Former Queensland Labor MP who left the ALP before jumping ship to the Greens, Ronan Lee (pictured extreme right), has left his post as â€œHead of Officeâ€ to Tasmanian Greens Minister for Community Development Nick McKim after only six months in the role.
Leeâ€™s socially conservative views apparently made his stay with the Greens an uncomfortable one at times, insiders say.
Greens observers in Tasmania say the move confirms reservations held by the business community that the Greens party is unstable and represents a â€œticking time-bombâ€ for their current Labor coalition partners.
The Minister McKim is the de facto partner of Cabinet secretary Cass Oâ€™Connor.
Recently the couple excluded themselves from a significant government decision on betting taxes, of which they disapproved prompting the Liberal Opposition Leader Will Hodgman to point out that it highlighted the uncertainty and instability of the Labor/Green administration.
Today, confirming the strange nature of the Tasmanian regime, Oâ€™Connor â€“ McKimâ€™s lover â€“ demanded the Labor Environment minister take action to protect the rights and freedoms of Tasmaniaâ€™s possum community. Hundreds of thousands of possums are culled a year in Tasmania to protect farmersâ€™ crops. Even Age journalists refer to the cute creatures as â€œverminâ€ because of their attacks on inner-urban vege patches. Some entrepreneurs â€“ keen to make a quid and to help out Tassie farmers too are hoping to export possum skins for clothing and hats for what is described as a â€œgrowing marketâ€ in New Zealand and also to export possum meat to an emerging market where they might have a taste for it, in the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China.
The Minister for Community Development, Nick McKim, said today his Head of Office, Ronan Lee, had resigned for health reasons.
â€œI want to thank Ronan for his support for me over the last year, and for his efforts in establishing my Ministerial office,â€ Mr McKim said.
â€œRonan made an outstanding contribution to the Greensâ€™ recent election campaign, for which I will always be grateful.
â€œI wish him well and all the best for the future.â€
He said he hoped to advertise soon for a new Head of Office.