Man charged with rural Tasmanian murder

·1-min read

A 47-year-old man is accused of murder after a former parliamentary driver was found dead at his rural home in northern Tasmania.

The body of 70-year-old Michael Hawkes was discovered at a Reedy Marsh property on Tuesday evening.

Robert Gerard appeared briefly in Launceston Magistrates Court on Thursday afternoon after he was charged earlier in the day following a 24-hour search.

He was remanded in custody and will return to court on January 27.

Mr Hawkes had worked as a driver for former Labor MP and current Burnie mayor Steve Kons for about five years during his time in state politics in the early 2000s.

"We used to talk politics a fair bit. He was on the road for quite a few years, loved his gym work," Mr Kons said.

"He was there way before I got into parliament. He was there for many, many years."

Mr Hawkes' wife was treated for cuts after the incident on Tuesday and has since been released from hospital.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with Mr Hawkes' loved ones," Tasmania Police said in a statement.