Why an Independent MP is good for Bass.

As your Independent Member of Parliament, I believe I can serve you better than a party member MP. I have lived and worked in this community for many years and have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing our electorate. My independence allows me to put the interests of our community first, without being constrained by the political allegiances and agendas of a political party. I am accountable to you, the people of Bass, and I am committed to working tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that your voice is heard and your needs are met; but independent MPs are not new in Tasmanian politics. On a state and federal level, Tasmania and Bass have benefited greatly from independent representation. The late Senator the Hon. Brian Harradine and the Hon. Don Wing, MLC, served our region with distinction, to name just two.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in Australian politics of voters electing independent candidates to represent them in parliament. This trend has been seen in Tasmania, with the electorate of Clark electing an independent member in the 2021 state election. The advantages of having an independent MP for the electorate of Bass are numerous, and I hope to share my reasons for believing this to be the case below.

Firstly, independent MPs are more effective at representing their constituents in parliament. This is because they are not bound by party policies or directives and are therefore free to represent the views and interests of our electorate without fear of retribution from party leaders. This was demonstrated in a study by the Grattan Institute, which found that independent MPs are more likely to introduce bills and successfully pass legislation than party member MPs (Grattan Institute, 2018). This means that the people of Bass can be assured that as your independent MP, I will work diligently to achieve our goals and represent our interests in parliament.

Secondly, independent MPs are more likely to hold the government to account and ensure that the electorate of Bass receives its fair share of funding and resources. This is because we are not beholden to the government or any particular party and can therefore speak out against policies or decisions that may be detrimental to you and your fellow constituents. This was demonstrated by independent MP Cathy McGowan, who secured millions of dollars in funding for her electorate of Indi (Wangaratta and surrounds) during her time in parliament. This means that the people of Bass can be assured that as your independent MP, I will fight for our fair share of funding and resources, and I will not be afraid to speak out against decisions that may be harmful to our diverse and tight-knit community.

Thirdly, independent MPs are more likely to listen to and engage with their constituents. This is because we do not have the same pressures placed on us as party members to conform to the party line. We are therefore able to take a more flexible approach to policy and decision-making. This means that the people of Bass can be assured that, as your independent MP for Bass, I will be accessible and responsive to your concerns, and I will work hard to ensure that your views are always considered and taken into account in policy-making.

Furthermore, polling has consistently shown that voters have a positive view of independent MPs and value their ability to represent their constituents without the influence of party politics. A survey by the Australia Institute found that 65% of voters believe that independent MPs are better able to represent their electorate than party members (Australia Institute, 2018).

I am confident that I have made the right choice to continue my tenure as an independent in the current parliament. When the next state election comes along in 2025, my hope is the people of Bass will have confidence in my ability to represent them again; and that their decision is supported by the broader community.

In conclusion, the advantages of having an independent MP for the electorate of Bass are numerous and supported by data and case studies. Independent MPs are more effective at representing their constituents in parliament, more likely to hold the government to account, more likely to listen to and engage with their constituents, and have a proven track record of achieving significant outcomes for their elector

Kind regards,

Lara Alexander, MP

Independent Member for Bass