Joan Rylah MP, Liberal Member


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Check out candidates’ voting record on marriage, abortion and euthanasia HERE.



Please tell us a little about yourself, upbringing, family, interests etc.

I was elected in 2014 after an extensive and successful career in business (financial advice) and on the land (beef). I was educated at Smithton Primary, The Friends’ School and various tertiary institutions.  I am married to Roderick and have two adult children. As National Chairman of the Practitioners Division of the financial industry association, I led the implementation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. This major and successful industry reform highlights my ability to lead and deliver strong outcomes. I believe in Christian values and I am committed to directly addressing the issues facing families.  I serve as Deputy Speaker/Chair of Committees and Government Whip. My interests are horse-riding (recreational), bushwalking, reading widely and travel in the outback.


What are the top two priorities you want to achieve for your electorate

My top priorities are to create more jobs and opportunity for people and businesses.  I want services delivered in Braddon and to further unlock this region’s potential.  To achieve this we must create a strong, confident economy and grow our jobs and population.  Therefore it is my priority to have a clear plan, well defined and explained priorities and Budget discipline. 


Euthanasia has been rejected by the Tasmanian Parliaments in 1998, 2009, 2013 and 2017.  Would you oppose or support any future attempts to legalise euthanasia in Tasmania?

My vote was and remains a NO vote.  My priority is to seek excellence in the delivery of Palliative Care throughout the state, especially in regional areas.

The protection of vulnerable persons, in particular, disabled people and the elderly, can only be achieved, in my view, by ensuring the wilful killing of another person is a criminal offence.  Self-initiated suicide, which involves the provision of the instruments and medication by another person, will lead to the killing of vulnerable people against their will.  I believe human life is sacrosanct.  Our focus must remain to eliminate pain and suffering for all, through excellence in palliation.


How would you like to be remembered as a politician?

I seek to be remembered as a hard-working, approachable and empathetic politician who would take up the fight for my constituents and as a politician who helped create a thriving economy where hope and opportunity abounded; who was unquestionably conscience driven and remembered as authentic; who proudly represented the values of a significant portion of my constituency; who always remained true to my principles and values; who fought to create the best long-term social, environmental and economic outcomes for this state; and who firmly stood for the family as being the ideal social structure in which to raise children.


Drugs continue to wreak havoc in our community. Some are suggesting the decriminalisation of small volume use and possession of illicit drugs. Would you support or oppose legislation to enable this?

The Tasmanian Liberals will not decriminalise illicit drugs, nor introduce legislation to do so. Nor will we support legislation introduced by another political party.

Illicit drug use can lead to significant social problems, including family violence and child abuse. We will reduce the supply, demand and harms associated with the abuse and misuse of illicit drugs. See for all election policies.

In contrast, the Greens have a clear policy to remove criminal penalties for personal illicit drug use and in 2017, Labor voted in favour of the "decriminalisation of small volume use and possession of illicit drugs".


According to a 2013 Galaxy poll, the majority of Tasmanians oppose late term abortions except in cases of severe disability. Despite this, Tasmania's abortion law continues to allow abortion up until birth. Would you support or oppose an amendment to legislation to repeal the provision of late term (post 24 weeks) abortions except when a mother's life is in danger?

The Tasmanian Liberals have no plans to change the current laws. Should another political party bring such laws to Parliament, my Members will be allowed a conscience vote, as they have in previous years when legislation related to the termination of pregnancy has been debated.


Do you support faith-based organisations' current right to, if they so choose, restrict employment or enrolment to those who share their ethos, just like political parties do?

Such rights already exist. Faith-based organisations are able to seek exemption from the Anti-Discrimination Act, subject to conditions set by the independent Commissioner, and limited to a period of not more than three years. Extensions can be sought. Exemptions enable faithbased organisations to employ persons based on religion or participation in religious observance.


Do you agree with state funding of education programs that teach contested gender theory (like the so called Safe Schools Programme?)

The Liberals will continue to provide safe and supportive learning environments, for all students and staff. We have put in place a new $3 million Combatting Bullying Initiative that will provide practical support to schools to ensure that all students feel safe and valued in their school community.


Poker machines cause a great deal of social harm to vulnerable Tasmanians. Over $15 million is lost monthly on poker machines in Tasmania, with a significant portion of this attributed to the estimated 8000 problem or moderate-risk gamblers. Do you support legislation for a $ I bet limit? What other measures do you support to help at-risk Tasmanians and their families?

The Liberals' policy is available at

Tasmania's harm minimisation framework is already recognised as national best practice and

99.5% of Tasmanians are not problem gamblers. The Liberals will:

  • reduce the cap on poker machines by 150;
  • end the monopoly;
  • allow venues to licence, own and operate machines, increasing returns to pubs and clubs to invest in economic activity and jobs;
  • increase returns for government to invest in schools and hospitals;
  • double the Community Support Levy to around $9 million per year, providing a bigger pool for harm minimisation, preventative health and support for community sporting activities and facilities.


Prostitution degrades women by objectifying them as commodities for men's sexual gratification. Internationally, policies discouraging demand for sexual services are proving to be the most effective way of limiting both the size of and the harms resulting from prostitution. The progressive "Nordic model" criminalises the buyer of sex, not the provider, and provides viable pathways for those wishing to exit prostitution. Would you support an inquiry into the suitability of the Nordic approach to help vulnerable women in Tasmania?

The Liberal Party has no plans to change existing laws