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Tasmania Education Minister quits politics

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Tasmania’s Education Minister Sarah Courtney has quit politics, after recently copping criticism for holidaying in France during the state’s back-to-school preparations.

Ms Courtney, who held the health portfolio when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, announced on Thursday she was stepping down.

“I am resigning as both minister and member for Bass,” she said.

“I have given my heart and soul to this role for eight years and have taken every step to ensure it is my first priority.

“However, I believe the time has come for me to move on.

“Finding time to rest and recuperate in this job is difficult. Finding time to pause and reflect is even harder.

“When I was on leave, it gave me the opportunity to properly consider what future is personally right for me and my family.”

Ms Courtney contracted COVID-19 while overseas and was forced to isolate in Europe. She returned to Tasmania this week.

She copped criticism from the Labor opposition and Greens for the timing of her leave but had the backing of Premier Peter Gutwein.

Ms Courtney, 43, said her decision to resign was not based on the criticism.

“The decision was the culmination and confluence of a range of different factors,” she said.

“I’ve been reflecting on my time. The past two years in particular has been especially gruelling. Rewarding, but very gruelling and exhausting.”

Ms Courtney was elected to parliament in 2014 and holds five portfolios, including tourism, hospital and events and disability services.

The Liberals were returned to power for a third term at the May 2021 state election.

In a cabinet reshuffle following the poll, Ms Courtney relinquished the health portfolio and was appointed education minister.

-AAP

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