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Tas MP apologises for 'mistaken' threat

AAP logoAAP 22/09/2016 Andrew Drummond

Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman has rejected calls to sack one of his most senior ministers over claims of bullying by a fellow state politician.

Upper house independent MLC Ruth Forrest alleges she was threatened by Liberal Rene Hidding during a conversation on Tuesday night as he urged her to support a proposed cycle-walkway between Wynyard and Burnie in her northern electorate.

Mr Hidding, the minister for police and infrastructure and a two-decade MP, told parliament on Thursday he has apologised to Ms Forrest.

"I have apologised for the manner of my conversation if she feels she was bullied, which she's indicated she has," Mr Hidding said.

"I expressed alarm at the notion the Bill could be held up and could hold up a key development."

The project is currently under consideration for millions of dollars in federal funding and the only way forward requires approval by state parliament, Mr Hidding added.

"Ms Forrest clearly took exception to me putting it to her in that way.

"I was appalled to learn that she felt bullied."

The Labor opposition called for the matter to be referred to police, citing a breach of the criminal code, adding that Mr Hidding's role as police minister is subsequently untenable.

"I'm confident that nothing I said to that member breached the code of conduct or any other law, it was a perfectly reasonable conversation to have, however the manner in which I conducted it obviously gave offence and for that I apologise," Mr Hidding said.

The premier rejected the opposition's characterisation of the matter.

"As usual you've made a broad, sweeping statement that is unfounded in truth," he told Labor leader Bryan Green.

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