Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

David Obendorf

Honest Government not on the election agenda for the Major Parties

None of the incumbent MPs standing for re-election in the March state election responded to Tasmanians for Transparency’s candidate survey on a 12 Point Plan for Honest Government in Tasmania.

It appears the sitting MPs from the three parties currently making up the House of Assembly haven’t recognised the importance of Honest and Transparent Government for Tasmania.

This is very disappointing given ineffectiveness of the Tasmanian integrity Commission to investigate serious allegations of misconduct and corruption with Tasmania’s government departments.

With such a large field of candidates offering themselves for public office in the March election, this no-show response on Honest Government from over 80% of candidates was an astonishing slap in the face to the people who want an end to the systemic pattern of corruption in Tasmania.

With the latest EMRS polling survey suggesting 23% of Tasmanians had not decided who to vote for on 15 March, it suggests that politicians have a credibility problem with the people they actually want to vote for them.

We need candidates who will stand up for honesty and accountability in government as their number one priority in the next Parliament. The cost of corruption is ruining Tasmania as a place to do honest investment.

All candidates who responded supported the need to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption that is transparent, and properly resourced, structured, and empowered, and based on a proven model, to replace the Tasmanian Integrity Commission and introduction of stronger, workable and usable protections for whistleblowers and compensation provisions for any person harmed by the actions of government.

Only thirteen out of a field of over 100 candidates completed the survey online by the deadline of Friday 28 February. Overall, all responder-candidates were supportive of our 12-Point Plan.

Five Independent candidates – Paul Belcher standing in Lyons and Andrew Roberts in Bass fully backed the 12 Point Plan, and Lucas Noyes, Michael Swanton and Marti Zucco in Denison – responded positively to the survey on Honest Government.

Three Nationals candidates Vlad Gala in Denison, Craig Davey in Lyons and Matthew Holloway in Franklin have all backed the 12 Point Plan 100%.

Two Palmer United Party candidates completed the survey online including Chris Dobson in Bass and Michael Figg in Franklin.

Penelope Ann standing in Denison was the only Green candidate who responded to the survey.

One Labor Party candidate completed the online survey lawyer, Madeleine Ogilvie also standing in Denison.

Candidates who did not submit their response in the survey questionnaire provided or failed to meet the deadline have not been included in the results.

Tasmanian voters can view the survey questions and results of individual responders on Tasmanian Times [pdf down load] and decide which candidates are committed to preventing the high cost of systemic corruption that all Tasmanians currently are paying for.

Download TfT Candidate Responses here:


Also here: Former Government heads back plan for Honest Government here: http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/former-government-heads-back-plan-for-honest-government1/

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


  1. David Obendorf

    March 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Alan [comment #12], on the 20th of February we emailed all the candidates that we had a contact email for. As of 17 February we had no email listed for you.

    A number of Greens candidates were emailed; a total of 87 candidates were emailed on the 20th of February with our survey. We emailed again and added another 8 candidates in a deadline-reminder email on Wednesday 26 February. On Saturday 1 March Tasmanians learnt that there were 124 candidates registered for the 15 March State election.

    I do understand that you may have received your alert to the T4T survey via the Tasmanian Greens Party head office as Mr McKim’s letter details this on a follow up article from T4T.

    According to the metadata tag on your survey response it was completed on the 1 March at 8.20am.

    I received phone calls from two candidate-responders in relation to their survey. Naturally T4T wanted as many responses as possible. Our sincere intention was to have all candidates on a level footing [i]as individuals[/i] seeking office through a ballot on 15 March.

    For those interested in Alan Whyke’s specific responses to our 12 Point Honest Governments, they are:

    Point 1: Improve powers of T.I.C. through review process.
    Point 2: Yes
    Point 3: Yes
    Point 4: I have not sat in on SNF [Sue Neill-Fraser] trial. My opinion may change on having opportunity to consider the case closely, in which case I would support a COI [Commission of Inquiry]. I have had no evidence put to me of widespread misconduct in the JD [Department of Justice]. I support existing parliamentary investigation into BG [Barry Greenberry] case.
    Point 5: The recommendations of a COI into SNF can be dealt with by parliament. The parliament may well choose to set up a Taskforce, but that depends upon the number and detail of the recommendations.
    Point 6: Yes
    Point 7: Yes
    Point 8: Yes
    Point 9: Yes
    Point 10: Please refer to Greens party policy on this issue.
    Point 11: The terms of reference need to be clearly defined before I can commit to supporting this. I principle I totally support moves to improve accountability of all public service positions, including the executive.
    Point 12: Yes

    Stephanie Taylor and Sally O’Wheel – two other endorsed Tasmanian Greens candidates – also responded after our deadline of 28 February 2014.

    Thank you for your interest in Honest Government.

  2. Alan Whykes

    March 4, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I was one of the Greens candidates who responded (apparently) after the cut-off date.

    Let me tell you there are a lot of surveys going around, with varying levels of both complexity and submission requirements, and we are doing our best to keep up with the requests. For the record I did not receive the survey until 1 March (via Greens campaign manager) and I answered as soon as I could.

    Regardless of deadlines – as arbitrary as election dates? – it would be curious if transparency was deemed to be served by keeping our responses from the public.

    I observe that the Tasmanian Electoral Commission does not appear to facilitate contact between members of the public and candidates via email or any other mode and such communication may indeed be desirable.

    Alan Whykes

  3. David Obendorf

    March 3, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Geraldine, this survey was always a [i]Community-based[/i], bottom up engagement during a State election campaign.

    Tasmanian for Transparency was not created to service or react to any political party or pander to their agendas per se. We are trying to have candidates engage with some ideas that, one day, elected politicians might decide to act on.

    It will take considerable [b]moral courage[/b] for our politicians to confront this ‘elephant in the corner of our living room’. Confronting the nepotism and patronage amongst our unelected (and self-serving) bureaucracy in this State has always been taboo for politicians … but that confrontation must happen.

    Entrenched corruption is costing Tasmania dearly and maybe one day we – the people – will decide to elect politicians who will ‘join up the dots’ and act. Thank you.

  4. Geraldine Allan

    March 2, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    #8 David, thanks for the response.

    In fairness and in the interest of transparency, do you intend to publish the result of — “the Three Greens candidates responded on 1 March 2014 and T4T received e-letters as Party responses from Tasmanian Greens, Tasmanian Liberals and Palmer United Party”?

    In my view, the cut-off date is overridden by the paramount objective of the survey, which I understand to be establish candidates’ positions on the 12-point plan.

    Most voters are more interested in the content of responses, than they are about who responded on-line and, when they did so.

  5. Bonni Hall

    March 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Honest Government in Tasmania ( or anywhere else come to think of it )? That is a real oxymoron!( I like the second syllable of that word!)

  6. David Obendorf

    March 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Geraldine [comment #6],the aim of the T4T [i]Candidates Survey[/i] was to allow all candidates (for which we had email addresses) had the opportunity to individually respond to the T4T Survey.

    It was our intention to allow every candidate to be on the [i]same terms[/i] in responding or not responding.

    Two Palmer United Party candidates, 1 Tasmanian Greens candidate, 5 Independent candidates, 1 Labor Candidate and 4 Tasmanian Nationals completed the survey – as individuals – by our deadline of 28 February 2014. [Note: 124 candidates are on the ballot paper in the 5 electorates.]

    Three Greens candidates responded on 1 March 2014 and T4T received e-letters as Party responses from Tasmanian Greens, Tasmanian Liberals and Palmer United Party

    [i]Postscript[/i]: Tasmania’s representative for [b]Civil Liberties Australia[/b] has supported our Point 6 – Introduce legislation for greater transparency and accountability for Tasmania Police, including the publication of the Tasmanian Police Manual, as required by the Police Service Act 2003, section 93. [Sunday Tasmania 2 March 2014]

  7. shinobi

    March 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Not sure how Andrew Roberts from Bass can endorse Point 12 (Inclusion of ethics and responsible citizenship in the schools’ curricula) when his policies would actively work against such teaching. Just look at his marriage policy under his “Family, Farms and Forests” policy. Eeek!


    Allegedly, he has run into trouble on this account elsewhere I believe.

    I assume your point 12 is one I could fully agree with, one of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, social inclusion, supporting same-sex marriage, etc.

    Come on Tasmanians for Transparency, maybe Mr Roberts can tick off the other ones, but I wouldn’t be giving him Point 12.

    Perhaps a summary could be provided that indicates where candidates known policies may actively clash with your manifesto.

    My belief is that you can’t support someone like Andrew Roberts just because he agrees with your other 11 points.


  8. Geraldine Allan

    March 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    As is stated here — “Candidates who did not submit their response in the survey questionnaire provided or failed to meet the deadline have not been included in the results …”, can the writer please advise if other responses not in survey questionnaire format, were received?

    My advice is that the Palmer United Party (PUP) provided a comprehensive and supportive response, addressing all items in the 12-point plan and agreeing in principle to recognising “… the importance of Honest and Transparent Government for Tasmania.”

    Additionally, my understanding is that the PUP response was provided by the 28/02/14 cut-off date.

    As this article reads, that information appears (i) to be omitted, or (ii) my incorrect belief. If it is accurate, readers could easily misinterpret the extent of support for the plan, and / or PUP position on the paper.

    Is this an oversight or, am I misinformed?

  9. Poppy Lopatniuk

    March 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Grateful thanks to the few candidates who responded by backing the 12 point plan for Tasmanian Government Transparency and Honesty…your names will be remembered Every effort to stem the tide of corruption past governments have been awash in has to have a starting point. One acorn can start a forest.

  10. john hayward

    March 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Our parties already are transparent. They make no serious pretence of honesty.

    John Hayward

  11. Hans Willink (Independent Candidate for Denison)

    March 2, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Whilst not responding to the questionnaire I have met with Isla MacGregor and am supportive of Tasmanians for Transparency’s objectives with regards to an empowered and resourced integrity commission (or ICAC) and improved whisleblower protection and compensation.

  12. Isla MacGregor

    March 2, 2014 at 9:50 am

    While letterboxing T f T’s Honest Government Plan several residents we spoke to gave some insightful comments………

    [b][i]Honest government….what?[/i][/b]

    [b][i]Don’t think we’ll ever get that![/i][/b]

    [b][i]Not likely![/i][/b].

  13. Isla MacGregor

    March 2, 2014 at 9:45 am

    The next [b]Tasmanians for Transparency[/b] community discussion forum is being held on Saturday 21 June. For further information contact opal@intas.net.au

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