A rank and file Labor Party member has defeated former long-serving MHR Dick Adams in a ballot for party president.
Ben McGregor, 38, who wants to transform the party, had a resounding victory over Mr Adams who received the fewest votes in the ballot.
A social worker from Hobart, Mr McGregor stood unsuccessfully for Clark against Andrew Wilkie at the 2019 federal election and said the experience had ignited a flame in him.
“Growing up in a single parent family and experiencing significant life events including the death by suicide of close cousins I have an intimate knowledge of difficulties experienced by everyday members and these experiences have shaped who I am today,” he wrote to ALP members.
“My work is in community services including significant experience working within mental health and children’s services, shaping my strong support for affordable housing as the bedrock for a strong and supportive community.
“It is my hope to be an agent of transformation for our great Party, leaning on innovation and being more approachable, moving our party to being an electoral force in the near future, a party who stands up for the rights of working people, that looks to its members for direction and advice, and strives for creating positive change.”
Mr Adams, who was a member of the House of the Assembly and then the federal Lyons member for 20 years from 1993, said he ran so there would be an election.
“It’s healthy to have young people get into this position because parliamentarians have enough to do,” he said.
Mr McGregor replaces Senator Anne Urquhart who had two terms in the position and had to stand down under ALP rules but will become a vice-president.
Born in Bendigo he was studying engineering at university but switched to social work.
He worked in Victoria in child safety with high risk children before coming to Tasmania to work for two years as a school social worker in Bridport, Winnaleah and Scottsdale.
Mr McGregor lives and works in Hobart in the NGO sector.
He dismissed speculation that Premier Peter Gutwein would go to an early election but conceded it was hard for Labor to get its message across during the pandemic.
“It is hard to get traction on anything at the moment, especially anything that might be vote winning,” Mr McGregor said.
“An early election is a possibility but I don’t think it is the Premier’s style, he wants to prove his worth though I’m sure there will be internal pressure for him to go early.
“But the Liberals are in trouble in Franklin without Will Hodgman and Denison is a mess with the Speaker fighting with the Attorney-General.”
In a left-right deal, the other vice-presidents are Unions Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday and Labor staff Scott Faulkner.
Former vice-president Tim Jacobson stood aside and did not contest the position at the ballot which was finalised on Friday.
Casey Farrell, the son of Legislative Council president Craig Farrell, also stood unsuccessfully for the position of president.