Tasmania has been revealed to be Australia’s largest nanny state and its former opposition leader called it the “most governed place in the world”.
An analysis of the number of MPs per capita found Tasmania will have 11.7 politicians per 100,000 people when its House of Assembly increases from 25 to 35 members at the March 23 election.
He Australian weekend collected data from every state and territory and made the surprising discovery that New South Wales, often called the nanny state, was the least governed jurisdiction.
New South Wales has just 2.3 MPs per 100,000 people, followed by Queensland with 2.4 and Victoria with 2.6.
Western Australia had the fifth highest number of MPs with 4.1 politicians per 100,000 residents, followed by South Australia with 4.9 and the Australian Capital Territory with 6.3.
Tasmania has been revealed to be Australia’s largest nanny state and its former opposition leader called it the “most governed place in the world” (pictured, Hobart).
New South Wales has just 2.3 MPs per 100,000 people, followed by Queensland with 2.4 and Victoria with 2.6 (pictured, Sydney).
The Northern Territory was the only jurisdiction to approach Tasmania’s level of politicians with 11.4 per 100,000 population.
The increase in Tasmanian Assembly seats from 25 to 35 was the work of Liberal state Premier Jeremy Rockliff.
He argued that 35 seats, the number available before 1998, would help parliamentary committees, increase the pool of ministerial talent and increase the diversity of government.
However, former Liberal leader Bob Cheek, who was outspoken in reducing House seats to 25, believes Rockliff’s plan will see the number of politicians, including local councils, reach almost one for every 15,000 residents.
“I think pretty soon we’ll have one for every home; it’s complete and utter madness,” he said.
Cheek added that returning to 35 seats would lead to more “rats” being elected, as it would reduce the percentage of voters needed for elections from 16.7 percent to 12.5 percent.
‘Putting another 10 people in parliament won’t necessarily increase talent. More isn’t necessarily better: you can get 10 more flops,” she stated.
Cheek was premier of Tasmania from 2001 to 2002 and is no longer part of the Liberal Party.
The high proportion is the work of Liberal state Premier Jeremy Rockliff (pictured), who introduced 10 additional seats in the Tasmanian House of Assembly.
Several current Liberal Party members are understood to share Cheek’s concerns that a reduced percentage threshold could see more independent and Greens MPs elected, meaning the party could lose its majority government.
However, Rockliff says his plan, which was supported by Labor and the Greens, “will provide a better functioning parliament and wider representation”.
Tasmania’s Treasury estimates the 10 additional MPs will cost taxpayers an additional $7.9 million in the first year and an additional $7.2 million each year thereafter.
On top of that, the Tasmanian Electoral Commission estimates it will cost an additional $100,000 each election.
Cheek called on Rockliff to look within the current government for the additional manpower he says he needs.
“Committees were usually looking for something to do and while the prime minister and ministers work hard, others don’t,” he said.
“People were just sitting around.”
He added that the increase in seats was an “ego trip” for current Tasmanian politicians and expressed frustration that their work to reduce seats to 25 “has simply been in vain”.