LAWYER Steve Bishop will be the endorsed Labor candidate for Launceston in the Legislative Council election early next year.
And he is already being seen as state government minister material.
Premier David Bartlett announced yesterday that the experienced Launceston solicitor and long-time law reform and human rights advocate would be Labor's choice to contest the seat held by independent Don Wing since 1982.
Mr Bartlett said that he was impressed by Mr Bishop's passion for ongoing law reform and his preparedness to discuss complex issues such as the regulation of Tasmania's sex industry.
In a comment on the issue in The Examiner today, Mr Bishop argues that tight regulation and scrutiny of the sex industry would provide better outcomes than prohibition.
"In Steve we have a candidate who I know will add to the intellectual capacity, knowledge and wisdom around the government table and no doubt in the future, someone of Steve's great talents will, if elected, have a ministerial opportunity where he will really add to government work and add to the lives of the people of Launceston," Mr Bartlett said.
He said that he intended to continue looking across both houses of Parliament for people to fill ministerial positions.
Mr Bishop, 57, said that he had accepted the invitation to run as a candidate because he wanted to get things done for Launceston.
"I want to get the river cleaned up, I want the broadband rolled out, I want the hospital issues fixed and you can't get these things done from the sidelines or the Opposition benches," he said.
Mr Bishop first gained a public profile nearly 15 years ago when he and other legal colleagues fought for Family Court reforms.
He is the founding partner of Bishops Barristers and Solicitors and has been practising law for 36 years.
His community involvement includes serving as senior vice-president of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, as a board member of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a member of the antidiscrimination tribunal and Amnesty International.
He is married with four children.
The only other confirmed candidate so far for the seat to be vacated by retiring MLC Mr Wing, is former Tasmanian Liberal Party president Sam McQuestin.
Launceston alderman Rosemary Armitage has indicated that she will stand as an independent.
READ MORE The case for regulation: Page 7