April 18, 2021

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Local Party Launches in Hobart, Sets Sights on State & Federal Elections

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<p><img width="1000" height="679" src="https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/LocalParty_TT.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt=""></p>The Local Party, a new political party in formation, launched today in Hobart. Party founders Leanne Minshull, Anna Bateman (4:00) and Craig Garland (6:10) spoke with media on Parliament Lawns. Biographies of the founders are below after the transcript. A public launch will be at the Fern Tree Tavern from 6pm (Thursday 18 March), all […]

The Local Party, a new political party in formation, launched today in Hobart. Party founders Leanne Minshull, Anna Bateman (4:00) and Craig Garland (6:10) spoke with media on Parliament Lawns. Biographies of the founders are below after the transcript.

A public launch will be at the Fern Tree Tavern from 6pm (Thursday 18 March), all are welcome


Leanne Minshull

Leanne Minshull, publican, member of the local party. Well, we’re here to launch Tasmania’s newest political party, the Local Party, we’ve come together to really try and help make politics better. You can’t disengage from politics, I think you have to make it better. At the moment, politics is quite toxic. And I think a large part of that is the party system that supports politicians, good people who want to do good things, and really encourages the toxic nature of politics rather than provides an environment where all community members can get to have a say. So what the Local Party is about is not a platform for career politicians. It’s a mechanism to get people into parliament that are passionate about their community. And we are having a focus on looking for female candidates. Anna and I’ll be running workshops to encourage women to run for parliament, and to help those women as much as possible. Women aren’t the complete answer to changing politics. But I think if we’ve got good supportive party structures, a culture of helping each other rather than being combative with each other, and then a lot of women coming forward who normally may not, you know, put themselves forward, I think that puts us on a good pathway.

Alexandra Humphries – Journalist

There’s a couple of different options coming up. So is this about the state election or the federal election?

Leanne Minshull

When we say the Local Party is a new way of doing politics, so for us, it’s not just about the next election cycle, we’d like to also have an impact on the way that all major parties go about politics. But we’re going to be announcing candidates for both the federal and state elections. And we’ll be doing that at our State Conference on July 24, and 25th, at the Spring Bay mill, if not beforehand.

Alexandra Humphries – Journalist

And will there be candidates in every seat?

Leanne Minshull

Yeah, so we’re looking to running full tickets in all five electorates at the state election. And we’ll also be running a senate ticket definitely for the federal election. And we’re hoping to run a candidate in each of the federal seats.

Alexandra Humphries – Journalist

And what’s the policy platform?

Leanne Minshull

So we’re actually not, we’re going to do action plans rather than non specific policies, any party can put forward a policy that says we’re for jobs like who’s not for jobs, or we’re for the environment, who’s not for the environment. But what the Local Party is going to do is have action plans to say specifically on issues, what we’re going to achieve and how we’re going to achieve it. And to help us get to those decisions. We’re going to hold citizens’ assemblies, on the major issues to help inform what those action plans will be. That’s how we’re going to get community voices into parliament. The four issues that we’ll be looking at straightaway and holding citizens assemblies on will be the planning system for Tasmania, we’ll also be looking at the Integrity Commission and donations reform and accountability generally in Parliament, we’ll also be having a look at our marine environment and how that could be better managed. And as noted before, we’re definitely going to have an emphasis on gender issues, and how to help women into parliament and have equality in the workplace and at home.

Tasmanian Times

Recent attempts to create new parties in Tasmania haven’t been very successful. I could cite Tasmanians for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie Network and so on. What makes you think your approach is likely to work in Tasmania.

Leanne Minshull

Well, that’s true, some some have failed, but others have started as well. And being successful. You know, this is where the Greens started originally, you mentioned Jacqui Lambie, her Network didn’t take off, but Jacqui sure took off. And I think that it’s we’re at a point in time where people are really concerned about politics, and you’ve got two choices: you either disengage and walk away or you get involved. And what our party is offering is a new way to get involved. We’re not an old party with old structures and old power bases that you have to break through. We’re starting from a clean slate and saying ‘come on board’.

Anna Bateman

Hi. So I have worked in media most of my life, and a few years ago, got involved in politics, spent 18 months in Canberra, somewhere I always wanted to work. And if it’s possible to be excited and disappointed every day, seeing federal politics up close that’s what I felt like because it’s clearly not working for either the people or the planet. So when I left Jacqui, and was driving back down the Brooker and Leanne rang me and said, I’m thinking about starting a new party, I said ‘hell yes!’ I helped organise the Women’s March the other day. You know, there’s so many active voices, you want to be involved in politics, but there’s a lot of people that feel disenfranchised, that like they can never be a part of it. And I think the Local Party is going to be a big part of allowing new voices to come in and allowing community voices to be heard.

Tasmanian Times

What’s your role within the party?

Anna Bateman

I’m one of the initial organisers with Craig and Leanne. I’m going to be running the workshops and help get citizen juries up, looking for new candidates and using my media experience as well.

Alexandra Humphries – Journalist

Are you going to be a candidate?

Anna Bateman

I’m not sure yet. I would certainly consider it. But I also would like to see lots of Tasmanians also come forward. So if it’s more useful for me to support them, I’ll do that. If it’s useful for me to run, I’ll do that.

Tasmanian Times

What are the citizen juries about?

Anna Bateman

So citizen juries are a bit like a jury and a trial. So whatever issue you’re looking at, you go and find nine or 12 people in the community that say you’re taking something like salmon farming, who are neither allied to activists, nor allied to politicians or the companies, and you have a trial that effectively examines all the information. It’s a great way of getting communities informed, and educated, and then allowing them to have a voice and say, ‘This is what we want for the future of our waters’.

Alexandra Humphries – Journalist

Will you be running for the party? And is this the time you do actually finally get elected?

Craig Garland

Well we’ll have to wait and see. Getting in is important. But equally important, is raising your issues and getting them broadcast. My main motivation is, is the community. It’s being left out in every respect, whether you’re talking fishing, farming, forestry, there’s a similar problem right across all sectors, any skin in the game is removed from the decision-making process. And then us, the fishermen and the farmers and the forestry workers, we have to take on the chin all of their bad decisions. And a classic example is the sale of Woolnorth just recently, it went into Chinese hands. And without going into detail, that place is an absolute mess. So we need people, ordinary Tasmanians. The system is broken, basically. If you look right across the board, right across Australia, politics is on the nose, and the players, the corporates, the big parties, they’ve left the community behind. And that’s why an ordinary fisherman like me put his hand up. I’ve been involved on Advisory Councils for eight years, I was the only person from the whole north having to sort of take on board environmental issues, recreational and commercial interests. And that’s not good enough. Tassie is three distinct reasons, as far as I’m concerned – we’re north and north-west, north and north-east, south and south-east. And if we get advisory bodies, take fishing for instance, if we have our advisory bodies made up of community members from those areas, it makes the decision making process easier. It promotes transparency, because every one of that council goes back and takes back what is discussed. And that’s how it should be done. Not by these fellows here behind closed doors with a big chequebook, making the decision. I’ve got three young kids. And I’ve seen the change in this state with our natural environment, and the social environment, and we have to stand up and do something now. It’s no good sitting around waiting. Now is the time and these ladies here have come forward, I I was alone on my own until Anna came along and gave me a hand. Everybody gave me a hand, I had no money. And I was buoyed by the fact that I’ve got quite a bit of support. And just recently – my social engagements are very limited these days with three kids – but wherever I go in the north-west, I’ve got a lot of people coming up to me saying ‘Craig good on you’. You’re our voice, keep at it. So whether I like it or not, I’m deeply entrenched into it now and I can’t sort of step back. And yeah, I’m going to represent those people that look for someone, an ordinary Tasmanian that’s prepared to stick the boot into them and get done what needs to be done.

Alexandra Humphries – Journalist

Your name will be on the ballot paper in Braddon for the state election?

Craig Garland

I’d say so at this stage unless something untoward happens. That’s that’s my intent. I want to represent this state here. I got flown to Canberra and had three days there. And there’s no way in this wide world I want to be involved in that over there. I want to stay here, represent the people I know and love, and these places I love and Tasmanians. So I’ll put I’ll put my hand up for Braddon.

Tasmanian Times

Local government elections are coming up next year. Is that an area that Local Party are going to be involved in, in the issues and the elections?

Craig Garland

Local government, I don’t think we’ll be running candidates in that but we’ll certainly working close with the councils as we already are. We know everybody where we live. We grew up together, they get on the council, and so we’ve got this connection. And it’s not hard to get a meeting or just pull up someone in the street and talk about your issues. So I’m pretty confident. They’ve just about polarised everybody I know, the major parties, into looking for somewhere else. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re giving people that are sick to death of the lies, the corruption, a voice that they can know and trust. We’re accessible, you come along and knock on my door, I’m open seven days a week, you know. I think that’s the biggest benefit we can bring to the table. We’re just ordinary Tasmanians trying to do things that would be better for this state and our future in general.

Tasmanian Times

How many members does the party currently have?

Leanne Minshull

We’ve got just under 100. So we’re just on the point where we can actually register but we’re launching publicly tonight up at my pub at Fern Tree. We expect that we’ll have at least 120 members by Friday or early next week. So we’ll submit them and then we’ll look for members on the mainland and get the 500 and then put in for registration through the AEC probably within about three or four weeks.


Party founders

Leanne Minshull  Is an independent policy analyst and was until recently Director of The Australia Institute, Tasmania. Leanne, with her partner David, is publican of the Fern Tree Tavern in Hobart. Leanne has over twenty years experience in politics and public policy at a national and international level. Leanne holds a law degree and a masters in labour law and relations.

Craig Garland Is a fisherman from Tasmania’s north-west Coast. Craig has been a fisherman since he was 14 and is also a member of the Tasmanian Fishing Advisory Council. A father of three Craig, ran in the 2018 federal by-election in Braddon and surprised election-watchers by gaining 11% of the vote. A remarkable result given he funded his own campaign and put just ten posters up in one of Australia’s most marginal electorates.

Anna Bateman Is a communications professional and spent nearly 30 years working in the media, notably producing Judith Lucy is All Woman, Luke Warm Sex with Luke McGregor and Can of Worms which she developed with Andrew Denton. Anna moved into politics in 2016 working first for Tony Windsor and then Senator Jacqui Lambie when she was re-elected to the Senate in 2019.

Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/03/local-party-launches-in-hobart-sets-sights-on-state-federal-elections/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=local-party-launches-in-hobart-sets-sights-on-state-federal-elections

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