Some of the smaller political parties in Tasmania don’t get much attention, even at a state election. The Federation Party is running only one candidate, and the Jacqui Lambie Network none. Tasmanian Times caught up with the Animal Justice Party at the Vote Environment rally in Hobart on Saturday 24 April. We interviewed their Clark […]
Some of the smaller political parties in Tasmania don’t get much attention, even at a state election. The Federation Party is running only one candidate, and the Jacqui Lambie Network none.
Tasmanian Times caught up with the Animal Justice Party at the Vote Environment rally in Hobart on Saturday 24 April. We interviewed their Clark candidate Tim Westcott, who describes himself as “a software developer, small business owner, and animal advocate living in Glenorchy”.
Other AJP candidates for the House of Assembly are Sue Woodbury (Bass), Mark Tanner (Franklin) and Sharon McLay (Lyons). Ivan Davis is contesting the Derwent division of the Legislative Council for the AJP.
Here we have Tim Westcott, who’s the Animal Justice Party candidate for Clark. How’s your campaign going so far?
Our campaign is going quite well. We are lucky enough to have some really dedicated volunteers who are out there handing out leaflets and talking to people about our campaign. Unfortunately, we don’t have the money at the major parties or the Greens so that we can blanket out corflutes or put out expensive ads. But we do have, we are lucky enough to have a dedicated team of volunteers to get out there.
And what is the response from the public to your campaign?
The response has been very positive. People, over all, they really care about animals. So to have a political party that’s representing the needs of animals has been very well received. Also we’ve noticed, especially today, that our environmental policies have been very well accepted. People often don’t consider parties other than the Greens when they think about the environment. But the Animal Justice Party has a very strong environmental policy framework. And when people say that they’re very impressed, and they definitely consider us as a serious option when they voting for the climate.
So what are some of those environmental policies?
We’re very much focused on eliminating fossil fuel use both for energy – unfortunately, in Tasmania, the energy mix has a very low level of fossil fuel use, but we still have a lot of fossil fuel use – and transportation. We want to protect and restore habitats, and native ecosystems.
So forests, lands, all the various lands around the place, a lot of it has been cleared over many years for particularly livestock farming.
We want to see that restored, so that it can go back to absorbing carbon and providing habitat for animals. We want to see an end to fish farming.
We’ve heard that the Greens they want to bring fish farming onshore, but we just don’t think that is either environmentally or ethically acceptable. We want to see fish farming just put to an end because it’s it’s not good for any for the animals. It’s not good for the environment, whether it’s onshore or offshore.
Earlier this week, Felix Ellis, who’s one of the Liberal members for Braddon, had a bit of a rant in which he said vegans were ‘unethical’. What’s your response to that?
Well, he’s entitled to his opinion, but he’s obviously wrong. He’s just out there baiting, trying to get media coverage for his campaign, because he knows that if he goes and baits vegans, then he’ll get a response. We know that animal agriculture is responsible for an enormous amount of global warming, it’s responsible for an immense amount of suffering. And, frankly, he’s just wrong when he calls vegan diets unethical.
This is the first election in which you’ve run candidates in a state election. How do you think you’ll go?
Oh, look, anything’s possible. We’re definitely in it to win it. We want to see candidates elected. We know that it’s a long shot, and it’s going to be difficult to get the candidates elected in this election. But even if we don’t we, we have a baseline that we can build on in future elections, and we’re in it for the long haul. We want to see things change in Tasmania, and that’s going to mean being persistent. And that’s what we plan to do.
Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/04/ajp-hoping-for-bright-state-election-showing/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ajp-hoping-for-bright-state-election-showing