Tasmanian Times


Formal recommendation to the Attorney General Proposed Act for 35 members forthwith

Lara Giddings
Attorney General
Parliament of Tasmania

Dear Attorney,

Proposed Act for Restoring the Tasmanian House of Assembly

The Tasmanian Constitution Society formally requests that the Parliament restore forthwith the size of the membership of the House of Assembly and

1 That it be enacted that the Tasmanian House of Assembly shall consist of 35 Members.

2 Provision for membership shall be established before the next election for the Tasmanian House of Assembly, so that a membership of 35 members of Parliament will be created by next election, whenever such an election shall take place.

3 This Act shall remain in force until such review of the matters therein may take place as the Parliament may determine in due course..

Tasmanian Constitution Society Inc.

David Diprose BA MTCS

NB could allow a review in Parliament before next election

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


  1. max

    May 1, 2010 at 1:24 am

    I disagree with 35 It’s quality not quantity that is required. We could have 50 elected members but unless we elect people that have qualifications they would still need advisers. The Labour party had the numbers last time, but needed more advisers than you would expect or could possible need, if we elected people with the intelligence to run a state with only 500,000 people. This state needs a major shake up and perhaps if we only elected 2 people from each electorate as members of a council with out party affiliation, we could afford to hire a better class of advisers.

  2. pat synge

    April 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    For once I find myself agreeing with George(#5).

    The state government doesn’t have to be bigger it just needs more elected members and fewer advisors and spin merchants. 5 electorates with 7 members in each. It shouldn’t cost any more than the current setup with its army of advisors and minders. It would be more accountable and there would be a back bench to do what back benches are supposed to do (ie replace corrupt ministers!). I would suggest that a strict limit ought to be imposed on how many staff each parliamentarian can employ.

    Currently we have a bunch of old labor/forestry mates/time wasters being paid fat salaries and with no real work to do (Evan Rolley, Mark Addis, Scott Gadd et al). If they had been elected representatives they would probably have been given the boot at the last election.

    As George implies it’s probably also time to amalgamate a some more local councils since real grass roots decisions can and are made by local advisory committees and the larger ‘infrastructure issues’ (water etc) are being taken out of local government’s hands anyway.

  3. Doug Nichols

    April 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I agree with Kevin Bonham (#2). I am rather concerned about a petition I signed at the public meeting on Tuesday calling for the numbers to be increased to 35, a position I strongly agree with. The expression “restore forthwith” was part of the wording, but no actual mechanism was quoted. I sincerely hope the Constitution Society do not plan to present the petition to the parliament as an indication of support for the sort of proposal we read about in the other posting. I intend to write to find out.

  4. larch

    April 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Having worked in state govt ove rthe past few years it is relally frustrating to work in departments where nothing ever happens.Many out there think its the lazy public servants but I have to disaggree(naturally).lack of a dedicated minister or one who is involved with his department means that the status quo or the stagnant work system simply stays as it is.Ministers have no time to develop new policy or even look at new policyy.Public servants cannot scratch themselves without mininister approval and it may take months to even get a hearing (Minister has 5-6 portfolios.Its now more important for public servants to ensure nothing bad goes out in a press release or the minster does not miss out on a photo oportunity.Get minisiters back looking after their portfolios and a few backkbenschers to go and look after photo shoots and the nopenings and the PR stuff.Get ministers back doing their jobs.And yes we need more so this can be done.

  5. Peter Brenner

    April 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I have been speechless most of Friday: political parties appointing their own reps, and that immediately?

    Parliamentary reform would be crucial in making a Tasmanian government more accountable. A unicameral system is the way to go, along with the abolition of full time career parliamentarians. Prepare it all carefully and professionally, have a referendum on the proposal and then set it up for the next election if the population wants it.

    Otherwise keep the 25 members. But make it much more efficient and democratic by cutting out the role of “opposition” and select a “cabinet” from ALL significant parties or individuals. Introduce frequent popular votes with binding outcome on major issues.

    Reap the benefits!

  6. George Harris aka woodworker

    April 30, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Can’t agree with you, Philip, a pathetic and simplistic squirt of nonsense.
    What we do need is for critical institutions to be right, and for responsibility to be squarely and properly constituted and resourced.
    Some aspects were wrong in the first place, and have evolved into an unfortunate mess, and others have not kept pace with important changes in communications and technology, such as local government areas being determined by how far you could ride a horse in a day.
    Your statement: “The secret of good government is to just leave people alone.” is nonsense.

  7. Dr Kevin Bonham

    April 30, 2010 at 1:52 am

    So why the major discrepancy between this and the reported proposal on the other thread?

    There is an ambiguity in item 2: “created by next election”, since the word “by” can imply causation or precedence. Does this therefore mean that the 35-seat house is proposed to be created at some time in advance of the next election, or should it be read as “created as a result of the next election”? If the latter I have no problem with it.

  8. Philip Lowe

    April 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    You don’t need more M.P.’s.You’ve got councils and upper and lower houses,senates,senate committees.
    You are so overgoverned and you are going to thicken another layer.What kind of a job creation scheme is this?The secret of good government is to just leave people alone.Too much messing with people going on.

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