Libs in minority government as MPs quit over stadium

·2-min read
Sonja Ambrose/AAP PHOTOS

Australia's last Liberal government will "get on with the job" governing in minority after two MPs quit the party, Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff says.

"I'm extremely disappointed, but I'm getting on with the job," Mr Rockliff told reporters in Launceston on Friday.

"People might not always agree with what we are doing, but we are doing it for the right reasons."

Bass MP Lara Alexander and Lyons MP John Tucker quit the Liberal Party earlier on Friday, citing concerns over state debt and government transparency around the planned $715 million Macquarie Point AFL stadium.

Mr Tucker also took issue with the Bass Strait Marinus Link transmission project.

"We want to ensure for the Tasmanian taxpayers that this stadium doesn't become a nightmare for them going forward," Mr Tucker told reporters in Launceston.

"I've always been brought up to be honest and if something isn't right, stand up," Mr Tucker said.

The construction of a new stadium in Hobart - a condition of the AFL awarding Tasmania a team licence to join the league - has been a contentious issue as the state struggles with pressures on housing, health and debt.

The premier denied there were transparency issues in his party room.

"Everyone has the freedom to speak their mind and put their view very forthrightly to the team," Mr Rockliff said.

Ms Alexander said she hoped constituents who had voted for her purely on a party basis would understand the difficulty of her decision.

"I have to be truthful to what I believe in," she said.

The resignations will up-end the Tasmanian Liberals' tight majority, leaving Mr Rockliff to lead a government with 11 out of 25 seats in the House of Assembly, with Ms Alexander and Mr Tucker joining the crossbench as independents.

Tasmanian Opposition leader Rebecca White said the Tasmanian Liberal Party was no longer capable of taking the state forward.

"Jeremy Rockliff should recall the Tasmanian Parliament at the earliest opportunity to test that he still maintains the confidence of the majority of members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly," Ms White told reporters.  

Mr Tucker and Ms Alexander said they would not support a vote of no confidence in the government but it remained a possibility.

"I don't envisage that that will happen... but who knows what the future will hold?" Mr Tucker said.

"We're not planning on bringing the government down, if that's what you're asking us."

Defending the stadium, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said plans to upgrade the Macquarie Point site went back to at least 2012 when he was infrastructure minister under Julia Gillard.

"Our cities need to provide opportunity for economic activity as well as lifting up the quality of life," Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney.

"And I think that ... this site has been left derelict for too long."