Many politicians in positions of power are opportunists who bend with the wind to only back schemes and projects that ensure their re-election. The common good is a notion that rarely, if ever, enters the equation.

Many are elected to the Legislative Council as a sinecure. Political families, business, unions, local councils provide a seat as a reward for past favours; ability seemingly playing no part.

The Premier of this State holds the destiny of 500,000 Tasmanians in her hands with a larger cash flow through the “Coffers of State”, than most top 100 Australian Corporations. Is our small current Parliament competent when only a few with real world experience in business hold positions so vital to our destiny and well-being?

Greg Hall, a former Mayor, for 12 years a Member of the Legislative Council, is a diehard supporter of a Forest Industry now in terminal decline. On Hall’s watch FEA is now bust, Great Southern bust, Timbercorp bust, Willmott Forests bust, and Forestry Tasmania (running at a massive loss) and Gunns, are virtually bust.

Timber industry workers are paying a terrible price – as this now-dated corporate juggernaut embracing native forest woodchips, slash-and-burn technology, unsaleable non-FSC-accredited woodchips and plantations, financed by a tax scam, implodes in a puff of smoke. The Pulp Mill Bus and the Woodchip Log Trucks have collided head on in a dead end; the tyres are now flat.

I see no politician of any persuasion accepting responsibility for a business plan that is so obviously, very, very, badly flawed. As a result we see the life of this disaster extended by government largesse, keeping the corpse from the mortuary chapel as politicians shift the blame amongst each other, with no realistic plan for the future.

Targeted aid to Farming, Tourism, Education, a restructured and profitable Forest sawlog industry and an efficient and lean Public Service, will allow us to fund our schools, hospitals and the health of the elderly. This can be achieved by intelligent consultation and co-operation – not confrontation and natural wastage – rather than sackings.

The politicians now in power will have to solve the problems of our current and future debts without increasing borrowings. This takes courage; both Houses must work together and Legislative Councillors must not grandstand; for it is most unhelpful.

I have no affiliations with any political party. Sandhurst trained I saw service as a British army officer. Since 1967 I have been a successful international dealer in antiques and now run some 700 cattle on Bentley at Chudleigh.

If elected I pledge to devote the skills I have gained creating and running a profitable business to furthering the interests of my fellow Tasmanians.

I will investigate corruption, stand for only one term, and my allegiance will not be bought.

I read Tasmanian Times (

As a real independent I challenge Greg Hall to a moderated debate on these matters in the Deloraine Community Complex, Tuesday, 1 May at 7.30pm.

I hope all those interested will attend.

— John Hawkins

Authorised by S. Webb, 59a West Parade, Deloraine

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