Tasmanian Times



The Tasmanian Division of the Australian Democrats have criticised the Ethics and Sustainability Party’s position opposing same sex marriage as being neither ethical nor sustainable.

In the Sunday Tasmanian, leader of the Ethics and Sustainability Party, Dr Kathleen Petrovsky, described the push for same sex marriage as a ‘trendy’ policy and said they would oppose it. Australian Democrats Tasmanian Division President James Irvine said it wasn’t trendy, it was the right thing to do.

“How a party claiming to be ethical can support keeping part of our population as second class citizens is beyond me. There is no justification for it.”

“Additionally, it is not sustainable to oppose same sex marriage. Marriage encourages stability, and through stability families can make more long term plans including things like investing in their homes to reduce their environmental footprint. It’s not sustainable policy position either as the world is marching towards allowing gay couples to be legally married and 60% of Australians already support same sex marriage.”

Mr Irvine said that if the support base for the Ethics and Sustainability party is largely professionals, as was reported, that there would undoubtedly be a strong backlash from many of the members of the new party. “The support base for the Australian Democrats in Tasmania also includes many professionals, and they are often the ones pushing hardest for us to continue fighting for same sex marriage, regardless of whether they are personally gay or not.”

“So far the Ethics and Sustainability Party has proven themselves to be unethical, unsustainable, and out of touch with its own base,” Mr Irvine said.

“The Australian Democrats policy on full equality for gay and lesbian Australians has been well established for many years and we will continue the fight until all obstructions for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians are overcome.”

James Irvine, Tasmanian Division President
Find out more at www.democrats.org.au or www.tas.democrats.org.au

Kathryn Crosby
The Rebuild Team
Australian Democrats
(e): rebuild@australiandemocrats.org.au
Australian Democrats – Tasmanian Division

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Kathryn Crosby

    January 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Peter, if by ‘have a lot in common with our party’s underlying idelogy’ (comment #2)you mean ‘we blatantly ripped off the constitution of the Tasmanian Division of the Australian Democrats’ then I’d have to agree. Given I wrote it. Such a shame plagerism is only an academic folly.

  2. Ian Lawrence

    January 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    You live in a very simplistic and insular world dd
    maybe you should get out more and stop attacking defenceless minority groups, it only make you look like the fool you are.

  3. Nerve Wines

    January 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Oh Dear. Just as I thought.
    ‘Peter Wilson’ is not infact your real identity.
    Peter will you fess up or shall I spill the beans?A number of people in the Tamar Valley are already aware of your real identity.
    Word spreads quickly fella.
    Perhaps you should come clean with TT readers.

  4. Peter Wilson

    January 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    To Nerve Wines #10 on 18/01/10 at 06:03 PM, probably the ones you should research are the 250 registered members of the party as per the Mercury/Examiner/Advocate/TasGazette advertisement on January 11. All of them against-fast-track-assessment, from all over the state as Tasmanians are often travelling during the Christmas period to meet up with family, they were encountered Christmas shopping or Boxing Day shopping in Launceston’s Brisbane St Mall. They will be very influential if Ethics & Sustainability Party do end up holding any balance of power in the post March 20 state government. I’m just a stand-in waiting to stand back when someone with real talent comes along.

  5. Ian Lawrence

    January 18, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Traditionally same-sex relationships have been stigmatised and persecuted.

    Less than a decade ago a sexual relationship between two men or two women was punishable under Tasmanian law with up to 21 years in gaol.

    Many same-sex couples still face misunderstanding, prejudice and discrimination in everyday life so dd. Please think before you shoot your mouth off again,
    You are a very hateful and naive person.
    Ian Lawrence

  6. Jamie

    January 18, 2010 at 1:54 am

    So to sum up,

    This new party is just a bunch of ex-liberal voters who won’t vote Labor because Labor are crap, but who still can’t bring themselves to vote for the Greens because of the gay stuff.

    That’s the demographic, isn’t it?

    You poor, stupid, naive tools.

  7. BogusFiasco

    January 18, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Another little distraction for the Left.
    Another division.
    Another laugh for the Conservatives.
    Another cleavage in our strength.
    The Left in Tasmania is its own worst enemy.

  8. Jon Sumby

    January 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Just re-read Wilson’s comments (No 1 & 2), they are contradictory and make no sense, just like the E&S Party. Time to take Monty Python’s advice and ‘run away, run awaay!’.

  9. Nerve Wines

    January 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Is Peter Wilson a real person?
    I,m beginning to wonder.
    I dont mean to sound cryptic Peter but are you the same Peter Wilson who once said “If you want to know who the real Peter Wilson is look in Nerve Wines in the Tamar Valley”?
    Peter describes himself as the “Interim Vice President of Communication”
    Peter I think you ought to tell us a bit about your background. Maybe post a photo of yourself.
    You understand of course that people want to know a bit about those they are voting for.
    What is your occupational and social history in Tassy?
    Where are you from in Tas. and what are your interests outside politics?
    Do you have family?
    Look forward to getting to know you and your new party.

  10. Sarah

    January 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Peter, if you had 250 names you could have easily contacted the Dems and merged before Christmas and they would have made it well over the line in time – neither of you will now contest the state election. But if you oppose same sex marriage – a tent pole non-negotiable policy position of the Australian Democrats – then of course you wouldn’t really be comfortable as Democrats would you?

    Allan, yes she was – and the Dem’s policy was for equality for gay and lesbian Australians then too.

  11. Peter Power

    January 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Whacko Don Davey is at it again…gees Don, get a life and start talking sense or forever hold your peace.
    “One issue at a time”…is that all you can cope with?
    Actually 60% of so called punters support Same Sex Marriage…please get your facts right Don.

  12. Allan Beams

    January 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Just out of interest, wasn’t the here much maligned Dr Petrovsky once a Bass state candidate for the Democrats? See

  13. salamander

    January 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Having the spokesperson say something that should be totally against the policy of an ethical party is not a good start.

    A policy that maintains the exclusion of one section of society from rights enjoyed by the rest of us is neither ethical nor sustainable.

    How about coming up with a possible alternative solution?

    This party needs to apply their intelligence to more than just the fight against the pulp mill, as they risk harm to the credibility of the fight against the biggest threat to the state – if they can’t do better, would be better to not have begun.

  14. Jon Sumby

    January 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    The use of the word ‘ethics’ in the name of tha party implies that they will consider the ethics of issues and make a stand based upon that analysis.

    There is no ethical block to gay and lesbian marriage, in fact, an ethical analysis of that issue would support gay and lesbian marriage.

    Ethical analysis of many issues would see, among a whole host of issues, the nascent E&S Party opposing factory farming, battery hen egg production, the treatment of refugees, sperm donor policy, funding of private schools, animal to human transplants, etc.

    They would support legal injecting rooms, gays and lesbians in the military, stem cell research, legal rights for the environment (trees, rivers and the like), etc.

    Unless the use of the word ‘ethics’ is Orwellian doublespeak.

  15. pilko

    January 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Strike 1 against the E&S party.

  16. Peter Wilson

    January 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Just for the record, Dr Petrovsky is not the leader of the Ethics & Sustainability Party. She’s just the proposed Registered Officer and we’re very proud to have her in that role. She even thought up the name of the Party. Her comments in that Sunday Tasmanian (Mercury online) article were a little bit out of sync with E&S Party policy, e.g. the emphasis put specifically on opposing gay marriage is unwarranted. Basically what is in place is a “zero-change from present” social policy. E&S Party actually looks forward to working with Tas Democrats if at all possible. Our party is even willing to compromise/sacrifice its political chances if need be (perhaps sharing letterboxing?), in order to achieve its goals of opposing the fast track assessment of the Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill and destruction of Tasmania’s high conservation value forests. Providing greater choice for voters at the March 20 state election is in our view highly worthwhile and Tas Democrats does ahve a lot in common with our party’s underlying ideology.

    Peter Wilson
    Interim Vice-President of Communication
    Ethics & Sustainability Party

  17. Peter Wilson

    January 17, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Ethics & Sustainability Party hasn’t set out specifically to oppose gay marriage. Rather it has sought to allay voters fears that radical social policy would be pursued by the E & S Party. It was concluded that the simplest way to do this would be to simply say, E&S Party social policy is to keep things the way they are. The simplicity of such a message furthermore aids it communication by virtue of keeping it in the fewest number of words for very busy voters to store in their memories. This overall social policy strategy of keeping things the way they currently are, has also been seen as valuable for differentiating E&S Party from Tas Greens and thereby avoid taking votes from Tas Greens, something which otherwise would provide no advantage in the securing overall extra votes for environmentally-minded state parliamentary candidates, that being one of the fundamental aims of the E&S Party. The no-change social policy also has yet to be ratified by party membership but is seen as a central plank to our election strategy. At the time of initially forming the E&S Party — Dec 16 –, it was understood that the Tas Democrats were not on course to become registered in time to stand candidates at the state election. Hence urgent action seemed necessary at that time to avoid the recurring Lib/Lab vs Greens reelection standoff that has proved so unproductive in the past for fighting environmental (particularly high conservation value forests) degradation and the fast track assessment of the Gunns Tamar Valley pulp mill.

    Peter Wilson, Interim Vice-President of Communication, Ethics & Sustainability Party, http://www.esparty.org

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