Judy Jackson

The Honourable Judith Louise Jackson (Born; 31 August, 1947) was an Australian Labor Party politician, in Tasmania from 1986 to 2006. She was the Attorney-General and Minister for Environment in the Tasmanian Government. During her time in parliament she was a member of the Hobart based seat of Denison. She was first elected to parliament in 1986.

Political career

Prior to her entry into parliament, Jackson worked as a school teacher. She entered state politics in 1986, despite not coming from a union or political family. She held a number of portfolios including; Minister for Community services (1989), Minister for Roads and Transport (1991), Shadow Attorney-General (1996-1998) and Minister for Health and Human services. Jackson is a committed feminism|feminist and has worked tirelessly to bring equal opportunity to women in Tasmania. Since 2002 when Jackson took over the Attorney-General portfolio she has drafted several laws including; "The Family Violence Act" which outlaws domestic violence in Tasmania and the "Relationships Act" which has made it possible for non married (including homosexual) couples to register a union and obtain similar rights as married couples.

Criticism

Jackson had many critics; the Risdon prison siege in 2005 caused much controversy and she was widely blamed as not handling the situation.

Also in 2005; the "Family Violence Act" she drafted was criticised by judges as one of the provisions in the legislation prevented courts from granting bail to domestic violence offenders. However Jackson remained firm about the issue and the legislation was introduced, unchanged.

In 2005 the government also drafted the "Sex Regulation Act" which sought to further legalise and regulate prostitution. Under the legislation, brothels would be legal and could be owned by any individual except convicted criminals, patrons of prostitution would be required by law to wear a condom. However Jackson was unable to convince the community and members of the Tasmanian Legislative Council rejected her bill. As a result she made a back flip; abandoning her legislation and banning brothels in Tasmania. Jackson got criticism from both sides; sex workers and supporters fearing that prostitution will go underground and others for supporting prostitution in the first place. Jackson, in a statement told how she still felt Regulation of the industry was better than banning it altogether.

As Environment Minister she has been highly criticised by the Tasmanian Greens for inaction over the Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease.

Retirement

In 2005, Jackson announced she would not contest her seat during the 2006 State Election and would retire. Her term ended on Friday 17 March 2006, when parliament was dissolved.

References

* [http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/history/tasparl/jackson_je_659.htm Parliamentary library profile]

External links

* [http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ha/ISJacksonJudy.htm Judy Jackon's maiden speech to parliament]


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