Labor needs to focus on North: report

Franklin MHR Julie Collins

Franklin MHR Julie Collins

A DAMNING report into Labor's state election result has recommended the party builds a Labor brand and policy in Northern Tasmania to win back votes in Bass, Braddon and Lyons.

The report, released publicly yesterday, is the result of a review undertaken by two senior interstate ALP members and Franklin MHR Julie Collins to determine what went wrong for the party in the March state election.

It made 23 recommendations, including advice that the party should allocate more resources in the North and North-West of the state

Opposition Leader Bryan Green said the party would look at the recommendations carefully. 

``Obviously, if the report came out and said all was fine and dandy with the ALP as a result of the last election people would know that was completely untrue,'' Mr Green said.

The frank report acknowledges the 11 per cent swing against Labor in Bass, and a 17 per cent swing in Braddon, and that the party policy was too ``south-focused''.

``The party needs to increase its presence and deal with the economic issues of Northern Tasmania if we are serious about governing again,'' the report said.

The report found ``timber towns'' swung heavily against Labor across all of Tasmania.

``Clearly Labor failed to successfully market the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and, despite all research indicating people wanted the issue to be resolved, its resolution `poisoned' the Labor brand,'' it said.

Mr Green said Labor had ``a job to rebuild the relationship with regional Tasmania''.

The report said former Braddon MHA Brenton Best damaged the local and state campaign.

``Mr Best's constant undermining of the campaign went well beyond adopting a strong position against the Labor Coalition with the Greens,'' it said.

The report names Mr Best as a strong contributor to Labor's historic low vote in Braddon.

Labor will hold its state conference in July, where the recommendations will be debated.

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