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Tasmanian election is called -

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Tasmanian election is called

Felicity Ogilvie reported this story on Friday, February 12, 2010 12:14:00

ASHLEY HALL: The Tasmanian Premier has called a state election. Recent opinion polls show that
after 12 years in government, Labor will be battling to hold onto power when Tasmanians vote in
March.

If the Government loses two seats, it loses its majority. But under the complicated Tasmanian
parliamentary system that doesn't mean the Liberals would win. The Greens could hold the balance of
power.

Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Tasmanians will go to the polls on the 20th of March and Labor is expecting a
backlash.

Teachers are threatening to strike about the Premier's education reforms.

And callers to ABC Local Radio in Hobart this morning were sharing their anger.

LOCAL RADIO CALLER: I was strongly influenced by any party that will really listen to teachers in
schools.

PRESENTER: How does David Bartlett stand on that front do you think?

LOCAL RADIO CALLER: Very poorly and Will Hodgman has come out and said that he will listen to
teachers in schools and roll back the education changes.

GREG: So I am 55 years of age, I've probably voted well left of centre for the entirety of my
voting life. Nobody in the ALP will be getting a vote from me.

PRESENTER: Why not Greg?

GREG: Ah, based on integrity and I think they've lost it.

LOCAL RADIO CALLER TWO: The issue of the pulp mill it has always been an issue for me. I won't vote
for them on that.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Since the last election Labor has lost two deputy premiers to scandals and the
pro-pulp mill premier resigned.

The current Premier, David Bartlett, who's been in the job for 20 months is asking voters to judge
his government on the future not the past.

DAVID BARTLETT: I am confident that when Tasmanians come to see the positive plan that we have for
the future of Tasmania, a positive plan that provides everyone with an opportunity to get a job and
to get a decent roof over their head, to get decent health services and to get, ah, decent
education services no matter what circumstances they were born into.

I am confident that Tasmanians will vote accordingly and I am confident that we are, ah, we are
able to win a majority on March 20th.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Premier says if Labor doesn't win back its majority he won't be working with
the Greens to form government.

Labor only needs to lose two seats to lose its majority but the Liberals need to win six seats to
form a majority government.

The Greens currently hold four seats and if they can hang onto those, they could hold the balance
of power.

The Opposition Leader, Will Hodgman, says he doesn't need to do a deal with the Greens because the
Liberals can win majority government.

WILL HODGMAN: Under a Hodgman Liberal government we can change Tasmania in a positive way that
allows our kids to get a good education, those people needing good health care to get off waiting
lists and get into hospitals and to drive our economy forward by encouraging and promoting local
businesses to create local jobs.

Under a Hodgman Liberal government you get honesty and integrity. Anything but that which Bartlett
and Labor have given Tasmanians over recent years

FELICITY OGILVIE: But at his press conference this morning the Greens Leader Nick McKim was already
talking about holding power and how his party could be negotiating with the Liberals or Labor.

NICK MCKIM: Well let's just be clear about this guys. Nothing is a deal breaker. We'll seek to
negotiate in good faith and it's difficult or impossible to pre-empt negotiations because
ultimately their like a dance or a conversation. They're a two way flow and a two way discussion.

And we will negotiate in good faith. We won't be issuing ultimatums and we will proceed with the
negotiations in good faith with the ultimate aim of delivering stable government which we have seen
anything but over the last four years.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Greens may be talking about doing deals for government before votes have even
been cast.

But the ABC's election analyst, Antony Green, says there's no way the major parties will be
discussing deals before the election.

ANTONY GREEN: Well, I don't think anybody will commit to anything like that before the election.
That will be negotiated after the election depending on what the result is. Neither Labor nor
Liberal would commit to doing a deal with the Greens at this stage. The Greens are the traditional
bogies of Tasmanian politics and both sides will run against the perils of the other side dealing
with the Greens.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The key issues in the campaign are shaping up to be jobs, health, education,
integrity and the environment.

ANTONY GREEN: I think in the end it will come down to whether the Government deserves another term
in office. That tend to be what happens after 12 years in office is it becomes the Governments'
record which becomes the issue. And I think that will tend to dominate the campaign whether people
are prepared to put the Bartlett Government back in, perhaps back in, in a minority or whether
their prepared to switch in large numbers to try and elect a Liberal government under Will Hodgman.

ASHLEY HALL: The ABC's election analyst, Antony Green, ending Felicity Ogilvie's report.