On April 29, 640 people attended a public meeting in Launceston entitled "Tasmania: A Failed Democracy?". A week earlier, 300 people had attended a similar meeting in Hobart. The calling of the meetings was sparked by revelations of corruption that led to the resignation of deputy Labor premier Steve Kons on April 9.
On April 8, Kons had denied signing a document recommending lawyer Simon Cooper to the position of magistrate, but seven hours later he apologised for misleading parliament. He admitted signing the document and shredding it after changing his mind about the appointment.
Cooper is a former head of the state's Resource Planning and Development Commission. The blocking of his appointment to the judiciary is believed to have been in response to the leaking of a letter he had written as RPDC chief to Premier Paul Lennon. In the letter, Cooper had revealed that Linda Hornsey, head of the premier's department, had played a central role in ensuring that Gunns Ltd was never told in writing by the RPDC that its unpopular $2 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill project remained "critically non compliant" in meeting RPDC approval requirements.
A motion was passed at the Launceston meeting calling for the setting up of an independent commission against corruption and Lennon's sacking or retirement.