Policy Priorities

These are the priorities and issues people in the community are telling me they want action on…

Health

Community health – There needs to increased investment in community health services so that people can stay and be cared for in their homes. This improves peoples quality of life and also improves overall health outcomes

Reducing the bed block – no one wants to stay in hospital but because the lack of community based and in-home services available then people often are forced to. This causes bed-blocking and has a flow on effect which means that the people who do genuinely need acute care in a hospital can’t get it or have to wait an unreasonable time. Greater investment in sub-acute care services means that people can get out of hospital faster, have better care in their home or community freeing up the much needed beds for acute patients.

Promoting wellness – It’s not rocket science that keeping people well cost less than treating unwell people. By investing more in wellness programs we can save more in the long term on health, and best of all we help to ensure that Tasmanians lead healthy lives.

Local services – It is important that there are wrap-around and allied health services located within communities so that they are easily accessible to people in their communities when they need them so that they don’t have to travel.

After-hours GPs – On far too many occasions people are forced to present to the emergency department because they could not see a local GP. Our after-hours services are under too much pressure, there are not enough GPs who bulk bill and finding one who is available is often very difficult. This put pressure on an already under-resource hospital system. The Government must work as a priority with the Federal Government to ensure that GPs hav the support they need to meet the medical needs of our community wherever possible.

Elective Surgery – It is unacceptable that Tasmanians have to wait, often experiencing chronic pain, for surgery. One in every ten Tasmanians is on the waiting list for outpatient services. We simply do not have enough beds and access to specialist surgeons to meet the needs of our State. The Government must address both these issues if we want to see a reduction in waiting times.

Mental health services – It shouldn’t take someone to reach crisis point before they can access mental health services. Tasmanians should have easy access to mental health services within their community when they need them.

Addiction services – Addictive behaviours can have an enormously detrimental impact not only on the person experiencing the behaviour but also their family and friends. Timely access to good and local support services can improve the lives of many people in our community.

GP access in residential aged care – It is too hard to find a GP willing to visit residents in aged care services. It is often a barrier for people moving into a home. The small number of GPs who currently do it are overworked. The State Government as a priority needs to work with local GPs to ensure there are more who are able and willing to work in this area.

Putting people at the centre of health care – I hear all the time that people feel like the health system just treats them like a number or a statistic. We need a health system that puts the person at the centre of every decision and focuses on improving the quality of life for each individual.

NDIS – Whilst the introduction of the NDIS has revolutionised the delivery of disability support services you need to be a brain surgeon to navigate the mountain of paper work and the processes to ensure that you can access the care needed. It shouldn’t be that hard and many people are not receiving the services they should because it’s too hard. Supporting people with disabilities to access services not only improves their quality of life it makes good economic sense too by reducing the cost to our health system and encouraging people to live their best lives and participate fully in our economy.

More updates to come…

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing – We have been in a housing crisis for over a decade and the situation is just getting worse not better. Families can’t afford to enter the property market with houses being sold well over the asking price and rent has increased significantly meaning that more and more Tasmanians are living in housing stress. We have older Tasmanians living in big family homes who want to down size to something smaller in their community but there is nothing available and we also have young families who want those big family homes that aren’t going on the market. We need to urgently intervene to diversify the housing that is available and ensure it is more affordable.

Public housing – There are now more than 4,700 people on the waiting list for public housing. With the private housing market so unaffordable more Tasmanians than ever need support with their housing needs. Whilst the Federal Government has waived the State’s housing debt, little has been done to reinvest that money back into actual new homes for people.

Homelessness – With more and more Tasmanians in housing stress, homelessness can happen to any of us at any time. All it takes is a job loss, an illness, an addiction, or a huge increase in rent. Housing is a basic human right and we need to invest in more emergency and crisis housing to ensure that every Tasmanian has their basic needs met.

Accessible housing – People want to live in connected communities where they can easily access all the services and amenities that they need. We have an opportunity to provide much needed homes if we densify development near transport corridors and close to services.

More updates to come…

Education

Minimum standard funding – There isn’t a single public school in Tasmania which is funded to the bare minimum standard. This is an appalling situation. I support an increase in funding to at least the bare minimum standard.

Early childhood learning – Our existing Child and Family Centres have become important connections for families to access support and opportunities for early childhood learning. They work best when they are embedded into each community through partnerships and local participation. This program ought to be expanded to more suburbs within Greater Hobart to give our children the best chance to thrive.

Year 11 and 12 – With the implementation of the decision to amalgamate Year 11 and 12 with local high schools it is important a review of is conducted to determine the educational outcomes and efficiencies in urban high schools.

Career pathways – It can be a nightmare for young people and their families to try and navigate all the study and career options. Career pathway or guidance officers can help young people find a way to engage and see purpose in their studies.

Mental and sexual health in schools – Young people and their families find it hard to access mental and sexual health services. By locating mental health, sexual health and GP services in every high school we can ensure that our young people are well and ready to learn.

Support for students with special needs – Every child should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. To ensure that every child can adequate support and funding needs to be provided for those children with special and complex needs so that they can participate.

Literacy and numeracy – It is unacceptable that as a State we have so low levels of literacy and numeracy. These are the fundamentals needed for learning and too many people struggle daily. We need to invest heavily in the early years to support children and also work with adults through programs like 26Ten and other mentoring programs to help everyone achieve a basic level of functional literacy and numeracy.

More updates to come…

Transport

Integrated transport system – Hobart is a city facing rapid growth and has become highly congested. This directly impacts on the quality of our life and the sustainability of our city. Hobart needs an Integrated public transport network, including rail, ferries and buses, to ensure that it can cope now and into the future.

Public transport – Tasmania invests too little in public transport and as a result has poor patronage outcomes. Funding needs to increase for public transport if we want to see a modal shift away from car dependency.

School children on public transport – To encourage greater use of public transport, all public transport should be free for school children. In addition, it is unacceptable that school buses are crammed full and unsafe. We need more buses for school routes so that children can safely travel to and from school.

Active transport – Active transport networks play an important role in a city’s integrated transport system and there ought to be greater funding of cycling and walking infrastructure to encourage healthy alternatives to using a car.

More updates to come…

Honest and Transparent Government

Election Donation reform – the current weak laws are an attack and an insult on our democracy. Elections and political influence is too easily bought in Tasmania. We need strong reform that limits the influence that big business can by and discloses who is paying for what – no matter how big or how small.

Anti-Corruption Body with teeth – Stern words do not deter corruption and the certainly do not punish it. Tasmania needs an anti-corruption body that is adequately resourced and has the teeth to prosecute and ensure justice is done.

Right to know – Tasmanians deserve to be treated with respect and there is too much secrecy in government. We need to have a culture within government which supports more routine disclosure of information and an adequately resourced ombudsman so that the Government cannot get away with inadequate reasons for refusal as they currently do.

More details to come…

AFL and the Stadium

I am a huge supporter of grassroots football in Tasmania and have sponsored and supported local clubs for several years. I’m passionate about Tasmania’s right to have an AFL, AFLW and VFL team. Tasmania has made an incredible contribution to the game and we deserved a team decades ago.

However, Tasmania should not be blackmailed by the AFL. No other state or team has been required to build their own stadium as a prerequisite. The deal the government has signed is effectively a blank cheque to the AFL and Tasmanians will be paying well over $1billion for a stadium.

I do not support the proposed stadium at Macquarie Point. It is an idea drawn up on the back on an envelope. There are no detailed plans or engineering drawings which would form the basis of a cost estimate. There is no detailed business case, no planning approval, or any guarantee that a stadium would even fit on the site. There isn’t even a transport plan.

I cannot justify taking money out of much needed investment in housing, education, health and community infrastructure to build an untested and deeply flawed stadium. If they AFL want it, they can build it.

Racing

End greyhound racing – Greyhound racing is inherently cruel and inhumane. The industry breeds more dogs than it races which are discarded as wastage and the act of racing itself risks injury or death. Following a life of racing dogs are again discarded either for adoption by caring members of the community or they simply disappear.

Government subsidies – The Tasmanian Government subsidises this cruel and inhumane industry which does not have the support of the community. This is money better spent on health, housing and education or on protecting animals.

Office of Racing Integrity – The Office of Racing Integrity is an abysmal failure and consistently has failed in its duty to uphold the rules of racing and basic animal welfare standards. There must be an independent inquiry into its conduct.

Murrihy Report – This report is comprehensive and outlines multiple failings of both the industry and its participants when it comes to the rules of harness racing and animal welfare. All participants with adverse findings in the report must be immediately banned for racing and steps must be taken to ensure the welfare of the animals in their care.

The lead trainers – It is a disgrace that TasRacing continue to celebrate and award the three lead trainers across the codes when they have brought the industry into disrepute. Scott Brunton (Thoroughbred) has breached the rules of racing after being made insolvent by the ATO. Anthony Bullock (Greyhound) had been charged with live baiting only to have it overturned on appeal despite the fact that it was not disputed that a lure had been attached to a pademelon’s tail found on his property, he failed to have a kennel licence or the appropriate planning permits for over ten years and there is consistent concern for the welfare of dogs on his property. Ben Yole (Harness) is the subject of the Murrihy Report and has been found by Mr Murrihy to have participated in race fixing and to have neglected the welfare of horse on his property.

Hobart Light Rail

This city shaping and urban renewal project will deliver 4600 new homes and 1200 new jobs to Greater Hobart. It connects people to education, employment and services along the rail corridor and will alleviate traffic congestion and is a no brainer for our City. State Governments of all persuasions have failed to act on this for too many years.

UTas Move

I do not support the UTAS move. I am concerned about the way they have engaged in consultation and particularly concerned about the ongoing financial sustainability and viability of the university. The university is our only one and it must be in a position to provide quality higher education for Tasmanians. I am concerned that whilst they have been pre-occupied with the move they have lost focus on educational and research outcomes.

Native Forest Logging

I support an end to native forest logging. Continuing to log Tasmania’s remaining native forests when the industry is heavily subsidised by the taxpayers of Tasmania makes no sense economically or ecologically. Forests are worth more standing for their biodiversity, health and climate change mitigation values.

Salmon Farming

I have grave concerns about the impact of Salmon Farming on Tasmania’s unique waterways, particularly in areas such as Long Bay in Port Arthur where there has been an explosion of algal blooms due to contamination from the nearby salmon pens.

I want to see an end to toxic salmon farming in Tasmania and supports the recommendations of the Legislative Council Inquiry.

To see the effect of salmon farming for myself, in late 2022 I was invited to fly in a small plane from Hobart over Bruny Island and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.

Here is a clip to the video produced: https://youtu.be/aRi2nWz9M0c?si=kmtaYd49a1idS5uj which also includes some information.

Commission of Inquiry

Successive governments have failed Tasmanian children. The Commission of Inquiry report is a difficult read and outlines that not only were children in the care and trust of the government sexually abused but that there was a culture where a blind eye was turned and the activities of perpetrators were allowed to continue.

All 191 recommendations must be implemented. Furthermore, individuals must be held to account. Both the perpetrators and those who stood by and said nothing.

I am deeply concerned that both the Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, and the Head of the State Service, Ms Jenny Gale, have avoided the scrutiny of the Commission of Inquiry Scrutiny Committee by calling an early election. Victim survivors, their family and friends, and Tasmanians deserve to have honest answers about who knew what and who covered up these abhorrent acts of abuse.

Animal Welfare

I support urgent action to address our inadequate animal welfare standards in Tasmania and to lift them to where the vast majority of Tasmanians believe they should already be. I recognise the sentience of animals and that they feel pain and suffering both physcially and mentally.

I strongly support the call from RSPCA Tasmania to reform animal welfare legislation and regulation, to strongly regulate the racing industry (if we have to have it) and to end taxpayers funding, improve welfare outcomes for wild animals including the end of duck shooting, improve community education and awareness about animal welfare, improve transparency and accountability across government and those sectors which work with animals, and to increase funding to animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA who provide important services to the community.

For the RSPCA’s state election call please visit RSPCA-Tasmania-State-Election-2024.pdf (rspcatas.org.au)

LGTBQIA+

Conversion Practices –

According to UTas research, 5% of LGBTIQA Tasmanians have been through conversion practices. There is no therapeutic benefit at all to conversion practices. Instead they cause enormous harm. Conversion survivors are four times more likely to have PTSD and attempt suicide.

I was proud to sponsor a petition to the Parliament to call for a ban on conversion practices in line with the recommendations of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute. Laws to ban conversion practices are long overdue. In December last year the Rockliff Government finally unveiled a bill, but it is the worst in Australia. There are too many loopholes which will actually encourage conversions, not stop them.

It is time to act and ban conversion practices. We must stop the harm.

Intersex Law Reform – About 1.7% of the Tasmanian population are people born with innate variations of sex characteristics (intersex). Currently in Tasmania medically unnecessary cosmetic surgeries and other unnecessary medical interventions are being inflicted on intersex infants and children to “normalise” them. These surgeries often need to be corrected as the child grows and can cause great psychological and physical harm later in life. I support a prohibition on these surgeries as recommended by a 2020 TLRI report (Legal Recognition of Sex and Gender) and support redress for those who have undergone this medically-unnecessary and non-consensual medical intervention.

Hate crimes – Currently Tasmanian sentencing law allows for a sentence to be aggravated if racial hatred was a motive for the crime. However, hate on the basis of other attributes including sexual orientation, gender identity and variations of sex characteristics cannot be an aggravating factor in sentencing. I support amendments to ensure that these aggravating factors can be taken into consideration.

Expungement of historical criminal records – I support the recommendations arising from the independent review of the law regarding expungement of historical criminal records and support the introduction of a financial redress scheme.

LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Act and Human Rights Act –  I support the introduction of both these bills.

Protecting existing rights and freedoms – I strongly oppose any attempts to water down our exisiting Anti-Discriminiation Act or gender identity recognition laws.

 

 

E-Cigarettes (Vaping)

E-cigarettes are not safe and can cause a long list of detrimental health issues, including poisoning, burns and respiratory disease.

My particular concern is for school children and young adults. I am aware that children as young as grade three, four and five are using e-cigarettes. Teenage children tell me that school toilets are becoming no-go vaping dens.

E-cigarettes supplied without a prescription can be very dangerous because of the lack of regulation and control. There is hard evidence that some manufactures are surreptitiously inserting nicotine into sweet, fruit-flavoured vapes that are targeted at young people and labelled has non-nicotine, with the clear intention of addicting children.

In parliament I moved a motion that was supported by the Government and the Opposition that called on the government to work with other Australian jurisdictions for a national approach on the control of e-cigarettes, including making it an offence to supply e-cigarette products without a doctor’s prescription.

I am pleased that the Australian Government have taken action on this urgent health issue and I call on the State Government to adequately fund Quitline to ensure that they can respond to the need for services following a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes other than those prescribed.

Disability Services

More details to come…

Planning Reform

More details to come…

Recreational Fishing

More details to come…

Sport and Recreational Facilities

Glenorchy Memorial Pool – I support community calls for the State and/or Federal Government to fully fund a new memorial pool and to assist the Council with ongoing operational costs.

Basketball Facilities – I support funding calls for new basketball facilities in the south. More details from clubs to come..

Ice Sports – I support the funding of a ice sports facility in Tasmania.

More details to come…

No pokies in pubs and clubs

Pokies cause enormous harm in our communities. The are designed specifically to lose and be addictive. In Glenorchy our community lose approximately $2m every month into pokie machines. Pokies belong in casinos, not in our community in pubs and clubs. Both the Liberal and Labor parties have protected the rivers of gold from the pokie barons and voted to continue to allow these harmful machines to be in pubs and clubs in our community. This makes harm minimisation measure more important than ever.

I support the introduction of a mandatory pre-commitment card which restricts the amount of money that can be lost. However, this is not enough. We should also be implementing harm minimisation measures such as slower spin speeds, $1 maximum bet limits, banning loses disguised as wins, and also restricting hours of operation.

Social

Voluntary Assisted Dying – With the right legislated protections, every Tasmanian has the right to die with dignity.

Multicultural communities – Tasmania is blessed to have people from 177 different countries living on our island. Multicultural communities are an important part of our economic, social and cultural life and should be supported and welcomed.

Grassroots community organisations – Our community simply would not survive without the countless hours and work of volunteers in our grassroots community organsiations. These community organisations are at the coalface and know their community best. Through supporting them we can achieve far better outcomes for local communities.

Jobs

Jobs Hubs – Finding the right job can be hard. Jobs hubs can help to link job seekers with the employers and offer support with training. They work closely with young people, long term unemployed people, those who need to re-train because their industry has been hit hard covid, or those who for many reasons experience barriers to entering the employment market.

Re-skilling workers – Older people in our community have great life experience that is highly valuable to employers but they sometimes need assistance in re-skilling to meet the changing needs of the employment market. It is important that we support them as they transition to new areas so that we don’t lose the benefit of their acquired knowledge and experience over the years.

Securing more jobs – All levels of government have invested more money than ever in public infrastructure projects, particularly since COVID-19. It should be a requirement whenever government funding is used for infrastructure that they require a local jobs pledge. This would ensure that the money invested stays within the local economy.

Justice

Crime prevention – No one wants to be a victim of crime so preventing it from happening in the first place is a no-brainer. By investing more in in crime prevention and restorative justice programs like refunding Chance on Main, U-Turn projects, and restorative justice vandalism programs we can reduce the likelihood of people offending and increase the likelihood that people will be contributing positively to their local community. Investment in crime prevention is cheaper than keeping people in prisons and we end up with a stronger and safer community.

TAFE

Importance of vocational education – TAFE is an critical part of our education system as it provides for vocational education and training

Students at the centre – As an important vocational education provider the focus must be on ensuring positive student educational experiences and good employment outcomes. This means understanding the needs of industry and what training and experience student need to secure those employment opportunities in a meaningful way.

Valuing TAFE teachers – Teaching is not just a job it is a vocation. Those at TAFE deserve to be valued, invested in, and to be recognised as the key to achieving student success.

Improving the TAFE experience – Working to improve the TAFE model is something that everyone should be working together towards. A parliamentary select committee could investigate improvements to the TAFE model of education delivery through extensive consultation with both the education and industry sectors.

Environment

Climate change – The science is undeniable. Tasmania is already experiencing the effects of climate change with increasingly severe bushfires, floods and drought. The Government must act immediately by declaring a climate emergency.

Zero net Carbon emission – Tasmania should work towards achieving zero net carbon emission by 2030 with the aim of reaching as close to zero emissions as possible.

Electric Vehicles – To support the transition to a zero net carbon emission state we need to look to fuel alternatives for transport. With renewable hydro-electric energy, electric cars can help us achieve this target. To encourage greater use of electric vehicles we need to provide for more charging stations in key locations around the state.

Sustainable development – It is simply unsustainable to continue the urban sprawl in greater Hobart. Not only does is ultimately end up costing more for infrastructure, it impacts on overall public amenity and our environment. We have an opportunity to intensify development within our existing urban boundaries, particularly along transport corridors, which means that we can keep our green spaces green and our agricultural land productive.

Single use plastics – We understand now that we cannot afford both financially and environmentally to use single use plastics. The cost of waste disposal is increasing dramatically and these products in landfill end up harming our environment. Encouraging the re-use of products reduces our waste overall. Tasmania should introduce a state-wide ban on single use plastics.

Tourism in national parks – Our national parks and wilderness are unique and their wildness forms an important part of our tourism brand. We want to ensure that people get to enjoy them through environmentally sensitive and low impact tourist ventures but that they are not loved to death.

Women’s Health Policy

Access to reproductive and sexual health service – Every Tasmanian woman should have access to appropriate reproductive and sexual health services, including termination services. It is unacceptable that Tasmanian women are expected to travel to the mainland for these services.

Period poverty – Young girls are not attending school because they don’t have access to period products. They are missing out on education because of a normal bodily function. All schools should provide free period products available to students to ensure that this barrier to education is removed.

Renting

  • Introduce measures to improve control of unreasonable and unjustifiable increases in rent, particularly at the end of a lease term. It is unacceptable that in some cases rents have been increased by as much as $250 per week.
  • Support amendments to allow for standard residential lease agreements and standard forms including a standard application form
  • Support amendments to allow pets in rentals unless there is a good reason for their exclusion
  • Support the repealing of no reason end of lease evictions