The upper house election in Rosevears is hotly contested, featuring several high profile candidates.
Given the balance of the Legislative Council, the successful candidate could play a key role as Tasmania looks to emerge from the COVID downturn.
The Examiner hosted a forum with the candidates, asking them questions from the newsroom and from subscribers.
View The Examiner's Rosevears forum here, and read a summary of key points at the bottom:
The Examiner also sat down with each candidate to help voters get to know them better: where they stand on crucial issues, why they're running, what they want to achieve and more.
The election is set for August 1.
Janie Finlay - independent
City of Launceston councillor and former mayor, Janie Finlay, is firmly of the view that the Legislative Council should be an independent house of review not dominated by party politics.
Read more about her here.
Jo Palmer - Liberal
Jo Palmer spent decades on Tasmanian TV screens on 7 Nightly News, and now she's looking for a seat in the upper house as the Liberal Party candidate.
Jess Greene - Labor
Union official and women's shelter advocate Jess Greene won a seat on West Tamar Council during the Rosevears campaign, but wants to see the campaign through.
Jack Davenport - Greens
Having experienced the shortfalls of Tasmania's public housing system firsthand in his professional career, Jack Davenport believes the government must be doing more.
Vivienne Gale - independent
Vivienne Gale believes her legal and legislative experience ticks the boxes for members of the Legislative Council, who must scrutinise government legislation.
David Fry - independent
David Fry has thrown his hat back in the ring almost 20 years after he last served in Tasmanian Parliament as a Liberal - but he says, as an independent candidate, he's far removed from the party now.
Voluntary assisted dying, the independence of the upper house, pokies legislation and Tasmania's COVID recovery were among the topics discussed when The Examiner hosted a Rosevears candidate forum on Wednesday morning.
Independent candidates Janie Finlay, David Fry and Vivienne Gale joined Liberal candidate Jo Palmer, Labor's Jess Greene and the Greens' candidate Jack Davenport to answer questions from the newsroom and subscribers.
Voluntary assisted dying
Janie Finlay, Jack Davenport, Vivienne Gale and Jess Greene outlined their support for Mike Gaffney MLC's draft voluntary assisted dying bill, while Jo Palmer and David Fry signalled their intention to vote against it.
Ms Palmer said her concerns centred on the pressure it placed on medical practitioners involved in the process.
"I think one of the biggest concerns I have around the bill is the time that I spent speaking with, certainly, the AMA and other members of the medical fraternity who are really concerned that a pivotal part of this bill is their involvement," she said.
"I also believe that they want us to be really diligent and make sure that the actual legislation that goes through has as many safeguards as possible for vulnerable people in our community."
Mr Fry said he was unsure whether it was possible to "legislate sufficiently to be able to protect people" from abuse under the laws.
Ms Finlay said she supports the draft bill as it was written "100 per cent", and would scrutinise any amendments closely.
"I attended both of the information sessions in Launceston and Riverside, and completely support it as it is drafted," she said.
Mr Davenport said the draft bill was "robust" and had adequate safeguards, and Ms Greene said it was similar to laws already in place in Victoria and Western Australia and would operate effectively.
Ms Gale said she was committed to ensuring they passed through parliament.
"Those people that are in that situation need choice and by [other MLCs] not supporting this bill, in different versions - whatever version that does come through - means that those people will not get that choice," she said.
Independence of the upper house
The Legislative Council - in its current form - has never been majority party-aligned members for well over 100 years, but that could occur if both Rosevears and Huon are won by party candidates.
It means the independence of the upper house has become one of the most discussed topics of the campaign.
Independent candidates were asked what they could hope to achieve without having the backing of a party.
Ms Finlay said her independence would allow her to form relationships with the government, opposition and "all levels of community".
"As an independent in the upper house, my ability to review legislation is strong, but my ability to develop relationships and connect with people across really important conversations is also high and well developed," she said.
Ms Gale said the upper house reviewed legislation, rather than shaping policy from the beginning. She said the role of party politicians changed substantially when governments changed, whereas independents retained their reviewing function.
Mr Fry said a party politician could put their view forward in the party room or minister's office, but must ultimately vote along party lines.
When asked if she would vote against the Liberal Party if it was in the interests of her constituents, Ms Palmer said she would put Rosevears constituents first.
"Whether that fight took place in the privacy of a minister's office, whether that fight took place on the floor of parliament, I would have no qualms whatsoever," she said.
As a long-term member and official of the Tasmanian Labor Party, Ms Greene said she knew she could contribute to policy direction in party caucus, and was always comfortable with the party's positions.
Mr Davenport said he would apply Greens values to every decision before him, and provide "a voice of integrity fighting for climate action, for sustainability and to clean up politics".
While a report last week showed incremental improvements in the health of the Tamar River, it remained to be seen whether works to stop effluent runoff and improve TasWater infrastructure would have long-term benefits.
Mr Fry has advocated for a single overarching body for the estuary, believing expert advice often clashed.
But Ms Finlay said that already existed with the Tamar management taskforce which had established a health action plan. She said, as an MLC, she would seek to ensure the plan was enacted fully.
"My role in supporting it getting to that part, if elected to the upper house, would be that accountability to ensure those actions and improvements are delivered," she said.
Ms Palmer said it was "wonderful" to see improvements documented in the recent report.
"The state and federal government have made a huge contribution with funding to work through this process. You can't sometimes just throw money at something and hope it will fix it," she said.
Mr Davenport was unconvinced that proposed plans would have the desired long-term results, and wanted attention placed on "the bigger picture".
"We're facing an extinction crisis. There's a very real possibility of a collapse in biodiversity, and that would have serious ramifications for Tasmania, as much as anywhere else," he said.
Ms Greene said funding to upgrade sewerage infrastructure was yet to be delivered, and that it must now be "fast-tracked".
Ms Gale said it was disappointing that the City Deal meant dredging and raking could not occur, which could cause silt to build-up, resulting in a "catastrophe" if the Tamar flooded.
Poker machine reform
Laws that could break up Tasmania's monopoly poker machine licensing model could be put before Parliament this year, meaning the new Rosevears MLC would play a part in the debate.
One key aspect of the argument was whether the licenses should be put out to tender, or given to venues directly, foregoing tax revenue. Candidates wanted to wait and see what the legislation entailed before commenting.
Some candidates were comfortable with the level of poker machines in Tasmania.
Ms Palmer said "people have to take responsibility for their own actions" but when that "does get out of hand for a small number of people", then adequate support services should be in place.
Ms Finlay agreed that "people should be free to participate in a legal activity", but challenges in the community that led to problem gambling should be focused on, and she did not want pokies encouraged in small communities and suburbs.
Mr Fry described problem gambling as a "terrible situation" and that it disproportionately affected lower socioeconomic areas. He said there should be "far less proliferation of poker machines around our community".
Ms Gale wanted the poker machine reform process to be "completely transparent", and she supported policy that would provide more funding for Tasmania rather than having it funnelled to one company.
Ms Greene said Labor would consider the reform by looking at "health and wellbeing impacts", and she wanted greater community education about the harms of gambling addiction.
Mr Davenport said pokies should be taken out of pubs and clubs, and that poker machines were a social, public health and political problem.
With Tasmania's downturn expected to be long-lasting, candidates were asked where stimulus spending should be prioritised.
Ms Palmer said sporting groups, churches and service groups should be well resourced.
Ms Finlay said policies that kept people in jobs and supported small businesses should be pursued further.
Ms Greene said funding into public services - social housing, mental health and family violence - must be a priority. Mr Davenport said social and public housing construction should be the focus. Mr Fry said housing and large infrastructure projects should be pursued. Ms Gale also said large infrastructure projects should be brought forward.