Peter Gutwein installed as new Tas premier

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TASMANIAN LIBERAL PARTY MEETING PRESSER

Treasurer Peter Gutwein (R) has ascended to Tasmania premier with Jeremy Rockliff as Deputy Premier

Tasmania's new premier Peter Gutwein says more needs to be done on climate change and creating better opportunities on the island state.

The treasurer ascended to premier on Monday, replacing Will Hodgman who stood down last week for family reasons.

"A rapidly changing climate is now the new normal and we must learn from the recent lessons of the mainland bushfires and once again we must do more," Mr Gutwein said in his first press conference as premier.

"I also understand very clearly not every Tasmanian is reaping the benefits of our stronger economy and not every Tasmanian is able to grasp the opportunities that presents."

Mr Gutwein said he wanted better employment and housing opportunities , no matter a person's background and circumstances.

He also said he would not be diverting from the plans and commitments the government took to the 2018 election and won with.

Mr Gutwein was unanimously endorsed and sworn in as the 46th premier on Monday, after the only other person running, senior minister Michael Ferguson, stepped away from the race hours before a vote.

Mr Gutwein and Mr Ferguson were vying for the top job in what was seen as a contest between the party's moderate and conservative factions. Mr Gutwein represents the moderate faction of the party, with devout Christian Mr Ferguson the more conservative option.

But Mr Ferguson pulled out of the race on Monday morning after spending the weekend talking to colleagues.

"As I said last Thursday, my position, as always, is to do what is best for our party, the government and most importantly the Tasmanian people," he said.

"Peter Gutwein and Jeremy Rockliff have made significant contributions to Tasmania in their Parliamentary careers and they will be a strong and dependable leadership team. We respect them. They will have our full support."

Opposition Leader Rebecca White said she doubted Mr Ferguson's leadership aspirations were behind him and the sincerity of Mr Gutwein's vow for a more equal Tasmania, given his years as treasurer.

"He needs to make sure that people who are struggling in Tasmania can actually get a roof over their head, can access the health care that they need and get a job here because right now, too many people in Tasmania are doing it tough and Peter Gutwein has completely ignored them."

Mr Hodgman last Tuesday stepped down as premier after six years in the role and 18 years in politics, citing a desire to spend more time with family.

He said a mid-term exit was the right time for fresh leadership before the next state poll in 2022.

Mr Gutwein hails from the electorate of Bass, meaning Tasmania will have a premier based in the state's north for the first time in nearly 40 years.