Simon Duffy – Liberal Candidate

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simon.duffy@tas.liberal.org.au

Answer

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

I was born with a disability to a 17 year old single mother and spent time in the care of the state, being fostered and later adopted. I grew up in Warrane, where my mother worked as a community nurse and my father worked at Cadburys. This beginning put me on a path of knowing I had been given an opportunity that many others had not, which led to me working as a youth worker for many years, including street youth work and managing Hobart City Council’s Youth ARC for five years.  This is still what motivates me to give back now. My desire is to give back to the community by doing all I can to create opportunities for the battlers in our community to have better lives.

 

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

The top two priorities I would like to focus on for Franklin would be cost of living and opportunities for young people.  I would like us to continue to put downward pressure on power prices and government services to assist people with their household costs.  I would also like to see us continue to increase the retention rate of young people in years 11 and 12, and get our youth employment rate down.  This can be achieved through increasing apprenticeships and traineeships as well as growing employment in small business.

 

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?

This is a very personal and emotional issue for many Tasmanians and I have nothing but compassion for those who have wrestled with these questions personally.  Due to my own experiences of hospitalisation, I am a strong supporter of palliative care.

 

How would you like to be remembered as a politician?

I would like to be remembered as the kind of person who listened, helped and made a difference for the battler.

 

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