Experience & Common Sense

Independent for Nelson

Discover Rob Manning’s views

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I have lived in Nelson for 35 years. I will be
an advocate for Nelson, for the people of Nelson and for good government of the State of Tasmania.
Rob Manning

My Background

Broad experience. Relevant experience.

  • Lived in Nelson for 35 years
  • Professional experience
    • Experience in business – 32 years in private legal practice working in a business, providing advice to Tasmanian businesses and representing and advocating for a broad range of individuals and businesses
    • Professional experience relevant to the role of a legislator
    • 32 years of reading, interpreting, analyzing and applying legislation
  • Experience in the not-for-profit sector
    • 7 years on the board of Diabetes Tasmania (with the past 4 years as President)
    • 4 years on the board of Diabetes Australia
    • 7 years on a committee for the provision of pro bono legal assistance, including 4 years as Chair
  • Community engagement through working in the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience in governance through board positions in the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience in lobbying for amendments to draft legislation – 9 years as a member of the Property and Commercial Law Committee of the Law Society of Tasmania (currently the Chair)
  • Recognition of outstanding contribution to the legal profession in Tasmania (Law Society President’s Award 2018)
  • Experience in effective communication and contribution to the ongoing development of the legal profession (4 plus years teaching at the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course)
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Rob Manning – Experienced, Moderate, Practical

MY VIEW

MY VIEW OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

Primarily, the role of the Legislative Council is as a house of review – refining parliamentary bills to guard against overreach, unintended consequences, unfairness, inconsistency and ambiguity.  The House of Assembly proposes law, and the Legislative Council makes law – but only after review, refinement and acceptance.

To fulfil its purpose, the Legislative Council works best in my view by having:

  • Independent representatives who are free from party allegiances;
  • Moderates who are not “political zealots” (while recognising that zealots still have a valuable role in our political discourse, but whose function is best served outside the parliament); and
  • Representatives who understand and reflect values of the electorate.

While political parties have an important role to play in our parliamentary system, so do independent representatives in the Legislative Council.  Filling the Legislative Council with only party-endorsed members defeats the purpose of a house of review.

Like many, I am concerned about the tribalism of modern politics.  No party has the monopoly on:

  • Good policy;
  • Good ideas;
  • Good members; or
  • Solutions.

SEEKING TO BRING BALANCE & OBJECTIVITY TO THE ROLE OF LEGISLATOR.Rob Manning

MY VIEW

TRULY INDEPENDENT

I also believe that the Legislative Council, as a house of review works best when its members are not only independent of party endorsement but are also independent thinkers – that is that they are open-minded and not captive to a particular ideology which can lead to a pre-determined position on a matter without even considering a proposal and the evidence for or against it.

VOTE 1 FOR ROB MANNING TO BE A VOICE FOR NELSON AND A VOICE OF REASON.

MY VIEW

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN SOCIETY

A society with no regulation is no society at all.  But regulation should only exist if there is an appropriate justification for it.  Membership of a society involves the entering into a social contract, where individuals compromise some freedoms in exchange for a perceived benefit.

However, no one should be required to surrender a liberty where the benefit from doing so cannot be demonstrated.

 

EXPERIENCED, MODERATE, PRACTICALRob Manning

MY VIEW

PROGRESSIVE OR CONSERVATIVE

The common dichotomy of progressives and conservatives is, in my view, simplistic.  More specifically:

  • To be a progressive is to be open to change and to acknowledge that:
    • The status quo is not justified simply on the basis that this is how it has always been;
    • We all live in a changing world and in changing circumstances, and so it is necessary that we adapt and evolve;
  • While to be a conservative is to respect and value structures, institutions, processes, policies, customs and values which have served us well, and to understand that:
    • The onus is on those proposing change to make the case for change;
    • Change should be embraced with caution and only after ensuring that the change is, in all reasonable respects, for the better.

It is therefore not only possible, but absolutely essential in order to make a beneficial contribution, to be both a conservative and a progressive, depending on the circumstances.

 

SEEKING TO BRING BALANCE & OBJECTIVITY TO THE ROLE OF LEGISLATOR.Rob Manning

MY VIEW

PASSIONATE OR DISPASSIONATE?

It is often declared by candidates that they are passionate about one or more issues.  This should be reflected upon with some caution.  It is of course very normal human behavior to be passionate.  I am passionate about good government and good law-making, but these activities require dispassionate, objective analysis, assessment and deliberation by members of the Legislative Council.

VOTE 1 FOR ROB MANNING TO BE A VOICE FOR NELSON AND A VOICE OF REASON

MY VIEW

A HOUSE OF REVIEW OR A HOUSE OF ACTIVISM?

Currently three different parties are represented in the House of Assembly.  Depending on numbers, one group forms the Government and the rest form the Opposition.  The government sets an agenda, which is more often than not opposed by non-government members, and then is scrutinised by the Legislative Council.  So in some respects, the government in the House of Assembly is activist.  There are of course many activists outside the parliament who seek to influence the opinions of electors and of all parliamentarians.  This is an appropriate role for activists, but being a member of the Legislative Council is not an appropriate role.

While the role of any parliamentarian should include a role as an advocate for his or her electorate, and a role as an advocate for individuals within that electorate, it is also of the upmost importance for a Legislative Council member to be an advocate for the good government of Tasmania.  To do so, requires an objective and open mind which is used to critically assess each and every issue, and each and every proposed legislative provision on an evidence-based case-by-case basis.

To best fulfill the purpose of the Legislative Council, a member should be independent, which means not only to be independent of party endorsement, allegiance or influence – whether past or present – but also to be an independent thinker.  It is not possible to be a truly independent thinker if a member is captive to an ideology which results in a predetermined position on issues without even having considered a particular proposal and the evidence for or against it.

The model of the Legislative Council as a house of review, rather than a house of activism, has served our system of government, and therefore Tasmania, very well.  Tasmania is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family, and this is in part as a result of a parliamentary system which has been generally successful.  This is not to say that it is perfect, and of course refinements and appropriate reforms should be constantly considered.  However, to change our parliamentary system by turning the Legislative Council into a house of activism, and electing political crusaders and zealots with entrenched positions and platforms is to suggest that the long-standing model of a house of review is not working.

The Legislative Council is not created to be a platform for activists to pursue their pet issues or narrow-focused agenda.  The Legislative Council’s key activity is law-making and a hard working Legislative Council member should be thoroughly occupied scrutinising government activity and undertaking a dispassionate, balanced, open-minded and objective analysis of government proposals and legislation.

EXPERIENCED, MODERATE, PRACTICAL.

MY VIEW

MY VIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE MEMBER FOR NELSON

  • To be an advocate for the electorate of Nelson.
  • To be an advocate for individual constituents of Nelson.
  •  To be an advocate for good government of the state of Tasmania
    (which, of course, includes the provision of the best services that can be reasonably afforded in all the circumstances).
  • To be an advocate for good law.

SEEKING TO BRING BALANCE & OBJECTIVITY TO THE ROLE OF LEGISLATOR.Rob Manning

MY VIEW

POLICIES

It is of course only natural that electors will want to ask candidates about their platforms and their policies.  It is, however, totally unhelpful to offer simple solutions to complex problems.

There are areas of focus which we presumably all agree upon – for example, we all want improved health services and better educational outcomes.  We all want better transportation and less traffic congestion.  The question always, however, is how we bring about these improvements, especially being mindful that there is always a finite pot of money.

While some may seek to declare that they stand for a better health system or a better education system, what I stand for and would like to participate in and work towards is better Government – which of course includes, for example, the best health system and the best education system that we can reasonably afford in all the circumstances.

Good government requires good policy, but that is not enough.  What is also required is good law-making.

VOTE 1 FOR ROB MANNING TO BE A VOICE FOR NELSON AND A VOICE OF REASON

MY VIEW

ISSUES

The first step is to identify and be aware of issues and how they impact on citizens.  Being born and bred in Tasmania and having lived in the electorate of Nelson for 35 years is helpful in terms of being aware of and understanding issues, and also provides the social and community connections necessary in order to be well-informed as to emerging issues.

I consider that I am a good listener and I would as a parliamentarian always work hard to maintain a community connection so that the concerns of community members are well known to me.

Problem-serving in this context entails being available to and listening to constituents, exploring what processes can be explored in order to find solutions and then assessing and evaluating relevant evidence.

Of course, there are always issues of the day – such as anti-protest laws, water quality, housing, electoral law reform, cable cars, poker machines, etc.  On each of these issues, I – like most – may have certain initial leanings, but remain open-minded and dare not offer glib one-line positions without becoming far better informed.

It is also to be remembered that over the six-year term of a member of the Legislative Council, a great many issues will come and go.

EXPERIENCED, MODERATE, PRACTICAL.Rob Manning

MY VIEW

HOW TO VOTE

  • Step 1
    Know and understand the role of the Legislative Council and the role of a member of the Legislative Council.
  • Step 2
    Know and understand the experience, skills, credentials, independence, and objectivity of each candidate and his or her suitability for the role.
  • Step 3
    Choose candidates which in your judgement are best suited to a 6-year term as a member of the Legislative Council, not only to represent Nelson, but also to make a valuable contribution to the parliament of Tasmania, bearing in mind that there is likely to be a myriad of unforeseen issues which will present themselves in a 6-year term.
  • Step 4
    Vote for your selected candidates in order of preference in accordance with the directions on your ballot paper bearing in mind that your second, third or even lower order preferences could be determinative in deciding the outcome of the election.

SEEKING TO BRING BALANCE & OBJECTIVITY TO THE ROLE OF LEGISLATOR.Rob Manning

MY VIEW

WHAT I BELIEVE I CAN OFFER IN THE ROLE

  • For many years, my role has been that of an advocate for a number of individuals and causes, including:
    • My clients;
    • People affected by and at risk of diabetes;
    • Good law-making in Tasmania; and
    • Individuals and organisations requiring pro bono legal services.
  • I am committed to the best outcomes for the electorate of Nelson where I have lived for 35 years.
  • I am passionate about good government and ensuring the political system achieves what it is meant to achieve.
  • I am passionate about fundamental liberties and reflecting community values, and ensuring our law does not infringe these.
  • With the upcoming retirement of the sitting member for Nelson, there will be no lawyers left in the Legislative Council leaving a significant skills gap.  Good law depends not only on good policy, but also on good law-making.  I believe that all of my professional training and experience is an extremely relevant and valuable background to be able to make a significant contribution to this process.
  • For me, this would not be a significant change of direction but rather a further development of my career, which would make use of my experience in a different forum where I can give back to the community.

VOTE 1 FOR ROB MANNING TO BE A VOICE FOR NELSON AND A VOICE OF REASON.

MY VIEW OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
TRULY INDEPENDENT
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN SOCIETY
PROGRESSIVE OR CONSERVATIVE
PASSIONATE OR DISPASSIONATE?
A HOUSE OF REVIEW OR A HOUSE OF ACTIVISM?
MY VIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE MEMBER FOR NELSON
POLICIES
ISSUES
HOW TO VOTE
WHAT I BELIEVE I CAN OFFER IN THE ROLE

Talking Point

Credibility in Campaigning – 24 April 2018

A House of Review or a House of Activism? – The Mercury, 18 April 2018

Authorised by Robert Manning, 566A Churchill Avenue, Sandy Bay