Labor ol’ boy David Llewelyn gone from Lyons.
27yo. Labor staffer Bec White takes his seat.
“The demands of my job prevented me from conducting an effective campaign”.
Very poor form for Mr Llewelyn to blame his loss on such things.
Llewelyn had a much higher profile than White where I live in the electorate (Tamar Valley) and plenty of other incumbents did not have any trouble being returned. For god sakes Mr Llewelyn you were one of Tasmania’s most recognised politicians being in the parliament for 24 years. How much campaigning did you need to do?
Polley romped it in as did Rockcliff, Hodgman & Bartlett. Even Tim Morris from the poverty stricken Greens topped the Lyons poll.
So why the excuses Mr Llewelyn?
Either through bad policy, being badly out of touch with overall community sentiment or through sheer political arrogance Mr Llewelyn failed to adequately represent the wishes of the electorate on the big issues.
Cases in point - The proposed Pulp Mill, water, planning and land use issues. Plain and simple.
In my part of the electorate that has caused a significant amount of people a significant amount of heartache.
Real people suffering real inconvenience, distress and heartache because they were being ignored on serious issues.
In fact in the case of the pulp mill Mr Llewelyn went out of his way to do the opposite and was too often, too dismissive of the views of local people. As Richard Flanagan recently wrote…. “As he (Premier Bartlett) sent his ministers scurrying overseas paid for by our taxes to yet again do Gunns business, David Bartlett didn’t draw one line in the sand, he ploughed up the whole beach”. David Llewelyn was one of the ministers in question. Along with Michael Aird a willing cheerleader for a project that was about as popular in the electorate as a “life be in it” t-shirt at a funeral.
Too often those who opposed the Government and Gunns on the Pulp Mill issue were considered trouble making greenies by the former minister. A quick search of Hansard or Llewelyn’s public comments on the pulp mill will demonstrate my point.
You simply cannot continue to treat the electorate that way and expect to retain your seat.
Recent candidate for Lyons, Ben Quin quit the Liberal party over the pulp mill. Not that he had much choice in the end. Quin was censured by the Liberal Party for publicly questioning aspects of the approval of the pulp mill and was savaged by former Tasmanian Premier and Gunns’ board member Robin Gray who labelled Quin a “coward”.
This is what Ben Quin said about his time campaigning in the electorate of Lyons….....
“It is my opinion that the majority of Tasmanians believe that Mr. Lennon (and his closest confidents) did have advance knowledge of Gunns’ decision to withdraw and that the fast track approval was a pre-determined process. I was campaigning as a candidate for the Federal seat of Lyons as these events were taking place. I had discussions with thousands of people on this matter. From Queenstown to St Helens, from Port Arthur to Sheffield, from timber communities to latte communities, there was a consensus: the race was fixed”.
I wish him well in his retirement but am glad as hell David Llewelyn is no longer my parliamentary representative. The good news for all you Llewy fans is that Mr Llewelyn’s nice parliamentary pension should cushion the blow.
If I were Bec White I would be talking to the most highly regarded (on votes) politician in Lyons - Tim Morris about what it is the electorate wants. And then I would go and do it.
If Bec White is serious about putting the wishes and desires of the electorate above the party she should think about it.
Good luck Bec.
Rick Pilkington was writing on his blog HERE