Premier Peter Gutwein has resisted a call from independent members in the Legislative Council to move the upper house election scheduled for May 1 - the same day as the House of Assembly election.
Six independent MLCs wrote to the Premier this week to ask him to reschedule the upper house elections in Mersey, Windermere and Derwent to avoid a clash with elections for seats in the lower house.
Signatories to the letter were Meg Webb, Rosemary Armitage, Tania Rattray, Rob Valentine, Ruth Forrest and retiring Windermere MLC Ivan Dean.
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"Your decision to align Legislative Council and House of Assembly election dates for the first time in the history of the Tasmanian Parliament risks undermining the important and separate role of the Legislative Council in holding the government of the day to account," they wrote.
The MLCs requested that should the government be re-elected that it undertake legislative reform to ensure upper and lower house elections did not clash in the future.
"The alignment of elections provides an undoubted advantage to party-affiliated candidates over independent candidates running in the Legislative Council election," they wrote.
"This is clearly in opposition to the Legislative Council electoral system which, as designed, provides an even playing field to all candidates through measures such as a separate election cycle, election spending caps and the disallowance of electoral spending from political parties or third parties."
The MLCs added party candidates in the upper house elections would benefit from whole-of-party election advertising, high visibility branding from House of Assembly candidates, group media opportunities and public events.
"It is unclear how financial benefit from these kinds of activities will be assessed against the legislated restrictions applied to Legislative Council elections," they wrote.
Premier Peter Gutwein said he would not consider moving the date of the upper house elections.
"What is interesting in regards to that letter was that my understanding has always been that the upper house is a house of review," he said.
"They make it perfectly clear those six independents that they believe that it's their job to hold the government to account.
"That's not the role for the upper house."
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