97% of Tasmanians do not feel well represented

Voices of Tasmania (VoT) has published the Survey Analysis report from 756 respondents to the Have Your Say survey. The most striking result is that just 2.8% felt they were well represented by their elected politicians. Just over a quarter (26%) felt “somewhat” represented.

The “Voices of Tasmanians” report can be found here: https://voicesoftasmania.org/survey-report/

It is publicly available and will be sent to all candidates.

“This is a shocking result. So many Tasmanians feel un-represented by the way the way party politics operates.” said Voices of Tasmania convenor Michael Roberts. “We were aware people were disenchanted, and that many felt they were not being listened to, but this result, right across all 5 electorates, blew us away. It’s a massive wake-up call to all candidates – LISTEN and represent your constituents, they are the ones you represent. Democracy requires listening and acting in the communities’ best interests. It’s known as the public good.” As one Braddon respondent said, ”it’s not rocket science.”

The survey was open to the public for over a year (Feb 5th 2023 to Feb 14th 2024) and was closed due to the early election being called. Potential criticisms regarding a biased sample are countered by the fact that this was an “all comers” publicly available survey open for over a year. Any political or social interest group of any persuasion had ample opportunity to complete the survey and have their say. All those Tasmanians who self-elected to complete the survey were included in the dataset – only two mainland entries were disallowed.

The key reasons Tasmanians felt like they had no voice were:

  • Not being listened to (34%)
  • Party politics; toe the party line (27%)
  • Lack of integrity (19%)
  • Nothing changes, no action anyway (13%)

The report contains many direct quotes from the respondents about the issues Tasmanians are facing and what to do about them, quotes like:

“We cannot get anywhere with all the other issues as long as there is no integrity commission, and money can determine the outcome of elections.”

“Health and Education being totally deprioritised in favour of things like a cable car, a stadium or the next big thing.”

“They don’t care about the local issues important to me, like improving active transport options. Or things that don’t align with their party line, like transparency and corruption reform.”

Respondents were asked to rate their top 5 issues for the state.

  • Climate change was selected in 56% of the top 5.
  • Health was in 55% of people’s top 5.
  • Cost of Living/Poverty 45%;
  • Environment 44%.
  • Housing Affordability and Homelessness 34%
  • Education 32%
  • Integrity 28%
  • Agriculture & Aquaculture 26%
  • Gambling 18%

The volume of ideas put forward to address Tasmania’s problems also surprised the Voices team. The very clear message was: Tasmanians want to be part of the solution – the government is failing – they want to be involved in solving the problems we’re facing, but feel they are being ignored.

The biggest message coming out of the report to all candidates at this election is LISTEN and REPRESENT.