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Ray Groom

Ray Groom, 1975 (AOT, PH30/1/5053)

Raymond John Groom (b 1944), Liberal politician and former VFL footballer, spent nine years as federal member for Braddon (1975–84), including a brief stint as minister. Enticed into state politics in 1986 by Premier Robin Gray, Groom was immediately appointed to the controversial forests portfolio. Throughout his career Groom held a number of portfolios. Deputy premier from 1988–89, he became Opposition leader following Gray's resignation in December 1991.

Two months later, after the Labor-Green Accord soured, Groom's Liberals won government with 19 seats (Labor 11, Greens 5). Despite pushing for reforms, including a reduction in the size of parliament, Groom lost his majority at the 1996 poll (winning 16 seats). Offered Green Independent support, Groom considered the situation unworkable, resigning as leader three weeks into his second term. He retired in 2001.

Stephen Tanner