For the likeable bloke from Devonport, joining the Nationals was a no-brainer and natural fit as the Party’s focus on local priorities complemented Steve’s lifetime of community service.
Born in Devonport, the former restaurateur and newsagent spent 32 years as a volunteer firefighter and 20 years with Enormity, a not-for-profit that works with and for youth and those in need. As a community volunteer, Steve was Tasmania’s finalist for Australian of the Year in 2004, a recipient of the Tasmania Day Community Service Award, the Centenary Medallion and the Tasmanian Fire Service Volunteer Medal among others.
In 2009, Steve was elected to Devonport City Council as an Alderman and two years later was elected as Mayor. In 2014 he was re-elected as Alderman and Mayor, where he served for a further four years. During his time as Mayor, Steve oversaw an improvement in finances and a reduction in bureaucratic costs, while delivering important community projects and innovations.
After Senator Jacqui Lambie’s departure from the Australian Senate in 2017 during the citizenship crisis, Steve Martin was selected to fill her vacancy.
“I’m humbled and thrilled to be so close to representing Tasmania in the Senate, and I’m eager to take up the fight on behalf of my great state,” he said.
The Senator’s time with the Jacqui Lambie Network was short-lived and after spending some time on the Senate crossbench, Steve decided it was in the best interests of Tasmanians to have a representative who was part of a stable team, namely The National Party, whose strong track record of delivering positive outcomes for rural and regional Australians could truly benefit those down south.
“Having been a community volunteer and small business owner, one of my core reasons for entering federal politics was to help strengthen Tasmanian communities and businesses,” Senator Martin said.
“In Tasmania, agricultural industries like horticulture and aquaculture are vitally important to the economic prosperity and strength of rural communities and I want to see them grow and prosper. So it made sense for me to go with The Nationals who share the same values – they are a good natural fit to pursue my political beliefs.”
Senator Martin’s addition to The Nationals’ Party room makes him the first from Tasmania since 1927 and the first Tasmanian Senator in the Party’s history. In the 1920s there were three Nationals lower house MPs, including the inaugural Leader of the Country Party, the then-Franklin MP William McWilliams.