John Tucker,Liberal Member for Lyons
Yet another senior Labor figure has been forced to give Rebecca White advice via the media, revealing the divisions and discontent inside Tasmanian Labor.
The damning assessment from Labor stalwart Dick Adams that Labor is neglecting Northern Tasmania follows previous public criticism from former senior Labor identities Paul Lennon (1) and Harry Quick (2) that Labor is divided, is out of touch with the community and should focus on better policies.
Throughout the pandemic emergency, where the Government has sought to be clear, consistent and provide certainty to Tasmanians – Ms White and Labor have done the opposite.
Instead of being constructive, Labor took the first opportunity to politicise the pandemic, and have questioned public health advice on an almost daily basis, have flip flopped on their position and have constantly played politics with COVID-19.
Instead of supporting the job-creating Northern Regional Prison, Labor has been relentlessly negative and white-anted it at every step.
Tasmanians still don’t know if they support the new site for the project, which will deliver more than 1,000 jobs and provide an economic boost of more than $500 million to the region – and the silence from Labor’s two Bass members has been deafening.
During the Legislative Council election campaign, we also learnt that some in Labor have been reconsidering their disastrous pokies ban policy, adopted from the Greens, which former Labor Premier Paul Lennon described as “a major distraction” and which “certainly contributed to the outcome”(3) of the 2018 State election.
This policy would have led to massive regional job losses, sent businesses to the wall and damaged thousands of families across Tasmania, many of them in Northern Tasmania. The fact that Labor are thinking about reviving it proves they learnt nothing from their rejection at the last election – and that they are still too close to the Greens.
It’s little wonder Labor people like Dick Adams are frustrated. After nearly six and half years in Opposition, Labor has provided absolutely no long-term vision or plan for Tasmanians, and has never delivered a properly costed alternative Budget.
At the same time as Labor leader Rebecca White is struggling to hold off ambitious leadership contender David O’Byrne, the divisions in the Labor Party keep boiling up to the surface. Something has to give.
*(1) “What she’s [Rebecca White] doing now is moving her focus to jobs and the economy and away from her previous overriding reliance, if you like, on other social issues. I think she’s recognised that she needs to strengthen her.., the public’s understanding of her economic outlook, her economic beliefs, the way she wants to take Tasmania forward.” – Paul Lennon interview Mornings ABC Radio Hobart 23 August 2019
(2) “The Labor party here doesn’t know a) what the community wants, b) never talks to them and c) never develops policies that are going to benefit the ordinary average punter.” – Harry Quick in Tasmanian Labor still struggling with strategy five years after losing government ABC 15 July 2019
(3) Paul Lennon interview Mornings ABC Radio Hobart 23 August 2019