Scrutiny of government

The role of Members of the Legislative Council is to scrutinise the government of the day and hold the political parties to account. A properly functioning Legislative Council can ensure government focuses on delivering better quality decisions and policy. As the Independent Member for Hobart I would assess all proposals for:

1.    evidence they will achieve what is claimed;

2.    whether they are in line with human rights benchmarks; and

3.    their cost/benefit to future generations

I also believe, however, that Independent Members can become too reactive. To best perform their scrutiny role, Independent Members should proactively put forward their own ideas and policies. 

My policies:

Human Rights

Our Tasmanian Law Reform Institute found a decade ago that human rights protection for our state is ‘partial, fragmented and inaccessible’. The recommended solution was for Parliament to pass a human rights law to give citizens better protection. That has not been adopted so in 2016 I started the Tasmanian Human Rights Act Campaign to raise awareness. As the Member for Hobart, I would continue to prioritise this issue.

Human rights protect the basic building blocks of life. When we look after an individual’s basic necessities such as education, health, food and housing, we equip them to achieve their full potential. The community as a whole also benefits. A Tasmanian Human Rights Act will ensure that the principles of equality and dignity are embedded in all government decision-making.

 

Education 

A good education sets up students for life and is one of the most important investments government can make. We need to continue the cultural shift towards Year 12 being regarded as the ‘new normal’. Year 10 should no longer be the end point of education. This is one of the biggest challenges our educational system faces and one which we must continue to prioritise.

 

Health

I support investing more in preventative health, such as good nutrition and active lifestyles. Important basics can help prevent medical complications later in life such as type 2 diabetes. The ‘slip, slop, slap’ message has weakened over time and we need to re-invest in this simple but effective strategy to reduce skin cancer. Tasmania still has one of the highest rates of sunburn in Australia.

In the hospital system, we must properly resource our hospital for people who need urgent medical help. I plan on being particularly rigorous in monitoring health system funding and making sure GST payments to Tasmania for our health are actually spent on hospitals and services.

 

Economy

Tasmania is starting to trade with renewed confidence and growth. The geographic isolation previously an economic inhibitor now advantages us as a positive point of difference against competitors. In a world increasingly overcrowded, over-developed and polluted, Tasmania has specialist products and unmatchable experiences to sell to the world. Making the right decisions to maintain our competitive advantages is a key economic challenge. This means being strategic enough to tread our own path and not blindly copy others. For these reasons I support policies which set us apart from other places such as maintaining the current moratorium on genetically modified organisms.

 

Traffic congestion

There are immediate improvements we can make to reduce congestion while large scale transport options like light rail, ferries on the Derwent River or new roads are weighed up. For example, making school buses more accessible would remove the need for parents to drive their children to school. Reducing the number and length of car trips in morning peak hour during school term is proven to cut congestion.

 

Environment

I believe protecting our unique environment is simply the right thing to do for Tasmanians today, and for future generations. I am fortunate enough to have walked through the Tarkine and support national park and world heritage status for this area so future generations have the same opportunities to visit this awe inspiring and special place. I’m skeptical about a cable car up kunanyi/Mt Wellington but willing to keep an open mind until the final plans and route are released by the proponent.

 

On other emerging issues…

My approach is to listen hard to people in the electorate and assess the issue against the evidence, human rights benchmarks and the interests of future generations

Please get in touch directly if you have any questions or comments.