I've never been a member of a political party. Perhaps, as Groucho said, "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member". Except of course the mighty Glenorchy 'Pies in my youth. "Courage Action Kindness Empathy Respect." These words, this philosophy, changed my mind and I joined a club
The Local Party nurtures the independence of its elected members. There are no factions or vested interests to answer to. Our elected members must answer to their community for each and every decision made and vote taken. Our candidates must come from the community they represent and must place the benefit of their community above all.
Tasmania's Legislative Council is a cornerstone of our democratic system. It reviews each and every piece of legislation passing through parliament. Independent review, free from the shackles traditional parties impose on their members, is essential to ensure that fairness and justice are the basis of our laws, that there are no unintended consequences, and that those laws benefit all Tasmanians.
With the traditional parties now dominating the Legislative Council, that independent review process has been fundamentally weakened. The two major parties, Liberal and Labor, are often in lockstep on policy and able to pass legislation without adequate review or scrutiny. Both these parties have close ties with vested interests whose needs often run counter to Tasmania's best interests. Maintaining and increasing independent voices is essential.
Local Party elected representatives are not choosing politics as a career. We stand resolved to serve for our community rather than ourselves. There is no fixed path to becoming a candidate. A union or political staffer history isn't needed. Just a history of community involvement and a life history that, hopefully in my case, brings the necessary wisdom to properly and fairly represent our electorates.
My own history, work and personal, is long and varied. I've lived and learned much from many experiences. As a labourer, a barman, a chef and small business owner. I've operated a statewide ITC business, a production management company, and even played cards quite well for a time. Although born humbly in Ouse I've lived and worked in each state in Australia and many places around the world, choosing my home Tasmania as the finest place to have and bring up my children, and the Channel as the very best area for me to do that. I've spent the last ten years as the stay at home dad while Anna Chilcott, my wife, has served the local community with her high quality medical skills as a local GP for the last 20 years. My history isn't typical of a party political hack but it has given me the insight and life experience to serve.
I lost my house to fire seven years ago. A very traumatic experience. I came to understand what community really is. The volunteer firies, men and women, fought hard to save our home. Three of them put their lives at great risk during that fight, one of those my direct neighbour. With nothing but ashes and the clothes on our backs our community absolutely rallied. My family was in trouble and the support was immediate, desperately needed, essential for our wellbeing, and so very deeply appreciated.
That support, the understanding of what community really is, was a life changing event for me. It led me, a couple of years later, to seize the opportunity to try to reduce harm from Pokies. These ma
chines hurt so many in my Tasmanian community, particularly in Glenorchy where I grew up. I convened the group Rein in The Pokies in 2016 and have been agitating for genuine Pokies reform for the last five years.
The Local Party is open and transparent. There are no vested interests to serve. There are no backroom bosses directing votes. Donations received are declared. Secrecy is anathe
ma. Service for community betterment is the guiding principle. The Local Party aims for a new and better way to carry out politics and governance.
I am very proud to have been selected to stand as a candidate for this new and unique party in the Huon Legislative Council byelection, and I am ready to listen to and serve you, our community.