Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader
Premier Will Hodgman has again displayed his fear of being taken on by the Greens in a public forum, refusing to participate in the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) debate because the Greens had been invited.
What a fraidy cat, scared of the Greens!
If Will Hodgman is so proud of his government's record and confident in his ability to articulate it, he should have no problem being part of a three way debate between the State's political leaders.
If Will Hodgman has a vision for the State that extends past March, he should be both willing and proud to set it out before Tasmania's business leaders.
The truth is, he's afraid of being exposed over his government's lack of vision, tendency towards secrecy, underinvestment in essential services, exploitation of protected areas and a deep attachment to spin to try to cover it all up.
The TCCI clearly believed there was merit in asking the three political leaders along, particularly in light of polling that points to no one party being entrusted with a majority at the next election.
The TCCI clearly recognised the Greens are an important part of the fabric of Tasmanian politics and public life and that we present significant points of policy and values differences to the Liberals and Labor.
On that stage, we'd have been the voice for Tasmanians who are worried about the unhealthy influence of big business on politics, for coastal communities alarmed by rapid fish farm expansion and plans to log in rainforest reserves.
We'd have been the voice for clean, green and socially just Tasmania, an island that has a plan to tackle climate change and protect what it is that sets us apart from every other place on the planet.
That's the voice Will Hodgman doesn't want Tasmanians to hear.
Regrettably, because of Will Hodgman's fear of the Greens, there will be no TCCI debate this year.
On behalf of the Greens, I want to thank the TCCI for the kind invitation to participate in this year's Leaders' debate and for their refusal to bow to the Liberals' attempt to silence the third voice in Tasmanian politics.