The Tasmanian Greens have chosen winemaker, academic and former investment banker Peter Whish-Wilson to replace Bob Brown in the Senate.
Whish-Wilson runs the Three Wishes Vineyard outside Launceston and previously worked for investment banks Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. Whish-Wilson, who has been a high-profile campaigner against the Gunns pulp mill near Launceston, also lectures in corporate finance at the University of Tasmania.
Like Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie, he attended the Royal Military College at Duntroon.
Whish-Wilson, understood to be the the nephew of former Sydney Morning Herald publisher Llloyd Whish-Wilson, is seen as a more moderate Green than, for example, senators Lee Rhiannon or Sarah Hanson-Young.
Bob Brown, who is retiring after 16 years in the Senate, told a Hobart press conference today: "I am totally delighted that Peter Whish-Wilson will be Tasmania's newest Senator."
"He has a gold-medal winning winery and he will be a gold-medal senator."
Current Greens leader Christine Milne praised the senator-elect as an ecotourism pioneer, and said she was pleased that northern Tasmania would have a voice in the federal parliament.
Brown said that there were "nine or ten" candidates for his vacant Senate spot, which was decided by the 11-member Tasmanian Greens Executive. The other candidates have not been revealed for privacy reasons.
Whish-Wilson, who has a burly physique and a soul patch, said he plans to refrain from commenting on political issues until he takes up his Senate position in June.