Please tell us a little about yourself – your upbringing, family, interests etc.
I was born in Hobart and attended Hutchins School and graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2006. I live in New Town with my wife Kate and two young children. I work as a lawyer and volunteer as the Tasmanian Director of Civil Liberties Australia. In my spare time I like to go bushwalking and bike riding.
What are the top two priorities that you want to achieve for your electorate?
I would like to see a Tasmania Human Rights Act passed into law and for Tasmania to become the third Australian jurisdiction to protect human rights in an Act of Parliament. I believe human rights are the basic building blocks of life and that by enshrining these rights in law we will better equip more Tasmanians to reach their full potential.
I would like to see Macquarie Point utilised, in part, to build affordable housing for people on low incomes. I believe this would be a reliable medium term measure to assist in providing more Tasmanians with an affordable home while also assisting in social inclusion by bringing more people of diverse backgrounds to live in our city.
Euthanasia has been rejected by Tasmanian parliaments in 2009, 2013 and 2017.
Would you oppose or support any future attempts to legalise euthanasia in Tasmania?
I support the 2016 Tasmanian Bill and, if elected, would like to meet with all interested stakeholder groups and interested individuals to understand what (if anything) can be done to address the concerns expressed by Will Hodgman MP to ABC on 25 May 2017 being "those with a non-terminal illness and those of a young age". I do not share his concerns but understand them and would like to discuss what, if anything, can be done to address them.
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?
Before such a law reform were ever enacted an extensive public discussion would be required and I support such a discussion taking place. I am strongly committed to an evidence based approach to policy development and would take account of all evidence available at the time to determine whether the costs of such a law reform outweigh the benefits or vice versa. I am open minded at this stage about such a change to the law.
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 abortions (post 24 week when a baby can survive outside the womb) except when a mother’s life is in danger?
I do not know enough about late term abortions to answer this question definitively. If elected and such an amended were tabled in parliament I would consult widely and take account of all views in forming my position.
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?
I do, in principle, support organisations ability to restrict employment to those of the same faith. However, in practice, I am concerned that this can be used as cover to terminate the employment of people who do not readily fit the mould of the religion in question e.g. gay teachers being sacked for being gay.
I only support the ability of a religious school to turn away students of a different faith when a particular class size is at capacity. When class sizes are not at capacity and the school is in receipt of public funds I believe the school should enrol all students.
Do you agree with state funding of educational programmes that teach contested gender theory (like the so called Safe Schools Programme)?
I am not familiar with what the particular ‘gender theory’ is or why it is contested. If elected, I would have a responsibility to inform myself of how public funds were being used.
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.
Would you support legislating for $1 bet limits (down from the current $5 bet limit)?
Yes, in principle I support $1 bet limits as one of a different number of reforms that would reduce the impacts of poker machine addiction. Given the recent lower house election saw no success electoral success for the proposal for removing poker machines from pubs and clubs I would meet with all stakeholder groups to assess what is the next most meaningful reform that can be aimed for. In addition to dollar bet limits I am also aware of other reforms that have been suggested such as pre-commitment technology to enable a user to set their maximum expenditure through the machines.
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?
In principle I would support a parliamentary inquiry into the Tasmanian Sex Industry Offences Act 2005 as all laws, from time to time, warrant review. I add the proviso that there are limits placed on the number of such inquiries that can be conducted in any given year due to resource and time constraints. I would reserve the right to see which other areas of inquiry are being proposed by the community and make a judgement call on which area most warrants expenditure of parliamentary resources. I have also been approached as a candidate regarding proposals for inquiries into gun law reform, housing affordability and tourism impacts on the environment.
How would you like to be remembered as a politician?
I would like to be remembered as an Independent Member of Parliament who was able to work with all sides of politics to progress human rights protections for Tasmanians.