Article: Community at heart of Tasmania’s newest party the Local Party

Article: Community at heart of Tasmania’s newest party the Local Party

Full story here at the Examiner Tasmania’s newest political party The Local Party launched this week, with a true focus as a party for the people. North West fisherman Craig Garland, who ran independently in the 2018 by-election and secured 11 per cent of the vote to help Labor gain Braddon, is one of three founding

Full story here at the Examiner

Tasmania’s newest political party The Local Party launched this week, with a true focus as a party for the people.

North West fisherman Craig Garland, who ran independently in the 2018 by-election and secured 11 per cent of the vote to help Labor gain Braddon, is one of three founding members ready to strike a chord for community politics.

“The best way to go forward is to start a party for Tasmanians because the major parties, they don’t represent us anymore, they represent their own self interests and their donors, and we are still trying to find out who they are,” Mr Garland said.

“We wanted a party that resonates with Tasmanians, to give them someone that they can actually go to, an alternative to this current duolopoly.”

Mr Garland said all issues are on the table – “fishing, farming, forestry, the environment”.

“We just want the community to be involved in the decision making processes, particularly in such important areas as the salmon farming expansions and wind farms on Robbins Island.”

The Local Party was first brought forward by Leanne Minshull, director of the Australian Institute, along with Anna Bateman who moved into politics in 2016 and worked for Senator Jacqui Lambie for re-election to the Senate in 2019.

“Politics is in a really toxic place at the moment,” Ms Minshull said

“We need to change the party structure that surrounds politicians. We need to get it to a place where it is not just party officials that get to really have influence over decision making and policies in parties.

“It is putting locals into parliament, and bringing participatory democracy to Tasmania, and changing the way that decision are made.”

One way to achieve this, she said, is by holding citizen assemblies of 12 or more people that will produce Action Plans instead of policies, with the first assemblies to be held late May.

“It brings party structures into the 21st century, making them fit for purpose and having a more mature conversation with all of the community so we get to make decisions together rather than abrogating responsibility of government into a very small minority.”