UP to 200 people are expected to witness a historic debate between the state’s political leaders this week.
Premier David Bartlett, Liberal leader Will Hodgman and Greens leader Nick McKim will front a crowd at Elwick racecourse on Friday.

The leaders will take part in a rapid-fire, one-minute speech format on population, productivity, fiscal policy and spending efficiency and answer questions from a panel of prominent business leaders.

Richard Dowling, from the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the triple-header was unprecedented both in form and content.

“This is a very specific debate on very specific issues. They won’t get away with rhetorical tricks, they will have to focus on the issues,” he said.

The debate will be made available via a webcast following proceedings.

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Tasmania’s political leaders
agree to a free public debate
Thursday, 27 August 2009

Premier David Bartlett, Liberal Leader Will Hodgman and Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim will meet in a free, open and public debate in Hobart on Tuesday, the 1st of December at the Federation Concert Hall.

“The People’s Debate” is a joint initiative of leading Tasmanian organisations: TasCOSS, Unions Tasmania, the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT), the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT), the Property Council of Tasmania, Environment Tasmania and Australian Medical Association (AMA) Tasmania Branch.

CEO of the TICT Daniel Hanna said “our seven organisations all believe that more than anything Tasmania needs a genuine leaders’ debate on the key issues that will shape the State’s future”.

“We are putting aside our different perspectives to make this debate happen, as we are strongly united in our belief that a free, open and public debate is in the best interest of Tasmania”.

“Tasmania faces important challenges over the next decade and this historic event is an opportunity for Tasmania’s political leaders to outline and debate how they will govern in the interests of all Tasmanians”.

The debate will be independently moderated and cover a broad range of issues for Tasmania’s economy, community, democracy and environment.

CEO of TasCOSS Tom Muller said members of the public will need to register, and are invited to ring TasCOSS on 6231 0755 to book their free tickets or register their details online at to be posted their free tickets.

“The concert hall has limited capacity, so it is first in first served and we encourage all Tasmanians who want to see a genuine leader’s debate, to get in touch with us now and book their free tickets.”

“We believe Tasmanians value their democracy and will support this historic event.”

“The three party leaders are to be commended for agreeing to participate in the debate and for ensuring that Tasmanians have the chance to see them debate at a free and public event.”