Lara Alexander and John Tucker quit to serve as Independents.

We’re here to announce that today we have written to the Liberal Party submitting our resignation both as party members and members of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. We have also resigned from all parliamentary positions, including membership of parliamentary committees. We intend to continue to serve our respective electorates, Lyons and Bass, as independent members, sitting on the crossbench.

We recognise that this is a step of great significance to the Liberal Party, to the Government, to the Parliament, and to the Tasmanian community.

While we are moving to the crossbenches, we have assured the Premier that we will guarantee supply for the upcoming State Budget, to fund government operations for the next 12 months.

The proposed AFL stadium in Hobart was the trigger issue for us; however, it is much more than that. The stadium plan is the most obvious example of a government, which has lost its way. It is considered by most Tasmanians to be a tone-deaf government in denial, prioritising the unreasonable demands of the ‘haves’ ahead of the basic needs of the ‘have-nots’.

The biggest issue facing Tasmanians today is the spiralling cost of living. For 120,000 Tasmanians struggling to survive on incomes, which are at or below the poverty line; particularly those who are homeless. It is, and has been for some time, a real crisis. Many Tasmanians are battling to meet the rising cost of food, mortgages, rent, as well as many other costs of living expenses that we face every day. The Premier is fiddling with luxuries, while Tasmania yearns for action on needs.

The debt situation is hugely important – not just because of the size of the debt itself but because of the opportunity cost that debt servicing will soak up for years, if not generations to come. The potential risk to taxpayers from this undertaking is so significant that everything must be on the table and the Parliament, as representatives of the people, must be front and centre.

The Government stopped listening. It is not listening to the community, the Liberal Party, Federal Liberal Members and Senators; and it is certainly not consulting or listening to backbenchers.
Our move to the cross benches as independents will certainly enhance the power of the Parliament and it will allow thorough scrutiny of the stadium project. The first requirement is total transparency together with a rigorous assessment process, with a thorough assessment of the risks and opportunity cost.

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