Premier set for campaign trail

TODAY marks a major shift in Lara Giddings's job description.

As the government goes into caretaker mode her role of Premier is scaled down and her focus switches to leading Labor to the election. 

An upbeat Ms Giddings yesterday said she was determined to enjoy every one of the 31 days until Tasmanians go to the polls.

 ``I'm a people person so I love meeting Tasmanians, and the best way to explain what you're doing and what your future plans are is face to face with Tasmania,'' Ms Giddings said.

``I'm actually itching to get out there and really get the campaign going.''

With polls predicting a crushing defeat for Labor, she's prepared for a tough fight. 

``Whatever the result is I will be owning that result. If it's a win it'll be fantastic and it will be because of the huge team effort that has been put in by so many people.'' she said.

``If we lose I take full responsibility for that as leader of the Labor Party.''

To cope with the rigours of long days on the campaign trail, Ms Giddings is avoiding alcohol, having had just a taste of blueberry beer at Beerfest since January 1.  

``It's just a bit of discipline I can put in to what is going to be a tough and hard-run campaign,'' she said. 

Having sacked the Greens ministers last month and declaring she would never do a deal with the minor party again, Ms Giddings is confident Tasmanians have moved on.

``I think what people want to know is not how good you've been - they can make their own judgments about that.

``They want to know what you're going to do next and that's what this campaign will be about.

``What are we going to do for Tasmania for the next four years and beyond.''

Jobs, jobs, jobs has been the Premier's mantra since taking over three years ago and it remains the number one issue. 

``That's the issue that is most commonly raised with me - `Lara what jobs will there be for my children?' ''

To answer the question she paints an exciting vision of a prosperous state reaping the benefits of the groundwork successive Labor governments have laid for industries from agriculture to Antarctic research. 

She said the jobs emerging may not necessarily be traditional ones. 

``It might well be that your child does want to be a farmer, but the farming has changed to year-round production of berries for instance rather than the seasonal farming of the past.'' 

Ms Giddings is not phased by having little money to play with during the campaign, promising a ``modest'' approach to election promises, in contrast to the big spending opposition.

``Tasmanians are, one, very cynical about politicians throwing money around like it's going out of fashion, and two, they're starting to experience Tony Abbott,'' she said.

Labor is promising to stand up for Tasmania when dealing with the federal Coalition government, particularly on critical issues for the state such as the roll-out of the National Broadband Network, securing the full six years of Gonski funding and protecting the state's share of GST revenue. 

Ms Giddings has repeatedly warned against wall-to-wall Liberal governments across the country. 

``You will end up with everyone patting each other on the back rather than getting in there and standing up for Tasmania, which is what we need,'' she said.

Premier Lara Giddings is determined to enjoy each day of the campaign. Picture: GEORGIE BURGESS

Premier Lara Giddings is determined to enjoy each day of the campaign. Picture: GEORGIE BURGESS


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