Please tell us a little about yourself, upbringing, family, interests etc.
My family were the second settlers in Scottsdale, working in and around the Scottsdale and St Helens region pioneering many activities, such as coastal shipping, tin mining and farming. I was born on 22 January 1975 and spent my early days on the farm at the Gardens, north of St Helens, with my parents John and Maureen, and three older sisters, Georgina, Louise and Patricia. Due to our isolation, my mother home-schooled my sisters until I, as youngest, was old enough to attend school. I attended St Helens District High School for primary school, then followed a family tradition of four generations by attending Launceston Church Grammar School as a boarder. After graduating, I spent 3 years working on the family farm at The Gardens. In 1995, I attended Lincoln Agricultural College in New Zealand, graduating in 1996 with a Diploma of Agriculture, and then returned home to the farm.
I Married Mhari in 2003 and we have four children, Elizabeth, Angus, Campbell and Posie. I now continue to run the Antu Cattle Company over three properties in far north eastern Tasmania, as well as being a Councillor for the Break O’Day municipality. We are currently diversifying into free range, pasture-reared pigs. My primary interests are the farm, farming welfare, and my family.
What are the top two priorities you want to achieve for your electorate
Review the Forest Practices Act to make it more balanced towards agricultural resources in Tasmania, with a view of achieving the Liberals’ goal of $10 billion agricultural production by 2050.
Work with mental health professionals to develop communications within rural and regional communities to achieve better support for clients and their families around mental health, and to provide a clearer pathway for positive outcomes for all those impacted by mental health issues.
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?
I am pro-life and as such, do not support euthanasia. My family’s experiences with terminal illness and the dying process have led me to believe strongly in the importance of quality palliative care.
How would you like to be remembered as a politician?
I would like to be remembered as a visionary who always looked to the future for better outcomes for all Tasmanian communities, in particular around securing agricultural resources and mental health services and initiatives.
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 www.tas.liberal.org.au 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 www.tas.liberal.org.au
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