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Clark Candidates Forum at CDAT

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Transcript of Clark candidates forum hosted by CDAT at Glenorchy Football Club, 23 April 2021. Zelinda Sherlock I would like to start off by welcoming you all here tonight. And first of all, I would like to do an acknowledgement to country. And of course, we, of course acknowledge the original custodians of the land […]

Transcript of Clark candidates forum hosted by CDAT at Glenorchy Football Club, 23 April 2021.

Zelinda Sherlock

I would like to start off by welcoming you all here tonight. And first of all, I would like to do an acknowledgement to country. And of course, we, of course acknowledge the original custodians of the land on which we stand, and to elders past, present and emerging. I would also like to welcome our candidates here today, who will introduce themselves shortly. I would like to really welcome all of you here tonight, as well, it’s really important to have community voices. And so we really, really are thankful for the fact that you are all here tonight. Thank you so much for coming. Just a few housekeeping things. Of course, this is a covid-safe event, and you have all registered to come here today. The toilets, if you go out the door, they are towards the end there. In case of a fire we will meet in the car park please. And my name is Zelinda Sherlock. And I’m one of your MCs tonight and our next MC is the President of the Culturally Diverse Alliance of Tasmania. Mr. John Kamara. And he will now say a few words. Thank you, John.

John Kamara.

John Kamara

I want you guys to just clap for yourself of being here. So put your hands together for yourself. Thank you so much. Thank you Zelinda, as you said I’m John Kamara, the President of CDAT. So tonight, I just wanted to welcome the candidates again and everyone here. We like to say it is the people’s forum. That’s why we’ve got so much turnout today. So we are so thankful for coming today and just talk about some of the important issues. So the format today is going to run in three steps. So I’ll actually explain how the format is going to run in three steps. Sorry, I’m turning my back to the candidates. Yes. Step one, I’ve got a basket with me. So there’s a basket here and each candidate is going to pick a paper here, and that will determine the order that they’re going to speak. So there’s a basket here and because we want it to be as fair as possible, so each candidate is going to pick and that will determine the order in which they speak. And they’re going to speak and introduce themselves and tell us why they are here and why you are here tonight. So that’s step one. Step two, we’ve got a timing system. So each candidate here have two minutes for start to introduce themselves and talk about their aspirations and candidacy and what they’re going to do. And yeah so two minutes. So the bell will rang. And when the bell rang, you have 30 seconds to round up. 30 seconds or 10 seconds? Well, I think probably you’ve got 10 seconds, 10 seconds to round up, not 30 seconds. So when the bell rings, you get 10 seconds to run them. So that is step two, and step three, the forum open to the public or to the people here tonight. So open the forum for questions to the candidates. Please raise your hands up and when you stand up, please introduce yourself from which organisations or individual, and when you introduce yourself and you please indicate to which candidate your question is for. So please indicate which candidate your question is for. And each candidate have 90 seconds to respond and 90 seconds to respond to each question. So the same goes if the bell rings you have 10 seconds to respond. So Councillor Zelinda and I we will try as best as possible to roam around with the mics to get people to ask questions. And just one last thing please, we expect this forum to be as peaceful as possible. And if there’s any behaviour, we will ask you to stop. And secondly, if that doesn’t, if that continue we will ask you kindly to leave. So I’m hoping we have a peaceful, peaceful forum. And our candidates are here to just talk to us. Is that clear? Any question? Well, yeah, if you have a general question, we’ll see how we go with time. We’ll see how it goes. But I would love for you to specify one specific candidate to start off with, and we’ll see and Zelinda and I will consider candidate 2, 3, 4, 5 ‘can you please respond to that question?’ Thank you very much. So we start the forum with step one. So this is not particular order, I’ll just ask the candidates to choose from the basket.

Zelinda Sherlock

And just to clarify for fairness’ sake as well, if there is a particular question, for example, to a particular candidate, and they are from the same party. In fairness, we would just say one, one individual from that party, please respond on behalf of the party because we assume that perhaps your policies would be similar. Is that fair enough? Yes. Great. Thank you very much.

John Kamara

Okay, then I think the candidate know who goes first who goes nine. So who goes first? They’ve just choose and you know, the first speaker and so we are going to give two minutes to each candidate to introduce themselves and talk to us about why they are here and (inaudible). So time, are we ready? Yes.

Kristie Johnston.

Kristie Johnston

Thank you very much. My name is Kristie Johnston. I’m an independent candidate for Clark. I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Tasmanian Aboriginal communities, original traditional continuing custodians of the land we’re gathering on tonight to pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. I am really excited to be standing in this particular election because I feel that Tasmania is ready for a change. When I’ve been out in the community as Glenorchy Mayor talking to people about the issues that matter to them, I’m hearing consistently how disappointed they are with party politics not reflecting the community’s views or talking about the issues that matter to them. There’s no doubt in my mind that we have some serious challenges here in Tasmania. Our health system is in crisis. We have far too many Tasmanians who can’t afford to put a roof over their heads. We have serious issues with traffic congestion, and we have pokie machines in our pubs and clubs in particular. We also have issues that are facing a number of our communities, and particularly the multicultural community. As mayor of Glenorchy, I’m very lucky that I have been the mayor of the city that is the most diverse and multicultural city in Tasmania, it’s been an absolute delight. And we say in our city, that everyone’s welcome. Everyone belongs, everyone’s respected, everyone’s safe, and everyone’s valued. These are values that we need to take out right across Tasmania, we need them embedded in all our policies right across government, to make sure that our communities are well respected, that they are looked after, cared for and heard, most importantly. That’s why I’m standing as an independent. I believe that all parties, everyone’s capable of bringing good ideas, but as an independent, I can be the honest broker in parliament, making sure that those good ideas are heard, but most importantly, the community’s views are heard, and that you get your say, thank you.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you very much. If number two, and three, you could please line up just for the sake of efficiency, and two, three and four, if you could please line up and just also respectfully, if we could ask if candidates perhaps please speak a little bit slower. We do have our diverse communities present here today and to respect them we just ask if you just speak a little bit slower? No, I’m not trying to be condescending or anything.

Mike Dutta.

Mike Dutta

Thank you very much. I would also want to pay respect to the traditional owners of this land, the past, the present and the emerging. Can you hear? Okay. I want to simply begin by saying I’m Mike Dutta. I am originally from Fiji, and I have been in this country for nearly 36 years. Among the Indians, there is a mythology that says that if you are the first speaker or the second speaker, that means you will get in. I don’t know how that mythology works. But if that is true, I hope one of the independents here will get in. The reason for me to stand for election are a number of reasons. But I want to because of shortness of time, just highlight a few things. One, I wasn’t going to stand for election. But a number of people spoke to me and said, ‘Mike, why don’t you consider standing?’ And I said, ‘No, I really, I’m not at that stage. And I don’t want to’. And they did encourage me. And I said ‘okay, fine. If you want to I will do that’. And so therefore I’m standing for in this election, because I think we need diversity, not only diversity as far as race, religion, backgrounds are concerned, but also diversity with regards to ideas, and someone who can then as independently, challenge and question and not be scared. I’m wanting to stand for this particular election with the idea that like Abraham Maslov, a psychologist said that humanity has three fundamental needs. The first need is food. When a child is born, food is required. And food is health. Secondly, shelter, which is housing, which is so much required here. And thirdly, education and values. Thank you very much. And these are the three things I will make (inaudible).

Ella Haddad.

Ella Haddad

Good evening, everyone. My name is Ella Haddad, I’m the Labor member for Clark. I’ve been there just since last election 2018. And before I worked in politics, I worked in Tasmania’s health and community services sector. So like many of the people here I’m concerned about the state of our health system, and the state of our community services system. When the Liberal government got elected in 2014, I saw drastic cuts to the health and community services system and it was something that angered me enough that I decided that I’d put my hand up for parliament. Honestly, with very little expectation of winning, but to my delight, I was elected in 2018. And I’ve been trying my best to make a difference in that time. I’m really pleased that an organisation like CDAT has formed. I’m also from a migrant background. My father’s Lebanese, he met my Australian born mother in Melbourne in the 70s. They had me and we moved to Tasmania. So pretty boring migrant story from my perspective, you know, Lebanese dad, Australian mum. But when we came to Hobart in the 80s, there was very little migrant community here. And I’ve seen that grow over that time since the 1980s. And I think it’s a really beautiful thing about Tasmania. I think Australia is the best example of multiculturalism in the world. I think we get it right a lot of the time. And in Tasmania, we now have 177 different cultures represented here, which is, I think, a testament to the strength of our community. And to me, Australian culture means an amalgam of all of the cultures that exist here. Really, unless we’re an Australian Aboriginal person, everyone here is a migrant. So I’m really proud to be standing in for the Labor Party this time. And the Labor Party is a party that welcomes diversity, and stands up for members of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities. But I do agree with what Mike said that our Parliament could do with being a little bit more diverse. We’re quite diverse when it comes to men and women. Now we’re about 50% women. When it comes to diversity of sexuality and gender, race, religion and age, we’re actually not terribly diverse. So we’ve got a range of really exciting candidates running in, you know, the election this year, and I’m really looking forward to tonight’s debate. Thanks.

Elise Archer.

Elise Archer

Well, good evening, everyone. And I too, would like to pay respects to the original and traditional owners of this land and also claim our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. Can I say as I look out into the room tonight is a very diverse community. And that’s exactly what we expect out here in Glenorchy. Since I was elected in 2010, I’ve seen our community, particularly in the Glenorchy municipality become even more diverse than when I was first elected. One of the policies that I pursued when I was first elected was the multicultural hub. And we now have that established in Hopkins Street, the old Moonah Arts Centre, with the cooperation of the Glenorchy City Council in providing those premises. It was a long held wish / desire of mine to see that come to fruition so that people have a place to meet, where you can share your cultures, where you can share not only your cultures amongst your own communities, but embrace all of Tasmania, sharing in those cultures with you. What we see today in our communities is exactly that, we educate our community on the integration of all of the wonderful cultures, the 177 as Ella just said, nationalities that are represented in our small state of just over half a million people. So I’m a very proud representative of Clark and have been for 11 years. I’m currently the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Corrections Building, Construction, the Arts and Heritage and I love every day of that work. Prior to that, of course, I practised as a barrister and solicitor for 17 years. I was born and raised in Tasmania, I have worked in Tasmania my entire life. And as I said, I’ve worked for a number of years with you in your culturally and linguistically diverse community and it would be a pleasure for me to continue for another four years and beyond. Thank you.

Simon Behrakis.

Simon Behrakis

Good evening. My name is Simon Behrakis, I’m one of the other Liberal candidates for Clark. I’m also an Alderman on the Hobart City Council. And also I’m a son, a child of a immigrant family. My parents are both Greek immigrants and I grew up in a household where English wasn’t always the the only language that was spoken. It wasn’t my father’s first language and I did grow up seeing him struggling to pick up the pick up this sort of English kind of getting, going to work and not fully understanding the language. And I do and one of the reasons I’m running I think, is because well, because my father’s story and I think it’s a story that I you see in so many and I think so many people here would would would be able to relate to is the story of Tasmania and the story of multicultural multicultural communities in Tasmania. Which is coming here in search of an opportunity in search of doing something to better their lives with for their family. I do remember growing up and seeing my my dad coming home after 13-14 hour shifts with his hands and face full of dust after working in the in the business that he was trying to build up to make something and employ members of the community. And I think that is something that that is representative in the broader multicultural community, that that kind of have a go attitude and that they want their need and want to come here to chase an opportunity and to do something better for the family and do something better for their communities. And I think the more diverse and more multicultural groups that we have in our community, I think the community is better off. So one of the one of the main reasons I’m running i think is because I’ve we’ve seen how our state goes and how those opportunities are made available under different governments. We’ve seen that over history. It was only seven or eight years ago that Tasmania was in a recession and people were rather than coming to Tasmania, we’re actually fleeing Tasmania in search of opportunity. Now we’ve got the the opposite happening where people are moving to Tasmania in search of in search of these opportunities. And that is that is bringing with it growing pains and serious issues that do need to be dealt with. But there are issues that we can deal with if we if we work together in the right way. And that that is why running.

Lisa Gershwin.

Lisa Gershwin

Hi, I’m Lisa Gershwin. And I am an independent candidate in the seat of Clark. And that just blows my mind to think about that. Before I get into that, I did want to acknowledge the traditional and original owners on whose land we are meeting tonight and also the Glenorchy football club on whose land we are meeting tonight. And really to acknowledge you guys for coming out on a cold night and listening to us. I am an immigrant. I have an eastern European multicultural background. I went through the immigration process to come here. It was a very long process for me, it took 11 years to come here. But you know I really love this country. I have no political background of any kind, I am the least political person you could ever meet in your life. You know, I have a background of living and working in the community. I’m a scientist, some of you may know, I am a jellyfish researcher, of all things. But you know, you, you get to a point you wake up one day and you just, you’re, you’re, you’re fed up, you know, you just can’t relate to the government and you can’t relate to the things that they’re doing. You know, I, I’ve struggled with homelessness. I’ve struggled with the health system, I’ve struggled with the disability system, I get what it’s like to have no voice. I’m currently on Centrelink. You know, I get what it’s like to struggle with bills. And I get what it’s like. And I guess that’s, that’s why I’m running because I have no voice. I’ve had no voice for a long time. And like I said, you just wake up one day and you say, ‘I’m going to have to stand up and shout, or I’m going to have to sit down and shut up’. And so I’m standing up. Thank you.

Vica Bayley.

Vica Bayley

Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me here. My name is Vica Bayley. And I’m the Greens number two candidate supporting Cassy O’Connor, Cassy sends her apologies tonight, she’s unavailable but has sent me in her stead. I’ll echo the acknowledgement of Tasmania’s palawa people and pay my respects. But also start by saying the Greens have got a really strong strong track record when it comes to standing up for diverse and inclusive Tasmania. We’ve got one of the most diverse tickets in terms of candidates of any party contesting this election and we acknowledge the enormous contribution the multicultural community adds to Tasmania, to our society and to our economic prosperity. Greens minister Cassy O’Connor, as a Greens minister started the Friends of multicultural Tasmania in 2010. And we’d be keen to see that happen again. And she also initiated the better access to government services programs. So the government departments are actually responsive to culturally and linguistically diverse communities. But there’s a long way to go. Elections are about policies and the Tasmanian Greens have already released a number of policies that pertain to issues that would be concerning all of you. It includes a Human Rights Act for Tasmania, legislation to control rents that are going out of control, a costed plan to build 8000 new houses in Tasmania, money to support community language in schools, money to support culture and language awareness training in emergency services, multicultural gathering places in Hobart, Burnie and Launceston, cooperation between the culturally diverse community and government departments and employment outcomes. And there’s also $200,000 towards anti-racism programs. So and just today, we launched an anti-poverty policy. So elections are about policy, and these are some of the things that we’ve articulated that we would like to do. We’re really strongly committed to strengthening the family violence system and as Minister for Human Services, Cassy actually made sure Housing Tasmania prioritised services for women and children escaping family violence. Thank you very much.

Sue Hickey.

Sue Hickey

Good evening, my name is Sue Hickey, and I’ve been a member for Clark for the last three years. I would also like to pay my respects to Tasmania’s first people, the First Nation. And I’d also like to welcome you all and thank you for coming here tonight. I would like to say that I have spent about 30 years as a self-employed businesswoman, employing lots of Tasmanians throughout those years. I’ve been an Alderman on the Hobart City Council, I’ve been a Lord Mayor. And I’ve also been Speaker of the House for the last three years. But I think the most important work that I’ve done in the last three years is connecting everyday people to government services. And let me tell you, that is not easy. That is often a lot of letter writing to ministers and not getting any answers and having to thump the table and carry on. My major issues in this community of Clark have been the dire state of our health system. Homelessness has been a calling and has not been paid the right attention. So consequently, it has just escalated, which it should never have done. There’s a lot of troubles still in education. We have 50% illiteracy in our country, in our state, which I don’t think is acceptable. And of course, we need to connect people to the right jobs. I would say I’m probably one of the few people here … we’ve got Chinese backgrounds. I’m one of the few people in the world who’s had lunch, dinner at the People’s Republic Great Hall and taken Xi Jinping up the mountain here in Tasmania. So I find that fascinating that a little nobody from here in Tasmania has had three important connections with the President of China. However, having said that a lot of people, a lot of you here in this audience will have come from nations where you have great respect for your government. And that is not the case in Australia. In Australia, we question things and we challenge our governments. And that’s exactly what I intend to do. As an independent candidate, I will be taking up things that I don’t think are right, I’ll be calling them out on your behalf, and trying to get the best outcomes for the people of Clark.

Sam Mitchell.

Sam Mitchell

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Before I start, I’d like to acknowledge and pay my respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the original and continuing custodians of this land, I pay my respect to their elders, past, present, and emerging. My name is Sam Mitchell, I’m I think the youngest candidate running in Clark. My background started in 2008 as a student political activist, I worked trying to go to government and lobby for the Millennium Development Goals, which was our commitment to try and end poverty around the world, which we failed to meet. Since then, I’ve worked in the arts, I’ve worked with a lot of different backgrounds and a lot of different cultures. I myself identify as LGBTIQA and plus in that community, and I’ve worked deeply with that community to achieve equality in Tasmania. My fight doesn’t end with me achieving equality, it continues to create equality for everyone, no matter what background, whether that’s housing, health, education, and so on. I don’t have much more to say than that, except as a young person, I get the struggles people are going through. I see that in communities. I’ve got friends from all around the world. I’ve got friends in China, from Tokyo. I’ve got friends that are Tamil, who have all faced adversity, have lost family members throughout the world. And they still continue to fight for justice, wherever that may be. And my promise to them was, I will do the same. And that’s what I will continue to do. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you very much to all of the candidates, an absolute pleasure to hear you all speak. I hope you were all enthralled by their introductions as well. As John Kamara the President pointed out, our next step will be to ask you, the community. If you have any questions, obviously, it is your voice. That’s important. Your questions are important. So if you have anything you would like to ask, please do so. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the question, please tap me on the shoulder and come and talk to me quietly and I’m more than happy to ask the question for you. So we will open up the floor now for question time. And if anybody does have a question, if you could please raise your hand and I will bring the mic to you. Did anyone want to start? Yes? Come over here. And if you can please say your name. And again, who you’d like the question directed to or if it’s just to a party, that’s okay, as well. And thank you very much.

Questioner – Annia Barron

My name is Annia Barron . I’m a board member of CDAT. Very proud and humble board member. My question this evening would be for Ella. The question I have for us if you are re-elected, what’s your commitment to support the initiative to establish a policy of Tasmania, a multicultural policy or a multicultural act of Tasmania, or establish a Multicultural Advisory Board for Tasmania?

Ella Haddad

90 seconds, it’s gonna go really fast. And thanks for the question and the opportunity to speak about that really important issue. One of the things that I find incredibly important is grassroots voices into policymaking. So before I was in Parliament, working in policy roles in the health sector and the community sector, getting evidence-based change can only happen if you’re actually hearing directly from people who are affected by the policies of government. So I’m absolutely in favour of multicultural advisory panels, and all peak bodies and our community representative groups like CDAT who can be that direct voice of a particular cohort of the community into policymaking in government. Multicultural Act, I think is a really interesting possibility as well. I know there are examples in other states and territories and what we’ve committed to the Labor Party is to work with organisations like CDAT, look at the examples in other states and territories and see what can be done to achieve something similar or better here.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate that. Just once again, I would like to reiterate that we are having a peaceful discussion here today. So once again, just keep that in mind. Anybody else have another question? Anybody else would like to ask a question.

Questioner – Marcus Bai

Good evening. My name is Marcus Bai. I’m a lecturer at the University of Tasmania. And I have a question for Kristie. So my question is that I’ve heard about the the initiative that you are you’re working on, which is the Hobart City light rail program. And it sounds like it sounds like a really exciting program, it’s going to create 4600 homes and 1200 jobs. So I’m wondering if you can share a bit more information about how you would like to promote for this program, if you’d like to thank you very much.

Kristie Johnston

Thank you, Marcus for the question. So you’re quite right, the Hobart light rail program is a really exciting opportunity. In Hobart we have a traffic congestion issue. And this is one way we can work to alleviate but there’s much more of the traffic congestion. It’s about urban renewal and city shaping. So state government’s our report demonstrates that light rail will deliver 4600 new homes on the corridor and 1200 jobs. These are homes that are desperately needed in our community and also employment opportunities that are desperately needed. We have seen a lack of action for a number of years from all sides of politics on this particular commitment. It sits within the City Deal. There’s a 10 year time frame to deliver that, we are three years into that, an independent voice in parliament that can be there to remind both sides of politics that we have the time clock ticking down on that particular commitment and we need to deliver it. It’s incredibly important for our local land use. It’s important for our development, and it’s important that people in the city to be connected to education services and employment in particular.

Questioner – Sandesh

Hi, everyone. I’m Sandesh. I represent Nepalese community. I’m the state coordinator for NRA Tasmania, which is a global organisation for Nepalese diaspora. I have a question for all of you. As third largest growing migrant community in Tasmania, I have these questions to all of you. My first question is our religious place. A Hindu temple, in our culture, is not just a place for worship, but also allows for social support to local communities, provide community service and most importantly, not just spiritual, but also supports mental health. The nearest temple we have is at Bridgewater. I can confidently say that Glenorchy has one of the largest diversity Tasmanian. Can we as a very peaceful member of the Hindu community in Glenorchy and as a third largest growing migrant population in Tasmania get an answer to these questions.

Elise Archer

Thank you for your question. I know that that’s been an issue with our Hindu community for quite some time now. And I know that places of worship are extremely important to so many of our communities. And the demand is there as we see new and emerging communities, culturally diverse communities, coming to our shores, that we can’t, at this point in time, possibly cater for every single need. But as we have the multicultural advisory group, I would encourage you to feed that idea into that so that the minister responsible post first of May has that on the list of desires and wishes within a community which you’re quite right which has grown enormously and particularly in the last five years or so. And there is that heightened demand now, and various attempts I know in the past of establishing a Hindu temple here, I think in the Glenorchy region there’s been some issues as well as some planning issues. So that’s something that I think all candidates can take on board tonight, but come post first of May. I think that’s a really important issue to feed into government through that multicultural advisory group that that we have as a government, and I’m sure will continue with any future governments as well.

Ella Haddad

Similarly, you’re not going to get an argument from me. I think that places of worship are incredibly important, particularly as our migrant communities to begin to grow. And as you said, Sandesh, it’s more than a place to worship but it’s a community cultural place to provide all sorts of supports. So my grandmother, she was Roman Catholic, which is pretty pretty common religion in Melbourne, but it’s a minority Lebanese Catholic, so she wasn’t able to attend church service in Melbourne that would be her own language. So in the end she went to Maronite services, they’re quite similar. But for her, she was such a devout Catholic that she always felt in Australia like she wasn’t actually quite worshipping in the place that was right for her. So I think the idea of establishing a Hindu temple here is particularly in Glenorchy or somewhere the greater Hobart region that’s accessible for the Hindu community is something that would be a very positive step. As you said, the Nepalese community is the third largest growing migrant community in Tasmania now, that needs to be recognised And it would provide a great cultural hub as well.

Mike Dutta

Thank you very much, I just want to make three points. Firstly, worship for Hindus, and many other faiths, is a way of life, which is very, very important. It takes into consideration the elements of the sociological and psychological community of that particular faith. That’s the first point. Secondly, if I’m elected, I will be the voice for you. Because I know what it is to be seeking a place of worship. It is very, very important. And the third point I want to make is this, that I will promote this, and I will want to know the answers, because you will need to have the money, the dedication, etc, that the operational aspect of it before I make any commitment, but I will be the voice, I will promote it. And I will make sure that I will be able to take your particular action, or whatever you have, to the parliament, but at the same time, be realistic, see where the money is, where the location is, etc. Thank you.

Vica Bayley

Look, just just one thing, it’s more a word of encouragement, I suppose. I can’t argue in any way with what anyone has said. But I guess the proposition really does have to come from the community. So it would really just be an encouragement to coalesce the idea, to formalise it too so that you actually have a tangible proposition that can be put to the formal vehicles that can represent it to government and council and so forth. But, you know, it’s a community-led project, that’s the way these things have to be I think, and all I can say is all power and strength to you in getting there.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you very much. And we have a question at the back there.

Questioner – Dr Charles

Dr. Charles, Research Fellow from Tasmania. My question goes to Elise Archer, so the Tasmanian-nominated skilled migration program now has only a very limited subclass, 491 (inaudible). Will you or if you form the next government continue the program for 2020-2021 program year. That’s when the nomination quota for the 2021 program is subclass 491, about 1400 places, and subclass 190 about 1000 places and business migration 45 places. So will you if you form the next government increase the quota please?

Elise Archer

Lots of facts and figures there, and not being the minister in this area, I can’t give you any detail on increasing quotas and things like that. I think it would be remiss of me to agree to a policy that I really don’t have the background with me here tonight. What I can commit to is continuing to work with our community, and our multicultural policy, if you haven’t all been able to access that, please do. Because there are business adaptation programs and loan schemes available to migrants, and also skilled migration policies, and how we’ve assisted skilled migration and others through the COVID-19 period and beyond. So I would encourage people to look at that. As for increasing the numbers at state level, we’re always looking to embrace more opportunities to support our skilled migration. We need to do that hand in hand with the federal system and the federal government as well. So I can’t fully commit to that, in fact, I don’t think anyone can fully commit to that before you’re actually in that position in government.

John Kamara

Thanks Elise. Before we go to the next person, I think Matt wants to contribute or make a comment on that particular question.

Audience member – Matt

Very quickly. Dr. Charles, I totally agree. I work in his area. It’s not actually the state government’s responsibility or power to allocate spots. So you said the Tasmanian government can advocate for it. But that gets almost nowhere. The person who you should probably talk to is the new Minister for Immigration, and pressure them improve things for Tassie. (inaudible), it would certainly be an empty promise to make that because they couldn’t do it.

Lisa Gershwin

Hi. I just wanted to add to that. So the medical, sorry, the health crisis that Tasmania is currently in, one of the quickest solutions that we have to really put some legs on fixing this problem is to facilitate bringing in qualified professionals from other countries, and helping them through the skilled migration process. And I just wanted to say if the government is really serious about doing something about the health crisis, that would be something that the government is looking to do.

Questioner

My name is (inaudible). I am international student from China? I got one question for Sue. Recently, I get to know more and more cases of racism towards Asian people in the US. But fortunately, I haven’t seen any in Tassie. So how can we keep the good condition running? Thank you.

Sue Hickey

Well, that’s good to hear. Because I think one of the things I’m proudest about is that Tasmania has embraced multiculturalism, so lovingly, for so long. But when we do hear cases of racism, we take it or me particularly I find it highly offensive. And I have had to advocate with the police on a couple of occasions where I’ve seen people threatened and given difficult times. So I know it does exist, and we want to stamp it out. And I know the government’s got the same policy. And I think everybody here representative tonight would stick up and defend our multicultural community because we do not want to see racism. We have managed to develop a whole state of many diverse peoples from diverse backgrounds. We’ve done it peacefully, we share our cultures, we share our food. I always encourage people to to hold on to their own culture to teach their children the same language, pass down the cultural elements and also to keep inviting us to festivals because we love it. But if you ever do face any racism, please come to any one of our offices when we’re elected. And we will try and help you best we can because it must be stamped out.

Questioner – Doris

My name is Doris, I’m from China. I graduated from Academy of Art which is a top university in China. Once I won second prize in national academy of academic painting examination. So now I’m currently an arts studio which is Doris Teach Arts. So my question is for Kristie. Yeah. Position of art in Tasmanian is to serve for tourism industry. So, so that leads to the most influential galleries, MONA is more like an art theme park than real art gallery. So the lack of quality art exhibition in Tasmania misleads locals into thinking that’s such an art theme parks are fine arts gallery. So how do you think about this question? Thank you.

Kristie Johnston

Thank you very much. I certainly we are here in Glenorchy, in particular MONA. But also, we have Moonah Arts Centre, which is an absolutely fantastic community art space, which is really important. I think it’s important that right across Tasmania we recognise the creative arts industry as a very significant contributor to our economy, not just through tourism, but also the products that they produce as well. So whether it be in the arts, as you saying, whether it be music, or film-making, or whatever it might be, we do really need to recognise the importance that creative arts do play in our local economy. And the opportunities to encourage that in particular, right through the grassroots and community sector is very important. So the Glenorchy City Council have embarked on programs where we’re trying to foster that and make Moonah the home of community art space in particular, to make sure that we have both an internationally renowned museum, but we also have the local produce as well and to sell that to the world as well.

Questioner – Dr Tony

Yeah, this is Tony Tai, Dr. Tony Tai. Well, I’ve been in Tasmania for a long time. Well, one day at a Glenorchy community dinner, I talked to Benjamin Johnson. And I told him excitedly, I say, ‘after all, we are going to have the rail, the light rail, and because the federal government and the state government promised’. Now why I raise that? Because it was quite a few years ago. And this time, I’m so glad to look at the paper, there are 10s and hundreds of millions of dollars, promised to do all kinds of projects, and to fix the social ills in Tasmania. So I just like to have elected members independent would be independent MPs to answer this question: how are you going to see that the money which is pledged with the use? Well, we are not rich and we are not very poor. Thank you.

Lisa Gershwin

That really was a great question. Thank you, Tony. Look, I’m not across the light rail issue so much. But let me just tell you, from my perspective, being able to get to where people need to get to, and being able to get from the north to the south, and of the division and, you know, having access to places with more homes, and more businesses, and it just makes so much sense to me. I’m not across the issue. But what little I know about it just makes an absolute ton of sense. Yeah, sorry. I really don’t have very much to add to that question. Except that, yeah, it just seems like a no brainer. I think Krustie probably has a lot more to add to it.

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Vica Bayley

I think financial commitments, particularly for big infrastructure projects, they’re like snowflakes. They come in a flurry in election time, and quite often they just disappear and they melt away. So really, you know, whether it be the Bridgewater Bridge, whether it be light rail, election commitments financially come, and it’s up to us as a community, and particularly us as independents and opposition parties, to hold the government to account to their commitments and actually get them to deliver. That is one thing we’ve found over and over and over again, when it comes to big infrastructure commitments. They’re glossy, they come at election time, and they are so often failed to be delivered. Light rail is one of those kinds of projects that’s been there as a no brainer, a really common sense solution for a whole range of different things. But it’s one of those things that successive governments just simply can’t get over the line. So all I would say is, we just need as a broader community, we just need to keep pushing for these good ideas, these big these good infrastructure ideas, until they do come.

Mike Dutta

Thank you very much. I just want to make two points. Firstly, that when it’s election time, you have fat promises, promises and promises. And then they’re broken. And that’s what’s happening at this point in time, you will find that they are promises. How much of that is delivered, is a different thing. And the second point I want to make here is this, I will not make any promises. When I get in there, if I do get in there, I will look at priorities. And my priorities would be firstly, health, housing, and education. And then I will look at other things. Thank you.

Simon Behrakis

I think the point was made is that it’s ultimately up to the the members who do get elected to Parliament to ensure that the promises and the pledges that are made carry through on them. But the government does have actually have a good track record of delivering on those promises. It’s just as some of those larger infrastructure projects, like the like the bridge that was mentioned and like a lot about are things that take a long period of time to come to fruition. And these are things that you know, are in the roll-out is in the city deal and it is being worked towards, it’s just not a it’s not something that can be promised one day and delivered the next day because to do it right lot of a lot of planning, a lot of work needs to go into it to make sure that he’s going to be done in the way that’s going to work, it isn’t going to isn’t going to end up as something that’s going to cost taxpayers more than it should or not not delivering what was promised. So it’s it’s about doing it the right way. And to do it the right way it takes more than more than a week to deliver and the government’s doing exactly what I should be doing looking out for that.

Kristie Johnston

Thanks, Tony, for the question. We’ve been talking about this for decades, it feels. So in January 2018 Minister Hidding the Minister of infrastructure at the time made a pre-election commitment to the community that they would deliver light rail – the Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail – within five years. We are three and a bit years into that promise. And we’ve seen nothing in terms of infrastructure on the rail corridor much to the frustrations of council and the community who know it’s an absolute no brainer. There is however, some good news because within the Hobart City Deal, which the state, federal government and local government are signatories to, there is $25 million in the urban congestion fund to start the project. That’s a good down-payment on the project, but we haven’t seen a cent spent since we saw the Hobart City Deal. What we are saying is that you can start this project now, for the $25 million, you can do the detailed engineering design work necessary, that will take about $2 million to do. And then spend the remaining $23 million doing the track refurbishment work. That’s a good start. We have a line, we need trains on that particular line. It’s the kind of asset that most other cities would give their left arm for. So we need to have good conversations with the federal government in order to secure federal funding. But let’s not forget this kind of project is well within the budget remit of the state government. Our problem has been to date we haven’t had a state government of any persuasion, willing to go to the federal government and say this is a priority for our city.

Ella Haddad

It’s really hard to follow Kristie on rail because I know how passionate she is. I actually loved hearing her speak about it. She’s so knowledgeable and has worked on this as Ben has, as Tony alluded to, for a long time. The Labor Party is committed to that next stage that Kristie just described. So yesterday, David O’Byrne, our Shadow Minister for infrastructure released Labor’s plan for dealing with Hobart’s congestion. And the 25 million that Kristie mentioned that’s already there set aside as part of the Hobart City Deal has been set aside for that purpose under Labor’s Hobart congestion plan. So I know that people do throw around promises election time, but that’s part of our plan is that that 25 million would be used for the purposes that Kristie has put forward if libraries elected on May 1. What I’d also say in terms of what Mike said, when you elect a government, you’re electing…how government money is spent is a choice. It’s a choice of government, how they how they spend their money. So it is really important to look closely at the policies even when they feel like pie in the sky, big promises at election time. Election promises do get delivered by and large, sometimes the big ones that make headlines look like they don’t. But many of the things that political parties, particularly parties of government promise, do get delivered. So it’s really important to look at the details of those policies, and make a choice about the party that you want to elect forming government, because as I say it how governments spend money is a choice.

Questioner

I am working in Glenorchy for the last atheist. And I’ve been seeing lots of ads on YouTube, Facebook and everything about the elections. I want to ask this question. Firstly, to the all the party contestants: did it ever cross your mind in the last few months that you can contest as an independent? And to all the independents: what does founders factor into society that triggered your independent tendency?

Sam Mitchell

I only kind of got into this role a couple of weeks ago, after Ben was removed, I won’t go into that. I’ve always been involved with Labor, I guess, from an outside perspective, I had a lot of friends in the party. And it just kind of seemed like a natural progression. And that’s where I went with it. Obviously, I’ve thought at times, maybe I should run as an independent. I’ve looked up to the likes of Andrew Wilkie. I think he’s amazing. And, you know, coming from a semi-political background, you kind of have to take notes, and stuff and people like that. But at the end of the day, the garden party backing, I didn’t think I would have the power. And I don’t think I do. Labor sits very closely with my values. And I guess that’s what it comes to. And being friends with Ella, and many other Labor Party MPs and members, it just, it was the right decision for me to make at the time, I certainly admire independent candidates, it’s certainly not an easy thing to do. And it takes a lot of courage to do that. So I admire them for that and congratulate them for that. But at the same time, we do need governments that have power. And we can all kind of work together and do that, as a government, as politicians, as candidates, I think that the greatest thing. My choice was Labor. But I certainly think everyone has the ability to make that choice.

Lisa Gershwin

Hi, my decision to run as an independent was absolutely a no brainer. I guess, you know, the health and housing systems, the transport systems, the education system, you know, everything is in such a shambles right now. And the government has actually, the shemozzles have happened on the government’s watch. And I just feel that, you know, I as a voter, I want a real choice. And if I as a voter want a real choice, every other voter is entitled to a real choice. And I believe that with the independents, that’s what we get, we get a real choice. So I’m proud to be standing as an independent, I realise I’d have a better chance of getting elected if I were with a party, because you know, they get all the funding and all of that. But as an independent, I can actually say what needs to be said. I can have the voice I need to have. And I can actually poke at the government. And I can say, ‘yo, you should be doing this’ … not that they’ll listen, but I don’t know. Maybe they will. Maybe they will. Let’s raise now.

Vica Bayley

Yeah, great question. And I probably come as a Greens candidate, number two candidates for the Greens, I probably come from a unique position because two years ago, I ran as an independent in the Upper House. And I joined the Greens in January 2020, when Australia was burning, and I’m standing now as a Green and I’m proudly standing is a Green. It aligns with my personal values, the policy values, but for me, the Greens are the only party that offers hope for the future, not only in terms of climate change, and the impacts that that will have on all of our lives, both here and around the world, but also on people. You know, on issues to do with equity, equality and human rights act and so forth. So for me, it was a natural fit and our politics. It’s a party political system. And so I made a conscious decision to join a party, to participate in that party political system, because we have seen that when there are enough votes for the Greens, there are enough members in Parliament for the Greens, there is the capacity to deliver some really positive outcomes for Tasmania. And you know, you only need to look at the track record of Parliament’s for the last 30 or 40 years since the Greens came about. To actually see that a lot of what’s important about Tassie now has been delivered because of Greens in Parliament. Thanks for the question.

Simon Behrakis

I think the I’ve always been aware that I could’ve run as an independent I think anyone who sort of understands how the political process works understands that. But I think when it what it comes down to and I think Vica said it perfectly, he ran for the Greens, he nominated for the Greens because he believed in what what the Greens stood for. That’s why I’m a member, that’s why I’m a candidate for the Liberal Party, I’m a member of the Liberal Party. And I think ultimately, you know, everybody in this room, or anybody standing in front of you, I think right now I would say, you know, they’ve got everyone here has a vision or has an idea of what they think is the best thing for Tasmania. And I think everyone believes that what they’re pushing or what they’re advocating for is what’s best for Tasmania, we just have differences on what those things are. I would be careful, because then I would be careful in saying or just the the argument, I think I heard I’ve heard the line a little bit earlier. People nominate for a party, not because it’s easier to get elected. They nominate, they become a member of the party, whether it’s a rank and file member, whether it’s a candidate or whether it’s a Member of Parliament, because they believe in what the values of those party that they’re a member of holds. I’d be very careful when you when you hear voices of people saying that I want to run as an independent but only ran as a party member because it’s the only way to get elected. And that’s that’s, you know, ultimately you want people that you understand what it is that they stand for. And if somebody isn’t running as a Labor candidate, or they’re running as a Liberal candidate or a Green, you know, it’s are they what what is it that they stand for? And if people are running as an independent? What Why Why are they standing as independent? Is it because of the values they hold but that’s ultimately it

Questioner – Raj

Hello, my name is Raj. I just wanted to ask the question in relation to yesterday, there was a comment on Sam’s Facebook page by someone stating that if you are elected, would you promote local to get jobs over foreign workers and migrants? My question is that you know, why there is not enough education being created? Or you know, brochures or photos are created that why migrants are here? We are not here illegally we have come on a visa papers, right? International students spending 1000s of dollars, and more than seven to 8000 students studying. But there’s not enough advertisement made or campaigns to provide that to local people that these people are not stealing the job. They are adding value. And I think I commented on Sam’s page as well, to that gentleman, and he continue to reply, but what we’re as a community, I think, you know, we will we want to see a real answer, not a diplomatic answer that we stand for equality. But this these type of comments should be condemned. And something should be put in place to educate the local people. I think there is a missing piece when local people don’t understand that this is an industry, which at this point in our customer says, well, we’re bringing in money with open businesses and pay taxes. But still, like those comments are still undermining and still there. So my question is for, you know, both the parties and maybe someone independent, then you know why there is not a clear stance to say that, okay, it has to stop. It’s not about foreign workers or migrant workers, you know, and why do they come here.

Sam Mitchell

Thanks for that Raj. First of all, yeah, I’d like to apologise for that comment. It was completely unnecessary. The person is a serial commenter on both my and Ella’s pages. It was racist and it was horrible. And it doesn’t belong in this society. I think part of the problem is education. We still have, as much as we don’t see it happening, there still is underlying racism here in Tasmania, that I see as much as it’s not as common as it used to be. I even have friends that make, you know, casual, racist comments. And it’s all our duties, as people who are white, I guess, here in Tasmania to pull people up on that to call it out. And I think we’re often scared to do that we often don’t want to shut these comments down, we want to allow freedom of speech. So be it. But I think it is our duty is to shut these people down and to not allow these comments to breathe, and to fester hate within our community. So if we can all kind of work towards that, I think we’ll put a clear message out that this is not acceptable, and it’s not allowed. So thank you, again, sorry that that person made that comment.

Kristie Johnston

Thank you very much for the question. I completely agree it is about education. In Glenorchy in particular as I say we are such a multiculturally diverse community. And we fully recognise and appreciate the economic value of that. You build homes in our communities, you open businesses, you buy things in our local shops, it is so important to our local economy that we embrace, encourage and include. And that’s what our economy should be based on. But I think I also want to point out that, you know, while it happens on political candidates, Facebook pages, there is a campaign Racism That Stops With Me. And I would like to see our media outlets embrace that as well. So the number of times I see, The Mercury website or the Facebook page, or any other media outlet out there, where people make blatantly racist comments, and they are allowed to stay there, and they just feed off each other. I really do call on our media to call this behaviour out, because it starts the public discussion to say we are not going to tolerate racism in our community. And that needs to happen. It needs to happen at a parliamentary level and at a grassroots level. But the media also need to be doing this as well.

Elise Archer

Thanks so much. And thank you, Raj, for that contribution. We can all agree that racism is important in our community. As he Attorney General, one of my responsibilities is the Anti Discrimination Act. And I regularly meet with the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner from Equal Opportunity Tasmania, they do run an education program. We fund it as a government; all governments of all persuasions will fund that type of campaign. What I can say is, and I agree with everyone’s contributions, it is a community response that’s required. It is about education. It’s from education, right from primary school level all the way up to adults. If we’re teaching it in our communities in our schools, then hopefully, that filters through the generations as well, it goes up and it goes down. We are seeing less these days, but it still exists in our community. As a government, I think, our responsibility and our commitment to embracing people from other countries working in our communities demonstrated by the programs that we offer, like in our policy, the business mentoring adaptation program, the loan scheme for startup new businesses, we’re encouraging you all to – after you’ve gained qualifications or if you’ve already got qualifications – to set up your own businesses as well. So as a government, we fully support you working in our community. Don’t believe that you’re taking other people’s jobs, you’re adding value.

Mike Dutta

I did want to again, just make three points. Firstly, this must be condemned and it is deplorable. It’s unacceptable, it’s unfair, and we should never in any way accept it but we must speak out collectively as a community. Secondly, the foreign workers come here, not as illegal migrants, they come here because the government wants them to come here. And they come here legally. They come here as foreign workers to fill the skills gap. And therefore they’re not taking away jobs. They come here, because the government wants them to come here. And thirdly, the migrants who come here, they go through a very rigorous process to get a resident visa, and then afterwards to get citizenship. So we, you and I, and everybody in this particular country, are equal. We are not illegal. We come here legally. And therefore if we hear, we see, we must be bold enough to condemn it. And I urge all of us candidates to do that. Thank you.

Questioner – Pat Caplice

Hello, my name is Pat Caplice. I’m Convenor of a group called Rein in the Pokies. Just to explain myself a little bit. I’m a first generation Australia. My parents immigrated from Ireland and worked very hard in Hydro villages. I spent my very young years in the Hydro villages in the highlands of Tasmania, and then I grew up here in Glenorchy. And in fact I’ve spent a lot of sweat on the football ground out there when I played for the footy club here. I also worked for three years, four years as the chef at the Carlyle Hotel. This is in the 70s and the 80s here. And at that time, Glenorchy was an aspirational city. Many people like my parents, they remembered their origins, they remembered their roots. The places you see that are very old and established now like the Croatian club, the Greek club, the the Italian club, these were all grown out of immigrants from the 50s and 60s who worked in Tasmania. Okay, spending my early life here, working life in Glenorchy, it was just great. Everybody wanted better for their kids. Now Glenorchy has turned a bit of a corner. Because in the 90s, poker machines were introduced. Poker machines now take $20 million a year, $24 million a year, out of just the city of Glenorchy, and it’s having a devastating effect. So that’s just my background and why I’m interested in politics? With the indulgence of… I’d like to have two questions if I possibly could, one for the Shadow Attorney-General, and one for the Attorney-General. Ella. How fantastic that going into 2018 that your party was going to throw pokies out of the suburbs and keep them in the casinos. You didn’t win, only by a Sue Hickey vote, so that policy immediately after the election, Rebecca White dumped the policy. Understandable, that’s politics. When she dumped the policy, she – on Leon Compton’s radio – quite firmly said that harm reduction and harm prevention was going to be the main focus of the Labor Party. And I believed here, I think she’s a very believable woman. Quite surprisingly, earlier this year, a secret MOU between Labor and the THA was released, that appears on first reading, to give first right of refusal, to the people who own the poker machines, on any harm reduction and prevention measures that Labor could bring forward. So my question is: has the Labor Party given right of refusal to the pokie barons on harm reduction and prevention measures? And then I’d like to have something with Elise.

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Ella Haddad

Thanks, Pat, and I welcome the question. And the short answer is ‘absolutely not’. There will not be a right refusal for industry, if we’re elected, to veto any harm reduction measures. The MOU is about working with industry to implement how minimisation measures. The longer answer, and Pat knows a little bit about my background, but I did work in the alcohol and drug sector. So I actually understand harm reduction and harm minimisation measures really well. My family has also lost people to addiction. So I understand addiction, both from a professional perspective, and also from a personal perspective, having lost family and friends to addiction, their life. So I understand these issues really well. And I care about them really deeply. The reason that that policy was changed was that we didn’t win the 2018 election and the Tasmanian people had a choice around who would sign the new deed with a federal group after the 2018 election, and they didn’t choose the Labor Party. Our policy in 2018 was rooted in harm minimisation, arguably an extreme form of it. It couldn’t be delivered because we didn’t win and the new deed was due to be signed in the next term of government. Our policy remains rooted in harm minimisation; what that looks like will be different because of that new deed having been negotiated in that term of government. So it’s something that you know that I really care about. Harm minimisation measures can still be applied to poker machines in pubs and casinos. And that’s what that MOU is about. But it’s not a secret pokies deal. It deals with a lot of other things, including working conditions in pubs and clubs, award rates, penalty rates, and good working conditions for people working in the hospitality sector. We can talk about it again afterwards. But it’s not a secret pokies deal giving veto rights to industry by any means at all. But I welcome the question. And I really welcome the chance to talk with you about before as well.

Questioner – Pat Caplice

Thank you. And I’d just like you to clarify one thing. You’ve predicated on saying ‘if we are elected’. Even if you aren’t elected, Labor holds the numbers with independents in the Upper House to bring in harm reduction and harm prevention measures, and add them as amendments to whatever legislation the Liberals put through. Will Labor use those numbers in the Upper House, even if you don’t win this election?

Ella Haddad

Well, we could have the numbers in the Lower House. Who knows what’s going to happen on the first of May? We could even be elected after the first of May, who knows. But absolutely, that’s our job as an opposition party. We haven’t seen the legislation yet. The government has gone for an election, in my view, quite dishonestly, having not brought that legislation to Parliament yet and not shown that legislation to the Tasmanian people yet. But yes, we committed then and we commit now to looking at that legislation, looking at the regulations that come with it, and doing the best we can to implement those harm minimisation measures.

Audience member – Jeanette

Hello, my name is Jeanette Hymond. I’m a retired public person. And I worked in an international NGO for many years. Now I’m living in Glenorchy in rented accommodation. And as a pensioner, I go for a walk quite often around the block. So I would like more street trees to shade me when I’m walking.

Questioner – Simon Fraser

Thank you. Simon Fraser, I’m an Alderman on Glenorchy City Council. My question for the candidates, I guess both parties and some of the independents, your primary responsibility as elected or re-elected members of parliament is to create law. What is the law or piece of legislation that you would like to see created or amended in the next four years, your number one piece of legislation that you’d like to see created or amended?

Sam Mitchell

Yeah, I’d like to see kind of alteration to the Human Rights Act that we have, not only just mainly Australia, I think, again, coming from my background, looking at trying to meet the Millennium Development Goals we keep failing over and over again. It’s a bit hard to do much from a state level and I understand that, but I think we can advocate on a state level; whoever is elected can advocate on a state level to improve our commitment. And our, I guess, commitment to local organisations such as Caritas or Amnesty International, local branches, to go to the mainland to advocate on behalf of people here. I think there’s so much more we can do as your elected officials to do so.

Sue Hickey

Thank you. There’s lots of things that governments do and parliaments do and legislation is one part of it. But the other ones are policies around homelessness, housing and fixing the health system. As far as legislation goes, but firstly, I’d like to see you go through this parliament is what should have happened before we ended up going to religion was the Electoral Reform and Donations Disclosure Bill. I think it was very, very wrong to be doing that, and then calling a snap election without being honest about where all of the candidates’ funding is coming from. I personally am funding my own campaign and I know several other independents are as well. And I just like to give a shout out to Ella for trying to put up an electoral reform bill, because it is something that was promised at the last election after that disgraceful performance where a government was funded by third party donations, which I found about just as I signed up, and I was horrified, mortified and embarrassed. And every time the government was talking about being bought, being a member that government brought me great shame. So I think that is probably the first and most critical piece of legislation we need to bring through so that we have accountable governments going forward.

Vica Bayley

Thanks for the questions. Well it’s a bit hard to prioritise any one and I think, you know, Human Rights Act and, and electoral donation reform is one but one policy and one piece of legislation the Greens have put forward this time round, and it pertains to a lot of the questions we’ve talked about tonight is about how do we pay for promises? How do we actually generate the income in government to pay for promises? One of the things the Greens have started talking about and proposing is to make corporates pay more than what they already do. Mining companies, logging, pokies companies and the like, you know, comparative to other parts of Australia are being charged a pittance when it comes to royalties and the rates they return to the government. So from our perspective, it’d be to make the corporates pay their fair share for our resources, our collective inherited resources, and to use that money to invest into people, into the healthcare, the housing, the education and so forth. A lot of things we’ve talked about tonight, whether it be you know, latent racism, whether it be other injustices, you know, a lot of that comes back to equality issues, education, and the ability for all to, you know, have our fundamental human rights here in Tasmania.

Lisa Gershwin

Thanks, Linda. I just wanted to follow up on what Vica said. The Tasmanian government gives subsidies for big companies to come to Tasmania. And that’s good. And the Tasmanian government gives subsidies to small businesses to build them into big businesses. And that’s good. But then those subsidies don’t stop when these businesses become profitable. Those companies keep pocketing those subsidies while we’re paying for them. And these subsidies need to be capped. These are not small amounts. For example, the salmon industry pays no rates on their water leases; I pay rates, you guys pay rates, but the salmon industry doesn’t. The farmers don’t even have their water metered. I’m not saying farmers are bad. Of course not. We need farmers. But I’m saying they should be metered just like us.

Simon Behrakis

Thanks, Zelinda and Mike being council colleagues have probably heard me prattle on about this one a lot. But I think housing affordability is such a huge issue in (inaudible) and southern Tasmania. And I think the one of more most important things we can do to actually address that is addressing at the root of the cause, which is private housing market. And that involves continuing the reforms in the planning space. And the government’s done some really good work and I’m proud to be part of that team has undertaken those works. But I think if we can continue to reform to continue that good work of reforming the planning space and actually facilitated more housing development, more housing projects and more construction on housing, that extra supply is what we need to actually address the issue because at the moment, the pressures, the huge pressures of lack of supply and an increased demand with all people coming in to Tasmania to take part in our in way of life. It is a huge demand on the social and public housing just making us need even more and more I don’t think we’ll ever be able to address that without addressing the private market.

Master Wang.

Questioner – Master Wang

[via interpreter] Respected leaders and respected guest. As a (inaudible) migration who has been here over 32 years, this past year, almost all our (inaudible) has been maliciously targeted or attacked. So it’s to correct some misconception that there is no racial discrimination here. That is not the case. In fact, there is really strong sense of racial discrimination here. Even some officials mistakenly accused (inaudible) as a property developer, Sandy Bay, Some politicians has accused Master as a property developer. So we must remain vigilant against racial discrimination because especially for us Chinese we have been the first group that’s been targeted. In terms of for example, Sue Hickey, who has previously had the experience of going to China and also has been in the People’s Hall, and also met on President Xi, her experience has been that she was the Speaker and then but now she’s no longer. That has been a great shock, expressed through The Mercury recording. So to to make the story short. My first question for all the candidates is: how do you improve or resolve the friendship between Australia and China?

Elise Archer

Well thank you, Master Wang for that heartfelt plea I think, to everyone here and indeed our wider community. I’ve known Master Wang for a long time and I’ve been a great supporter of the Buddhist community here locally and across the world. I think what they bring to our community in peace, goodwill and supporting our community, at many different events, is truly a wonderful thing. How we move forward and how we repair Australia’s relationship with China, I think it’s very difficult at the moment. Because what we would normally do is embark on government trade missions. And that’s how we established a very good relationship with China, with Tasmania, through our trade, through our sport, through our arts, and through our economic activity, and, of course, through education through international education. Gosh, that goes by very quickly. So I think it’s very difficult because of COVID. But I will certainly be speaking, and continue with my federal counterparts to ensure that we do repair that relationship, it is so important to Australians.

Ella Haddad

Thanks Master Wang it’s a really important issue that you raised. And then absolutely no question that racism has to be stamped out. I’m glad that you raised that there has been increases, because that’s what I’ve been hearing as well, particularly that during COVID there were increased reports of racism to the Anti Discrimination Commission, particularly from Chinese Tasmanians, but actually from Tasmanians of any Asian appearance. And even anecdotally, I’ve heard from friends who were Korean, who are Malaysian, who are Vietnamese, that they were abused in the street, abused in the supermarket, and racially vilified just because of their appearance. Racism is abhorrent. And it comes from a place of fear, and prejudice and misunderstanding. And as we’ve heard other speakers tonight say it must be stamped out in every way. It’s learned, it’s not innate. So education has to start early with young people, to make people understand the value of multiculturalism. It’s very important that Australia begins to repair this relationship for the sake of Australian people of Chinese descent, as well as others who are unfairly subject to racial prejudice in Australia.

Sue Hickey

Thank you, Master Wang. It was one of my greatest honours, working in the Hobart City Council to be able to be part of two sister cities with China, and to be able to represent Tasmania and to welcome Chinese visitors to Tasmania. I can hear the pain in your voice. I’m deeply, deeply sorry that you’ve been so affronted, considering the kindness and generosity that you have shown to all of our communities, how you lovingly shared your culture, and sport and so many things in our state, including those Neighbourhood Watch and lots of other things. I think I wrote to you when your fence down at the Peace Park got damaged, and also the horrible time you had in Parliament, I was deeply shocked. And I’m limited by my powers, I was limited by my powers as Speaker to be able to pull up that debate. And as you know, I ended up being in quite a confrontation over it so I apologise deeply on behalf of everyone in the parliament for the offence that was shown to you.

Questioner – Saeed Shah

Thank you so much. Good evening, everyone. My name is Saeed Shah, I’m a consultant and also an academic. It’s been wonderful to hear all the answers. And rather than asking another question, taking more time, I just want to make a suggestion for leaders of the future, especially in relation to this whole issue of lack of interfaith understanding, discrimination in the form of extremism that would happen as a result of societies coming together. And what we’ve done to the last 46 years is put together resources, which are free resources to promote global peace. And what I’d like to do is just make an offer to share those resources with you. So you can share them with your society and communities as well. Thank you.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you very much for that. We really do appreciate it on behalf of all of the candidates who are standing here. We really do appreciate that offer. Thank you very much. And if you want to speak to him later on, that will be great. And in the interest of time…it’s close to 830 that’s what it feels like. At the moment, it’s a little bit close to a 830. So what we’ll we’ll try and do is we’ll have one, maybe two final questions, and then we’ll wrap up. And please, if you can be as quick as possible, and perhaps what I’ll do is limited just to a 30 second reply, and then I’ll come and say, hey, it’s time. Thank you.

Questioner – Sebastian

Okay. My name is Sebastian Nkoso. From (inaudible) Hobart. [via interpreter] What is actually the current amount of population that will be putting here? (mostly inaudible…questions appeared to be about transportation and migration)

Simon Behrakis

Very, very quickly, I think the, as the populations do go up, we do need to, as was said, be able to sort of see what’s coming into the future. And we do need to have those long term plans. And we do have those long term plans and the light rail is part of that that we are working towards that. But these are things that we need to get right. And we need to put the work into when they are things that are for the future, hopefully to allow our city to grow into the population that we that we have.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you very much for that. And so it was advertised that we will be finishing between 830 and nine o’clock It is about 840 now, and I really would like to, if that’s okay, I would like to close this if that’s all right. Reason being that you can you have time afterwards to talk to the candidates, if you so wish. And I really would like the opportunity right now just do it on behalf of the Culturally Diverse Alliance of Tasmania to say thank you very much to the candidate. I’m sure most of you have been up since the morning. And you’ll be going for the next week. So honestly, from the bottom of our hearts, than you very much for coming.

John Kamara

Thank you for the people here for coming. Please, I think there are more questions to answer for our candidates, please send them to us. So if you have those questions that you want any of the candidate to answer, email CDAT. We can pass it on to them and we can provide a response. Very sorry to people who wanted to ask question but they don’t have the time. So please, if you have those questions, please send it to our email address. And just I think is info@cdat.com.au. So I’ll check that to just confirm.

Zelinda Sherlock

Thank you very much. Yes, so the email is info@cdat.com.au Also, if you are unsure about how to vote. On the 27th of April, the Migrant Resource Centre has an information session. It is between 530 and 7pm. So if you would like more information on how to vote, please come along. It’s right here on the second floor. And you’re more than welcome to come. We would like to say sincerely thank you so much. It is you the community who makes this possible. And we are so so grateful that so many of you have come here tonight. Thank you so much. And please travel safe, thank you.

John Kamara

And the program is closed. Thank you so much.

CDAT Team.

Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/04/clark-candidates-forum-at-cdat/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=clark-candidates-forum-at-cdat

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Finance Advice 2021