Please tell us a little about yourself, upbringing, family, interests etc.
I am the third son of a family that migrated from the Netherlands in 1956 and settled in Northern Tasmania joining with a group of others connected to the family’s church in the homeland. My previous work life was mostly in self-employment, particularly in the family’s business interests in building and hardware sectors.
I served on the Launceston City Council from 1985 before being elected to the House of Assembly in 1996. My wife, Shirley, and I recently celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary with our four adult children, and spouses and 13 grandchildren.
What are the top two priorities you want to achieve for your electorate
In the Lyons electorate, I aspire to see all high schools offering education through to year 12, utilising positive partnerships with other schools and colleges to offer students a wide range of subjects. I want to see local young people that are confident, literate and numerate graduating into higher education for full time productive employment.
Further, I want to continue to promote respect for every citizen’s personal safety and private property through strong law and order and justice policies.
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 have led or coordinated most of the “No” campaigns against five attempts to legislate for Government-provided suicide in Tasmania. I will continue to highlight the shocking abuses in places where such laws exist and will always stand up for the principle of the sanctity of life.
How would you like to be remembered as a politician?
I feel that it would be a blessing if any legacy reflected on my career as a diligent, hardworking, values-based Parliamentarian who always fought hard for traditional family values, and God honouring-laws.
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