in 1996 when Mr Gutwein managed former Bass Liberal MHR Warwick Smith's election campaign which saw Mr Smith returned to Parliament.

Following the election of the Howard government, Mr Gutwein spent two years as an adviser to Tasmanian Senator Jocelyn Newman who was the Minister for Social Security.

Mr Gutwein was first elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in the 2002 election.

In his maiden speech on September 26, 2002, Mr Gutwein said all Tasmanians should be "healthy, wealthy and wise" and demanded action on the state's poor economic performance.

His first address to the media as Premier has been likened to his maiden speech.

MONEY MAN: Treasurer Peter Gutwein hands down the 2019-20 state budget alongside former premier Will Hodgman. Picture: file

MONEY MAN: Treasurer Peter Gutwein hands down the 2019-20 state budget alongside former premier Will Hodgman. Picture: file

In 2002, Mr Gutwein told The Examiner the Liberal party should review its forestry policy and move away from the clearing of old-growth forests

Mr Gutwein called for an immediate review "for the sake of all Tasmanians" and urged his colleages to support selective logging in old-growth forests.

The move was seen as Mr Gutwein breaking ranks from the party and sparked speculation he would challenge then-Liberal leader Rene Hidding, who was overseas, for the top job.

Mr Gutwein ruled out contesting the leadership and threw his support behind Mr Hidding.

But he remained at odds with the party and in 2003 became the first Tasmanian MHA in five years to cross the floor in support of a bill by the Greens seeking to establish an inquiry into child abuse.

Consequently he was stripped of his shadow portfolios of treasury, education and employment by Mr Hidding.

Mr Gutwein regained the treasury portfolio in 2014 when the Liberals won government.

He has also held various other ministries including state growth, environment and parks, and planning and local government.

FIGHTER: Peter Gutwein is known in Parliament as an attack dog and outside politics is a qualified Tae Kwon Do black belt instructor. Picture: file

FIGHTER: Peter Gutwein is known in Parliament as an attack dog and outside politics is a qualified Tae Kwon Do black belt instructor. Picture: file

Mr Gutwein is known in Parliament as an attack dog and considered one of the Liberals' best performing members.

The Tasmanian Parliamentary Library lists Mr Gutwein as the member suspended most often with 16 suspensions as of May 2015.

He is seen as a moderate within the party along with his Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff.

Although once opposed to the legalisation of homosexuality, Mr Gutwein in 2015 voted in favour of a motion supporting same-sex marriage.

According to the biography on Mr Gutwein's website, the former footballer enjoys staying active and is a qualified black belt instructor in the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do.

Mr Gutwein is also known to enjoy skateboarding, having suffered a minor injury from skateboarding in August 2019.

He lives in the Tamar Valley with his wife Amanda and two children Millie and Finn.

This story Who is Tasmania's new Premier Peter Gutwein? first appeared on The Advocate.