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Whish-Wilson gets nod to replace Brown in Senate

Date

Judith Ireland

Activist runs on the board ... Peter Whish-Wilson with his family, Bronte, 13, Finn, 11, and Natalie at their property on the Tamar River.

Activist runs on the board ... Peter Whish-Wilson with his family, Bronte, 13, Finn, 11, and Natalie at their property on the Tamar River. Photo: Scott Gelston

A Tasmanian vineyard owner who has campaigned against the Gunns pulp mill will replace Bob Brown in the Senate.

Greens leader Christine Milne announced this morning that Peter Whish-Wilson, who also has a passion for surfing and a background in international finance, will be the new Greens Senator for Tasmania.

"Congratulations and a hearty welcome to Peter Whish-Wilson as the newest member of the Australian Greens Senate team," Senator Milne tweeted this morning.

Mr Whish-Wilson said he was "deeply humbled" by the position and conscious of the responsibility that comes with being a Senator.

The new senator said that his appointment sent a strong message to Tasmanians that the Greens would continue to oppose the Gunns pulp project in the Tamar Valley.

Mr Whish-Wilson, 44, has two children and lives in Launceston with his wife Natalie. He lists his interests as surfing, history and viticulture.

Senator Brown welcomed his replacement, noting his multiple gold medal winning vineyard and his experience in small business and international finance.

"He will be a gold medal Senator for Tasmania," he said.

Senator Brown said it was a rigorous selection process and that there were nine or ten candidates, with some not nominating publicly to protect their privacy.

"I'll vote for Peter in every way that I can," Senator Brown said. "I'm just totally delighted."

Mr Whish-Wilson has a four-year history with the marine conservation group the Surfrider Foundation and is the co-owner of a vineyard, and physiotherapy and pilates business.

He is also an economics lecturer at the University of Tasmania, with a focus on sustainability and climate change. His previous work in investment banking has taken him to Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and New York.

Mr Whish-Wilson also has military experience, having started his varied career as the Australian Defence Force Academy in the 1980s.

Senator Brown surprised many when he resigned last month as both Greens leader and Senator for Tasmania after 16 years in parliament.

He resignation from the Greens leadership was immediate but he will not leave the Senate until June, when Ms Whish-Wilson arrives in Canberra.

Mr Whish-Wilson, was one of only three candidates to publicly announce their nomination for Senator Brown's senate spot, along with Hobart aldermen Helen Burnet and Bill Harvey.

Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim, who was initially considered a strong possibility, ruled himself out last month.

with Andrew Darby

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