The Tasmanian Debating Union is Tasmania's premier debating organisation for schools level competition, training and development. The TDU was founded in 1981 and is the sole Tasmanian affiliate of the Australian Debating Federation.

The TDU organises and conducts schools competitions for all levels of secondary education in southern Tasmania, and works with partners in the north of the state and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to conduct an annual statewide tournament.

The TDU also undertakes training and development of debaters and adjudicators across the state, and each year selects a team to represent Tasmania at the Australian Debating Championships.

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Topics for Round 4 released | 2 May 2017

The TDU is pleased to present Round 4 of the Schools Competition in partnership with the University of Tasmania's Faculty of Law. All debates in the Round will take place in the Faculty, with Novice, Grade 9 and College teams debating on Wednesday May 10 and Grade 8 and Grade 10 teams debating on Wednesday May 17.

The Faculty of Law will once again sponsor a prize for this Round of the Competition. The Dean's Medal, presented on behalf of the Faculty's Dean, Professor Margaret Otlowski, will be awarded to the team in each Grade with the strongest case, determined by adjudicators on each evening.

The subject area for this Round is Law and justice. Topics are reproduced below.

Novice: That school rules should be made by students
Grade 8: That fines should be proportional to income
Grade 9: That we should break unjust laws
Grade 10: That criminal trials should be televised
College: That juries should return "not guilty" verdicts where they believe it would be unjust for defendants to be punished

The Faculty has also generously offered to provide teams with advice and information concerning legal concepts and issues relevant to the topic areas to be debated in this Round. Teams are asked to submit any questions they have or areas with regard to which they would appreciate background information from the Faculty by email to Associate Professor Rick Snell. Teams are encouraged to submit their questions as early as possible to ensure that Faculty staff have adequate time in which to formulate a response.

Topics for Round 3 | 30 March 2017

The subject area for debates in Round 3 is National Security. Topics are now available and are reproduced below.

Novice: Advised subject: resources for defence
Grade 8: That Australian troops should only defend Australia
Grade 9: That the government should not compromise citizens' privacy to achieve national security
Grade 10: Advised subject: Australia's alliances
College: Advised subject: responses to terrorism

Please note that debates in Round 3 will take place on either side of the term break, and that debates in the Novice, Grade 9 and College competitions will take place at the Glenorchy campus of Guilford Young College (not the Hobart campus) on Wednesday April 12. Debates in the Grade 8 and Grade 10 competitions will take place at The Friends' School's Senior Campus on Wednesday May 3.

Topics for Round 2 released | 22 March 2017

The subject area for debates in Round 2 is Agriculture and the environment. Topics for each division are as follows:

Novice: That every household should have a vegetable garden
Grade 8: Advised subject: Producing our own food
Grade 9: Advised subject: Food production and animal rights
Grade 10: Advised subject: Environmental impacts of agriculture
College: Advised subject: Agricultural economics

Debates in the Novice, Grade 9 and College competitions will take place at St Mary's College on Wednesday March 29. Debates in the Grade 8 and Grade 10 competitions will take place at Ogilvie High School on Wednesday April 5.