Here’s the biggest and best guide to the Lyons election candidates

THERE’S no need to look anywhere else, here is the biggest and best listing of Lyons election candidates you’ll find for this Saturday’s state election. Of the 36 candidates seeking election to the now seven seats in Lyons (up from five, 27 responded to the offer to state their case to readers of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News. The Greens opted to send only one statement, for their lead candidate, and advised us that this would be the case. One independent candidate could not be contacted and two Liberal candidates ignored our multiple requests (and boo to them). Running and election campaign is a time-consuming business, so we really appreciate the following candidates (listed in alphabetical order) who responded to our offer.

The following statements were submitted by the candidates or their authorised representatives, were published free of charge and do not necessarily reflect the views of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News.

TABATHA BADGER (Greens): LUTRUWITA/TASMANIA faces myriad crises: climate-biodiversity, housing, cost of living and more. For fundamental change, we need the Greens back in the balance of power and a Green representative in Lyons. Living rurally in the upper Derwent Valley, Tabatha Badger is a grassroots community member, who has worked on numerous community and environmental organisations. With a Masters degree in Regenerative Tourism and qualifications in environmental management and automotive, she has the life skills and diverse knowledge base to add a much-needed youthful voice to the increased House of Assembly. Tabatha knows that housing is a fundamental human right. The Greens will invest in new energy-efficient homes and fight for renters’ rights. Across regional Lyons, we are working hard to combat destructive invasive species affecting our agricultural industry. Through better funding of community health and prevention services across regional Tasmania we can save lives. It is beyond time we restored integrity to the Parliament – in the balance of power Tabatha and the Greens will push for new donations disclosure laws in Tasmania, to be strongest in Australia. Unlike the major parties, the Greens do not accept donations from big corporations – we cannot be bought. Tasmania’s wild places are the envy of the globe and a safeguard for the well-being of our planet. The Greens is the only party with a proven track record of taking a stand for these irreplaceable assets. Always, we will put the community and our magnificent natural environment first.

GUY BARNETT MHA (Liberals): GUY was raised as a fifth-generation Tasmanian on a farm in the Meander Valley, before studying at the University of Tasmania and practising law. He has proudly represented Tasmanians for more than two decades in both federal and state parliaments, advocating for the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands. A committed family man, proud champion of small business and strong advocate for the needs of rural and regional Tasmanians, Guy firmly believes that the Tasmanian people are our most important asset and should be supported to achieve and thrive. Guy is passionate about Tasmania’s vibrant business sector and is committed to delivering a strong economy to support greater opportunities for Tasmanians. Guy has Type 1 diabetes, giving him a personal perspective on health challenges and life. Since becoming Health Minister, he has led real change for Tasmanians by improving ambulance, hospital services and access to critical GP services in regional and rural areas. In addition to rural and small businesses, healthcare and a strong economy, Guy is a strong advocate for volunteers, and veterans. As a member of the Tasmanian Parliament, Guy brings a can-do attitude, tireless work ethic, strong voice for the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands, and a vision for Tasmania as a place where Tasmanians are able to achieve their dreams. Guy is committed to delivering a strong, stable majority Liberal Government and under our 2030 Strong Plan, we will act to address the issues affecting us right now, including health, cost of living and housing.

EDWIN BATT (Labor): A MELTON-MOWBRAY boy who went to Melbourne for University to obtain a law degree and an arts degree majoring in economics, Edwin practised law on the mainland as a solicitor and as a barrister. He was appointed a magistrate and has a long career in judicial administration over a wide range of courts and tribunals including Coronial, Victims of Crime Assistance, Residential Tenancy, Children’s, Family, Industrial and the Koori Court, which he was instrumental in devising. Now back in Tasmania, he is principal the firm of Navigate Law Services, a general law practice in the Southern Midlands. Edwin also farms sheep at “Woodlands” and is a qualified wool classer. He trains racehorses as a hobby. As mayor of the Southern Midlands Council, Edwin has contributed strongly to the development of this district in the 10 years he has been elected in local government. Away from farming and the law, Edwin has a long record of participation in the Australian arts, theatre and comedy scene. Locally, Edwin and his family are deeply involved in their community. Edwin’s late father, Charles Batt, represented Derwent in state parliament for 18 years. Edwin’s wife Martine Batt provides family services through her organisation Navigate Family Services, in Kempton. Their son Dominic is a student at Kempton Primary School and a keen footballer with the Central Hawks Junior Football Club. Edwin is a volunteer firefighter and assists in organising community events such as the Kempton Festival and the Oatlands Heritage and Bullock Festival. In parliament, Edwin’s special focus will be on the law, policing, health, housing and racing.

PHILLIP BIGG (Shooters, Fishers, Farmers): PHILLIP Bigg is both the secretary and a candidate for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party of Tasmania. With deep roots in the Derwent Valley, Phillip, a tradesman within his family business, finds joy in traversing the state, immersing himself in the rich tapestry of life and history often overlooked by many. As an avid hunter, Phillip stands as a vocal advocate for the rights of firearms owners and recreational hunters. He tirelessly promotes the conservation of Tasmania’s wilderness and the preservation of recreational fishing for the benefit of future generations. Central to Phillip’s platform is his unwavering commitment to the health and prosperity of regional communities. He pledges to amplify their voices, ensuring they are not overshadowed by larger entities. He recognises the uphill battle many face in having their concerns addressed. For Phillip, the fundamental principle of freedom of speech reigns supreme and he opposes th constraints of political correctness. He believes in speaking out when necessary, advocating for open dialogue and constructive debate. He envisions a Tasmania where individuals come together, pooling their resources and talents to create something truly extraordinary. In Phillip’s vision, now is the time to bridge divides and unite Tasmanians for the collective good. As a Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate, Phillip Bigg is dedicated to building a stronger, more inclusive Tasmania where every voice is heard and valued.

JENNY BRANCH-ALLEN (Independent): AS a proud Tasmanian and long-time resident of the Lyons electorate, I am honoured to announce my candidacy as an independent. My decision to run stems from a deep-seated belief in the power of community-driven leadership and a sincere commitment to addressing the needs and aspirations of Lyons. Living in Lyons, I understand the unique challenges and opportunities facing our region first-hand. From the rolling hills of the Midlands to the picturesque landscapes of the East Coast, to where I live in the Derwent Valley, Lyons is home to diverse communities with diverse needs. I pledge to be a tireless advocate for every resident, ensuring that their voices are heard and their concerns are addressed in the corridors of power. One of the driving forces behind my candidacy is a desire to foster a more inclusive and collaborative approach to government. I firmly believe that politics should be about serving the people, not partisan agendas. That’s why I have chosen to run as an independent, free from the constraints of party politics and beholden only to the interests of my constituents. I will prioritise transparency, accessibility and accountability. I am committed to engaging with residents across Lyons, listening to their concerns. With your number 1 vote, we will develop practical solutions that reflect our shared values and aspirations. Running as an independent candidate poses its challenges, but I am undeterred. With your support and trust, I am confident that we can build a brighter future for Lyons.

SHANE BROADBY (Shooters, Fishers, Farmers): SHANE Broadby is a lifelong Tasmanian and dedicated shift process plant operator at Nyrstar Hobart (the Zinc Works) for an impressive 36 years. Alongside his professional endeavors, Shane is an integral member of Ken Orr’s guiding team and attained his Fly Fishers International Casting Instructor accreditation in 2013. Since the inception of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (Tasmania), Shane has been actively involved, advocating tirelessly for the preservation of Tasmania’s hunting and fishing traditions, as well as the protection of its environment and native wildlife. With a profound appreciation for the state’s natural beauty, Shane spends his leisure time in the stunning central highlands, where he indulges in the pursuit of wild Tasmanian trout, deer, wallaby and duck from his cherished shack. Shane’s passion for Tasmania’s unique lifestyle is evident in his unwavering commitment to safeguarding it for future generations. He recognises the importance of preserving the delicate balance between human activity and the natural world, emphasising the need to protect Tasmania’s cherished way of life at all costs. As a candidate for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in Lyons, Shane Broadby brings a wealth of experience, dedication, and a deep-seated love for Tasmania to the forefront of his campaign. He is determined to ensure that the values and traditions that make Tasmania special endure for years to come.

GREGORY BROWN (Liberals): No response received

JEN BUTLER (Labor): JEN Butler is a Labor Member for Lyons and shadow minister for Veterans, Building, Consumer Affairs, Science and ICT. She was first elected as a state Labor member for Lyons in 2018. She has a masters degree in business, specialising in human resources management and international business relations. Prior to becoming an adviser to former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Polley, and the Honourable David Llewellyn in 2006, she worked in human resources for Blundstone Australia. Since 2017, Jen has campaigned for a permanent after-hours police presence for the Derwent Valley. Crime was and still is the main issue raised with her by community members. People want to feel safe and secure in the community. Jen recently raised a sensible proposition that during the build of the new Bridgewater Police Station, a proportion of Bridgewater police officers should be hosted at the New Norfolk Police Station instead of relocated to the Glenorchy Police Station. This will assist in quicker out-of-hours response times for the community. Crime is not just a policing responsibility, other issues such as cost of living, anti-social behaviour and inadequate mental health and support services play a part. Jen is strong supporter of the local Online Access Centres and assisted in establishing the wonderful Derwent Valley Men’s Shed. She was honoured to be on the judging panel at the New Norfolk Christmas Parade in 2023. Jen’s family is from St Helens on the East Coast. She is the daughter of former Labor MP Heather Butler, is married to husband David and has three children, Madelaine, Archie and Alexander.

STEPHANIE CAMERON (Liberals): I AM a proud sixth-generation Tasmanian living and working in regional Tasmania. As a mum of two young children, I know what it is like to live, work and raise a family here. Along with my husband, Clinton, we operate a farm at Chudleigh, as well as a plumbing business, giving me an in-depth understanding of both the opportunities and challenges of running small businesses. With a background largely in private enterprise, I have had a broad career working in hospitality, aged care, and agriculture. I am an experienced advocate for the interests of local families and regional communities. I was first elected to the Meander Valley Council in 2018 and my dedication to my region was recognised in 2021 when I was elected as deputy mayor. For our regional centres to prosper, we need small businesses to thrive so we can grow employment and our regional economy. I value honesty, loyalty and the opportunity for individual effort to be rewarded and will work hard to deliver on our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s future. Having lived and worked both interstate and overseas, I value being surrounded by the beauty, freedom and potential that Tasmania offers. I am committed to actively listening to the diverse voices in our region and am seeking your support to continue representing our communities. With a plan for future generations and the only way to ensure the stability and certainty needed for us to deliver this plan, is to vote for a majority Rockliff Liberal Government. To deliver our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future, we need you to vote 1-7 Liberal on 23 March 2024.

JUSTIN DERKSEN (Liberals): AS a carpenter from New Norfolk, I have a passion for rural and regional Tasmania. I have young kids and I am passionate about building the Tasmania they’ll inherit. To me, this election is critical for us to keep the Tasmanian economy strong, building on the last 10 years of growth in Tasmania. As a proud Liberal candidate for Lyons, I’m seeking to represent rural and regional Tasmania in the delivery of the Rockliff Liberal team’s 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future. Just like other footy fans and community sports enthusiasts, I want to see a Tassie Team and a new stadium for them to play in. A team is a great opportunity for our kids who can one day represent their state in the AFL and it enables growth in our communities through grassroots investment in sports. I understand the unique challenges faced by rural communities, such as access to healthcare, education, and cost of living pressures. I want to be a representative for small towns like where my family lives. For me, our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future signifies a commitment to rural Tasmania and improving the overall quality of life for residents in regional areas. I am delighted to be part of Premier Rockliff’s team determined to deliver for rural and regional Tasmania through our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future.

CARLO DI FALCO (Shooters, Fishers, Farmers): MY view is that rural communities should be given the opportunity to revitalise themselves by being permitted to exploit their natural resources with minimal interference from urban activists. In the days before Gunns swallowed up forestry leases, most country towns had their own sawmills which employed locals, created wealth and value added by producing building materials. This timber is in high demand now but imported from overseas where environmental practices are an afterthought. Mining should also be given an opportunity to build wealth for Tasmania. Many of the regulations, red and green tape, should be minimised so the lead up time to opening new mines can be curtailed. Regulation and restrictions do not put food on the table. We need to guard against strange ideas that are seeded overseas and seem to find their way here. In the EU, farmers are facing brutal emission targets that threaten to send them broke despite them running some of the most innovative and productive farms in the world. The “open for business” shingle needs to be hung out in rural and urban centres in order to attract the best and the brightest. In other countries which have land masses not much larger than Tasmania and less resources have managed to thrive. Despite consisting mainly of desert, Israel has a high standard of living by world standards. It has the world’s highest level of research and development and has been called the silicon valley of the Middle East. It actively encourages business and is one of the world’s largest citrus suppliers. If Israel can do it under difficult circumstances, why can’t we?

BEN DUDMAN (Labor): I’M Ben Dudman, and I’m your Labor candidate for Lyons. I grew up in Westbury, in a working-class family. My parents ran a harness racing stable. We earned enough to keep our heads above water, but many a night was spent eating cereal for dinner because we couldn’t afford anything else. The horses always came first. This taught me the importance of service to others before yourself. I’m not a career politician. I’ve worked in bottleshops and run my own small businesses. Since 2022, I have also worked for the community as a councillor on the Meander Valley Council. I understand the needs of business and the community. I’m standing with Rebecca White and Labor in this election to ensure working people receive the very best in life. Secure housing, good education, and healthcare where and when it is needed is what I stand for. Together, we can make this great state even better, for ourselves and our future generations.

CASEY FARRELL (Labor): I’M Casey Farrell, and I’m a Labor candidate for Lyons. I love the Derwent Valley. I was born and raised here. My family lives here and my kids attend local schools. It’s a beautiful part of our state and I’m proud to live here. It hasn’t always been easy, of course. I was told from a young age that I should move to study or work. I didn’t like this attitude and wanted to stay in my community yet be able to benefit in the same way I could if I lived interstate or overseas. So, I started a business. Later, I built a platform for others to start their own companies, now contributing more than $20 million a year to our state economy. I also dedicated myself to advocating for our community. Through my involvement in Rotary, I’ve run the Christmas Parade and Autumn Festival, bringing tens of thousands of people to New Norfolk. I’ve proven that you can stay in Tasmania, in the Derwent Valley, and have a global and local impact. I want every Tasmanian to have the same opportunities. Over the past decade, we’ve all been let down by the government. I know how hard it is to get an appointment with a GP; too many kids leave school without being able to read and write, and buying a house or getting a rental is almost impossible. We can change this. We live in the greatest part of the world, but we need a government that gets the basics right. We can make Tasmania a place where everyone can afford food, shelter, and comfort, where you know you’ll be cared for if you need it and where you can learn everything you need to have a fulfilling life. This election, vote for a Rebecca White Labor Government and we can move forward together.

RICHARD GOSS (Labor): I AM running as a Labor candidate in Lyons because I want to deliver cost of living relief to Tasmanians, help fix our ailing health system, improve education outcomes, and improve the quality and safety of our roads. It’s important to be able to listen to the community’s concerns, and more importantly take action. I’m a hands-on person who is a strong believer in applying a little common-sense and practical knowledge. It’s always best to look at things strategically, and I love the challenge of problem solving. That is why I believe I will be a strong representative for you in Tasmania’s Parliament. As a high school teacher of 32 years, I specialised in wood and metal technology, however I am a fitter and machinist by trade and have also worked in metal trades and the building industry. I have spent 17 years as a councillor on the Northern Midlands Council, first elected in 2007. For six of those years I served as deputy mayor. My wife, Anna, three children and four grandchildren are the pillars in my life. I live at Longford, grew up at Cressy and I have gained first-hand experience living, working and building my dreams and hopes in the Northern Midlands. I run a small hobby farm with sheep and cattle. I love designing and building houses, and have spent much of my spare time building houses on several properties. I am fully engaged in my community and assist people from all walks of life. I am passionate about giving young people opportunities in education, employment, sport and community engagement. I am committed to serving the community and making the Lyons electorate and Tasmania a spectacular place to live, work and play for all.

ANNA GRALTON (Animal Justice): ANNA Gralton has lived in the beautiful foothills of Mt Dromedary for more than a decade and is proud to be standing for the Animal Justice Party in the seat of Lyons. A born and bred Queenslander, Anna has spent a total of 17 years in Tasmania in two stints. Living with a hodgepodge of rescued animals – including a husband she managed to pick up along the way from the deepest south of Alabama more than 20 years ago – Anna grew up in a home that was always nursing abandoned, stray, sick, injured and misfit animals back to health and happiness. Anna is guided by the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. For Anna, animals have always been at the heart of this belief: equality, respect and kindness to animals and humans, aligning effortlessly with AJP values. It was a lightbulb moment when Anna stumbled across some AJP literature. Up until that time, no other party’s policies and positions had managed to resonate so profoundly. The opportunity to elevate her efforts to the political arena where real change is happening was a no-brainer. Anna’s pledge of support to the AJP is primarily motivated by the party’s commitment to protect animals and the environment through legislative action. Her core interests extend into the arenas of the cruelty of intensive animal farming, unsustainable agri-food production, environmental/habitat destruction, social inequality, and the erosion of workers’ rights and conditions. Anna holds an honours degree in environmental science and a PhD in applied rural sociology. Her thesis explored artisanal food production in Tasmania as a regional economic development tool and alternative to unsustainable agri-food production and related practice.

RICHARD HALLETT (Liberals): AS a fifth-generation farmer from Hollow Tree and having worked in jobs from picking hops to driving trucks around the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands, I know the area well. I am standing as a candidate at this election because Tasmania needs certainty and stability under a majority Liberal Government.
Health, housing and cost-of-living are at the front of my mind when I think about how we can best help Tasmanians. I believe that quality health and education systems are vital for our state’s future, which is why I’m so excited to see new schools being built, like Brighton High, and our hospitals being upgraded. We must also protect our industries and the people working hard within them to ensure they have the confidence of a job, and can continue to pay their mortgages and put food on the table. We must also get moving on our AFL team and build a multi-purpose stadium so that Tasmania can host world-class sport, entertainment and other events which will bring many economic benefits that will flow on throughout the state. I know first-hand the challenges and opportunities that exist in communities throughout Lyons. It is in my nature to tackle the biggest challenges and to ensure the solutions to them are long-term. I love hard work and I commit to serving the people of Lyons if given the opportunity. I will bring vision, ability, and dedication to the job. Let’s seize our opportunities and keep this great state moving forward.

JANE HOWLETT (Liberals): No response received.

ANDREW JENNER (Lambie Network): NOTHING gets my goat more than arbitrary decision making, made by bureaucrats who can’t, or worse, won’t, explain the logic behind what they’ve chosen to do. To me, integrity has always meant “saying what you mean and meaning what you say”. Truth and transparency are key to this. You may not always agree with my opinion but at least you’ll know where I stand and why. In the United Kingdom, I served as a magistrate on a voluntary basis for 25 years and was the mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (190,000 constituents). I also sat in cabinet as the member for tourism and was president of the Chamber of Commerce for two years. Windsor receives 2.5 million visitors a year, which gave me deep insight into both the economic positives and the negative impact tourism can have on locals. That balance is one that I would keep a close eye on in Lyons. In Tasmania, we’ve been let down in recent years by a government that is well past its prime. Major projects have been announced with wonky business cases or no business cases at all. These bungled processes have held up investment into Tasmania, which would make a real difference to people’s lives. I want to lean on my experience in local government to fight for improvements to tourism, planning, commerce and support for people with learning disabilities. I also strongly believe that we should stop taking our frontline workers, like police, firefighters, paramedics, and nurses for granted. They serve our communities because they are passionate about giving back. They should be supported by good pay and mental health services to ensure they thrive, rather than burning out as they tackle their incredibly difficult jobs.

CAROLE McQUEENEY (Labor): CAROLE wants Tasmanians to have the healthcare, disability support and education they deserve. She has decades of real experience in these areas. Carole is a registered nurse who has worked in hospital, emergency, aged and community care. She’s been a healthcare manager and led health services, regulation and reforms. She’s been involved at national, state and local government levels, so she knows how the health system works and how to improve it. Carole is also a registered teacher and qualified vocational trainer. She’s worked in secondary schools, TAFE and Tasmanian industry. She wants to use this knowledge and skills to improve training in regional and rural areas. A sixth generation Tasmanian and a Lyons resident, Carole is a single mum living on the beautiful East Coast with her daughter. She’s passionate about contributing to her community and is lifelong volunteer, from the Scouts to women’S health, literacy and mental health. She’s passionate about ensuring opportunity, access and respect are available to Tasmanians with disability. Carole is a councillor on the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council. She lives and breathes rural life with a real understanding of regional and rural concerns for Lyons. She’s a qualified company director and served on boards, such as Disability Voices Tasmania and Postgraduate Medical Education Council of Tasmania. Carole is job ready. She wants to bring her real experience and commitment to our parliament to improve Tasmanians’ lives.

FRASER MILLER (Independent): AS an independent candidate for the electorate of Lyons in the state election, I understand the pivotal role independent representatives play in our government. Unlike traditional party politics, I offer a fresh perspective, prioritising the needs of constituents over partisan agendas. If elected, I am committed to being the voice of the people, ensuring that our community’s views are accurately represented. Collaboration is key to addressing the challenges we face, and I am dedicated to working with fellow successful candidates to develop tailored policies for Lyons. From the escalating cost of living to concerns about public disorder, our community faces pressing issues. However, my passion lies in bolstering our technological infrastructure. Investing in technology will not only increase digital literacy but also create employment opportunities, positioning Lyons to thrive in the digital economy. As a farmer, I am particularly keen on leveraging technology to navigate the escalating input costs we face annually. Join me in charting a course towards a brighter future for Lyons. Together, we can address our challenges, strengthen our community, and ensure prosperity for generations to come. Let’s prioritise the needs of the people and build a better tomorrow for all.

ANGELA OFFORD (Independent): I HAVE lived in Lyons and worked as a veterinarian in Tasmania for 27 years. What I love about living and working in Tasmania is the beauty and diversity that surrounds us and an all-embracing sense of community from the people who live here. To live a good life, to me, means to positively contribute to society, uphold animal health and welfare and to care for our environment and the planet. We live in a representative democracy which means we elect people to work and make decisions on our behalf and then to explain those decisions to us. Elected representatives who truly listen to the community make better decisions for those communities and engender a greater sense of public trust and support. This in turn creates better democracy. A key part of working of training and working as a veterinary professional is listening, observing, information gathering and problem solving using the highest evidence base to reach the best possible outcome. In other roles, I have developed a passion for the principles of good governance and I love collaborative policy development and implementation. Many key issues for this election have emerged in the areas of basic service provision the state is tasked to provide. We are experiencing fundamental problems across the health sector, in housing, education, public transport, youth detention and in the increasing cost of living. To address these complex issues, we will need collaborative decision making in parliament: independents, major and minor parties working together for the people who have elected them. This is what I will be committed to doing.

TROY PFITZNER (Lambie Network): I’M an average bloke. I live in Brighton, I’m a husband, the father of three boys and, for the last 10 years, my wife and I have run a small business called Little Green Truck. I know the value of a dollar, how to work for it and how to spend it wisely. I don’t want to whinge about how bad politicians are. I want to do something about it and be a decent one. I want to give Tasmania a voice in state parliament like Jacqui Lambie and Tammy Tyrrell are doing in the federal parliament. I am convinced that voice does not exist right now. I would bring honesty, respect and transparency to state parliament. The three biggest issues I want to bring attention to are: (1): Businesses being slugged with thousands of pages of regulations before they even get off the ground. Small businesses take risk, create jobs, build something from nothing. Let’s back them. Let’s help them, instead of getting in their way. (2): Rural Lyons being left behind. If you’re living in the Midlands or on the East Coast, good luck getting in to see a local GP. Driving two hours to get down to Hobart to see a doctor just isn’t feasible for many people and you should not have to wait half a day in the hospital emergency department. (3): We need immediate measures put in place to curb the cost-of-living crisis, not one-off payments but real long-term solutions put in place. People before politics are three words I believe in and that’s why I want to be your MP for Lyons.

LESLEY PYECROFT (Lambie Network): I HAVE always thought that real empathy is lacking in our politics. Maybe it’s because most politicians come from the same “private school, study a law degree at university” background. That’s certainly not been my life journey. I’m an immigrant, born in Canada. I’m a naturalised Australian due to my 23 years of service in the Australian Army as a soldier and a nursing officer. I currently work as a casual registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Launceston General Hospital, where I had previously worked full-time for five years. My parents taught me that the most important thing is that you are caring, compassionate and honest. I’ve always aspired to live up to those standards. I am an active member with the Northern Light Horse and re-enactment group, and Tasmanian Women in Agriculture. In Lyons, we have a lot of people who provide us with produce from the agricultural sector, especially in rural and remote areas of Lyons. They are a cornerstone of what makes Tasmania so special. Their work is often very challenging and I don’t think we do enough to support them. Health and mental health, education and employment are the issues I want to tackle. I know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet and the pressure that brings to all aspects of your life. We need to do more to support people in tough situations and those four policy areas play a massive role in that.

ANDREW ROBERTS (Independent): Unable to be contacted.

MARK SHELTON (Liberals): MARK is a family man, married to Merrilyn with three adult kids (Brent, Clint and Jacqui) and seven grandchildren. Mark has lived in Bracknell all his life and has worked across regional Tasmania with involvement in a family farm and in other small businesses. This makes him acutely aware of issues that are important to those who live and work in rural and regional Tasmania. Mark has a strong record of standing up for regional Tasmania, as Member for Lyons since 2010, and prior to that serving 11 years on Meander Valley Council, including nine as mayor. He knows the that regional infrastructure, like the upgraded Midlands Highway, has come a long way under the last 10 years of majority Liberal Governments, which have also delivered historically low unemployment and seen more than 53,000 jobs created, many in regional Tasmania. Mark will always fight for regional Tasmania and his electorate of Lyons. He understands the importance of regional health facilities and is proud of working to deliver an additional 298 hospital beds and employing an extra 1390 nurses since 2014. Mark is patron and supporter of many sporting organisations and, with a long sporting career in both football and cricket, he is a believer in participation in team sports, not just for the physical and social benefits, but for the mental health benefits as well. He also supports many charities and recently completed a third 200km fundraising walk from Launceston to Hobart to raise funds for the statewide disability support service St Giles.

LOUEEN TRIFFITT (Independent): I WAS born in Bothwell and have lived within the Lyons electorate all my life. I’m a proud Gran with two wonderful daughters. Being raised in the area, I’m aware of our rural and regional needs. We need more access to GPs and to increase the use of bulk-billing. The use of nurse practitioners across our electorate would be one useful action. Supporting our small businesses is important as well as increasing employment opportunities; additional assistance to apprenticeships and traineeships will help businesses and industries. Maintenance of our roads, including an alternate St Mary’s Pass is crucial for our locals, as well as business and increasing tourism. I’ve worked hard for 20 years in local government, even more so as mayor for half that time. I have a proven track record of “getting the job done” and I’m committed to the people of Lyons. We need more independent living units, and housing. We also need to provide affordable options for lowering our cost of living which includes heavily rebated solar power and water catchment options. As a former teacher, our access to quality education is crucial, as well as the maintenance and use of recreational grounds. The Lyons electorate is almost half the size of Tasmania and I’m dedicated to the whole electorate. I would greatly appreciate your Number 1 vote for Loueen (Lou) Triffitt.

JOHN TUCKER (Independent): TASMANIANS deserve a government whose priorities are fixing the immediate needs of the people, particularly those who are doing it tough. That means fixing the critical shortage of GPs to begin the rebuild of the health system, focusing on better school results, and putting an end to the over-taxing of Tasmanians in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. Helping to fix those issues is my number one priority. It’s no secret there is a statewide shortage of GPs, but it is considerably worse in rural and regional areas. The Liberal/Labor Urgent Care Clinics provide bulk-billed healthcare to the cities but those who live in rural and regional areas are hung out to dry, either unable to get an appointment or faced with significant out of pocket expenses when they can. GPs keep people out of hospital, and it’s essential every Tasmanian has the same access to a GP regardless of where they live. The Liberal Party supported my call to back GP Training Tasmania’s plan to recruit 40 GPs over four years, and I will fight to make sure that promise is kept. The Liberal Government has driven us into record debt and is taxing Tasmanians to the hilt to pay for its spending spree. The tax on power bills alone has cost taxpayers $675 million over the past four years. I will continue to fight to axe this tax on families and businesses, and return to the Eric Reece policy where energy costs were set at the break-even costs of production from the hydro system built by and for Tasmanians.

WAYNE TURALE (Shooters, Fishers, Farmers): A RESIDENT of the Central Highlands for almost 30 years, I am standing in Lyons as a Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate. I’m a former police officer, local business owner and state outreach manager of Rural Alive and Well. As a party, we say Yes to a Tasmanian AFL Team and No to the Macquarie Point stadium. We support more federal and state funding for passing lanes on the Lyell Hwy for increased traffic safety and improved telecommunications and IT networks in the highlands, but we do not support Marinus Link and increased Tasmanian power costs. We call for funding for nurse practitioners at the Ouse health centre and similar rural areas to improve local health services. More investment is needed in primary health, particularly in rural areas to reduce hospital presentations. An increased focus is needed on funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment centres and we support a scholarship system for Tasmanian medical training. Public funding of helicopter-based wild deer culling should cease and we seek a review of Inland Fisheries Service management, policies and better angler engagement on Inland Waters. We call for the police commissioner’s decisions on antique firearms exemptions to be overturned. Land tax reform is needed but there should be no change to the Tenancy Act regarding pets. We support responsible salmon farming operations and increased access to public lands for recreational hunting particularly for wild deer management, fishing and 4WD. National Parks entry should be free for pensioners, there should be an increased solar rebate for domestic installation and no further wind farms in sensitive areas like the Central Highlands. www.sffptasmania.org

REBECCA WHITE MHA (Labor – State Opposition Leader): IT’S been my honour to serve as your member for Lyons since 2010 and in that time I have worked alongside many of you to deliver improvements that have strengthened the community of the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands. As many of you know, I grew up on a farm and have a strong love of the land and animals but also for the friendships that come with living in a regional community. It’s why my husband Rod and our children Mia and Hudson choose to live on a small acreage at Richmond. It’s also why I am so proud to represent the electorate of Lyons and feel far more at home in the country than the city. I’m passionate about ensuring there is opportunity for all Tasmanians regardless of where they live, their background or circumstances. I am passionate about making sure regional communities are well represented and supported. My Labor team and I care about the future of our great state and are working hard to represent you. A Labor state government will focus on taking urgent action to tackle the cost of living, delivering a Tasmanian price for Tasmanian power and making sure our children get a good education, people can get a house and access the health care they deserve. It’s time for a better future for Tasmania and I’m asking for your support so we can deliver a Labor government so we can get on with the job.

RAY WILLIAMS (Shooters, Fishers, Farmers): RAY Williams is standing for election in the seat of Lyons with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party. He has a proven ability to work with individuals and companies which is shown particularly through the successful family-owned Williams Mitre 10 and Williams Outdoors business operations in New Norfolk. Ray is a fair-minded person who is willing to listen to both sides of any subject. Using his common sense outlook backed up with evidence-based statistics, he would make a constructive partner in a minority government. Ray is not into politics for ego or money, but simply wanting to see a better deal for regional and country Tasmanians who for years have not been looked after well enough. This is particularly the case with medical facilities, full banking services, transport, rural fire services and communications systems. He stands for: (1) Establishing full banking services in post offices where banks have closed. (2) Helping farmers to achieve fairer prices for their products. (3) Resisting the extreme green agenda to remove trout and deer from our state. (4) Increasing funding for regional and country Tasmania. (5) Tougher sentencing for illegal firearm trade and usage. To help with your decision about why you should vote for any of the SFF Party candidates in the March 23 state election, please visit Ray’s website which provides links to this important information. voteraywilliams.com

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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