Premier David Bartlett's refusal to engage in meaningful debate over the size of the Tasmanian Parliament is yet another example of him lacking leadership and putting short term political opportunism before the best long term interests of the State. Leader of the State Opposition, Will Hodgman, said Mr Bartlett's letter to a newspaper yesterday attacking the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its stance on the size of the Tasmanian Parliament reeked of revisionism and political opportunism. It should not be forgotten that last year, in an interview with the very same newspaper, Mr Bartlett flagged the notion of a larger House of Assembly, only for him to quickly retreat when he became concerned about a backlash. Mr Bartlett has said: "A politician running on a platform of more politicians seems like a pretty hard sell to me and it's not one I'm contemplating at this stage." Mr Hodgman said a functional government that enabled Tasmania to achieve its full potential should be above this sort of short-term politics from the Premier. "Of course a larger Parliament is a hard sell, but it might also be in the best long-term interests of our state so we must not run away from the issue," Mr Hodgman said. "There has been nothing stable about the last ten years of Labor Government in this state and the best argument for looking at the size of the Tasmanian Parliament is David Bartlett's front bench. "It is times like these when Tasmanians expect their leaders to stand up for what is right, not what is politically popular. "That's why I have committed to independently investigating the best model of Parliament for Tasmania, taking it out of the hands of vested interests, and have vowed that a Hodgman Liberal Government would implement that inquiry's findings, at no additional cost to the taxpayer. "Tasmania has been held back because the Labor government has left important issues like this one in the too hard basket for too long and because Labor has been too weak and fixated on the short term to plan properly for our state's future."
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Authorised by Sam McQuestin, Level 2/24 Murray Street, Hobart TAS 7000 | Updated 19 June 2013 | Admin