There’s a low down on Hobart Upper House candidates in the Mercury today. It’s worth taking a look at if you’re voting in next weekend’s election.
It also gives Hobartians a chance to weed out candidates:
· who don’t have an eye to the key issues for the city and state
· aren’t inclusive or
· lack some openness at best, or substance at worst.
Rob Valentine has been our City’s Lord Mayor since 1999. He’s been Teflon to controversy but he hasn’t really set our world on fire either. After reading his platform today, I was scratching my head and wondering what he really believes in, apart from IT that is.
He tells us he’s up for 'further critical' examination of local government. Tasmania is a state of half a million people, a dim economic forecast, massive cuts to state services and 29 local councils. We also have a history of Legislative Council members that have held office in local government whilst serving the state. Sustainable local government and an Upper House that will represent the interests of their state not just their electorate is what we need.
Similarly, Mr Valentine ducks and weaves on the forest debate. He wants an end to it but doesn’t articulate what the end will be. We need greater clarity about his position, particularly on a debate that has characterised our politics for decades.
Then there's Paul Hiscutt, the family orientated, catholic nurse. He supports a tsunami wave of funds to pound down into health services. It’s a bit too cheap political stunt isn’t it? Honey! There’s no money! But I guess he's counting on the nursing votes. What about the rest of the economy Mr Hiscutt? And where will you the money?
Mr Hiscutt says he'll support the family unit, he means the hetero-type and he draws the line at same sex parenting. Is this a case of if I pretend they don’t exist they won’t? His concession, he'll support same sex unions but not marriage. Not much of a contribution since we already have the Relationships Act 2003. http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/bdm/relationships
Fortunately, many of the candidates are making positive statements supporting reform which will make or break Tasmania: forestry, health, jobs, responsible and accountable government and budget management.
Penelope Ann, John Forster and James Sugden will all support the passage of the Tasmanian Forests IGA.
Ms Ann will support the development of sustainable affordable light rail through the Northern Suburbs and has her eye on a Tasmanian economy that optimizses our sustainable niche industries, those things that set us apart on the world stage.
Mr Sugden takes the themes of accountability and discipline, critical for a state groaning under the pressure of budget cuts, high unemployment and reduced Commonwealth revenue, probably the furthest of all candidates.
Mr Winter is out there making strong statements on climate change and pursuit of more efficient economic development as the backbone to providing a better Tasmania with the services we need. He also says he supports same sex rights.
Whoever you vote for next week, make sure it’s for someone who is upfront about what they believe and has a positive future for all of us and our beautiful state.
What platform will you vote for?