Tas upper house election results 2014

ACL congratulates independents Kerry Finch (Rosevears) and Robert Armstrong (Huon) on their re-election/election to the Tasmanian Upper House. Many commentators are trying to read into the results given that neither of the Liberal Party candidates in either electorate got up. Some are even pointing at the federal influences on the outcome. I think ABC’s Antony Green sums it up well: “I don't think you can read too much into the result. The state government has been there only a few weeks. The rejection of two Liberals in favour of local Independents is perfectly normal for the Tasmanian Legislative Council . . . And for Federal implications, I think there are few”.

This time next year we will see another three upper house seats contested. Mike Gaffney (Mersey), Craig Farrell (Derwent) and Ivan Dean (Windermere) will all be up for re-election.

Tasmanian Upper House Elections – May 3 2014

On May 3, around 40,000 Tasmanians will go back to the polls to elect two new members of the upper house. In early May each year two or three of the 15 members come up for re-election. This year the two seats to be contested are Huon, (previously occupied by Paul Harriss who has been recently elected to the lower house), and Rosevears (north of Launceston), where Kerry Finch is recontesting after two terms. To find out more and whether you need to vote see here.

To help voters make a more informed choice each candidate was sent a brief questionnaire. Responses are available here in a printable form: Huon & Rosevears. Complete Huon responses are available here.


  • Late responses were not incorporated into the printable PDF but will be posted here when supplied.

  • Where no response is given, the candidate has chosen not to participate in this survey.


Division of Huon Candidates

ARMSTRONG, Robert; Huon Valley Mayor; Independent

BELL, Jimmy; Self Employed; Independent

DILLON, Rodney; Human Rights; Independent

HODGMAN, Peter; Real Estate Agent; Liberal Party

LANE, Helen; Computer Consultant; Independent

RUZICKA, Pavel; Self Employed ; Independent

SMITH, Liz; Councillor, Huon Valley; Independent

Division of Rosevears Candidates

FINCH, Kerry; Parliamentarian; Independent

MORRIS, Don; Former Parliamentary Adviser; Liberal Party


Those in Huon will need to number at least four candidates in order of preference to ensure your votes are counted. Rosevears voters only require a first preference for a valid vote.


Further information is available at the following sites:





MR: Tasmanians reject Greens-Labor social agenda


For release: Saturday March 15, 2014

The Australian Christian Lobby has congratulated the Liberal Party on its resounding win in the Tasmanian election and looks forward to working constructively with the new government.

ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the enormous amount of time the State Parliament spent debating contentious social issues such as same-sex marriage (twice), abortion and euthanasia had proven unattractive to mainstream voters.

Mr Brown said Christian voters had also been disappointed with the lack of engagement by Labor during the election campaign.

Premier-elect Will Hodgman and a large number of his candidates had participated in ACL election activities.

Mr Hodgman had participated in an election interview where he committed to amend anti-discrimination laws to provide a general exemption to Christian schools when it comes to enrolling students and hiring staff.

“This was a welcome announcement which means Christian schools will be able to enrol students and employ staff who share the ethos and values of the school without being in breach of anti-discrimination laws,” he said.

Mr Brown said the ALP’s lack of engagement with the Christian community may well have contributed to its election loss.

Read more

Candidate views on marriage highlight distinctions

As Tasmanians head to the polls, recent media articles about some candidate's support of 'same-sex marriage' have made further distinctions for voters ahead of Saturday's election.

The following candidates have expressed support for state-based same-sex marriage:

The following Liberal candidates have expressed in-principle support for same-sex marriage at the federal level:

  • Jeremy Rockliff (Braddon) and Rene Kling (Denison): link

These candidates are in addition to the ALP and Greens members who voted for same-sex marriage in the Tasmanian parliament.

Both Tasmanian Labor and the Tasmanian Greens have party positions in favour of state-based same-sex marriage law.

Results from upper house elections in May last year indicate that those candidates who have a strong view in support of 'same-sex marriage' were not favoured by Tasmanian voters.

MR: Tasmanian Christian ALP voters let down by party’s lack of engagement


For release: Wednesday March 12, 2014

The Australian Christian Lobby says many Tasmanian Christian Labor voters will be disappointed with the party’s lack of engagement with the constituency during this election.

ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said just one sitting Labor MP, Brian Wightman, participated in the five Meet Your Candidate Forums conducted by the lobby.

“In comparison, seven sitting Liberal MPs and three sitting Greens MPs attended,” he said.

“There will be many Christian Labor voters who are disappointed that their sitting Labor member was not pro-active about engaging them,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown said Labor had proud historical roots in Christianity amongst Irish Catholic workers and Protestant Methodists who were at the forefront of the creation of the trade union movement.

“Given the comments by party leader Bill Shorten over the weekend regarding the need for the ALP to be growing its membership, the Tasmanian Labor Party should not neglect reaching out to Labor voters among the Christian constituency,” he said.

“According to the latest census data, 60 per cent of Tasmanians profess a Christian faith, many who are being actively engaged on political issues,” he said.

“In fact, Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous last week sent out a letter to the Catholic community encouraging parishioners to think carefully about candidates’ views on social issues ahead of the March 15th election,” Mr Brown said.

Archbishop Porteous encouraged people to be informed via two websites, including www.tasvotes.org.au site which has a printable conscience vote history table which clearly shows differences in candidates’ views on the social issues mentioned in the letter.
The total number of candidates attending the five ACL Meet Your Candidate Forums, including sitting members, were nine for the Labor Party, 15 from the Liberal Party, nine Greens, eight Palmer United Party, four Nationals, two Australian Christians and three independents.


ACL Candidate Forums prove popular

Over the past two weeks ACL has run its trademark Meet Your Candidate Forums in each of the five Tasmanian electorates ahead of this Saturday’s state election.

There was a good turnout of both candidates and constituents averaging 10 candidates per forum and over 70 in the audience listening and asking questions of those seeking to be elected.

Sadly there was a noticeable absence of attendance from current sitting ALP members with only one Labor MP fronting the forums. In contrast both the Liberals and Greens had a strong showing at the events.

Questions put to the candidates were wide-ranging but generally reflected the general concerns in the community – the economy, jobs and education.

Out of all the major social issues that have characterised the last four years, abortion was the one that came up most often regarding recent changes to Tasmania’s abortion laws. Questions specifically targeted candidates’ views on doctors’ freedom of conscience and freedom of speech (right to protest near abortion clinics).

Feedback from both candidates and constituents was positive with all forums highlighting clear distinctions in the candidates but at the same time maintaining respect for the varying views from across the spectrum of those seeking people’s votes.

ACL's Mark Brown on Tasmanian election

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is the Tasmanian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he previews the Tasmanian election on the 15th of March and the work he's doing in the state to help Christians make an informed vote.

Strong Economy, Strong Communities breakfast videos now available online

ACL's Strong Economy, Strong Communities breakfast was held in Hobart last Tuesday 25th February which was attended by around 70 people.  The aim of the breakfast was to address the importance of a strong Tasmanian economy to strong Tasmanian families and communities in the lead up to the state election this month.

Innovator and business strategist Professor Jonathan West began the morning addressing two key messages that physically and economically speaking Tasmania’s problems are rather easy to solve and that these problems are the responsibility of the community. Professor West indicated Tasmania lacks a sense of themselves as a community. He told the audience it was time for the state to take responsibility for their problems by putting the public interest ahead of private interests.

Noel Mundy from Mission Australia challenged people to get out and "fix the broken community." He said in order to build a stronger economy that builds stronger communities the state should not leave behind the most vulnerable.

Read more

ACL interviews Tas Liberal leader Will Hodgman

will hodgman 2In this lead up to the Tasmanian election on the 15th of March, the ACL's Tasmanian Director Mark Brown interviewed Liberal Leader Will Hodgman on a range of issues. Mark Brown invited Labor Premier Lara Giddings to do an interview but declined. Her office has said she would provide a written response to the questions. This is a 10 minute excerpt of the interview Mr Brown did with Mr Hodgman. The full interview can be found on www.tasvotes.org.au

MR: ACL releases interview with Tas Liberal Leader Will Hodgman


Monday, 24th February 2014

ACL has released an exclusive video interview with Tasmanian Liberal Leader Will Hodgman about his position on issues of concern to Christians in the lead up to the state election.

ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said Labor Premier Lara Giddings declined the opportunity to be interviewed but has said she would supply a written response to the questions.

Mr Brown said the 20 minute interview is available to watch on www.tasvotes.org.au.

“Mr Hodgman gives his position on a number of issues including unemployment, education, abortion, marriage, anti-discrimination, gambling, sexualisation of society and health,” he said.

If elected in March, Mr Hodgman gave an undertaking to amend anti-discrimination legislation to allow for a general exemption so faith-based schools would have the freedom to select staff and students who shared their ethos.

“On the issue of abortion, Mr Hodgman has indicated his concern at the legislation passed late last year which infringed on a doctor’s right to freedom of conscience,” Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown said ACL was providing opportunities for Christians to make an informed vote this election with its Strong Economy, Strong Communities Breakfast event tomorrow and Meet Your Candidate Forums being held around the state over the next two weeks.   

“Tomorrow’s business breakfast will discuss the importance of a strong Tasmanian economy to strong Tasmanian families and communities with economist Professor Ian Harper, local innovator and business strategist Professor Jonathan West, and Mission Australia’s Noel Mundy,” he said.

“The five Meet Your Candidate Forums provide an opportunity for people to meet their local candidates and understand the values and ideas that they’ll bring to the job if elected,” he said.

The website also has a conscience vote history table of current sitting MPs showing how they voted on issues including surrogacy, marriage, adoption, abortion and euthanasia legislation in the past three years.

Mr Brown said the majority of Tasmanians identify themselves as being of the Christian faith.

“Elections are a good time for Christians to positively influence society through electing people of good character who share their desire to see a more moral, just and compassionate society,” he said.

Mr Hodgman’s interview and other election resources are available at www.tasvotes.org.au.


Making your Tas election vote count with the Hare-Clark system

The Hare-Clark system is named after its inventor, British barrister Thomas Hare, and the Tasmanian Attorney-General Andrew Inglis Clark, who modified it and persuaded Tasmania to adopt the system in 1896. It has been used continuously since 1909.

The system is a version of the Single Transferable Vote and is a form of proportional representation, which means parties are elected according to the proportion of the vote they receive.

Hare-Clark is used in Tasmanian Lower House elections and is similar to Australian Senate elections, with some key distinguishing differences.

One important difference between Hare-Clark and other systems is that voters are only required to fill as many preferences as there are vacancies, currently five in each Tasmanian electorate. Voters can fill in all boxes if they so choose but are not required to.

The most significant difference, however, is that in Hare-Clark there is no ticket voting, in other words, no above the line voting. This means that rather than voting by party, voters must vote for their preferred candidates in order.

With a ticket vote, a vote for a particular party will be distributed according to the preferences of that party. In Hare-Clark, this is not possible, so each voter must direct their own preferences.

This allows all voters to vote not according to the party but according to each individual candidate.

Read more

Tas election: meet your candidate forums

In the lead up to the 2014 Tasmanian election, the ACL will be running Meet Your Candidate Forums in each electorate to give you the opportunity to meet and question the people who are seeking your vote.

Tasmanians are strongly encouraged to attend the forum in their electorate to help them make an informed decision about who to vote for on election day, Saturday 15th March. Candidates in each electorate will be present to discuss issues of importance to Christians.

Join ACL to find out about your candidates' values and priorities.

Details of all local candidate forum events are below:

26/02/2014BRADDON7:30 PMOldaker Street Christian Centre, 36 Oldaker Street, Devonport
27/02/2014LYONS7:30 PMThe Riverlands Centre (Longford Baptist Church), 159 Wellington St, Longford
3/03/2014BASS7:30 PMTailrace Centre, Waterfront Drive, Riverside
5/03/2014DENISON7:30 PMWellspring Anglican Church, Grosvenor St, Sandy Bay
6/03/2014FRANKLIN7:30 PMCityLight Church, 150 Redwood Road, Kingston

MR: ACL looks to post-Greens future for Tasmania


Thursday, January 16th 2014

Labor’s broken election promise on governing with the Greens has been disastrous for Tasmania and voters now had the opportunity to create a post-Greens future for the state, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown has welcomed the announcement today that Labor would split from its power-sharing alliance with the Greens.

Mr Brown said it was an absolute breach of trust for Labor to enter into an alliance with the Greens after the 2010 election and people would rightly be wary of today’s announcement, given how easily the same promise was breached in 2010.

“The decision by former Labor Premier David Bartlett to enter into an alliance despite clearly declaring before the election that he would “never do a deal with the devil” damaged Labor’s credibility and its ability to deliver good government,” he said.

“The state government of the last four years has focused a disproportionate amount of time on repeated attempts at radical social policy reform, due in part to the Greens influence, while the economy continues to suffer.

“This has not gone unnoticed by the electorate which walked away from the Greens at the last federal election. The Greens’ primary vote in Tasmania fell by around nine per cent in both the House of Representatives and senate from the 2010 election results.

“Voters last year indicated the desire for a post-Green era where governments could get on with the business of driving key areas like the economy and jobs unhindered by the Greens anti-industry handbrake and its obsession with redefining marriage.

“The end of the alliance in Tasmania provides Labor with an opportunity to start rebuilding its tarnished credibility. There are a substantial number of swinging voters in the Tasmanian Christian community who are looking for genuine options when it comes to who they vote for in March,” he said.