New branches a sign of strength and renewal in the Labor Party Tue 2 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Two new Labor Party branches will be launched this week in a sign of growing community engagement and renewal. The Premier, Lara Giddings, will launch the Freycinet Branch and the re-established Huon Branch as part of a two week tour, taking in all regions of the state. Ms Giddings said the new branches followed a 30 per cent increase in membership for Tasmanian Labor Party over the past year. "The opening of two new Labor Party branches is a sign of vibrancy in our political system," Ms Giddings said. "I commend the new members who have chosen to give their time and ideas to make Tasmania a better place. "People are getting involved because their membership has a meaning. The Tasmanian Labor Party has been at the forefront of adopting the recommendations of the 2010 ALP National Review, which has given members greater involvement in the election of officials and the development of policy. "I have received a lot of positive feedback about State Government's ambitious social reform agenda including surrogacy and marriage equality, while people also respect and understand the responsible approach we are taking to tackle the Budget challenge. "Tasmania is also leading the way on national reforms such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, carbon pricing, and the National Broadband Network." "Political parties thrive on community engagement and joining a local branch is one of the best ways of influencing and contributing to the decision making process. "It is important for any institution to attract new people who can contribute fresh ideas and perspectives." Ms Giddings said the Labor team would also use the next two weeks before Parliament resumes to meet directly with Tasmanians from around the state. "My Government is committed to working with local communities to build jobs and opportunities for the future," she said. "We will be attending a range of events, meeting with community groups and visiting local towns in all corners of the state. "It is important that we are out there at every opportunity listening to the community, acting on their concerns and explaining our policies so that we can help change Tasmania for the better."