Braddon pushes the pendulum to Scomo | OPINION

Braddon pushes the pendulum to Scomo | OPINION


Opinion
NEW FACE: Federal Member for the Tasmanian seat of Braddon, Gavin Pearce, is also an Angus cattle breeder and potato farmer.

NEW FACE: Federal Member for the Tasmanian seat of Braddon, Gavin Pearce, is also an Angus cattle breeder and potato farmer.

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The Tasmanian electorate of Braddon now has a farmer for its federal member.

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THIS time last month was just before the election, and few of us were expecting the result.

It was influenced in part by the swing to the Liberals in my electorate, Braddon, and the incumbent Labor member lost her seat.

The same thing happened in the neighbouring electorate of Bass.

Braddon, to refresh your memory, is that triangular electorate on the left as you look at the map, taking up about a third of the State - 21,369 square kilometres out of the 68,401 total, to be precise.

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It has always been a swinging seat and the many well-engineered access roads onto the Bass Highway up here are the result of many political promises made in previous elections

Braddon is named after Sir Edward Braddon, who was our Premier from 1894 to 1899.

He was born in Cornwall in the UK in 1829, spent some time in India then came to Tasmania (or Van Diemens Land as it was then called) and was elected to represent the Division of West Devon in 1879.

Braddon now has a local farmer as its Federal politician, Gavin Pearce.

Though a farmer now (he breeds Angus cattle), he was in the army for 20 years. He was a sergeant major who served under Peter Cosgrove in East Timor.

MEMBERS: A photo leading up to the 2019 federal election showing the then Liberal Candidate (now member) for Braddon, Gavin Pearce with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack visiting the Premium Fresh carrot farm near Forth, Tasmania.

MEMBERS: A photo leading up to the 2019 federal election showing the then Liberal Candidate (now member) for Braddon, Gavin Pearce with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack visiting the Premium Fresh carrot farm near Forth, Tasmania.

He is very active in community groups - he is the President of the Wynyard RSL, and also the chair of the Yolla Co-op, which has 800 farmer members.

This emphasises one of the many differences between Tasmanian and mainland fruit and vegetable production.

We have very many small to medium sized operations and very few large-scale ones. Companies such as Simplot and McCain's rely on hundreds of them.

I've tried to book an interview with him but predictably he is extremely busy, but he has had good coverage in the local Fairfax paper, the "Advocate". Here is some of it:

"I'm looking at Braddon, and I don't think it has been pushed or driven enough," he said.

"I'm sick of Tasmania being shaped like a funnel, where the hard work is done in the NW, West Coast and King Island and the wealth runs in the top and out the bottom to Hobart.

"I want to stick up for Braddon and make sure the work done here reinvested back into Braddon's future, not down south.

"The Mainland agri-sector is starting to feel the pinch of climate and water issues, but there is no better place than the NW for climate, rainfall and the best soil in the world, cleanest air, and best farmers."

You will have heard this from me and many others, but it's obvious he has an antipathy to Hobart, which we all understand.

I've done my time in Western Australia and have worked for a short while in all the state capitals but this feeling has to be experienced.

I was told I'd committed professional suicide by accepting a position in the North West.

This feeling is much stronger than in the other states. I'd be intrigued to hear what my loyal readers have experienced.

He is also an enthusiastic advocate (with a lower case "a" ) for Tasmanian products.

A few days after his interview, it was reported that Devonport's Southern Wild Distillery has again been recognised as a new force in the spirits industry with international recognition at the World Liqueur Awards in London, winning seven in total.

And so it goes on. Give us a break, world.

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